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Mysterious Radioactive Cloud

ded i Nov 10, 2017

  1. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil

    Mysterious Radioactive Cloud Over Europe Hints At Accident Farther East


    Is Komodo on vacation? :komodo:

    'European authorities are providing new details about a cloud of mysterious radioactive material that appeared over the continent last month.

    Monitors in Italy were among first to detect the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 on Oct. 3, according to a fresh report by France's Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute, known as IRSN. In total, 28 European countries saw the radioactive cloud, the report says.

    The multinational Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, which runs a network designed to monitor for nuclear weapons tests, also confirmed to NPR that it had detected the cloud.

    Based on the detection from monitoring stations and meteorological data, the mysterious cloud — which has since dissipated — has been traced to somewhere along the Russia-Kazakhstan border, according to Jean-Christophe Gariel, director for health at the IRSN.

    "It's somewhere in South Russia," he says, likely between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.

    Authorities say the amount of material seen in Europe was small. "It's a very low level of radioactivity and it poses no problems for health and the environment in Europe," Gariel says.'
    begreen61, crogers and Kelper like this.
  2. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    unfucken believable ,,what's next man is so destructive .
    Kelper likes this.
  3. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil


    Though on a vastly smaller scale, this incident is eerily reminiscent of the Chernobyl disaster, when Soviet authorities deliberately failed to acknowledge the meltdown to the world for two entire days. In terms of what’s happening here, it’s either a coverup by the facility responsible (or by government officials), or the offending party is completely oblivious to what has happened, the latter of which seems highly unlikely.
    Kelper and crogers like this.
  4. 1986mpv

    1986mpv JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    From the article:

    "The IRSN analysis suggests that the ruthenium did not come from a nuclear reactor accident. Instead, it most likely came from either the chemical reprocessing of old nuclear fuel or the production of isotopes used in medicine. Based on the size of the release, Gariel says, whatever happened had to have been accidental.

    "It's not an authorized release, we are sure about that," he says.

    A handful of Russian nuclear facilities are located roughly in the region where the ruthenium originated, including a large nuclear reprocessing plant known as the Mayak Production Association.

    During the Cold War, the Mayak plant turned used nuclear fuel into material for nuclear weapons. The plant has been the site of numerous past accidents, including a 1957 explosion that rivaled the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima and Chernobyl.

    Gariel says that while Mayak is a possible source of the cloud, there simply aren't enough data to conclusively link it to the release of radioactive material. He also says he has spoken to Russian safety officials over the past few days and that while they do not dispute his analysis, they are unaware of any incidents in the region in the past few months.

    Fuel reprocessing sounds about right. U238 in spent fuel is turned into Pu239 via neutron capture and beta decay, a process called breeding. It's pretty fascinating to think that even more fundamental building blocks than atoms can be unstable.

    For the medical isotopes, here's an article about the various uses of isotopes. Ru-106 is on page 11.


    Isotope data for Ru-106


    Decay energy is 39.4 KeV, which is pretty small. I-131, also a beta emitter and also used as a medical isotope, has a decay energy of 970 KeV. Beta particles don't penetrate most materials very well. There's a helpful range chart in this paper:


    At .039 MeV, those particles won't go far at all, certainly not through any material. Note the isotope data above says "The beta emitted by Ru-106 has too short a range to be therapeutically effective," which is in reference to brachytherapy where radioisotopes are implanted in tumors. It goes on to note that Rhodium-106 does have an effective range. Ru106 beta decays into Rh106, the decay of which is about 90 times more energetic and produces stable Palladium 106. The NPR article states the release doesn't pose a threat beyond a few kilometers of the actual site of the accident. I'd be curious to know whether they estimated the total release of radiation, given that it's dispersal over the area shown would attenuate the dose. In any event, Ru106 lasts about a year and Rh106 lasts 30 seconds, so they won't be sticking around too long.
    begreen61 and ded i like this.
  5. Komodo

    Komodo entertainment coordinator Brigade Member

    No, but I did have some bad Mexican food, Now I now where those farts went to! LOL!
    ded i likes this.
  6. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil


    'the highest value (46 micro-Bq/m3) was recorded in Nice between 2 and 9 October.' That's not the total but here is the Detection report:

    begreen61 likes this.
  7. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil

    desmodus and begreen61 like this.
  8. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

    It's truly amazing how Sheeple keep trying to eradicate the use of "filthy" coal while preaching about how "green" nuclear power is.

