Russia confirms it had radioactive pollution 986 times that of normStaff Writer | November 21, 2017
Russia's meteorological service confirmed "extremely high" concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in several parts of the country in late September, confirming European reports about the contamination this month.
Nuclear energy Ruthenium-106
The highest concentration was registered at the station in Argayash, a village in the Chelyabinsk region in the southern Urals, which had "extremely high pollution" of Ru-106, exceeding natural background pollution by 986 times, the service said.
The isotope was then detected in Tatarstan and then in southern Russia, eventually reaching "all European countries starting in Italy and toward the north of Europe" from September 29, Rosgidromet said.
It did not point to any specific source of the pollution, but the Argayash station is about 30 kilometres from the Mayak nuclear facility, which in 1957 was the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
Today Mayak is a reprocessing site for spent nuclear fuel. ■