|Date||1980 - 1989 |
|Duration||9 years |
|Location||Building 7, Marii Prymachenko street, Kramatorsk, Donetsk oblast 84314, Ukraine|
|Cause||Loss of radioactive material|
|Deaths||2 to 6|
|Non-fatal injuries||17 exposed|
The Kramatorsk radiological accident was a radiation accident that happened in Kramatorsk, Ukrainian SSR from 1980 to 1989. In 1989, a small capsule containing highly radioactive caesium-137 was found inside the concrete wall of an apartment building, with a surface gamma radiation exposure dose rate of 1800 R/year.
The source were originally a part of a radiation level gauge and was lost in the Karansky quarry in the late 1970s. The gravel from the quarry was used in construction. The caesium capsule ended up in the concrete panel of Apartment 85 of Building 7 on Gvardeytsiv Kantemirovtsiv Street, between apartments 85 and 52.
Already in 1980, the residence was fully settled. A year later, a 18-year-old girl, who lived in one of the apartments, suddenly died. In 1982, her 16-year-old brother died too, and then his mother followed them. Even after that, the flat with the radioactive ampoule in a wall didn’t attract much of a public attention, despite the fact that all the people died from leukemia. A new family moved into the apartment, and their boy died there too. His father managed to start a detailed investigation, during which the vial was found in the wall. For 9 years, while the ampoule was in the wall, 6 people died and another 17 tenants have been recognized as disabled in the radioactive flat.
By the time the capsule was discovered, four residents of the building had died from leukemia and 17 more had received varying doses of radiation. The accident was detected only after the residents requested that the level of radiation be measured in the apartment by a health physicist. Part of the wall was removed and sent to the Institute for Nuclear Research (NASU), where the cesium capsule was removed and disposed of.