Nuclear Exaggeration: Is Atomic Radiation as Dangerous as We Thought? - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News:
A consensus in the West has been reached about what happened next. Soviet nuclear scientists stand accused of having irradiated the environment and of otherwise poisoning the surrounding area. The result, it is said, has been thousands of cancer deaths and myriads of deformed children. Indeed, this autumn, Mayak (of which not a single historic photo exists to this day) celebrated a gruesome anniversary. In the fall of 1957, a tank filled with 80 tons of nuclear waste exploded. According to an eyewitness, a "strange, bright red fog" rose several thousand meters into the air. "In the winter," says the eyewitness, "I would have terrible headaches and nosebleeds, and I almost went blind."