Radiation Leak In Russia’s Khabarovsk: What We Know So Far

Khabarovsk is close to the border with China and has a population of 630,000.

Russia has declared a “state of emergency” in Khabarovsk, a city on the Amur River in southeastern part of the country, after a mystery potentially cancer-causing radiation leak was detected. Local authorities have restricted access to Khabarovsk, an industrial district. The news has generated a lot of buzz across the world with people remembering the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, which was the part of erstwhile Soviet Union, in 1986. Authorities have identified the source of the radiation in Khabarovsk. The city is close to the border with China and has a population of 630,000.

Here’s what we know about the radiation leak:

  • Russian news agency TASS said in a report that elevated radiation levels were detected near a power pylon about 2.5 km from residential buildings. It added that source of the radiation has been found.
  • The source was “removed and placed in a protective container” and “transported to a radioactive waste storage facility”.
  • No one had been injured or exposed to radiation and “there is no threat to the health of citizens”, TASS quoted the local branch of Russia’s consumer safety watchdog as saying.
  • Videos from the city have appeared on social media and show a man wearing a nuclear protective mask with a radiation reader, according to Metro. The metre on the device quickly rises as the man walks over a “waste dump”, the outlet further said.
  • The man is heard saying on camera that the number on the metre was 20, enough potentially to increase cancer risk, damage DNA, cause foetal damage, and threaten the health of children, the outlet further said.
  • Authorities said radiation levels would be monitored for the next two days and the source of the radiation would be investigated.

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