MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – The hail of meteor pieces that hit Russia on Friday fell in a region with a cluster of major nuclear facilities, including the country’s largest nuclear fuel-processing plant, but officials said early on that none of them were damaged and no radioactive contamination has been detected.
“All of Rosatom's facilities in the Urals region are working normally. They have suffered no consequences from the meteorite’s fall,” the national nuclear agency, Rosatom, said in a statement released within hours of the strike, which damaged factories, schools and residential buildings.
The most well-known facility in the area, located in the hard-hit Chelyabinsk Region, is the Mayak nuclear-fuel processing plant, where a major accident in 1957 caused some of the worst nuclear contamination in the Soviet Union’s history, second perhaps only to the infamous Chernobyl reactor accident.
Local officials in the regional capital said they had registered no contamination there.
“Measurements have been made. Radiation levels in the city of Chelyabinsk are normal,” a statement by the city administration said.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.