Russian Federation denies nuclear incident after contamination reports

Russian Federation denies nuclear incident after contamination reports

In a statement, the Russian Meteorological Service said that it recorded the release of Ruthenium-106 in the southern Urals in late September and classified it as "extremely high contamination".

Its Mayak facility, where an explosion in 1957 contaminated a swath of central Russian Federation, told state news agency RIA Novosti it had not processed nuclear fuel with ruthenium-106 this year.

But Russian officials had denied any knowledge of leak at that time.

Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear company, has denied the leak.

French nuclear safety agency IRSN said it analyzed weather patterns to pinpoint the likely area of the release.

The facility, which reprocesses nuclear fuel, said it has not produced Ru-106 for many years.

Alarmingly high radiation levels nearly 1,000 times above normal levels have been detected in the Ural mountains, according to Russia's meteorological service.

Agrayash is located 30 kilometers from the Mayak Chemical Combine, a sprawling site for reprocessing nuclear fuel and producing radioactive material for industrial and research purposes, owned and operated by Rosatom.

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It said that the source of the pollution was probably an accident somewhere between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, adding that the concentrations measured in Europe were not a danger to public health.

On Monday, Rosgidromet said the isotope was detected in Tatarstan and southern Russian Federation, and had eventually reached "all European countries starting in Italy and toward the north of Europe" from 29 September.

Involvement in fact the release of risky chemical element ruthenium in the Chelyabinsk region, employees of the enterprise "Mayak" denies, despite the fact that many worldwide and domestic structures indicates that this enterprise is a source of the spread of radiation contamination.

The pollution from ruthenium-106 occurs when atoms are split in a reactor, and is also used in certain medical treatments. It does not occur naturally.

Greenpeace Russia on Monday called on Rosatom to open "an in-depth inquiry and publish the results about the incidents at Mayak", according to The Guardian.

The weather agency did not pinpoint the exact source of the pollution but sided with IRSN's interpretation, determining that a more diluted wave of pollution has spread to "all European countries starting in Italy and toward the north of Europe" last month.

It added that the quantity of Ru-106 at the suspected release site was "between 100 and 300 teraBecquerels" which is "very high" and in France would have led to measures to protect the population in the area.

At Beacon, in turn, argue that the release of ruthenium-106 are irrelevant and stated that after checking his background radiation did not reveal any abnormalities.

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