March 15, 2011
continues to reel from Friday’s record-breaking earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the region’s
destabilized nuclear reactors are among the most pressing concerns. There have been at least 3 explosions at the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and fuel rods at various reactors are melting, though an official declined to
describe the event as a nuclear meltdown.
Reactor explosions and releases of radioactive
steam have caused concern around the globe. People are worried about windblown radioactive particles landing at
their front door.
But those fears may be baseless here in Washington. The state Department of Health is
conducting ongoing air monitoring for radiation to see if the nuclear plant incident in Japan has affected
radiation levels in Washington. There have been no elevated readings.
Department of Health spokesman Donn Moyersaid the situation in Japan is rapidly changing, and that officials here
are keeping a close watch, but that Washingtonians have nothing to fear from these unstable nuclear reactors.
/> Moyer joined KOHO’s Isaac Kaplan-Woolner by phone yesterday (Monday) afternoon from
Olympia. He said the Department of Health has been trying to calm fears of windblown radiation since the first
reactor explosion Saturday morning.
Moyer stressed that even in the event of a significant release from
the Japanese reactors, radiation would be diluted before reaching our state and levels would be so low no
protective action would be necessary. The state health department will continue its monitoring work as the
situation in Japan develops and changes.