At the State Department report, Natural Resources and Environment "On the state and Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation in 2008" published data on the occurrence of zones in the Gulf of cesium-137. Meanwhile, we know that this radionuclide — man-made product of nature. Enters the environment primarily as a result of nuclear tests and accidents at nuclear power Where does the cesium-137 in the Gulf of Finland, in the places where it was not previously observed? To answer this and other questions journal "Ecology and Law" decided to try using investigative journalism *. Our task is also to understand: who researched the Gulf of Finland? Which specifically "currently existing sources of releases of cesium-137" referred to in the report of the State? What is the geography of the area of contamination? Is detected cesium contamination hazard to the population of the Baltic coast? Lina Zernova 30/08-2011
Extract from the report of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the State "State and Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation in 2008": "… Fixed sustainable conservation zones of accumulation of radionuclides in the Gulf. This shows the currently existing sources of revenue Cs137. High radioactivity (1000 Bq / kg) were recorded at stations in Vyborg, Koporskiji and Narva bays. For the first few years of observations high activity radionuclide cesium has been fixed in the Luga Bay. In the direction of Saint Petersburg and the reduced level of activity in sediments Shepelevsky Reach is 500 Bq / kg. " http://www.mnr.gov.ru/part/?act=more&id=4565&pid=1136)
Who said "Cs"?
To find the structure and measure in the Gulf, and grant to us the data in Gosdoklad proved extremely difficult. The fact that the main character — MNR — the public demands did not react. We got no answer to his letter or number 85 of February 2, 2011, nor the follow-up letter number 105 of April 29, 2011. We will not hide, this position was similar to the Ministry of the desire to "hold" the information …
Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, in which we have also sent a request to the hope of finding the source, was not implicated in the case, "The observation network Hydromet no regular measurements of radioactive substances in the marine sediments, — answered by the Deputy Head of Roshydromet IA . Shumakov. — … The questions assess the level of environmental and radiation safety and hygiene, and control of pollution sources are outside the competence of Hydromet. " Add an answer from Hydromet we waited about 2 months.
Most efficiently — responded within two weeks — was the government of the Leningrad Region. Committee on Natural Resources said: "A comprehensive radiation monitoring of natural environments the Gulf of Finland by the Russian side is the Intergovernmental Agreement member countries of the Helsinki Convention on the Baltic Sea (HELKOM), starting in 1984."
The answer, signed by the head of the Committee A. Eglit, contained information about a different "twig" monitoring bywithin the framework of Intergovernmental agreement.But did not answer any one of our question concerningGosdoklada. Apparently, the officials of the Federation, if even at this document, have made no effort to ascertain the interest us in the details.
Bound investigation if a blank wall …
Still, the structure, the radioactivity Gulf of Finland, we were able to find. Use the old journalistic ties, met with renowned experts in the field of ecology, made calls to a number of departments … (Exciting chain will not disclose the investigation, not to deliver some of our interviewers trouble at work.)
I can only say that the information concerning cesium contamination came from the Water Management (Registration № 12-53/2548 dated 10.03.2009) to the Head of Department of State Policy in the field of environmental protection and ecological safety MNR RR Gizatulina. And it sent a subordinated Rosvodresursy Neva-Ladoga Basin Water Authority, the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region MNR. Finally, it provided water professionals Federal State Unitary Scientific and Production Enterprise Marine Exploration (FGUNPP) "Sevmorgeo."
At the site of the uranium lake Simikot — a picturesque hill with a memorial stone in honor of the works on recycling tailings.
The most radioactive in the world
Chief Scientist at the Center for Geological Environment Monitoring shelf "Sevmorgeo", Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Alexander fishing — a participant of expeditions, which, since 1999, by measuring the radioactivity of silt bottom of the Gulf of Finland. Study of the environmental situation in the shelf of the Sea and the Baltic Rybalko involved more than a quarter century.
The fact that the Baltic Chernobyl turned in the most contaminated sea in the world — a fact recognized. Radioactive fallout from the gas and aerosol emissions from emergency sprinkled fourth block not only the European part of the Soviet Union, but also in most of the European countries. (Fig. 2) as well — the Baltic Sea, which is an internal body of water in Northern Europe.
This fact is confirmed in the letter quoted above A. Eglit "Sediment contamination in the Gulf was the result of radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident in 1986."
However, Alexander Rybalko has details.
— Chernobyl trace in sediments gradually "sinking" — explains the researcher. — When in 1986 he was on the bottom surface of the mud, now sank to a depth of 10 to 20 cm or more. In the last two years he has lost shape. However, a number of our posts in the Gulf, we register cesium radionuclides on the ground surface. That's why we're talking aboutcurrently availableadditional sources of radionuclide cesium-137.
