Russian Federation nuclear agency says 5 dead in missile test explosion
Russian Federation nuclear agency says 5 dead in missile test explosion
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13 August, 2019, 03:27
Russia's state nuclear agency acknowledged for the first time on Saturday that nuclear workers were involved in an explosion during a rocket engine test that caused a spike in radiation in a nearby city.
"After the tests were completed, the rocket fuel ignited and detonated", Rosatom said, adding that the explosion threw several employees into the sea.
Five employees of Russia's nuclear corporation Rosatom have died and three have been treated for burns after a liquid-propellant engine exploded during a test.
Officials have released few details of the explosion, which took place at a missile test site near Nyonoksa, a village on the White Sea in the northwest corner of the county.
Alexander Chernyshov, deputy head of research at the Sarov nuclear centre, said in a video statement Sunday that researchers had checked levels in Severodvinsk and confirmed a brief spike.
Rosatom's engineering and technical division had been working on "isotope power source" for a propulsion system, the company told Russian media.
Two people died in an explosion at a military testing site in northern Russian Federation on Thursday, according to RIA news agency, citing the ministry of defence.
The BBC asked officials there why, and they said "because this incident comes under the authority of the defence ministry".
The defence ministry denied reports of a rise in radiation levels, saying levels were normal and there had been "no harmful discharges into the atmosphere". The statement put out by the city was taken down on Friday without explanation.
A source told the Vedomosti newspaper that the accident occurred during testing of an engine used by a sea-launched missile now in use by the Russian navy.
USA -based nuclear experts said they suspected the explosion occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin past year.
Severodvinsk authorities placed rescue services on high alert as measurements immediately after the incident showed background radiation levels three times above the safe limit of 0.6 microsieverts.
Local authorities reported that a short-term increase in radiation was recorded in Severodvinsk.
He says the ship's presence may be related to the testing of Russia's latest nuclear-powered cruise missile.
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