Russia admits city’s radiation levels were 16 Times above normal after explosion

Radiation levels in the Russian city of Severodvinsk rose by up to 16 times on Aug. 8 after an accident that authorities said involved a rocket test on a sea platform, Russia’s state weather agency said on Tuesday, the TASS news agency reported.

The defense ministry initially said background radiation had remained normal after the incident on Thursday, but city authorities in Severodvinsk in northern Russia said there had been a brief spike in radiation levels.

Greenpeace has said radiation levels rose by 20 times.

Russia’s state weather agency, Rosgidromet, said on Tuesday that it believed radiation levels had risen by four to 16 times.

Russia has said the Aug. 8 accident involved a rocket test on a sea platform, and bestowed posthumous awards on five nuclear scientists who died in the mysterious blast. Some observers suspect the accident occurred during the testing of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile.

Moscow has a history of covering up and downplaying nuclear accidents.