Russian Mysterious Nuclear Explosion — New Details
The contradictions in the situation of the explosion near Severodvinsk recalled Soviet-era cover-ups of Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Last week, a huge blast caused a spike in radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk in North-Western Russia.
First words of the explosion came from the Russian Defense Ministry, which initially said the explosion of a liquid-propellant rocket engine killed two people and injured six others.
It also said that no radiation had been released.
Two days later, Russia’s state-controlled nuclear agency Rosatom acknowledged that the explosion occurred on an offshore platform during tests of a nuclear isotope power source and that it actually killed five nuclear engineers and injured three others.
Meanwhile, officials in the nearby city of Severodvinsk, which hosts a huge shipyard building nuclear submarines, reported a rise in radiation levels during the blast, and the temporary evacuation of the nearby village of Nyonoksa was ordered.
The contradiction recalled Soviet-era cover-ups of disasters like the Chernobyl and prompted residents to rush to local pharmacies to buy iodine, to reduce the damage from exposure to radiation.
In theory, the Russian government is required by law to declassify anything that might cause environmental hazards said military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer
“Anything connecting to environmental hazards should not be classified. But again to make a decision that this is an environmental hazard, someone has to make that decision and that’s not the easiest. There will be most likely leaks further on. There were leaks, they were happening from time to time giving a more fuller picture of what has happened. But the main essential things is the isotope spectrum that was involved, and quantity of radioactivity, and where the heck it is,” Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said.
According to him, despite not reaching the radiation level of Chernobyl, the fact that the explosion occurred on water could lead to unexpected consequences.
“Of course this is not a Chernobyl because there is a thousand times, ten thousand times less radioactive material involved. But still, it is unpleasant and could be dangerous and could potentially, if it got into the sea actually, get into the food chains of marine life there,” Felgenhauer said.
The Defence Ministry didn’t name the type of weapon that exploded at the base, but all the statements led observers to conclude it was the Burevestnik (Storm Petrel), a nuclear-powered cruise missile code-named Skyfall by NATO.
The Burevestnik missile, along with other so-called Doomsday weapons, was first revealed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his March 2018 state-of-the-nation address.