State "secrets" revealed

1 January 2003

Two Russian geologists who prepared maps of radioactive pollution in Siberia are to be charged with revealing state secrets.

The environmentalists wanted to use the maps as part of a 107-page report they had compiled to attract attention to increasing radioactivity around a uranium enrichment plant near Angarsk, a town of 300,000 people close to Lake Baikal, south-central Siberia. The Russian Federal Security Service confiscated the maps but the geologists deny the accusations of disclosing state secrets. According to Jennifer Sutton, a British ecologist working with the environmental group, the maps were to show where samples had been taken and the direction of the water. Their findings are supported by data collected by a university research team based in the Siberian city of Tomsk; it identified a large concentration of radionuclides in trees 11km from the plant.

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