World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0003907529
Reproduction Date:

Title: Chelyabinsk-40  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Igor Kurchatov
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


For other places with the same name, see Ozyorsk.

Ozyorsk or Ozersk (Russian: Озёрск) is a closed[5] town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. Population: Template:Ru-census2010 91,760 (2002 Census).[6]


It was founded on the shore of the Irtyash Lake in 1945. Until 1994, it was known as Chelyabinsk-65, and even earlier, as Chelyabinsk-40 (the digits are the last digits of the postal code, and the name is that of the nearest big city; which was a common practice of giving names to closed towns). In 1994, it was granted town status and renamed Ozyorsk.

Administrative and municipal status

Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with six rural localities, incorporated as the Town of Ozyorsk—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the Town of Ozyorsk is incorporated as Ozyorsky Urban Okrug.[1]


Ozyorsk was and remains a closed town because of its proximity to the Mayak plant, one of the sources of Soviet plutonium during the Cold War, and now a Russian facility for processing nuclear waste and recycling nuclear material from decommissioned nuclear weapons.

The plant itself covers an area of approximately 90 km² and employs about 15,000 people.

The Mayak is primarily engaged in reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear submarines and icebreakers and from nuclear power plants. Commercially, it produces cobalt-60, iridium-192, carbon-14 and establishes conversion production with use of radiative technologies applying wasteless technologies.

The town's coat of arms depicts a flame-colored salamander representing the ecological situation after the 1957 accident.

Southern-Urals Construction Department (ЗАО "Южноуральское управление строительства") is another major enterprise. Its activities include construction for atomic industry needs, production of concrete constructions and construction materials.

Main products of Plant of Wiring Products #2 (ЗАО "Завод электромонтажных изделий №2") are low-voltage devices for military-industrial establishments.

Radioactive contamination and the 1957 disaster

Main article: Kyshtym disaster

Since the late 1940s, Ozyorsk and the surrounding countryside have been heavily contaminated by industrial pollution from the Mayak plutonium plant. The plant was one of the largest producers of weapons-grade plutonium for the Soviet Union during much of the Cold War, particularly during the Soviet atomic bomb program. Built and operated with great haste and disregard for safety, between 1945 and 1957 the Mayak plant dumped and released large amounts of solid, liquid and gaseous radioactive material into the area immediately around the plant. Over time, the sum of radionuclide contamination is estimated to 2-3 Chernobyl explosions.

In 1957, the Mayak plant was the site of a major disaster, among all the other such accidents, releasing more radioactive contamination than Chernobyl, again. An improperly stored underground tank of high-level liquid nuclear waste exploded, contaminating thousands of square miles of territory, now known as the Eastern Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT). The matter was quietly and secretly covered up, and few either inside or outside Russia were aware of the full scope of the disaster until 1980.

Prior to 1957 accident, much of the waste was dumped into the Techa River, which it severely contaminated along with residents of dozens of riverside villages such as Muslyumovo, who relied on the river as their sole source of drinking, washing and bathing water. After 1957 accident, dumping in the Techa River officially ceased, but the waste material was dumped in convenient shallow lakes near the plant instead, of which 7 have been officially identified. Of particular concern is Lake Karachay, the closest lake to the plant (now notorious as the most contaminated place on Earth[7]) where roughly 4.4 exabecquerels of high-level liquid waste (75-90% of the total radioactivity released by Chernobyl) was dumped and concentrated in the 1/4 square mile lake over several decades.

In addition to the radioactive risks, the airborne lead and particulate soot levels in Ozyorsk (along with much of the Ural industrial region) are also very high—roughly equal to the levels encountered along busy roadsides in the era predating unleaded gasoline and catalytic converters—due to the presence of numerous lead smelters.

Historian Kate Brown’s 2013 book Plutopia, published by Oxford University Press, presents a history of the Ozyorsk community. This, and Richland, Washington, were the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium for use in cold war atomic bombs.[8][9]

Education and culture

There are seventeen different cultural and public-service institutions.

There are sixteen secondary schools, two schools specializing in the English language, one gymnasium, physics-mathematics lyceum, three professional colleges, Southern-Ural Polytechnical College, Music College, Ozyorsk Engineering Institute (an affiliate of Moscow Engineering-Physical State University), and affiliates of Yekaterinburg's and Chelyabinsk's universities.




  • Законодательное Собрание Челябинской области. Постановление №161 от 25 мая 2006 г. «Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований (административно-территориальных единиц) Челябинской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав», в ред. Постановления №1577 от 29 августа 2013 г. «О внесении изменения в перечень муниципальных образований (административно-территориальных единиц) Челябинской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Южноуральская панорама", №111-112, 14 июня 2006 г. (Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Resolution #161 of November 25, 2006 On Adoption of the Registry of the Municipal Formations (Administrative-Territorial Units) of Chelyabinsk Oblast and of the Inhabited Localities They Comprise, as amended by the Resolution #1577 of August 29, 2013 On Amending the Registry of the Municipal Formations (Administrative-Territorial Units) of Chelyabinsk Oblast and of the Inhabited Localities They Comprise. Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Template:RussiaAdmMunRef/che/munlist/ozyorsky

External links

  • (Russian) Official website of Ozyorsky Urban Okrug
  • (Russian) News, views and people (information portal of Ozyorsk)
  • (Russian) Information portal of Ozyorsk
  • (Russian) Website of Ozyorsk
  • at
  • Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

Template:Closed cities of the former Soviet Union

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.