Radioactivity increase seen in Northern Europe; source unknown

HELSINKI – Scandinavian authorities said that this month Dutch officials in northern Europe said they could come from a source in western Russia and “damage a fuel element in a nuclear power plant.”

However, the Russian news agency TASS spoke to a spokesperson with state nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom, saying that two nuclear power plans in northwestern Russia did not report any problems.

“The normal operation, radiation levels are within the norm,” said Tass, the Leningrad factory near St. Petersburg and the Cola factory near the northern city of Murmansk.

Radiation and nuclear safety observers from Finland, Norway and Sweden said this week they detected small amounts of radioactive isotopes harmless to humans and the environment in Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic regions.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said on Tuesday that “it is not possible to confirm what the source of increasing levels might be” radioactivity, or where a cloud or clouds containing radioactive isotopes that are allegedly defended in northern clouds originate in Europe. His Finnish and Norwegian colleagues also did not speculate about a potential resource.

However, the National Institute of Public Health and Environment in the Netherlands said on Friday that it is analyzing Scandinavian data and “these calculations show that radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) come from the direction of West Russia”.

“Radionuclides are artificial, that is, man-made. The composition of the nuclides can damage a fuel element in a nuclear power plant, ”said the Dutch agency,“ a specific source location could not be determined due to a limited number of measurements. ”

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Agreement Organization tweeted on friday The organization’s radiation monitoring sensors in Sweden detected a slight increase in several harmless isotopes in northwest European airspace.

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Anonymous spokesman, Rosatomenergo, told TASS on Saturday, “It has not changed in June and no changes have been observed at the moment,” at Leningrad and Kola power plants and surrounding areas.

“Both stations work in the normal regime. There was no complaint about the operation of the equipment, ”said Tass. “No incident has been reported regarding the release of radionuclide outer containment structures.”

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