Radiation Increase Detected in Northern Europe

In summary, a radiation increase of isotopes commonly associated with nuclear power production has been detected in Northern Europe in the past few weeks. The monitoring station in Sweden detected three isotopes associated with nuclear fission at higher than usual levels on June 22 and 23, and other countries such as Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands have also reported elevated levels of radiation. The source of this radiation is believed to be a potential anomaly at a nuclear power plant, with speculation pointing to facilities in Russia. However, Russia has denied any issues at their plants. This incident has drawn comparisons to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, as the detection and reporting of the radiation were similar. Some have also raised the possibility of the source being a naval
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A radiation increase of isotopes commonly associated with nuclear power production has been detected in Northern Europe in the past few weeks:

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In a tweet, Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Austria, said that a monitoring station in Sweden detected three isotopes associated with nuclear fission at higher than usual levels on June 22 and 23.
...
The combination of radionuclides may be explained by an anomaly in the fuel elements of a nuclear power plant,” said the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in a statement.
[quote from that statement]
Iodine-131 was detected in Norway, while cesium-134, cesium-137, cobalt-60 and ruthenium-103 were detected in Sweden and Finland. The amount of radioactivity was very low and there was no impact on the environment or human health.
https://www.foxnews.com/science/mysterious-radiation-spike-reported-parts-of-northern-europe
https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/29/europe/russia-denies-nuclear-leaks-intl/index.html

The data points to a potential "anomaly" at a nuclear power plant, perhaps the Leningrad plant near St. Petersburg or the Kola plant near Murmansk. Russia says there are no issues at those plants. I'm not sure if we're going to get more information about this or not...
 
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Last time this happened exactly via the same route was in 1986.
 
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fresh_42 said:
Last time this happened exactly via the same route was in 1986.
Well, given the timeframe here (whatever happened was over a week ago) I would expect/hope that if it were a serious accident the fallout would be much greater. My understanding was the spiking radiation was noticed quickly and it was significant and widespread across Europe. Still, even a minor "anomaly" from everyone's least favorite nuclear power country would be concerning.

Edit; Yeah, wikipedia tells me that elevated radiation levels were first detected in Sweden two days after that accident, and the significance was pretty much immediately apparent, and the initial denial was superseded later in the day.
 
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It just reminded me on May 1986. It has been Sweden to first detect it then, too, and it had also a delay of seven to ten days. And of course nobody had the severity in mind which later turned out to be. I'm not claiming that this incident is similar, but the parallels are frightening.
 
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fresh_42 said:
It just reminded me on May 1986. It has been Sweden to first detect it then, too, and it had also a delay of seven to ten days.
Wikipedia says it was 2 days.

[edit] But yeah, the general theme is parallel and concerning, which is why I posted it.
 
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russ_watters said:
Wikipedia says it was 2 days.
Maybe. It took a while till the news were around everywhere. Detection and publishing it might not have been to the same date, especially as they couldn't rule out at the beginning that it was one of their own plants. The mandate for reports were a consequence of it, not the other way around.
 
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The sensitivity of these detectors is remarkable. A <5 g release at Fukushima was easily observable in Europe, half the world away. 5g is about the weight of a nickel.

Why are people jumping to the conclusion of land-based reactors? (As opposed to submarines)
 
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Vanadium 50 said:
Why are people jumping to the conclusion of land-based reactors? (As opposed to submarines)
I think one of the articles mentioned the shape and spread of the plume suggested a direction (and maybe distance?). But also, aren't naval reactors a different fuel composition than civilian power reactors? Higher enrichment?
 
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russ_watters said:
shape and spread of the plume suggested a direction

It did. The Baltic Sea lies in that direction.

russ_watters said:
But also, aren't naval reactors a different fuel composition than civilian power reactors?

I can't speak to that. But what they claim is fission products, not the primary fuel and its enrichment.
 

1. What caused the increase in radiation detected in Northern Europe?

The increase in radiation was caused by a release of radioactive particles from a nuclear power plant in Russia.

2. How dangerous is the radiation increase in Northern Europe?

The radiation levels detected in Northern Europe are relatively low and pose no immediate health threat. However, continued exposure to high levels of radiation can have long-term health effects.

3. Is the radiation increase in Northern Europe a cause for concern?

While any increase in radiation levels should be monitored and addressed, the current levels detected in Northern Europe are not a cause for immediate concern. However, it is important for authorities to continue monitoring and investigating the source of the increase.

4. What measures are being taken to address the radiation increase in Northern Europe?

Authorities in affected countries are monitoring the situation closely and have implemented measures such as distributing iodine tablets and advising people to avoid consuming certain foods. They are also working to identify the source of the radiation increase and take necessary actions to prevent further releases.

5. How can individuals protect themselves from the radiation increase in Northern Europe?

Individuals can protect themselves by following the advice of local authorities, such as avoiding consumption of potentially contaminated foods and staying indoors if advised. It is also important to stay informed and follow updates from reliable sources.

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