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Russia’s wildfires threaten radioactive areas from Chernobyl

“Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said heat from fires in the Bryansk region, which already has nuclear contamination from the Chernobyl disaster more than 20 years ago, could release harmful radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Nuclear Concerns as Russian Wildfires Spread Near Chernobyl, The Atlantic Wire, By Max Fisher,  August 06, 2010 The hundreds of wildfires still spreading through Russia are beginning to approach areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Although only 30 square kilometers around the Chernobyl facility are still off-limits, some worry that radioactive substances may remain in the upper soil layer in nearby the Bryansk forests. If that soil burns, warn environmentalists,it could release potentially radioactive gas clouds. Here’s what we know about this risk.
Russian Officials’ Ominous Warning Reuters’ Amie Ferris-Rotman writes, “Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said heat from fires in the Bryansk region, which already has nuclear contamination from the Chernobyl disaster more than 20 years ago, could release harmful radioactive particles into the atmosphere. ‘In the event of a fire there, radionuclides could rise (into the air) together with combustion particles, resulting in a new pollution zone,’ he said on state television, without going into detail. Shoigu added two fires had already broken out in the Bryansk region, some 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Moscow, but they were quickly contained.”………
Foreign Officials Evacuate Russia Monitor’s Jessie Heath reports, “Canadian and Polish embassies evacuate nonessential personnel from Moscow, threat of nuclear cloud from Bryansk”

Nuclear Concerns as Russian Wildfires Spread Near Chernobyl | The Atlantic Wire

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August 9, 2010 - Posted by | Russia, safety | , , , , , ,

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