Paris: A cloud of radioactive pollution is spread over Europe after “accident” at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan, French nuclear safety officials confirmed on Friday. A cloud of radioactive pollution spread over Europe after a possible France’s nuclear safety institute, IRSN, picked up faint traces of ruthenium 106, a radioactive nuclide that is produced when atoms are split in a nuclear reactor and which does not occur naturally, in three of its 40 monitoring stations late September.
Faint traces were also detected in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. There has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe, a French official stressed, but he added that detection of such a cloud was “absolutely not normal”. Measurement from European stations showed high levels of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere of the majority of European countries, at the beginning of October, with a steady decrease from Oct. 6 onwards.
IRSN had initially also thought the radioactive material might have come from a satellite equipped with a thermo-generator containing ruthenium that disintegrated in the atmosphere. “But we don’t think this is the case,” said Mr Gariel as an IAEA investigation has concluded that no ruthenium-containing satellite has fallen back on earth during this period.