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Report of ‘extremely high’ radioactive pollution suggests nuclear cloud came from Russia via The Telegraph

Russia’s meteorological service has reported “extremely high pollution” of a radioactive isotope in the Urals near a facility that previously suffered the third worst nuclear catastrophe in history.

The news bolsters international reports that a ruthenium-106 leak originating in the Urals sent a radioactive cloud over Europe.  Greenpeace Russia has said it will ask the prosecutor general to investigate the possible cover-up of a nuclear accident.

[…]

The isotope, which doesn’t occur naturally, was detected in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland in late September. France’s nuclear safety institute said the “major” radiation leak likely occurred between the Urals and the Volga river. 

[…]

But a report by the Rosgidromet service on Monday revealed that the concentration of ruthenium-106 in Argayash, a village near Mayak, exceeded natural background pollution by 986 times at the end of September. The head of the service said excessive ruthenium-106 levels had also been documented in Poland, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Responding to accusations that local authorities had covered up the leak, Yevgeny Savchenko, the Chelyabinsk region public safety minister, said on Monday “fluctuations in background radiation” had not reached dangerous levels and thus “there was no basis for protective measures”. 

He also claimed it was suspicious that the leak was reported in France, “where there is a nuclear waste processing facility that competes with our Mayak”.

The independent news outlet Znak quoted a source at Mayak as saying the ruthenium-106 could have come from nuclear waste brought there for reprocessing. 

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