The Kyshtym Nuclear Disaster: Background information when reading The Half Life of Valery K

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Half Life of Valery K

by Natasha Pulley

The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley X
The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2022, 384 pages

    Mar 19, 2024, 384 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Peggy Kurkowski
Buy This Book

About this Book

The Kyshtym Nuclear Disaster

This article relates to The Half Life of Valery K

Map showing radioactive traces in the area of the Urals after the Kyshtym disasterWhile Chernobyl may be the first incident that comes to mind when someone thinks about nuclear disasters in the 20th century, this event actually had a precursor in the USSR: the "Kyshtym disaster" of 1957. Basing her novel The Half Life of Valery K on this event, author Natasha Pulley's fictional "City 40" is modeled on Chelyabinsk-40, or as it is known today, Ozersk.

Nestled in the Ural Mountains in the Chelyabinsk Region, Ozersk is home to one of the biggest nuclear facilities in the Russian Federation, the Mayak Production Association. Established in 1948, Mayak played a pivotal role in the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons program, responsible for producing plutonium and tritium, as well as highly enriched uranium. Russian state nuclear regulator and operator Rosatom currently runs it to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.

But on September 29, 1957, an underground tank full of nuclear weapon waste exploded, shooting at least 20 million curies of radiation into the atmosphere and ...

Subscribers Only

This article is only available to members at this time, but you can read these articles for free.

About Membership

Member Login

Library Patron Login

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Voted 2021 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Angeline Boulley's young adult ...
  • Book Jacket: Hello Beautiful
    Hello Beautiful
    by Ann Napolitano
    Ann Napolitano's much-anticipated Hello Beautiful pulls the reader into a warm, loving familial ...
  • Book Jacket: The West
    The West
    by Naoíse Mac Sweeney
    It's become common for history books and courses to reconsider the emphasis on "Western Civilization...
  • Book Jacket
    A Death in Denmark
    by Amulya Malladi
    Can a mystery novel be informative, intriguing and deeply comforting all at once? Amulya Malladi ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The First Conspiracy
by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch
A remarkable and previously untold piece of American history—the secret plot to kill George Washington

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Paper Names
    by Susie Luo

    A propulsive and sweeping story of family, identity and the American experience—for fans of Jean Kwok and Mary Beth Keane.

  • Book Jacket

    by Costanza Casati

    Madeline Miller's Circe meets Cersei Lannister in this propulsive and richly drawn debut.

Win This Book
Win Such Kindness

30 Copies to Give Away!

Few writers paint three-dimensional characters with such verve and humanism.
Booklist (starred review)



Solve this clue:

S I F A R Day

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.