The Kremlin boasted on Tuesday it was winning the race to develop new cutting edge nuclear weapons despite a mysterious rocket accident last week in northern Russia that caused a temporary spike in radiation levels.
Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency, has said that the Aug. 8 accident occurred during a rocket test on a sea platform in the White Sea, killing at least five and injuring three more. It has pledged to keep developing new weapons regardless, portraying the men who died in the test as heroes.
Russia, which has said the missile will have an “unlimited range” and be able to overcome any defenses, calls the missile the 9M730 Burevestnik (Storm Petrel). The NATO alliance has designated it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.
USA Today reports:
A mysterious explosion at an offshore Russian military site involving a nuclear power source for a missile is fueling international speculation as few details are available about what caused the blast and what its effects are.
On Tuesday, Russian newswire Interfax and the Washington Post and CNN, citing other local Russian news outlets, reported that residents in Nyonoksa were being temporarily evacuated, but Russian officials cancelled the order hours later.
An evacuation early Wednesday morning was ordered for the small town of Nyonoksa on the coast of the White Sea because of activities at the test site where the explosion occurred, Interfax news agency reported.