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Russia Expands Its Infrastructure in the Arctic

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Russia will open its first emergency rescue center in the Arctic this August, it has been announced. The first will be in the city of Dudinka, in the northern Krasnoyarsk territory, and ten such Russian centers are planned. The purpose is to respond quickly to a variety of possible disasters, by combining meteorological, rescue, and border guard duties. All of the centers are to be open by 2015 and will employ about 1,000 people in total. Russia’s Arctic zone houses nuclear power plants, naval bases, nuclear Navy ships, and other infrastructure.

The need for such a capability in the extreme regions of the planet was demonstrated earlier this week, when a fire in the electric generator at the Brazilian Comandante Ferraz station in Antarctica killed two Navy personnel and forced the helicopter evacuation of 40 other people. The Chilean government came to their rescue, evacuated them to the Chile Antarctic base, and then back to Brazil. The extreme and often unpredictable weather in the polar regions often makes reaching personnel there extremely difficult, requiring an international rescue response.