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Heilongjiang not affected by radioactive leak incident in Russia

By ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-11 23:09

A source of radioactive contamination found in the Russian city of Khabarovsk has not affected neighboring Heilongjiang province, China's National Nuclear Safety Administration said on Wednesday.

Since the radioactive contamination was detected on April 5, the provincial Department of Ecology and Environment has conducted continuous monitoring of the gamma radiation dose rate in real time and collected aerosol samples, the administration said.

The monitoring results were at normal levels and no abnormalities have been reported, according to the administration.

The department said it operates 27 automatic monitoring stations for atmospheric radiation, including one station in each of the two Chinese cities closest to Khabarovsk: Fu­yuan, which is 60 kilometers away, and Tongjiang, which is 210 km away.

Global Times reported that the Khabarovsk city government implemented a state of emergency in some streets on April 5 after excessive radiation levels were detected in an industrial area.

Data from the city government showed that the environmental radiation level in Khabarovsk was within the standard range on Tuesday, with no adverse effects on the health of residents or the surrounding environment.

Russia's TASS news agency said the source of radioactive contamination was a component of a portable flaw detector containing the radioactive element cesium that may have been lost during the transportation of related equipment.

It was found near a transmission tower about 2.5 km from residential buildings.

Local government departments quickly sealed off the surrounding area and sent the radioactive source to professional institutions for analysis and identification.

On Wednesday, Mayor of Khabarovsk Sergei Kravchuk signed an order lifting the state of emergency, TASS said.

Experts from the Heilong­jiang Provincial Institute of Atomic Energy said the radioactive source was found with its stainless steel outer casing intact and the contents had not been scattered or lost. It did not contain other nuclear materials or substances, and it had been safely placed in a container and was being stored in a temporary storage facility for radioactive waste, according to the experts.

The experts said radiation levels at the site would return to normal, without causing continuous radiation effects in the area or posing risks to human health.

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