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No, no, they don’t

Russia reports radioactivity 986 times the norm after nuclear accident claim

Rather, they report levels of one specific radioactive isotope near 1,000 times normal.

Background radiation up to 1 k normal levels would be a crisis. 1 k normal levels of this type of Ruthenium are an interesting little puzzle we’d like to find the answer to but not a danger to anything in any manner.

An increase of 1,000 times in the amount of music being played would be a large change. An increase of 1,000 times in one specific single being played on the radio is something different, no?

18 thoughts on “No, no, they don’t”

  1. Ooh, I dunno. I seem to remember someone going down for a stretch after their neighbour played Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at some sort of horrible regularity. That escaped as a single in 1992.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    It is that one specific isotope that has me puzzled. If this was a reactor failure we would see a wide range of daughter products sprayed across the countryside a la Chernobyl. If it was a weapons accident, we would see the U-235 or a small range of plutonium isotopes.

    It doesn’t look like either. So what does that leave? A reprocessing plant accident? But why just the Ruthenium? You would expect a range of fission products again.

    So someone has isolated the Ruthenium. Why? It does not have a lot of uses. Perhaps they are using it to kill dissidents because polonium is too expensive – and also it is more patriotic to use an element named after Russia rather than one I assume is named after Poland? Was it used for some electrical purpose in or near a reactor and so got irradiated? Doesn’t seem likely.

    When I first heard it I guessed it was a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. But how likely is that? The USSR did make a lot of them and left them scattered about the countryside with no safety features at all. But surely they would have used a different element?

    Someone needs to lean on the Russians to come clean about what they were doing.

  3. Well if it’s Astrud Gilberto singing “One Note Samba”,well and good but we’re getting to the time when you can’t go shopping without hearing Slade wishing us all a Merry Christmas which is a solid reason for online shopping if you ever needed one.

  4. When the story broke a week ago in the Guardian, before the scaremongers realised, this is what they said :

    The ruthenium-106 was probably released in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine, Peres said. Because of its short half-life of about a year, ruthenium-106 is used in nuclear medicine – for example in cancer therapy for eye tumours – but can also be released when nuclear fuel is reprocessed.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Diogenes – “The ruthenium-106 was probably released in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine, Peres said.”

    So someone has taken the time to isolate it – and presumably a reasonable amount of it. If it was intended to be used in nuclear medicine then the amounts required would be rather small I would have thought. Enough to be measured? It shows how very easy it is to measure leaks in nuclear systems.

    It would be interesting to see what sort of accident could cause a reprocessing site to leak this and nothing else. If I had to guess, I would say a car crash between the waste reprocessing site and a hospital.

    “Because of its short half-life of about a year”

    And that is where the Guardian is cheating. Any isotope with such a short half-life is going to have a natural back ground level that is low to say the least. That they have detected levels 1000 times normal is irrelevant given how rare it would be normally.

    John Square – “Fuel is expensive! A bit of coal would help. Who knows, if it gets cold enough, I may even burn it….”

    Ask for one of those Soviet radioisotope generators. A lump of nuclear waste that puts out reasonable amounts of heat. Bury one under the floor and it should keep your home toasty warm for free! In fact they might even pay you to take it away.

  6. From that same article, a week before the screaming morons of Greenpeace recovered from their final Ibiza party

    Duncan Cox, leader of Public Health England’s radiation emergency response group, said: “Radiation monitors at our sites in Oxfordshire and Glasgow have been checked since September when this substance was reported by other European radiation monitoring institutes, and we have not detected any unusual sources of radiation.”

    Monitoring stations in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland all detected very low levels of ruthenium-106 from late September. Seven German stations recorded levels from a few microbecquerels to five millibecquerels per cubic metre of air, posing no hazard to health.

    It doesn’t appear that Western Europe was devastated by this HUGE accident, does it?

  7. I wonder if Greenpeace realise that the smoke detectors they probably nail up in every room of their squats and “offices” probably contain americium

  8. the concentrations measured in Europe were not a danger to public health.

    As this is radioactivity, not sugar, that statement is correct.

  9. “An increase of 1,000 times in one specific single being played on the radio is something different, no?”

    Sounds like a normal day on radio 1!

  10. Bicr no discrimination between the first report that quoted proper scientists and the follow up which quoted Greenpeace? I was pleasantly surprised a week ago by signs of journalistic maturity in the Guardian. Now the kiddies have taken back control of the sandtray

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