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Earlier in the year there was a mysterious radioactive iodine discharge impacting Europe and the origin never officially identified. From end September into early October there was yet another mysterious radioactive discharge impacting Europe – this one Ruthenium 106. Why have no measures been taken? Why does the source(s) remain a mystery? Why are people not notified and warned in a timely manner so as to minimize exposure?
IRSN France info-graphic
Over a month ago (Oct. 5th), CRIIRAD Association-Lab, located in France, raised the alarm about the Ruthenium 106 (radioactive) discharge impacting Europe and the risks run by those close to the discharge location, but in vain. They underlined the importance of looking for the source of the discharge. If the installation is unaware then they can’t put in place protective measures; if it is a cover-up, that’s an even bigger problem, as they point out. The 300 Terabecquerels estimated by France’s ISRN is 375,000 times more than the annual discharge allowed for beta and gamma emitters at the Cruas Nuclear Power Station, they note. Cruas NPS has four pressurized reactors.
CRIIRAD wonders why there weren’t radiation controls of airplanes which may have flown over the area discharging the radioactive materials? Why didn’t European embassies take some measures in the countries believed to be at the origin of the massive discharge of (radioactive) Ruthenium 106, such as taking soil, vegetation, and food samples? While EU member states didn’t underline the potential gravity of the situation for the population and workers near the discharging installation, they could have at least worried about protecting their own citizens who were travelling or staying in those countries believed to be guilty. Chernobyl showed the importance of acting quickly. Abnormal levels of (radioactive) Ruthenium 106 were first detected at the end of September.
Whereas France says that no measures are needed, CRIIRAD says that it is indispensable to mobilize all means available to the EU, such controls on food and products coming from the zones believed to be the source of the discharge, and action by embassies, in order to determine precisely the origin of the discharges and to make certain that the nearby populations benefit from protective measures, even though these are late. Ruthenium 106 has a half-life of over a year and so will remain radioactive in the environment for over a decades.
Read the CRIIRAD news release here: “Contamination par le ruthénium 106 Les rejets radioactifs sont considérables et proviendraient de Russie ou de pays proches“, 10 Nov., 2017: http://balises.criirad.org/pdf/cp_criirad_17-11-10_radioactivite_%20ru106.pdf
All of this points to the unacceptable slowness and ineptitude of Europe and the IAEA in addressing the still unidentified source of discharge(s). Furthermore, the source of a radioactive iodine plume earlier this year was never officially identified, though it has been speculated that it was Budapest Hungary, again.
Again and again countries strip away the free will of the population to make decisions to protect their own health. To find out days, weeks, months, years or even decades later about a radioactive exposure is too late. It is criminal betrayal. While inadequate, at least the minimum option of sheltering in place as a radioactive plume passes through the area should be given to people. Radiation is an invisible killer and if there is no notification, then people do not know to take precautions.
It is worth noting that the legal routine discharge of radioactive materials from nuclear facilities, including nuclear power stations, during the entire nuclear fuel chain, undermines free will as well. The entire nuclear industry does. They decide what risks to take with our lives. They decide how many deaths are acceptable and what life-shortening effects are acceptable. And, the public is largely unaware.
At least Europe has a thick network of active radiation monitors which the public can look at, unlike the US which has around one per state, with some states having none, and some two, and the US keeps many of them offline.