Russia denies its reactors are responsible for any nuclear leak

Finland's nuclear safety authority STUK and other monitoring agencies in the region detected increased levels of radioactive isotopes in the Baltic region.

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Map showing extent of isotope spread / Credit: CTBTO

Russia says none of its nuclear facilities are responsible for a rise in radioactive isotopes detected recently in the atmosphere over the Nordic and Baltic region.

Last week the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK said they had detected small amounts of radioactive isotopes of cobalt, ruthenium and cesium in Helsinki’s air.

There were similar findings from their Swedish and Norwegian counterparts and on Friday Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation CTBTO tweeted a map showing increased levels of the isotopes over large parts of Finland, Estonia and the Baltic Sea, southern Sweden and southern Norway.

In a statement to TASS Russian News Agency, the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosenergoatom said their two nuclear power stations in northwest Russia were “working in normal regime. There have been no complaints about the equipment’s work.”

“Radiation levels at both [nuclear power plants] and surrounding areas remained unchanged in June, and no changes are also observed at present. It remains at levels that correspond to normal work of reactors. Those levels do not exceed natural background radiation figures” Rosenergoatom said – adding that no incidents had been reported at their two nuclear power stations.

Nuclear safety officials in Finland and the CTBTO have stressed that the rise in isotopes is not harmful to human health, with STUK investigating their origins.