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Wednesday March 16, 2011

Readings show our radiation levels are normal, says ministry

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PETALING JAYA: The environmental radiology monitoring system at six locations in the country shows that radiation levels are normal, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

“We are monitoring it hour by hour and everything seems to be normal,” he said.

The system is located in Chuping, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan, Kudat and Senai.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan had impacted the nuclear station in Fukushima Daiichi that has six units of nuclear reactors.

An explosion occurred at reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan yesterday. It was the third reactor to explode since Saturday.

Dr Ongkili also advised Malaysians not to believe speculation that radiation from a nuclear plant in Japan would reach the Philippines and other Asian countries.

“It is unfounded, based on the latest information obtained from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” he said.

Since yesterday, public concerns have been circulating through text messages and the Internet that radiation leaks from the nuclear plant would spread to Asian countries.

He said that radiation portal monitoring systems had been available at international entry points at the KL International Airport, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching airports since 2009 to detect if any passenger or baggage are contaminated with radioactive material.

Technical information on the catastrophe in Japan can also be accessed via the IAEA website at www.iaea.org, NISA website at www.nisa.meti.go.jp and at the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) radiology information centre hotline at 1800-88-7999.

Meanwhile, radiological health and safety expert Prof Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli said Malaysians should not worry despite the third explosion at the Japanese nuclear plant.

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