Zheleznogorsk (Железного́рск) is a closed town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, with a developed nuclear industry. It was formerly known as Krasnoyarsk-26. Population:
In 1950, the former Soviet Union
created the closed city of Krasnoyarsk 26 for production of weapons plutonium. The history of the town and the associated defense complex are intertwined. In 1959 the Government created there under M.F. Reshetnev
supervision the Eastern office of OKB-1
(further NPO PM
- the satellite manufacturer
). Defense plants included nuclear facilities built within caverns excavated in the granite mountain on the norther edge of the city as well as space research enterprises.
The town was a secret city in the Soviet Union until President Boris Yeltsin decreed in 1992 that such cities could use their historical names. Before then, the town had not appeared on any official maps. As is the tradition with Soviet towns containing secret facilities (e.g. Ozersk, aka Chelyabinsk-40; Seversk, aka Tomsk-7; Sarov, aka Arzamas-16), Krasnoyarsk-26 is actually a P.O. Box number and implies that the place is located some distance from the city of Krasnoyarsk. The town was also known as Soctown, Iron City, the Nine, and Atom Town.
Zheleznogorsk is the location of the Krasnoyarsk Mining and Chemical Combine, a combine which played a significant role in the early Russian nuclear weapons production campaigns.
Zheleznogorsk is also the location for the production of plutonium, electricity and district heat using graphite-moderated water-cooled reactors (currently only one remains operating). It is the location of a military reprocessing facility and for a Russian commercial nuclear-waste storage facility.
In Sidney Sheldon
's novel The Sky Is Falling
, Krasnoyarsk-26 features prominently as a major factor in the murder of the Winthrops.