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A post-war population of mostly women and children were given rags and mops – and no protective gear – to sop up what they were told was the mess from a coal boiler explosion in the village of Kyshtym. The Soviet fake news name stuck. The 'Kyshtym Accident', which happened on 29 September 1957 at the Mayak Production Association (PA) nuclear complex, located about 10 km to the east of the town of Kyshtym in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russian Federation, although rated on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale as one of the most severe nuclear accidents in the world, remained little known in the … Unlike Chernobyl, it has received very little attention. It creates an impression that they try to save maximum money on construction. After the accident 248 villages were resettled from the Techa river. In 2015, the Ministry of Justice declared her legal aide group, Planeta Nadezh, a foreign agent. Since the 1950s, accidental and deliberate releases of radiation have exposed over a quarter of a million people living around the plant to high levels of radiation. Originally known as Chelyabinsk-40, the complex was later renamed to the Mayak Production Association and served as the location for the emerging Soviet nuclear program in the years immediately following World War II. An amount of 1 million rubles is appropriated for each house, but its real cost is at least 200,000 rubles less. Those who live along the river, they say, have cancer at rates 3.6 times higher than the national average, and suffer 25 times more from incidence of birth defects than in other places in the country. Actually, victims were expected. None of us were ever supposed to know anything about it, and if not for a series of untimely revelations, we probably still wouldn’t. There is one catastrophe, noted by multiple Reddit users, which would be the perfect follow up to Chernobyl: the Kyshtym disaster. In the history of nuclear disasters, it’s easy to forget that a radioactive explosion back in 1957 near an obscure village with an unpronounceable name in the Ural Mountains was the true original. No one is allowed to live inside it, and workers are bused in at all hours of the day and night to work at the plant. Since the late 70-s the spent nuclear fuel from the VVER-440 reactors of the Kola NPP has been processed to produce new fuel for the RBMK reactors of the Leningrad NPP. Even the Kyshtym cleanup was sold to terrified locals with euphemism and misdirection. In 1961 the Techa River banks were fenced with barbed wire. It is impossible to act only on the basis of these regulations while it is not governed by the law. The Kyshtym disaster contaminated an area up to 20,000 square kilometres, known as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace, and thousands of people near the plant were evacuated. Many residents of Muslyumovo and other contaminated villages haven’t gone anywhere at all. Because of secrecy in the nuclear establishment it is not clear what exactly happened but estimates are at least 200 people died of “excess” cancer and scores of villages and towns were permanently abandoned due to the sever radioactive contamination. The government uses the poverty of the aggrieved village to tie the people to the contaminated land. However, Mayak continues to dump low-level radioactive waste directly into the Techa River. According to the data of the Department of Natural Resources in the Ural Region just in the year 2000 alone more than 250 million m³ of water containing thousands of curies of tritium, also strontium and cesium-137 were discharged into the Techa River. The accident was kept secret for several decades, but we now know that it was at a secret nuclear reprocessing site called Mayak. (Photo: Sloth/Wikimedia Commons). NIST Time Capsule Helping to Clean Up a Disaster Inside the Chernobyl ‘Mega Tomb’ It’s been used for everything from bridge construction to paint-stripping aircraft, and NASA once even considered basing an all-terrain lunar rover on it. (About the new houses provided by Rosatom:) The foundation is 15 cm deep and only one spade wide, the wooden walls are 18 cm thick. The managers of the enterprise knew that any remedial actions would have to be taken under conditions of high radiation but they silently reconciled themselves to possible victims. It is located on both banks of the Techa River. He was kicked out of the country. After Perestroika everything is allowed: they grow wheat and cut hay. Many of them died as a consequence of the exposure or later contracted cancer. Eastern Urals State