Mon, Apr 04, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Radioactive dust due from Japan poses no risk: AEC

Staff Writer, with CNA

The amount of radioactive dust released from a crippled Japanese nuclear power plant that will reach Taiwan in the coming days will not pose a health risk, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said yesterday.

Based on meteorological conditions, radioactive fallout from Japan that will reach Taiwan on Wednesday will have a radiation level of 0.0638 microsieverts per hour, far below the maximum permissible level of 0.2 microsieverts per hour, said Lee Ruoh-tsann (李若燦), director the AEC’s Department of Radiation Protection.

RADIOACTIVE CLOUD

Yesterday morning, a radioactive cloud was detected over the Pacific Ocean between 300km and 400km off the coast of southern Taiwan, Lee said.

The Government Information Office on Saturday said radioactive dust from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which was battered by an earthquake and tsunami last month, would reach Taiwan on Wednesday, sparking concern.

However, AEC Deputy Minister Shieh Der-jhy (謝得志) also downplayed the significance of the radioactive cloud.

“There is no need to panic over the radiation leak because the amount is too tiny to be harmful to human health,” Shieh told a press briefing yesterday. “However, it will hurt our farmers and fishermen if we overreact to the leak and stop eating domestic agricultural products and fish.”

Shieh said the radiation level of the fallout from Japan was three-thousandths of the amount given off by a chest X-ray, “so we do not have to worry about it.”

FOOD IS SAFE

Lee also tried to quell fears that foods imported from Japan were dangerous to eat, saying that none of the 721 food items from Japan tested since the nuclear crisis began have been found to have unsafe levels of radioactive substances.

He added that the AEC was planning to strengthen its monitoring of radiation in Taiwan by increasing the frequency of testing for radioactive substances in the air and in agricultural products and fish.

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