Aftershock of blast: Background radioactivity pressure in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk

Iodine products have been flown off the shelves of Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk pharmacies; such demand may be linked to Thursday’s incident in the village of Nyonoksa, reports.

As reported earlier, there was an explosion and fire at a secret military facility which is located 40 km from the town of Severodvinsk (Arkhangelsk region).

A sea range was established by the Soviet authorities in the vicinity of Nyonoksa in the 1950s. There the military has been testing ballistic missiles for nuclear-powered submarines, the off-site being closed. After the explosion, the press service of the Severodvinsk administration reported about a ‘short-term background radioactivity pressure’.

Iodine is usually taken in the wake of accidents at nuclear power plants, because other radionuclides, including short-lived iodine, make it into air, Rashid Alimov, a project manager of the energy department of the Russian branch of Greenpeace, told

“And since the vast majority of us have iodine deficiency, radioactive iodine fits into our bodies. After Chernobyl, we were facing an increase in the number of thyroid cancer cases. At the moment, we need to know what substances have gone into the atmosphere. If the [radioactive] iodine is not the air, taking iodine meds does not make sense,” he stressed.

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