According to Rybalko, new arrivals are due to further wash Chernobyl trace of the marshes of the Leningrad region. Along with swamp water through streams and rivers, thrown a quarter century cesium enters the Gulf of Finland.
But this is only part of the truth — sure Rybalko: "Most likely, there are other sources. For example, a secret in the Soviet era factory in the Estonian town of Simikot, which for decades produced radioactive materials. What is the state enterprise is today — a mystery. Otherwise, how can there be activity in the Narva Bay? "
— Almost every year we addressed the Ministry of Natural Resources, statements about the need for joint research with Finnish and Estonian experts — says the scientist. — During the 90's, we spent a lot of joint expeditions, entering the territorial waters of our states, shared research methodologies. It was an extremely rewarding experience. The last 10 years, such joint investigations were carried out.
No secrets, nor gloom
Honestly: the situation in the former defense "box" intrigued. And what is there that the cesium "horn of plenty"? Fortunately, the Consulate of Estonia in St. Petersburg had a favor by providing contact the company.
Until … Simikot, located about twenty kilometers from the border, to get long. The building of the former secret plant P I P-6685 is today a number of companies, including Okosil Ltd, responsible for environmental monitoring in Simikot and far beyond. (Www.ecosil.ee/index.php?page=2 &) It is here that immediately after the war and until 1990 local Dictyonema shale, then raw materials supplied from Eastern and Central Europe, received mixed oxide of uranium. Main environmental problem of the "box" — uranium lake — a huge sludge warehouse with a funnel inside, located on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Estonian experts estimate that 12 million tons of "tails" contained 1,700 tons of pure uranium, 750 tons of thorium, 7 kg of radium.
— Tailings POLLUTING uranium, thorium, nitrogen compounds, — says technical director Okosil Ltd Vladimir Nosov. — These substances are released into the sea by the wind through the streets of Simikot. Also hanging over us constantly hazard dam, where the sea could get unpredictable amount of "dirt" …
But today, all the fears behind: with the help of the EU, toxic dumps Dike clay "unlocked" and covered with millions of tons of soil. In place of the terrible funnel — a picturesque green hill covered with grasses. (Fig. 4) The works were completed in 2008, the EU project cost of 20 million euros. Now the next thousand years, and the Baltic Sillamae can live in peace — such period his "hideout" guaranteed by the sponsors. And experts Okosil Ltd, publishes monthly, quarterly and annual reports on the state of the environment, inform the authorities and the public about the real state of affairs.
In a word, no secrets, no cover their darkness in Simikot we have found. As well, and cesium "horn of plenty."
— Throughout its history it operated with natural radioactive materials, — says Vladimir Nosov. — Cesium — radionuclide that appears during a nuclear reaction in a nuclear facility. That of the plant has never been.
— What do you think, where in Narva Bay increased its concentration?
— On the coast of the Baltic NPP many — responsible Nosov. — Leningrad, Finnish in Loviisa, nuclear power plants in Sweden, Germany, again Chernobyl trail … We must take into consideration and research nuclear reactors, nuclear accounting centers catchment Baltic. But to make the findings required research.
Information transparency in Estonia odd rule ours. In Okosil Ltd took a foreign journalist, providing all the necessary information. This openness — the best cure for fear, suspicion, and myths. Such as the existence up to the present time remains grim "box" of the Soviet military-industrial complex in the town of Simikot. Characteristically, the bearers of these myths have even become members of scientific institutions. What to say about … not a pro
What is one thousand Bq?
Thus, specialists do contradictory assumptions. Ministry of Natural Resources, published by the report on the inquiry of social organization, in violation of Russian law, does not answer. Authorities at all levels to the information published on the Internet, do not react.
Perhaps, we, people, should not disturb the radiation on the sea floor? And in general — that is 1000 becquerels per kilogram — a lot or a little?
In accordance with the regulations existing in Russia "Hygienic requirements for the quality and safety of food commodities and food products," the content of cesium-137 in milk should not exceed 100 Bq / kg in drinking water — 2 Bq / kg in fish and fish products — 150 Bq / kg, meat — 220 Bq / kg, eggs — 6 Bq / kg. Etc.
— At the bottom marine sediments of such standards do not exist, — says Alexander Rybalko. — Because they are on the depth, the man himself is not in contact with them. And while in the Barents Sea in the background is 150 Bq / kg perceived as PE (see Table. — LZ), 1,000 Bq / kg — not the case that one can speak of a real threat to the local population.
— However, we should recognize the natural level of a number of areas disturbed Gulf — continues scientist. — And radionuclides can still get to the human food chain. It is no accident Finns and Norwegians entered pollution levels for sediment — even low levels of radionuclides in some people can cause disease.
