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The Masked Tulip

There's been a bit of a radioactive leak

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There is an interesting story on Zerohedge today - usually not a fan of ZH - but it is about some increased radioactive levels being reported over Scandinavia and Western Europe.

It was first detected up on the Norweigan/Russian border, by the Kola Pennisular, by the Norweigans. Then tracked down across Europe as far as Spain. It resulted, this week, in the US sending one of their two WC-135 'Constant Phoenix' aircraft, which are purposed to monitor and track radiation in the atmosphere, to Mildenhall.

On one hand the levels are minute but on the other hand something has happened. Fascinating.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/concerns-grow-about-nuclear-incident-europe-after-spike-radioactive-iodine-levels

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have a different link
 

http://www.irsn.fr/EN/newsroom/News/Pages/20170213_Detection-of-radioactive-iodine-at-trace-levels-in-Europe-in-January-2017.aspx

 

Detection of radioactive iodine at trace levels in Europe in January 2017

 

Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

 

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Tactical Nuke Detonation or Large Reactor Accident in Russian Arctic

https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/3255

Quote

A massive spike in radioactive Iodine-131 over Scandinavia has sent governments scrambling to find the cause.  Radiation monitors are recording 4x increases in radioactive Iodine-131 which can only come from either a Nuclear Bomb Test, or a reactor accident.  The nuclear half-life of Iodine-131 is eight days, so this is an absolutely recent incident.

A U.S. Air Force WC-135 has arrived in the United Kingdom on its way to the Arctic to take samples and readings.  The WC-135 Constant Phoenix is a special purpose aircraft derived from the Boeing C-135 and used by the United States Air Force. Its mission is to collect samples from the atmosphere for the purpose of detecting and identifying nuclear explosions. It is also informally referred to as the "weather bird" or "the sniffer" by workers on the program.

It is possible that Russia detonated Tactical nuclear Bomb in violation of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or suffered a nasty Naval Reactor Accident in Novaya Zemlya.

Spy satellites used for bomb blast detection do not monitor that part of the planet because there is nothing there to bomb; a perfect place to do an illegal test.

 

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9 minutes ago, longtomsilver said:

This sounds like a planned, deliberate release to me. Black operations in light of the Fukushima Meltdown. Too isolated for anything to happen or anyone notice  (until they do/did). 

Cover story for the French nuclear plant fire? Interesting theory.

That's a bit of paranoia that may have truth in it. Has the Queen gone to Balmoral. Interesting how this leak has swept down from the Artic, down Scandinavia, across Western Europe to Spain... but has avoided, or not been detected, in the UK.

Tin foil hats being dusted off and polished.

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UPDATE 2:28 PM EST --

According of government officials in France, this comes on the heels of another four-fold spike in Iodine-131 detected in January.  This second burst of Iodine-131 is leading experts to believe nuclear tests have been conducted. The IRSN reports:

Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

Iodine-131 is a radionuclide with a short half-life (T1/2 = 8.04 day). The detection of this radionuclide is proof of a rather recent release.

 

 

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Why would Putin want to detonate a nuclear weapon now? On one hand he is seeing increasing NATO activity on Russian borders so, yes, a deterrent. On the other hand, it would make it very difficult for Trump to hold out an olie branch and feed into the anti-Russian rhetoric of Trump's enemies.

So, accident?

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31 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Some miitary types wondering whether it was a test of a new nuclear tipped torpedo.

I thought people had pretty much abandoned the concept of tactical nuclear weapons. Although they provide a bigger bang for your buck they're likely cause your opponent to respond with a slightly larger nuclear weapon.

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8 minutes ago, assetrichcashpoor said:

I thought people had pretty much abandoned the concept of tactical nuclear weapons. Although they provide a bigger bang for your buck they're likely cause your opponent to respond with a slightly larger nuclear weapon.

Nope. The nuclear torpedo is a Soviet carrier group killer. No messing about.

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Interesting piece of information. It must be stressed just how low-level these detections are. In fact, I didn't realise we had technology to quantify isotopes at this level. As dgul points out, Fukushima released about 30 grams of I131, and when the plume reached Europe, levels were 1,000-10,000 fold higher than the most recent event.

Unlikely to be flamanville, as the event was first detected in early January, starting with Poland, whereas the recent flamanville incident was in February. The detection was apparently in airborne particles, and I don't know if oil&gas tracer fluids would get into the air like this, but at this level of contamination, I suppose anything is possible. 

I was under the impression that a nuclear detonation would be expected to produce characteristic seismic, infasound or hydroacoustic signatures. The CTBTO are normally fairly prompt at reporting these; they had a press conference the same day that they detected a suspicious seismic signature in North Korea last year.

I would have expected an industrial accident to have been reported to the relevant authority.

Unlikely to be related to the Norwegian research reactor - the leak appears to have been damage to a test sample of nuclear fuel which leaked after removal, and given the short half life and tiny release, couldn't explain detection (even at these levels) over such a wide area.

For the detection area to be so wide, the release must have been significant - not something like routine medical use, or a test sample. Possibly it could be some industrial usage, but I quite like the idea of a failed fuel rod on a submarine. 

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20 minutes ago, ChumpusRex said:

 I was under the impression that a nuclear detonation would be expected to produce characteristic seismic, infasound or hydroacoustic signatures. The CTBTO are normally fairly prompt at reporting these; they had a press conference the same day that they detected a suspicious seismic signature in North Korea last year.

Being interested in old mines in the Lake District Operation Orpheus springs to my mind, which basically set the grounds for the difficulty in detecting underground nuclear tests if you set them up carefully enough. That was over 50 years ago but if anything it's moved on to make them harder, not easier, to detect. The theory was that if you excavate a large chamber, of a size so that the pressure from the blast matched the pressure of the rock when it hit, it wouldn't leave a seismic signature. This was tested in Greenside Mine (using conventional explosives).

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