US nuclear surveillance plane sent to check radiation spike in N. Europe

The US deployed a "sniffer plane" to Britain following reports over the last week that larger-than-usual amounts of a nuclear fission byproduct, Iodine 131, have been detected in the skies of northern Europe. The WC-135 Constant Phoenix, equipped with systems for detecting and locating radioactive substances and nuclear activity, then took off from Britain's Mildenhall airbase and was sighted on Wednesday over Norway and the Barents Sea, north of Russia. The modified Boeing 707 is accompanied by two refueling planes, indicating that the mission will continue for an extended period. The transponders of the three planes have been deactivated so internet sites specializing in tracking flights cannot monitor the mission.  

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