Russia’s Rosatom on 22 June signed a state contract with VNIPIpromtekhnologii to conduct a radiation survey in 2021 of three legacy radiation-contaminated areas in the Moscow Region, which adjoin the site of the Mashinostroitelny Zavod (MSZ) in Elektrostal (part of the TVEL Fuel Company). The survey aims to obtain up-to-date and reliable information about the radiation situation in the three areas. The total survey area is some 582,000 square metres and the results of the work, including recommendations on the observation regime for the objects located in this territory, will be presented no later than 30 October.

MSZ currently produces nuclear fuel for Rosatom’s fleet of reactors as well as for some NPPs in Europe. However, from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s, at plant No 12 (the predecessor of MSZ), work was carried out to process imported uranium ores. The ores were initially stored along the railway tracks running south of the industrial site of the plant, resulting in contamination.

At another site, radioactive contamination is a consequence of the collapse in 1953 of a tailings dam. From 1950, the tailing dump was used to store waste from the production activities of the enterprise. The third small area with a radiation anomaly is near the village of Subbotino and was decontaminated in 2016 as part of the implementation of the programme activities of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Radon. The content of radionuclides in the soil was reduced to levels corresponding to the radiation safety requirements for land plots for the construction of residential houses, buildings and structures for public and industrial purposes. The radioactive waste (some 10 cubic metres) was sorted, packed and prepared for shipment for processing, conditioning and temporary storage.