Russia denies nuclear incident after international body finds isotopes

MOSCOW / STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday it had detected no signs of a radiation emergency, after an international body reported last week that sensors in Stockholm had detected small amounts of unusual radioactive isotopes produced by the nuclear fission. .

FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov visits Dream Island amusement park before its upcoming inauguration in Moscow, Russia, February 27, 2020. REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov / Pool / File Photo

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which monitors the world for evidence of nuclear weapons, said last week that one of its stations scanning the air for radioactive particles had found unusual levels, though Harmless, Cesium-134, Cesium. 137 and ruthenium-103.

The isotopes were “certainly products of nuclear fission, most likely from a civilian source,” he said. He tweeted a map showing where the material is likely to have originated, which included parts of various Baltic and Scandinavian countries, as well as a strip of western Russia.

When asked Monday about reports that Russia may have been the source of a leak, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We have an absolutely advanced radiation level safety monitoring system and there are no alarms for emergency”.

“We do not know the source of this information.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency has asked countries if they have detected isotopes and “if any events may have been associated with this.”

Finnish nuclear safety authority STUK said on Monday it had also found small amounts of nuclear particles in samples collected on its southern coast. But the concentrations were small enough that they could have “stemmed from the normal operation or maintenance of nuclear reactors,” he said.

Radiation protection expert Jan Johansson of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said the variations were extremely low, well below the levels seen in Sweden after the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan, and that they had no impact on the radiation protection.

“What stands out here is the combination of these substances. That is not something we usually see, “he told Reuters.

The TASS news agency, citing Rosenergoatom, a unit of the Rosatom state nuclear company, said over the weekend that the two northwestern Russian nuclear power plants, in Leningrad and Kola, were operating normally and radiation levels were changed.

Reports by Anastasia Teterevleva in MOSCOW, Francois Murphy in VIENNA, Anna Ringstrom in STOCKHOLM and Tarmo Virki in TALLINN; Written by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Peter Graff

Our Standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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