The United States is getting involved in the investigation of reports of a nuclear cloud hovering over Europe.
According to the U.K. Wakefield Express, a U.S. Air Force plane has been deployed to find the source of the radioactive activity.
While no one seems to know what caused the leak, there are a few rumors, and Russia is a suspect. U.K. news sources cited conversations in Europe that suggest Russian President Vladimir Putin was testing nuclear weapons either in the east or near the Arctic.
French nuclear watchdog Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire sounded the first alarm, according to The U.K. Register.
ISRN said the radioactive activity was just days old when researchers found the cloud, which contained Iodine-131, a substance associated with nuclear fission. It is also used in cancer treatment and could have been released by an accident in a medical or manufacturing facility.
“Iodine-131 is a radionuclide with a short half-life (eight days),” the ISRN statement said. “The detection of this radionuclide is proof of a rather recent release.”
The cloud was traced in Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, and is now making its way toward Great Britain.
ISRN shared a picture which displays exactly where those traces of radioactivity were found:
For now, the cloud has caused a lot of speculation. But whatever the source, Europeans and Americans both should be concerned about such activity.
Radioactive chemicals are closely linked with cancer and air pollution, and can easily contaminate food and plants. Experts say the levels are currently too low to pose a danger, but it is still important to be cautious about such activity.
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