The Main Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations for the Murmansk Region reported at approximately 1630 EST that a fire had broken out in one of the cabins on the nuclear-powered cargo ship SEVMORPUT. The fire reportedly spread to more than 30 square meters and emergency crews reportedly extinguished the blaze by 1700 EST.
The official statement reads below:
“Currently, firefighters have reached the source of the fire, are making every effort to put out the fire as quickly as possible, and are inspecting adjacent premises… there is no threat of proliferation.”
SEVMORPUT is a Russian nuclear-powered cargo ship. The 1988-built vessel is one of only four nuclear-powered merchant ships ever built and, after returning to service in 2016 following an extensive refit, the only such vessel to remain in service as of 2023. The ship was charged with exploiting the Northern Sea Route and is expected to be retired in 2024. Interestingly, in 2020, the ship was charged with bringing building materials to Antarctica to support Russian research bases there. However, a loss of one of the propeller blades resulted in the ship returning to Russia without accomplishing its trip. The ship recently travelled from St. Petersburg to Murmansk in early December and was moored at Atomflot’s base in Murmansk when the fire broke out.