The International Atomic Energy Agency has said that the slightly elevated levels of radioactivity detected last week in northern Europe were likely related to an active nuclear reactor.
On Friday, the Netherland’s public health agency said that in recent days it has detected slightly increased levels of radioactive isotopes across parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic.
It added that the spike had come “from the direction of Western Russia”. Mosow has quickly rejected the possibility of damage to a fuel element in one of its nuclear power plants.
The higher level of isotopes “is likely related to a nuclear reactor that is either operating or undergoing maintenance, when very low radioactive releases can occur”, the IAEA said, adding that “the geographical origin of the release has not yet been determined”.
“It was also unlikely to be linked to a nuclear fuel processing plant, a spent fuel pool or to the use of radiation in industry or medicine”, the UN agency said, and stressed that the low concentrations of the particles in the air posed no risk to human health or the environment.