Russian Anger Builds In Town Next To Leaking Nuclear Plant

Earlier this week, we noted that Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy agency had taken baby steps toward recognizing the dangers posed by an aging nuclear storage facility in Chelyabinsk, a town located on Russia’s southern border with Kazakhstan, when it officially acknowledged the extraordinary high levels of radiation in the area. Though the government refused to admit culpability, as many believe the radiation leaked out of the Mayak nuclear power plant, which has a history of serious nuclear accidents.

Still, a month after the mysterious radiation cloud was first observed over Europe, Russian authorities have said little other than admitting the spike in radiation – a troubling trend that’s making some locals nervous and angry.
As the Financial Times points out, 76 years after radiation first began seeping from Mayak into the surrounding rivers, lakes and atmosphere, Russian authorities admitted that the nearby town of Argayash was at the center of a radiation cloud containing “exceptionally high” levels of radioactive isotope ruthenium-106, which spread so far west that it reached France.

But residents of the town are demanding more information from authorities, whom they blame for putting the health of locals at risk.

The FT described Argayash is a cynical, mistrustful town. Apparently, decades of being lied to by the government about being down the road from a leaking nuclear plant does that to a place. So too does watching generations of people dying of radiation-related ailments while officials assure them nothing is amiss.

A small, two-road settlement where homes roofed with corrugated iron and Soviet-era Lada cars nod to its poverty, Argayash is one of a handful of towns surrounding the Mayak Production Facility in southern Russia, one of the world’s biggest radiation emitters where a litany of tragic accidents has made it a byword for the dangers of the atomic industry.

Until earlier this week, Russia's state-controlled Rosatom corporation - the same company implicated in the Uranium One scandal – had insisted that there had been no radiation leak from Mayak’s facilities. Then earlier this week, it revised its story, admitting that radiation was leaking in the area around the plant but refusing to accept that the plant was responsible for the leak after the Russian meteorological service (Rosgidromet) reported that it had detected record levels of radiation in the area. Some calculating that the radiation exposure levels were up to 1,000x higher than the normal rate.

In a statement, the Russian Meteorological Service said that it recorded the release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as "extremely high contamination."

At this point, the denials are almost comical – but local residents don’t find them funny in the least.

Many scoff at official denials, having heard similar for decades, even as they watched family and friends die from radiation-related ailments.


“We are not told anything about Mayak,” says Nadia, an 18-year-old medical student living in the town, 1,700km east of Moscow. “The government should not keep things secret when people suffer."


“People in the west know more about this than we do here,” she adds.

The Russian government’s refusal to admit that Mayak is probably the source of the radiation leak is in keeping with a decades-long pattern of secrecy surrounding the activities at the plant. An explosion at the site in 1957 rained down nuclear fallout on the surrounding area, causing the third-worst nuclear crisis in history (after Chernobyl and the meltdown at Fukushima).

Still, locals know relatively little about the threat posed by the plant. One woman who spoke with the FT said she only learned of the radiation that had enveloped her town when a friend in Germany read about it in a western newspaper. Before the authorities admitted its existence, text messages had been sent to residents saying that high levels of pollution from nearby industrial factories meant people should stay indoors.

Regardless of the potential health risks, many here say the government’s initial silence, denial and obfuscation has dredged up painful memories of a past that refuses to stay buried.


Secretly constructed in the 1940s, Mayak was at the forefront of the USSR’s scramble to catch up with the US nuclear programme. As it raced to produce weapons-grade plutonium, a vast amount of nuclear waste was discharged into nearby lakes and the Techa river.


Then, in 1957, nuclear waste storage tanks at the site exploded, raining fallout over hundreds of towns - and releasing more radiation than any other nuclear accident except Chernobyl and Fukushima. Ten years later, an adjacent reservoir used for waste disposal dried out, and powdered radioactive dust was blown over the area.

In 2004 the government confirmed that waste was being dumped in the local river. Nuclear regulators say that no longer happens, but anti-nuclear activists say it's impossible to tell, and are deeply mistrustful of the government’s assurances.

Earlier this week, Greenpeace said that it would petition the Russian Prosecutor General's office to investigate "a possible concealment of a radiation accident" and check whether public health was sufficiently protected.

Still, given Russia’s history with horrendous nuclear accidents, it’s possible that locals will never learn the real story behind the radiation cloud.


AlaricBalth WTFRLY Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:56 Permalink

Check the Uranium signature from the Russian plant. If Rosatom operated the faculty it would be very interesting to see the Uranium signature matches that of the Uranium derived from US sources.

