There have been two notable explosions in Russia this past week.
First, an arms storage depot exploded at Achinsk, near Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia. Every summer, a couple of arms storage depots explode in Russia. They have a lot of them, and their safety measures leave something to be desired. Explosions have continued for a week. Once they start, it’s dangerous to fight the fire that started them and continues. Better to evacuate the area (which has been done) and let the burning and exploding continue until there’s nothing left. Two people or more were killed and a dozen or so injured.
This event has produced some impressive video. Because of the relative humidity, you can see the shock wave as water in the air condenses and evaporates rapidly. Mushroom-shaped clouds have resulted. Large enough explosions, whether conventional or nuclear, produce mushroom clouds. Mushroom clouds are not a marker for a nuclear explosion.
Video of spectacular shockwave from explosion at military unit in Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia pic.twitter.com/0yeg3hIb5F— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) August 5, 2019
Video from local girls basketball team that was on workout when explosions happened pic.twitter.com/f08Rqs4QfY— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) August 5, 2019
Secondly, Something blew up at Nenoksa, near the Severodvinsk Naval Base in far northwestern Russia. Reports are fragmentary and somewhat contradictory. Five people were killed and several injured. Suspicions that the Russian government is withholding information are exacerbated by the recent showing of Chernobyl. When the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the Soviet government covered it up until they couldn’t. Which is not to say that the Russian government is or is not covering up now. So far, the confusion looks to me like the normal confusion associated with a disaster, compounded by a secret project and a desire not to admit it’s going badly.
The Russian government has now admitted that a radioactive source was associated with the Severodvinsk blast, along with liquid rocket fuel. Reports have gone back and forth on whether radiation detectors in Severodvinsk detected anything. Five more people have been reported dead.
But it does not look good:
UPDATE — Just now:
Residents of a Russian village near the site of a suspected explosion of a nuclear-powered missile have been told to evacuate, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported, citing a local official.
Villagers were asked to leave Nyonoksa on Wednesday morning due to planned military activities, RIA reported Tuesday, citing Ksenia Yudina, head of the press service of the Severodvinsk administration.
“Planned military activities”. This sounds like Chernobyl cover-up all over again.