Russia reveals radiation details following mysterious explosion

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(AP) – Russia’s state weather and environment monitoring agency on Monday released new details about a brief spike in radioactivity following a mysterious explosion at the navy’s testing range that has been surrounded by secrecy and fueled fears of increased radiation levels.

The August 8 incident at the Russian navy’s range in Nyonoksa on the White Sea killed two servicemen and five nuclear engineers and injured six others.

Russia’s state weather an environmental monitoring agency — the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet) – said Monday the brief rise in radiation levels was caused by a cloud of radioactive gases containing isotopes of barium, strontium and lanthanum that drifted across the area. The agency said its monitoring has found no trace of radiation in air or ground samples since Aug. 8.

It has previously said that the peak radiation reading in Severodvinsk on Aug. 8 briefly reached 1.78 microsieverts per hour in just one neighborhood — about 16 times the average. Readings in other parts of Severodvinsk varied between 0.45 and 1.33 microsieverts for a couple of hours before returning to normal.

The authorities said those readings didn’t pose any danger, and the recorded levels were several times less than what a passenger is exposed to on a long-haul flight.

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