An emergency situation in Finland at the Olkiloto nuclear power plant in Eurajoki on Thursday led to an increase in radiation levels inside the plant. The incident occurred at 12:22 p.m. (1:22 a.m. Moscow time).
“The emergency situation is due to the fact that radiation monitoring systems detected an increased level of radiation inside the plant,” Petteri Tiippana, director general of the STUK Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, told a press conference.
At the same time, according to him, “the residents of the adjoining territory are safe and the situation poses no threat to them.”
He said that the station immediately took the highest protective measures. An automatic emergency shutdown of the reactor, which showed an abnormal situation, was carried out.
“The facility is now in a stable and safe condition. There were no more spikes in radiation levels during the day, but it is still unknown why the radiation level at the facility increased,” Tiippan said.
Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), the general director of the plant’s owner, Jarmo Tanhua, said the emergency occurred inside the reactor building, where radiation levels are usually high, so workers never go in there. “Therefore, the accident was not dangerous for them,” Tanhua believes.
He did not rule out that “it could be a question of the reactor’s water filtration system. It’s possible that some of the radioactive water got into the reactor and that’s why the alarm went off. But that is still being clarified.”
Tanhua could not yet say how much radiation levels had risen inside the plant.
According to him, “this is a unique case in the history of the nuclear power plant, nothing like this has ever happened here before.
Russian nuclear scientists believe that the incident at the nuclear power plant in Finland does not pose a threat to Russia and European countries.
“On the whole, according to the information available, the accident does not threaten us or anyone in Europe, because all radioactive particles remained inside,” Leonid Bolshov, director of the Institute for the Safe Development of Nuclear Power Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Interfax.
He noted, however, that there is “very little information” about the accident at this point.
For his part, Vladimir Kuznetsov, a member of Rosatom’s Public Council, professor and member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, called the power unit shutdown “a normal course of events that could happen.