Europe pipe leaks – level 3

03-10-2022 07:00

On Tuesday, unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines churned up the Baltic Sea with bubbles.

The pipelines are important in the growing energy war between Europe and Russia, and the incident undermined the continent’s energy security.

Three separate leaks happened on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, and seismologists in Sweden and Denmark reported two sharp spikes in undersea activity; the spikes indicated possible explosions. Several European leaders raised concerns about possible infrastructure sabotage.

The steel pipelines have a wall of 4.1 centimeters, and the wall has steel-reinforced concrete up to 11 centimeters thick. Each section of the pipe weighs 11 tonnes, which increases to 25 tonnes after the concrete is applied.

Sections of the pipelines are between 80 and 110 meters deep. Therefore, a submarine didn’t likely cause the explosions, as submarines are easily detected in the shallow Baltic waters.

Europe started an investigation into the leaks, and Sweden launched a probe into the possible sabotage.

Difficult words: churn up (to disturb a liquid), undermine (to weaken), sabotage (to deliberately destroy or damage something, especially for political or military advantage).

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