Radioactive materials on the coast off Nionoksa

The level of radioactivity is abnormally high on the coast, more than 3 weeks after the explosion of 8 August 2019, near Nionoksa in Russia, says the independent body the Commission de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur la Radioactivité (CRIIRAD).

Belomorkanal's local investigation indicates that two pontoons, one of which was badly damaged, stranded on the coast, 4 kilometres from the center of Nionoksa village, after the August 8 explosion.

This explosion, which would be due to a nuclear missile recovery operation (CRIIRAD communiqué of August 30), led to the dispersion of radioactive substances into the atmosphere (see CRIIRAD releases of August 9 and August 13, 2019). Radiametric measurements carried out on August 31, 2019, show that the level of beta-gamma radiation in contact with waste brought to the coast, near the two failed pontoons, is 20 times higher than the natural level. See the video here
These results confirm the residual radioactive contamination of the environment, more than 3 weeks after the explosion. For CRIIRAD, which warned for several days about the risks of contamination of the marine environment, radioactive materials present on the coast must be recovered and brought back to a suitable storage site.

Authorities should assess the contamination of the marine environment and make public the results regarding the radiological contamination of seawater, sands and sediments, fauna and flora. The fact that there was nuclear fission (see CRIIRAD communiqué of August 28) is an indication of the presence of fissile material. It could be plutonium, a very radiotoxic element. It is not acceptable for this beach to remain accessible to local residents given the radiological risks.

Contact:, Engineer in Nuclear Physics at the CRIIRAD laboratory

More info about CRIIRAD (in English) :

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