K-19: Subs in Peril
K-19: The History
Major Sub Disasters
Evolution of Subs

Radiation Risk?
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K-19: The History

Day 18: Disaster Strikes

K-19 with red glow

July 4, 1961, 0415 hours: Captain Zateyev receives a heart-stopping report: Water pressure in the starboard nuclear reactor’s cooling system has dropped to zero. The coolant pumps have stopped—it looks like a rupture in the primary coolant loop. Without coolant, the temperature in the reactor core will rise unchecked.

Fifteen hundred miles (2,400 kilometers) from home and with no known means of rescue, captain and crew must somehow cool the reactor and prevent a very possible meltdown.

Next: The Rupture >>