"In nuclear safeguards and nuclear forensics, several characteristics of the material in question are used either to verify the declared origin (safeguards) or to identify the source of an unknown nuclear material (nuclear forensics)"

In reply to by WTFRLY

land_of_the_few WTFRLY Sat, 11/25/2017 - 15:24 Permalink

Indeed so. If we go to Google Maps, and check out Argayash on Street View, what do we see - certainly some Ladas and corrugated iron roofs but also more modern cars, tiled roofs .... pretty healthy looking young mothers (not fat and not Ghetto!) with nice modern baby buggies and decent clothes ... Mazda, Opel, a house with really nice new blue roof and two custom Volga sedans :D .... farmhouses, nice flowers and gardens ...At a rough guess I would say the characterisation of the town in the article is more than a little slanted. It looks like a nice rural place where pretty much anything grows.The main industries in town, who knows but they seem to have a heck of a lot of veggie shops and auto workshops :DBy the way gentlemen, the ladies look pretty fit and seem to like wearing skinny jeans and laughing when they get passed by the Google car.The other thing is that the Ruthenium levels even at 900x natural airborne background level are still low because it is naturally very low concentration. Plus, no other elements found, no Xenon, Iodine or anything like that, just Ruthenium.An analysis of the health aspects here:Prof. Malcolm Sperrin, Director of the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:“It is important to place this in context.  Ruthenium is very rare and hence its presence may suggest that an event of some nature has occurred.  That being said, the natural abundance is so low that even a factor of 900 up on natural levels is still very low.  Ru (106) is a beta emitter with a half-life of slightly over a year so the isotopic presence may persist for some time depending on many factors.  One source of ruthenium is in the Urals where it is mined along with other chemically similar elements, but the naturally occurring Ruthenium isotope is Ru (102) and not Ru (106) hence it is unlikely that the detected isotope has arisen from mining activity unless refinement and isotopic isolation has occurred on-site.  This is one possible source of the material. “It is difficult to understand why if only Ru (106) has been detected that other isotopes more consistent with an accident have not been identified in coincidence with the Ruthenium. This therefore suggests that, unless the evidence changes, that this release is not as a result of a greater accident.”Prof. Paddy Regan, Professor of Nuclear Physics, University of Surrey, said: “The levels are not particularly high and the fact that the isotope (106Ru -> 106Rh ->106Pd) decay appears to have been measured  in isolation, rather than with the usual cocktail of other fission fragment signatures suggests a leak from a fuel/reprocessing plant or somewhere they are separating the Ru, possibly for use as a medical radiopharmaceutical/diagnostic material.…

In reply to by WTFRLY

Son of Captain Nemo AlaricBalth Fri, 11/24/2017 - 17:48 Permalink

"Wouldn't it be interesting to see if the Uranium radiation signature of this Rosatom managed nuclear facility in Russia matched that of uranium mined by Uranium One in Wyoming."

Yes indeed it would AB

Along with the American made fuel rods in the Ukrainian commercial nuclear power facilities post 2014 Maidan that don't work with the existing cylinders... But like everything else that is U.S. patented treachery "WHO THE FUCK CARES" as long as you're turning a "buck" $$$?... Certainly not U.S.???!!!

Thank you for pointing that out!

In reply to by AlaricBalth

Son of Captain Nemo WTFRLY Fri, 11/24/2017 - 17:07 Permalink

Is this cover up worse than a government committing murder on it's own ( in order to facilitate killing another 20 million human beings to rob them of their property and resources over 16 years to prop up it's deteriorating worth of it's currency and going mindlessly bankrupt morally and financially in the process?!!!....

As for U.S./Israeli involvement in Fukushima with a manufactured earthquake (, because of Japan's attempt to depeg it's currency from the U.S. dollar and facilitating Iran's commercial nuclear power development...

I believe I'll take Russia's silence on a couple of nuclear accidents given the Zionist track record post-World War I ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

In reply to by WTFRLY

Ms No Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:47 Permalink

They better start keeping better track of their old Bolshevik oligarchs over there or they will get their rabbit boiled.  Every time something like this happens, and if it is even slightly suspicious to them, they should take one down at random.Edit: or ten 

