Concerns Grow About A Nuclear "Incident" In Europe After Spike In Radioactive Iodine Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear "incident", reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer adds, "where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery."

The air filter station at Svanhovd - located a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north - was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January.  Shortly thereafter, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

Norway was the first to measure the radioactivity, but France was the first to officially inform the public about it.

"Iodine-131 a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January", the official French Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire (IRSN) wrote in a press release.

Source: Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire.

No Health Concerns For Now

Mitigating some of the concerns, however, was the head of section for emergency preparedness at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Autority, Astrid Liland, who spoke to the Barents Observer and said the levels measured raise no health concerns. “We do measure small amounts of radioactivity in air from time to time because we have very sensitive measuring equipment. The measurements at Svanhovd in January were very, very low. So were the measurements made in neighbouring countries, like Finland. The levels raise no concern for humans or the environment.  Therefore, we believe this had no news value,” Astrid Liland answers when asked why the public was not informed.

She points to Norway’s nation-wide online network of 33 stations were people can check real-time measurements.

At Svanhovd, measurements in the period January 9-16 show levels of 0,5 micro Becquerel per cubic meter air (µBq/m3). In France, where authorities decided to publish the information, measured radioactivity were much lower, from 0,1 to 0,31 µBq/m3. Levels measured in Finland were also lower than in northern Norway with 0,27 µBq/m3 measured in Rovaniemi and 0,3 µBq/m3 in Kotka. Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) decided to follow the French example and posted a press release about the increased levels of radioactivity.

But No Explanation Where The Radiation Came From

Finnish authorities also underscores that the levels measured are far from concentrations that could have any effect on human health. Neither STUK, nor IRSN speculate in the origin of the released Iodine-131.

Astrid Liland can’t either explain the origin of the radioactivity. “It was rough weather in the period when the measurements were made, so we can’t trace the release back to a particular location. Measurements from several places in Europe might indicate it comes from Eastern Europe,” Liland explains. “Increased levels of radioactive iodine in air were made in northern-Norway, northern-Finland and Poland in week two, and in other European countries the following two weeks, Astrid Liland says.

As the Barents Observers adds, Iodine-131 in the air could come from an incident with a nuclear reactor. The isotope is also widely used in medicine and for that purpose; many countries around the globe produce it.

All operators of nuclear reactors or institutions using Iodine-131 for medical purposes have detectors for external releases of radioactivity. In other words, as the Observer concludes, "Someone out there knows why the radioactivity was spread over larger areas of Europe."

Nuclear installations in northwastern Europe, were the radioactivity was first discovered, includes nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden and Russia, in addition to nuclear powered vessels on Russia’s Kola Peninsula and White Sea area. The source could as well come from even further away installations.

Constant Phoenix Deployed

Finally, adding an air of mystery to this alleged "incident" was the spotting of the "Constant Phoenix", which on Friday arrived in the UK's Mildenhall airbase after departing from Florida.

As the Aviationist explains, the WC-135 Constant Phoenix has been used in the past to determine whether nuclear tests or detonations have taken place in any given region. The WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.

Effluent gasses are gathered by two scoops on the sides of the fuselage, which in turn trap fallout particles on filters. The mission crews have the ability to analyze the fallout residue in real-time, helping to confirm the presence of nuclear fallout and possibly determine the characteristics of the warhead involved: that’s why the aircraft is important to confirm the type of explosion of today’s test.

As Darin R. Pfaff, a former WC-135 aircrew member explained to us in a comment to a previous article on this aircraft: “airframes have two large supplemental charcoal filter packs, as well as HEPA/ULPA filters (we called them “lungs”) for their cabin air. When the instruments indicate contact with radioactive debris, the crew will also reduce cabin airflow to just maintain pressurization, and all personnel on board will go to 100% oxygen through their masks. They will stay on 100% O2 until activity readings drop back down into the safe levels. Everybody wears a dosimeter, and those records are monitored to prevent unsafe exposure.”


Along with monitoring nuke testing, the WC-135 is used to track radioactive activity as happened after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986 and Fukushima incident back in 2011.

So far there has been no official statement by any entity providing further details on the spike in Iodine levels, nor an explanation from the US military why the "Constant Phoenix" was deployed to Europe.

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A. Boaty's picture

With any luck, this will put another nail in the nuke coffin. Nuclear power functions as a big government program all over the world. Those who oppose big government control should oppose nuclear power as a matter of principle. Nuclear power can never stand on its own two feet in a private sector energy market.

Truther's picture

Someone is trigger happy... A liberal who went poof.

gigadeath's picture

Magna BSP (((& Co.))) up to their old tricks again no doubt...

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) remain calm Feb 19, 2017 10:19 AM

What is Vlad up to now?


losses mount's picture

My money is on a bus load of Japs touring Europe.

SoDamnMad's picture

Same low level release was detected in Finland and reported about in late October.


BuddyEffed's picture

If it was a nuclear powered sub or carrier, chances are it wasn't ours.

We wouldn't need to send that plane if it was ours.  We would already know everything.

nightwish's picture

Someone vented. Check wind patterns. Dont tell me this came all the way from fukushima.

In any case, they'll follow the playbook and pin it on russia. Why not?

Handful of Dust's picture

If it's so safe why are all those people wearing lead Hazmat suits?

Fail2Deliver's picture

It's levels are safe for you and me....but the important people should have concern

Phil Free's picture

Stock pictures.. not from the current event.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

I-131 has a half life of 8 days. The reading map shows a high in Eastern Europe, with smaller amounts found the further west or north one goes. 

My money is on a Ukrainian fuck up, most probably caused by those square American fuel rods that GE forced into the round Russian reactor core holes.

But as you say, it will be Russia's fault - in about 100 years when the authorities finally admit it.

