Russian radioactive RTG risk greatly reduced

A series of projects, largely backed by foreign spending, have managed to remove 80% of the estimated 1,000 radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) scattered around Russia’s automated meteorological stations and lighthouses. Many of these generators had been lost since the fall of the Soviet Union, their presence only indicated by stories of frontiersmen staggering into hospitals with radiation burns from coming into contact with damaged or partially dismantled generators.

As potential dirty bomb material, these RTGs pose a global safety hazard, as well as a local threat to the local population and environment as their shielding decays or is salvaged by unsuspecting metal thieves.

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