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Nuclear Release


Japan - March 11, 2011:  Nuclear reactors at a power plant in Japan were severely damaged by a powerful earthquake off the northeast coast and the devastating tsunami that was generated by the quake. A series of explosions, nuclear releases and evacuations was on-going still on-going March 27 as the Japanese government and nuclear plant owners continued efforts to contain and repair the damage.

March 18 and beyond, Food, Ag and Pets: USDA, FDA, NOAA and other agency information can be found through the USDA Emergency Preparedness and Response - Radiation Safety page. Secretary Vilsack issued his statement March 18 regarding food safety in the U.S. following the Japanese tragedies. Information and resources are being added.

USDA Emergency Preparedness and Response - Radiation Safety

March 17: President Obama addressed, among other things, American concern over the nuclear incidents occuring in Japan as a result of damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami. He made the following points:

  • We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health experts do not recommend that people in the United States take precautionary measures beyond staying informed. 
  • Our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study, and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies. But when we see a crisis like the one in Japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event, and to draw from those lessons to ensure the safety and security of our people.
  • I’ve asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our domestic nuclear plants  

    The President's March 17 remarks

Related EDEN pages:

EDEN Radiological Team Gears Up 

EDEN formed a radiological team in the fall of 2010 to examine radiological issues and provide EDEN with guidance and information toward helping Extension prepare to be a resource during events involving release of nuclear material.

The team, led by Ray Burden (TN), met by conference call in December, 2010, to outline the directions the group would take. Working on the project are Curt Emanuel, Steve Cain and Abby Lillpop (IN), Virginia Morgan (AL), Gordon Cleveland (APHIS), and Louis Lirette (LA).  

In response to the nuclear incident in Japan March 11, Ray Burden created an EDEN blog post called Radiation Basics. Curt Emanuel, starting with the blog, developed a Radiation Fact Sheet, which he distributed through the EDEN delegate list-serve on March 17. EDEN's second blog on the subject was posted April 1, touching on U.S. agency response to food safety concerns.

Contact Ray Burden (TN) if you are interested in joining EDEN's radiological team.


Last Updated:4/13/2011 10:11 AM

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