Unidentified Number of Radioactive Sources Still Missing in Chechnya
Chechen environmental specialists claim that an unknown number of radioactive sources are scattered on the territory of Chechen Republic and that there is no accurate inventory of radioactive sources in Chechnya, RIA Novosti-Yug reported on 3 February 2006.
According to Usam Bakayev, Chief Epidemiologist of the Chechen Ministry of Health, since 1995, only 12 radiation sources have been registered as missing, but as many as 29 sources were found between 2001 and 2004. Moreover, it is impossible to identify the number of radioactive sources that were kept in storage before the 1995 war, as all the inventory documents were destroyed. Abandoned radioactive sources, Bakayev said, continue to be discovered near residential areas and in places where radioactive devices were not used before. No further details on such areas and sources were provided.
It is also reported that the Groznyy Chemical Combine, where a radioactive accident that occurred in 1999 at the 212 Unit, still poses a health and environmental hazard. According to Bakayev, radiation level on the territory of the 212 Unit is 90,000 times higher than normal background levels.
To address the problem of orphaned radiation sources, Bakayev has proposed to search the entire territory of the republic for abandoned radioactive sources and dispose of them properly. He also said it is necessary to improve physical protection of the radioactive waste storage in the Terskiy mountain range north of Groznyy.
 "Biologo-khimicheskomu fakultetu ChGU - 30 let [Department of Chemistry and Biology of the Chechen State University Turns 30," Stolitsa plyus, 2 February 2006; in Integrum Techno database, www.integrum.ru.
Abstract Number: 20060060
Headline: Unidentified Number of Radioactive Sources Still Missing in Chechnya
Date: 3 February 2006
Bibliography: RIA Novosti-Yug (South); in Integrum Techno database, www.integrum.ru
Material: Radioactive materials
This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright © 2011 by MIIS.
This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.
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