Cynical Synapse

Thu, 29 Sep 2011

54 Years of Human Guinea Pigs Since Russian Nuclear Disaster

Filed under: Citizen rights, Deceit, Government, Life, Oppression, Russia — cynicalsynapse @ 6:42 pm

Mayak site and Kyshtym region

Today marks the 54th anniversary of the world’s first major nuclear disaster—the Kyshtym Disaster. The incident was due to failing to keep nuclear waste cool, resulting in it overheating and causing a chemical explosion equivalent to 70 or more tons of TNT. Only 1986’s Chernobyl reactor explosions and this year’s Fukishima meltdowns are considered worse catastrophes.

Mayak, then called Chelyabinsk-40 after the region’s largest city and Mayak’s postal code, spewed Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 into the atmosphere, contaminating an area of about 800 km2 (309 sq. mi.) and killing at least 200. The affected area was marked off and called the Taganai Nature Preserve. The accident was kept secret until the fall of the Soviet Union. Today, we know the contaminated area as the East Ural Radioactive Trace (UART) and we classify Kyshtym as a level 6 event on the 0-7 international event scale.

radiation warning sign

In fact, the Mayak complex was an on-going disaster from it’s first days. From its start-up in 1948, the plant, which produced weapons-grade plutonium from uranium, dumped the nuclear waste directly into the Techa River. In 1951, Soviet officials surveyed the river, finding extremely high radiation levels within 4 miles of the plant, affecting 28,000 people. They relocated about 7,500 villagers and fenced off the river. Doctors regularly checked sick residents but told them it was the flu, poor lifestyles, or even made-up maladies while the Soviets gathered data on health effects of radiation and long-term exposures. The people figured it out after Chernobyl, but the Russian Federation still has not relocated them and continues to collect data. Some are bribed to stay in the area with so-called “polluted zone” stipends.

After they stopped dumping into the river, Mayak engineers stored the nuclear waste in tanks of water for initial cooling. A faulty design led to some tanks not being cooled enough, which led to the 1957 accident. After cooling, the radioactive slurry was deposited in a retention pond called Lake Karachary. A drought in 1967 resulted in half the lake drying up. As a result, the exposed radioactive sediment was spread by the winds across the region, adding to the fallout from 10 years earlier.

Mayak PA today

Ozyorsk (alternatively Oszersk) remains a closed city and Mayak site is still operating. Mayak’s primary activity is reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from power plants. The facility also demilitarizes atomic weapons and has extensive research activities. Dubbed “Russia’s ticking time-bomb”, Mayak continues to experience routine radioactive contamination.

Radioactive contamination has made its way down the Techa and Ob Rivers to the Arctic Ocean. Mayak remains a festering, open wound that continues to maim, malform, and sentence to death thousands from its far-reaching, long-standing, and growing radioactive morass.



  1. And just last week, on the local PBS TV station in San Antonio, there was a half-hour program narrated by a young lady who travelled to Chernobyl in 2007 (if I recall correctly; in any event, in this decade) who was given a local guide and guided within one kilometer of the reactor. She showed video of her travelling all through the “exclusion zone”, even interviewing an older woman who had returned when offered the chance to do so by the government to her family’s ancient homestead. Nowhere were there any signs of wildlife or trees which showed any defects from radioactivity; neither was there any mention of such. I assume, since none was mentioned, that there are no longer any deaths attributed to the release of radiation. Undoubtedly, it was a disaster of major proportions when it occurred and for some time thereafter; it is not an ‘end of the world’ level catastrophe as is widely believed.

