Traces of Radiation Detected in U.S. Rainwater (AP):
Trace amounts of radiation from damaged nuclear-power facilities in Japan have been detected in rainwater in the U.S., but pose no health risks, officials said.
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Nevada and other Western states are among the states that have reported minuscule amounts of radiation.
Nuclear-plant operators Progress Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. in North Carolina and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. also said they have detected trace amounts of radiation.
Nuclear experts and health officials said there is no public-health risk. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said people are exposed to much more radiation on an international airline flight.
Progress Energy said it picked up low levels of iodine-131, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear fission, at its nuclear plant in South Carolina and a Florida plant.
Pennsylvania government officials said follow-up testing over the weekend showed normal levels of radioactivity in public-drinking water.
Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday the tests were performed after rainwater samples collected on Friday at the state’s nuclear-power plants registered very low concentrations of radiation, apparently from the Japanese nuclear plant damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.
Low-level radiation in Massachusetts rainwater (Reuters):
Trace amounts of radioactive iodine linked to Japan’s crippled nuclear power station have turned up in rainwater samples as far away as Massachusetts during the past week, state officials said on Sunday.
The low level of radioiodine-131 detected in precipitation at a sample location in Massachusetts is comparable to findings in California, Washington State and Pennsylvania and poses no threat to drinking water supplies, public health officials said.
Air samples from the same location in Massachusetts have shown no detectable radiation.
The samples are being collected from more than 100 sites around the country that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Radiation Network monitoring system.
“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation,” said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach.
“We will carefully monitor the drinking water as we exercise an abundance of caution,” he said.
At concentrations found, the radioiodine-131 would likely become undetectable in a “relative short time,” according to a statement issued by agency.