Fukushima radiation leak not a concern to Canada, officials say

Tanks of radiation-contaminated water are seen at the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this file photo released by Kyodo March 1, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS


VANCOUVER -- Increased levels of radiation pouring into the Pacific Ocean from the fractured Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan do not concern Canadian officials.

The nuclear plant, battered in the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's west coast, has been leaking radiation since the disaster.

In recent weeks the situation has worsened and been declared an emergency. An estimated 300 tons of radioactive water is pouring into the ocean each day.

But in Canada, officials said they don't believe there are any concerns with the increased levels of radiation.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said radiation from across the Pacific would have dissipated in the ocean before it reached B.C.'s coastline.

"The radiation is in the water that is being released and it's clearly an issue for the Japanese," Kendall said. "We don't believe there's any radiation being carried across the Pacific."

Health Canada also said it doesn't consider the radiation a threat, pointing out it has been monitoring ocean water and will continue to do so.

Kendall said the chances of finding any radiation in B.C. is minimal.

"You would have to be producing food or catching fish that were exposed to radiation and somehow weren't being subject to regulatory controls and were being imported here," he said. "I think it would have to be relatively much, much larger escape of radioactivity into the air or into the water for a bloom of any sort of health significance to reach us."

Meanwhile, health officials in Hawaii, about 1,500 km closer to Japan than B.C., told QMI Agency they have not detected any radiation from the Fukushima plant.

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