By Kortnie Horazdovsky and Mike Ross
Channel 2 News
4:19 PM AKDT, March 29, 2011
The EPA told the state of Alaska Monday that trace amounts of radioactive isotopes were detected, likely from the failing nuclear power plant in Japan.
The state says findings from monitors in Dutch Harbor, Juneau, and Nome are consistent with findings in other parts of the country, including Hawaii, Guam, Nevada, Idaho and Alabama, and are hundreds of thousands of times below levels of public concern.
“These data demonstrate how sensitive the EPA monitors are at detecting miniscule amounts of radioactive isotopes,” said Dr. Bernd Jilly, director of the state labs. “We can’t stress strongly enough that these levels are well below any need for public concern.”
John Fulton, the Assistant City Manager for Unalaska, says the city is monitoring the EPA’s RadNet site, but is not too concerned.
“The reality is time and distance are our biggest ally, and there’s a lot of weather that happens between Japan and here. Our understanding is a lot of that radiation would be dissipated or knocked out of the air altogether, or perhaps go right over the top of us,” Fulton said.
The radiation monitors take readings daily, and immediately detect small changes in gross beta or gamma radiation. Filters and canisters from the monitoring stations are submitted for laboratory analysis bi-weekly.
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