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Russia says radioactive isotopes released by missile test blast

MOSCOW, Russia — Russia says radioactive isotopes were released in a recent accident at an Arctic missile test site that caused widespread alarm as authorities kept details under wraps.

The August 8 blast killed five scientists and caused a spike in radiation levels but Russia did not admit nuclear materials were involved for several days.

The accident released swiftly decaying radioactive isotopes of strontium, barium and lanthanum, news agencies reported, citing tests by the Rosgidromet national weather and environmental monitoring agency.

Alexander Uvarov, editor of the independent AtomInfo.ru news site, said the isotopes did not pose a threat to the population. They are products of nuclear fission of uranium, he told RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia’s Rosatom nuclear agency has said that its specialists killed in the accident were developing “new weapons” and providing support for a missile with an “isotope power source.”

— AFP

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