Mass panic as radioactive cloud pours from nuclear plant
- Radiation levels reportedly spike near reactor after emergency shutdown
- Traffic jams as people evacuate area
- “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine”
22 December, 2015
Express, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Russians flee Chernobyl-style plant over fears of radioactive leak — Russians took iodine and caused traffic jams… amid fears officials were covering up a radioactive leak. The panic followed the emergence of pictures showing a cloud of vapour pouring from Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, some 50 miles from St Petersburg. The authorities insisted that the was no radioactive leakage… but people did not believe the “no danger” claim. Radio Svoboda reported that in the wake of the incident on Friday locals in Sosnovy Bor started withdrawing money from their credit cards. They said locals were in panic mode despite statements from officials that the radiation level was normal… One local said: “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine.”…
There were traffic jams as residents left the area and headed for St Petersburg… The plant manager (not pictured) insists there are no reasons for evacuation. [Oleg Bodrov, chairman of Green World ecological group] said: “They know well that the officials’ first task is to say all is normal but not to report about danger, even if there is one. All those who understand a bit about nuclear energy know that it was an attempt to mistake the wish for the reality… this vapour is surely radioactive… Bodrov called for medical checks for staff at the power plant. Interfax reported that a special commission was working at the nuclear station aiming to find out the reasons for the emission.