Reserve (russ. Due to the contamination of the territory the plant was closed. Known as the Kyshtym Disaster, the incident occurred at Mayak, a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant sequestered in the closed city of Ozyorsk, near the town of Kyshtym. Under these conditions the so-called nuclear shield was created. Kyshtym disaster There were problems at the Mayak nuclear reprocessing facility from the getgo. In 1957, the cooling system for a large nuclear waste tank at plant failed. The Kyshtym disaster is the second largest devastation after Chernobyl. Al White: The Story of a Marine Grunt in the First Battle of Khe Sanh (April 1967) - Duration: 1:19:39. [1], The Kyshtym Disaster was an accident in the world's largest nuclear complex Mayak in Russia and is today one of the most radioactively contaminated places in the world. The Nuclear Disaster of Kyshtym 1957 and the Politics of the Cold War Thomas Rabl Summary In the late afternoon of 29 September 1957, a major explosion at the Soviet military nuclear facility “Mayak” located in Kyshtym in the Southern Urals, caused the contamination of an area of 20,000 square kilometers, home to 270.000 people. Medvedev, an exiled Soviet geneticist, claimed in several articles and books that a "disaster" occurred near Kyshtym in 1957/58. However, it only confirms that they remain to live on the same contaminated territory near the radioactive river. (...) However, a price far too dear is paid for the wellbeing of the locals. It might be one of the worst offenders in polluting the environment. The children freely bathed in the river, fished and ate the fish. Today Mayak is a nuclear fuel cycle facility on which the whole military and civil nuclear complex of Russia is based. The Kyshtym nuclear energy complex lies approximately 15 kilometers east of the city of Kyshtym in the eastern foothills of the south-central Ural Mountains and on the south shore of Lake Kyzyltash (see Fig. Conscript soldiers and even schoolchildren were involved in the decontamination effort of the accident area. In the time since, the people who live near Mayak “have become a sort of radioactive waste,” said Nadezhda Kutepova, a long-time lawyer for residents of the area, in comments to Greenpeace. Shortly after this interview the General Prosecuter's Office of the Ural Federal District initiated a criminal case against Vitaliy Sadovnikov, Director General of PO Mayak. In 1952 during strong flooding there were immediate releases of plutonium from the Mayak facility. Within 10 hours radioactive cloud spread over the Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, and Tyumen regions over 23,000 km². They received an annual maximum radiation dose in just one day, over and over again. It’s called the Kyshtym disaster and before the mid 1980s the town’s official location wasn’t even designated on a map. Of course, it is not the Lake of Geneva, but the water in the river is pure. In 1957, there was a nuclear disaster in a city called Cheliabinsk-40 in the Ural Mountains of the Soviet Union, the blow came from an underground tank filled with radioactive waste. The Soviet fake news name stuck. 5 Unknown Nuclear Disasters: Chernobyl Is Far from the Only One, Chernobyl is not the world’s only nuclear disaster, there are plenty of others to keep you up at night., Interesting Engineering, By Marcia Wendorf, 2 Aug 19 The Kyshtym Disaster The Kyshtym Accident was a chemical explosion in a highly radioactive waste liquid storage tank, which led to a cloud of radioactive material spreading contamination to the north-east of Mayak, forming the East Urals Radioactive Trace (EURT). The blast issued into the earth’s atmosphere 20 million curies. Kutepova, who has long battled Chelyabinsk officialdom on behalf of Mayak’s afflicted, became an irritant the government grew tired of hearing. More recently, a decades long pile up of the Soviet navy’s nuclear fuel left to rot at Andreyeva Bay has begun to wend its way for reprocessing at Mayak – suggesting the once doomed plant might be able to atone for past sins. Posted on September 29, 2019 by beyondnuclearinternational. I know that according to sanitary norms construction is prohibited in case the radioactivity level is 100 Bq - in this place and area is subject to compulsory resettlement in case of 200 Bq. As a result an area of approximately 1,800 km² was contaminated with radionuclides. It took more than 30 years for the Soviets to admit the incident took place and the number of casualties was never confirmed. The Kyshtym nuclear disaster was a Level 6 Disaster on the International Nuclear Event scale that occurred in