Radioactive water leaking from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ground and Pacific Ocean are cause for concern in Pennsylvania and other states. Governor Tom Corbett says tests confirm that public drinking water is safe.
However, low levels of iodine 131 turned up, which is a radioactive byproduct of rainwater.
Corbett said, “the bottom line is the drinking water is safe.”
Corbett’s comment was backed up by Kathryn Higley, a radiation specialist. Higley told the Inquirer that it does not pose a public-health threat. She says that trace amount of radiation will decay and disappear. States through the Eastern seaboard, such as Massachusetts, are also finding Iodine 131.
Tests were conducted at nuclear power plants including Three Mile Island and a handful of other regional sites around Pennsylvania, all registered what is considered extraordinarily low levels.
Corbett said the level is 25 times below what would trigger a health concern.
Industry watchdog Eric Epstein said, “It is not normal to detect radioactivity from Japan in Pennsylvania waterways,” said Epstein, chairman of Three Mile Island Alert Inc.
Corbett backs nuclear power, in his estimation, its safe. He also said that state agencies would continue to test the water to ensure it remains that way for people, pets and livestock.
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