No emergency for the alleged toxic cloud of depleted uranium from Ukraine: normal radioactivity.

Friday 19 May 2023

No emergency for the alleged toxic cloud of depleted uranium from Ukraine: normal radioactivity.

The news released from Russia was picked up by the press and on social sites

No "radioactive cloud" alarm for the alleged explosion of the depleted uranium ammunition depot in Ukraine hit by the Russians. The news was released by the head of the Moscow Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, according to which the depot was destroyed by a bombing raid on 13 May.

The highly sensitive REMRAD station, located in Sgonico (Trieste), has not recorded any anomaly in terms of radioactivity. Comparing the surveys carried out on 12 and 17 May last, no variation was in fact identified with respect to the environmental background; in particular, the level of radioactivity remained in the order of about 200 µBq/m3 (Minimum Detectable Concentration - MDC).

Moreover, the atmospheric dispersion simulations of recent days have shown that the winds are blowing precisely in the direction of Trieste, so if no anomaly has been detected by the technologically advanced station, it can be assumed that there are no reasons for concern.

This conclusion is confirmed by international prompt notification channels, which report no anomalies in radioactivity levels in Europe.

As an independent national technical regulatory authority on nuclear safety and radiation protection, ISIN is in fact the national contact point for the obligations deriving from the Euratom Treaty and carries out the technical coordination activities of the national environmental radioactivity surveillance network (RESORAD).

The Inspectorate has also recently strengthened its detection system, installing and starting up the first highly sensitive REMRAD station, hosted by the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics of Sgonico (Trieste). The station represents a significant evolution of the ISIN automatic network for monitoring environmental radioactivity and one of the most prominent elements of the national alert and activation system of the National Plan for the management of radiological and nuclear emergencies.

ISIN, which follows the evolution of the events in Ukraine with extreme attention, will however continue to monitor the situation.

Last update: Friday 19 May 2023