Radioactive material leaks from research institute in Belgium

Belgian authorities issued a safety alert Friday after a leak of radioactive material from a research institute near the southern city of Charleroi.

The Belgian nuclear control agency and the Interior Ministry issued a warning to people living in and near the town of Fleurus not to consume locally grown fruit, vegetables or dairy products as a precaution. The town is 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Brussels.

The agency said the leak of radioactive iodine, which is used in medical research, from the IRE institute occurred three days ago, but that the amount released was "very small."

The agency said it issued an alert after it measured higher radioactive readings around the institute.

Belgian authorities also notified European Union officials who forwarded the alert to other European nations as a precaution.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the leak at the research center.

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