Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Europe worried about lack of information on radioactive fallout from fires

Vice President of the European Parliament Rodi Kratsa said in a letter to the chamber last week that there are “serious risks” of radiation reaching Europe and asked her fellow deputies to find out whether Russia has a “prevention plan … to avoid the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.”

Fallout from Russia’s Fires – the ashes of Chernobyl,   TIME, Simon Shuster ,  20 Aug 2010, – “……..Shoigu changed his line about the risk of radiation and rebuked the RCFH for spreading “false information.” Hours later, the agency’s website went down, and it remained inaccessible until the morning of Aug. 18 — when it went back online with no mention of the Bryansk fires. RCFH deputy director Nikolai Bobrinsky told TIME that the agency was just following a request from the Emergencies Ministry that it stop going public with information about the fires to avoid spreading panic.
For now, all information from the fallout zones comes through the ministry. On Aug. 18, it organized a trip to Bryansk for observers and environmentalists. Ivan Blokov, who went on behalf of Greenpeace, says the trip left some of the most crucial questions unanswered and convinced him only that the region’s firefighting infrastructure is “in a state of collapse” and would be unable to contain a major fire in the radioactive forests.

According to Komogortseva, who took a helicopter tour of the region with ministry officials on Aug. 18, the fires in Bryansk finally seem to have been extinguished. Yet thousands of tons of radioactive deadwood still litter the forest floor, she says. The wood could release a cloud of radiation if ignited.

The levels would be a tiny fraction of what Chernobyl poured into the atmosphere 24 years ago, but experts have warned that winds could carry radioactive particles deep into Europe, and the effects are difficult to predict because of the lack of reliable data from Bryansk.
Some European officials are worried. Vice President of the European Parliament Rodi Kratsa said in a letter to the chamber last week that there are “serious risks” of radiation reaching Europe and asked her fellow deputies to find out whether Russia has a “prevention plan … to avoid the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.”

Right now, though, the only such plan in Moscow seems to be aimed at preventing information leaks that could embarrass the government. To the Russians who have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones, that’s not nearly enough.

Russia’s Continuing Fires: Anger from the Ashes – TIME

August 20, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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