Stick to Your Science!
Possibly feeling his mortality and fearing to leave only a legacy of nuclear weapons, Kurchatov continued his work on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. He encouraged Sakharov to continue work on fusion reactors and also to publish his writings calling for an end to nuclear weapons tests.
in 1957, Kurchatov suffered a second stroke. Later in the same year a
waste storage tank exploded at the Chelyabinsk plutonium production plant.
Tens of thousands of people were exposed to high levels of radiation.
The plant had been dumping wastes into the nearby rivers for years, and
now the explosion made the entire area uninhabitable.
1959 Kurchatov had surgery to remove a growth near his collar bone. His
health was failing, but at his last public address in January of 1960
Chelyabinsk was the site of Kurchatov's first production reactor.
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