Radiation level at Russian nuclear test site 16 times higher than normal after blast
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
The Russian government said Tuesday that radiation levels around the site of a deadly nuclear accident at a military facility in the north-western port of Severodvinsk were up to 16 times higher than the norm, confirming widespread speculation.
“In six of the eight points in Severodvinsk, an excess gamma radiation dose rate at 4 to 16 times the background values was detected,” federal environment watchdog Roshydromet said in a statement, referring to the incident last Thursday.
Five people were reported killed when an experimental engine exploded at the military testing site. Shortly after the incident, Russian state media reported that no excess radiation had been detected.
News of the incident nevertheless sent shock waves through the region, prompting a run on local pharmacies to purchase iodine, used in treating radiation sickness.
The five workers killed in the incident and three survivors have been honoured with Russia’s Order of Courage, state media reported.
US President Donald Trump cited the incident in a post on Twitter this week, saying the US is “learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia.”
“The Russian ‘Skyfall’ explosion has people worried about the air around the facility and far beyond,” Trump said. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology.”
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