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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Risk at Waste Ponds

MOSCOW () -- Nuclear officials warned Thursday that ponds containing liquid radioactive wastes at a Ural Mountains nuclear plant were in danger of overflowing and could contaminate large inhabited areas.

"The Security Council will recommend the government pay particular attention to the Techa River cascade. The danger stems from there," said Alexei Yablokov, who heads the secretive council's ecological safety commission.

The Mayak plant, also known as Chelyabinsk-65, was created in the late 1940s to make plutonium for the first Soviet atomic bombs. It has released at least 1 billion curie of radiation into the environment.