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'No danger at this time,' California health officials have been reassured

People queue to be screened by a technician in protective gear for signs of possible radiation in Nihonmatsu, northern Japan, March 14, 2011 Credit: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

State health officials kept close watch Monday on potential radioactive releases at Japanese nuclear plants, making conference calls to local and federal officials every few hours, said Mike Sicilia, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health.

Sicilia said federal nuclear regulatory agencies have reassured state officials that the Japanese nuclear troubles do not pose an immediate danger to California.

“The Department of Public Health has radioactive monitoring for the water, food and the air,” Sicilia said. "We do have a plan of response and constant contact with our partners. From a health standpoint, we’re not concerned at this point.”

Jordan Scott, a spokesman for the California Emergency Management Agency, said nuclear experts also reassured officials in his office that, “there is no danger at this time.” Scott said they also have been told that, should a meltdown occur at one of Japan’s quake-damaged nuclear reactors, “it is highly unlikely that we would see any effects of it here.”

“Things would have to get kind of 'end of days' for us to see even a little bit of it here. We’re talking very extreme,” Scott said. “We’re just too far for anything to really reach us. A majority of the materials that would come out of there in a meltdown would dissipate” within miles, he said.

“That being said," Scott said, "we are doing our due diligence in monitoring the situation and making sure we have the most updated information.”

Some potassium iodide tablets and personal radiation detectors were selling out on Amazon.com Monday morning, with price hikes drawing angry accusations of gouging from commenters.

Scott said California residents should not just focus on preparing for a potential nuclear disaster, but on preparing for any of the natural disasters that routinely strike the state, from floods to wildfires and earthquakes. He recommended that people check out which disasters are common to where they live and prepare with earthquake kits, evacuation and reunification plans.

“It’s a big reminder to people that we are vulnerable to all sorts of disasters and we need to get prepared,” Scott said.

RELATED:

Japan nuclear plant rocked by another explosion

Japan-style earthquake and tsunami unlikely to hit Southern California, experts say

Japan's nuclear problems pose little danger to U.S., Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief says

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: People queue to be screened by a technician in protective gear for signs of possible radiation in Nihonmatsu, Japan on Tuesday. Credit: Yuriko Nakao / Reuters

 
Comments () | Archives (12)

"California officials have been reassured?". The Obama Administration today reaffirmed its support for new nuclear plants, and 30 billion dollars in loan guarantees to build them. It's about reassuring investors in nuclear power, not the public.

No danger at this time from Japan, but if CA had a similar magnitude earthquake, you'd probably be in very much the same situation. Why in the world do you people tolerate nuke plants right on your major fault lines?

"There's nothing to worry about, folks".

--(last words of the Captain on the Titanic)

.. also consider, yesterday PGE boasted San Onofre could withstand a 7.0 quake - yet recall that Loma Prieta was 6.9 quake and the 1906 SF was a 7.7 - 8.25 quake - of course it all depends upon the quake's depth and proximity.

... and of an energy plan based on the three poisons: Nuclear / Oil / Coal ... for an alternative energy plan best to read the 2007 book by LA's own S. David Freeman's book, Winning our energy independence (an energy insider shows how) .... He includes an energy plan based on All RENEWABLES for LOS ANGELES. ... it is a must reread in light of the tragedy in Japan !!!

We tolerate them because power plants need to be near a large source of cooling water, and are best situated near the populations that they serve. Yes, they can be built in the desert, but the power needs to be shipped into the city over hundreds of miles, and there are transmission losses, not to mention environmental impact from building such a line.

"No danger at this time from Japan, but if CA had a similar magnitude
earthquake, you'd probably be in very much the same situation. Why in the world do you people tolerate nuke plants right on your major fault lines?"

Oh really, no danger at all? I've got working levees to sell you in New Orleans. There is plenty of danger especially to sea life and also to people. Chernobyl caused problems in the nordic countries. We are not safe

Excellent comments.

The ONLY expert's quote I've seen all day that makes any sense at all is this one: “Perhaps the message is we should re-evaluate the occurrence of superlarge earthquakes on any fault,” Dr. Stein said."

Our commitment to nuclear power plants along our fault lines makes as much sense as deep water drilling. I am SICK of these greedy short-sighted FOOLS.

With local and federal gov's great track record of always telling the absolute truth, I see no reason not to believe what we're being told now.

YIKES!

I find it hard to believe anything the NRC has to say lately. We are in a war with mother nature, one we are bound to lose. This is where our arrogance has brought us. Man can't assure our safety over powers he cannot control.

The key is the phrase "at this time." The radiotoxins are still a few days off. At THAT time, there will be a problem, it's just a matter of how severe and how much of it is made known to the public.

no immediate danger? Nice choice of words, when the radiation could cause cancer in a few years

Don't believe anything until it's been officially denied.


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