Kramatorsk radiological accident


Kramatorsk radiological accident
Улица Марии Приймаченко, 7.jpg
Date1980 - 1989 [1]
Duration9 years [1]
LocationBuilding 7, Marii Prymachenko street, Kramatorsk, Donetsk oblast 84314, Ukraine
Coordinates48°44′03″N 37°36′22″E / 48.734167°N 37.606111°E / 48.734167; 37.606111Coordinates: 48°44′03″N 37°36′22″E / 48.734167°N 37.606111°E / 48.734167; 37.606111
Typeradiological accident
CauseLoss of radioactive material
Deaths2 to 6
Non-fatal injuries17 exposed
Caesium-137 source

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.[1]

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.[2] The caesium capsule ended up in the concrete panel of Apartment 85 of Building 7 on Gvardeytsiv Kantemirovtsiv Street, between apartments 85 and 52.[1]

Over nine years, two families lived in Apartment 85.[1] A child's bed was located directly next to the wall containing the capsule.[1]

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.[1]

By the time the capsule was discovered, four residents of the building had died from leukemia[1] and 17 more had received varying doses of radiation.[2] The accident was detected only after the residents requested that the level of radiation be measured in the apartment by a health physicist.[1] Part of the wall was removed and sent to the Institute for Nuclear Research (NASU), where the cesium capsule was removed and disposed of.[1]

The total number of deaths is alternately reported as two,[3] four (three children and one adult),[1] or six (four children and two adults).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Makarovska, Olga (2005). "Overview of Radiological Accidents Involving Orphan Radioactive Sources of Ionizing Radiation Worldwide" (PDF). Security and Nonproliferation: 23–24. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Obodovskiy, Ilya (2019-03-15). Radiation: Fundamentals, Applications, Risks, and Safety. Elsevier. p. 540. ISBN 9780444639868.
  3. ^ Ilyin, L. A. "Early Medical Consequences of Radiation Incidents in the Former URRS Territory" (PDF). Retrieved 30 June 2019.