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Radioactive blast

A tank of radioactive waste exploded yesterday at a weapons plant in the secret Siberian city of Tomsk-7, contaminating a vast area and exposing firefighters to dangerous levels of radiation, AP reports from Moscow.

The accident could be the worst in the former Soviet Union since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Interfax news agency said 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) were contaminated with radiation. It was unclear how much radiation was released or how many people might be affected.