Russian nuclear submarine 'catches fire' in Zvyozdochka shipyard

Submarine is in northern province of Arkhangelsk

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The Independent Online

A Russian nuclear submarine has caught fire in a shipyard, according to reports.

The 949 Antei submarine was being repaired in the Zvyozdochka shipyard in the northern province of Arkhangelsk, RIA Novosti reports.

There were reportedly no weapons on board.

“The fire affected an area of some 20 square meters. The insulation between the hulls of the sub is burning,” an anonymous source was quoted as saying by Russia Today (RT).

Local news agencies suggested the fire had started during welding, although this has not been confirmed.

There are no reports of casualties at present. The shipyard has not commented and the Emergencies Ministry also declined to comment.

The TASS news agency cited a source as saying the submarine's nuclear reactor had been shut down prior to the blaze, according to Reuters.

"The active zone of the reactor was unloaded at the start of repairs a few years ago," the source said.