Saharan Dust Brings Radiation From France's Nuclear Tests in 1960s Back at Them

The cloud of dust is said to be returning to the country like a "boomerang."
Loukia Papadopoulos
The photo credit line may appear like thisPavliha/iStock

You reap what you sow, they say, but oftentimes that doesn't prove to be true. Now, a French NGO ACRO is reporting that a "cloud" of  radioactive dust is returning to France like a "boomerang."

The country conducted nuclear testing back in the 1960s in the Saharan desert. The radiation is not considered dangerous for human health it is however considered ironic. 

ACRO claims cesium-137, a product of nuclear fission created in nuclear explosions, is being brought back to France in clouds of dust. The NGO came to this conclusion after conducting tests on recent Saharan dust that it collected in the area of Jura, near the French border with Switzerland.

"Considering homogeneous deposits in a wide area, based on this analytical result, ACRO estimates there was 80,000 bq per sq km (1 sq mi = 2.6 sq km) of cesium-137,” the organization said in a statement.

"This radioactive contamination, which comes from far away, 60 years after the nuclear explosions, reminds us of the perennial radioactive contamination in the Sahara, for which France is responsible."

Professor Pedro Salazar Carballo, a scientist at the University of Laguna responsible for testing the dust, told Euronews the substance is perfectly safe. Carballo was responsible for testing the dust brought by strong storms in 2020 which saw the closure of many airports. This new series of dust have not resulted in such measures being taken and is therefore considered less severe.

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