When it comes to the clandestine world of nuclear weapons, there is no such thing as being too careful. That’s why a number of systems are constantly in place to monitor potential nuclear hazards floating all around us.
Radiation is unlike any other substance on the planet, in which the half life of the toxic particles are the only factor in their efficacy and dissipation. There’s no great scheme to dilute, or otherwise mitigate the amount of radioactivity released by any particular incident, making for rather permanent situations when some of the nastier isotopes find themselves out in the wild.
At Chernobyl, the site of arguably one of the most horrendous nuclear accidents of all time, an enormous “sarcophagus” was built around the melted down cores of the power station in order to contain the highly volatile material still spewing isotopes from deep within the halls of the abandoned plant. From the time of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, it is estimated that the plant will be safe for unprotected human inspection in roughly twenty thousand years.
At Fukushima in Japan, things are a bit more complicated, as the the radiation levels at the core of the meltdown are still far too high for even robots to function for any length of time. This means that Fukushima is still wildly throwing radioactive isotopes all around the tsunami-stricken debris of the power station, and also contaminating the Pacific Ocean on which it sits. In fact, reports from as late as spring of 2017 indicate that workers at the site still have yet to identify all of the sources of melted fuel at Fukushima, with estimates of forty years to go before cleanup will be considered complete.
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Now, wafting over the great state of Alaska is another highly worrisome packet of radioactivity. This terrifying cloud of contamination, however, seems to have no known origin.
“Scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have discovered what they claim is an atmospheric aerosol particle enriched with the uranium which is used in nuclear fuel and bombs.
“A ‘highly unusual aerosol particle containing a very small amount of enriched uranium’ was tracked at an altitude of seven kilometers above Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, according to a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study published by the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity.
“The scientists underscored that the particle with the enriched uranium-235 was spotted for the first time in twenty years of observations. The uranium-235 is specifically used for making nuclear fuel and bombs.”
Scientists have completely ruled out any natural source for the particle cloud, and are beyond certain that this is not a simple case of Fukushima fallout reaching the other side of the vast Pacific Ocean.
This development harkens back to 2017, when a mysterious fog of radioactivity was detected hovering over Europe in several instances. In this case, speculation suggested that clandestine Russian nuclear tests were the likely culprit, however, the Kremlin predictably denied any responsibility.