Monday, March 21, 2011

On West Coast of U.S., much ado about very little radiation, so far

Sensors in the United States stood ready Friday to detect any trace of radioactive material blowing across the Pacific from Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, 5,000 miles away. So far, they've pretty much found nothing. UC Berkeley set up its own independent monitoring Wednesday on top of the campus' Etcheverry Hall. The system looks for gamma rays with energy "signatures" corresponding to isotopes such as cesium-137, iodine-131 and tellurium-132, which would have been emitted by Japan's plant, said Berkeley Lab's Kai Vetter. As of Friday morning, Vetter said, they hadn't seen any evidence of suspicious radiation either. More>