In the absence of monitoring, the existence of radiation can not be demonstrated. Informational vacuum in case of explosion near Arhanghelsk

0 237

Residents of Nyonoksa and Severodvinsk are already accustomed to announcements from local and military authorities about ongoing tests. People are also informed about the need to leave the city if necessary.

But on August 8, things went according to another way. On August 8, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced about an explosion during the testing of a liquid-fuel missile on the polygon near Arhangelsk. Five nuclear experts lost their lives.

Rumors, speculations and suspicions: anonymous and open messages

For several days, there have been many complaints from the residents of Nyonoksa, Severodvinsk and Arhanghelsk on social media. Some also posted pictures with Geiger meter indicators.

On August 15, the Norwegian Nuclear Safety and Radiation Authority announced, after the explosion, near Arhangelsk, tiny particles of radioactive iodine were detected in the air. The authority whose monitoring stations are hundreds of kilometers away from the incident site, said it could not say exactly if this could be related to the explosion. Even under these conditions, the findings made by the Norwegian authority are a first independent report that showed an increase in radiation.

Earlier, employees of the Arhanghelsk Clinical Hospital declared under the protection of anonymity for several media sources (Russian BBC Service, “Novaya Gazeta”, “Moscow Times” and online publication “Medusa”) that the day after the incident the victims were transported to Moscow . People claim that the hospital spaces were deactivated by military specialists and those from Rospotrbdanzor. One of the doctors said that no one informed the hospital staff about the safety measures.

Our medical sisters needed instructions. Our employees are simple people. They took the bags in their arms and carried them. They worked like this not one day, but two. We were not warned not to touch it: Good people, stop, don’t touch!

Treat it in secret

Following the explosion, several people were injured. The victims were taken to an empty hospital in Archangelsk, wrapped in translucent plastic bags, according to The Moscow Times. The injured were exposed to radiation, but no one warned the doctors about it. Following a medical examination, a radioactive isotope Cesium-137 was detected in the muscle tissue of a doctor. The sources also stated that the doctors were obliged to sign confidentiality agreements.

Experts say there were two explosions

Reuters writes with reference to the Norwegian Center for Seismology that the explosion that led to the death of five people was followed by another, about two hours away. The specialists say that this would have caused the radiation level to increase.

“We recorded two explosions. The last explosion coincided as a period of time with the information on increasing the radiation level”, announces NORSAR

Lassina Zerbo, the director of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, published on August 19 on Twitter an interactive map showing how the radiation cloud could expand into central Russia after the explosion near Arhangelsk.

Zerbo said four radiation monitoring stations stopped transmitting data two days after the incident. He also told The Wall Street Journal that explanations for stopping data transmission were requested, and Russian authorities said they were “in communication networks.” Zebro also said that experts believe that the Russian authorities are actually trying to limit access to information. Two stations – from Dubna and Kirov – are part of the global network that ensures that countries with atomic weapons comply with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Russia claims to respect this treaty, which is not yet internationally ratified.

What exactly exploded?

What kind of tests led to the explosion near Archangelsk is not known at present. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the explosion occurred during the test “of a liquid rocket launcher”. Rosatom announced that rockets with a radioisotope power supply were being tested on the offshore platform. But experts say the lack of information prevents other countries from finding out about the technologies Russia is testing.

”We do not incite spirits”

Vladimir Putin’s representative, Dmitry Peskov, said on August 20 that the statements of the Organization of the Complete Nuclear Test Ban Treaty regarding the radioactive cloud that would have formed following the explosion are absurd.

11 days after the accident, a comment came from the Kremlin leader. During the meeting with Emmanule Macron, Vladimir Putin said that the radiological situation in the region is being monitored by independent experts.

Lassina Zerbo, the director of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, tweeted on August 20 that two other radiation monitoring stations RUP 56 (Peleduy) and RUP 57 (Bilibino) resumed data transmission. Zerbo said that it is not yet known whether the data from August 8-20 were transmitted.

Anatol Țăranu, expert in foreign policy and security:
“The Russian authorities have a categorically inappropriate attitude towards what is called the health security of their own citizens, but also of the citizens of other countries, in case it is a nuclear pollution of the atmosphere. Such an approach of the institutions is largely inadmissible and this speaks to the fact that today’s Russia has not been linked to contemporary standards in terms of nuclear testing.

The fact that the radiation monitoring stations have stopped transmitting data after the explosion, says, probably, that the pollution was very high and now Russian authorities are trying to hide the real situation because it is aggravated”, says the expert.

“Russia is embarking on a new round of armaments and thus endangers international security. International public opinion must react in this case. If Russia is not sanctioned, it will not be stopped. Under these conditions it can bring very serious harm to international security”, says Țăaranu.

So far, the circumstances of the explosion near the Archangelsk are shrouded in mystery. Government agencies provided truncated information, and the state addressed the same behavior as in the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986.

The nuclear incident comes at a crucial moment in the military competition between the United States and Russia. Donald Trump administration has just completed the withdrawal procedure from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), arguing that Russia has violated the agreement. In turn, Putin administration warned that it would have to develop new types of weapons after the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty.

Opinii ENG