Ozyork, Chelyabink in the Soviet Union. The history of radiation accidents in the former Soviet Union originated in the Chelyabinsk region at the plutonium facility No 817 which is known today as the industrial enterprise "Mayak". After the Kyshtym disaster in 1957 the Karachay Lake on the territory of the Mayak facility was used for open-air "storage" of liquid radioactive wastes. The Soviet government included details about it in a report on Chernobyl that it submitted to the United Nations in 1986 – finally blowing its cover. Gosman Kabirov, NGO "TECHA": There is the mill of the merchant Zlokazov behind me. The fallout coated more than 200 towns and villages and exposed 272,000 people — a small portion of which were quietly evacuated over the subsequent two years — to radiation. The actual accident happened a few kilometers down the road in the closed city of Ozersk. The tank held highly radioactive waste which overheated and blew, belching up a 160-ton cement cap buried twenty-four feet underground and tossing it in the air. Non-workers, like children and pensioners, receive $2 per month, working residents receive $6 per month. The frequency of birth defects and complications at birth were up to three times greater than normal. Pingback: The worst Nuclear Accident you never heard of. The first peep of it came in 1976, when a dissident scientist named Zhores Medvedev was the first to publish his suspicions that the government wasn’t telling the whole story. The river militia used to patrol and fine us. It was not until 1976, when the writings of Soviet dissent Dr. Zhores Medvedev began to appear, that wider attention was given to this subject. (Wikimedia Commons: Jan Rieke) If the country is to grant this once-uncharted territory any absolution, Rosatom owes it complete transparency in exchange. A large number of people were involved in the accident mitigation process acting manually without even elementary means of protection. Until 1961 the directive of the sanitary and epidemiological service was effective and during that time it was prohibited to keep cattle, to pick up mushrooms and berries, and to keep gardens and farms. These measurements are not suitable for to a severe Ural climate. The only other nuclear accident to be rated a 7, the highest on the international scale, was Chernobyl in 1986 in Ukraine. These water storage basins contain millions of curies. The people in Muslyumovo suffered from strange diseases, died mysterious deaths. The people who leave Muslyumovo loose their rights for compensation, it is as if the health ruined by radiation could be restored at once. The goal is for the 80,000 or so residents forced to evacuate to eventually be able to return.Decontamination has never been done on such a large scale before. : VUGZ), established 1966 after the Kyshtym accident. Alexey Yablokov, president of the Center for the Ecological Policy of Russia, Moscow: People from North-West Russia, the Kola and Leningrad NPPs, Murmansk, from this whole region should not think that when the spent nuclear fuel is transported for re-processing elsewhere, their social responsibilities cease. Even in the shadow of these unsettling facts, it falls to Mayak to digest much of the gristle left by the Soviet nuclear legacy. And during Perestroika any patrolling stopped. The Kyshtym disaster is not the only reason that Chelyabinsk is so contaminated. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, meanwhile refuses to respond to specific charges of ongoing dumps, instead issuing general statements that Mayak operates within “environmental guidelines” and that the Techa complies with “sanitary standards.” Indeed, because the river is already so contaminated, establishing further contamination might seem merely academic. Others decided what Rosatom was offering was a raw deal. Many clean-up workers faced lethal radiation doses of more than 100 Roentgen. The Kyshtym disaster was a radiation contamination disaster on 29 September 1957, in Mayak, a nuclear plant in Russia (then a part of the Soviet Union).It measured as a Level 6 disaster on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the Chernobyl disaster and the Fukushima disaster are the only accidents listed as more serious than this one). Exposure standards were violated and maximum exposure limits were sufficiently exceeded. Its forgiveness depends on it. And while engineering heroics have finally been brought to bear on the smoldering sarcophagus at Chernobyl, and robots troll the wreckage of Fukushima, this catastrophe by many accounts continues to churn radioactivity into the environment and to sicken a hostage population. The total number of officially registered casualties is more than 500,000 people not including the military personnel of the construction battalions. After World War II, the Soviets began the construction of multiple nuclear plants in the USSR with little concern to safety. The information in this section is extracted from the DVD "WASTELAND" by Greenworld, Sosnovy Bor Leningrad region. Is it up to the task? Now the Russian Government is considering plans to import nuclear waste to Mayak from around the world.