Nuclear disaster victims to receive compensation

This year Chelyabinsk region Administration allocated about $96,000 for elimination of the accident’s consequences, RIA Novosti reported. The money will be divided between social-economical rehabilitation of the population and the territory ($25,000), protection of the population’s health who suffered from radiation including their children and grandchildren ($26,600), rehabilitation and protective measures in the agriculture of the contaminated regions ($14,800), technical equipment for the agricultural complex ($14,800), social-psychological work rehabilitation of the suffered in the accident ($8,700), information work (($8,700) etc.

It is also earmarked $358,800 in 2004 for construction works in the suffered regions. Mayak plant also promised $414,000 earned on spent nuclear fuel reprocessing for construction of the flats for the families suffered in the accident. Last year 81 flat was handed over to the victims of the disaster, a hospital was renovated in Bagryak settlement, a nutrition unit was constructed in Argayash.

The radiation catastrophe at the Mayak plant in 1957 led to the evacuation of 18,000 people from the local villages, 22 settlements were abandoned. The hospitals and clinics of Chelyabinsk County were filled to capacity with thousands of people whose condition was being monitored for a couple of years after the explosion. At least 200 people died as a result of radiation sickness in the years following the accident. Agricultural production in the area was also affected. In 1958, 106,000 ha of agricultural land were laid fallow in Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk counties. All agricultural areas in Sverdlovsk had been returned to cultivation by 1961, whereas in Chelyabinsk County, an area of 40,000 ha could not be farmed again until 1978. However, there are some remaining areas totalling 180 km2 in which the farmland still cannot be used because of this accident.