Orphaned Sources

still from the documentary

Video documentary about uncontrolled radioactive waste in Georgia, Caucasus

Released: August 2003

Film Festival screenings:

Higher resolution copies (VHS or DVD) can be ordered at info@falkor.org. Price: 5 Euro (excl. porto). Subtitles in Russian and English.

You can also download the video from our downloads page (low resolution) or watch/download it on Archive.org.

Summary of the content:

In June 2003 police in Tbilisi, Georgia (South Caucasus) seized a taxi which was transporting radioactive sources Cesium and Strontium. The owner of the vehicle said, he knew nothing about the contents of the freight. Even a tiny fraction of a curie of strontium, if inhaled or ingested, can cause cancer.
This is an example of the so-called orphaned sources: radioactive materials that are lying around in Georgia, a former Soviet republic. They have been found in forests and rivers, and in the city. Some of these materials were left behind by the Soviet army, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, some found their way to Georgia via illegal trading.
In Caucasus places where nuclear waste is stored have not always been well regulated. Large amounts of waste have been stolen by soldiers and citizens, hoping to make money out of it. In 1997 eleven Georgian soldiers were exposed to radiation and made seriously ill. In winter 2002, three residents of Tsalenjikha, western Georgia, suffered severe injuries due to exposure to a strontium source.
The issue radioactive pollution is politically sensitive in Caucasus countries. Governments seem to be closing up about the subject and information is difficult to obtain. Moreover, since 11th of September the subject radioactive materials is also being connected to 'the war on terrorism' (Georgia is neighbor of Chechnya) and illegal trading of sources.
How do radioactive substances affect citizens and environment? Severe accidents happened last years. Still radioactive sources are missing. What is being done to improve the safety of Georgian people?

Related articles:

-Orphaned sources (article from the documentary research) - November 2003

-Radiation Promoting Disease In the Samckhe-Javakheti Region in Georgia - 19-12-07
-Radioactive Material Found at ex-Russian Base - 16-08-07
-U.S.,Georgia agree on fight against nuke smuggling - 02-02-07
-Georgia: U.S. Official Comments on Uranium Smuggling Case - 27-01-07
-Enriched uranium sting announced - 26-01-07
-Radioactive Sources Recovered - 29-07-06
-Government Cannot "Govern" the Radiation Military Baseline of Lilo - a Danger for Population - August-September, 2005
-Chechnya's ticking radiation bomb - 27 January, 2005


Falkor I.C.Y
Interviews with: Soso Kakushadze, Maja Kapanadze, Rusudan Simonidze, Ucha Nanuashvili
This documentary is a joint effort of: Janita Top, Marij Kloosterhof, Benjamin Diss, Ziggy Woeber, Coco Varvaridze, Nina J. Tchkheidze, Nino Gvedashvili, Pillippa Gallop, Rusudan Chkeidze
Editing: Martin J.A. Lambeek, KeyOne - Media Weaving
Music: godspeed you black emperor!
Sponsors: Stichting Overal Nijmegen, Objectief Groningen
Thanks to: Alexander Russetsky, Willem Tjebbe Oostenbrink, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Joop Boer, Laka, Marieke Rodenburg, Mark Scheper, Martin Hoek, Nannie van Vliet, Paul Giesen, Stefan Klein, Theo Kurstjens, Ministry of Environment of Georgia for footage