[2]. 400 million m³ of radioactive waters and bottom sediments will spread over the villages downstream the Techa River and migrate into the open hydrographic network of Tobol-Irtish-Ob and the Arctic Ocean. Many of the remaining adults suffer from lymph node swelling so severe that their words are unintelligible to visiting physicians. This exact place has been chosen for the construction of the Muslyumovo new quarter. - The Colorado Coalition, Nuclear news – last week of September « nuclear-news, Nuclear news Australia for the last week in September | Nuclear Australia, The worst nuclear disaster you’ve never heard of — Beyond Nuclear International « nuclear-news, The worst nuclear disaster you’ve never heard of — Beyond Nuclear International « Antinuclear. According to research of the Mayak experts in the case of the dam destruction radioactive water will reach the Muslyumovo village in 8 hours. He has argued that a vast contaminated area exists east of the city of Kyshtym … This is usually referred as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace or the "Kyshtym disaster". The Kyshtym disaster is shrouded in mystery and muddled by years of Soviet suppression of information. In 1953, doctors examined 587 of 28,000 exposed people and found that 200 had clear cases of radiation poisoning. Furthermore, 39 of them occurred during the last 8 years (as of 2009). There is no smoke visible from the NPP chimneys. For decades after Mayak was founded to produce plutonium for Soviet atomic bombs, it dumped untreated radioactive waste directly into the nearby Techa River. (...) A sadly famous village of Muslyumovo. Out of sight, out of mind. The waste started to heat up, eventually exploding at a temperature of 350 degrees Celsius. Abandoning homes their families lived in for generations for paltry sums to rebuild in tiny crowded apartments were judged by many to be a poor trade. The Mayak nuclear facility, until recently deleted from all Russian maps, is the size of a small city and has been used to manufacture plutonium for nuclear weapons and reprocess nuclear reactor fuel for over 50 years. Whatever radioactive contamination that flowed was deposited here. People resent the situation. Even the Kyshtym cleanup was sold to terrified locals with euphemism and misdirection. Regardless of where they live, however, they continue to be visited by doctors who keep detailed records of their decay. A mid-air collision of two passenger aircraft in the skies over the Soviet Ukrainian city of Dniprodzerzhynsk on August… No one knows their future ... Gosman Kabirov, NGO "TECHA": There is the highest radiation background in the village since the dam functioned until its closure in 1954. The existing reality shows that transportation of spent nuclear fuel and fuel assemblies from submarines to another region is just a relocation of problems and it can not be a proper solution. People were warned that it was prohibited to use the water from the river and they had to tend their cattle in another place. To follow the river’s northerly flow is to draw a morbid map of mortality and disease: record rates of chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects and cancers vastly higher than the Russian average mark each new village it passes. Thousands have died and many more live with its debilitating legacy: sickness, sterility and poverty. Only the diseased winds blowing north in the aftermath gave any indication it was there. For the last four years the instrumentation systems recorded ever-increasing radiation background in the Techa River. House in Muslyumovo. There are 7 graveyards for only the four and a half thousand residents. In 1945, the Soviet Union built the … Like its two younger brothers, the Kyshtym explosion was born in secrecy and nurtured by naiveté. It seems as if you could start living here happily, however, speaking kindly, a very strange place was chosen for this new village. There is the Karachay Lake on the territory of Mayak which is used for open-air storage of liquid radioactive wastes. Government data now indicate that as many as 400,000 people continue to struggle