Background radiation levels are still spiking near the two pontoons that were damaged in an apparently botched missile test last month in the Arkhangelsk region, according to journalists from the Belomorkanal news agency, who recently visited the site and took measurements.
In the daytime on August 31, about 165 feet from the pontoons, the background radiation ranged from 70 to 154 microroentgen per hour. The journalists say the levels jumped to 750 microroentgen per hour, once the pontoons washed up on shore.
According to Greenpeace, the natural radiation levels in the area are just 20 microroentgen per hour, while Russian federal emergency officials say 30 microroentgen per hour are the norm. In materials released by Russia’s National Weather Service, normal levels are described as microroentgens per hour between 28 and 42.
The pontoons are currently located at the mouth of the Verkhovka River on a sandbar in the White Sea’s Dvina Bay. According to video footage, the pontoons are neither fenced off nor guarded.