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Nuclear radiation – potential danger in East Ukraine

Conflict zone in East Ukraine – on the verge of ecological catastrophe and blue-collar brain drain, JAM News, Source – RFE/RL  30 July 20, 

Coal mines and the metallurgical plants associated with them are the backbone of the economy in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, where the conflict between the central government and the Russian-backed separatists rages on. Closing them deprives the local population of their livelihoods and threatens these and the neighboring regions in Ukraine with ecological disaster.

Pumps cut off

In 2017, the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”) developed a plan, according to which only 17 of the profitable mines in the region were kept in operation.

But reality decided to throw a wrench in the works, primarily because Russia did not invest in the Donetsk industry.

The mines were closed by a simple method: the pumps that pump out the water were turned off. The equipment was cut and handed over for scrap.

And it will inevitably affect the situation on the territory controlled by Ukraine – the mines on Ukrainian territory and the Donbass mines form a single water pumping system.

No radioactive contamination…yet

Of particular concern is the Yunkom mine, which in 1979 carried out an experimental nuclear explosion with a yield of 0.3 kilotons.

After the explosion, a glassy capsule with liquid radioactive waste was formed at a depth of 903 meters. It was flooded just after the pumps were turned off in April 2018.

None of the experts really know how the radioactive capsule will react with water, when it will naturally collapse, or where its contents will end up. Neither the authorities of the self-proclaimed republics nor the government of Ukraine are monitoring the radioactive contamination. Nor are they in the Rostov region, where the waters of the Seversky Donets River flow………

August 4, 2020 - Posted by | environment, Ukraine

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