Table. The concentration of Cs-137 and Co-60 in the surface sediments of some areas of the Kola Bay, Bq / kg dry weight (1996)
|Area||Number of samples||Cs-137||Co-60|
|The public part of the Gulf||24||12.6||24.5||0.8||<1|
Source: Man-made radionuclides in the seas surrounding Russia (the "White Paper 2000"), M.: Publishing, 2005
Assessing the impact factor of cesium, you must have an idea of the geography of bottom contamination. It's one thing if the "Radiation at" a few tens of square meters of the seabed, and quite another when it comes to miles.
The information we need, we have found the answer to a query log EIT Director FGUNPP "Sevmorgeo" M.Yu.Shkatova "area of contaminated sediment reshape each year through the removal of contaminated soil from the land of rivers, flowing into the Gulf of Finland, and is approximately 8.10 % of the area of the Gulf. "
If we consider that the Gulf area is nearly 30 sq. km, and pollution in this case can cover several thousand square kilometers? Such a fact will not close my eyes.
"Cesium piggy bank"
And above all, because the Gulf — pond fishing value. According to the Committee on agriculture and Fishery Government of the Leningrad region, in the bay, there are "41 of the fishing area, 28 of which are adjacent to the borders of the Vyborg district, 3 — and 10 Lomonosov — Kingisepp district." (That is, to the post in which, according to Gosdkoladom, fixed excess of cesium.) Only in 2011, in the Gulf to be caught about 8000 tons of sardines, about 5000 tonnes of herring, 15 tons of walleye. Through a long half-life of cesium -137 accumulates in plants, animals and fish. And much of the fish — a direct path to the man …
What eats fish? First of all, benthos — the inhabitants of the seabed and the bottom layers. Benthos — number one candidate for the title of "cesium piggy banks." Candidate number two and three — plankton and algae. "Under the influence of strong bottom currents radionuclides migrate from sludge in the water" — says M. Shkatov. And at this point may well be the "candidate" number two and three. And only then get to eat them fish. Maximum allowable levels of algae on cesium -137 is 500 Bq / kg. At the bottom of the contamination in 1000 Bq / kg, again in theory, activity on weeds may exceed the permissible dose.
Yes, the fish caught is checked before implementing the relevant supervisory bodies. But not every instance of sardines or herring "groping" dosimeter! Chance for swallowing cesium fry slip on our table, alas, is not so insignificant …
On the Food Chain and cesium can get into a person. Once in the body, it accumulates in the muscles, organs, nerve cells. The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years, ie human exposure continues throughout life, if not to take into account the biological removal of cesium from the body. In such cases, the interior exposed to radiation — the dangerous and long-lived cesium. Prolonged exposure has damaging effects on the heart, liver, kidney, central and autonomic nervous, endocrine, immune, reproductive system, may contribute to cancer.
But again, for the final output requires investigation.
Monitoring in the "uniform"
It would seem that we have answered all questions in the investigation, however, remained unclear and precipitate an incomplete understanding of the situation. First of all, our request is not answered, "keynote speaker" — Ministry of Natural Resources. What is it — Negligence or unwillingness to touch themes? We hardly found the firm that conducted the study. Why not contact executor in place of direct access to the Internet? However, as it turned out, the fullness of the data and do not have specialists FGUNPP "Sevmorgeo", in particular, about the sources of cesium pollution …
Say more, these "Sevmorgeo" does not coincide with the point of view of another controller, conducting radiological monitoring of the Gulf of Finland in the Intergovernmental Agreement of the participants of the Helsinki Convention on the Baltic Sea (HELKOM), which was mentioned at the beginning. It's about NPO "Radium Institute. VG Khlopin. " It is noteworthy that the director of the Radium Institute — VP Tishkov — also gave a written reply to a query log EIT (Ex. № 029 from 18.04.2011g.). True, we got in touch with the head of the department of radio-ecological and analysis Andrei Stepanov.
— Koporskaya lip — absolutely clean, — said Vladimir Stepanov. — At the bottom of its units becquerels per kilogram.
— But Gosdoklade talking about thousands — like me.
— In Russia, on the international level, only one certified laboratory — Radium Institute — said Stepanov. — She is the one involved in the international inter-kolibratsiyah equipment. There is no other laboratory, which would issue more accurate data. We do not believe the data of other agencies, including the Ministry of Natural Resources. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Natural Resources does not consult with us, do not want to deal with professionals.
Once to set the record straight "and," I'll explain: Radium Institute is the structure of the State Corporation "Rosatom". By monitoring the state system, he has nothing. His departmental lab did with the most modern and expensive equipment. The Institute even has its own boat for monitoring — the envy of all the utterly impoverished state controller structures.
