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Kyshtym

Kyshtym is a town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located on the eastern slopes of the Southern Ural Mountains 90km northwest of Chelyabinsk, near the town of Ozyorsk. Population: 36,000 (1970).HistoryIt was established by the Demidovs in 1757 around two factories for production of cast iron and steel. It was granted town status in 1934.Administrative and municipal statusWithin the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with twelve rural localities, incorporated as the Town of Kyshtym—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the Town of Kyshtym is incorporated as Kyshtymsky Urban Okrug.Nuclear disasterKyshtym is near the Ozyorsk nuclear complex, also known as "Mayak" ("lighthouse" in Russian), where on September 29, 1957, a violent explosion involving dry nitrate and acetate salts in a waste tank containing highly radioactive waste, contaminated an area of more than 15,000 square kilometers (Ozyorsk was the town built around the Mayak combine, but it was a closed city, which was not marked on maps, thus making Kyshtym the nearest town to the location of the disaster). The explosion resulted from a failure of the cooling system of the tank.
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