Investigate Mysterious Radioactive Leak

Target: Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Program

Goal: Investigate mysterious radioactive accident at Russian nuclear reprocessing plant to protect Russian citizens and ecosystems.

In September, a strange radioactive cloud was detected over Europe. French and German analysts determined that the cloud, made of the radioactive element ruthenium 106, had likely come from the Ural Mountains, on the border between Russia and Kazakhstan. At first, the Russian government denied that it had detected any ruthenium at all. However, Russia has recently admitted that officials did, in fact, detect very high levels of ruthenium at sites near the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant. Officials at the Mayak plant continue to deny that the plant was the source of the ruthenium.

Much remains unclear. While radiation experts determined that the cloud over Europe was not dangerous, they stated that it likely was dangerous or deadly near the source. Other countries have indicated that steps need to be taken to protect those near the leak and to prevent the sale of any crops or goods that may have been contaminated. Furthermore, without accountability for the accident, new safety measures cannot be implemented to prevent worse accidents in the future.

Even more troubling, this accident is reminiscent of another incident that occurred at the Mayak plant 60 years ago. Although the 1957 Kyshtym disaster remains one of the worst nuclear accidents in history, many residents of nearby villages were not informed of the danger until over a year after the accident occurred. Over 250,000 people were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. This incident is still little-known internationally, despite being the third worst nuclear accident in history, only surpassed by Chernobyl and Fukushima. Only by conclusively establishing the Mayak plant as the source of the radiation leak, holding the plant accountable, and enforcing enhanced safety measures can future disasters be prevented.

Sign this petition to urge the UN Environment Program to investigate this facility and prevent future harm to the environment and Russian citizens.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Solheim,

I am writing to urge you to investigate the recent radioactive incident at the Mayak nuclear facility. Leakage of radioactive material is incredibly dangerous both for people and animals living near Mayak. Studies of workers at the Mayak facility have indicated that they seem to be at increased risk for leukemia, as well as lung, liver and skeletal cancers.

Although many people view the Chernobyl exclusion zone as somewhat of a paradise for animals, this is not necessarily the case. Radiation has significant negative environmental effects. Biologist Timothy Mousseau states that he has observed high rates of tumors and physical abnormalities in animals in the exclusion zone. In areas with high radioactivity, he has estimated a 50 percent reduction in biodiversity. The negative effects of radiation on animals can also be seen in monkeys living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant: these monkeys have fewer red and white blood cells and are born with abnormally small brains.

Radioactive leaks are a serious environmental and human health concern. I ask that you and your colleagues investigate the Mayak accident and enforce better standards of safety to prevent future incidents.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Iwan Gabovitch

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2 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    if toxins are a concern for us, then investigate now.

  2. Hopefully the investigation will not be hampered by “important” unnamed people that handle problems with special gift$.

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