Mobile Laser for Oil Spill Response in the Arctic


Mobile laser unit. Photo: Rosatom

Laser cleaning technologies can be used to remove oil films from the water surface

Rosatom’s scientists have completed testing a mobile laser unit designed to remove oil spills from water. The experiment was held in the Sea of Okhotsk off the coast of Sakhalin Island, the company’s press office reports.

Rosatom is a Russian state-owned atomic energy corporation.

The laser unit developed by the Troitsk Institute for Innovation and Fusion Research (TRINITI) (JSC SRC RF TRINITI, part of Rosatom State Corporation) was used for the first time to burn an oil slick.

During the tests, the mobile laser unit was placed on the deck of a cargo ship. The scientists used special equipment to block the entry of flammable substances into the water and observed all necessary safety measures.

To simulate an oil spill, a raft was used, consisting of a wooden frame and foam sheets fixed on it and covered with sheets of roofing felt. Also, the sheets of roofing felt were coated with a layer of high viscosity crude oil and bitumen. The combustible mixture on the raft was ignited with the laser unit from a distance of about 300 metres.

The experiment proved that Rosatom’s mobile laser unit allows for non-contact and remote cleaning at a distance of up to 300 metres.

Laser cleaning technologies can be used to remove oil films from the water surface. They can become a new promising tool of emergency oil spill response in Arctic conditions […], the General Director of TRINITI said.

State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (ROSATOM) is one of the global technological leaders, with capacities in the nuclear sector and beyond, and business partners in 50 countries. The corporation includes about 400 enterprises and organisations employing a total of more than 330,000 people.