EAST COVENTRY Twp., Pa. (CBS) — Radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has now reached Pennsylvania, but state officials do not believe it poses significant health risks.
Governor Tom Corbett confirmed Monday that rainwater samples taken Friday at the state’s nuclear power plants – including the Limerick plant in Montgomery County – showed elevated levels of radioactive Iodine, likely from Japan. The level of radiation in the Limerick sample was 30 times the recommended safe drinking standard but still 25 times below a level of concern, officials said.
In response, Corbett ordered the testing of drinking water samples from six locations across the state and officials say they found no radioactive Iodine.
“We have been proactive and conducted immediate drinking water tests to provide hard facts, assuring the public that the water they drink is safe,” Corbett said during a noontime press conference. The state Department of Environmental Protection “has an extensive network of radiation monitoring points at nuclear plants and elsewhere, and we will continue to monitor water supplies to ensure there is no risk of contamination to the public.”
This revelation comes on the 32nd anniversary of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. It was March 28, 1979 when the reactor in Three Mile Island Unit 2 overheated and began to partially melt down. The accident caused widespread chaos as thousands of people fled their homes.
Monday morning a few dozen protestors gathered outside the plant’s main entrance to protest the continued use of nuclear power – especially at Three Mile Island Unit 1, which remains in operation.
Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3