Fukushima radiation detected in Iceland

Radiation from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi power station is being picked up by monitors in Iceland. The country is therefore the first place in Europe to be affected by the radioactive particles. The amount of radioactive iodine being picked up is described as minuscule.

Reuters reports that the particles have been picked up by Vienna-based UN institute the CTBTO (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization), which monitors radiation at 63 stations around the world to see if any illegal nuclear weapons testing is taking place. One of the stations is in Reykjavik.

The arrival to Europe of radioactive particles from Fukushima has been predicted by scientists and the amount in question is far below even the strictest limits for human health. Small amounts of radiation have already been measured around the Pacific, including in Russia, Canada and the USA. French radiation authorities this morning released a statement saying they expect radioactive particles to reach France tomorrow.

The news is interesting and shows how effective the CTBTO system is, and also how quickly airborne particles can spread globally. The amount of radiation is, on the other hand, not quite so ‘interesting’ — measuring between just one thousandth and one ten-thousandth the amount from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

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