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Yunkom mine flooding threatens radiation contamination not only of Ukraine, other countries too

Ukraine’s Ecology Minister demands intervention of the international community to the situation
15:59, 24 April 2018

Alexander Chekmenev

The flooding of Yunkom mine in occupied Donbas can lead to unintended consequences for the ecology of Ukraine and other Black Sea Basin countries. Ostap Semerak, the Ecology and Natural Resources Minister claimed this as the press service of the ministry reported.

‘It will have the unpredictable consequences for the environment not only of Donbas and the other part of Ukraine but also for all Black Sea Basin countries. It is hard to predict the consequences. They will be either bad or very bad’, the minister emphasized.

He also urged to not trust the conclusions of the Russian scientists and experts of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic who claim that the mine flooding does not lead to the radionuclides output on the ground surface and their contamination of the ground and surface waters.

Related: Ecology Ministry, OSCE to examine ecological state of river at south-east of Ukraine

Semerak emphasized that in the reality, the risks of the radionuclides output on the ground or water are huge.

‘The issue is not about usual so-called wet conservation of the mines, but about the object were the radioactive waste is stored. Ukraine always controlled both the radiation background in the explosion zone and the state of the environment. Now, we do not understand what is going on at this object’, he explained.

The projects on the mine liquidation worked out earlier included the obligatory provision of the permanent drainage to preserve the mine in the ‘dry’ state.

Related: Ukraine in JCCC: Donbas on the verge of ecologic catastrophe

The minister expressed the confidence that the international community should interfere in the situation.

‘It should be control or monitoring and the regimes observance worked out by Ukraine. We demand that the international observation missions were allowed to all objects of the critical infrastructure and particularly this mine’, Semerak insists.

Related: Metinvest proposes ecological modernization of 2nd largest metallurgical enterprise

As it was reported earlier, militants started to flood Yunkom mine in a temporarily occupied Yenakiyeve of Donetsk region. Almost 40 years ago there has been a nuclear explosion performed with an aim to relieve the tension in the mountain massif. Thus, Donbas residents are facing the danger of radiation poisoning, in particular through the poisoning of drinking water.  

As it was reported earlier, out of 4 thousand dangerous objects established by Swiss experts, 17 represent a "radiation hazard". The most dangerous mine can be the Yunkom mine in Yenakiyeve, the city of steel and coal in the separatist Donetsk People's Republic, which is proud not only of its fellow countryman, Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Beregov, but also of former president Viktor Yanukovych who fled to Russia. Here in 1979, the Soviet Union tested the atomic bomb deep underground.

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