A cloud of radioactivity detected over Europe during a period of several weeks could have resulted from an accident at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, the IRSN nuclear safety institute in France has said. The revelation focuses the mystery surrounding high levels of ruthenium 106 detected by numerous European monitoring stations throughout October, but officials in neither Russia not Kazakhstan have yet indicated that any accidents have occurred on their territories. Although IRSN – the technical arm of ASN, the French nuclear regulator – could not determine the exact location of the radioactive release, it said that an analysis of weather patterns suggests it came from somewhere between the Volga River and the Ural mountains. IRSN said in its statement that the quantity of ruthenium 106 released was major – between 100 and 300 teraBecquerels. If an accident of that magnitude had occurred in France, IRSN said, it would have triggered evacuations for several kilometers around its source.
Bellona 10th Nov 2017 read more »
RUSSIA has sent a radioactive cloud hurtling towards western Europe after a nuclear “accident” spread dangerous levels of pollution through the air. French nuclear experts detected traces of ruthenium 106 in the air in three monitoring stations as the cloud engulfed the continent. The substance, a radioactive nuclide which is only produced when atoms are split in a nuclear reactor, was also found in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. One French official stressed it is “definitely not normal”. The country’s nuclear safety institute, IRSN, said it could not pinpoint the exact location of the release of the radioactive cloud, which was first detected at the end of September, but weather pattens suggest it came from somewhere south of the Ural mountains. This could indicate the plant is in either Russia, or perhaps over the border in Kazakhstan.
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