Bargee on the beach

Reports have emerged from reporters in northern Russia who say they have measured high levels of radiation near two abandoned barges, which they say were towed ashore after the mysterious explosion at an Arkhangelsk region military testing range. 

Journalists in the Arkhangelsk region reported that the two barges had turned up on a local beach, where they have now laid for weeks, since the apparent missile accident, emitting radioactivity. Apparently, radiation measurements taken on August 31st, at a distance of 150m from the barges, measured from 70 to 186 microroentgen per hour. Tests conducted soon after the barges arrived on the beach peaked at 750 microroentgen per hour. Normal local background levels in the area are closer to 20 microroentgen per hour. Measurements closer to the barges have not been taken so it is not known how high the emmitances from the vessles themselves are. 

Villagers from the local area who were quoted by Radio Free Europe (RFE) said one of the barges was towed to Arkhangelsk beach on August 9, the day after the blast and the second barge arrived five days after. According to the video report released on TV29.RU both barges contain partially destroyed industrial equipment and have remained on the shore unguarded and without any explanation from authorities. One of the platforms, reported RFE, supports a damaged crane and a ladder for scuba divers, along with what appears to be a container for radioactive materials.

Rosatom has been approached for comment by journalists from TV29.RU and RFE but have refused to comment, instead saying the corporation “is not in a position to comment on classified defense contracts and military tests.”



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