Russian Radar Causes Ecological Problems
Baku Zerkalo 6 Jun 98 p14 N. Majidova report
A "top secret" stamp was put on the results of the research we are going to talk about below by the former Soviet KGB and later by Russia's Federal Security Service. Today, we have the opportunity to become acquainted with this document, which was certified by members of a government commission and a group of Azerbaijani experts. We are talking about the Russian military installation in Gabala District in Azerbaijan -- the radar station.
WHAT THE RADAR STATION IS DESIGNED FOR
There were nine stations of this type in the former Soviet Union. The Gabala (about 300 km west of Baku) and Mukachevo (Ukraine) radio stations were the latest ones in this series. The Gabala radio station is without equal in the world so far in terms of its technical parameters and favorable location. It is one of the most important stations in the air defenSe system of the former USSR, and now of Russia. Since it was put into operation in 1984 and up till now, this Russian radar system has been monitoring Iran, Turkey, China, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Australia, as well as most of the African countries and islands of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The Gabala radar station ensures the nuclear security of Russia, watching for the possible launch of interconintental ballistic missiles from the southern hemisphere. A missile launched from a submarine in the Indian Ocean instantly appears on a monitor in the command post of the Gabala station. The equipment of the radar station automatically processes data and gives technical details: speed, size of warheads, launch site, drop trajectory, and the target of the missile. Then this information goes in encoded form to Russian Ministry of Defense HQ and to the Russian President personally.<
About 2,000 Russian servicemen are serving at this military facility. There are also Azerbaijani citizens among the officers and warrant officers who work here under contract. The station is financed by Russia (wages, overalls etc.).
DOES AZERBAIJAN NEED THE RADAR STATION?
The radar station covers 210 hectares, plus 30 hectares of land which has turned into a scrap heap. The projected power of the station is 350 MW but it is impossible to use it to capacity because when using even 300 MW in 1984 one hectare of territory was completely burned. When installing high voltage lines, over 400 hectares of forest were destroyed. Apart from that, as a result of the station's operation, thousands of priceless trees have been dying after drying up because of lack of moisture. The amount of water in the soil started going down catastrophically when 16 deep artesian wells were drilled. They are necessary to ensure a constant [water] supply to the cooling system of the equipment of the radar station which is operating at a high temperature. Just one hour of operations at the station requires 300-400 cubic meters of water. After that, this used water is dumped on the mountain slope where the radar station is situated without chemical and biological cleansing and goes into the rivers below. [passage omitted: various species of fish used to live in the rivers before. The local population has to use this water for drinking. Freon is being used in the station]
Twenty-five tonnes of freon are used to cool the station's equipment just once. This gas destroys the ozone layer 500-600 times more than others. [passage omitted: At the beginning of the 1990s, the district executive authorities sounded the alarm and two years later parliament set up a special commission]
It was found out that the average electric field intensity exceeds the admissable norm by three or five times in the territory of the radar station and in the neighboring setlements. This was a result of safety norms being neglected before and transmitters with a capacity of more than 2 MW being built close to the setllements rather than 60-65 km away, as was planned in the technical documentation. [passage omitted: The soil in the area is infected with chemicals. Birth, death, and sickness rate figures.
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