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Radiation monitoring

California residents and officials to monitor radiation amid growing fears about Fukushima

Monday, March 03, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: radiation monitoring, California, Fukushima

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(NaturalNews) Concerned about the effects of radiation still being released from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan, towns and cities all across California have begun enacting monitoring programs to deal with what many agree is an "international crisis of epic proportions" with no end in sight.

Citing multiple reports from the Sunshine State, ENENews.com highlights efforts by officials in Marin County, near San Francisco, as well as Mendocino County, the cities of Berkeley and Fairfax, and elsewhere to establish an international framework for providing aid to resolve the crisis. Many California residents and authorities are now calling on the Obama administration to take action, as Fukushima fallout continues to wash up on western shores.

A letter recently sent to President Obama by Mendocino County, for instance, urges the administration to issue an Executive Order directing all appropriate federal agencies to combine their efforts and provide immediate assistance in resolving the crisis. The letter stresses that if nothing is done, the situation will only continue to worsen.

"Deteriorating conditions at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear complex clearly constitute an international crisis of epic proportions that requires the highest level of international scientific and technological assistance in an effort to minimize the continuing damage to international health and safety," reads a draft of the letter.

"We therefore call upon you to issue an Executive Order directing all appropriate federal agencies to assist in leading an international effort to avert what appears to be a looming catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions."

Taking matters into their own hands: Officials begin monitoring Fukushima radiation themselves

In addition to writing letters, many areas of California are also launching their own radiation monitoring programs to fill the gap left by federal disinterest in the ongoing dilemma. Officials in Marin County, according to the Marin Independent Journal, have decided to start monitoring for radiation that is expected to very soon arrive in the form of a giant plume from the shuttered facility.

"Obviously, from a public health and environmental perspective, the risks to Californians from radioactive contamination if the Fukushima facility is not repaired to the highest standards remains of concern," says Susan Adams, head of the Marin County Disaster Council.

"I will also be contacting our state and federal representatives to learn more about what is being done to ensure the health and safety of our people and our resources from any future nuclear incident at the Fukushima plant."

Similar efforts are afoot in the cities of Berkeley and Fairfax, where resolutions were recently passed, one unanimously, establishing independent radiation monitoring programs. Berkeley's resolution calls on the state health department to monitor radiation and inform the public about its potential risks, while Fairfax is calling on international governing bodies to take action.

"[T]he Town of Fairfax urges that... The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council appoint on an emergency basis, within thirty days, an International Independent Commission of Experts (IICE) charged with formulating a plan to reduce, to every extent possible, releases of Fukushima Dai-ichi radiation into the atmosphere and the ocean," reads a staff report issued November 6.

"The Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, United States Agricultural Department and the Federal Trade Commission and other responsible agencies [need to] begin periodic collection and reporting of radioactivity levels in edible ocean species, plants and products and... the results of such surveys [need to] be published on a public website for consumer information and education without delay."

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