One month after a mysterious radiation cloud was observed over Europe, whose source remained unknown last week speculation emerged that it may have been the result of a "nuclear accident" in Russia or Kazakhstan, on Tuesday Russian authorities on Tuesday confirmed the previous reports of a spike in radioactivity in the air over the Ural Mountains.
Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear company, has denied the leak.
A village in Chelyabinsk region named Argayash had 986 more of the isotope than usual during that time, in what state meteorologists called "extremely high pollution".
Rosgidromet added that it was possible the radioactive isotope could have been absorbed into the atmosphere and reached Europe. The facility now serves as a reprocessing site for nuclear fuel and ranks as one of the most radioactive places on earth, according to Greenpeace.
The Mayak plant was the scene of a major nuclear accident in 1957, when a waste storage facility blew up.
Remember that harmless radioactive cloud that mysteriously drifted across Europe back in September? Russian regulators insist the practice has stopped, but many environmental groups have challenged that.
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At Beacon, in turn, argue that the release of ruthenium-106 are irrelevant and stated that after checking his background radiation did not reveal any abnormalities. The head of the service said excessive ruthenium-106 levels had been documented in Poland, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The source was probably a nuclear fuel treatment site or center for radioactive medicine, Jean-Christophe Gariel, the agency's director for health, told The Telegraph.
Read alsoRadioactive cloud in Europe came from Russian Federation or Kazakhstan - watchdogThe Argayash station is about 30 kilometers from the Mayak nuclear facility, which in 1957 was the site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.
Nearly 30 years later, the extent of the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear accident - located in Ukraine - was similarly covered up by Soviet officials who for days did not even acknowledge that the incident happened.
Responding to accusations local authorities had covered up the leak, Yevgeny Savchenko, the Chelyabinsk region public safety minister, said "fluctuations in background radiation" had not reached unsafe levels and thus "there was no basis for protective measures".
"If it was a reactor leak or nuclear explosion, other radioisotopes would also be present in the "plume" and from the reports, they are not".
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