Border guards got radiation sickness in training center

Publish date: October 8, 1997

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

Ten border guards are being treated for radiation sickness in Georgia. 15 containers with radioactive materials were disclosed near their training center in Lilo, near the former Soviet republic's capital Tbilisi.

–The border guards received high levels of radiation and will have to be treated for many years, says Sergei Filin, a Russian doctor helping treat the victims, to Reuters. The training center is a former Soviet military base. Ten of the fifteen containers were buried at shallow depth inside the training center, while five more was found outside the base. Four of the containers had radioactive cesium in them.

The containers was abandoned without any security measures when the Soviet army handed over the base in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. No mention of them was made during the handover, according to border guard chief Valery Chkheidze.

Russian telvision channel NTV broadcasted pictures of some of the soldiers in hospital. One had a red sore on his back. Another victim had a nasty sore on his thigh. A Georgian nuclear expert with 40 years experience in the field was quoted by NTV, saying he had never seen anything like this. Russian hospitals have offered treatments to the victims, but none has been transferred yet.

A radiation safety expert identified as Noe Katamadze was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency, as claiming that the radiation level at the Lilo base was now normal. Georgian authorities has decided to set up a special commision to investigate.

More News

All news

The role of CCS in Germany’s climate toolbox: Bellona Deutschland’s statement in the Association Hearing

After years of inaction, Germany is working on its Carbon Management Strategy to resolve how CCS can play a role in climate action in industry. At the end of February, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action published first key points and a proposal to amend the law Kohlenstoffdioxid Speicherungsgesetz (KSpG). Bellona Deutschland, who was actively involved in the previous stakeholder dialogue submitted a statement in the association hearing.

Project LNG 2.

Bellona’s new working paper analyzes Russia’s big LNG ambitions the Arctic

In the midst of a global discussion on whether natural gas should be used as a transitional fuel and whether emissions from its extraction, production, transport and use are significantly less than those from other fossil fuels, Russia has developed ambitious plans to increase its own production of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic – a region with 75% of proven gas reserves in Russia – to raise its share in the international gas trade.