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Safety to be increased at Russia’s nuclear sites

Ecologists had warned that large quantities of radioactive dust could be released into the atmosphere if forests caught fire in the Bryansk, Kaluga and Lipetsk regions, contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Russia to boost safety at nuclear sites after fires  Aug 19, 2010 By Alexei Anishchuk MOSCOW, Aug 19 (Reuters) Russia is to step up safety at its nuclear facilities after wildfires threatened to engulf one centre, raising fears of a radiation leak, the head of the state nuclear corporation said on Thursday.

The fires, during Russia’s worst heatwave, ringed the Soviet-built nuclear centre in Sarov, 350 km (220 miles) east of Moscow, earlier this month.

The head of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday his agency would improve fire safety.

“We agreed with (Emergencies Minister) Sergei Shoigu to install special robotic equipment to monitor and control systems at our key facilities,” Kiriyenko said, according to a transcript on official site http://www.government.ru…..
Kiriyenko told Putin the main challenge at facilities like the Sarov centre — where the Soviet Union designed its first atomic and hydrogen bombs — was that they were often located deep in forests to ensure secrecy.

During the peak of the fires in early August, Rosatom temporarily moved its nuclear materials to a safe place.

Ecologists had warned that large quantities of radioactive dust could be released into the atmosphere if forests caught fire in the Bryansk, Kaluga and Lipetsk regions, contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. UPDATE 1-Russia to boost safety at nuclear sites after fires | Energy & Oil | Reuters

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August 20, 2010 - Posted by | environment, Russia | , , ,

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