Radioactive aluminum plates from Snezhinsk (VNIITF)


About two metric tons of radioactive aluminum plates were stolen from one of the nuclear facilities located in Snezhinsk (located in Chelyabinsk Oblast and also known as Chelyabinsk-70),Interfax reported 2 July 1999.  Snezhinsk is the location of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF), one of the two nuclear weapons design facilities in Russia. The report did not specify, however, from exactly which facility in VNIITF the plates were stolen.  According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the plates, which could expose those near them to dangerous levels of radiation, were stolen on 26 June. A report about the case in the Moscow daily Segodnya quoted Minatom officials as denying that the plates were radioactive. Segodnya said the plates were used in 'experiments on metals,' and had been stolen from an 'experimental area.' Segodnya said that the thieves succeeded in stealing the plates because this particular area of the facility 'was not very strictly guarded.'[1]

Abstract Number:  19990600
Headline:  Radioactive Aluminum Plates Stolen from A Minatom Facility
Date:  2 July 1999
Bibliography:  Interfax, 2 July 1999
Author:  S predpriyatiya Minatoma RF v Snezhinske pokhishcheny radioaktivnyye alyuminevyye plity-MChS Rossii [Radioactive Aluminum Plates Stolen from a Minatom Facility in Snezhinsk, According to the Ministry for Emergency Situations]
Material:  Waste/Scams/Contaminated Materials

[1] Sergey Antonov, 'Vernite nashu radiatsiyu' Segodnya, online edition, 3 July 1999,

July 2, 1999

This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2018.