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Lake Karachay in Russia, Most Polluted Spot on Earth

Located in the southern Ural Mountains in eastern Russia, was a dumping ground for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapon facilities. It’s so polluted that 1 hour on its shores could mean certain death.

Built in the late 1940s Mayak was one of Russia’s most prominent nuclear weapons factories. Mayak was kept secret by the government until 1990. When Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed a 1992 decree opening the area, Western scientists were able to gain access.

The pollution of Lake Karachay is connected to the disposal of nuclear materials from Mayak. Among workers, cancer mortality remains an issue.[5] By the time Mayak’s existence was officially recognized, there had been a 21% rise in cancer cases, a 25% rise in birth defects, and a 41% rise in leukemia in the surrounding region of Chelyabinsk.[6] By one estimate, the river contains 120 million curies of radioactive waste.

Nuclear waste, either from civilian or military nuclear projects, remains a serious threat to the environment of Russia.[8] Reports suggest that there are few or no road signs warning about the polluted areas surrounding Lake Karachay.

Some parts of the lake are extremely radioactive (600 röntgens/hour) and one could receive a lethal dose of radiation in 30 minutes (300 röntgens).

We love to travel, but this is a very beautiful place you DON’T WANT TO VISIT!