Elevated radiation levels in Russia have not impacted Taiwan: AEC

Taipei-Radiation air monitors around Taiwan have shown typical fluctuations in background radiation levels over the past month, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC), the country's nuclear regulatory authority, said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The AEC issued the statement after Russia confirmed "extremely high" concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in parts of the country, sparking concerns over the possible impact on the environment and public health.

Russian's state weather service Roshydromet reported recently that it recorded extremely high contamination of ruthenium-106 in a cloud over the southern Ural mountains, the AEC said in the statement citing international wire services.

It was reported that Russia has confirmed that it too has detected evidence of the radioactive cloud floating above much of Europe, according to the AEC.

On Nov. 9, French nuclear safety institute IRSN issued a report saying in recent weeks it and several other nuclear safety institutes in Europe had measured high levels of ruthenium-106 but adding there was no impact on human health or the environment in Europe.

Ruthenium-106 is used as a radiation source in the treatment of ocular tumors. It can also occur during the reprocessing of nuclear fuel elements, according to the AEC.

The IRSN statement said the ruthenium-106 possibly came from a site between the Urals and the Volga river in Russia, but that it was not possible with the data they had to specify the exact point of origin.

The AEC's Radiation Monitoring Center began in early October strengthening detection of background radiation levels at 46 monitoring stations around Taiwan and found levels to fall within the normal range, according to the AEC statement.

The AEC will continue to keep a close watch on fluctuations in background radiation levels to ensure public health and safety, it said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel