Quantcast

Don't Worry, Europe, Radioactive Cloud Likely From Russian Nuclear Plant Accident Deemed 'Harmless'

Energy
IRSN

By Jake Johnson

An upsurge in radioactive pollution detected over Europe in recent weeks is likely the result of an accident at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said in a new report.

The radioactive plume—composed of Ruthenium-106—was detected "in the atmosphere of the majority of European countries" beginning late in September, IRSN observed.


While the detection of Ruthenium initially sparked concerns of food contamination, officials claimed that public health is not at risk.

"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," the agency concluded in a press release.

IRSN also ruled out "the possibility of an accident on a nuclear power plant, which would result in the presence of other radionuclides," suggesting that the material likely originated from a radioactive medicine center or nuclear fuel treatment site.

The precise point of release is also not known. IRSN suggested that "the most plausible zone of release lies between the Volga and the Urals" and published a map detailing its findings.

Map identifying, on the basis of the model-measurement comparison, the most plausible release zone. IRSN

Jean-Marc Peres, the director of IRSN, told Reuters that "Russian authorities have said they are not aware of an accident on their territory." Peres added that he has not been in contact with Kazakh officials.

Though authorities insisted that the nuclear plume was "harmless," IRSN's report was still met with alarm.

"There's no need for nuclear power, so why do we allow these accidents to keep happening?" the U.K.-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament wrote in response to the report. "The next one could be another Fukushima or Chernobyl."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The staircase to a subway station in SOHO with a temporary closure, flood control installation sign. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City tested out a new system designed to protect its subways stations from flooding when another super storm hits, creating a bizarre sight on Wednesday, as The Verge reported.

Read More Show Less
Flat-lay of friends eating vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner with pumpkin pie, roasted vegetables, fruit and rose wine. Foxys_forest_manufacture / Royalty-free / iStock / Getty Images

Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday if you're trying to avoid animal products — after all, its unofficial name is Turkey Day. But, as more and more studies show the impact of meat and dairy consumption on the Earth, preparing a vegan Thanksgiving is one way to show gratitude for this planet and all its biodiversity.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less