Chelsea_SunChelsea_Sun ・ Apr. 10, 2024
Russian City on China Border Records Radiation Level 1,600 Times Over Safe Limit
Volunteers from a radiation control group detected a peak radioactivity level of 800 microsieverts at the site. A level of 0.5 microsieverts per hour is considered safe for the general public, which meant the level detected was 1,600 times higher.

(TMTPOST)—Authorities in Russia's far eastern city of Khabarovsk have declared a state of emergency in an area where a "radiation source" was found, according to TASS news agency.

Elevated radiation levels were detected near a power pylon about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from residential buildings. No one had been injured or exposed to radiation and "there is no threat to the health of citizens", TASS quoted the local branch of Russia's consumer safety watchdog as saying.

The city, home to around 640,000 residents, is approximately 30km (18.6 miles) away from China's northernmost Heilongjiang province.

“An increase in the natural background radiation was registered in the area of Suvorova and Sidorenko streets in Khabarovsk last week. Outside the epicenter, the radiation level was normal,” it claimed.

According to The Moscow Times, a resident noticed a significant spike in radiation levels near a metal depot located in the industrial district of the city and promptly alerted emergency services.

Russian authorities declared a state of emergency in the area on Saturday and cordoned off a 900 square meter area.

The radioactive object was identified as a capsule from a flaw detector and was disposed of appropriately by a company specializing in nuclear waste management, according to the authorities.

Volunteers from a radiation control group detected a peak radioactivity level of 800 microsieverts at the site. Microsieverts are a unit used to measure radiation dosage, and such levels pose a health risk to humans, according to independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

A level of 0.5 microsieverts per hour is considered safe for the general public, the group was quoted as saying by the paper, which meant the level detected was 1,600 times higher.

The radiation sources were under control and no large-scale pollution had been caused, the Chinese embassy in Khabarovsk quoted a Russian official statement as saying.

The Chinese media were largely silent about the radiation accident for several days. Users on Chinese social media platform Weibo commented on the incident.

“It turns out that dangers are very close to us,” one said, citing a storage facility not far from Khabarovsk for solid household radioactive waste from all of Russia’s Far East.

“If a nuclear radiation leak occurs in the area, can the Chinese northeastern region remain intact?” another asked.

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