Mysterious ‘nuclear’ radiation spike over Europe detected and Russia could be to blame
A MYSTERIOUS spike in radiation levels has been detected over northern Europe and no one has claimed responsibility.
Several European authorities have revealed readings of an increase in human-made radionuclide particles in the atmosphere.
Fortunately, the levels of radiation are thought to be harmless to humans.
However, they’re still large enough to be picked up by radiation monitoring sensors across the continent.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority tweeted: “Very low levels of the radioactive substances cesium-134, cesium-137, cobalt-60 and ruthenium-103 were measured.
“The levels measured are so low that they pose no danger to people or the environment.”
22 /23 June 2020, RN #IMS station SEP63 #Sweden detected 3isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated w/Nuclear fission @ higher[ ] than usual levels (but not harmful for human health). The possible source region in the 72h preceding detection is shown in orange on the map. pic.twitter.com/ZeGsJa21TN
— Lassina Zerbo (@SinaZerbo) June 26, 2020
Norway and Finland also made similar observations.
Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, then tweeted a map showing what he described as “the potential source region”.
This showed that the possible reason for the anomaly could be in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Russia.
However, the largest part of the selected zone was in Russian territory.
Zerbo said in a separate tweet: “These isotopes are most likely from a civil source.
“We are able to indicate the likely region of the source, but it’s outside the CTBTO’s mandate to identify the exact origin.”
A civil source means the spike is likely related to something like a nuclear power plant and not nuclear weapons.
The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has since said in a statement that “the combination of radionuclides may be explained by an anomaly in the fuel elements of a nuclear power plant.”
It went on to say: “Some recent media reports claimed, possibly based on a mistranslation of our original report (in Dutch), that the radionuclides originated from western Russia.
“The claim RIVM makes is that the radionuclides travelled from the direction of western Russia to Scandinavia, but that no specific country of origin can be pointed out at this moment.”
The Associated Press reported that the radioactive spike could be due a damaged nuclear fuel element.
Although some people are pointing the finger in Russia’s direction, a spokesperson for Rosenergoatom, the Russian nuclear power station operations subsidiary, disputed this.
It claimed the facilities in Kola and Leningrad, the two nuclear plants in the highlighted region, were working normally.
Rosenergoatom told Russian news agency TASS: “Both stations are working in normal regime.
“There have been no complaints about the equipment’s work.
Why is radioactive waste dangerous?
Nuclear waste is hazardous for numerous reasons…
- Nuclear waste is a byproduct of nuclear fission, which is a reaction caused when atoms are thrown together to create energy and end up splitting into tiny particles
- These particles are highly unstable and can cause cells in the body to malfunction, leading to cancer and cell death
- Long term exposure to nuclear radiation can leave people with incurable illnesses but the changes in their bodies are often not apparent until it is too late
- Nuclear powerplants are good at creating lots of energy to power the World but there is no current 100% safe way to store their waste
- If storage facilities are not sealed properly then radiation can leak out into the environment, resulting in lots of diseases and the death of animals and ecosystems
“Aggregated emissions of all specified isotopes in the above-mentioned period did not exceed the reference numbers.
“No incidents related to release of radionuclide outside containment structures have been reported.”
It’s currently hard to say whether experts will be able to confirm where the slight surge in radiation came from.
A similar incident happened in 2017 and many suggested Russian power plants were responsible for that radiation spike.
These claims were also disputed by Russia.
According to a 2019 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Russian nuclear plant was a strong suspect.
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And, almost 20,000 tons of diesel has been released into an Arctic river in an ecological catastrophe.
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