Like many such centers worldwide, Israel's station for the detection of radioactive particles and gases in the atmosphere, established under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, discovered a tiny amount of nuclear waste emitted from Fukushima's failed nuclear reactors earlier this month.
The station in Soreq operates a high-capacity pump, which draws in air and filters it for particles. The filter is then examined in a radioactive waste lab. On Tueday, the lab discovered in the air sample traces of Iodine-131 with a concentration of 0.00005 becquerel per square meter.
For the sake of comparison, in the first days following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, the concentration of radioactive waste that was found around the failed power plant topped 100,000 becquerel per square meter. In Israel, a radioactive particle concentration of 20 becquerel per square meter was found following the Ukrainian breakdown. Tuesday's measurement is 400,000 times lower than the latter.
Experts from the Israel Atomic Energy Commission stressed that the minuscule concentration is not dangerous for the health or the environment, even if it remains at the same level for a long period of time. The concentrations of radioactive waste found in the US and in Europe are not dangerous either, they said.
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