Home > General > The day Russia nuked itself: The Kyshtym Disaster.

The day Russia nuked itself: The Kyshtym Disaster.

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments


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Fifty-seven years ago today, on September 29, 1957, something happened in the former Soviet Union that is so frightening, shocking and horrifying that it’s almost beyond belief–but it really did happen. Many people have heard of the great nuclear disasters like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, but the words “Kyshtym Disaster” are virtually unknown, even in Russia. Yet it was the worst nuclear accident ever at that time, possibly causing directly and indirectly as many as 8,000 deaths, though it’s impossible to tell for sure.

The history of Kyshtym is closely linked to the Cold War. In the late 1940s, Stalin was eager to catch up to the United States in the number of nuclear weapons the USSR possessed. A nuclear bomb plant called Mayak was built not far from the town called Kyshtym, and a closed village, named Ozyorsk, was constructed around it to house the workers and…

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