Open main menu

Kyshtym (Russian: Кышты́м) is a town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located on the eastern slopes of the Southern Ural Mountains 90 kilometers (56 mi) northwest of Chelyabinsk, near the town of Ozyorsk. Population: 38,942 (2010 Census);[1] 41,929 (2002 Census);[6] 42,852 (1989 Census);[7] 36,000 (1970).


Flag of Kyshtym
Coat of arms of Kyshtym
Coat of arms
Location of Kyshtym
Kyshtym is located in Russia
Location of Kyshtym
Kyshtym is located in Chelyabinsk Oblast
Kyshtym (Chelyabinsk Oblast)
Coordinates: 55°42′N 60°33′E / 55.700°N 60.550°E / 55.700; 60.550Coordinates: 55°42′N 60°33′E / 55.700°N 60.550°E / 55.700; 60.550
Federal subjectChelyabinsk Oblast
Town status since1934
 • Total45.67 km2 (17.63 sq mi)
260 m (850 ft)
 • Total38,942
 • Estimate 
36,997 (-5%)
 • Density850/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
 • Subordinated toTown of Kyshtym[3]
 • Capital ofTown of Kyshtym[3]
 • Urban okrugKyshtymsky Urban Okrug[3]
 • Capital ofKyshtymsky Urban Okrug[3]
Time zoneUTC+5 (MSK+2 Edit this on Wikidata[4])
Postal code(s)[5]
456870Edit this on Wikidata
OKTMO ID75734000001


Kyshtym was established by the Demidovs in 1757 around two factories for production of cast iron and steel.[citation needed] The city emblem shows the Kyshtym Manor House, a Palladian residence of Nikita Demidov Jr. According to Herbert Hoover, a small iron industry had existed there "for one hundred and fifty years", which produced a secret process for generating sheet iron "unusually resistant to rust." The process "consisted of alternately heating the sheets and sweeping them when hot with a wet pine-bough. The effect was to create a coating of iron oxide which was rust-resistant." [8]

Baron Meller-Zakomelsky's Kyshtym estate became of interest to foreign capital, after the 1905 Russian Revolution and subsequent depression. A British consortium around Charles Leslie brought in the mining entrepreneur Leslie Urquhart, investing in Russian oil and minerals.[9] In 1908 Leslie became Chairman of the Kyshtym Corporation, for mining.[10] In 1910, Hoover's American company became involved.[8]

The copper, iron and steel industry associated with mining in the area was modernized. Copper production, using pyritic smelting, eventually reached 25,000,000 pounds a year.[8] The corporate situation was already complex, when the American interests became involved, because of tensions between the British interests, which were related by cross-holdings.[10] In 1911 Alfred Chester Beatty visited Kyshtym, on behalf of the American interests.[11] By 1912 the future direction was set for investment in the Urals, with Beatty and Urquhart allied, and the British group around Leslie excluded.[12]

Kyshtym was granted town status in 1934.[citation needed]

Administrative and municipal statusEdit

Within 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.[3] As a municipal division, the Town of Kyshtym is incorporated as Kyshtymsky Urban Okrug.[3]

Nuclear disasterEdit

Kyshtym 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.[13]

There was a release of 740 PBq of fission products, approximately 10% of which was dispersed into the atmosphere.[14] Cerium-144 and Zirconium-95 (both relatively short lived isotopes with a half life of 285 and 64 days respectively) made up 91% of the release. There was 1 PBq of Sr-90, and 13 TBq of Cs-137. The contaminated zone, called East Urals Radioactive Trace (EURT), measuring 300 x 50 km was contaminated by more than 4 kBq/m² of Sr-90. The global fallout of Sr-90 was about 2 kBq/m². An area measuring 17 km² was contaminated by about 100 MBq Sr-90/m².

There were 270,000 inhabitants of the area. Mass evacuation was carried out as the critical contamination resulted from Sr-90 with a half-life of 28.8 years. About 800 km² of land were taken out of use, and 82% of this area has now been taken into use again for forestry and farming. However, evacuation was limited to the nearest settlements leading to more than 1000 acknowledged victims. It was estimated in 1990 that at this time, around 10,000 people lived in areas where the level of ambient radiation was more than quadruple that of the average in Chernobyl's restricted area after 1986.[15]

The Kyshtym accident was largely concealed by the Soviet government until 1980, when the Soviet biologist Zhores Medvedev revealed its existence.



  1. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года [2010 All-Russia Population Census] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  2. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Resolution #161
  4. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  6. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  7. ^ "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  8. ^ a b c Hoover, Herbert (1951). The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Years of Adventure 1874-1920. New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 102–107.
  9. ^ Dukes, Paul (February 26, 2015). A History of the Urals: Russia's Crucible from Early Empire to the Post-Soviet Era. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 9781472573797. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Burns, R. W. (2000). The Life and Times of A D Blumlein. IET. pp. 16–7. ISBN 9780852967737. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Kett Howard (1986). Mining Tsar: The Life and Times of Leslie Urquhart. Allen & Unwin. p. 71. ISBN 9780868618982. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  12. ^ Kennedy, Kett Howard (1986). Mining Tsar: The Life and Times of Leslie Urquhart. Allen & Unwin. p. 74. ISBN 9780868618982. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "Kyshtym accident" TED Case Studies: An Online Journal American University
  14. ^ Jones (2007) Windscale and Kyshtym: a double anniversary Journal of Environmental radioactivity 99:1-6
  15. ^ Eesti Ekspress 2 May 2009 9:29: Maailma kõige ohtlikum paik


  • Законодательное Собрание Челябинской области. Постановление №161 от 25 мая 2006 г. «Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований (административно-территориальных единиц) Челябинской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав», в ред. Постановления №2255 от 23 октября 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в перечень муниципальных образований (административно-территориальных единиц) Челябинской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Южноуральская панорама", №111–112, 14 июня 2006 г. (Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Resolution #161 of November 25, 2006 On Adoption of the Registry of the Municipal Formations (Administrative-Territorial Units) of Chelyabinsk Oblast and of the Inhabited Localities They Comprise, as amended by the Resolution #2255 of October 23, 2014 On Amending the Registry of the Municipal Formations (Administrative-Territorial Units) of Chelyabinsk Oblast and of the Inhabited Localities They Comprise. Effective as of the official publication date.).

External linksEdit