Pu-239, The Half Life of Timofey Berezin

A worker at a Russian nuclear facility gets exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. In order to provide for his family, he steals some plutonium and sets out to sell it on Moscow’s black market with the help of an incompetent criminal.


PU-239 is a 2007 film directed by Hollywood producer Scott Z. Burns based on the book PU-239 and Other Russian Fantasies written by Ken Kalfus.

The film was shown twice at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival under the title The Half Life of Timofey Berezin, before being distributed by HBO Films under its original working title.

Wikipedia reports on this movie as follows; “Pu-239 is the chemical symbol for plutonium-239 (239Pu), a radioactive isotope of the chemical element plutonium.

Timofey Berezin (Paddy Considine) works at a former top-secret, badly run and aged nuclear reprocessing facility plant in Skotoprigonyevsk-16, a former closed city and anaukograd. At the film’s outset, he is exposed to radioactive contamination while selflessly trying to stop a criticalitymalfunction. 

The facility’s draconian managers maintain his exposure was a survivable 100 rems, while accusing him of sabotage and suspending him without pay. Loyal coworkers, however, help Timofey discover the truth: he was exposed to 1,000 rems of radiation (the citizens of Hiroshima received less). Suffering from acute radiation poisoning, he has only days to live.

Before Timofey’s adoring wife, Marina (Radha Mitchell), is fully aware of his fate, he leaves for Moscow, on a mission to secure a better future for her and their young son. He hooks up with a small-time gangster, Shiv (Oscar Isaac), in hopes of finding a buyer for a selfmade canister of a little over 100 grams of weapons-grade plutonium salt he has stolen. 

It is 1995, only a few years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and they spend their time hurtling through the hotels, nightclubs and private palaces of the new Moscow underworld, ricocheting between two rival crime lords (Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Steven Berkoff). However, what Timofey and Shiv never realize is that they are both caught in the same vise: trying to find a way free of a certain fate; hoping to do right by their loved ones before it is too late.
Production notes

The film was shot primarily in Romania, in Bucharest and Ploieşti.

Eddie – 2008, Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Non-Commercial 
Excellence in Production Design Award – 2008, Television Movie or Mini-Series
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu-239_(film)

Pu-239, The Half Life of Timofey Berezin; via A Green Road

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