Officials Say No Risk to Oregon Coast from Japanese Radiation
(Newport, Oregon) – As if the economy, gas prices and some being spooked by a tsunami scare aren't enough, those in the tourism industry on the Oregon coast are having to worry about reactions to the nuclear power plant crisis in Japan.
Lincoln County authorities have released a statement saying there is not a risk to Oregon or its coastline because of any issues going on at nuclear power plants in Japan. Like their counterparts in other areas of Oregon, they are reiterating the same message: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said the incident does not pose a radiation health threat to Oregonians.
“The Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and the Radiation Protection Services are closely monitoring information on the radiation release reported in Japan,” said Lincoln County public information officer Casey Miller.
Miller said there are thousands of miles of ocean between the countries. The west coast of the U.S. – including Hawaii, Alaska and the west coast of Canada – are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.
“There have been no elevated radiation readings detected in Oregon and air samples remain normal,” Miller said. “Given the current size of the release and the distance from Oregon , we do not expect that to change and there is no public health risk to the state. We are also in contact with our federal partners including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”
Miller said public health officials are closely watching any information from the Environmental Protection Agency's network of highly sensitive radiation detectors, which provide hourly reports of ambient radiation. The monitors are part of a national network run by the Environmental Protection Agency called "RadNet." There are two monitors in Oregon, one in Corvallis and one in Portland.
Even if there should be a major radiation breach in Japan, it will affect only the immediate, surrounding area. The radiation could not cross over the ocean at such a distance.
Official are also strongly urging against taking potassium iodide as a preventative measure against any radiation threat. This trend has Oregon physicians concerned as it could have some bad side effects.
In England, there are reports of such a rush and demand on the pills that some are going for $500 online in the U.K.
For current information see the “Current Hazards” section of the Oregon Health Authority/Public Health web site at this link
Fishing Rock, near Lincoln City
Just south of Yachats
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