By Vitaly Khizhnyak, Vladimir Mikheev,
Again About "Hot" Particles on the Banks of the Yenissei...
Translated by Victor Ouskin, Krasnoyarsk Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
In the early 90s the Mining-Chemical Combine by the lips of Vasily V. Zhidkov, head of radioecological center, Vice-Director left no method unessayed to refuse to admit that the "hot" particles found on the Yenissei banks are the results of MCC operation. Almost a citation: "Prove that these are our particles. Maybe it was the geologists who have lost it. Maybe a radionuclide source got unsealed. Maybe it has fallen from the sky - a satellite with a source has burnt in the atmosphere". And so on. There were enthusiasts who did prove. Chechetkin Vladimir A., Bolsunovsky Alexander Ya.
This went on until Lebedev Valery A., MCC(mid 90s) at the meeting held by Zubov Valery M., Krasnoyarsk krai Governor openly admitted (almost a citation ): Valery Mikhailovkch, this is our. Yes, the processes were like this. Now the flow reactors are shut down, we shall not contaminate the Yenissei any more.
This put an end to arguments about the origin and appurtenance of the "hot"particles.
"Hot" particles - what are they?
"Hot" particles are conventionally called small and very small dust microscopic (1 mm and less) radioactive particles of different composition and different origin. The first were radioactive particles formed in atmospheric and ground nuclear blasts and in accidents during start-up of the first reactors. Their composition may be practically anything.
This and uranium and plutonium particles not undergone fission in a chain nuclear reaction and evaporated during a atomic blast and elements of the tower structure on which the explosive device (bomb) was installed which were activated and also evaporated during the explosion and elements of everything that was in the soil in the explosion epicenter. These particles are still found in the upper atmosphere.
As applied to reactors they are particles of highly active graphite, irradiated uranium, nuclear fuel, particles of irradiated elements of reactor core structures and so on, and so forth, which can get into natural environment, into atmosphere in accidents, fires at reactor systems, reactors of nuclear power plants.
Numerous "hot" particles were released into the atmosphere during Chernobyl catastrophe. In several days they reached Kiev, Europe and other sites and will stay in the Earth`s atmosphere for a long time, gradually precipitating on the surface.
Activity of "hot" particles varies over a broad range, depending on their size, radionuclide composition, origin. In any case when on skin, even more so inside the organism they cause burns, damage of internal organs, various diseases.
Now it is common knowledge that the "hot" particles got into the Yenissei from MCC flow reactors during accidents and post-accident clean-ups (wedging of uranium slugs` jamming in reactors channel and their extraction ) They are particles of microscopic size. They are numerous - even very numerous. High or very high activity depends on the size and origin.
Each individual particle may pose a danger only for à an individual person - if it is swallowed or if this person carries it with him. Not more than that. But, in every case they have to be removed from the biosphere - to be collected and handed over for burial as radioactive wastes.
It is because of this that we decided to verify presence of such particles after the summer flood on the Yenissei (rainfalls, water evacuation over the dam of Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric power plant). We are Mikheev Vladimir I. - Director of Krasnoyarsk Regional Public Charity Organization "Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation"; Khizhnyak Vitaly G. Ph.D. (Technology) - consultant and expert of the Center and Pirogov Yury V. - Deputy to the Sukhobuzimo District Council.
In the course of the survey company we walked along the right bank of the Yenissei from the place 3 km upstream the influx of Bolshaya Tel river into the Yenissei to the Kan river. The flood was not over yet and we had to walk on swampland. Gamma background was measured and "hot" particles were detected by SRP-68 (ÑÐÏ 68) and DRG-01T1) instruments verified at government organizations. On the path along the Yenissei the gamma background varies from 30 to 40 microRoentgen/hour, in some spots - up to 60-80 microRoentgen/hour, in rare cases - on swampland - up to 100-120 microRoentgen/hour.
As a result we have surveyed to bank strip not less than 14 km long and up to 50 m wide, on the swampland - up to 200-300 m.
We have found and extracted from soil five "hot" particles with dose rate intensity from 6143 to 9320 microRoentgen/hour. All found particles together with a small amount of soil were taken by a spade from the soil and placed into a lead container to be delivered to Krasnoyarsk. During the work of particles handling all radiation safety measures were observed.
November 22, 2006 representatives of the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation handed over to "Quant" Ltd. for burial the "hot" particles found. "Quant" specialist Dementiev A.S. made required measurements of the gamma background and accepted the container with the particles. After that he filled the Acceptance Act which we signed and was to be approved by Bekhtev S.I. - "Quant" Director. One month has passed, we have not received the Acceptance Act from "Quant"...
December 20 the Citizens` Center on Nuclear Non-Proliferation sent an official statement to Bekhtev S.I. - "Quant" Director. The statement demanded to issue the document we should have by law - the Acceptance Act to "Quant" Ltd. to bury the found "hot" particles indicating the dose rate intensity or give a written answer why we cannot get it.
Gennady Grushevoi - Deputy of Belorussian Parliament, Chairman of "For Children of Chernobyl" Fund:
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