Kyshtym is commonly known as the Forbidden (or Dead) Zone. The area was irradiated by a devastating nuclear explosion. Kyshtym used to be the name of a town. During the Cold War, the government of the Soviet Union contacted scientific experiments in the area. Sergei Krylov was a young geneticist who was employed there. He contacted experiments in genetic engineering, but was also placed in the forefront of nuclear research. In 1957, Krylov was responsible for a fatal mistake with radioactive waste disposal. The fatal error destroyed the town of Kyshtym.
The Soviet Union created the Forbidden Zone in part to hide another result of Krylov's experiments. He had accidentally created a Giant Amoeba which fed on atomic energy. Two decades later, Sergei Krylov returned to the area as the Presence. He attempted to destroy the creature, but was defeated and swallowed by the amoeba.
The Presence and the Red Guardian joined forces against the Amoeba and managed to destroy. The two victors admitted their feelings for each other and decided to settle in the Forbidden Zone. The radioactive nature of their powers would endanger any people coming in contact with them, but there were no other people in the Forbidden Zone.
Kyshtym has long been home to many of Russia's super-villains. The Soviet Super-Soldiers' first mission was to investigate the Forbidden Zone. They were later based there for a time.
- The nuclear explosion which created the Forbidden Zone is based on the Kyshtym disaster, a historical event of Earth-1218. Between 1945 and 1948, the Soviet Union created the Mayak plant to produce weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. The byproduct of the process was the creation of high-level radioactive waste. The waste was thrown into the river Ob and Lake Karachay. The waters of the Lake became highly contaminated. In 1957, the cooling system of one of the plant's tanks suffered a failure and was not repaired. On September 29, 1957, between 70 and 80 tons of radioactive waste exploded. There were no immediate human casualties, but the explosion contaminated the river Techa and resulted in the long-term contamination of a land area of up to 20,000 square kilometers (7722.04 square miles). At least 22 villages had to be evacuated and about 10,000 people were displaced by the disaster. While the Western press did publish minor mentions of the disaster in the 1950s, the actual extent of the radioactivity unleashed was only revealed in 1976. It caused a hysteria over the effects of such wide contamination.
- The Earth-1218 disaster is known as the "Kyshtym disaster", because the town of Kyshtym was the one closest to the area of the accident. Actually the accident took place in the vicinity of Ozyorsk, a government-controlled settlement whose existence was kept secret until the 1990s. Neither Kyshtym, nor Ozyorsk were actually destroyed by the disaster. They have continued to be populated by thousands of people. Both towns are currently part of the Chelyabinsk Oblast, one of several federal subjects (oblasts) of Russia. The oblast is located in the region of the Ural Mountains, which form the borders of Europe and Asia.
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