Rosatom's Mayak: More Reprocessing, More Contamination
|Author||Greenpeace CEE, J.Haverkamp|
|Classification||188.8.131.52/21 (RUSSIA - MAYAK/CHELYABINSK (incl. Disaster Kyshtym Urals 1957))|
From the publication:
ROSATOM’S MAYAK: MORE REPROCESSING, MORE CONTAMINATION Editor: Jan Haverkamp Publisher and copyright: Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe © Greenpeace 2017 September 29, 2017 is the 60th anniversary of the Mayak or Kyshtym explosion in Russia - the third largest nuclear accident in history. The consequences of this disaster are still present today, made worse by ongoing radioactive discharges. Mayak, located in the Southern Urals, is one of the largest nuclear complexes in the world. The Rosatom site operates a facility for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management. Rosatom is the Russian state nuclear energy corporation, comprising both its military and civil nuclear industry. Nuclear fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor to the point where it is no longer useful in sustaining a nuclear reaction is called spent fuel. Reprocessing is extracting fissionable materials including uranium and plutonium from spent fuel, which leaves behind a reduced volume of high-level radioactive solid waste, newly created high-level liquid wastes and large volumes of liquid and solid low- and mid-level waste. Sixty-years after the Mayak disaster, radioactive contamination still puts nearby communities at risk. Water and fish samples taken by the Greenpeace Radiation Protection Advisors team under responsibility of Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe in 2017 were found to exceed Russian regulatory limits. Despite this ongoing contamination, Rosatom has been increasing operations at the site. Increased reprocessing in Mayak cannot but add to the existing contamination of the environment.
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