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France's IRSN ruled out the possibility of an accident in a nuclearreactor, saying the material it detected was more likely to have been released from a nuclearfuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine.
The IRSN added it could not pinpoint the location and ruled out an accident in a nuclear reactor.
IRSN director Jean-Marc Peres added: "Russian authorities have said they are not aware of an accident on their territory.
IRSN says that in case of fire in a tunnel, bituminized waste could rapidly overheat and burn.
A major accident would have terrible consequences, but we would have to deal with them because the country wouldn't be annihilated, so we have to talk about it, however difficult it is," Jacques Repussard, the head of the public-funded IRSN, said on Wednesday at a presentation at the Cadarache nuclear research centre in southeastern France.
A possible source could be a reactor used for electricity or research or a plant using iodine 131 to make medical devices, the IRSN speculated.
Nicolas Hulot and Sbastien Lecornu will chair a dialogue forum "experts-civil society", on a quarterly basis until the filing of the DUP, in the extension of the exchange they had on February 7 with local associations and national, the ASN, IRSN, ANDRA, .
The IRSN said it recommended a more thorough study of the causes of the leukaemia cases found near nuclear power stations and hoped to set up international research collaboration.
The IRSN (Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire Francais) and its German counterpart, the GRS (Gesellschaft fur Anlagen-und Reaktorsicherheit) are organising this forum on nuclear safety for the 5th year running.
IRSN draws lessons from transport events involving radioactive material occurring in France between 1999 and 2007
The IRSN said the substance's short half-life was "proof of a recent release" and, despite unfounded rumors of a Russian atomic bomb test, established the "most likely source of detected iodine" was "a plant for the production of radioactive elements for medical use," IRSN said in a (https://twitter.
Other key players in the French nuclear industry include CEA, Cogema, ANDRA, Eurodif and IRSN.