The possibility of a ruthenium-106 leak is not related to the «Mayak» activity
Representatives of the Mayak Production Association stated that the enterprise located in the Chelyabinsk region was not a source of the ruthenium isotope leakage into the atmosphere. The Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring of Russia (Roshydromet) reported the presence of an increased ruthenium-106 concentration in aerosol samples on the Russian Federation territory.
According to the enterprise’s official announcement, the atmospheric pollution by the ruthenium-106 isotope, indicated in the report of Roshydromet, is not related to the Mayak activity. The Mayak representatives said that the isotope of ruthenium can enter the atmosphere in the event of violations of the fuel elements shells at Nuclear Power Plants. The version of the fuel cell destruction or leakage during the handling of fuel at the enterprise is considered impossible, since only one isotope was fixed in the atmosphere. The enterprise claims that Mayak did not produce sources from ruthenium-106 in 2017 and «excess of radionuclide intake from the enterprise’s side to the atmosphere has not been registered.»
According to the Roshydromet report, the excess of the total beta activity in radioactive aerosol samples was recorded by all posts located in the South Urals from September 25 till October 1. The meteorological conditions during these months facilitated the transfer of air masses from the territory of the Urals to the Mediterranean and other European territories. This report «does not allow to draw a conclusion where was the source of pollution», the Roshydromet representative said.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace sent a letter to the supervisory authority with a request to verify a possible concealment of a radiation accident.
Let’s remind that earlier the authorities of Germany and France announced an increase in the ruthenium isotope concentration in the atmosphere over the European countries. Scientists from the Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN, France) published a map compiled on the information from control and weather stations basis. According to the IRSN calculations, the source of the isotope leak could be located on the territory of the Russian Federation.
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