The unexplained increase in radioactivity in Northern Europe

The soaring concentration of radioactivity in northern Europe is thought to have come from a troubled nuclear power plant in western Russia.

Nuclear safety surveillance authorities in Finland, Norway and Sweden have simultaneously reported the discovery of soaring radioisotopes in Scandinavia and parts of the Arctic. While the Swedish Radioactive Safety Authority said on June 23 that it had not been able to confirm the source of radiation, Dutch authorities analyzed data from neighboring countries and concluded that radiation came from the western part of the country. Russia.

Picture 1 of The unexplained increase in radioactivity in Northern Europe
Organization of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty delineates the area that could be the source of radiation. (Photo: Live Science).

"Radioactive nuclei are artificial objects," the Netherlands Institute of Public Health and Environment announced on June 26. "The composition of the nucleus may indicate damage to a fuel element at the nuclear power plant but we cannot determine the specific location due to limited measurements."

Radioactive nuclei are atoms with unstable nuclei. The excess energy inside the nucleus is released through radioactive decay. The radionuclide density of cesium-134, cesium-137 and ruthenium-103 isotopes increases in parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic, according to Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Particle Ban Convention Comprehensive. Although not harmful to humans or the environment, they are a by-product of nuclear reactions.

However, Rosenergoatom, the power company that runs nuclear power plants in Russia, denied there was a problem with two plants in the northwest of the country. A Rosenergoatom spokesman said both the plants near St Petersburg and Murmansk were operating normally with the allowed amount of radiation. According to Rosenergoatom, the amount of radiation in the two plants remained unchanged throughout June.

"Both plants are operating stably. There have been no reports of any incidents with equipment or accidents that caused radioactive nuclei to escape from storage structures , " Rosenergoatom said.

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