Publication Laka-library:
Questions of handling the legacy of radioactive contamination at the Mayak Production Association

AuthorBellona, C.Digges, A.Nikitin, A.Ozarovsky
2-34-8-80-22.pdf
Date2018
Classification 2.34.8.80/22 (RUSSIA - MAYAK/CHELYABINSK (incl. Disaster Kyshtym Urals 1957))

From the publication:

Questions of handling the legacy of radioactive contamination at the Mayak
Production Association

Authors: Charles Digges, Alexander Nikitin, Andrei Ozarovsky
Publisher: Bellona

Some of the biggest firsts in the history of nuclear science came from a 
place that originally had no name. Instead, the area was designated by a number 
– Industrial Complex No 817 ­­– itself positioned in city identified by a location
 and a number all its own: Chelyabinsk 65.

As the Soviet Union crumbled, and certain veils of secrecy fell away, the place 
became known to the rest of the world as the Mayak Production Association in the 
Urals Mountain town of Ozersk. Its most important contributions to history by 
then, however, were already well known. Mayak – now one of the world’s most 
voluminous nuclear fuel reprocessors – had produced both the Soviet Union’s first 
atomic bomb and the world’s first nuclear disaster.

The consequences of those events are also well-known: an international arms race, 
a Cold War, and what, precisely, the environment looks like after it’s been tainted 
by nuclear fallout and decades of careless radioactive waste handling practices.

Over the past year, officials with Mayak and Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear 
corporation, have been looking at ways to redress some elements of the facility’s 
history, and these are the subject of a new paper by Bellona.

Since our seminal Red Report on the Russian nuclear industry in 2004 – which offered 
the international community its first detailed look at Mayak – much more information 
about the operations of the once-anonymous facility have been driven into the light 
of day.

Still, precisely what Mayak planned to do to draw down its weapons production reactors, 
as well as mop up a radioactive mess that has corroded the health of nearly a half a 
million Russian citizens, has remained largely unclear.