Kramatorsk radiological accident was a radiation accident that happened in Kramatorsk (Ukrainian SSR) from 1980 to 1989. It was found inside the concrete wall of an apartment building with a surface gamma radiation exposure dose rate of 1800 R/year.
The incident resulted in the death of, according to various sources, from two to six people. Seventeen people were found to have suffered from gamma radiation exposure dose.
What Was the Origin of the Kramatorsk Radiological Accident?
In the late 1970s, a source of ionizing radiation of the IGI-Ts-4 type was lost in the Karansk quarry of the Donetsk region. It was a highly radioactive Caesium-137 capsule with an activity of 5.2 × 10^10 Bq. The capsule was used in a radioisotope level gauge of an enterprise-producing crushed stone.
The capsule could not be found.
What Were the Consequences of the Kramatorsk Accident?
In 1980, in Kramatorsk, building a house, a concrete wall was put into operation on Gvardeytsiv Kantemirovtsiv Street between apartments 85 and 52.
The lost capsule was walled up in one of the walls of this house along with rubble. It was emitting approximately a dose rate of 1800 R / year.
The First Deads of Leukemia
In the summer of 1981, an 18-year-old girl died in one of the apartments. A year later, her 16-year-old brother and her mother also died.
Another family moved into the apartment. However, their teenage son died in 1987, and his younger brother became seriously ill.
All those people died of leukemia.
Doctors could not find the cause of the disease and explained that it was caused by hereditary predisposition.
How Did They Find the Cause of the Kramatorsk Disaster?
The father of the second family turned to the sanitary and epidemiological station with a request to check the radiation background in the house.
A health physicist made a study in which he detected dangerous levels of radiation. The radioactive decay was incredibly high in several parts of the house.
Finally, in 1989 a small capsule containing highly radioactive material was found inside the wall. Authorities cut the wall, and they could extract de capsule.