Russia Says Evacuation Of Polar Researcher Station To Cost $2 Million

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MOSCOW (UPI) — The Russian government said Monday it has set aside $2 million to cover expenses caused by an urgent evacuation of a drifting polar research station.

Preparations for an emergency evacuation of the North Pole 40 researcher station, referred to as SP-40, began in May as the ice floe it was situated on began to break up.

SP-40, which was put into operation on Oct. 1, was originally due to stay open until September this year, “but the station’s ice floe is cleaved and it was decided to dismantle the station to prevent an emergency situation,” Vladimir Sokolov, head of Russia’s high-latitude arctic expeditions, said in announcing the evacuation in May.

A nuclear icebreaker was dispatched from the port of Murmansk on a rescue mission June 1 and reached the station June 10.

Some members of the evacuated mission will be dropped off at Baranov Cape on Bolshevik Island, off the north coast of Russia, to allow ongoing research, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

Russia has had to evacuate scientists from arctic stations before; in late April 2012 research station SP-39 was moved to another ice floe because its original one was breaking up, and in May 2010, another nuclear-powered icebreaker evacuated floating station SP-37.

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