From: Click Green Staff, ClickGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published November 21, 2011 08:28 AM

Mystery deepens over Europe-wide radiation alert

A Hungarian laboratory has denied claims made by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it is the most likely source of the outbreak of radioactive particles recently detected in the skies above Europe. Low levels of iodine-131 were measured in the atmosphere above the Czech Republic and several other European countries earlier this month and the IAEA moved swiftly with assurances it posed no danger to public health. 


The IAEA reported it had received information from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority that the most probable source is the Institute of Isotopes in Budapest, which produces radio-isotopes for health care, research and industrial applications.

The Hungarian authorities said the release of iodine-131 started on 8 September and the cause is under investigation.

Officials at the Budapest-based Institute of Isotopes said it was impossible for the center to be responsible for radioactivity detected hundreds of kilometers away.

Iodine-131 is a short-lived radio-isotope with a radioactive decay half-life of about eight days, and IAEA stressed that the levels detected in the atmosphere are extremely low.

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