Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

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

By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton

Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Kevin Maillefer / Unsplash

By Lynne Peeples

Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.

In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less
New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

piyaset / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In an alarming new study, scientists found that climate change is already harming children's diets.

Read More Show Less