Russia Orders Evacuation of Village Near Site of Nuclear Reactor Explosion
According to The New York Times, a northern village in Russia near the site of a nuclear accident is being evacuated by authorities. The accident occurred last Thursday when a nuclear reactor failed during a missile test, killing seven people. Since then, officials in Russia have downplayed the incident, but on Sunday scientists admitted that radiation had been released.
Officials continued to offer unclear information, calling for an evacuation and then cancelling it hours later. It is uncertain whether authorities believe that there is a continued danger from being in the proximity of the accident site.
Still, officials evacuated around 450 people from the northern village, called Nenoska, but insist that radiation levels are not dangerous and the move should not be called an “evacuation.”
The governor of the Arkhangelsk region, Igor Orlov, said “There is no evacuation. That is complete nonsense.”
Instead, authorities say they are moving people because of “planned activities” at the military testing range.”
“The leadership of the Nenoksa testing range informed us of planned activities of the military authorities,” a statement from civil authorities said. “In this connection, it was advised that residents of Nenoksa depart the territory of the village from Aug. 14.”
On Tuesday, the evacuation seemed to have been cancelled. An anonymous official was quoted saying, “Yes, indeed, they informed us the military had canceled tomorrow’s activities.”
While scientists from the Russian Federal Nuclear Agency that levels of radiation rose for a short time to twice the usual level in Severodvinsk, which is around 25 miles from the test site, Russia’s national meteorological agency had a completely different report. The agency said radiation rose to 16 times the usual level in Severodvinsk.
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