H-CENTRAL COAST

Mar 18, 2011 7:43 PM by Danielle Lerner

Diablo Canyon detecting "extremely low" levels of nuclear radiation from Japan, poses no risk to public

San Luis Obispo County's Environmental Health Department says Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant is detecting extremely low levels of nuclear radiation coming from Japan. However, state and local health officials stress it does not pose a public health risk.

Scientists figure radiation in what they call micro curies per cubic centimeter. The number registering with the equipment at Diablo Canyon is 6.35 x 10 to the minus 13 micro curies per cubic cm, or .000000000000635.

That radiation monitor is one of three in San Luis Obispo County. Normally the county's environmental health department tests the monitors on a weekly basis, but it is now pulling samples every 48 hours so the department of public health can keep a close eye on the radiation levels.

Health officials say it would take much higher levels than what we are seeing now to put the public at risk.

"They have shown very, very small levels, just barely at the detection limit of those monitors," said Larry Allen, executive director of the Air Pollution Control District. "Those monitor's detection limits are about 10,000 times below the levels that would represent a public health threat."

Also a reminder from state and local health agencies, you should not be taking potassium iodide. They say the radiation levels are far too low and there can be serious side effects associated with doing so.

If you would like more information about radiation levels you can contact the California Department of Public Health. We've posted a link for you in the Newslinks section of ksby.com.

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