No, Detecting Iodine 131 Doesn't Mean A Nuclear Explosion

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  1. Small amounts of I-131 were recently detected in north and western Europe. I-131 is produced by fission and has a half-life of a little over 8 days.
  2. This has caused speculation that the Russians tested a small nuclear weapon at Novaya Zemlya.
  3. That is probably not the case.
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