    The CO2 produced today by the dirtiest coal fired plants will be will be gone from our atmosphere (being utilized by nature in a mirriad of ways) in about 1.5 centuries. Pollution spinning off spent fuel rods at nearly light speeds will remain for approximately 50000 years.

    Those people that preach for nuclear power as prevention of global warming should take a stroll the remnants of fukashima (sp?) to see how cool it really is.
    Rant completed. I will gladly stand corrected should some one show me wrong.
    desmodus likes this.
  9. 1986mpv

    1986mpv JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

    Fukushima was struck by an earthquake and a tsunami. The reactor did not cause either of those events. If you're interested, you can keep track of the radiation report for the site. The last whole-site update is from February. Note the legend is in microsieverts.


    100 millisieverts is the level that starts to increase cancer risk, so the hourly figures allow an estimate of how much time you could spend in such a field before that happens. Below that, its statistically impossible (not to mention disingenuous) to state that any cancer a person develops would not have happened otherwise save for a radiation exposure. This is why cancer estimates from Chernobyl vary wildly, as studies with very large figures disregard the cutoff for a provable link.


    So at .02 millisieverts or 20 microsieverts for a chest xray, it would take an hour of standing on one of the green squares to exceed that dose. Would I want to stand there? Not particularly. But "radiation" is far too often a no-limits argument. How much, what type and rate and the mechanism of exposure are crucial determinants of how much danger you're actually in. The shorter the half-life, the faster the isotope is emitting radiation. This means it decays away sooner, resulting in a rapid initial drop in radioactivity, but it also means a much higher radiation exposure shortly after an accident. Long-lived isotopes are decaying very slowly, meaning that the risk from exposure to them is lower. The type of radiation has to be considered. There are several ways to measure radiation: emitted radiation (becquerels and curies) absorbed dose (rads and grays) and effective dose (rems and sieverts.) Effective dose recognizes the type of radiation. Alpha radiation is much more dangerous to biological tissue since it dumps energy very quickly. Gamma radiation is not as biologically effective since it passes through the body and retains a lot of energy. Paradoxically, this means the more biologically dangerous radiation is easier to shield. The route of exposure must also be considered, as just being near radioactive materials is not as dangerous as ingesting or inhaling them. This is one of the main dangers of short- and medium-lived isotopes, especially as aerosols. They're very reactive chemically, and the body cannot distinguish between them and their stable counterparts. If you've ever seen those potassium iodide tablets survivalists sometimes hawk at gun shows, the idea is to saturate the body with stable iodine as prophylaxis for exposure to radioactive iodine. They're utterly useless against isotopes of other elements or after the fact. The point is, simply telling me something is radioactive doesn't mean much. Knowing the type, rate and potential exposure routes is important to realistically assessing risk. Otherwise we're all just sweating as the media terrifies us with reports on "radiation." I don't pretend to be a scientist. I just read a lot because I have no wife or children demanding my attention. In general, the more you know about something, the less you trust the media's reporting on it. Nuclear is probably the apotheosis of this.

    "Spent" fuel contains mostly Uranium 238 mixed with fission fragments and other products. The U238 itself is a fertile isotope and can be bred via neutron capture into usable Plutonium 239. Processing out the fission fragments is a messy chemical endeavour, but if we were willing to invest the necessary resources all that U238 could be reused. It is not a technical question. It requires only the will to do so. For all the power of nuclear reactors, fuel enrichment is often very low (~2-5%) meaning that the vast majority of any given fuel rod is not actually fuel (and there's a reactor design that can process unenriched uranium, the CANDU)
    desmodus and ded i like this.
  10. ded i

    ded i Friend of The Devil Lady Devil

    More information on the radioactive cloud:


    'MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s meteorological service said on Tuesday it had measured pollution of a radioactive isotope at nearly 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural mountains, the first official Russian data supporting reports that an accident had taken place.

    The data appears to support a report by the French nuclear safety institute IRSN, which said on Nov. 9 a cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe had indicated that an accident had taken place at a nuclear facility either in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September.

    Neither Russia nor Kazakhstan has acknowledged any accident.

    Russian state weather service Roshydromet said in a statement it had found “extremely high pollution” of ruthenium 106 in samples from two meteorological stations in the southern Ural mountains region in late September and early October.'

    ~> More in the article about facilities in areas where the cloud appeared denying involvement.
  11. desmodus

    desmodus Cabeza Caliente Lady Devil JDBA Official Member Super Moderator Brigade Member

    Isn't the rule 'he whom smelt it dealt it'?
    crogers likes this.
  12. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    There could be a lot of truth to that .

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