Sun. May 26th, 2024

Horror radioactive leak warning as Russian floods barrel towards uranium mine

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker May25,2024

Russian environmentalists have issued a dire warning over the threat of a radioactive leak threat as floodwaters near a uranium mine in the country’s Kurgan region.

The Russian Urals region and northern Kazakhstan have been hit by the worst flooding in decades, with authorities evacuating tens of thousands of residents from Kurgan and Orenburg, amid rescue operations to save stranded residents and animals.

Experts are now sounding the alarm over the potential for drinking water to be contaminated by radioactive material.

Local authorities have flagged the Dobrovolnoye uranium mine, in the village of Ukrainskoye in Kurgan’s Zverinogolovsky district, as being in the flood zone, Russian investigative site Agentstvo reported on Sunday.

The mine is estimated to hold around 7,077 tons of uranium, with a grade level of between 0.01 percent to 0.05 percent uranium, Global energy news outlet NS Energy Business reported.

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Environmental experts fear the Tobol River, which flows close by, could become contaminated with uranium as water levels soar.

Sergei Eremin, head of the regional environmental organization Foundation for Public Control Over the State of the Environment and the Well-Being of the Population, said footage captured by a resident indicates that an old well “that had been leaking [uranium] for 35 years” may already have been submerged, as per Newsweek.

The devasting washout came after an abrupt rise in temperatures this spring, combined with high snow reserves, increased humidity and frozen soil, resulting in the worst flooding in 80 years, Natalia Frolova, a professor in the geography department at Moscow State University, told Bloomberg.

Andrei Ozharovsky, an expert in the Radioactive Waste Safety program of the Russian Social-Ecological Union, told Agentstvo that a uranium leak from the Dobrovolnoye mine will result in an elevated concentration of uranium salts in the Tobol River, which could contaminate drinking water.

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According to the outlet environmental activists in Kurgan have been calling on authorities to ban uranium mining in the area for years, and are concerned that the radioactive solution would contaminate groundwater and the river.

Last week, local authorities told Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti that the water level in the Tobol has already gone above the “dangerous level” mark, increasing by four feet in just the last 24 hours. Over 660 residential houses in Kurgan had been flooded by that point.

Writing on Telegram last week, Kurgan governor Vadim Shumkov said: “This isn’t just a flood, it’s a genuine threat!” adding, “Therefore, take children, elderly people, relatives with limited mobility and neighbours to a temporary shelter or to friends and acquaintances. Collect documents and valuables.”

Footage from the flooded regions in Kazakhstan has shown water gushing down streets, vast fields covered with water and dozens of houses partially submerged. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has called the floods “a natural disaster … the likes of which have not been seen for many years.”

“This is, perhaps, the biggest disaster in terms of its scale and consequences in over 80 years,” he said.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “Horror radioactive leak warning as Russian floods barrel towards uranium mine”
  1. Is there any action being taken to prevent the radioactive leak from happening? What measures are in place to protect the surrounding areas and residents?

  2. Is there any information on the measures being taken to prevent the radioactive leak and protect the surrounding areas?

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