A radioactive cloud was detected above Europe in January this year.
Throughout Europe, in the first month of this year, a small, but worrisome, amount of radiation was detected. Scientists and experts are trying to detect its source, but for now, they don’t have an exact answer. All explanations are based on theories for now, without any scientific proof.
Some of them are saying that the radiation came as a consequence of treatments in medicine. On the other hand, some are backing up, what might be called a conspiracy theory. They are saying that Russian nuclear testing on Arctic are the main reason this cloud appeared.
The French Nuclear Institute, IRSN, revealed that radioactive iodine-131 was detected in 6 European countries. Finland, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Poland and Germany.
At first, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority detected it near the northern part of their border with Russia. They, however, said that levels of this radioactivity aren’t too high for humans and that it won’t endanger anyone.
The Russian Army traditionally conducts low-yield nuclear tests in the Arctic. Some of them have been in Novaya Zemlya, their polygon for these experiments, which were active even in the communist era. Iodine-131 is similar to the material that appeared after the Chernobyl tragedy in Ukraine, and also Fukushima in Japan back in 2011.
Also, Iodine-131 is used for medical purposes. Especially for thyroid and cancer treatments.
“Since only Iodine-131 was measured, and no other radioactive substances, we think it originates from a pharmaceutical company producing radioactive drugs.
Iodine-131 is used for treatment of cancer,” said the President of NRPA, a section of emergency preparedness.
One thing that is causing a lot of trouble for the scientists and their efforts to solve this riddle, is the wind. It constantly changes the direction of the cloud, and that prevents the scientists from finding the source of the radiation.
“Due to rapidly changing winds, it is not possible to track exactly where it came from. It points to a release source somewhere in Eastern Europe,” Liland said.
Even the United States is interested in the cloud. On Feb. 17, they sent one of their best aircrafts to examine and possibly detect dangerous materials.
It is a US Air Force WC-135 particle sniffing airplane, that is specialized for this kind of situation and equipped with the latest technology.