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Radioactive particles found across Europe, source unknown

Staff Writer |
A spike in the levels of radioactive chemicals has been recorded across Europe.

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Air quality stations across the continent detected traces of radioactive Iodine-131 in January but scientists are yet to find out where the particles came from.

Traces of Iodine-131 were first recorded in Norway and have now been found in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

The isotope has a half-life of only eight days, which suggests the particles must have entered the atmosphere after a recent event.

The pattern of movement of the particles suggests they may have originated in Eastern Europe, according to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA).

"It was rough weather in the period when the measurements were made, so we can't trace the release back to a particular location," Astrid Liland, head of emergency preparedness at the NRPA, told the Barents Observer.

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