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Such sources average less than one percent of the total. Besides local pollution sources from the fleet, we also investigated global sources.

A comparison of the effect of the last Chinese atmospheric nuclear test in 1980 with the consequences of the Chernobyl accident showed that the nuclear test effects were longer (more than one year) and had a higher level of total beta-activity of the lower atmosphere in Primorye Territory. However, total beta-activity levels of the two releases were comparable.

Concerning probable radioactive environmental pollution of the south of Primorye Territory (in the opinion of experts of the Fleet’s chemical service), the coastal facilities along the bays of Bolshoi Kamen, Sysoyeva, and Chazhma are sources. These facilities deal with recharging nuclear reactors; replacement of filters; collection, temporary storage, and processing of radioactive waste; temporary storage of used nuclear assemblages; and repair and deactivation of contaminated equipment. Also potentially dangerous are the places where oil tankers with radioactive waste facilities were operating. The main components of radioactive waste are 137Cs, 90Sr, 60Co, and 144Ce.

Until 1993, burial of liquid and solid radioactive waste had been carried out in deep-water regions of the northwestern part of the Sea of Japan, 200–300 kilometers from the coastline.

The spontaneous chain reaction on a submarine in Bolshaya Chazhma in August 1985 has remained the most severe nuclear incident. It preceded the accident at Chernobyl and belongs to the following class of incidents:

  • Uncontrolled reactor regime involving destruction of the active zone.

  • Release of fission products into the environment—the atmosphere and the seawater in the bay.

  • Wind transportation of aerosols of small dispersed particles through the industrial zone (the Navy ship repair works) and further, through the coastal part of the Dunai Peninsula with residential settlements.

The difference between this nuclear incident and Chernobyl is that it took place with a reactor of a distinctly different design and with ten times less power. Its fuel assembly did not contain radioactive products accumulated during previous operation. Just before the accident, the reactor had been loaded with new fuel elements.

We have carried out the following studies as an independent expert examination of government activity in 1991–1994. We obtained the following data about the probable damage of the environment by the accident:

  1. The amount of radioactivity, its radionuclide composition, and its explosion potential were developed.

  2. Models of atmospheric transport and gradual redirection of radioactivity in Ussurisk Bay were developed.



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