Roshydromet confirmed the "extremely high" pollution of the environment with the radioactive isotope ruthenium Ru-106 in the villages of Argayash and Novorny in the Chelyabinsk region. Greenpeace Russia reminded that pollution was detected in the South Urals near the "Mayak" plant, owned by Rosatom, where reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is being processed, and promised to complain to the prosecutor's office.
From the Roshydromet newsletter it follows that from September 25 to October 1, the excess of the total beta activity in radioactive aerosol and fallout samples was recorded by all posts of the agency in the Southern Urals. In the samples of radioactive aerosols from Argayash and Novogorny, a radioisotope Ru-106 was detected (the half-life was 368.2 days) at a concentration n * 10-2 Bq / m3. In the summary table of the department it was said that during this period the concentration of the isotope in Argayash exceeded the background for the previous month by 986 times, in Novogorny - 440 times.
On September 26-27, the Ru-106 decay products were detected in Tatarstan. On September 27-28, a high contamination of aerosol and fallout samples was observed in Volgograd and Rostov-on-Don. "September 29 to October 3, Ru-106 recorded all European countries, starting with Italy and further to the north of Europe. The concentration of Ru-106 in Europe is n * 10-3 Bq / m3, "reports Roshydromet.
Earlier, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) reported that from September 29 to October 3 in the atmosphere, ruthenium-106 content was exceeded, in a concentration not hazardous to health. As TASS recalls, German specialists then expressed confidence that the release is not connected with the accident at the nuclear power plant. Later representatives of BfS stated that the source of the isotope could be the release at one of the enterprises in the South Urals. In early November, the French Institute for Nuclear Safety IRSN said that the radioactive cloud that came to Europe could be associated with a certain state of emergency at a nuclear plant in Russia or Kazakhstan, which happened in late September.
In October, Rosatom denied radioactive contamination in Russia. The state corporation cited data from the Hydrometeorological Center that no traces of ruthenium-106 in air samples taken in Russia were found, except for a single point of measurement in St. Petersburg. Enterprises of the Russian nuclear industry could not be the source of the isotope emission, the Rosatom statement also stated.
Vice-governor of the Chelyabinsk region Oleg Klimov said at a briefing on October 20 that the inspection showed that the appearance of ruthenium-106 in the atmosphere could not be associated with the Mayak PA. He was quoted by Kommersant. He also said that the source of the radioactive isotope could not have been in the Chelyabinsk region: Roshydromet and Rosatom did not fix ruthenium in our territory, but in Romania, Italy, Ukraine it was, and we have zero, and this data is " confirmed by the IAEA. " "The source was somewhere for thousands of miles from the Urals. I am not going to say without saying where exactly, unlike the same Germans, I will not, "said the official.
After the publication of Roshydromet's report, Greenpeace Russia said that it would ask the prosecutor's office to check the possible concealment of the radiation accident and information on the state of the environment, as well as the readiness of the radionuclides monitoring system in the atmosphere for new accidents. Environmentalists believe that Rosatom should also investigate what happened at the Mayak plant. "The emergency release of ruthenium-106 at the Mayak plant may be related to the vitrification of spent nuclear fuel. It is also possible that a material containing ruthenium-106 enters the metal smelting furnace, "the organization said in a statement.
The atmospheric pollution of ruthenium-106, reported by Roshydromet, is not related to the work of FSUE Mayak, the Rosatom enterprise announced on November 21. The data of this department "allow to draw a conclusion that the dose that could be received by a person is 20 000 times less than the permissible annual dose and does not pose any danger to the health and life of people," the state corporation believes.
Mayak explained that radioactive ruthenium could have appeared in the atmosphere as a result of a breach of the tightness of the fuel cladding in a nuclear reactor or in radiochemical processing of nuclear fuel. "That option is impossible in this case, since at the same time dozens of other fragmentation radionuclides that would have been recorded by the radiation monitoring services would inevitably have to enter the atmosphere," the company explained. Also, the release of ruthenium is possible in the manufacture of new, the use of existing or disposal of exhausted sources of ionizing radiation based on ruthenium-106. In this case, the concentration of the isotope in the atmosphere would be higher, and in the place of depressurization of the source, an enhanced radiation background and strong radioactive contamination of the atmosphere would be observed. "At the FSUE Mayak PA in 2017, sources from ruthenium-106 were not produced, there was no excess of radionuclide intake from the enterprise's side to the atmosphere. The radiation background is normal, "the plant added.
Greenpeace: Residents of the Urals, where the release of ruthenium is fixed, is already too late to escape radiation
Inhabitants of the Urals, where Roshydromet recorded an extremely high concentration of radionuclide ruthenium-106 (Ru-106), it is too late to protect oneself from radiation. As Greenpeace radiation specialist Rashid Aliyev told Znak.com, "since the release occurred in September, the whole danger was then." According to him, "the question now is to find out exactly what happened exactly where to be ready for new emissions and understand the health consequences."
To learn about the consequences of the release on the human body it will be possible only after a period of not less than six months.
It should be noted that the greatest concentration of ruthenium is observed in the Chelyabinsk region in the 100-km zone of the "Mayak" PA in Ozersk.
Greenpeace is already preparing a statement to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office where, on the basis of Roshydromet's conclusion, it requires that Rosatom state corporation carefully investigate and publish data on incidents at the Mayak chemical plant and other enterprises where ruthenium could be released.
In addition, Greenpeace is confident that we are now talking about the deliberate concealment of a possible radiation accident and the current state of the environment. We add that the source of Znak.com at Mayak does not rule out that ruthenium-106 could have come from nuclear waste that is brought to the plant for processing.
However, there have been no official comments on this issue. Information on ruthenium emissions began to arrive in September from Germany and France, where scientists reported that a radioactive cloud had come to Europe from Russia. Even then, the European scientists called the probable source of radiation the Chelyabinsk region. True, at that time both the Chelyabinsk authorities, sanitary doctors, representatives of the Emergencies Ministry and Mayak denied the radioactive release.