HenryHall's picture

Yes. Several reasons why the Xoxols are the most likely suspects.

Ukraine really should shut down its nuclear power stations now they have reached / are reaching the end of their design life and having Rosatom refurbish them is politically impossible even if it were technically feasible.

forestwind's picture

What is the status of the 'sarcophagus", built beginning 30 years ago, to entomb Chernobyl, just north of Kiev? Is it being maintained and improved? Who knows? Fukushima? Who knows? 

Lumberjack's picture

You might be on to something..

Ukraine declares emergency situation on electricity market due to coal shortage


treefeller's picture

Interestingly, There was a recent article posted that suggested that the concrete dome over Chernbyl was in need of repair. I forget where this article was posted. It would seem though that if there were a leak at Chernobyl, would there not be more elevated levels of this isotope? Interesting to that we have troops positiioned all around those countries along Russias borders as Lobomaty started that push before the elections.

toady's picture

I'm thinking there's a nuclear powered sub melting down. Comes up to vent, submerges to continue fixing/hide the problem from these sniffers. Not a U.S. sub, or they wouldn't be over there trying to pin it on someone. 

Reptil's picture

I think a ship based reactor. but we're guessing.
measured 0.18 µSv/hr today, with peaks 0.27 µSv/hr. average baseline is 0.07 here. (Amsterdam)
that's more than just "trace amounts" like the french said.

yeah Ukr. reactors with GE fuel is bad, bad, bad. accident waiting to happen.

Vigilante's picture

There's 30-40 reactors within 300 kms of Amsterdam

All commercial reactors release small amounts of radioactivity in the air (and water)..what do you rhink the tall chimneys are for?

They are supposed to have high-tech filters of course but what do you know..

Mentaliusanything's picture

Perhaps this might help.

It's minor (but 3 within 10 days is a worry for Frances aging plant)

Beowulf55's picture

That is quiet the leap of logic considering what snowflakes and neocons are doing every day.

Lumberjack's picture

Old nuke powered satellite re entered atmosphere?

Reptil's picture

No, that wouldn't give out Iodine-131. This is from a fresh fission process.

Lumberjack's picture

Seeing all the fake news and russia bashing, my second astute guess would be Evergreen Air flew an arctic mission and sprayed the shit knowing it would be detected to further an agenda. A nuke detonation would have been detected by satellites and seismometers... Fucking PSY-OP IMFHO...

Gold Pedant's picture

Exactly. RTG is not going to put out any nasty isotopes like that as far as I can remember. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that. You would have to have fission products from something a lot more energetic than the warm metal that they put in the probes to generate a few thousand watts.


Or it could be chemtrails. I have never heard anyone actually getting Alex Jones to explain that one. It's always either "buy the video" or "it's on record." Sigh.

Mark Urbo's picture

The "Fuku" sponsored tour...

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Dried Fuckushima seaweed imports?

BandGap's picture

China did ban Japanese vehicles because some were radioactive. Maybe sold in Europe at fire sale prices! No need for headlights!

BigJim's picture

 With any luck, this will put another nail in the nuke coffin. Nuclear power functions as a big government program all over the world. Those who oppose big government control should oppose nuclear power as a matter of principle. Nuclear power can never stand on its own two feet in a private sector energy market.

I don't know if it "can never" stand on its own two feet, but it certainly never has.

Keyser's picture

Because as usual, the establishment continues to implement 70 year old technology and fuels... One word, thorium... 

Gold Pedant's picture

Two words: traveling wave

GUS100CORRINA's picture


QUESTION FOR EVERYONE? What will happen to the earth when a Meteor shower (FALLING STARS) hit these locations containing nuclear power plants?

Think about it!!!!

Handful of Dust's picture

Makes me wonder: 1) the present level of radiation in the Cali soil; and 2) the current rise in cancer on the West Coast.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Handful of Dust ...

I completely agree with your concern. I recently saw some information concerning contaminated TUNA FISH being shipped into America. 

More importantly, if CA is seeing some impact from FUKUSHIMA, how about HAWAII??

The US Government are not being TRUTHFUL with AMERICANS. 

As President TRUMP said yesterday in Melbourne, FL, his administration has inherited a MESS!!!!

OBAMA has got to be possessed by a DEMON to have put America in the position it now finds itself.

There is a topic discussing in the Bible titled "JACOBS TROUBLES". All evidence is now suggesting the world has entered a time of sorrows that is part of a cycle referred to as "JACOBS TROUBLES". NUCLEAR and Biotoxic hazards are just the beginning. 

Did anyone see what BILL GATES (Richest man in the world) said yesterday about his concern over biotoxic hazards?

Reptil's picture

Obama is just a frontman. His job was to appease the population. He did that quite well.
Of course it's a huge mess.

Al Gophilia's picture

It's been a growing shitshow since 1913.

Dancing Disraeli's picture

If by 'the population,' you mean American Negroes, then yeah, he succeeded.  Everyone else took it up the ass.

slwsnowman40's picture

Thorium reactors are kept at atmospheric pressure, so it is much safer than the current reactors everyone gets butthurt (and with good reason) about.  Also, if there's a leak, the molten salt will solidify once it comes in contact with the atmosphere, plugging the leak.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Whatt will happen when the sky is falling ? Think about it...Chicken Little did.

Croesus's picture

Lovely...wherever something goes wrong, we can rely on "government" to fix it...because you know, they have a wonderful track record of fixing things...

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

I don't think it is reasonable for governments to take credit for fixing problems they themselves caused.

GreatUncle's picture

Nope, government will change the rules and the new normal is it is not broken and therefore does not have to be fixed.

Wait for new legislation stating increased radiation levels are not hazardous to your health.

Not even the 530 sievert range in Fukoshima.