Plesetsk Launch Site continues to cripple local people

Publish date: July 2, 2007

On June 15th, 2007 the Arkhangelsk region signed a new contract with the Plesetsk Launch Site that will allow it to use land around the region for falling debris from rockets.

The Arkhangelsk Environmental Information Agency “ECOnet” believes that this updated contract, which does not in any way compensate for years of destruction, is nothing new for the people of the region, who have been suffering from falling rocket debris. The highest population death rate from cancer has been in the Mezenski Region where the Plesetsk State Launch Site has been used as a dump for falling rocket debris.

A retrospective study was run on the Mezensky district’s population from 1955 to 2002 to look at the fluctuations in cancer deaths in the Arkhangelsk region. In an interview with “ECOnet,” Doctor of medical sciences Svetlana Sovershayeva reported that “the study showed that the death rate increased at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s when rockets began to use heptyl fuel mixtures, and then began to stabilise itself later on. Sovershayeva noted that the poor development of the digestive system is the main reason for the Mezensky district’s cancer deaths. Cancer deaths are put at 94.6 percent of the region’s population of 100,000, while the rest of the Arkhangelsk District rounds out at 59.6 percent.