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Presence of radioisotopes in European air poses no threat to health, environment — IAEA

The IAEA will continue its efforts to analyse collected information in order to identify the possible origin and location of the release

VIENNA, June 30. /TASS/. A slight increase in the concentration of radioisotopes in the air above the Northern Europe poses no threat to people’s health and environment, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday.

According to the international organization, 33 countries informed the agency that no release of nuclear isotopes had taken place on their territory.

"The IAEA will continue its efforts to analyse collected information in order to identify the possible origin and location of the release," the agency said in a statement.

"The levels reported to the IAEA are very low and pose no risk to human health and the environment," IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi was quoted as saying in the statement. "I expect more Member States to provide relevant information and data to us, and we will continue to inform the public."

On Saturday, the IAEA requested European countries to provide information on whether elevated levels of radioisotopes were detected in their countries, and if any event there may have been associated with the atmospheric release. By Monday afternoon, 29 member states in the European region reported to the IAEA that there were no events on their territories that may have caused the observed air concentrations of Ru-103, Cs-134 and Cs-137.

The countries that reported to the IAEA are Albania, Austria, Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom. In addition, some countries which have not been approached by the IAEA - Algeria, Georgia, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates - also reported voluntarily to the IAEA information about their measurements and that there were no events on their territories.

Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post on Friday that stations of the CTBTO International Monitoring System had detected a slight increase of several isotopes in the northwestern European airspace. "[On] 22 /23 June 2020, RN IMS station SEP63 Sweden detected 3 isotopes: Cs-134, Cs-137 & Ru-103 associated with nuclear fission at higher than usual levels (but not harmful for human health)," the official said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Russian system of radiation safety monitoring detected no threatening situation in the country’s northwest, and there were no notices about threatening or disaster situation. Earlier, the Rosenergoatom Concern (part of the Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation) said two nuclear power plants in northwestern Russia - the Leningrad NPP and the Kola NPP - were operating normally, with radiation levels being within the norm.