Geologists face probe

December 13, 2002

Scientists from a Siberian geological institute who made a map of radiation pollution around a nuclear-processing plant face charges after Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) raided the offices of an environmental group.

The researchers from the Sosnovgeos Geological Institute in Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal, were questioned by FSB officers late last month after maps detailing pollution near the Angarsk Chemical Plant were found in the offices of Baikal Ecological Wave.

The maps - commissioned last year and distributed along with a 107-page report on radioactive pollution - were designed to raise awareness of the public-health threat posed by the plant.

The geologists who drew up the maps said that no detailed cartographical references were used that could cause them to be labelled as secret under Russian law. When the maps were distributed last February, no objections were raised.

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