The authorities are working to eliminate any danger to the Russians after the missile explosion at the military test site near Severodvinsk, and the reports about a radioactive cloud over the region are absurd, said Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov as cited by RBC news agency.
"The wording itself is quite absurd," the Kremlin spokesman said. He also noted that Putin receives all the data about the accident, and advised to focus on Putin’s statement that there is no danger to the public. Peskov added that he does not know why several radiation monitoring stations in the Arkhangelsk region went silent after the accident. Peskov also said that he does not know who is responsible for their operation.
According to him, this is not within the competence of the Kremlin, and he has nothing to add to what the relevant authorities have already said. "There is no doubt that they are performing their functions in their full capacity," Peskov concluded.
The explosion at the military training site near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region occurred on August 8. As a result, five employees of the Russian nuclear agency, Rosatom, were killed. According to Rosatom, the accident happened during the testing of with the liquid jet propulsion system with an isotopic power source.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) stated that, two days after the explosion near Severodvinsk, radiation monitoring stations in the cities of Dubna and Kirov went silent. Later, according to the organization, there were failures in the work of two more stations - in the city of Bilibino in Chukotka and the village of Zalesovo in the Altai region.
On August 19, during his visit in France, Putin commented on the accident in the Arkhangelsk region, noting that experts are working on the site and are in control of the situation. He added that the increase in the radiation level has not been observed in the region.
On Thursday, August 8, the Russian Defense Ministry reported an explosion on the territory of a military testing site in the Arkhangelsk region, in which two people were killed and six injured.
After the accident, the Severodvinsk administration website published a report on a short-term increase in the radiation. It was noted, that at the time of publication, the radiation went back to normal, and the sensor readings do not exceed the maximum permissible. However, later, the message was removed, and city administration said that the initial statement was removed, "because the Ministry of Defense is working on this situation."
Senior researcher of the Federation of American Scientists Ankit Panda in a conversation with Reuters news agency said that conventional liquid fuel missiles do not emit radiation. He also noted that previously Russia has reported about the development of a rocket with a nuclear engine. Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to the Federal Assembly about the development of a nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile.