back to article Mystery radioisotopes in Czech air are not from Fukushima

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said that traces of radioactive isotopes have been detected in the atmosphere over the Czech Republic. The State Office for Nuclear Safety in the country reported to the UN watchdog that very low levels of iodine-131 had been measured in the last few days. "It was detected by our …


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  1. Tom 15


    Is it possible it could be Iranian?

    1. John Riddoch

      Yes, there's a possibility. Or Israeli. Or, frankly, any other country with a nuclear capability, including France or Britain.

    2. VinceH


      It is in fact the direct result of a nuclear exchange - with an unforseen side effect: it is moving back through time, because the exchange has yet to happen.

  2. ratfox

    "did not think that the amount of radioisotope in the atmosphere could harm people."


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward




    2. ScottAS2

      Lead-lined furry boots

      Hopefully not the granite hills...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The background radiation on the mountains ishigher...

  3. Tchou

    Here comes the public opinion brainwashing to attack Iran.

    1. David Pollard

      Brainwashing to attack Iran?

      It might equally well be part of a campaign to warn of the dangers of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, as recently suggested (again) by US/Israeli hawks in electioneering rallies,

      The fallout from demolition using the bunker-busters that the US supplied to Israel could be considerable and would not be confined to Iran.

      1. Tchou

        What about busting the President instead, some Mollahs, providing rebellion with weapons and kabooming the enrichment facilities?

        Pretty limited (radioactive) fallouts.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Thumb Down


          Sure, pretty limited radioactive fallouts.

          But the fall out from terrorist revenge attacks and suicide bombers...???

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's that you say? A NATO member?

    Oh well, in that case nothing to see here folks - nothing to worry about.

    1. Graham Marsden

      @NATO member?

      Ah, so they're *friendly* radioactive isotopes...!

      1. Stratman

        Ah, so they're *friendly* radioactive isotopes...!

        ...and henceforth shall be known as Magic Moonbeams.

  5. Ralph B

    The Usual Suspect

    It's probably just the Windscale / Sellafield / Happy Meadow people venting into the atmosphere like they used to do (and probably still do) into the Irish Sea.

    1. Ralph B

      A Message to the Friends of Sellafield

      While you're downvoting me here, maybe you should also making some "corrections" here:


      It currently reads: "Between 1950 and 2000 there have been 21 serious incidents or accidents involving some off-site radiological releases that merited a rating on the International Nuclear Event Scale, one at level 5, five at level 4 and fifteen at level 3. Additionally during the 1950s and 1960s there were protracted periods of known, deliberate, discharges to the atmosphere of plutonium and irradiated uranium oxide particulates.[42] These frequent incidents, together with the large 2005 Thorp plant leak which was not detected for nine months, have led some to doubt the effectiveness of the managerial processes and safety culture on the site over the years."

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Must have been Iran. Attack NAOW!

    Hillary Clinton is already on the horn demanding the Mullahs explain the unexplained iodine found over Europe. "All options are on the table" if explanations are not forthcoming immediately, she said. Prime Minister Bibi was quoted as saying that "this was yet another uncontrovertible proof that Iran is dangerously close to having nuclear capability, in weeks, if not days. They even target Europe directly - clearly an existential threat!" Statements from the IAEA could not be obtained as M. Amano was currently undergoing "further training" at a secure facility in Virginia.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Pet peeve re:"existential"

      Does anyone else get annoyed at the recent appropriation of this word to mean "threat to existence" rather than "pertaining to existentialist philosophy"?

      Oh, just me, then. As you were.

      1. Luther Blissett

        "existential" - a quick xlation

        = hyperreal

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "clearly an existential threat!"

      Such as blue crayons, on a Tuesday, in fresh linen?

      1. Oninoshiko

        DAMN all those who threaten EXISTENTIALISM!

        (no, misusing the word "existential" bothers me too)

  7. s. pam Silver badge

    It's IKEA

    Didn't y'all get the memo of their new product, the DIY Home Nuclear Power station that outputs 145.25VAC that requires dedicated IKEA appliances, light bulbs and vibrators?

    Epic Fail that you didn't!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Philips is working on a consumer device that will convert 145.25VAC power to 120VAC 60Hz. A 240VAC version will be released six months after release of the 120VAC version.

      1. PT

        "A 240VAC version will be released six months after release of the 120VAC version."

        For twice the price.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it a coincidence

    This was posted on the same day as

    1. G Murphy

      Is it a coincidence that..

      This was posted just a couple of days after this incident:

      Iran explosion at Revolutionary Guards military base

      1. Luther Blissett

        Who would you rather believe?

        El Reg - or the Bloated Beast Cabal that takes your money (by coercion)?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, G Murphy, it is a coincidence.

