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On publication of information in Mass Media on detection of minimal iodine-131 content in January 2017

In view of publication in Mass Media of information on detection of minimal iodine-131 content in European countries, SNRIU informs on the following. In accordance with the information of the nuclear regulatory authorities of the European Union, small amount of radioactive iodine was detected in the outdoor air in several European countries in January 2017. Presence of iodine-131, content of which could exceed sensitivity of measuring equipment, was registered in Finland, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

            According to information of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), minimum detectable level of radioactive iodine of 0,5 µBq/m3 during second week of January 2017 was registered at the Svanhovd monitoring station.

            According to information of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), the amount of iodine-131 in the atmosphere was very small, but detectable in the samples collected at the air radioactivity monitoring stations in Rovaniemi (0,27 µBq/m3) and Kotka (0,3 µBq/m3) in January 2017.

            According to information provided by the French  Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), minimum content of the iodine isotope was detected at the level of 0,1 – 0,31 µBq/m3 in January 2017 in France.

            The existing Ukrainian radiation and ecological monitoring system ensures continuous monitoring of the radiation state of the surface outdoor air by taking air samples using stationary equipment.

            According to information provided by the SSE “Ecocenter” the radionuclide 131I was detected in the air samples taken in the Exclusion Zone in the period from 24 to 30 January 2017 at the automated radiation situation monitoring system points (ARMS). The volume activity of the detected radionuclide did not exceed 0,6 µBq/m3 – 0,9 µBq/m3. The volume activity from 0,6 µBq/m3 to 1,6 µBq/m3 was registered in the air samples taken in the period from 27 January 2017 to 03 February 2017 at ARMS.

            According to data received from the ARMS points by present time and analyzed meteorological conditions, most likely, the contamination was spread from the north-eastern and south-eastern directions. The origin of the iodine isotope is unidentified, but normally, iodine-131 is used for medical purposes in many countries of the world.

            We emphasize, that the registered 131I levels are much lower than the permissible concentration level, and do not pose any threat to human health. The permissible concentration of the iodine-131 in Ukraine is 4 Bq/m3, or 4 000 000 µBq/m3.