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Sillamäe is a town in Ida-Viru County in the northern part of Estonia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. It has a population of 16,183 (as of 1 January 2010) and covers an area of 10.54 km². Sillamäe is located at the mouth of Sõtke River. During the Soviet regime in Estonia, Sillamäe was a closed town mainly because of the chemical factory (Silmet) in there which produced fuel rods and nuclear materials for the Soviet nuclear power plants and weapon facilities. During 19461952, locally-mined Dictyonema argillite (a type of oil shale) was used for uranium production. Later uranium was imported from various locations from the Eastern Bloc, mainly Czechoslovakia. Uranium ore from the Bihor mine operated by Sovromcuar (one of the SovRoms operated jointly by the Soviet Union and Romania) was also processed at Sillamäe. Rumor has it that the first Soviet nuclear bomb was created from the uranium mined at Sillamäe. There are several seaside resorts located near Sillamäe (e.g. in Toila and Narva-Jõesuu), especially popular during the Soviet era. In 2005, a port was opened in Sillamäe. From 2006 to 2007 there was a regular ferry service between Sillamäe and Kotka, Finland.
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