    Comment by Ike — Fri, 30 Sep 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    • Agreed. I’m not an expert of the effects of radiation, but I suspect it’s more harmful to animals and humans than plant life. The issue around Mayak is there’s clear evidence the Russians continue to subject people to chronic radiation exposure. There is little effort to reduce exposures and it appears they don’t even adequately treat folks who get sick. Thanks for stopping by, Ike.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Fri, 30 Sep 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  2. In 2011 shouldn’t U.S. Service Personnel have the same U.S. Constitutional Rights that convicted rapists and murderers keep?
    In 2011 U.S. Military Personnel still have NO U.S. Constitution, Amendment 8, Bill of Rights protection! Still not U.S. Congress corrected are the Department of Defense (DOD) “military research” “experiments that were designed to harm” conducted on “hundreds of thousands”![2] This is documented by the U.S. Senate and Government Accountability Office (GAO).[2 & 3] The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 Feres Doctrine was used to ignore the 8th Amendment in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1987 Stanley case [6]. Its DOD non-consensual, “to harm” LSD experimention was classified as just a continuing Feres Doctrine “incident to service” event! Twenty eight (28) times it was noted that it is Congress’s responsibility to take, the to-date not accomplished, corrective action.[6] On May 23, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that crowded prisons are in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s, Bill of Rights, Eighth Amendment no cruel and unusual punishments, i.e., Brown v. Plata (09-1233). Furthermore these same U.S. convicted rapists and murderers are protected from human experiments by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment 8. This is demonstrated by the 1992 U.S. Senate signed United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) “…Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” Under the Article 7’s “Basic Rights of Prisoners.” is, “Written policy and practice prohibit the use of inmates for medical…experiments.” and “Nonconsensual experimentation is illegal”! Nineteen (19) times cited is the U.S. Constitution plus its 8th Amendment’s no cruel and unusual punishment [4] vs. the to-date not addressed effectively “experiments that were designed to harm”, “Feres Doctrine” [8 & 6].
    The 2002 U.S. Senate Hearing [1] on the 1950 Feres Doctrine [8] is 137 pages of 19 Testimonials and Submissions for the Record that ignored Amendment 8, the U.S. Senate and GAO back to 1944 documented “designed to harm” OVERSIGHTS. Starting on page 64 of the 2002 Senate Hearing PDF version, [1] the DOJ stated that in the 1950 U.S. Supreme Court’s Feres Doctrine decision [8], “The Court relied upon three principal reasons in coming to its decision: (1) The existence and availability of a separate, uniform, comprehensive, no-fault compensation scheme for injured military personnel;….”.
    Answering this “…comprehensive, no-fault compensation scheme…” is the GAO 1994 Human Experimentation Overview that underlies the, in 2011 still ignored, 1994 U.S. Senate Report’s [2] past and present, “III. Findings and conclusions”, “K. DOD and DVA have repeatedly failed to provide information and medical followup to those who participate in military research…” and “N. Participation in military research is rarely included in military medical records, making it impossible to support a veteran’s claim for service-connected disabilities from military research.”, i.e., the withheld needed for treatment but “experiments that were designed to harm” evidence.
    Overlooked in 1994 as well as in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress was the U.S. Senate 1994 Report’s, “The Feres Doctrine should not be applied for military personnel who are harmed by inappropriate human experimentation when informed consent has not been given.”.[1] This is the Feres “incident to service” Doctrine.[8] Many of these experiments were in direct disobedience of the Top Secret DOD Secretary’s 1953 NO non-consensual experiments Memo![7] This misplaced evidence underlies the Court of Veterans Appeals Chief Judge stated, “The court may not review the schedule of ratings for disabilities or the policies underlying the schedule.”[5] Millions of service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) fire, followed by Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act that censored experiment verifying witnesses from any surviving and future records. The U.S. Senate Report noted, “During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel” were subjected to “experiments that were designed to harm”, e.g., their reported biological and chemical agents, radiation exposure, hallucinogenic and investigational drugs, experimental vaccines and behavior modification “incident to service” projects that the Court of Veterans Appeals “may not review”![5] The DOD “military research” “experiments that were designed to harm” were done under the ongoing secrecy cover of our ‘national interests’, e.g., WWII, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
    In the “three principal reasons” continuation, the Dept. of Justice reported the Supreme Court’s, “….(2) The effect upon military order, discipline, and effectiveness if service member were permitted to sue the government or each other; and, (3) The distinctly federal relationship between the government and members of its armed services, and the corresponding unfairness of permitting service-connected claims to be determined by nonuniform law.” [1], i.e., the “unfairness” of applying the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment 8 to U.S. Citizens and Prisoners but NOT to U.S. Service Personnel?
    Overlooked by many in Congress is their Oath of Office to defend the U.S. Constitution, their “Pledge of Allegiance” “with liberty and justice for all” checks and balances function, their U.S. Constitution 8th Amendment protection of convicted rapists and murderers (but NOT U.S. Service Personnel) with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ignored, carved in stone over its entrance, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”!
    Based on the 1994 U.S. Senate’s, “the last 50 years” back to 1944, it is now 67 years of no change in the Court of Veterans Appeals Chief Judge’s “underlying” policy, e.g., the 17 years ago still ignored “…Feres Doctrine should not be applied…”![2] As in 1994 and in 2002, to-date the U.S. Congress still has not prevented these non-consensual experiments! Therefore, the ongoing use of deceived U.S. Service Personnel in deliberate “incident to service” injuring experiments? PLEASE HELP by holding your members in the U.S. Congress accountable and getting others to do the same!
    [2] December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session.
    [3] GAO September 28, 1994 “Human Experimentation Overview on Co1d War Era Programs” T-NSIAD-94-266
    [4] U.S. State Dept., “U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”Index of “1994 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” Index of “Treaties and Legal Issues” || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage
    [6] U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY , 107 S. CT.. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710). case.html
    [7] Pages. 343-345: “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code; Human Rights in Human Experimentation” George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin (N. Y.: Oxford University Press, 1992).
    [8] Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).

    Comment by David Marshall — Sat, 12 Nov 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by and pointing out the Soviets/Russians aren’t the only ones with involuntary test subjects.

      Comment by cynicalsynapse — Sun, 13 Nov 2011 @ 8:04 am

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