Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Russia silences information on radiation and wildfires

Shoigu also demanded that those who reported on the spread of radiation fro fires burning in contaminated areas be made known to authorities.  As a consequence, public information about fires in areas posing a potential radiation hazard were ripped down from government websites,

Russia emergency minister threatens to ‘deal with’ those spreading radiation ‘rumours’ about wildfires in contaminated areas NEW YORK/ST PETERSBURG Charles Digges, and Alexander Shurshev , 17 Aug 2010, Russian emergency officials have come up with a novel tool to smother the spate of heat wave caused wildfires that threaten to tear through radioactively contaminated forests and lands during the country’s hottest summer, releasing radiation: pull information about fires in radioactively contaminated areas and threaten punishment for those spreading “rumours.”

On Friday, Sergei Shoigu, head of Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Services (MChS in its Russian abbreviation) issued a strong demand to “deal with” those groups of environmentalists and media who had reported on the “rumours of radiation dangers from the fires in the Bryansk Region,” a Russia-Ukraine border region that was hit heavily by fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster.

Shoigu also demanded that those who reported on the spread of radiation fro fires burning in contaminated areas be made known to authorities.

As a consequence, public information about fires in areas posing a potential radiation hazard were ripped down from government websites, most significantly the site of Roslesozashchita, Russia’s forestry agency, which pin-pointed areas most at threat from radiation redistribution into the atmosphere of fires that have been burning across Russia since July.
Whether the information was taken off the website by Roslesozashchita unilaterally or whether it had been ordered to do so by the MChS or the Kremlin could not be established Monday. A spokesman for the forestry agency referred Bellona Web to the MChS for comment, where another spokesman, who refused to give his name, repeated Shoigu’s denial that any radiation dangers were posed by the fires and commented no further before he hung up the phone.

Hitting delete doesn’t put out fires

The forest fires, however, continue to threaten a large number of Russia’s nuclear facilities and contaminated lands, according to information obtained by Bellona Web, including the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics, a nuclear research facility in Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod Region.

Fires still smouldering near Novovorozh Nuclear Power Plant in the Voronezh Region, 42 kilometers south of Moscow, have headed further southwest into ‘the neighbouring Belgorod Region. The Belgorod region borders on Ukraine’s west, an area of special concern given its proximity to Chernobyl.

Fires in the Chelyabinsk region continue to rage, threatening evaporation of lakes and rivers and the spread of radioactive silt.

The disappearance of the information bears the earmarkings of so many other Russian nuclear mishap cover-ups from the Kremlin’s stony silence following Chernobyl, to radiation dangers surrounding the Russian Northern Fleet to Russia’s attempted media black out surroundig the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000 – among dozens of others.

“Neither MChS nor Roslesozashchita have the right to hide information about the environment from Russians, a right that is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution,” said Vladimir Sliyvak, co-chair of Russia’s Ecodefence in a statement to Bellona Web.

“It is evident that fires have taken place on (radioactively) contaminated areas and that there is a possibility of re-distribution radiation – its stupid to deny it,” he said….

Russia emergency minister threatens to ‘deal with’ those spreading radiation ‘rumours’ about wildfires in contaminated areas – Bellona

August 17, 2010 - Posted by | uranium | , , , , , ,

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