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Old August 17th, 2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Siberia from North to East. Part 2 : Dudinka

So here is the second thread about the trip I've just done in Siberia.
You can see the first pics about Norilsk here : Siberia from North to East. Part 1 : Norilsk.

Dudinka is a city a lot smaller than Norilsk, of about 30,000 people. Actually people of Dudinka see Norilsk as the big city.
Dudinka is located 80 km west of Norilsk, it's a port at the mouth of the Yenisei (or Ienisseď) river, one of the three great siberian rivers (along with the Ob river and the Lena river). We had to go to Dudinka to take the boat and going up the river as far as Ienisseďsk (some 1,500 or 2,000 km to the south, a 4 days- boat trip).

Dudinka is not the most welcoming city, and I am not only talking about the landscape. Actually we should have normally slept at the hotel in Dudinka (the only one in town), but we couldn't because, although our rooms were reserved, the lady refused us to come in.
Why ? Because, as you may know, while in Russia, every foreigner must register himself at the hotel or police station when he moves in a city. In this case, the police officer in charge of that was simply not there, and so the lady at the hotel prefered to refuse that we take our (reserved) rooms.
Actually it was a good thing because running water was cut in the hotel, and since we couldn't sleep at the hotel, we had to sleep on the boat (where there was water).
Our driver also told us the story of an Argentinian guy who wanted to be at Dudinka for the New Year's Eve and ended up for three months in the local prison because he hadn't the right authorization (like Norilsk, Dudinka is officially forbidden for the foreigners who need special authorizations to get in).

1- Dudinka is located in the Taymyr region (part of the Krasnoyarsk kraď) :


2- On the way to Dudinka, the same abandonned commieblocks, already seen when going to Norilsk :


3- Dudinka, founded in 1667.


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5-Orthodox church :


6- Local Lenin :


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9- The local museum was surprisingly vast, modern and interesting, although not very visited. It focuses on the indigeneous people (like the Evenks or the Evens) and their way of life, as well on the colonization of this territory by Russians started in the 17th century.


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21- You see everywhere the same standard 9 floors commieblocks from the 1970's in Dudinka as in Norilsk :


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27- The orthodox church again (a little pause in all this ugliness):


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38- Dudinka cemetery, up on the hill. It seems that people die young here.


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43- Caution, falling ice.


44- The boat arrives :


45- Getting on it :


46- bye, bye Dudinka :


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Next step : along the Ienisseď.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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hmmm, actually I do understand people who deliberately like to visit tough places....but I stop to understand them if they afterwards complain about toughness of those places...
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Old August 18th, 2011, 09:50 AM   #3
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hmmm, actually I do understand people who deliberately like to visit tough places....but I stop to understand them if they afterwards complain about toughness of those places...
Oh, I am not complaining, but I thought pics would be more interesting with a little backstory.
And dealing with Russian administration is not the best part of any trip in Russia, be it in Dudinka or elsewhere. I didn't make this trip especially to experience that.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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These are great little tours of unheard of places! Thanks for posting. Why are they off-limits to tourists though?
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Old August 18th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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This is Dudinka man. What exactly you expected from small shift work port settlement in the middle of nowhere?
I didn't expect anything.
But the fact that we were denied the access to our hotel rooms (reserved and already paid) was pretty unexpected ! Even our driver (from Norilsk) couldn't believe it.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #6
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These are great little tours of unheard of places! Thanks for posting. Why are they off-limits to tourists though?
Several cities in ex-USSR states are closed to foreigners. It's a legacy of the Cold War I guess. Generally, it's because there are some "secret" plants or military installations.
Some of them were opened in the two last decades, like Vladivostok in 1992. Others have remained closed (even if it's actually possible to get in with the right authorizations).
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Old August 26th, 2011, 03:40 AM   #7
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Great pictures. Thanks for posting.

I am wondering if you have some more background on this place.

Here we see the cranes are used for ships and this seems to be an inland port. But when does that river freeze? I bet it isn't navigable for more than 5 months at most. And if this is mainly a port what do people do when the port is closed? Is this a place where people truly are seasonal and they leave when the working season is over.

I am really wondering how well insulated those apartment buildings are. In northern Alaska windows are triple pained - is that the case here? Also, in these buildings the windows seem pretty big and there are lots of them which is also unusual.

