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Parliamentary questions
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22 December 2017
Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-006687/2017

1. Traces of ruthenium-106 have been detected in late September 2017 by several national authorities involved in the monitoring of atmospheric radioactivity.

2. Within the EU, continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air is a national responsibility(1).

At the international level, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident(2), requires State Parties to report a nuclear accident, its time, location, radiation releases, and other data essential for assessing the situation. Notification is to be made to affected States and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (hereinafter — the IAEA). So far,(3) no State Party has made such notification. The Commission is monitoring the developments closely and is in contact with the IAEA regarding this question.

3. As stated by the national organisations providing the measurement data(4), the concentration levels of ruthenium-106 in the air that have been recorded in Europe are of no consequence for human health or for the environment. Measurement results from European stations have indicated the presence of ruthenium-106 in the atmosphere of the majority of European countries(5). The results obtained for sampling periods later than 6 October 2017 showed a steady decrease in ruthenium-106 levels, which is no longer detected in Europe at the beginning of November 2017.

(1)Under Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty
(2)https://www.iaea.org/publications/documents/infcircs/convention-early-notification-nuclear-accident. The Euratom is the Contracting Party to this Convention since 2006.
(3)Based on the information available to the Commission on 20 November 2017.
(4)http://www.irsn.fr/EN/newsroom/News/Documents/IRSN_Information-Report_Ruthenium-106-in-europe_20171109.pdf; http://www.bfs.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/BfS/DE/2017/012.html;jsessionid=30610CBDE3D23FA700EC34ABA7866DD2.2_cid365
(5)The maximum levels observed at the beginning of October reached values of the order of one hundred milliBecquerels per cubic meter of air.

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