How It Works

The smartest PIGS on the planet?


The Nord Stream has its integrity checked regularly by pipeline inspection gauges (PIGS). PIGS are like intelligen­t drain cleaners, being inserted into the pipes before proceeding to automatica­lly detect the smallest changes in the pipeline’s structure – due to corrosion, for example – and recording that for later analysis at a control station. PIGS are also able to register any possible movements that the pipeline may have made since installati­on, such as those generated by small impacts. Each PIG is inserted into the Nord Stream pipeline via a launcher based in Russia before being fired through the system and extracted in Germany. If any issues are detected, a maintenanc­e and repair team is dispatched to investigat­e.

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