Russia will temporarily evacuate the village closest to the site of an accidental explosion involving a prototype missile that uses nuclear fuel, according to the Washington Post.
A train will be used to evacuate the residents of the village of Nyonoksa for about two hours Wednesday morning, according to The Post. About 450 people live in the village, although one resident told a local news outlet some residents will walk into the nearby forest rather than take the train.
Regional governor Igor Orlov disputed the characterization of the move as an “evacuation,” saying it was in fact “a routine measure.”
A resident of the village said it has been evacuated before, telling a Russian news outlet that several years ago a piece of a burning missile fell on a house and set it on fire.
Residents said Russian military officials met with the villagers Monday to discuss the planned evacuation.
“They said that there were no changes in the radiation background and there was nothing to worry about,” one resident, who asked not to be identified, told Russian outlet ArkhangelskOnline. “And that everything is fine both in our village and there, in the military town. The situation is checked by experts.”
Moscow officials said Tuesday that radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk were 16 times higher than normal following the failed missile test, contradicting initial reports by defense ministers that background radiation had remained normal.
Greenpeace, citing data from the Emergency Situations Ministry, said levels rose more than 20 times above the normal level. President Trump said on Monday that his administration is “learning much” in the wake of the accident.