'Few radioactive particles detected on US west coast'

Minuscule amounts of radiation believed to have come from Japan was far too low to cause any harm to humans, two diplomatic sources say.

By REUTERS
March 18, 2011 18:16
2 minute read.
A baby is tested for radiation in northern Japan.

japan radiation_311 reuters. (photo credit: KYODO Kyodo / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

VIENNA - Minuscule amounts of radioactive particles believed to have come from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected on the US west coast, two diplomatic sources said on Friday.

The level of radiation was far too low to cause any harm to humans, they said. One diplomat, citing information from a network of international monitoring stations, described the material as "ever so slight", consisting of only a few particles.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
IAEA: Japan raises incident level at nuclear site
Japan races to restore power to nuclear reactors
WHO says no evidence of radiation spread from Japan

"They are irrelevant," the diplomat added.

Another diplomatic source also said the level was "very low."

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), a Vienna-based independent body for monitoring possible breaches of the test ban, has more than 60 stations around the world, including one in Sacramento in California.

They can pick up very small amounts of radioactive particles such as iodine isotopes.



"Even a single radioactive atom can cause them to measure something and this is more or less what we have seen in the Sacramento station," said the first diplomat, who declined to be named.

Asked if they were believed to originate from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, which has leaked radioactivity since being damaged by last week's massive earthquake and tsunami, he said: "That is the obvious assumption."

The CTBTO continuously provides data to its member states, but does not make the details public.

A Swedish official, also citing CTBTO data, told Reuters on Thursday that low concentrations of radioactive particles were heading eastwards and expected to reach North America in days.

Also on Thursday, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said radioactivity would disperse over the long distance and it did not expect any harmful amounts to reach the country.

The New York Times earlier said a CTBTO forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume showed it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting southern California late on Friday.

Radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 spread around the globe and reached the west coast of the United States in 10 days, its levels measurable but minuscule.

Related Content

August 16, 2018
'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin dies at home in Detroit aged 76

By REUTERS