In January 2019, construction started on a new industrial port in Tønsnes, Tromsø municipality, in northern Norway. The port will be able to dock and receive allied nuclear submarines.
Local council and residents are however not pleased with a possible increase in nuclear submarine traffic.
“Just in this immediate area we have had three series incidents with nuclear submarines in the past 30 years,” Bjørn Egil Johansen shared with Norweigan paper Nordlys. He was referring to, amongst other incidents, that of the Russian submarine Kursk tragedy in 2000.
To the detriment of local industry
Concerns have also been raised that this may negatively affect local industry. Nuclear submarine vessels represent a real "threat to industrial activity at Tønsnes, not least affecting the food production located in the area,” according to Jens Ingvald Olsen, a Tromsø politician.
Fish export is thriving in these areas, and the Norwegian seafood industry is definitely not immune to the affects of rumours on radioactive contamination, as recently witnessed by the Kursk incident.
As a result of the new industrial port, Tromsø municipality is demanding compensation from the Norwegian state for all costs, including possible future revenue-losses, that could affect the area due to an increase in nuclear submarine traffic.
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