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Investigation: Was Polonium-210 Really Found on British Planes?
December 1, 2006 17:47

An expert (Igor Linge, deputy of the general director) from Problems of Safe Development of Atomic Energy Institute says there was apparently a mistake in radioactive measurements on boards of the tested British planes. He also doubts that the substance found by British experts could really be polonium-210. Igor Linge explains that polonium, which is a source of Alfa-radiation, has a subtle Gamma-line hard to register. The expert also underlines that the talks over the deathfully dangerous gaseous doze of polonium are likely to be non-objective. Speaking out on the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London the expert marked that in nature it was not possible to get a concentrate of polonium-210 but it could be reproduced in any country where there were channel atomic piles, not only in Russia, as some claim. Igor Linge said: “There was a source of radiation and Alexander Litvinenko just swallowed it. No other ways of poisoning were possible”.

On November 29 evening British Airways reported that in the course of investigation of Litvinenko`s death circumstances, traces of inconsiderable radioactive pollution on board of two “Boeing-767” planes were found. Linge claims that one can leave traces of polonium-210 only in two cases: there is too much of this substance in a person’s organism or a person’s hands are spotted with polonium.

The expert mentioned that in the course of liquidation of Chernobyl accident consequences there were several examples when people who held a radioactive isotope in their hands, later left “dirty” radioactive traces. According to Igor Linge, a non-considerable quantity of polonium-210 may get into every person’s organism with food. However, this quantity is million times less than a dangerous doze. The expert also reminds that in volumes to some extent bigger than the usual ones, polonium may get into the human organism with cigarette smoke or some meat products.

Another Russian expert, Viktor Mikhailov (the director of the Strategic Stability of Rosatom Institute) states that a person cased by polonium cannot leave radioactive traces. Radiation was found in the restaurant Itsu and some other places in London. British mass media supposed that Litvinenko could leave radioactive traces by his sweaty palms, as sweat secretion is one of the ways the human organism disposes of radiation. Viktor Mikhailov finds it ridiculous to believe the version of British mass media and states that the only way to leave such traces is to bring polonium in hands.

 As it is said above, isotopes of polonium-210 have Alfa-radiation which cannot leave traces from inside the body. This expert also wonders how and what traces British police continue to find in various places in London. He reminds that there are 3 types of polonium and that every isotope has signs of the factory it was produced at. According to Viktor Mikhailov, if Russian specialists had examples of polonium found in Litvinenko`s body, they could say for sure whether the substance was produced in Russia or not.

Nevertheless, whatever Russian experts think, the case now is being investigated by the Anti-terroristic department of Scotland Yard in Britain.


Translation: Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: Russia International     

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