Mysterious Russian Nuclear Missile Accident Sparks Fears of Cover-Up & “Chernobyl Redux”

Democracy Now!

Published on Aug 26, 2019

Questions are swirling over a mysterious nuclear accident in northern Russia on August 8. Seven people, including five nuclear scientists, died in an explosion, which caused a radiation spike in the surrounding area — and possibly as far as Scandinavia. U.S. experts suspect the explosion was caused during a test of a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Russia initially denied a radiation leak, but earlier today its state weather agency confirmed radioactive isotopes have been found in test samples in the city of Severodvinsk near the military test range. Norway’s nuclear test ban monitor now believes two explosions likely occurred on August 8, with the second one being the likely source of radiation. Russia’s handling of the nuclear accident has drawn some comparisons to the Soviet Union’s cover-up of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, which is considered the worst nuclear accident in history. We speak with Kate Brown, a professor of science, technology and society at MIT specializing in environmental and nuclear history. Her new book is “Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future.”

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