Mystery cylinders 'no threat'

  • 2007-08-15
  • Staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - Officials have said that several cylinders of unknown origin found Aug.10 - 11 in a forest near Turmantas do not pose a threat to residents of nearby villages. The cylinders, which had been leaking a suspicious material, caused concern because they were discovered just 5 kilometers from the Ignalina nuclear power plant.
According to Lithuania's National TV show "Panorama," an unidentified powder had poured out of some of the cylinders.

After the discovery, police surrounded the location and cordoned off an area within a radius of half a kilometer, BNS reported.
However, investigations by the special services of the Zarasai district determined that the materials were not hazardous.
"Radiation was measured, but the level of it was not high. The findings are not related to radiation," Eugenijus Eltermanas, head of the Zarasai district's Public Order Department, told journalists.
Armed forces mine-clearers also examined the cylinders. The aftermath of World War II has left many remains of unexploded bombs and shells in Lithuania's rural areas and forests. The experts told BNS that the cylinders are not explosives, but did not know what they are.
Municipal officials of the Zarasai district said that an investigation is being performed in order to find out what kind of devices these are and what their purpose is.
"These could even be voltaic cells used over the period of war. We have to investigate everything," they told journalists.

As of press time, the cylinders had yet to be identified. Zarasai district officials contacted by The Baltic Times would not respond to requests for an update.
The Soviet-era Ignalina nuclear power plant has the same type of reactor as caused the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine. The European Union reached a deal to close the nuclear power plant in 2009 due to safety concerns.