The mystery around the nuclear Russian accident keeps getting weirder and weirder. An explosion at a Russian naval test site has the world scratching their heads as the incident caused radiation detectors to briefly spike. Even more so, the August 8 incident at the Nyonoksa testing range on a platform in the White Sea has been barely discussed by Russian officials, with most details trickling down from conflicting sources or being leaked.
As of now, the word on the ground by the state-run nuclear agency Rosatom is that at least seven individuals are dead from the incident that was described as an accident involving an isotope power source for a liquid-fuelled rocket engine.
However, in an even stranger turn of events, a doctor who treated the survivors was informed that the radioactive isotope cesium-137 made its way into their bodies due to “Fukushima crabs” says a report by CNN.
Basically, the local health ministry has blamed the recent spike in short-term radiation on bad seafood. Local officials stated, "Cesium-137... has the feature of accumulating in fish, mushrooms, lichens, algae. With a certain degree of probability, we can assume that this element got into the human body through the products of food."
In another odd turn of events, a Riga-based investigative outlet claims that health officials told the doctor the cesium-137 detected was likely related to a recent vacation to Thailand. For the uninitiated, they are referring to the series of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011 following the catastrophic Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
What were they testing?
It is believed that the incident occurred while Russian researchers were testing a prototype dubbed the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, a nuclear-propelled cruise missile that could theoretically hit just about any place on the earth. These missiles have the ability to even evade anti-missile defense systems. President Vladimir Putin has even insinuated that these missiles are impossible to stop from reaching their target.
However, some also believe that the Arkhangelsk accident could have involved other nuclear technology like a nuclear installation or a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. It is obvious that Russian officials want to release as little information as possible going as far as to downplay the seriousness of the event.
It will be interesting to see what further details will be revealed about the incident as well as who was directly affected.