Radioactive Cobalt-60 has been discovered in the Chechen capital (RFE/RL)
16 December 2005 -- Russian authorities say a criminal investigation has been launched into a case of radioactive pollution discovered at a chemical plant in Grozny, the capital of the Northern Caucasus republic of Chechnya.
A statement posted on 15 December on the website of the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office describes radioactivity levels at the Chechenneftekhimprom production facility as "catastrophic." The source has been identified as a radioisotope known as Cobalt-60.
The statement says 27 to 29 "uncontrolled radioactive elements" were discovered in one of the plant's workshops and that radioactivity there is 58,000 times higher than the admissible levels.
The Prosecutor-General’s Office blames the plant's management for not taking appropriate steps to stop the pollution.