News, Culture & Society

The bankrupt Russian chemical plant threatens ‘next CHERNOBYL’

Bankrupt Russian chemical plant threatens ‘next CHERNOBYL’: Crumbling chlorine factory could ‘explode’ and wreak environmental carnage, official warns

  • The abandoned Usolyekhimprom plant is a ‘toxic disaster waiting to happen’
  • Top Russian official warned of ‘huge’ quantities of chemicals could pollute river 
  • Plant contains huge stashes of mercury  and needed to be ‘de-mercurised’

A decaying Siberian chemical plant could trigger environment carnage on the scale of Chernobyl, says a top Russian official.

The abandoned Usolyekhimprom plant, which lies decrepit and in ruins due to bankruptcy, is ‘a toxic disaster waiting to happen’.

Unknown chemicals and oil waste could ‘explode’ polluting a major river at a rotting site that also houses a vast stash of mercury. 

A decaying Siberian chemical plant could trigger environment carnage on the scale of Chernobyl, says a top Russian official

The chilling warning came from Svetlana Radionova, head of state environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, who personally inspected the disused industrial hellhole dating from the Stalin era.

‘This is essentially the territory of an environmental catastrophe. We need to act now otherwise we will have an “ecological Chernobyl”,’ she said.

Radionova warned of ‘huge’ quantities of mercury and oil waste that could gush into the Angara River, a major Siberian waterway which flows out of Lake Baikal.

‘This is a huge, chemically dangerous enterprise which is in a half-destroyed state,’ she warned.

he chilling warning came from Svetlana Radionova (pictured), head of state environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, who personally inspected the disused industrial hellhole dating from the Stalin era

he chilling warning came from Svetlana Radionova (pictured), head of state environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, who personally inspected the disused industrial hellhole dating from the Stalin era

‘Its negligent owners exhausted its final resources and chucked it.’

The official said: ‘No one knows what is there.’

The plant – on a dirty 1,500-acre site in Irkutsk region which halted production nine years ago with hardly any cleanup – needed to be ‘de-mercurised’, she said.

A crumbling mercury electrolysis facility covered an area of more than 2.5 acres on a site that made chlorine and had other industrial functions which in Soviet times were state secrets.

The abandoned Usolyekhimprom plant, which lies decrepit and in ruins due to bankruptcy, is 'a toxic disaster waiting to happen' (pictured when it was open)

The abandoned Usolyekhimprom plant, which lies decrepit and in ruins due to bankruptcy, is ‘a toxic disaster waiting to happen’ (pictured when it was open)

Unknown chemicals and oil waste could 'explode' polluting a major river at a rotting site that also houses a vast stash of mercury

 Unknown chemicals and oil waste could ‘explode’ polluting a major river at a rotting site that also houses a vast stash of mercury

‘They pumped oil refinery wastes into boreholes which once had saline solutions in them,’ she told newspaper Izvestia.

‘The Angara River flows nearby, and it’s crystal clear that if such a borehole exploded, the river would be all polluted.’

Her warning about a second Chernobyl appears apocalyptical, reported The Siberian Times.

Radionova warned of 'huge' quantities of mercury and oil waste that could gush into the Angara River, a major Siberian waterway which flows out of Lake Baikal

Radionova warned of ‘huge’ quantities of mercury and oil waste that could gush into the Angara River, a major Siberian waterway which flows out of Lake Baikal

The plant - on a dirty 1,500-acre site in Irkutsk region which halted production nine years ago with hardly any cleanup - needed to be 'de-mercurised', she said

The plant – on a dirty 1,500-acre site in Irkutsk region which halted production nine years ago with hardly any cleanup – needed to be ‘de-mercurised’, she said

A crumbling mercury electrolysis facility covered an area of more than 2.5 acres on a site that made chlorine and had other industrial functions which in Soviet times were state secrets

A crumbling mercury electrolysis facility covered an area of more than 2.5 acres on a site that made chlorine and had other industrial functions which in Soviet times were state secrets

The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April 1986 was the world’s worst nuclear accident and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate as it spewed clouds of nuclear material across Europe.

The Kremlin’s natural resources ministry is reported to be investigating the site and her claims.

But regional environment minister Andrey Kryuchkov said: ‘All of this, including the soil, groundwater and underground water, is impregnated with highly toxic organochlorine pollutants and heavy metals.

‘But even this does not give serious scientists the right to make incorrect comparisons between Usoliekhimprom and Chernobyl.’

'This is a huge, chemically dangerous enterprise which is in a half-destroyed state,' she warned.

‘This is a huge, chemically dangerous enterprise which is in a half-destroyed state,’ she warned.

Her warning about a second Chernobyl appears apocalyptical, reported The Siberian Times

Her warning about a second Chernobyl appears apocalyptical, reported The Siberian Times

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.