Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

How Russia denies and deceives the world, following a nuclear accident

Nuclear Russia Scares The World (Again), Lobe Log, DECEMBER 5, 2017, by Tatyana Ivanova  An international scandal involving ruthenium-106 (Ru-106) contamination of the atmosphere in most European countries has revealed fundamental problems with the Russian nuclear industry. The Russian State Corporation (Rosatom) has denied the massive leak at its Ural reprocessing facility. Instead, it has withheld data and spread propaganda in the best Soviet tradition……

In this region of the Southern Urals, about 30 kilometers from these two polluted sites, there is only one potential large-scale polluter: the “Mayak” nuclear waste reprocessing plant. Accordingly, suspicion has fallen on it. Mayak is part of the Russian Rosatom State Corporation and is located at the closed secret town of Ozersk, in the Chelyabinsk district…….

If such a large scale release had happened in France, IRSN reports, inhabitants within a radius of several kilometers would have been evacuated and local food produced within tens of kilometers would have been declared unsafe for human consumption……….

Denial, Pressure, and Propaganda

As soon as information about the likely Russian origin of the ruthenium cloud over Europe appeared in the mass media, the Russian nuclear state corporation sprang into action to prevent any Russian investigation. Rosatom and then Mayak stated that their facilities couldn’t be a source of Ru-106 release and that the background radiation around them is normal. At the same time, they didn’t provide any specific data on Ru-106 concentrations in the air. Rosatom only made reference to its website, which is monitoring the gamma background.

A Russian regulatory agency “inspected” Mayak, and after only one day came to the hasty conclusion that there had been no accidents or events at the plant. Its public report contained only one number: the Ru-106 concentration in Bucharest that the IAEA had already published.

Some days later Russian pro-government mass media published a flurry of propaganda, denying that the contamination was of Russian origin and making fun of the journalists and citizens who wrote of a cover-up. Some of the Russian mass media disseminated false information that the release could have been caused by a downed American spy satellite or even an alien spaceship.

The most radical websites started a second wave of defamation against Nadezhda Kutepova, blaming her for espionage and intentional misinformation about Mayak. Some Russian officials blamed IRSN for issuing “false information” about the Russian trace, saying that the French regulator is competing with Rosatom.

Rosatom went further by publishing a poster on behalf of Ru-106 with the headline “Everyone accuses the little one” in the style of a propaganda cartoon for children. The poster states that Ru-106 is “small and good” and does not appear at nuclear waste reprocessing plants. Then the official Rosatom Facebook page invited journalists and bloggers to visit Mayak to “touch and smell” Ruthenium-106. They selected 16 people from 200 who expressed interest, stating that experts were not invited because they “already understand all the fictitiousness of the hype.”

At the same time, the Russian regulatory agency altered its published report, removing the words “extremely high concentrations of Ru-106” in reference to the villages around Mayak and reported instead that the levels did not exceed the limits. Last week a special commission including representatives of all the aforementioned Russian state organizations began another inspection of Mayak. The results have not yet been announced.

The situation is reminiscent of the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986, during the Soviet era. Indeed, the Mayak facility, which specializes in nuclear fuel reprocessing and the production of nuclear weapons materials, never really left the Soviet era. The enterprise avoids publishing any detailed figures on emissions In its environmental impact assessments. An iron veil of secrecy, as well as Rosatom’s influence over decision-makers at the highest level, protect it from the scrutiny of Russians and everybody else.

Tatyana Ivanova is a Belarusian journalist residing in the United States  https://lobelog.com/nuclear-russia-scares-the-world-again/

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December 6, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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