Raging, Toxic Wildfires Imperil Russian Nuclear Sites

August 10, 2010

(ChattahBox)—The raging wildfires sweeping across Russia blanketing the region around Moscow with acrid smoke, are now creeping closer to the country’s nuclear sites. The wildfires are the result of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Russian federation in nearly 130 years. And as the morgues are overflowing to capacity, with victims either overcome from the heat, the toxic smoke or both, and with the federation’s valuable wheat crop becoming torched, officials now have to worry about nuclear facilities going up in smoke.

Despite the vulnerability of nuclear sites, officials say they have the wildfires under control. “A positive dynamic in liquidating the wildfires continues to be observed,” said the head of the emergencies ministry’s crisis unit, Vladimir Stepanov.

Doesn’t that statement set your mind at ease?

“The numbers (of emergency workers) have been increased in those regions where there is a difficult situation with the fires,” he added.

Two soldiers were killed battling a fast-moving fire in the closed off town of Sarov, which houses a nuclear research enter.

The AFP reports on the crisis:

“Two members of the Russian armed forces were killed Monday fighting wildfires around the major nuclear research centre in Sarov, a town still closed to foreigners as in Soviet times.” […]

“Meanwhile, officials said fires close to the town of Snezhinsk in the Urals and home to one of Russia’s top nuclear research centres had been localised.”

Figures on the exact numbers of deaths are hard to come by, but authorities are admitting that mortality rates are increasing at alarming levels.

“The Moscow authorities acknowledged for the first time on Monday that the daily mortality rate in Moscow had doubled and morgues were overflowing with bodies but the federal government has yet to confirm that statistic.”

The wildfire and heat wave crisis is attributed to the effects of global warming.

You hear that all you climate change deniers? And the effects will soon reverberate throughout the world with higher food prices:

“The hottest summer since record-keeping began 130 years ago has cost Russia more than a third of its wheat crop and prompted the government to ban wheat exports for the rest of the year.”

“Kommersant said a rise in grain prices would likely lead to a spike in inflation and stifle growth.”


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