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Possible cover up of leak at nuclear facility Mayak in Russia

Since October this year, very high levels of radioactive Ruthenium- 106 have been measured all over Russia and Europe.

23.11.2017 |

It can now be said with almost complete certainty that the leak originated from the Mayak nuclear facility in Russia, where nuclear fuel is reprocessed.

Until European governments traced the pollution back to Mayak, the facility denied being the source of any contamination. They now admit that there were some emissions, but this would not have formed a risk to health.

At the Mayak nuclear facility there is no independent control over its operations, where due to high work pressure, old infrastructure and a braindrain of engineers dangerous situations arise. 

Experts agree that most likely there is no threat to human health, “but if it is concentrated you would certainly want to limit access to that area” (Neil Hyatt in the Guardian). 

While Russia’s meteorological service confirmed levels several hundred times the norm in several locations in Russia during late September, the country’s state nuclear agency denied that any trace of ruthenium-106 had been found in samples taken from across Russia during the same period. 

Nadezdha Kutepova, member of WECF's International Advisory Board, was born and raised in the town were Mayak is located, and has worked as a human rights lawyer of those affected by the 1957 nuclear disaster in the same town. 

Following these events, WECF supports the call to create an international investigation by independent observers, from for example the European Parliament with participants from the communities which have been polluted by the radioactive contamination. 

The events have been covered in the following newspaper articles:

The Guardian (ENG)

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE)

Libération (FR)

de Standaard (NL)

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