ForestFire Contained Near Nuclear Storage Facility in Russia’s Urals
(published by BBC Monitoring InternationalReports, 18 May 2004)
Forest Fire Contained Near Nuclear Storage Facility inRussia’s Urals
Yekaterinburg — A major forest fire covering an area of 600 hectares has beencontained 60 km from Chelyabinsk near the Mayak nuclear reprocessing (andproduction) facility, the Volga-Urals regional centre of the Russian Ministry ofEmergencies told ITAR-TASS.
The partially underground storage facility for nuclear materials at Mayak isdesigned for 100,000 storage units of weapons-grade fission materials. It cantake up to 400 tonnes of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from warheads ofRussian nuclear weapons decommissioned from military service.
In Chelyabinsk Region rescue workers are continuing to fight three major firesover an area of 2,300 hectares.
Russians Say Fires Do Not Threaten Chemical WeaponsDepot
Yekaterinburg — Reports about the threat presented by forest fires to thechemical weapons depot near the village of Shchuchye, Kurgan Region, havenothing to do with reality. In a telephone conversation with ITAR-TASS thismorning, Nikolay Gerasimov, aide to the head of the Volga-Urals centre of theRussian Emergencies Ministry, called it false and unconfirmed. “Nothingthreatens Shchuchye,” he said.
A total of 2,376 people, 172 units of hardware and six aircraft are engaged inextinguishing fires in the region, Gerasimov said. (Passage omitted)
Meanwhile, new outbreaks of fire are appearing here and there. A city dumpingground is on fire in Kurgan, threatening the villages of Chistoprudnyy andSirenevyy.