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Moscow acknowledges mysterious rocket explosion involved nuclear workers

Moscow acknowledges mysterious rocket explosion involved nuclear workers”

The explosion occurred at a military shooting range in Nyonoksa in the north-western Arkhangelsk region. Such things are not rare during the tests of new technologies. The latter threw some of the testing crew off the platform into the sea. The search continued until the hope to find survivors was present. On August 10, Rosatom said that five employees were killed in the accident and three more were hospitalized.

"We need to understand the radiation jump in cities closer [to the site of the explosion] than Severodvinsk", Rashid Alimov, the head of Greenpeace Russia's energy program, told The Moscow Times.

A Russian city reportedly observed a rise in radiation levels after an explosion at a nearby military testing site, which left at least two dead.

The statement went on to say the radiation level decreased between 11:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. local time.

"Sensors in Severodvinsk recorded a short-term increase in radiation levels".

This exceeded the permitted limit of 0.6 microsieverts, he added. The officials said this did not present a significant risk to public health.

Ankit Panda of the Federation of American Scientists noted on Twitter that the missile "is suspected to have some sort of a miniaturized reactor in its propulsion unit", and added: "a crash likely resulted in not-insignificant radioisotope dispersion". Unconfirmed reports on social media claim victims are being treated for radiation exposure.

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An expert from Moscow's Institute for Nuclear Research, Boris Zhuikov, told RBK independent news site that isotope power sources are not normally risky for people working with them.

There were no further details of the rocket or fuel type.

Locals have rushed to buy medical iodine, with pharmacies' stocks of iodine reported to be running out in the cities of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk.

The Russian military has, meanwhile, refuted a report that a Rosatom vessel, capable of collecting radioactive waste, was dispatched to Severodvinsk, saying it had actually been undergoing scheduled trials.

"People started to panic. Within a matter of an hour all the iodine and iodine-containing drugs were sold out", pharmacist Yelena Varinskaya told AFP.

The Soviet Union saw the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986, when the authorities sought to cover up the seriousness of the disaster.



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