The Techa River is a river on the eastern flank of the southern Ural Mountains noted for its nuclear contamination. It is about 240 kilometres (150 mi) long, and its basin covers 7,500 square kilometres (2,900 sq mi). It begins at the formerly secret nuclear-processing town of Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk Oblast about 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Chelyabinsk and flows northeast to Dalmatovo on the Iset River, a tributary of the Tobol River. Its basin is enclosed on the southeast by that of the Miass River, another river that flows northeast into the Iset.
From 1949 to 1956 the Mayak complex dumped an estimated 76 million cubic metres (2.7×109 cu ft) of radioactive waste water into the Techa River, a cumulative dispersal of 2.75 MCi (102 PBq) of radioactivity.
As many as forty villages, with a combined population of about 28,000 residents, lined the river at the time. For 24 of them, the Techa was a major source of water; 23 of them were eventually evacuated. In the past 45 years, about half a million people in the region have been irradiated in one or more of the incidents, exposing them to as much as 20 times the radiation suffered by the Chernobyl disaster victims.
- Techa River Archived 11 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- CHELYABINSK "The Most Contaminated Spot on the Planet" - a documentary film by Slawomir Grunberg - Log In Productions - distributed by LogTV LTD
- Pike, John. "Chelyabinsk-65 / Ozersk Combine 817 / Production Association Mayak". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- Radioactive Contamination of the Techa River and its Effects
- Clay, Rebecca (April 2001). "Cold War, Hot Nukes: Legacy of an Era". Environmental Health Perspectives. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 109 (4): a162–a169. doi:10.1289/ehp.109-a162. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- Zaitchik, Alexander (8 Oct 2007). "Inside the Zone". The Exile. Retrieved 29 September 2010.