Rise of radioactivity seen in northern Europe; Unknown source

HELSINKI – Nordic authorities say they detected slightly higher levels of radioactivity in northern Europe this month than Dutch officials said they could come from a source in western Russia and “indicate damage to a fuel element at a nuclear power plant. “

But the Russian news agency TASS, citing a spokesperson for state nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom., Reported that the two nuclear power plans in northwest Russia have not reported any problems.

The Leningrad plant near Saint Petersburg and the Kola plant near the northern city of Murmansk “operate normally, with radiation levels within the norm,” said Tass.

Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish radiation and nuclear safety observers this week said they had seen small amounts of radioactive isotopes harmless to humans and the environment in parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said on Tuesday that “it is now not possible to confirm what could be the source of the increased levels” of radioactivity or where a cloud or clouds containing radioactive isotopes have allegedly been blowing over the skies over the Northern Europe originated and its Finnish and Norwegian counterparts have also not speculated on a potential source.

But the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and Environment said on Friday that it analyzed the Nordic data and that “these calculations show that radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) come from the direction of western Russia.”

“Radionuclides are artificial, that is, they are man-made. The composition of the nuclides may indicate damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant, “the Dutch agency said, adding that” a specific source location cannot be identified due to the limited number of measurements. “

Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization tweeted on Friday that the organization’s radiation monitoring sensors in Sweden detected a slight increase in several harmless isotopes in northwestern European airspace.

The unidentified Rosatomenergo spokesperson told TASS on Saturday that radiation levels at and around the Leningrad and Kola power stations “have not changed in June, and no changes are seen today.”

“Both stations are operating in normal regime. “There have been no complaints about the team’s work,” Tass quoted him as saying, “There have been no reported incidents related to the release of radionuclides outside of the containment structures.”