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Mysterious and ‘HIGHLY UNUSUAL’ radioactive substance detected in Alaska

Feb 15, 2018
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SCIENTISTS have discovered an atmospheric aerosol particle enriched with uranium in Alaska which is used in nuclear fuel and bombs – and no-one can explain why the substance is there or how it arrived.
Experts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they have found a “highly unusual aerosol particle containing a very small amount of enriched uranium” .
The substance with the uranium-235 have been found for the first time in 20 years of searches, say experts.
This particle can fuel nuclear reactions, are used in nuclear power plants, can damage organic material and cause mutations that lead to cancer.
The scientists said: “The bulk of the particle probably came from combustion of heavy fuel oil.
“The particle was encountered when we were making no special attempt to sample radioactive material.
“We don’t know the source for this particle. It may indicate a novel source where enriched uranium was dispersed.”
They believe the particle could have come from across Asia and was brought to the spot by the winds.
The researchers say the the sample was “definitely not from a natural source” but could have come from burnt nuclear fuel.
The scientists made the findings when their research plane was flying over the Aleutian Islands in 2016 and detected the uranium floating about four miles above Alaska’s far-western island chain.
Leader of the study, Dan Murphy, said to Gizmodo: “It’s not a significant amount of radioactive debris by itself. “But it’s the implication that there’s some very small source of uranium that we don’t understand.
One of the main motivations of this paper is to see if somebody who knows more about uranium than any of us would understand the source of the particle.”
The full findings have been published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity.
After the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 in Japan, experts became concerned about radiation impacts in Alaska as three reactors melted down. However, as the particle was found in 2016, the two are unlikely to be linked.
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February 18, 2018 - Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | ,

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