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Russia Orders Evacuation of Village Near Site of Nuclear Accident, Then Cancels It

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Russian authorities on Tuesday announced the evacuation of the village nearest to the site of a nuclear accident in northern Russia, suggesting dangers more grave than initially reported. The still-mysterious episode last week killed seven people and released radiation, apparently when a small nuclear reactor malfunctioned during a test of a novel type of missile near a naval weapons testing site. Russian officials have released a flurry of misleading or incomplete statements playing down the severity of the accident, which the military first reported on Thursday as a fire involving a liquid-fueled rocket engine. It was not until Sunday that Russian scientists conceded that a reactor had released radiation during a test on an offshore platform in the White Sea. That pattern of murkiness continued on Tuesday, as news reports and official statements offered only the vaguest explanation for the evacuation, and hours later seemed to indicate that it had been called off.

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