Radioactivity levels around the Chernobyl nuclear power station went up to ten times the normal level on Thursday.
The rise in the level of radiation is the result of massive fire. Kiev authorities have informed that the level of radiation was ten times the acceptable value.
The area around the damages nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Poleskoie, is contaminated with Caesium – 137, according to Russia Today, and concentrations of the radioactive element have reached what experts call ‘over norm severity’., meaning a very high radioactivity value.
Caesium – 137 is one of the deadliest nuclear hazards, as it builds up in the body and may cause conditions such as leukaemia. Ukrainian authorities however have not issued any health warnings for the local residents, noting that all other monitored values were in normal range.
“The worst scenario – and the most likely one – is that particles of plutonium and uranium will be re-suspended and … there will be a slight increase in cancer in nearest areas,” Cristopher Busby, the scientific secretary for the European Committee on Radiation Risks, told Russia Today.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, approximately 130 hectares were on fire on Tuesday. The fire has been contained, but not totally extinguished. 117 fire-fighters and 24 engines intervened.
This is not the first time fires are reported near the disused Chernobyl nuclear station this year. In May, 400 ha of forest were affected by fire in the area. At the time, the officials said no ‘serious contamination’ had been recorded.
Scientists on the other hand warn that such fires could have catastrophic consequences. In 2014, an international scientists team conducted a study that showed that the Caesium – 137 emissions after the forest fires near Chernobyl (which is some 100 Km from Kiev) could have consequences similar to those at Fukushima.
After the level of radioactivity around the Chernobyl station had reached alarming rates, an alert was issued at the border with Romania. Currently, the values are ten times above the admissible limits.
Ministry of Environment: There are no reasons of concern
On Nine O’Clock’s request, the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests has issued a statement basically saying there are no reasons of concern in the territory of Romania as a result of the vegetation fire in the proximity of the Chernobyl nuclear power station.
Regarding the radiation values, the two Ukrainian authorities in charge of measuring and monitoring radioactivity – the State Service for Emergencies and the State Inspection for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine have informed the Romanian Embassy in Kiev that all measurements taken so far indicate that the level of radioactivity in the excision area and adjacent territories demonstrates that the changes in the radiation parameters, except for the fire perimeter, do not exceed the norms in place for each specific region of Ukraine and in Kiev they are within the normal natural range’, the communiqué states.
‘At the same time, Romanian air quality monitoring stations located near the border with Ukraine have not recorded any rise of radiological relevance ion the values of environment radioactivity in the national territory so far, therefore, there are no reasons of concerns ion Romania following the developments in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. In addition, according to the dispersion model and official weather forecast, the smoke cloud built up above the fire-affected region is not expected to be above the territory of Romania in the next 36 hours’, the Environment Ministry release further notes.
The officials of the institutions also informed that the fire on all grass area had been put out.