Wood-burning stoves were first heat sources in Norilsk houses

Wood-burning stoves were first heat sources in Norilsk houses

March 27, 2023

Firewood and coal for stoves in Norilsk were distributed centrally, and near the houses and in the entrances, the residents organized impromptu fuel depots.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In 1942, the first Norilsk thermal power plant provided electricity and heat, but the first steam pipelines led to the industrial site, and residential buildings remained on a temporary stove heating scheme.

Primitive local boiler houses were also a temporary measure. By the beginning of the 1950s, there were about 50 of them in Norilsk. The smallest one could heat just one house.

The problem was that there was no experience in laying communications in permafrost conditions.

The mainland method – laying pipes in channels in the ground – ended with the buildings subsidence. Surface water conduits blocked the driveways and interfered with snow removal.

While the engineers were solving the problem, high Stalin era houses were already being built in Norilsk. But the bathrooms and toilets designed in them were not used due to the lack of water and heat, and hearths and stoves had to be built in the kitchens.

Toilets were temporarily organized outside – cold latrines and water pumps, which were more than inconvenient in the Far North conditions. Furnaces were laid in Norilsk houses until the early 1960s, they could be seen even in small Hrushchev era houses.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that Norilsk enterprises had used a video surveillance prototype – industrial television.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

March 27, 2023

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