Ms No land_of_the_few Fri, 11/24/2017 - 23:34 Permalink

No they're not.  Believing what politicians claim as opposed to what they do is very dangerous.  A hundred million have died because people believed Marxism cared about workers and equality doled out by an all powerful central government.  It was wealthy Jewish oligarchs behind the Bolshevik revolution and Marx.  Marx himself was a Jew.  Many of them are still there.  Putin has routed a lot of them out and has truce with others, as long as they behave, which they wont.  You have to pick your battles and you can't fight everybody at once but they are there, waiting to get back into power."According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.[1]So who then are the stockholders in these money center banks?This information is guarded much more closely. My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stock ownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on “national security” grounds. This is rather ironic, since many of the bank’s stockholders reside in Europe.One important repository for the wealth of the global oligarchy that owns these bank holding companies is US Trust Corporation – founded in 1853 and now owned by Bank of America. A recent US Trust Corporate Director and Honorary Trustee was Walter Rothschild. Other directors included Daniel Davison of JP Morgan Chase, Richard Tucker of Exxon Mobil, Daniel Roberts of Citigroup and Marshall Schwartz of Morgan Stanley. [2]J. W. McCallister, an oil industry insider with House of Saud connections, wrote in The Grim Reaper that information he acquired from Saudi bankers cited 80% ownership of the New York Federal Reserve Bank- by far the most powerful Fed branch- by just eight families, four of which reside in the US. They are the Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Lehmans and Kuhn Loebs of New York; the Rothschilds of Paris and London; the Warburgs of Hamburg; the Lazards of Paris; and the Israel Moses Seifs of Rome.CPA Thomas D. Schauf corroborates McCallister’s claims, adding that ten banks control all twelve Federal Reserve Bank branches. He names N.M. Rothschild of London, Rothschild Bank of Berlin, Warburg Bank of Hamburg, Warburg Bank of Amsterdam, Lehman Brothers of New York, Lazard Brothers of Paris, Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York, Israel Moses Seif Bank of Italy, Goldman Sachs of New York and JP Morgan Chase Bank of New York. Schauf lists William Rockefeller, Paul Warburg, Jacob Schiff and James Stillman as individuals who own large shares of the Fed. [3] The Schiffs are insiders at Kuhn Loeb. The Stillmans are Citigroup insiders, who married into the Rockefeller clan at the turn of the century.Eustace Mullins came to the same conclusions in his book The Secrets of the Federal Reserve, in which he displays charts connecting the Fed and its member banks to the families of Rothschild, Warburg, Rockefeller and the others. [4]The control that these banking families exert over the global economy cannot be overstated and is quite intentionally shrouded in secrecy. Their corporate media arm is quick to discredit any information exposing this private central banking cartel as “conspiracy theory”. Yet the facts remain. Churchill admitted it, only because everyone already knew at the time and he was trying to talk people into giving them Israel to save the world from "terrorist Jews" and "International Jews".  It was a ploy and it worked.:"There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.

In reply to by land_of_the_few

serotonindumptruck Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:50 Permalink

This sounds a lot like the documented cancer clusters around the Tri-Cities area near the Hanford Nuclear reservation in Washington State.Federal government just shrugs their shoulders and releases their swarms of lawyers while denying any causality or culpability.

rejected Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:54 Permalink

All the war mongers want to 'nuke' North Korea,,, so why the angst over this teency radiation cloud in comparison to nukes going off over Pyongyang?

Manipuflation Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:57 Permalink

My Russian Mother-in-law thinks she can take me in a straight on race with her new Lexus VS my 07 Sonata Platinum Edition.  If you really wanted to build a four door sleeper car it has to be the Sonata.  I see that the 3.8 manifolds fit the 3.3.  MOAR air, MOAR Fuel, MOAR power.  They make headers and superchargers for the Sonatas.  My Sonata is fast enough as is.  I don't think mother in law she understands. Men don't just buy new cars:  They build them. 

RopeADope Fri, 11/24/2017 - 17:12 Permalink

The theory is that the reprocessing facility had an accident with it's first delivery of an unfamiliar type of reactor fuel that they did not have enough experience with.From a recent Counterpunch article"In testimony delivered in French on November 19, 2017, Kutepova surmised that if the release of ruthenium 106 came from Mayak, then it emanated either from an accident in the fuel reprocessing plant or from a malfunction in the radioactive waste vitrification plant. Kutepova considered Mayak likely responsible because precisely around the end of September the facility was testing new equipment in the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant where something may well have gone wrong. Kutepova related that on September 22 a train arrived at Mayak transporting irradiated fuel from a VVER reactor. Everything about this transport was new to Mayak — the train, the waste fuel casks, and the irradiated VVER fuel which had never been reprocessed at Mayak before. Emergency alarms went off at Mayak that day, Kutepova said. Furthermore, Mayak has a long history of secrecy and cover-ups and is self-regulating."

Ex-Oligarch RopeADope Fri, 11/24/2017 - 18:09 Permalink

Very interesting.  Thank you.Though I have little doubt that the area was thoroughly contaminated during the Soviet era, for the sake of perspective, I was curious about how many peoply lived in Argayash.  It seems there are only a little over 40,000 people living in the entire 1,000+ square mile region.  No doubt the local population has been kept in the dark, but I wonder how many of those people work at the plant or were aware of its problems from the outset. 

In reply to by RopeADope