with continued contamination from the accident, made worse by a legacy of inadequate waste handling practices and ongoing official negligence. Whole villages evacuated without giving the residents an explanation. The actual accident happened a few kilometers down the road in the closed city of Ozersk. (Photo: wecf.eu). In 2006 a new management of Rosatom at last started a resettlement programme of the Muslyumovo village under the pressure from non-governmental organizations. The Kyshtym disaster, which occurred at Mayak in Russia on 29 September 1957, was rated as a level 6 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the third most severe incident after Chernobyl and Fukushima. Media reporting of the nuclear accident near Kyshtym first appeared in 1958. According to expert research just the tritium concentration alone in the Techa River near the village Muslyumovo exceeds the permissible limit by 30 times. The high accident risk at nuclear facilities at that time was not so much due to complication and novelty of the process as to all pervasive urgency and disregard of human lives. Stock up on tins of beans, round up your loved ones and head for the nearest fallout shelter… because things are about to get nuclear From atomic explosions occurring at the height of the Cold War to alleged North Korean nuclear tests – get ready for 10 Shocking Nuclear Disasters That Were Covered Up. Kyshtym Disaster - September 29, 1957. Because of the intense secrecy surrounding Mayak, it is difficult to estimate the death toll of Kyshtym. The experts counted that 250 accidents had happened during 50 years of the Mayak activity. But what could they do to us? Currently, there’s a 20 km (12 mile) exclusion zone around Fukushima Daiichi. But what it has come to connote in the years since has only grown in danger and magnitude. Medium level waste is discharged into the Karachay Lake from where along with subsurface water it migrates into the same Techa Cascade. The data is confirmed by expert opinion and also by the research performed by the Russian Academy of Sciences. The alleged Kyshtym disaster has been an intriguing intelligence puzzle for almost 25 years. Pharit Kurmashev, head of the Muslyumovo administration: Today the most painful problem is regulations on repurchase of housing developed by Rosatom. After the accident 248 villages were resettled from the Techa river. Charles Digges holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Russian literature from Harvard University. Map of the East Urals Radioactive Trace (EURT), the area contaminated by the Kyshtym disaster. Less well known than the events of Chernobyl, the Kyshtym … But even getting those benefits through the local courts turned out to be a dangerous proposition. It affected the same territory of the Eastern-Ural Radioactive Trace and again the residents of the local settlements became victims of radioactive exposure. Spent nuclear waste generates heat, the tank cooling systems failed and containment of the material also failed leading to a non-nuclear explosion on the order of 70-100 tons of TNT. Moscow suppressed the details of the accident for nearly three decades. This article was first published by Bellona on October 2, 2017 and is republished with kind permission of the author. The first nuclear reactor and radiochemical plant were built here in mid-40s of the 20th century. The authorities should have intervened and stopped the waste discharge. ... or in the clean-up operation afterwards. They all are responsible because Mayak is a highly polluting industry. A lot of accident clean-up workers acquired lethal radiation doses of more than 100 Roentgen. It was only in 2008 – more than a half a century after the dumps began – that Rosatom undertook to evacuate some of the rural villages supping on this radioactive bilge, but only partially, and only halfheartedly. This accident resulted in a regional disaster and a radioactive cloud that contaminated more than 300 square miles… many people received very high radiation exposures, some suffered acute radiation syndrome. (Photo: EcoDefense/Wikimedia Commons). The population of Muslyumovo Eastern Urals State Reserve (russ. The Kola NPP is located on the peninsula on the bank of Lake Imandra. Exposure standards were violated and maximum exposure limits were sufficiently exceeded. Photo exhibition on the Mayak disaster 1957, http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/media/press-releases/half-life-living-with-effects-of-nuclear-waste, http://www.nuclear-heritage.net/index.php?title=Kyshtym_Disaster&oldid=83553. 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