Public Health Preparedness
The State of Alaska, along with our Federal counterparts, is continually monitoring the situation in Japan regarding their nuclear reactors. According to officials, at this time there is no immediate or anticipated threat of nuclear radiation reaching Alaska. We will continue to monitor the situation and notify the public through regular media channels and this website should the situation change.
Additional information is available at the following links:
Radiation from nuclear event in Japan
How much radioactivity do you expect to come to Alaska from Japan’s reactors?
Although trace levels of radioactive isotopes from the damaged Fukushima power plant have been detected in Alaska, we don’t expect harmful levels of radioactivity to reach our state, Hawaii or the West Coast, and there’s no health risk at this time. Japan is thousands of miles from our state, and if radioactivity from the reactors is released it would be expected to be thinned-out by the winds before it could reach us. We could see a very small increase in radiation levels — well below levels that would be a health concern. We’re working with federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated effort to monitor radiation levels in Alaska.
Would increased radiation levels cause health effects in Alaskans?
There is no indication at this time that enough radioactive material would cross the ocean to cause any health effects to Alaska residents.
Is there any indication that radiation could impact our food supply in Alaska?
No, there is no immediate or anticipated indication of harmful radiation reaching Alaska or its waters, therefore all seafood and other food items produced in Alaska are safe to consume.
Should radioactive material reach the U.S., the appropriate federal and local agencies will let people know about any contaminated sources of food.
What action should I be taking now?
The best action for the citizens of Alaska to take at this time is to be prepared for the event of an earthquake or tsunami event. Update and refresh your home preparedness kit and family preparedness plan.
- Scientists working in the state of Alaska Public Health Laboratory (ASPHL) in Anchorage continue to monitor levels of radiation via the Environmental Protection Agency’s monitors in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Nome and Dutch Harbor. To date, there have been no levels above the normal background range of radiation. Current data indicate total radiation levels in Alaska have not exceeded historical background level. Historic background levels for beta radiation range from 5 to 50 gross beta counts per minute, while levels for gamma radiation range from 1.2 x 1012 to 1.4 x 1012 gross gamma counts per minute. Based on current scientific consensus, levels of concern would be when the gross beta count per minute exceeds 2,000 and the gross gamma count per minute exceeds 56 x 1012. The EPA also performs a more detailed analysis on air filter samples submitted from the six monitors in Alaska. The results of these tests are available through a national network of radioactivity monitoring stations called RadNet. Updated analysis is available on EPA website at www.epa.gov/japan2011/.
For additional information