Moscow: The wildfires raging close to a
nuclear research centre in Russia will not cause any radiation
threats even if the fire enters the territory of the facility,
the Federal Atomic Energy Agency chief said today.
The Sarov Federal Nuclear Centre, a former secret
Soviet nuclear weapons factory in Russia`s Nizhny Novgorod
region, has been menaced for two weeks by fires raging in a
neighbouring nature park in Mordovia republic, Rosatom nuclear
agency chief Sergei Kiryenko said.
"It is possible to say for sure there are neither
risks of nuclear threats nor the risks of any ecological
threats or explosions on the territory of Sarov, even if the
fire engulfs it," Kiriyenko was quoted as saying by RIA
Earlier, he had declared that all the explosive
materials have been removed as wildfires were approaching the
former secret township of Arazamas-16, where first Soviet
hydrogen bomb was fabricated.
Over 3,000 people, four helicopters, four planes and
30 fire trucks were involved in putting out wildfires in
proximity to the Sarov nuclear centre.
Meanwhile, five US air force cargo planes have
airlifted fire fighting equipment offered by President Barack
Obama in his phone call to President Medvedev on Thursday.
"The United States stands with the people of Russia as
they fight to contain the destructive spread of wildfires,
which have taken lives and displaced many from their homes. We
are taking action to support the heroic efforts of Russian
fire-fighters and emergency responders as they seek to bring
these fires under control," the State Department said in its
The US embassy`s Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Rubin
here said that his country is providing Russia - home to
nearly one fourth of the world`s forests - fire fighting
equipment worth USD 4.5 million to help combating raging
The US deliveries include water tanks, pumps, hand
tools, fire-protective clothing, and medical kits, Russian
Emergency Situations officials said.
EU and CIS countries have sent more than 550 foreign
fire-fighters and 100 units of machinery, including six planes
and seven helicopters, to help Russia extinguish wildfires
raging across the country.
NTV channel said the area wildfires and peat bog fires
has decreased by 8,000 hectares or equivalent to 40 thousand
football fields and is now 56,200 hectares.
In Moscow region the fire-fighters have managed to cut
by half the number of fires from 29 to 16, EMERCOM
spokesperson Irina Andriyanova said. Efforts are underway to
douse fires on 84 hectares area in Moscow region.
Thousands of emergency workers and military personnel
have been working round the clock for almost three weeks to
fight fires in 22 Russian regions.
The immediate economic cost of the fires has been
estimated at USD 15 billion.