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Radioactive particle traces from Japan reach Iceland, Canada

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March 22, 2011

Miniscule numbers of radioactive particles believed to have come from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected as far away as Iceland, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

They stressed the tiny traces, measured by a network of international monitoring stations as they spread eastwards from Japan across the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and to Europe, were far too low to cause any harm to humans.

“It’s only a matter of days before it disperses in the entire northern hemisphere,” Andreas Stohl, a senior scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, said. “Over Europe there would be no concern about human health.”

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), a Vienna-based U.N. body for monitoring possible breaches of the atom bomb test ban, has 63 stations worldwide for observing such particles, including one in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

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March 22, 2011

Small amounts of radiation from the reactor incident in Japan have been picked up by radiation monitors in B.C., the BC Centre for Disease Control reported Monday.

“These amounts are negligible and do not pose a health risk to British Columbians. We are expecting very slight increases in radiation until a week after the reactors are stabilized,” the BCCDC said in a statement. “These are not cause for concern, and are smaller than the normal day-to-day fluctuations typically seen in B.C.”

After 11 days, smoke and steam are still rising from two of the reactors damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Technicians are trying to restor power to the plants, and are still working to cool the overheating reactors.

The amount of radiation detected in B.C. is 0.0000005 millisieverts, which the BCCDC said is less than what humans are exposed to from background radiation. The BCCDC said there is no need for people to take potassium iodide, which should only be taken when recommended by medical professionals.

This article was posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

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