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article imageEPA reports radiation found in American milk

By Michael Krebs     Mar 30, 2011 in Environment
As radiation continued to emanate from Japan's troubled Fukushima nuclear plant, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced the detection of radiation in American milk supplies.
As Japan struggled to contain the radiation spilling from its overwhelmed Fukushima nuclear plant in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that has rocked the world's third largest economy, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported traces of radiation in American milk sources, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
While the EPA statement was quick to assure that the discovered radiation levels are "far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children," the agency announced plans to step up radiation monitoring, as winds continued to carry Japanese radiation across the North American continent and around the world.
The crisis in Fukushima has put US regulatory bodies on alert, and watchdog groups and anti-nuclear interests are stepping up their criticism, offering scenarios that paint pictures of mismanagement at American nuclear facilities. According to The Christian Science Monitor, nuclear experts have begun appealing to Congress on the similar risks posed by the storage of spent fuel at nuclear power plants nationwide.
"From the history of our nuclear power program, storage of spent fuel – between the reactor and the presumed repository – has been an afterthought," said Ernest Moniz, a nuclear expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at a Senate hearing, The Christian Science Monitor reported on Wednesday. "It has not really been part of our serious policy discussion about fuel cycle design."
However, the Japanese radiation descending from the atmosphere presents a significant short-term threat. But the EPA sought to downplay the danger.
"Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials," Patricia Hansen, an FDA senior scientist, said in a written statement distributed by the EPA, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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