        That was a blast in an arms dump. The Mullahs may be mad, but they aren't stupid; why on earth, when they have a bunch of top-security nuclear sites specially equipped with all the processing facilities they need, would they carefully pack up the waste from one of them and move it into a conventional military base next to an arms dump?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, TooMuchCoffee, it was a coincidence.

      Since the fire in the Swedish nuclear plant happened back in May and it has been out of commission ever since, if you bother actually reading the article to which you refer.

      You were perhaps assuming that, because you read about something recently, the events it described must have happened equally recently? That's not good thinking skills there.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If they dont know where it came from, how can they be so sure it wasnt from Fukushima?

    All they need to do to work out where it came from is cross off all they places they are sure it wasnt from. Or is Fukushima the only place they know it wasnt from - which seems odd.

    Why dont they just come out and blame the Swedes?

    1. Tomato42

      This Iodine isotope has a half-life of few days.

    2. Andy Gates

      Half-life's pretty short: the iodine threat is in weeks, not months. The great majority of the radioiodine from Fukushima has decayed by now, and the prevailing wind would have to wrap it around the globe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That was the point

        Surely as soon as you can say "it wasnt one of two possible places" you are left with where it was.

        Saying we have no idea where it came from, but it didnt come from X doesnt make sense.

        Saying we know it came from somewhere other than X would make a bit more sense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Two" possible places?

          Where did you get that there were only two possible places from? There are dozens or hundreds of places around the world that could have been a source. Many of them are in the former Soviet Union and are known to be in poorly-maintained condition.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 1833GMT

            Thanks for bothering to read ore than the first sentence before you decided to reply.

            It was an example, nothing more, nothing less. It was not meant to be prescriptive which is why at the finished off saying that "all we know is it wasnt X" would make more sense.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              >"It was an example, nothing more, nothing less."

              But it was a speciously misleading example with no relevance to the discussion; it was suggesting that there was some trivial process of elimination that could apply, when in fact the known facts aren't sufficient to eliminate the vast majority of possible sources.

              As for the rest of the post, I didn't have anything to say about it, since it just seemed like minor pedantry. I can't see anything wrong with saying "we have no idea where it came from, but it didnt come from X"; there's no contradiction between "not knowing where something did come from" and "knowing somewhere that it didn't come from". They're both equivalent ways of stating that you've eliminated just one possibility from a large set of possibilities.

              They know it's not Fukushima because it has a half-life of only 8 days and the reactor there hasn't been in operation (nor even undergoing spontaneous fusion in the melted core) for long enough now that there can't be any traces coming from there. That, plus the fact that the whole area around Fukushima is covered in detectors since the accident, so how could all this stuff manage to dodge past them without being noticed yet still be strong enough to be detected thousands of miles away? Yet none of that knowledge gives them any clues as to where it did come from. And that's why they can say that they a) don't know where it is from, and b) do know that it is not from Fukushima, and have both of those statements be true at the same time.

  10. Ray 8


    Use the tried as tested duck and cover.. That will save you from the mad mullahs nukes

  11. jake Silver badge

    Where the hell are you lot getting Iran out of this?

    With the prevailing winds in the area, it's probably something long forgotten rotting away in the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik ...

  12. Anonymous Coward


    The Russians have recently finished their latest reactor in Kaliningrad, and if they've engineered it to their usual high standards it should be leaking quite nicely about now,

  13. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Bomb belgium

    Obviously evidence of a secret Belgian nuclear weapons program.

    Never heard of a Belgian nuclear weapons program? Well that shows how secret it is!

    .... News just in .....

    Following the discovery that Belgium doesn't have any oil it has been decided to invade the Shetlands instead.

  14. NoneSuch Silver badge


    Vault-Tec is ready to serve the public with many models of underground post-apocalypse chambers. I am sure the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave will sort things out in time.

    Yeah, WAY too much Fallout 3: New Vegas play last weekend.

  15. swschrad

    round up the usual suspects...

    Windscale has been mentioned... the French reprocessing/service industry has not.

    but my money is on Italy for creating bad Czechs....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must agree with those that say it is probably a Soviet source.

    After the fall of the USSR, a pretty large number of Very Bad Things went missing, including RTGs that were powering a large number of isolated installations, and reasonably large samples of various isotopes (among other things, I don't doubt. Rumours of missing warheads from sunken subs abound, which leads nicely on to my next point). The submarine fleet remnants from those days are also not exactly in top-notch condition right now.

    Additionally, the Soviet military had a lot of secret projects going on. Coincidentally, all records are either "deleted, omitted, or missing" to quote from a film/comic that rightly decided nukes would probably kill us all.

    Of course, it could be Iran making The Bomb, because they are so stupid and insane they don't believe that Israel or the US will glass them immediately if they get a hint of it.

  17. elderlybloke
    Paris Hilton

    Very Low Level

    Does this mean Fuck All?

    Is it does (it almost certainly does) then why this scare mongering -yet again.?

    Paris seems appropriate.

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