EPA Installs More Radiation Detectors On The West Coast

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – While state and federal health officials are downplaying the risk of Japanese nuclear radiation to California, the US Environmental Protection Agency is deploying more electronic monitors to areas on the West Coast.

The Environmental Protection Agency already monitors radiation throughout the area as part of its RadNet system, which measures levels in air, drinking water, milk and rain.

California Dept. of Public Health > Radiation FAQs

The additional monitors are in response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, where emergency workers are attempting to cool overheated reactors damaged by last week’s magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

One of the monitors already sits atop a building in downtown San Francisco. It’s on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s roof, and it is one of 124 already tied into the EPA providing real-time radiation monitoring.

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While federal officials won’t say how many more monitors are being installed or where they’ll be going, it did acknowledge that it is stepping up surveillance.

Eric Stevenson is the director of technical services for the Air Quality Management District. He said there is always what’s referred to as “background radiation” in the air.

“For example there are ultra-violet rays, that’s considered radiation,” said Stevenson. “There are also microwaves, radio waves are considered radiation. The radiation we’re particularly interested in is what’s known as alpha-radiation, and to some extent, gamma-radiation.”

American Nuclear Society > Radiation Dosage Chart

Given the 5,000 mile separation between the West Coast and Japan, he echoes what health officials have been saying about the minimal risk of exposure, saying it would be very difficult for dangerous materials to get high enough into the jet stream to make it across the Pacific.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan
Comments

One Comment

  1. Charles says:

    Isn’t it rather puzzling that no figures on actual readings have been given for public consumption ?

  2. Don Davison says:

    Please tell me the effects that the radiations from Japan will have on us here in California. What long term and short term effects can we expect to get from the radiation.

    Yours Truly
    Don Davison

  3. Steve says:

    I agree, I have been looking for real time figures for days. We pay for it, then are denied access.

  4. Sierra Permaculture says:

    So how exactly do we FIND this “RadNet” that you speak of?

    With no link, this is essentially useless information.

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