Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This was reported from Chernobyl. My surmise is that at sufficiently high radiation levels the chemical structure of the paint is attacked and it is basically burnt or evaporated off the surface. Each element responds differently to various types of radiation. Some may vaporize, some may heat up to the point that the chemical bonds are broken and/or oxidized or reduced.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 10:27:43 PM EST
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