25,000 radioactive sites in Russia

Dec. 26, 2011 at 5:28 PM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- There are as many as 25,000 hazardous underwater objects containing radioactive waste in Russia, emergency ministry officials said Monday.

The ministry compiled a list of sea hazards, including objects in the Baltic, Barents, White, Kara and Black seas as well as the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan, which South Koreans call the East Sea, RIA Novosti reported.

The hazardous objects include sunken nuclear submarines and ships carrying aluminum and oil products, chemicals and radioactive waste.

Ministry officials said metal containers holding hazardous waste can eventually be eroded by sea water, resulting in leaks.

Hazardous sites with solid radioactive materials sit on the sea bed at about 1,640 feet under the surface, Oleg Kuznetsov, deputy head of special projects at the ministry's rescue service, said.

"Should a major threat to the environment and people arise then the state will take effective measures to eliminate it," Kuznetsov said.

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