Spike in radiation levels in Chernobyl explained

No doubt most of my readers have seen the news about the spike in radioactivity near the Chernobyl Power Plant last night, from the typical 1-4μSv/h up to 65.5uSv/h (reported as 65500nSv/h). Let’s start by saying that this level is still very, very far from being harmful to humans, unless you’d roll on the ground for days and breathe in a lot of radioactive particles in the area, so please remain calm.

This is a familiar sight to anyone following the recent news:

May be an image of map and text that says "State Specialized Enterprise "Ecocenter" http://dazv.gov.ua/ 65500 o February 24, 2022, 21:50 Gamma Ray nSv/h 1760 SRTV Data provided by State Specialized Enterprise "Ecocenter" 3890 1690 535 18 3540 3303 1750 1080 318 408 3560 946 CARTO"

So far I have found and personally confirmed the following:

1. A news agency reported that a shell damaged the waste fuel storage facility – this was quickly debunked as fake news, and said agency removed the article from their website. It has already been copied and repeated thousands of times so it’s still spreading on the internet.

2. Ukrainian Energy Ministry has issued a statement – the Chernobyl NPP infrastructure has not been damaged.

3. Radiation levels remain normal in all neighbouring monitoring stations, in Kyiv, and also countries who border Ukraine!

 

Let’s not forget that spreading fear and disinformation is Russia’s speciality. Is there a better way of scaring the entire Europe than mentioning Chernobyl, war, and rising radiation levels in one sentence? I doubt it. The numbers could have been fabricated since the Russian forces have seized control over the entire Chernobyl NPP and the surrounding area.

My initial suspicions shared earlier on my Facebook profile turned out to be true. The power plant area has been well decontaminated, and the background radiation at the CHNPP area is relatively low, after all people work there daily and contractors building the New Safe Confinement needed to be kept safe. The movement of heavy armoured vehicles disturbed the soil containing radioactive particles under the top layer, and kicked up dust, which was then detected by the sensors surrounding the area.

Dr. Sergey Kireyev, General Director of the state agency “Ecocenter” has issued a statement together with updated records of the radiation levels at the monitoring stations in various parts of the zone.

 

Chairman of the State agency ECOCENTER, on the rise in measured radiation levels in the Chernobyl area:

Certificate on exceeding PED indicators at control points. Table 1 shows the characteristics of the equivalent dose rate gamma radiation registered at monitoring posts ASKRS during the day 24.02.2022 in comparison with the average annual values ​​for 2021 and control levels.

Gamma radiation expressed in SV is now almost exclusively formed of decay of Caesium-137. The main source of radiation is the top layer of soil, where this radionuclide is in dynamic equilibrium due to its inclusion in the cycle of matter soil – plant – soil. Therefore, according to our estimates, the exceeded control levels are associated with a violation of the upper soil layer, which is caused by displacement important equipment and lifting contaminated radioactive dust into the air.

General Director of SSE “Ecocenter”
Sergey KIREYEV

Radiation spike in Chernobyl during the Russian invasion explained.
Radiation spike in Chernobyl during the Russian invasion explained.

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