Overflight risk – Radioactive Russian airspace

By Declan Selleck


Media reporting in the last 24 hours has raised concerns amongst operators about a possible Nuclear accident in Russia, leading to a radioactive cloud in the region of Chelyabinsk, in the Ural mountains. USCC/Chelyabinsk is about 100nm south east of USSS/Ekaterinburg Airport.

Russia has denied that any such accident occurred, but cannot account for the increased levels of radioactivity in the region, which were 1000 times higher than normal. Through the Russian met service, they have confirmed the high radiation levels.

Approximate source of radioactivity

However, assessing a report last week from the French Nuclear watchdog, ISRN, we believe there should not be any risk to operators, especially for overflights. The facts are as follows:

  • The high levels of radiation were first detected at the end of September in Europe
  • Since the beginning of October, levels have decreased in Europe
  • ISRN says they are not concerned about risks to health, even at the higher levels
  • However, no recent data is presented from Russia

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Declan Selleck

Declan Selleck

Declan is a Flight Service Specialist with OPSGROUP.

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