Russia named as likely source of Europe radioactivity spike




 

PARIS (AP) - An apparent accident at a Russian facility is suspected of causing a recent spike in radioactivity in the air over much of Europe, according to a report by France's nuclear safety agency.

The Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety says the release of the isotope Ruthenium-106 posed no health or environmental risks to European countries. It said the "plausible zone of release" was between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, and suggested random checks on food imports from the region as a precaution.

In a report released Thursday based on monitoring in multiple European countries, IRSN said the Ruthenium appeared to come from an accident in late September involving nuclear fuel or the production of radioactive material. The French agency said the Ruthenium didn't appear to come from an accident in a nuclear reactor because that would have released other elements.

Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection said last week that elevated levels of Ruthenium were reported in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France since Sept. 29, but posed no threat to public health.

After reports of a Ruthenium-106 leak from a plant in the southern Urals first appeared, Russia's state-controlled Rosatom corporation said in a statement last month that it hadn't come from its facilities.

"The claim that the contamination had a Russian origin is unfounded," it said.

The French report says the radioactivity peaked in late September and early October and affected a "majority of European countries" but is no longer detected in the atmosphere over Europe. However it said if such an accident had happened in France, authorities would set up a perimeter around the accident site to monitor health, safety and food quality.

Ruthenium-106 is used for radiation therapy to treat eye tumors, and sometimes as a source of energy to power satellites.

The French agency also said Ruthenium releases could come from the re-entry of a satellite into the Earth's atmosphere, but that the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that no satellites powered by Ruthenium re-entered the atmosphere during the time period.

France, which has an extensive nuclear energy industry, has reported a series of low-level nuclear incidents recently but none involving Ruthenium or threats to public health.

___

Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Lebanon
Lebanon's Hariri leaves Saudi Arabia for France on Friday
  • World
  • 2017-11-17 23:08:30Z

By Laila Bassam and Lisa Barrington BEIRUT (Reuters) - Saad al-Hariri, who sparked a crisis by resigning as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4 during a visit to Saudi Arabia, is on his way to the airport, he said early on Saturday, before his flight from Riyadh to France. Hariri's abrupt resignation

Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis
Lebanese president hopes Hariri visit to France will end crisis
  • World
  • 2017-11-16 20:33:28Z

By Sarah Dadouch and John Irish BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) - Lebanon's president said on Thursday he hoped the crisis over Saad al-Hariri's resignation as prime minister would end soon, with Hariri due to leave Saudi Arabia for France this weekend. Hariri quit in a broadcast from Saudi Arabia on

French military says coalition opposed IS withdrawal from Raqqa
French military says coalition opposed IS withdrawal from Raqqa
  • World
  • 2017-11-16 16:05:03Z

By Cyril Camu and Sophie Louet PARIS (Reuters) - France's military said on Thursday the coalition battling Islamic State in Syria had opposed a deal allowing fighters of the militant group to withdraw from their former bastion of Raqqa. The coalition had also been unable to launch air strikes

Saudi Arabia says Hariri
Saudi Arabia says Hariri 'free to leave'
  • World
  • 2017-11-16 15:55:02Z

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Thursday he would travel to France "very soon" from Saudi Arabia, which rejected accusations the premier was detained in Riyadh following his shock resignation. Hariri, who has been in the Saudi capital since announcing there on November 4 that he was

Despite EU caution, France pursues tough line on Iran missile program
Despite EU caution, France pursues tough line on Iran missile program
  • World
  • 2017-11-15 14:47:10Z

By John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Wednesday it wanted an "uncompromising" dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Paris has already suggested that new European

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.