Bucket with uranium in the courtyard of the living building in Minsk

On March 14, in Minsk, tanks with radioactive substances in the courtyard of a residential building were found.

It is reported by the press service of the Minsk city administration of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

At about 11:20 a call was received from the engineer of the housing and utility department, who noticed near the garbage cans on Serdicha street, 3, suspicious objects with the sign “Danger. Radioactive substances or ionizing radiation”.

After the arrival, rescuers found a white plastic bucket with glass and plastic containers with radioactivity sign. The bucket stood next to the trash cans. It is also reported that the radiation background in one meter from the bucket exceeded the norm by 4 times, in two meters it was on the normal level.

There were found 5 tanks: two had uranyl chloride (1 kilogram each), and another three had nitrous, sulfuric and triacid uranyl a kilo each. Hazardous substances were sent to the Sosny Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research. Currently, the circumstances of the incident are being investigated.

After the removal of the tanks, a measurement was taken at the container site – the background radiation is normal, the ministry’s press service said.

The scientific secretary of the Scientific Institution “JIPNR – Sosny” Artem Radkevich explained that now experts are analyzing the contents in the incoming containers in order to make sure what kind of substances it is. Police found out that the hazardous substances belonged to a Minsk woman born in 1939, who died in 2016. Reagent containers were thrown by her granddaughter — she found the cans on her grandmother’s balcony. As it turned out, the woman worked at the chemical department of one of the Minsk universities, most likely she brought radioactive substances from there.

According to the coordinator of the Greenpeace Russia Energy Program, Rashid Alimov: “The substances that have been found are reagents — uranium salts. They are dangerous if they scatter, get into the body through the respiratory tract or with food. When ingested, uranium salts are dangerous not only by internal irradiation, but also by toxicity of these compounds. In closed banks, they do not pose an immediate danger, but it is wrong to throw them to a landfill. Casually, uranyl nitrate could be used in the development of photographs.

On materials of BELNOVOSTI and Komsomolskaya Pravda in Belarus