Russia nuclear sites under threat from the flames

9th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Here is a list of sensitive nuclear sites threatened by the spread of fires raging in Russia since late July.


Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in the Urals town of Ozersk, some 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) to the east of Moscow and home to major nuclear reprocessing and stockage plant Mayak.

The Mayak plant can process 400 tonnes of waste a year. It was the scene of one of the former Soviet Union's major nuclear disasters in 1957 when a liquid waste accident affected some 260,000 people and forced the evacuation of several towns.


The Snezhinsk centre, which makes nuclear weapons, is located in another town in the Urals some 1,500 kilometres (925 miles) east of Moscow. On Sunday the Russian emergencies ministry called on its services to work round the clock to put out a fire threatening the centre.


Russia's other major nuclear centre at Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region, 500 kilometres (310 miles) to the east of Moscow, has also been threatened by blazes.

After stating several times that the wildfires posed no threat to the nuclear facilities, Russian authorities announced they had removed all radioactive and explosive materials from the site.

Radioactive materials were back at the plant by Monday, authorities said.

Sarov city, closed to foreigners, has hosted since Soviet times an important nuclear research centre that makes nuclear arms.

The defence ministry has in addition ordered that weapons, artillery and missiles at a munitions depot at Alabinsk, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) southwest of Moscow, be transferred to a secure site.

The authorities have said that two Russian army bases had burned in late July in the Moscow region, ravaged by the flames.

© 2010 AFP

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