Russia denies being the source of radioactivity in Europe

Written by on November 11, 2017 in World - Comments Off on Russia denies being the source of radioactivity in Europe

On April 26, 1986, something happened in Chernobyl. It was the one thing pro-nuke scientists had effectively ruled out. The Swedes noticed an elevated level of radioactivity, while the inhabitants of Prypyat, located right next to the nuclear power plant which blew, were starting to feel the grave effects of the catastrophe. They were not evacuated until the next morning. Many died.

Back then, the Bulgarians were not warned about high levels of radioactivity in the atmosphere either. While Western Europeans avoided being outside in the days after the Chernobyl disaster, due to the radioactive cloud over Europe, Eastern European children continued playing in parks.

Today, the world is asking itself whether the drama from thirty-one years ago is repeating itself, at least in some ways, since the Chernobyl catastrophe obviously was much worse.

However that may be, an elevated level of radioactivity was registered in Europe. The French Institute for Nuclear Safety noticed a “release of the isoptope-106”, also known as Ruthenium, and they suspect the source somewhere in Russia, to the west of the Ural mountains. This is the result of a new report which the French released of the matter.

This time, the radioactivity, which according to the French is not harmful in Europe, might have been spread after a nuclear accident which happened in late September. The authorities in Germany agree. Since September 29, 2017, elevated levels of Ruthenium had been measured, the German Institute for Radiation Protection said.

But again, the Russians would not admit any nuclear accident happened. They are rejecting all claims. According to them, they neither suffered any nuclear accident, nor does the radioactivity originate from any other source in Russia.

They said so, since another suspicion had been voiced in Western Europe. According to the latter, a Russian-made, Ruthenium-powered satellite might have re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. But this really does not seem to be the case. At least the International Atomic Energy Agency said it had not registered any re-entry of any satellite of this kind. Also, the question is whether a satellite would carry enough Ruthenium to spread it all over the continent.

What all of this shows is that Russia still does not seem to be ready to play ball in situations like this one, 31 years after Chernobyl.

Also, the radioactivity measured in Europe, and traced back to Russia, raises new questions about the security of the nuclear power plants in that country, and in general.

The latest drama around radioactivity coming from Russia, 31 years later, is definitely not reassuring.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com