Russian servicemen ‘averted planetary catastrophe’ during nuclear submarine accident, military official claims at funeral
Kremlin refuses to reveal mission of vessel, citing state secrets
That's from The Independent earlier today (HT: ZeroHedge)
The Barents Observer has been doing their best to figure out what's going on, starting from their first report:
Fire onboard nuclear-powered submarine, 14 sailors killed
Fishermen witnessed nuclear submarine drama
Defense minster confirms fire onboard the «Losharik»
Report to the President: super-secret submarine «Losharik» will be repaired and taken back in service
The fire started in the battery compartment, but did not affect the reactor, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reports to Vladimir Putin. ...
Tragic, and potentially disastrous for the immediate area if the reactor casing had opened but not something you'd call "a planetary catastrophe".
Among other reports we've seen (not verified so grain of salt) is that seven of the dead were captains, meaning whatever they were up to was pretty important. The fact the Russians are repairing and returning the boat to its mission would also point in that direction.
So what was the submarine or its submersible—capable of 20,000 foot dives—carrying?
The best guess I've seen is a high-yield, 100 - 200 megaton, cobalt thermonuclear bomb.
A bomb that size, two to four times more powerful than the biggest ever exploded, the Soviet Tsar Bomba (limited to 50 MT to allow the delivery plane a chance to escape) a bomb that size is awful enough but if it is encased in cobalt it becomes the most lethal munition ever built.
Here's MIT physicist Max
Dr. Strangelove Is Back: Say ‘Hi’ to the Cobalt Bomb!
"Now Most Dreaded Weapon, Cobalt Bomb, Can Be Built
It is this type of hydrogen bomb of which Albert Einstein said: "If successful, radioactive poisoning of the atmosphere, and hence annihilation of any life on earth will have been brought with in the range of technical possibilities."Volume 72, 2016 - Issue 4: Security at sea, and under it:
Would Russia’s undersea “doomsday drone” carry a cobalt bomb?
People smarter than I are speculating this might be what's going on up in the Arctic.