Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast
|- Town -|
A view of Ozyorsk
|Administrative status (as of September 2011)|
|Federal subject||Chelyabinsk Oblast|
|Administratively subordinated to||Town of Ozyorsk|
|Administrative center of||Town of Ozyorsk|
|Municipal status (as of September 2011)|
|Urban okrug||Ozyorsky Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Ozyorsky Urban Okrug|
|Head||Alexander Kalinin|
|Population (2010 Census)||82,164 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||201st|
|Time zone||YEKT (UTC+06:00)|
|Town status since||1994|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 35130|
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. As a municipal division, the Town of Ozyorsk is incorporated as Ozyorsky Urban Okrug.
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
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) 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.
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.
- Resolution #161
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Russian)
- Law #287-ZO specifies that the borders of Ozyorsky Urban Okrug match the borders of the closed administrative-territorial formation of the town of Ozyorsk.
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Lenssen, "Nuclear Waste: The Problem that Won't Go Away", Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., 1991: 15.
- Mark Peplow (27 March 2013). "Military history:Dinner at the fission chips". Nature.
- Rob Edwards (18 March 2013). "The radioactive legacy of the search for plutopia". New Scientist.
- Andrew Osborn (27 July 2011). "How Chelyabinsk became synonymous with pollution". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- 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.).
- Законодательное Собрание Челябинской области. Закон №287-ЗО от 28 октября 2004 г. «О статусе и границах Озёрского городского округа», в ред. Закона №124-ЗО от 28 апреля 2011 г «О внесении изменений в Закон Челябинской области "О статусе и границах Озёрского городского округа"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Южноуральская панорама", спецвыпуск, 30 ноября 2004 г. (Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Law #287-ZO of October 28, 2004 On the Status and Borders of Ozyorsky Urban Okrug, as amended by the Law #124-ZO of April 28, 2011 On Amending the Law of Chelyabinsk Oblast "On the Status and Borders of Ozyorsky Urban Okrug". Effective as of the official publication date.).
- (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
- Article about Ozyorsk and Mayak at uralpress.ru.
- Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters