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Greenpeace Russia: incomplete information about radioactive contamination after the accident at a military facility in Arkhangelsk oblast was distributed in the media by Roshydromet

Karina Zabolotnaya

Greenpeace Russia believes that the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia (Roshydromet) has not warned the population about the exact radioactive substances having got into the environment after the accident at a military firing range in Arkhangelsk oblast near the village of Nyonoksa. It was published on the environmental organization’s website on August 14.

"Media and wider public were not promptly informed that Roshydromet recorded an increase of not only gamma, but also beta radiation level, and not only in Severodvinsk (August 8), but also in Arkhangelsk in the form of precipitation (the level increased on August 9, the values remained increased on August 10 and 11)," the report said.

On August 13, the press service of Roshydromet reported that after the accident during the test of a new rocket engine at the military firing range near the village of Nyonoksa, background radiation in Severodvinsk was exceeded by 4–16 times.

The Russian branch of Greenpeace sent official appeals to Roshydromet and have not received a response yet.

The government of Arkhangelsk oblast announced an auction for the purchase of gas masks worth 4.6 million rubles for the civilian population. Openmedia.io reported that on August 14 the Center for civil protection measures of Arkhangelsk oblast stated that the auction procedure had been conducted long before the incident at the military firing range, and the purchase itself was just a replenishment of reserves. According to openmedia.io, the auction appeared in the plan of public procurement on July 31.

Around 10:00 am on August 8, there was an explosion and ignition of the propulsion system powered by radioactive isotopes on one of the ships of the Russian Navy, located in Arkhangelsk oblast, near the village of Nyonoksa. Five employees of “Rosatom” died. Mash reported that victims were taken away by people in radiation protection suits.

On the same day at 11:50, sensors of the automated system of the radiation situation control recorded a short-term insignificant increase of radiation background in Severodvinsk. This was reported by the administration of Severodvinsk. According to it, background radiation was normal by 14:23. Later, the mayor's office removed the release from its website.

The Ministry of Defense did not disclose the details of the incident, but the Dvina Bay area of the White Sea was closed for free navigation for a month.

Doctors who provided assistance to victims of the explosion will be offered a free survey at the expense of the regional budget.


Karina Zabolotnaya, «7х7»

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