The reported findings from Russian Federation appear to confirm reports from Europe earlier this month that a cloud containing the radioisotope Ru-106 drifted over Europe last month which European meteorological agencies had said likely originated in either the southeastern Urals region of Russian Federation or Kazakhstan.
Just weeks after Russia's nuclear energy corporation said radiation levels were normal, the country's meteorological service said it had registered extreme levels of radiation in the Urals two months ago.
The isotope was then detected in Tatarstan, and then in southern Russian Federation, eventually reaching "all European countries starting in Italy and toward the north of Europe" from September 29, AFP cited Rosgidromet as saying.
The Agrayash weather station is located about 30 km (20 miles) from Mayak, a huge plant that reprocesses nuclear fuel and produces radioactive material for industrial and research purposes, owned by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.
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In one village in the the southern Urals, levels of Ru-106 was found to be "exceeding natural background pollution by 986 times", reports The Guardian.
In mid-October, Rosatom had provided in a press release quoted by the Russian media that " in the samples taken from 25 September to 7 October, including in the south of the Ural mountains, and no trace of ruthenium-106 was found to share in Saint-Petersburg", rejecting the conclusions of the european networks of surveillance of the radioactivity. It was here that one of the worst nuclear disasters in history struck when more than 270,000 people were exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in 1957.
This photo provided on Friday November 10, 2017 by the INRS, Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, shows a map of the detection of Ruthenium 106 in France and Europe.
It said that the source of the pollution was probably an accident somewhere between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains, adding that the concentrations measured in Europe were not a danger to public health. Today, Mayak is a reprocessing site for spent nuclear fuel.
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The mysterious cloud was spotted in September and October and European reports blamed it on nuclear contamination from Russian Federation.
Ruthenium-106 is a fission product from the nuclear industry, also used for medical treatments.
Greenpeace said in a statement on Tuesday that it would ask Russia's prosecutors' office to investigate whether there had been an accident in the area.
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