Norway detected radioactive iodine close to Russian border

Norway detected radioactive iodine close to Russian border after ‘nuclear-powered missile’ exploded

  • Explosion happened at a military base in northern Russia on August 8 
  • It is thought a nuclear-powered missile engine blew up during testing 
  • Norway says it detected radioactive iodine in the area between August 9 and 12  
  • Kremlin says blast involved ‘isotope power sources’, without explaining further  

Norway says it detected radioactive iodine in the air close to the site where it is thought a Russian nuclear-powered missile exploded on Thursday last week. 

The Norwegian nuclear safety authority is analysing tiny amounts of iodine it detected between Friday and Monday at its air filter station in Svanhovd, close to the Russian border, to try and establish the source.

The Kremlin has confirmed that a blast at a military base in Nyonoksa killed five workers from the state nuclear agency, and that the accident involved ‘isotope power sources’, but has refused to expand further.

Norway’s nuclear safety authority said it is studying radioactive iodine particles detected near the Russian border in the days after a suspected nuclear-powered missile exploded at the Nyonoksa military base (pictured)

Scientists are trying to establish whether the particles came from the explosion, which Russia has said involved ‘isotope power sources’, without explaining further

‘At present it is not possible to determine if the last iodine detection is linked to the accident in Arkhangelsk last week. 

‘We continue more frequent sampling and analysis,’ Norway’s radiation and nuclear safety authority DSA said.

Such radiation measurements are not unusual in Norway, as its monitoring stations detect radioactive iodine about six to eight times a year and the source is usually unknown.

Russia’s state weather service said on Tuesday that radiation levels in the city of Severodvinsk had spiked by up to 16 times last Thursday.

Medics who treated victims of the accident have been sent to Moscow for an examination, the TASS news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added: ‘Accidents, unfortunately, happen. They are tragedies. But in this particular case, it is important for us to remember those heroes who lost their lives in this accident.’

He added: ‘Our president has repeatedly said that Russian engineering in this sector significantly outstrips the level that other countries have managed to reach for the moment, and it is fairly unique.’ 

In February the Russian state news agency released a video claiming to show a test of the Burevetnik missile which the Kremlin says is designed to strike over ‘unlimited’ range and with with unprecedented ability to manoeuvre

A mysterious Russian military explosion that left five Russian scientists dead last week happened during tests on a new nuclear-powered rocket. Officials were seen wearing protective clothing as they transported casualties last week (pictured). The Kremlin responded today saying ‘accidents happen’

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter yesterday his country was ‘learning much’ from the explosion which he suggested happened during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile praised by President Vladimir Putin last year.

Russia, which has said the missile will have an ‘unlimited range’ and be able to overcome any defences, calls the missile the 9M730 Burevestnik (Storm Petrel).

Nato has dubbed it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.

Trump said on Twitter the US had ‘similar, though more advanced, technology’ and said Russians were worried about the air quality around the facility and far beyond, a situation he described as ‘not good!’

But when asked about his comments on Tuesday, the Kremlin said it, not the US, was out in front when it came to developing new nuclear weapons.

Peskov, echoing President Putin, said Russian weaponry developments were still ‘considerably far ahead of the level other countries have managed to achieve’.

Putin used his state-of-the nation speech in 2018 to unveil what he described as a raft of invincible new nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile, an underwater nuclear-powered drone and a laser weapon.

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