Where Radiobiology Began in Russia: A Physician's Perspective
TASC INC LORTON VA
Pagination or Media Count:
This report discusses the radiation hazards and injuries encountered by both radiation workers and the general public during the early days of the Mayak Production Association, the first plant built as part of the USSR nuclear weapons program. Construction of the facilities was suboptimal, and prisoners performed much of the work, including highly technical scientific procedures. The development of the radiation biology program in the USSR is described from a historical and medical point of view. Wastes released into the Techa River created serious levels of contamination in the littoral area, requiring the eventual evacuation of around 20 villages and several thousand of their inhabitants. A major explosion in an underground liquid waste storage tank occurred in 1957 the Kyshtym accident. Although there were no immediate casualties, the explosion released millions of curies into the environment and again forced the authorities to evacuate village residents. Several first-hand comments from radiation injured patients and scientists and other workers involved at Mayak are included.
- Humanities and History