France Finds Traces of Radioactive Cesium in Russian Mushrooms
France has found traces of radioactive cesium on mushrooms imported from Russia, the head of French nuclear regulator ASN said on Thursday, quoted by Reuters.
ASN chief Pierre-Franck Chevet told the French senate that following the discovery of a cloud of radioactive pollution coming from Russia in October, levels of radioactive ruthenium 106 in the air had posed no safety threat to French citizens, but that controls on food imports had been strengthened.
In recent weeks, France has imported chanterelle mushrooms from Russia which are on sale in supermarkets in Paris.
Chevet said the cesium traces did not appear to be in line with the calculations by French nuclear safety institute IRSN, which on Nov. 9 said it had detected unusual amounts of only ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere.
“There is a contradiction between what has been measured and what has been calculated by the IRSN. Work is continuing,” Chevet said.
Scientists have said the presence of ruthenium without other radioactive elements would indicate there had probably been a spill of ruthenium rather than a bigger nuclear accident.
Mayak has denied that its plant was the source of increased level of ruthenium 106. Rosatom said there were no accidents at any of its facilities which could increase the level of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere.
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