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IAEA / Elevated Radioisotope Levels ‘No Threat To Health Or Environment’

By David Dalton
30 June 2020

Elevated Radioisotope Levels ‘No Threat To Health Or Environment’
Slightly elevated levels of three different radioisotopes detected in northern Europe pose no risk to human health or the environment, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

The IAEA, in an effort to help identify the possible origin of the radioisotopes, on Saturday contacted counterparts in Europe and requested information on whether they were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release.

The agency said that by Monday afternoon, 29 member states in the European region had voluntarily reported that there were no events on their territories that may have caused the observed air concentrations of ruthenium-103, caesium-134 and caesium-137.

They also provided information about their own measurements and results. In addition, some countries which have not been approached by the IAEA – Algeria, Georgia, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates – also reported voluntarily to the IAEA information about their measurements and that there were no events on their territories.

Russia is an IAEA member state, but was not one of the 29 states named by the IAEA as providing information on the elevated radioisotope levels. It had earlier denied any of its nuclear power plants were behind the readings. State nuclear operator Rosenergoatom said its two nuclear power stations in northwestern Russia – Leningrad and Kola – are operating as expected, with radiation levels within the norm.

“The levels reported to the IAEA are very low and pose no risk to human health and the environment,” said IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi. “I expect more member states to provide relevant information and data to us and we will continue to inform the public.”

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