Results of Russian and Kazakhstan tests for heptyl contamination at Baikonur differ 11 июля 2013, 21:13
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Kazakhstan and Russian experts have different conclusions on heptyl pollution in the area of the Proton-M crash at Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports. “A helpyl spill was discovered in the center of the crater. According to the Russian party, concentration at the surface of the crater’s center made 123 mg per 1 kg. This is 1,230 times higher than the maximum permissible concentration (MPC). It was 8,040 over MPC on the eastern side of the crater. Kazakhstan experts also confirmed heptyl contamination in the center of the crater. According to the Kazakhstan tests, MPC is exceeded 527 times in the center and 395 times on the eastern side, 10m from the spot sampled by Russian experts. Heptyl content at the depth of 10-20cm made 3,039 MPC and 1,093 MPC at the depth of 20-30cm,” deputy chairman of Kazakhstan National Space Agency Yerkin Shaimagambetov said at the meeting of the government commission. No heptyl leaks were discovered on the spots where fragments of the rocket fell, he noted. “The experts believe that the big fire that started after the crash and explosion eliminated the contamination. The fire was monitored and controlled by the rescue services that deliberately did not attempt to quench to let the heptyl burn,” he said. According to Shaimagambetov, all the required components for soil detoxification were delivered to Baikonur cosmodrome on July 8. Kazakhstan recommended to use a new technology that was tested in 2012. On July 9 Russian teams started treating the soil in the crater’s center. Around 500 square meters were treated. “These works will continue to cover the whole territory of the crash that makes around 140 hectares. After several days we will take more samples to study the remaining content of the rocket fuel components,” he said. Two decisions were made at the meeting: Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Ministry will continue working with the involved authorities to defining the scare of damage to the environment and the National Space Agency of Kazakhstan will work with the Environmental Protection Ministry, Foreign and Justice Ministries and will hold a bilateral expert meeting with Russian representatives. Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket [equipped with a DM-3 booster] carrying three Glonass-M navigation satellites crashed right after the lift-off at Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome on July 2. The source close to the commission on the accident’s investigation stated that the incident was caused by the human factor: the sensors were improperly connected during the rocket assembly. By Renat Tashkinbayev