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State of Alaska Continues Monitoring Damaged Reactor


Today the Office of the Governor, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Social Services issued a joint press release on the Japanese reactor situation and potential impact on Alaskans.

Still no immediate or anticipated threat in Alaska
Anchorage, ALASKA - The state of Alaska, along with our federal counterparts, is continuing to monitor the situation in Japan regarding their nuclear reactors. Although the situation surrounding the nuclear reactors in Fukushima Dai-ichi remains grave, radioactive material is still not expected to reach Alaska in any quantity sufficient to produce health concerns, according to scientists with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The latest information is the following:

· There was a spike in radiation levels in Japan overnight that has now fallen significantly.

· Weather has been light rain and snow which will partially clear the atmosphere of any escaped radiation from Japan.

· Low level winds will carry the remaining out to sea.

· The only way the atmospheric radiation can reach the U.S. is through the high level jet stream.

· The jet streams over the Pacific are far south of Alaska for the next three days.

State officials will notify the public through regular media channels and department websites should the situation change.
"Some Alaskans are wondering if they should be taking potassium iodide at this time: the answer is no," said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, state epidemiologist. "While potassium iodide can protect the thyroid gland from harmful radiation, it can produce adverse side effects and should only be taken if exposure to considerably elevated doses of radiation is expected to occur. At this point, there is no immediate or anticipated indication that this will happen in Alaska."

There is no immediate or anticipated threat of harmful radiation reaching Alaska or its waters, therefore all seafood and other food items produced in Alaska are safe to consume.

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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