The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists can always be relied upon to explore unfolding events. On August 21, Cheryl Rofer reported (in an article titled “Radiation detections in northern Europe: what we do and don’t know“) on three minor, puzzling radiation releases detected over the last three years, the latest in mid June, all of them probably (but not definitively) located in Russia. It’s worth a read. My interest in this is minor. None of the three relate, it seems, to my book’s interest, Russia’s fleet of nuclear power plants. What does pique my interest is this: throughout its three quarters of a century of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons pursuits, Russia’s history has been, frankly, poor. Their safety standards were always terrible, they lied, they covered up. Rosatom is now something of a nuclear energy powerhouse, seemingly reformed into a modern state-owned-but-corporate-in-style entity, but to me, Rosatom remains freighted with the weight of Russia’s non-transparent history. Cheryl Rofer’s article does not offer me any respite from my abiding suspicions. May I be proven wrong.
(Image is from the Bulletin article, where it is credited to Lassina Zerbo/Twitter.)