So the statement of the representative of Rosatom — nothing but the evidence of the conflict betweenStateandDepartmentalmonitoring systems. And the fact that the state increased to handle, like a fact. Could this be the reason for all the ambiguities and inconsistencies, we have encountered, working with the MNR and its institutions?
— Andrey, as yet, the activity of a thousand Bq in the Gulf have? And where did it come from?
— In general, the "Sevmorgeo" figures close to ours — summed Stepanov. — A primary source is known: Chernobyl trail.
Specific and very clear. Troubling only one thing:rosatomovsky "uniform"inspector. Say what you like, and institutional control can not be subordinated to corporate interests. And if you do not wish to Rosatom share some information, no one can make him do it. And we have a well-defined in this sense the historical experience.
In addition, the State Corporation "Rosatom" does not have the functions of the distribution of information in society. Informing the Russians about the state of the environment — a task other agencies, including the Ministry of Natural Resources. But how does it calibrated? Do not provoke Gosdoklad Internet user to scandalous conclusions? Why has the situation in the Gulf is a problem of a narrow circle of specialists and politicians? Most of the local people about it does not know.
Modernization of environmental and public oversight that occurred in Russia over the past 10 years, much like a pogrom. Decrease, the decrease in the number of multiple environmental inspectors, the loss of machinery, equipment, office — all this has long characterized environmentalists one phrase: deekologizatsiya public policy.
— In the 90's all the environmental authorities — regional, territorial, national — had their instrumentation and analysis of environmental control equipment, professional staff — talk to the former Minister of Ecology, Director of the Institute of Water Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Danilov -Danilyanom. — Structures of Natural Resources, and from 1996 — State Committee, did not submit any
local authorities, neither the subjects of the federation, that is, they are independent. But in 2000 the environment agency as a separate unit has been eliminated, and with it, in fact, and its territorial divisions. And in particular, they were released from the function to identifysources of pollution.But even in the ministry there was a special service monitoring of pollution sources in the formation of a data bank on pollutants. So this function was transferredanyone.State controllers todayonly fix Pollution, at that dot.
— In practice, this was done "modernization" of environmental legislation, — said the lawyer Environmental Rights Center "Bellona" Nina amendment. — For example, in the previous edition of the Water Code of 1995 stated that "… in order to prevent and eliminate pollution of water bodies shouldDetermines the source of contamination". In the current Water Code of the sources — not a word. As, however, and other existing laws and legal acts of the federal and regional levels.
To find out the sources of pollution — so hold those same research, which are not just talking the heroes of the material, that is, to invest serious money. (And, of course, bring to light pollution.) And when the legislation does not require that, why spend money and exert ? Currently lies on the seabed cesium, eat not ask. Is not that the very different radionuclide swallow small fish, and that some foods have on people. And if by any chance, suddenly zaneduzhit hardly understand, why ill. But, even guessing never prove. Because it is almost impossible to do — the scientific and legal basis of this effect does not exist. So whether it is necessary to create it? …
So, at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has the highest concentration of cesium-137 as compared to other seas of the world. (Fig. 6) The main reason — the Chernobyl accident. It would seem that this fact shall determine the specific requirements forState MonitoringGulf of Finland, the need for scientific research, including international ones, to control the "behavior" of mud, and monitoring of other potential sources of contamination.
— It is unclear why the activity of cesium-137 in the sediment at the bottom of the Gulf of Finland on the basis of numerous studies since 1986, practically unchanged, — says an expert on nuclear projects Environmental Rights Center "Bellona" Alexey Shchukin. — Are violating the laws of physics. After all, for 25 years after the Chernobyl accident, Chernobyl trace activity spots was reduced by almost a factor of 2 (half-life of cesium-137, as mentioned above, is 30 years old). Further, due to migration, and cesium rather "creepy" element, silt and sand, the activity in the sediment was reduced further. Maybe it's not just the Chernobyl trail? For example, it is unclear why, in Koporskaya lip level of contamination increases with time even? …
So whether or not there are now other sources of cesium, as referred to in the report of the State, except for Chernobyl trace? Who will solve finally the riddle cesium anomaly?
The answer to this question we would like to hear not from the most advanced laboratories in Russia Rosatom, and fromState supervisory authority, subordinated to the Ministry of Natural Resources. State control can not be reduced to an amateur level, even if the preservation of itsparticularly high barrequires resources. Can not be information on radiation and nuclear safety, completely relegated atomic agency. Fukushima has shown that even the IAEA — International Atomic Energy Agency — could not cope with the task of dissemination of credible and reliable information about the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant.
Comprehensive information about cesium contamination of the Gulf of Finland to become public domain. In particular, and in order for people to realize what turns environmental development of nuclear energy. And to make an informed choice when deciding on the construction of new nuclear power plants.
* The investigation carried out with the financial support of the SCOOP RUSSIA