Flooding in Russia raises concerns of radioactive contamination in Tobol river

Rosatom has previously claimed that uranium deposits are fully isolated from the Tobol River by natural barriers.
The Tobol River. Image: Wikipedia





Russia’s worst floods in decades sparked fears that radioactive and chemical pollution from Soviet-era uranium mines in the Kurgan region could seep into the Tobol River in western Siberia.

As reported by the investigative news outlet Agentstvo, the Dobrovolnoye uranium deposit is located within the flood zone in Kurgan’s Zverinogolovsky district. Its mines are operated by an enterprise owned by state nuclear energy agency Rosatom.

The hundreds or even thousands of mine wells drilled into the deposit have compromised the natural protective barrier surrounding the uranium ore, Alexei Shvarts, the former head of Alexei Navalny’s Kurgan regional office who previously worked with uranium mining issues, told Agentstvo.

As a result, the latest flooding has likely sent radioactive substances into the river, environmentalists said.

Videos published by local residents show the extent of the damages caused by the flooding.


Rosatom has previously dismissed protests against uranium mining at Dobrovolskoye as “radiophobia combined with ignorance,” claiming that the deposit is fully isolated from the Tobol River by natural barriers.

MINING.COM requested comment from Rosatom about the recent floods, but the company did not respond by press time.


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