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Three nuclear disasters took place at Mayak. Taken together, they were 100 times worse than the disaster at Chernobyl
The first of the three disasters was a result of deliberate policy. From 1949 to 1956, 76 million cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste was systematically dumped into the nearby Techa River. People in the 24 villages that lined the river were not told of the dangers of drinking its water until four years after contamination began. As a result, tens of thousands received doses of radiation four times greater than those that were subsequently received at Chernobyl. Average individual doses for the 28,000 people most acutely exposed were 57 times greater, wrote Hertsgaard.
The next tragedy took place in 1957 when a nuclear waste storage tank at Mayak exploded, spewing about 80 metric tons of waste into the sky and irradiating more than a quarter of a million people. Ninety percent of the radioactive debris fell straight back to earth, but the remainder severely contaminated the air, water and soil in the entire Chelyabinsk region.
In 1967 a third disaster occurred, but its cause goes back to 1951 when Mayak officials, realizing they should no longer use the Techa River to dump waste, started pouring it into Lake Karachay. Drought had severely reduced the water level in the lake by 1967, leaving a layer of radioactive silt on the exposed lakebed. When unusually heavy winds blew through the area, the contaminated dust was dispersed over thousands of square miles, exposing nearly half a million people to high levels of radiation.
In addition to pollution from the nuclear complex, the metallurgical industry has heavily contaminated this region. The Ural mountains are rich in iron ore, chromium, copper and nickel and the region has an enormous metallurgical industry. The amount of lead in the air in Chelyabinsk city is equal to the total amount of lead pollution in the Netherlands (population of 15 million) in 1982, before unleaded petrol and catalytic converters were introduced. Any improvement of air quality in the Urals has been due to the economic downturn and closing of factories. Hardly any investments have been made by the government to reduce pollution levels.
Soon after the Mayak nuclear complex became operational, death and diseases in the region increased dramatically due to the dumping of medium and high level radioactive waste into the river system. As a result, 22 villages on the riverbanks, in a 50 km downstream zone from the complex, were evacuated. The village of Muslymova, just outside the 50 km zone was particularly contaminated, but it was never evacuated. Muslyumova lies 45 km north west of Chelyabinsk city and has 4,000 inhabitants. The village had no wells and until recent years depended on the river Techa, for drinking water.
While the rural communities in Chelyabinsk suffer from the effects of radioactive contamination, the urban populations face the effects of the chemical and metallurgical industries. In 1994 the Chelyabinsk Provincial Institute for Public Health and Environment did a survey on non-infectious diseases in the cities of Karabash, Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk, Zlatoust, Kopeisk and Miass. The survey showed considerable increases of various diseases in the Chelyabinsk region. The results from Karabash and Magnitogorsk were so bad that the provincial Ministry for the Environment classified these cities as ecological disaster zones. (SOE rep. P. 195) Children from Karabash were found to be considerably smaller than children from the control group; they had 3.5 times more birth defects; 2.7 times more skin diseases; streptodermia 10 times more, and 2.1 times more diseases of the digestive organs.
Cancer rates in the metallurgical district of Chelyabinsk are four to five times higher than the Russian average. Children's morbidity and mortality rates in the metallurgical district are three times higher than the average for the city. Lead intoxication from the metallurgical factories causes blood diseases and brain damage. Chromium is another major pollutant. U.S. studies have shown that the incidences of lung cancer for chromium factory workers are 28 times than the average rates. Workers barely survive until their retirement age and male life expectancy has gone down to 57
Lake Karachay (Russian: Карача́й), sometimes spelled Karachai, is a small lake in the southern Ural mountains in western Russia. Starting in 1951 the Soviet Union used Karachay as a dumping site for radioactive waste from Mayak, the nearby nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility, located near the town of Ozyorsk (then called Chelyabinsk
The radiation level in the region near where radioactive effluent is discharged into the lake was 600 röntgens per hour in 1990, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, more than sufficient to give a lethal dose to a human within an hour.
Starting in the 1960s, the lake began to dry out; its area dropped from 0.5 km2 in 1951 to 0.15 km² by the end of 1993. In 1968, following a drought in the region, the wind carried radioactive dust away from the dried area of the lake, irradiating half a million people with 185 petabecquerels (5 MCi) of radiation.
Between 1978 and 1986 the lake was filled with almost 10,000 hollow concrete blocks to prevent sediments from shifting
Originally posted by Mr Tranny
reply to post by quantum_flux
Yes, you know it’s worse than they show. But considering how much they have hyped the dangers from radioactivity. And considering how much has been dumped……..Unless there are green mutant people walking around and the skin literally starts falling off of people in front of the camera, then the whole thing is a bit of a let down.
Originally posted by alexs
reply to post by madmax8
now i dont know if many friends on Ats have an idea of nuclear materials so here we go some isotopes have a half life of 25000 years that is in that period they are reduced by half now...
Originally posted by quantum_flux
How are these people not sterile yet if they are drinking nuclear waste?
An acute dose of 2Gy to the gonads of the adult male induces a temporary sterility (but not impotence) that may last a few months. An acute gonad dose of 5Gy to either sex would induce permanent sterility . Of course, this is a consideration only for a local exposure because a whole-body dose of this magnitude would be lethal.
Originally posted by alexs
reply to post by madmax8
now i dont know if many friends on Ats have an idea of nuclear materials so here we go some isotopes have a half life of 25000 years that is in that period they are reduced by half now if one does the math that would indicate along period of time before these materials become inert so it would appear that we are like children playing with fire dont be fooled with the statements that safe places are available to store this material the atmosphere has been contaminated since the first weapon was detonated not to mention the TZAR the largest atomic bomb ever we have it in our power to look at new ways of generating power if less money was spent on war we could have a new beginning