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 9 Nov 2017

Ru-106 in Europe

Ruthenium-106 was detected at the end of September by several European networks involved in the monitoring of atmospheric radioactive contamination. The levels of a few mBq per cubic metre of air are unlikely to cause any health effects. The IRSN (the French public expert in nuclear and radiological risks) has pooled the measurements to assess the possible origins of the release, which seems to be from somewhere near the Ural mountains. It should be noted that the detection of ruthenium alone excludes the possibility of an accident at a nuclear power plant. It could have arisen from the manufacture of radioactive sources or in RTG's (radionuclide thermoelectric generators) used for the power supply of satellites. See the IRSN website for further details.