First News - - Science News -

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL char­ity Green­peace has called for an ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a pos­si­ble cover-up of a very se­ri­ous nu­clear leak in Rus­sia.

Lev­els of ruthe­nium-106, a dan­ger­ous ra­dioac­tive el­e­ment, were found to be nearly 1,000 times above nor­mal lev­els last month.

On 10 Novem­ber, French sci­en­tists said they had de­tected in­creased lev­els of nu­clear sub­stances in the at­mos­phere above France, thought to have orig­i­nated in Rus­sia. At first, the Rus­sian nu­clear agency de­nied be­ing re­spon­si­ble. Now, au­thor­i­ties have ad­mit­ted the ruthe­nium reached “all Euro­pean coun­tries start­ing in Italy and to­ward the north of Europe”.

The high­est lev­els of Ru-106 were found near a fa­cil­ity that pro­cesses nu­clear fuel waste, but the plant de­nied it was the source of the leak, and said that, in any case, the lev­els pre­sented “no threat at all to health”. Green­peace Rus­sia thinks there may have been a cover-up, and has de­manded an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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