2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: lsiegel@cpeo.org
Date: 29 Sep 2005 22:55:26 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] The Health Effects of Nuclear Weapons Complexes
The Health Effects of Nuclear Weapons Complexes:
Sacrificing the Soviet and American public

by Arjun Makhijani
Z Magazine
September 28, 2005 

On September 29, 1957, at 4:20 p.m., an enormous explosion in a tank
containing highly radioactive waste occurred in the Mayak nuclear
weapons plant in the southern Ural mountains of the Soviet Union. The
fallout plume spread strontium-90 and other dangerous radionuclides over
more than 9,600 square kilometers, which remain contaminated to this day.

Food stores were closed, and more than 1,000 tons of food dumped.
Farming was stopped for more than two decades on about 150,000 acres.
More than 10,000 people were relocated, and their empty homes were torn
down and buried as radioactive waste. Yet, none of the residents were
told why. The Soviet government covered up the accident, only
acknowledging the devastation in June 1989 as the Cold War was ending.
Surprisingly, the West assisted the Soviet government in its cover-up.
In 1976, Soviet dissident biologist Zhores Medvedev published an article
in the New Scientist, a British science magazine, about the accident.
Instead of denouncing the callous cover-up of the Soviets, however, the
chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Sir John Hill,
and other British experts dismissed the story as "rubbish" and
"scientific fiction."


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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