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Chornobyl fire: Kyivites keep their windows shut due to powerful emissions of harmful substance in air

Source : 112 Ukraine

Radiation levels in the capital are within normal, city state administration reports
08:01, 17 April 2020

Chornobyl exclusion zone, satellite imagery
PlanetLabs

Kyiv city hall recommended that citizens close their windows, which is due to a drastic increase of concentration of harmful emissions into the air. That's the consequence of fires in Chornobyl exclusion zone and a forest district in Zhytomyr region, northern Ukraine; they still have not been extinguished. 

Bellingcat investigation bureau came up with a big article focused on the current environmental situation.

"Citizens have meanwhile expressed concerns that radioactivity in the exclusion zone could be spreading through thick smoke from the burning trees. Also, some international media outlets have made misleading claims about “spiking radiation levels” at the “abandoned nuclear waste storage” — with both of these statements actually being incorrect", the agency wrote. 

The bureau refers to numerous posts in social media and the data from open sources showing that the actual radiation level remains within normal. It appears that the burnt odor is the result of combustion gases released into the air after the fires in the mentioned locations, but that has nothing to do with radiation level spikes. 

Related: Another fire observed in Chornobyl exclusion zone

"According to experts and government sources, the situation is more complicated than meets the eye. Local radiation levels seem to have increased, but there has been no immediate risk for citizens being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Using open source online tools such as the EU’s Joint Resource Centre Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring map, no increase of radiation is visible in the area in the period of the forest fires. Naturally, fear of radiation is an understandable concern, as it’s invisible yet potentially lethal. The history of a lack of communication and transparency from those responsible for nuclear contamination incidents — be it waste, or meltdowns of reactors — only adds to heightened anxiety in the general population", the article says.

Related: Kyiv covered with heavy smoke from wildfires in Chornobyl exclusion zone

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