Kramatorsk radiological accident

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Kramatorsk radiological accident
Улица Марии Приймаченко, 7.jpg
Date1980 - 1989 [1]
Duration9 years [1]
LocationBuilding 7, Hvardiytsiv Kantemyrivtsiv street, Kramatorsk, Donets'ka 84314, Ukraine
Coordinates48°44′03″N 37°36′22″E / 48.734167°N 37.606111°E / 48.734167; 37.606111Coordinates: 48°44′03″N 37°36′22″E / 48.734167°N 37.606111°E / 48.734167; 37.606111
Typeradiological accident
CauseLoss of radioactive material
Deaths2 to 6
Non-fatal injuries17 exposed
Caesium-137 source

The Kramatorsk radiological accident was a radiation accident that happened in Kramatorsk, Ukrainian SSR from 1980 to 1989. In 1989, a small capsule containing highly radioactive caesium-137 was found inside the concrete wall of an apartment building, with a surface gamma radiation exposure dose rate of 1800 R/year.[1]

The source, originally a part of a radiation level gauge, was lost in the Karansky quarry. The gravel from the quarry was used in construction.[2] The cesium capsule ended up in the concrete panel of Apartment 85 of Building 7 on Gvardeytsiv Kantemirovtsiv Street, between apartments 85 and 52.[1]

Over 9 years, two families lived in Apartment 85.[1] A child's bed was located directly next to the wall containing the capsule.[1] By the time the capsule was discovered, 4 residents of the building had died from leukemia[1] and 17 more had received varying doses of radiation.[2] The accident was detected only after the residents requested that the level of radiation be measured in the apartment by a health physicist.[1] Part of the wall was removed and sent to the Institute for Nuclear Research (NASU), where the cesium capsule was removed and disposed of.[1]

The total number of deaths is alternately reported as 2[3], 4 (3 children and one adult)[1], or 6 (4 children and 2 adults)[2].


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Makarovska, Olga (2005). "Overview of Radiological Accidents Involving Orphan Radioactive Sources of Ionizing Radiation Worldwide" (PDF). Security and Nonproliferation: 23–24. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Obodovskiy, Ilya (2019-03-15). Radiation: Fundamentals, Applications, Risks, and Safety. Elsevier. p. 540. ISBN 9780444639868.
  3. ^ Ilyin, L. A. "Early Medical Consequences of Radiation Incidents in the Former URRS Territory" (PDF). Retrieved 30 June 2019.