Reports are surfacing of a potential nuclear incident in and across Europe.
Small amounts of Iodine-131 have been detected over large areas of Europe, which is led many to believe that a nuclear “incident” may have taken place in the vicinity of the Arctic Circle during the past 5 to 7 days.
The Iodine-131 has a half life of just eight days, and proves that the release of this chemical was very reason. The source of the material still remains unknown.
Norway was the first to record the radioactivity, but France were first to officially inform citizens of the hazard.
“Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January”, the official French Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire (IRSN) wrote in a press release.
Officials have confirmed that the levels measured raised no health concerns.
No Idea Where It Came From
Finnish authorities also underscores that the levels measured are far from concentrations that could have any effect on human health. Neither STUK, nor IRSN speculate in the origin of the released Iodine-131.
Astrid Liland can’t either explain the origin of the radioactivity. “It was rough weather in the period when the measurements were made, so we can’t trace the release back to a particular location. Measurements from several places in Europe might indicate it comes from Eastern Europe,” Liland explains. “Increased levels of radioactive iodine in air were made in northern-Norway, northern-Finland and Poland in week two, and in other European countries the following two weeks, Astrid Liland says.
As the Barents Observers adds, Iodine-131 in the air could come from an incident with a nuclear reactor. The isotope is also widely used in medicine and for that purpose; many countries around the globe produce it.
All operators of nuclear reactors or institutions using Iodine-131 for medical purposes have detectors for external releases of radioactivity. In other words, as the Observer concludes, “Someone out there knows why the radioactivity was spread over larger areas of Europe.”
Nuclear installations in northwastern Europe, were the radioactivity was first discovered, includes nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden and Russia, in addition to nuclear powered vessels on Russia’s Kola Peninsula and White Sea area. The source could as well come from even further away installations.