Experts reassure locals about radiation, more monitors added in NW

Experts reassure locals about radiation, more monitors added in NW

Experts reassure locals about radiation, more monitors added in NW

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by KGW.com

NWCN.com

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM

PORTLAND -- A panel of officials addressing concerns about potential radiation fallout in the Northwest from the nuclear plant disaster in Japan assured that there was no health risk to Oregonians.

Health and emergency management officials held a news conference late Wednesday morning to reassure the public in Oregon they were closely monitoring developments in Japan and were prepared to respond if they find any risk.

But they said they do not expect to see any harmful levels of radioactivity in Oregon as a result of serious damage to the Japan nuclear plant by last week's massive earthquake that triggered a tsunami.

Oregon public health officials say they monitor information from the Environmental Protection Agency's network of highly sensitive radiation detectors, which provide hourly reports. There are two monitors in Oregon, one in Corvallis and one in Portland.

Meantime, Federal environmental regulators said they were adding more radiation monitors in the western United States and Pacific territories as concerns rise over exposure from damaged nuclear plants in Japan.

The Environmental Protection Agency already monitors radiation throughout the area as part of its RadNet system, which measures levels in air, drinking water, milk and rain.

The additional monitors are in response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, where emergency workers are attempting to cool overheated reactors damaged by last week's magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission say they do not expect harmful radiation levels to reach the U.S. from Japan.

The EPA says data from the monitors are available on its website for coastal states, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

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