The ongoing war in the Donbass creates conditions for radiological terrorism.
Events in the south-east of Ukraine force us to speak about nuclear safety again. In early July, news agencies reported the shelling of the regional cancer center in Lugansk by the “right sector” nazi with the heavy artillery . A member of the clinic staff was injured and bedridden patients who could not be evacuated into a bomb shelter experienced all the horrors of the missile and bomb fire.
Those who ordered and carried out the attack, hardly thought about that, apart from the patients and staff there are also special medical facilities where diagnosis and treatment of cancer use highly radioactive isotopes. And if a bombshell hit one of these devices, the consequences would be dire.
“The isotopes used in such medical equipment are powerful enough in terms of radiation,” – told “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Igor Ostretsov, doctor of technical sciences, professor, the deputy director of the Research Institute of nuclear engineering in 1980-2009, – “Isotopes are used in small amounts. But it would be enough for local pollution.”
Nuclear physicist, an expert on nuclear energy with the international organization “Bellona”, Andrew Ozharovsky said that the main danger is the gamma-gun medical devices:
“There cobalt-60 is used for irradiation of cancerous tumors, and in the case of destruction of the instrument a serious pollution will occur. It is certainly not comparable to an accident at a nuclear power plant, but may cause tens or even hundreds of people to suffer and contaminate territory within a few kilometers.”
As an the example Ozharovsky talks about an incident that occurred in the Brazilian city of Goiania in 1987. 7 years after the closure of the hospital in which the equipment remained filled with cesium in a vacant building, marauders stole the parts of the medical device – just with a seemingly totally insignificant amount of dangerous residues. The part was thrown in the trash, but later found by the owner of the landfill, who brought it home and … -->continue reading →