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Scientists in Moscow Say Russia Is in the Clear, If U.S. Attacks in North Korea Unleash Radioactive Clouds

Ahn Young-joon / AP

If the U.S. launches airstrikes on North Korea to prevent another nuclear weapons test, Russia has nothing to fear, scientists in Moscow assured the public on Friday.

Leonid Bolshov, the director of the Institute for Safe Atomic Energy Development at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the news agency RIA Novosti that jet streams will protect the country from any potential radioactive clouds.

“We’re analyzing the situation and calculating all possible risks,” Bolshov said. “Even if we consider the most negative scenario, where the U.S. launches a reckless attack on the nuclear research center in Yongbyon, where the reactor supplied by the Soviet Union in the 1950s [sic] is located, and where fissile material is created. This would risk radioactive contamination, primarily in North and South Korea, China, and Japan.”

Russian scientists have determined that wind generally blows from China and the Gobi Desert towards the Pacific Ocean, which would send any radioactive clouds to the ocean, away from the Russian mainland.

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