`Russia managed to prevent radiation leak due to wildfires`

Last Updated: Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 21:41

Moscow: Despite the threat posed by
wildfires, Russia has managed to prevent radiation leaks from
its key nuclear installations, the country`s atomic chief said
on Thursday.

"In Sarov (Federal Nuclear Centre) surrounded by thick
forests we had to beat back the wildfires thrice. We were
confronted by ten kilometre wide (wildfire) front. But we had
evacuated all nuclear and explosive materials and there was no
radiation leak," Federal Nuclear Agency (Rosatom) chief Sergei
Kiriyenko said in his televised meeting with Prime Minister
Vladmir Putin.
Situated in Volga region of Nizhny Novgorod, Sarov town
has the former secret Soviet nuclear weapons factory Arzamas-
16 and still remains closed to foreigners.

Kiriyenko said appropriate steps were taken to protect
two other nuclear weapons and waste processing facilities in
the Urals, and the wildfires were stopped at a distance of 15
km from the closed towns of Snezhinsk and Mayak and there was
no risk of radiation leak.

He also told Putin about Rosatom`s plans to install
sensors around the nuclear installations at a distance of 15
km to monitor wildfires.

The unprecedented heat wave and abnormal dry summer in
the central European parts of Russia with temperatures
touching 40 degree Celsius has almost come to an end.

The northern regions of Murmansk and Archangelsk today
witnessed hail and snow storm with day temperature dropping to
4 degrees Celsius and a frosty night.

The Baltic cyclone with wet and cold winds has brought
the temperature down in Moscow by 10 degrees to 22-23 degrees
Celsius, clearing the Russian capital of suffocating pungent
smog.
All the remaining forest and peat bog fires will be put
off by Sunday, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu
said.

"The wildfire situation has stabilised fully in the Volga
River and Central Federal Districts of Russia. Emergency may
be lifted in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan regions and
Mordovia," said Vladimir Stepanov, chief of National Centre
for Management in Crisis Situations of the Ministry of
Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), according to ITAR-TASS.

"Some 290 fires have been put out on an area of 10,000
hectares for the past day in Russia. The fire situation has
stabilized fully in the Volga River and Central Federal
Districts. However, the fire situation remains under control
in the Sverdlovsk Region," Stepanov said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 21:41

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