Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Japan fallout: Radioactive particles reach Iceland

Miniscule amounts of radioactive particles believed to have come from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected as far away as Iceland, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

They stressed the tiny traces of iodine -- measured by a network of international monitoring stations as they spread eastwards from Japan across the Pacific, North America and to the Atlantic -- were far too low to cause any harm to humans.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), a Vienna-based U.N. body for monitoring possible breaches of the atom bomb test ban, has 63 stations worldwide for observing such particles, including one in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

They can pick up very small amounts of radioactive particles, in this case iodine isotopes.

"They measure extremely small amounts," one Vienna-based diplomat said. "It has nothing to do with any health risks."

Another source said several CTBTO stations had so far detected particles believes to originate from the Fukushima nuclear complex, which emitted some radioactivity in the days after it was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami.

"Reykjavik is the first in Europe," the source added.

Experts and diplomats had earlier predicted that very small amounts of radioactive particles were expected to reach Europe. (read more)