Accident at Russian reactor


On January 31, radioactive steam was released through a reactor valve in an experimental fast breeder reactor in Dimitrovgrad's Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR). The reactor was shut down after the alarm system turned on. The steam contained about 80% manganese-56 and about 20% zinc, cobalt and iodine-131. The amount of steam released into the atmosphere was about one tonne. The director of NIIAR said there were no injuries in or around the institute. During a telephone call, he told an anti-nuclear campaigner that the radioactivity level was three to four times higher than normal. On the morning of February 1, Echo Moskvy radio station reported that radioactive level near the institute was about 20 times normal.
[Information from Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow.]