Children find radwaste: Policemen get exposed to radiation

Publish date: January 15, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

Grozny -- A group of children found a highly radioactive source in an old canister near the capital of the Chechen republic, reported Agence France Presse. Four policemen patrolling a nearby road got hold of the canister receiving a high dose of radiation.

The metal canister containing high radioactive material was found a few kilometres away from the former Russian military base in Khankala. The four policemen who took the canister away from children playing with it, were hospitalised after receiving a dose of radioactivity 150 time higher than the "normal" rate. According to official returns, the canister might have contained radioactive parts of X-ray facility, dumped by the road after the war.

The leadership of the republic has no technical means to recover the contaminated area around the found radioactive source, stated Musa Shakhabov, deputy prime- minister of Chechen republic. According to the deputy, some 50 sets of special clothes and more than 30 containers are required to decontaminate the area. As reported by RIA News, the area of 5 kilometres around the source is contaminated.