NRC No. 11-046 March 13, 2011 – NRC SEES NO RADIATION AT HARMFUL LEVELS REACHING U.S. FROM DAMAGED JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

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No. 11-046 March 13, 2011

NRC SEES NO RADIATION AT HARMFUL LEVELS REACHING U.S. FROM DAMAGED JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is coordinating with the Department of Energy and other federal agencies in providing whatever assistance the Japanese government requests as they respond to conditions at several nuclear power plant sites following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The NRC has sent two boiling-water reactor experts to Japan as part of a U.S. Agency for International Development team.

In response to nuclear emergencies, the NRC works with other U.S. agencies to monitor radioactive releases and predict their path. All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population. Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.

During a nuclear event the NRC has requirements to protect populations around reactors.  For instance, the U.S. evacuation standard at 10 miles is roughly equivalent to the 20-kilometer distance recommended in some instances in Japan. The United States also uses sheltering in place and potassium iodide, protective measures also available in Japan.

The NRC will not comment on hour-to-hour developments at the Japanese reactors.

This is an ongoing crisis for the Japanese who have primary responsibility.

News releases are available through a free listserv subscription at the following Web address:

http://www.nrc.’ov/public-involve/listserver.html.

The NRC homepage at www.nrc.gov also offers a SUBSCRIBE link. E-mail notifications are sent to subscribers when news releases are posted to NRC’s website.

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