Russian Defense Ministry officials say they are considering using nuclear-powered submarines to survey Russia's continental shelf borders in the Arctic.
"The use of nuclear-powered submarines for surveying continental shelf borders in the Arctic is currently being studied at the Russian Navy main staff," a source told the Novosti news agency, noting the greater part of the disputed Arctic shelf zone is below a thick icecap, so systematic surveys could only be provided by nuclear subs.
The survey is designed to delimit Russia's state border in the Arctic to establish Russia's control over huge hydrocarbon reserves.
Experts estimate about 100 billion metric tons of oil-equivalent hydrocarbons are concentrated on Russia's Arctic sea shelf, along with major reserves of various types of solid-state minerals, including non-ferrous, rare-earth, and precious metals, Novosti reported.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: NASA asteroid defense program falls short: audit