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Residents Of Irradiated Russian Village To Be Relocated By Year’s End

Nuclear waste containers at the Mayak nuclear station
Nuclear waste containers at the Mayak nuclear station
CHELYABINSK, Russia – Resident of Muslimovo, in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, will be fully relocated by the end of the year because of nuclear contamination in the village, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

The ethnic Tatar-populated village and much of the surrounding region was heavily contaminated in 1957 by the infamous explosion at the nearby Mayak nuclear station.

Russia's oversight body for nuclear power, the Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, and Chelyabinsk Oblast authorities agreed on the village's relocation in 2006, and some 690 families have been relocated since then. About 150 families still live there.

Local authorities plan to plant trees where the village stood after residents have been fully relocated and the village has been decontaminated by the end of 2009.

An estimated 500,000 people have been affected by radiation from Mayak, and large tracts of land have been polluted.