Russia Admitted about Radioactive Contamination over Europe in September

Russia Admitted about Radioactive Contamination over Europe in September

But on November 9, France's Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said ruthenium-106 had been detected in France between September 27 and October 13.

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

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

After several weeks of denial, Russian Federation has finally admitted that "extremely high" concentrations of radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 caused the recent mysterious radioactive cloud over Europe.

In their study, the French researchers believed that the Ruthenium-106 isotopes could have come from a medical research plant, a fallen satellite (of which there had been no reports) - or a nuclear fuel reprocessing site.

A city near the Ural Mountains in Russian Federation that is increasingly looking like the origin of the radioactive cloud released in September.

Argayash, where pollution levels were 986 times the norm, is located around 20 miles from a huge nuclear reprocessing plant known as Mayak.

In October, Rosatom, Russia's nuclear corporation, said that "in samples tested from September 25 to October 7, including in the southern Urals, no trace of ruthenium-106 was found, except in St Petersburg".

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But a representative of Rosatom nuclear corporation told AFP "there have been no incidents at nuclear infrastructure facilities in Russian Federation", adding that the concentration detected posed little threat.

The French institute said a nuclear reactor could not have been the source of the Ru-106 as other radioactive elements would also have been detected. In 1957, the plant triggered what environmental activists later called the world's "second biggest nuclear disaster in history" after a storage tank exploded and radioactive waste was spread across the region - contaminating tens of thousands of people.

The primary uses of ruthenium are in alloys and as catalysts for industrial processes.

Ruthenium is part of the platinum group of metals.

France's nuclear safety agency earlier this month recorded radioactivity in the area between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains from a suspected accident involving nuclear fuel or the production of radioactive material.

It has prompted demands by Greenpeace's Russian Federation branch for a more "in-depth inquiry". Greenpeace Russia has said it will ask the prosecutor general to investigate the possible cover-up of a nuclear accident.

National weather service chief Rosgidromet Maksim Yakovenko also said the concentration detected "poses no danger to population's health", adding that it was not the organization's job to detect the source.

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