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State scientists reiterate no nuclear radiation threat to Philippines

MANILA, March 21 (PNA) – Government scientists on Monday stressed anew there is no nuclear radiation threat in the Philippines.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scientists said it is committed to bringing accurate, reliable, and timely information regarding the nuclear crisis at Fukushima, Japan event and its possible effects to the Philippines.

“We stand by the integrity and capacity of our nuclear engineers and experts in analyzing the situation as it unfolds in Japan,” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said in an email to the Philippines News Agency (PNA).

“The DOST and its concerned agencies are continuously monitoring all indicators in the country and we emphasize: let us be calm. There is no reason to be alarmed, the Philippines is under no threat,” Montejo said.

The Japanese government over the weekend raised the alert level at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 5 on a seven-point international scale for nuclear accidents.

Level 5 indicates “an accident with wider consequences.” The DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) has treated this incident as an accident with possible wider consequences beyond the plant site since Monday and has factored this in its analyses and actions.

Presently, though the alert level was raised, there was no change in the evacuation plans of the Japanese government.

The 30-kilometer radius evacuation zone remains, indicating that the radiation effect continues to be contained within the area.

There is no immediate threat to Filipinos living in Japan and situated outside the evacuation zone. Radiation detected in Tokyo show normal levels. Tokyo is 200 kms away from Fukushima.

The DOST believes and agrees with the moves of the Japanese government in handling this difficult situation.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the shift to Alert Level 5 shows that the situation within the Fukushima plant is not stable but still it is under control and not worsening.

The DOST’s own monitoring and observation shows no threat to the Philippines. Mathematical modeling and computations have been done as early as Tuesday, (March 15) to determine the possible harmful effects that the accident can bring to the country.
This was done alongside DOST-PNRI’s daily continuous monitoring of the radiation level in the country and DOST-PAGASA’s weather pattern studies.

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