Dangerous radioactive particles have been detected across Europe and no-one knows where they came from



Scientists baffled after detecting cancer-causing chemical that’s produced during nuclear disasters or atomic bomb blasts

Dangerous radioactive particles have been detected across Europe and no-one knows where they came from

DANGEROUS radioactive particles have been detected in seven different European countries and scientists can’t explain where they have come from.

Traces of Iodine-131 were found in Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain in January, but the public were not immediately alerted.

These radioactive particles are produced by atomic bomb explosions or nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl or Fukushima.

They appear to be emanating from Eastern Europe, but experts have not been able to say exactly what produced them.


I think we’re probably exposed to a lot of things we don’t realize these days.


That’s terrible!


I’m neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I’d be willing to bet that this will eventually be traced to nuclear power plants of Soviet design and construction.




Maybe a terrorist act nobody noticed? Botched dirty bomb? Improperly disposed of nuclear waste?






Hmm…Sweden Friday night :grin::innocent:




Radon does not decompose into I-131.

Interestingly, I-131 is produced as a fission product of Uranium-235, Uranium-233, Plutonium, or through purposeful bombardment of Tellurium. Almost all of the aforementioned isotopes are extremely rare in nature, being produced solely within fission reactors or specially built breeder reactors.

I-131 also has a half life of only 8 days, meaning that this contamination is fresh and comes from either a medical source or a fissile source (reactor or bomb). This is particularly worrying, as I-131 is a main cause of radiation poisoning as it collects in the thyroid gland and destroys it.


That is very frightening.

I hope that the reports of it as having been at a level too low to cause harm to human health are correct.


Easy to work out the source. Where is the highest reading. This data is reported to be from mid January. Where is the original data.


Thank you for that detailed information.



The only data I have seen,

IRSN – Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety – is the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks.

[Detection of radioactive iodine at trace levels in Europe in January 2017 ](“http://www.irsn.fr/EN/newsroom/News/Pages/20170213_Detection-of-radioactive-iodine- at-trace-levels-in-Europe-in-January-2017.aspx”)

Iodine-131 is a radionuclide with a short half-life (T1/2 = 8.04 day). The detection of this radionuclide is proof of a rather recent release.

Besides the iodine release, the origin of which is still unknown, the poor dispersion conditions due to the thermal stratification [1] of the atmosphere also affected the observed concentration levels, including those of naturally occurring radionuclides such as Lead-210 (210Pb) [2], or fine particles (PM2.5 and PM10) leading to pollution episodes, particularly in the Western part of Europe during week 4 of January.
It must be pointed out that only particulate iodine was reported. When detectable, gaseous iodine is usually dominant and can be estimated to be 3 to 5 times higher than the fraction of particulate iodine.

In France, particulate 131I reached 0.31 µBq/m3 and thus the total (gaseous + particulate fractions) can be estimated at about 1.5 µBq/m3. These levels raise no health concerns.
The data has been shared between members of an informal European network called Ring of Five gathering organizations involved in the radiological surveillance of the atmosphere.

In France, IRSN is responsible for monitoring the radioactivity of the atmosphere on a nation-wide scale. Its surveillance network OPERA-Air includes high-volume aerosol samplers (700 to 900 m3 of air per hour) and measurement equipment capable of detecting trace amounts of radioactivity.

articulate Iodine-131 (value +/- uncertainty) in the atmosphere(µBq/m3) :


Interesting chart. Poland has the highest reading by far… Something going wrong at Chernobyl again? Perhaps the reactor sarcophagus is leaking? But international observers still monitor Chernobyl so that seems less likely than the possibility that there’s another nuclear power plant somewhere in the former Soviet Union that is leaching radiation.


I would not think that is the source.

The one speculative idea that seems most likely is an unreported pharmaceutical accident.

However, the pharmaceutical industry is a more likely source according to Astrid Liland, head of section for emergency preparednessat the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority(NRPA).

Liland told us: “A nuclear accident or detonation of nuclear weapons, would have resulted in many different radioactive elements at the same time. Since we only detected I-131 we believe it comes from a pharmaceutical facility.

“The only radioactive element detected was iodine-131, no other radioactive elements. This suggests a release from a facility producing radiopharmaceuticals. I-131 is frequently used for cancer treatment.

This hypothesis fits with comments by the UK-based Society for Radiological Protection, which said: “the source of the release was not some sort of incident at a power reactor or other nuclear facility, but rather of medical origin, possibly a hospital or perhaps a supplier of radio-pharmaceuticals.”



Hmm, really interesting! I hope they find the source soon (and that it’s no longer leaching radiation, wherever it’s from)…


I didn’t say it did.

Take careful note of the emoticon in use.


Does Putin have any enemies in these countries?


Could be aftermath from a Russian bomb test in the arctic. Which would mean a restart if an active program.
Though I hate jumping to conclusions and pointing the finger at Russians. There is too much of that going on already.
But it’s something to consider.



We are investigating precisely that.

As far as looking for where the highest concentrations are as a source, if Russia is involved all bets are off.
They’re certainly not beyond fabricating a source.

Hard thing to prove though.

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