Details are still sketchy, but Reuters reported today:
A fire broke out on Sunday at a Moscow nuclear research centre that houses a non-operational 60-year-old atomic reactor, an emergency official said, …
The fire was in a basement at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics in southwestern Moscow, said Sergei Vlasov, spokesman for the Moscow branch of the Emergencies Ministry. He said no casualties were reported.
Grey smoke rose above the institute, which is encircled by a wall, and an acrid smell filled the air. Some 30 emergency vehicles, including fire trucks and ambulances, stood inside and outside the main gate, witnesses said.
Greenpeace Russia issued this statement:
“This is extremely dangerous … this should not have happened at all, but as long as it did, it shows there has been a major failure in their operations,” said Ivan Blokov, campaign director at Greenpeace Russia.
“What we have here is a large amount of radioactive substance right in the centre of Moscow and even if a minor quantity leaks, it would pose a serious problem,” he said.
Russian media issued conflicting reports on the incident, according to Reuters:
Interfax cited a police source as saying fire brigades were denied access to the facility for “a long time” before being allowed in.
(Greenpeace’s)Vlasov said he could not confirm the report, but said the fire had not been extinguished as of 2:45 p.m. (1045 GMT). State-run RIA reported earlier that that the fire had already been put out.