Saturday, March 19, 2011

IAEA: Health hazard to USA may have to be reassessed

- Radionuclides from Fukushima nuclear reactors found in Sacramento, CA (current levels not harmful to human health)

- IAEA expert: If Japan reactor continues to emit radiation, situation "may have to be reassessed"

CNN reports:
A radiation monitor in California has detected a trace of radioactive material from the stricken nuclear power plant in Japan, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization said Friday.
The exact amounts were not available, but the test ban organization's executive secretary, Tibor Toth, said the measurements were below what would be considered harmful to human health.
The treaty organization's chief press officer, Annika Thunborg, said its officials were "absolutely certain" that the radiation detected in California is from Fukushima because the isotypes were consistent with those emitted by the Fukushima reactors, and the timing of their detection is consistent with projections.
...The Sacramento monitor detected minute amounts of radionuclides -- substances that emit radiation -- which had been expected, Toth said.
The EPA, in a statement, confirmed that a monitoring station in Sacramento that feeds into the treaty organization's monitoring system "detected minuscule quantities of the radioactive isotope xenon-133, a gas that is produced during nuclear fission. The origin was determined to be consistent with a release from the Fukushima reactors in northern Japan.
See video at CNN

ABS-CBN News: Fukushima cloud now at Atlantic
The plume from Fukushima has now reached the western Atlantic but its radioactivity is likely to be "extremely low" and have no impact on health or the environment, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said on Saturday.

"As of yesterday, the cloud covered most of North America and northeastern Siberia. It is currently passing over the North Atlantic," it said, naming French terroritories in the Caribbean and off Canada's eastern coast.
The cloud has been progressively thinning as it heads eastwards around the northern hemisphere at high altitude and will reach mainland Europe on Wednesday or Thursday, it said, citing a computer model jointly compiled with the French weather service, Meteo France.
"The concentrations of caesium 137 in the air over land traversed by the plume are expected to be extremely low," it said.
Also see earlier post, Will radioactive materials from Japan reach the US?

Meanwhile, 200,000 US troops are being evacuated from Japan to Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and L.A.

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