Russian village evacuated as radiation levels spike after nuclear missile explosion
Residents of a Russian village near the site of the explosion of a nuclear-powered missile have been told to evacuate.
Villagers were asked to leave Nyonoksa on Wednesday morning due to planned military activities, RIA reported Tuesday, citing Ksenia Yudina, head of the press service of the Severodvinsk administration.
Russia’s state weather service said radiation levels spiked in the Russian city of Severodvinsk by up to 16 times last Thursday after what officials say was an explosion during a rocket engine test on a sea platform.
“We have received a notification…about the planned activities of the military authorities. In this regard, residents of Nyonoksa were asked to leave the territory of the village from Aug. 14,” authorities in Severodvinsk were quoted as saying.
On Thursday last week, an explosion at the testing ground near Nyonoksa left five scientists and two military personnel dead. Immediately after the blast, radiation levels in Severodvinsk spiked to up to 16 times the normal reading.
Doctors that tended to people injured in the accident were to undergo an additional medical examination.
Russia’s Defense Ministry initially claimed it was just a failed rocket engine test, but later Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, admitted the test involved a “radioisotope source of energy” — “a nuclear battery.”
US intelligence officials believe it “likely” was a failed test of the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, known in Russia as the 9M730 Burevestnik.
President Vladimir Putin boasted in a 2018 speech about a new, experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile with virtually unlimited range and the ability to penetrate US missile defense systems.