WWII weapons found near a nuclear research and testing facility


Field engineers diffused 256 shells near a nuclear research institute which has enough uranium to repeat five Hiroshimas. “In order not to scare the people,” the emergency was kept secret.

The Interfax news agency reported on Friday morning that stockpiles of WWII ammunitions were found in the village of Sosny, a home to the United Institute for Energy and Nuclear Tests near the capital Minsk. The agency also said that the dangerous findings were later blown at a local field.

The European Radio for Belarus decided to find out if this emergency posed threat to the Belarusian capital, because there is enough uranium in Sosny to make five Hiroshima bombs. However, institute staff had no idea about the nearby emergency. Institute director Nina Shapko says her staff was not alerted and the institute was working as usual.

“If we had anything like this, we would immediately report to the Emergencies Ministry. This is the first time that I am hearing this information from you. I don’t know anything about the news in the internet. I am going to check their web site now. By the way, the local “radio” (hearsay) works better than those correspondents and disseminates information faster. If anything happened, the whole village would be on alert. Currently, everything is quiet,” Nina Shapko said.

Vasil Sianevich, deputy director in charge of security, also told ERB that he heard for the first time that field engineers eliminated the threat right next to the potential radiation source. Vasil Sianevich refused to comment on how the institute operates in emergencies.

ERB called Katsyaryna Samusenkava-Sheligava, the spokesperson for the Belarus’s Ministry for Emergencies, in order to elucidate on the information. She confirmed that field engineers indeed took to the found shells in the field and demolished them. In respond to our question why the institute staff was not aware of the emergency, Katsyaryna Samusenkova-Shelegava said quietly: “They did a very good job. They even didn’t disturb anyone. Threats are always there, but if we are able to do it in such a way that we don’t raise panic, we do not report about such cases”.