- PARIS (AP) -- The peaks of the Alps still contain radiation from the
1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, according to a study released Saturday.
- Campers, shepherds, park wardens, mushroom
lovers and others who frequent the mountainous heights could be at risk
and should be warned, the report said.
- The Paris-based Center for Research and
Independent Information on Radioactivity based its conclusions on tests
conducted in 1996 and 1997 in the French, Italian, Swiss and Austrian Alps.
- The Alps were particularly affected by
radiation from the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant because of
their height and the trajectory of the toxic cloud the blast produced,
the study said.
- Scientists took soil samples in the Alps
from 40 places at heights ranging from 5,000 to 9,000 feet. They found
soil contaminated with Cesium-137, a radioactive isotope with a half-life
of 30 years, as well as Americium-241, a radioactive substance that disperses
much more slowly than cesium.
- The center intends to submit its findings
to the French Environment Ministry on Monday.
- Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded during
a test April 26, 1986, killing at least 32 people in the immediate aftermath
and spewing a deadly radioactive cloud across large parts of the former
Soviet Union and Europe.