1999 Photo Contest, Nature, Stories, 1st prize
Photographer

Nicolai Fuglsig

Politiken / Rapho

01 January, 1998

On a hot summer's day the river Techa is irresistible. Many children seem unaware of levels of radioactivity, though farmers try to keep cattle away from the polluted water. For 50 years the inhabitants of Muslumovo have been living next to a radioactive river. The Techa has its source 35km north of Muslumovo near the Mayak Chemical Combine, a factory built in 1945 to produce plutonium secretly for nuclear weapons. In the early 1950s the factory discharged over 70 million cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste into the Techa. By 1960 six other villages along the river had been evacuated, but not Muslumovo. Bodily defects are common in the area. The risk of cancer and other illnesses that could be related to radiation is significantly higher than elsewhere in Russia.

About

Nicolai Fuglsig

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