The Soviet Union announced Saturday its failing nuclear powered satellite Cosmos 1900, which is expected to crash to Earth "shortly," is no longer a radiation danger because its atomic powerpack has been jettisoned into a higher and safer orbit.
The official Tass news agency said the satellite's nuclear reactor was automatically deactivated Saturday."The remaining part of the satellite, which will shortly burn up in the atmoshpere, poses no radiation danger," Tass said.
In West Germany, the Interior Ministry announced it canceled the precautions it ordered if the nuclear powerpack fell on German soil.
U.S. scientists in Nevada had also prepared for an emergency if the satellite fell on U.S. soil. They say the craft should crash within two weeks.
In 1978, a Soviet nuclear-powered satellite crashed in northwestern Canada and spread contaminated materials over a large area. The cost of the cleanup was $7 million and the Soviets compensated Canada.