A slight increase in radioactivity of human origin observed in northern Europe

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Unusual levels of human radioactivity have been detected in recent days in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Finland, Sweden and Norway have observed unusual low levels of human radioactivity in recent days. A harmless increase for man, according to a Dutch institute, which would find its origin in western Russia, when other indices point to Latvia.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, whose stations also measure increases in civilian radioactivity, published a probable area of the source, according to its measurements. The sector covers approximately the southern third of Sweden, the southern half of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, as well as a large area surrounding the northwestern border of Russia, including Saint Petersburg.

These traces of radioactivity "are most likely of civil origin. We can indicate the probable region of the source," but that "is not part of the agency's mandate," said Lassina Zerbo, secretary general of the international organization based in Twitter. Vienna.

Russian nuclear power producer Rosenergoatom has denied any incident at the two power plants operating in this sector.

"There have been no anomalies at the Leningradskaya and Kolskaya nuclear power plants," said a spokesman for the Russian agencies. The emissions "did not exceed the control values during the indicated period" and "there have been no incidents related to the release of radionuclides above the established levels," he continued.

According to calculations by the Dutch Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), "radionuclides come from the direction of western Russia", even if the measurements do not allow a more precise location to be identified. The identified nuclides are very artificial, therefore, of human origin. And its composition "may indicate damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant," the Dutch authority said in a statement.

Radioactivity problems in power plants in Latvia

In addition to Russia, Finland and Sweden, nuclear reactors operate in the area, but no incidents have been reported. The Baltic states do not have an active reactor, Lithuania has closed its only nuclear power plant of Soviet origin as part of its entry into the European Union.

On the other hand, radioactivity problems have been reported in recent years in conventional power plants in Latvia. These used wood from certain regions of Belarus, especially around Gomel and Mogilev, in the east of the country, which had been particularly contaminated by the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The operator of the heating and electricity network in the Latvian capital, Riga, apologized in 2018 for using wood containing radioactive elements. And the company, Rigas Siltums, announced in a press release on June 17 that it had launched a research project "on the control of radioactivity in wood and ash" of its power plants.

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