Saturday, April 23, 2011

Low-level radiation in three Southern states' air

Low-level radiation in three Southern states' air

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Low levels of radioactive iodine believed to be from Japan's disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been detected in the atmosphere in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida, officials said on Monday.

There is no current threat to public safety, said Progress Energy spokesman Drew Elliot.

Monitors at Progress Energy's nuclear plants in Hartsville, South Carolina, and Crystal River, Florida, picked up low levels of radioactive iodine-131. So did Duke Energy's monitors at its two nuclear facilities in South Carolina and the plant in Huntersville, North Carolina.

"If there were radiation coming from one our own sites, we would be seeing other types of radiation than iodine-131," Elliot said. "Other nuclear stations throughout the East Coast all started picking this up within the last week. It all points to something coming from overseas.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency both say it poses no threat to public safety," he said.

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine have also turned up in rainwater samples in Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and Washington State.

No comments: