A plan to build a new Moscow road adjacent to a Soviet-era nuclear waste site has put city planners on a collision course with activists and residents who fear the spread of radiation in the Russian capital. Moscow officials deny there is any risk from building the so-called Southeast Chord – a 34km expressway designed to alleviate growing congestion in the city of more than 12m people. The motorway would run past the Moscow Polymetal Plant and its radioactive waste disposal site – dating back to the 1930s – where dangerous volumes of radium, thorium and uranium were stored. Opponents of the plan say they want to stop “Chernobyl repeating in Moscow” and warn that construction risks releasing buried particles into the air and waterways. They fear these will be picked up on vehicles using the road and dispersed across the city. “Of course this is not on the Chernobyl scale, but it can undoubtedly lead to additional health problems,” said Konstantin Fomin of Greenpeace Russia. Hundreds of people took to the streets this week to protest against the road plan. The public outcry comes amid a series of protests in Moscow this month against the decision not to allow opposition figures to contest upcoming local elections, and follows mass rallies that helped free a Russian journalist in June who had been detained on fabricated charges.
FT 26th July 2019 read more »
Deutsche Welle 23rd July 2019 read more »