EPA/DOE: No Radiation Levels of Concern in the U.S.

03/21/2011 |


The EPA has determined through utilization of the RadNet system that no levels of concerning radiation have been detected on U.S. soil.

The DOE has also been closely monitoring radiation detection equipment placed around facilities in the U.S. and have not detected radiation levels of concern.

The DOE has the capability to detect tiny quantities of radioisotopes that could indicate an underground nuclear test on the other side of the world – these materials are extremely sensitive and can detect even the smallest, minute amounts of radioactive material.

One of these monitoring stations in Sacramento, California that feeds into the IMS detected miniscule quantities of the radioactive isotope xenon-133. 

The origin was determined to be consistent with a release from the Fukushima reactors in Northern Japan.  The levels detected were approximately 0.1 disintegrations per second per cubic meter of air (0.1 Bq/m3), which results in a dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural background sources. 

This validates a similar reading of 0.1 Bq/m3, taken from March 16 through 17 in Washington State.

Following the disaster at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine in 1986, air monitoring in the U.S. also picked up trace amounts of radioactive particles – less than one thousandth of the estimated annual dose from natural sources for a typical person.

The EPA and the DOE will continue monitoring for any radioactive fluctuation in the days and weeks ahead.

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