Radiation Accident at Tomsk-7: A System Analysis Case Study

Porfiriev, Boris N.
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Disaster Research Center
A system analysis of the most serious radiation accident after Chernobyl that occurred in the former secret town of Tomsk-7 in Siberia in Russia is presented. This is the first attempt in Russia, to the author’s knowledge, to scrutinize the anatomy of an accident that fortunately did not develop into a great industrial crisis or even disaster. It is argued that the fundamental causes of the Tomsk-7 accident are deeply rooted in the history of the economic and political development of the former Soviet Union in general, and the development policy of the nuclear complex for decades covered by secrecy and military orientation in particular. Those served as an environment for specific human, organizational and technological factors that directly facilitated the explosion. A description of the ecological, medical and sociopsychological aftermaths of Tomsk-7 accident as well as the related response and recovery activities is presented.
Tomsk-7 , Siberia , Soviet Union , nuclear disaster