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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Capital has no iodine prep plans

Staff writer

Other than monitoring radiation levels in the capital amid the failures at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Wednesday it had no plans to prepare any radiological countermeasures, such as reserving iodine pills to deal with internal exposure to radioactive substances.

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The government instead called for residents to go about their daily lives in a normal manner because only a small amount of radiation, harmless to humans, was detected.

"This (radiation levels detected in Tokyo) has already fallen," Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said at a news conference. "For now, the usual and normal situation continues."

At a facility in Setagaya Ward, a "small amount" of substances generated by a nuclear reaction, iodine and cesium, were detected by 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, at a facility in Shinjuku Ward, a maximum of 0.458 microsievert per hour was detected around 7 p.m. Tuesday, but the hourly level had dropped to 0.0575 microsievert at around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

These figures compare with the 50 microsieverts absorbed during chest X-rays, the metropolitan government said.

"Since we are still looking at the radiation levels (in the capital) and the figures have not been hazardous to health, we are not considering for now any countermeasures," official Keiichi Nakaya said. But he also urged people to continue checking for updated information.

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