The Nord Stream Pipelines attack may end up being an environmental disaster to equal the Fukushima disaster, with the release of millions of cubic metres of methane-gas into the environment, from the attack and in an attempt to save the pipelines.
It has been reported that the Russians are having to maintain gas-flow through the Russian end of the pipelines to prevent seawater entering and starting a process that, once started, never ends – rusting. Rust never sleeps once it has started.
So, unless they have a tool for removing and killing the rust, they have two options:
- Keep pumping gas through the pipelines and thus damage the marine life and the environment with massive amounts of released methane.
- Abandon the pipelines as being scrap, after costing billions to build, and laying new ones, that evil lunatics could also destroy.
Depending upon the amount of damage and whether the pipes are just holed, or separated and twisted out of shape will determine how difficult they are to repair, if that is decided upon. They can only pump gas through the Russian end to prevent rusting, but obviously not through the other end past the damage in the side terminating in Germany, which will inevitably fill with seawater and rust, thus needing to be replaced, if they cannot kill the rust.
It is possible to repair pipes under water using a hyperbaric welding system and at 70 metres depth, mixed-gas saturation divers who are Lloyds qualified and certified welders, but it would be a monumental task, because the pipes are coated and encased in concrete and then are possibly below the seabed. If the Russians have used the normal method of jetting the pipes into and under the seabed, using a system whereby an huge sledge sits on top of the pipe and moves along it, whilst having high pressure jets to blow the sand away from underneath the pipe, creating a trench that the pipe settles into, then getting to the pipe to repair it will be even more difficult.
The question for repairing is: did the pipes just sit on the seabed, or were they jetted into it? At 70 metres depth it would not be vulnerable to anchors dragging into it, like in shallower waters, but the water-depth is not uniform, especially as the sea approaches land.
If they sat on the seabed they would be more vulnerable than if jetted-in, but easier to both find to repair and to attack.
Welding conventionally underwater makes the weld brittle, because the weld does not cool naturally like on land, but is instantly cooled by the seawater. That’s why with something like these pipelines the hyperbaric-welding system is used, because it uses a gas-pressurised chamber over the pipeline, to keep the water off the welding, so it cools slowly like on land.