Also, did you see electrical outlets on the front of the cars? Normally in such a cold place they have to have electric block warmers to heat up the car engine and unfreeze the oil before the engine can be started. Did you see that there? If not, how do they start their cars and trucks in the winter?

I would love to see the inside of those apartment buildings. I would bet people make the insides pretty nice and comfortable
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:41 AM   #8
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Great photos!
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Old August 26th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Ok, I think I have figured this out from information on the internet.

Norilsk is totally isolated except for water and air transport. The train that one saw in the photos of Norisk only runs to Dudinka, the river port.

The cranes we saw in Norilsk were for loading and unloading the trains and trucks - there is video that shows that happening.

Interestingly the port of Dudinka seems to serve ships that head south (up the river as the river flows from the south to the north and empties into the Arctic ocean which is itself unusual) as well as ocean going ships that head out through the arctic ocean. It seems the more valuable stuff goes out through the ocean during the summer months while the less valuable stuff (like copper) goes south on the river, also only during the summer.

So everything you see in all these pictures was brought in via ship during summer months - construction materials, cars and trucks, food, everything. In fact, they must stock up every summer with enough food and fuel to get through the winter.

Two things I still don't get:

1) where and how do they generate their electricity.

2) are there actual underground mines or is everything open pit and strip mines?

What an amazing place.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post
Ok, I think I have figured this out from information on the internet.

Norilsk is totally isolated except for water and air transport. The train that one saw in the photos of Norisk only runs to Dudinka, the river port.

The cranes we saw in Norilsk were for loading and unloading the trains and trucks - there is video that shows that happening.

Interestingly the port of Dudinka seems to serve ships that head south (up the river as the river flows from the south to the north and empties into the Arctic ocean which is itself unusual) as well as ocean going ships that head out through the arctic ocean. It seems the more valuable stuff goes out through the ocean during the summer months while the less valuable stuff (like copper) goes south on the river, also only during the summer.

So everything you see in all these pictures was brought in via ship during summer months - construction materials, cars and trucks, food, everything. In fact, they must stock up every summer with enough food and fuel to get through the winter.

Two things I still don't get:

1) where and how do they generate their electricity.

2) are there actual underground mines or is everything open pit and strip mines?

What an amazing place.
well to answer your question about transportation - here is that expedition to Norilsk as they go in winter by ice road (actually they go on ice that covered Yenisey river) and at 8;00 they meet a Russian icebreaker that is going down from Norilsk (Dudinka) by thie river somewhere to "mainland" Russia (or maybe up to Norilsk?), probably helping some cargo ships following him, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge294U8Hr_E





well and here is what may be of interest for you - that expedition that managed to get to Norilsk by cars in winter and now going back to Moscow from Norilsk - what is hilarious that being equiped with all the JPS navigation etc,etc, they meet (on 2;20) a local ethnic nenets (or evenk) on sledjes with deers like traveling in the middle of nowhere casual way alone and without no any publicity, also at 4;20 they meet a kind of "train"-caravan comprised of big tracktor (or maybe kind of) tugging like several carriages on sledjes which is how equipment is shiped for drilling by geologists looking for some deposits or smthing (as far as I understand), here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDlXz...eature=related
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Old August 26th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 600West218 View Post

Two things I still don't get:

1) where and how do they generate their electricity.

2) are there actual underground mines or is everything open pit and strip mines?

What an amazing place.
here is what I managed to find for you:

"
"Norilsk Energy specialists remembers that the First temporary power plant with capacity of 250 kW based on 5 steam-driven field engines and tractors was constructed in July, 1936. Today 3 heat power plants and 2 hydropower plants operate in Norilsk Industrial Region. In addition to the aforementioned thermal power plants and hydropower plants the power supply system includes a number of large substations, regional distribution substations, 66 main step-down substations, 7 traction step-down substations, 1085 transformers, 1466 km of overhead power lines, 1530 km of power cable networks (6-10 кW).
Electric power output is comparable to output of Cuba or Estonia and heat generation performance is several times higher.
Coal extracted on site used to be the basic fuel for thermal power plant of Norilsk Industrial Region. In 1970-the Norilsk Industrial Region shifted to natural gas fuel.
Energy sector also includes the system of heat and water supply to NIR. This system operates the mains and distribution water heating networks (715 km) and steam lines, water supply networks (690 km), gas pipelines (74 km), oxygen pipelines (47 km), nitrogen pipelines (9 km), gravity flowing sewerage system (150 km), 32 water-supply pump stations with total capacity of 30 thousand m3/h, 26 heat-supply pump stations with total capacity of 45 thousand m3/h.
Water intakes of NIR industrial and utility and drinking water supply channel water to all heat power plants for power and heat generation purposes, to production facilities of the Polar Division, including water supply to production water recirculation circuits and to industrial and utility entities in NIR."
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #12
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2) are there actual underground mines or is everything open pit and strip mines?
The Norilsk mining centre lies in the Russian High Arctic, about 2800km north east of Moscow. The world's leading nickel and palladium producer, and a significant supplier of copper, the operations support a community of some 300,000. Direct employment is around 80,000, with plans to halve this within ten years.
The Norilsk deposits were discovered during the 1920s, with nickel production starting during the Second World War. Underground mining began in the 1950s.



