Recently, the media reported on the “radioactive cloud over Scandinavia.” We looked at what is being said about this in the press of different countries.
According to The Independent, nuclear safety officials from Finland, Norway and Sweden announced last week that they discovered a slight increase in radioactive isotopes (radionuclides) in Scandinavia and some Arctic regions.
Radionuclides are nuclides whose nuclei are unstable and undergo radioactive decay.
Cesium-134, cesium-137, and ruthenium-103 radionuclide concentrations are reported to have increased in parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia, and the Arctic.
According to Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBT), on Twitter, although these radionuclides do not harm people, they are by-products of nuclear fission.
On Friday, June 26, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment stated that it had analyzed the data transmitted by Norway and concluded that these radionuclides were of artificial origin.
According to Dutch researchers, radionuclides could move from the western part of Russia to Scandinavia, but it is not yet possible to determine a specific country of origin. “The composition of the nuclides may indicate damage to the fuel cell at a nuclear power plant, [but] the specific location of the source cannot be identified due to the limited number of measurements,” the report said.
22 /23 June 2020, RN #IMS station SEP63 #Sweden🇸🇪 detected 3isotopes; Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated w/Nuclear fission @ higher[ ] than usual levels (but not harmful for human health). The possible source region in the 72h preceding detection is shown in orange on the map. pic.twitter.com/ZeGsJa21TN
— Lassina Zerbo (@SinaZerbo) June 26, 2020
In Western Russia, there are two nuclear power plants – near St. Petersburg and Murmansk. However, a representative of Rosenergoatom, in a comment to the TASS news agency, said that both nuclear plants in western Russia were operating “in normal mode”.
“There were no complaints about the operation of the equipment. “Incidents related to the release of radionuclides outside the sarcophagus were not reported,” the report said.
Roshydromet experts also did not reveal an excess of the level of radioactive particles in the Baltic Sea region.
At the same time, as the Estonian publication ERR reported on June 28, the Harku radiation monitoring station of the Department of the Environment found very small amounts of cesium, cobalt, and ruthenium isotopes in the air.
According to Teet Koytjärve, adviser to the radiation Department of the Environment, they do not threaten human health, since “the number of isotopes is minimal.” But experts still need to find out “where did these particles come from.”
Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu exchanged information with his colleagues from Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania about the increase in the concentration of radioactive particles.
According to Reinsalu, the increase in radioactivity recorded in Northern Europe is certainly man-made, and its source must be determined.
Probably, analyzes collected in different places will help find the source of radiation – they will be ready by next week.