Russian missiles hit radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv

A radioactive waste disposal site near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has been hit by a Russian airstrike, but the storage facilities were not damaged, officials say. A preliminary assessment found no evidence of a leak, BNO reported.

The incident happened at about 1.20 a.m. local time on Sunday when a radioactive waste disposal site of the State Specialised Enterprise “Radon” was hit by missiles.

“Notification was announced by telephone by Radon personnel, who are in the shelter”, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRIU) said in a statement. “It is currently not possible to assess the extent of the destruction.”

Officials later added that the storage facilities itself were not affected by the impact, BNO reported.

SNRIU said the automated radiation monitoring system at the site had failed, but measurements taken with portable devices in Kyiv found that radiation levels were normal. There is no threat to the public, the report said.

Earlier, a radiation spike had been recorded near Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant which has been seized by Russian forces, BBC reported.

Invading Russian troops took control of the plant — the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 — on Thursday, Ukraine said.

Radiation levels increased about 20-fold on Thursday, monitoring stations there reported, BBC reported.

But experts say another major nuclear disaster there is “extremely unlikely”.

The rise was caused by heavy military vehicles stirring contaminated soil in the 4,000-sq-km (2,485 sq-mile) exclusion zone surrounding the abandoned plant, Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate reported.

The biggest spike was recorded close to the damaged reactor. Radiation levels are continuously monitored there — measured as a dose that you would receive per hour in a location.

Close to the reactor, normally receive a dose of about three units — called microsieverts — every hour. But on Thursday, that jumped to 65 microSv/hrs — about five times more than you would get on one transatlantic flight, BBC reported.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

20220227-111803

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