Higher Radiation Levels Detected Near Chernobyl

Russia seized control of site Thursday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2022 3:37 AM CST
Higher Radiation Levels Detected Near Chernobyl
Ukrainian National Guard, Armed Forces special operations units on exercises in the abandoned city of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, Friday, Feb.4, 2022.   (AP Photo/Mykola Tymchenko)

Ukraine’s nuclear energy regulatory agency on Friday said that higher than usual gamma radiation levels have been detected in the area near the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear plant, after it was seized by the Russian military. The AP reports the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate attributed the rise to a "disturbance of the topsoil due to the movement of a large amount of heavy military equipment through the exclusion zone and the release of contaminated radioactive dust into the air."

Ukrainian authorities said that Russia took the plant and its surrounding exclusion zone after a fierce battle Thursday. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russian airborne troops were protecting the plant to prevent any possible "provocations." He insisted that radiation levels in the area have remained normal. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said it was told by Ukraine of the takeover, adding that there had been "no casualties or destruction at the industrial site."

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.