When the Home Box Office Inc series on the Chernobyl disaster became a surprise hit earlier this year, I wished Russia or one of the other directly affected countries, Ukraine or Belarus, had made a similarly honest attempt to commemorate the catastrophe. Now there’s proof that today’s Russia is incapable of it: It handles its nuclear accidents in the same way the Soviet Union tried to do in April, 1986. On July 26, a large group of experts led by Olivier Masson from the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety in Durance, France, and Georg Steinhauser of the Institute of Radioecology and Radiation Protection in Hanover, Germany, published a paper definitively attributing a radiation cloud that spread over Europe in 2017 to an undeclared accident in the Southern Urals region of Russia, likely at the Mayak nuclear facility near Chelyabinsk. Two years ago, Russia promised to investigate where the cloud could have come from, but a commission formed on Russia’s initiative failed to produce a clear conclusion. At the same time, Mayak and Rosatom, the state-owned nuclear power company to which it belongs, have denied that any accident took place.
Bloomberg 31st July 2019 read more »