Mysterious radiation traced to Russia

Mysterious radiation traced to Russia

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A report has been issued by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).
“The concentration levels of Ruthenium-106 in the air that have been recorded in Europe and especially in France are of no consequence for human health and for the environment,” it notes.
“The release, accidental with regard to the quantity released, would have occurred during the last week of September 2017.”
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Ruthenium-106 particles do not occur in nature.
They’re a by-product of a nuclear reaction process.
But analysts say they do not believe the release came from a nuclear power plant.
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Instead, the Ruthenium-106 probably came from a nuclear fuel preparation site. Or somewhere working on nuclear-based medicine.
The radioactive cloud is very weak. But well within the realms of detection.
The report says the radiation was measured at between 100 and 300 terabecquerels (which counts the number of nucleus decays per second).
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The 2011 Fukishima disaster emitted about 900,000 terabecquerels, and the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe some 5.2 million terabecquerels.
The French-based group says that a nuclear accident of the scale that produced the cloud would likely require the evacuation of people from a radius of “a few kilometres around the location of the release”. It adds the chances agricultural produce in the area being dangerously contaminated by the Ruthenium-106 was low.
“For foodstuffs, the exceeding of maximum permitted levels (1250 Bq/kg for Ruthenium 106 for non-milk products) would be observed over distances of the order of a few tens of kilometres around the location of the release,” it notes.
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No accident has been admitted by Russian authorities.
But the ISRN has tracked the cloud from a source between the Ural Mountains and the Volga river. This encompasses parts of Russia and Kazakhstan.
“Russian authorities have said they are not aware of an accident on their territory,” IRSN director Jean-Marc Peres told Reuters.
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No comment has yet been made by authorities in Kazakhstan.
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