11.10.2017_No203 / News in Brief

Protection Measures May Have Been Needed For Ru-106 Release, Says France’s IRSN

Security & Safety

11 Oct (NucNet): Measures for the protection of the public may have been necessary given the amount of the isotope ruthenium-106 (Ru-106) detected last week by several European networks monitoring atmospheric radioactive contamination, France’s Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN) said in a statement on 9 October 2017. IRSN did not elaborate on what it mean by protection measures, but they would normally include the population in the source region of the contamination staying indoors, agricultural products being checked before consumption, and local surveillance intensified. IRSN said on 6 October 2017 that the Ru-106 appeared to have originated somewhere in the southern Urals region of Russia. IRSN said its conclusion was based on calculations of concentration levels measured in several European countries and on the meteorological conditions. IRSN said the detection of Ru-106 alone excludes the possibility of an accident on a nuclear power plant, which would result in the presence of other radionuclides. Ru-106 can occur in nuclear fuel cycle installations, in facilities manufacturing radioactive sources or in generators used for powering satellites. It is also used in the treatment of eye tumours. Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has reached similar conclusions, IRSN said. BfS said in a statement that it expects an explanation from Russia and accurate information on the causes of high levels of Ru-106. Russian state media said there was no evidence to suggest the elevated levels of Ru-106 had originated in the southern Urals.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Ruthenium-106 Originated From Southern Urals, Says France’s IRSN (News in Brief No.201, 09 October 2017)

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NucNet

Editor:

David Dalton

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