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Incident at Russia’s Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant may have caused radiation cloud over Europe

Environmentalists point the finger of blame at Mayak, the plant to process Kola’s Cold War legacy,  ByThomas Nilsen, – Barents Observer 30th Nov 2017

A mysterious cloud of radioactive ruthenium-106 blowing over Europe earlier
this autumn triggered many speculations about Russia trying to
‘cover-up’ a leak from the country’s largest nuclear waste treatment

Nadezhda Kutepova a local environmentalists from the closed city
of Ozyorsk near Mayak who was forced to flee Russia in 2015, now reveals
more inside information. Kutepova says Mayak was testing new equipment on
September 25 and 26 at the reprocessing plant and that something abnormal
may have happened.«Emission of ruthenium may come from the reprocessing
plant 235 or RT-1 in Mayak where the vitrification plant for very
high-level nuclear waste is located,» Kutepova tells.

She points to the new vitrification furnace which started operation last December and
experienced problems during construction and testing. «My idea is that the
furnace was built with a lot of problems that emerge in the operation and I
think this is the cause of the ruthenium-106 leak we saw in September,»
she explains.

Mayak has loads of high-level liquid radioactive waste that
needs to be stabilized and made safer and starting the new plant was,
according to Kutepova, rather urgent. She calls the equipment bought for
the electric furnace «low-quality»

December 4, 2017 - Posted by | incidents, Russia

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