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State continues monitoring for radiation from Japan’s nuclear plant crisis

Still no immediate or anticipated threat in Alaska - additional monitors being installed

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - Scientists working in the state of Alaska Public Health Laboratory in Anchorage continue to monitor levels of radiation in Alaska. To date, there have been no levels detected above normal background range.

Three radiation monitoring stations, located in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, sample the air throughout the day. These stations have been in place for the past three years. The Juneau monitor is currently being upgraded. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is installing additional monitoring sites in Dutch Harbor and Nome this week. The Dutch Harbor monitor is working and EPA officials are on site. The Nome monitor is on site and EPA officials are en route to assist in installation. Results from the additional monitors should be available as early as the week of March 21.

Should the situation change, state officials will notify the public immediately through regular media channels and department websites. The state website for preparedness in the event of a radiological event is: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/prepared/radiological.htm.

Because there is no immediate or anticipated indication of harmful radiation reaching Alaska or its waters, all seafood and other food items produced in Alaska remain safe to consume.

On Friday, some national and statewide news outlets reported that radiation from Fukushima had been detected in California, but it was described as "about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening," according to an unnamed diplomat with the U.N.'s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. However, as of Friday, March 18, no Alaska monitors have detected radiation above normal background range.

The Alaska Section of Epidemiology has published a summary bulletin covering earthquakes, tsunami, radiation and public preparedness. The bulletin can be accessed at: http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b2011_05.pdf

For more information we recommend the following websites:

Alaska NOAA: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center: http://ptwc.weather.gov/

State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/

DHS&EM's News and Events and Quick Links: http://www.ready.alaska.gov/

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