U.S. increases radiation monitoring in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam
The EPA is deploying extra radiation monitors in western outposts and far West states to detect any fallout from Japan's crippled nuclear plant.
Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 03:59 PM
RADIATION: Some experts say radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could reach the U.S. West Coast as early as Friday, although well below levels which could harm human health. (Photo: DigitalGlobe-Imagery/Flickr)
The United States is deploying extra radiation monitors to western U.S. outposts Alaska, Hawaii and Guam to detect any fallout from Japan's crippled nuclear plant, an official said Thursday
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is sending the portable units, to boost an existing network of monitors, to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands as well as Juneau and Nome in Alaska, said the official.
Alaska already has detectors in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The decisions to deploy the units came "this week" and the official could not say when they would begin operating.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that the move is precautionary.
"We don't expect any significant amounts of radiation," he said, adding that the EPA was expected to brief reporters later in the day.
The U.S. western states of California, Oregon, and Washington have also been monitoring for any increase in radiation levels from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, damaged by last Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
Some experts say radioactivity could reach the U.S. West Coast as early as Friday, although well below levels which could harm human health.
The main U.S. manufacturer of potassium iodide pills, which can protect against the effects of radiation, ran out of supplies within hours of the Japanese earthquake, according to the company's boss.
Copyright 2011 AFP Global Edition
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