« US Preparing to Hit Iran with New Sanctions Next Week | Main | Pakistan Drone Attack Kills at Least Seven »

Radiation Mystery Solved? Budapest 'Probably' the Source

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nuclear officials said Thursday they believe they have traced the source of a massive, but harmless, radiation plume that has spread across the atmosphere in Europe to an institute in Hungary, but the head of the institute disagrees.

The Hungary Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) said the Budapest-based Institute of Isotopes was "most probably" the source of the continued leak of trace amounts of Iodine-131 into the atmosphere, according to a statement by the International Atomic Energy Institute. Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  first announced they received reports of trace iodine-131 detections from countries "across Europe," but had no idea from where the radiation was leaking.

According to Thursday's announcement, the HAEA said the leak started on Sept. 8 and was just identified and stopped Wednesday. The IAEA repeatedly said the levels of iodine-131 released into the atmosphere were far too low to pose a public health concern.

But the head of the Institute of Isotopes, Mihaly Lakatos, told ABC News that while a filtering problem at his organization may be responsible for some of the iodine-131 detected in Hungary, it could not be the source of detections hundreds of miles away in other European nations.

"Maybe partly we have something to do with iodine-131 over Budapest, but not over Europe," Lakatos said. "The distance is too long."

The IAEA told ABC News Wednesday iodine-131, which has a decay half-life of just eight days, had been detected in at least seven countries -- from France to Slovakia and Poland. Before the HAEA's announcement, the IAEA said they were still working to narrow the list of possible sources for the radioactive leak.

In response to Lakatos' objections, the IAEA referred ABC News to the HAEA, who made the claim initially. Representatives there did not immediately responded to requests for comment.

Budapest's Institute of Isotopes produces radioisotopes "for a broad range of application areas, especially healthcare, research and industry," according to its website. Iodine-131 in particular is commonly used in low doses to help treat thyroid issues.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    NFL is seriously 1 of the greatest sports in America. It has a main following.
  • Response
    Response: this website
    Radiation Mystery Solved? Budapest 'Probably' the Source - World News - ABC News Radio
  • Response
    积极看待每一天Think Positive Thoughts Eve If you feel powerless or unmotivated, p erhaps all you have to do is shift your point of view. 英语励志短文带翻译:如果你觉得心有余而力不足,觉得缺乏前进的动力,也许你该改变一下自己的思维角度。 By training your mind to concentrate on the bright side of things,

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

ABC News Radio