The operating company was privatised by the Russian government in 1995, and is now controlled by Unexim Bank.
The company also controls the Severonikel and Perchenganikel nickel mines on the Kola Peninsula, south of Murmansk, and has a significant investment holding in Stillwater Mining Co., operator of the Stillwater platinum mine in the US.
GEOLOGY AND RESERVES
The copper-nickel-Platinum Group Metal (PGM) deposits at Norilsk lie at a depth of between 500m and 1,500m beneath a series of flood basalts and sediments. The massive sulphide orebodies are hosted within the Talnakh intrusive complex. Ores can be high-nickel or high-copper in grade, some of the direct-smelting copper ores containing up to 32% copper. PGMs include platinum, palladium and rhodium.
The most recent reserve estimates (as of the end of 2004) show proven and probable ore reserves totalling 478.7Mt, containing 6.27Mt of nickel, 9.37Mt of copper, 62.2Moz of palladium and 16Moz of platinum. Reserves are reportedly sufficient to support 50 years' output at current rates.
UNDERGROUND MINING

Norilsk uses a sub-level caving mining method, the completed stopes then being backfilled for support. Stopes are mined 120m long, 8m wide and 10m thick using mechanised drilling and ore loading equipment that has predominantly been supplied by Atlas Copco. The company had sold approaching 400 units, including drilling jumbos, load-haul-dump machines and raise borers, by early 2001. Other suppliers include Boart Longyear (drilling equipment) and Putzmeister (backfill pumps).
Output is obtained from five underground mines, the principal currently being the Oktyabrskiy, Komsomolskiy and Taymirskiy units, which account for about 60%, 15% and 10% of annual Russian PGM production respectively. Oktyabrskiy produces about 70% of the operation's copper and 55% of its nickel.
The Skalistiy mine came on stream in the late 1990s at a cost of around $600m, and Glubokiy mine is now under development – these two units alone have reserves of some 70Mt of ore. Norilsk Nickel also operates the Kayerkanskiy opencast coal mine, some 30km from the city, to supply power station fuel; the operation uses two Liebherr R992 hydraulic excavators and a fleet of Belaz 40t and 70t-capacity haul trucks.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Interesting thread once again and thanks to orangutangulis and 600West218 for the interesting discussion!
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Old August 27th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #14
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"well to answer your question about transportation - here is that expedition to Norilsk as they go in winter by ice road (actually they go on ice that covered Yenisey river) and at 8;00 they meet a Russian icebreaker that is going down from Norilsk (Dudinka) by thie river somewhere to "mainland" Russia (or maybe up to Norilsk?), probably helping some cargo ships following him"

Yes, I forgot all about that - driving on the river when it freezes!! They do that in Canada and Alaska too. They even have a TV show about it - Ice Road Truckers

So they can still get in and out during the winter. I bet they don't ship really valuable minerals that way though - too risky.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 02:36 AM   #15
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Wow. What can I say, thanks for highlighting a place I've never heard of before.

This thread is one of the reasons I enjoy this website so much, great to see candid- non postcard pictures of places all over the world.
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Old October 18th, 2014, 11:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Also, did you see electrical outlets on the front of the cars? Normally in such a cold place they have to have electric block warmers to heat up the car engine and unfreeze the oil before the engine can be started. Did you see that there? If not, how do they start their cars and trucks in the winter?
They are russians and drive russian cars. They don't need electric outlets.
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