No info about radiation spike caused by Chernobyl fire - Federal Medical and Biological Agency
MOSCOW. April 7 (Interfax) - The fire in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) has not led to an increase in radiation levels outside this area, experts from the Burnazyan Federal Medical and Biophysical Center of Russia's Federal Medical and Biological Agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
"As of this moment, there is no objective information to confirm a spike in radiation," the statement said.
Fires break out in the Chernobyl exclusion zone practically every year, causing fears of a possible airborne migration of radionuclides from the areas polluted by the Chernobyl NPP accident to other territories, as well as fears of a radiation spike jeopardizing public health, the statement said.
The center's specialists have considered such a scenario. "The spread of radioactive substances as a result of fires cannot cause any significant increase in radiation levels outside the exclusion zone," the statement said.
For the purpose of studying the atmospheric migration of radionuclides, other researchers operating in the Chernobyl exclusion zone "have intentionally started controlled fires, which did not indicate the possibility of any significant migration of radionuclides outside the exclusion zone," the statement said.
"Although the fire has broken out and is spreading around the area polluted by radionuclides as a result of the Chernobyl NPP accident, one should not expect a concentration of radioactive substances that could endanger public health outside the exclusion zone to appear in the air," Deputy General Director of the Federal Medical and Biophysical Center for Science and Biomedical Technologies Natalia Shandala said.
According to the Ukrainian State Emergency Service, rescuers were continuing to put out the wildfire on about 11 hectares in the Kotovsky forest within the Chernobyl exclusion zone at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
"The situation is fully under control, and work is ongoing," the Ukrainian State Emergency Service said in a statement published on its website on Tuesday morning. The fire is being fought by 120 men and 29 pieces of hardware, the statement said.