RICHLAND, Wash. – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland detected trace amounts of the radioisotope Xenon-133 from the nuclear incident at Fukushima.
This occurred Wednesday, March 16, and was the first detection in the continental United States. Subsequent measurements here at PNNL were a bit higher but again significantly below levels that would impact public health. On Friday, March 18, sensors here also showed the presence of iodine isotopes, but at even lower levels than the xenon isotopes.
PNNL has this ultra-sensitive monitoring capability that allows them to detect very low levels of nuclear releases.
The dose rate from this amount of radioactivity poses no threat to public health and is a tiny fraction of what a person receives from natural background sources, such as the sun, each day.
Read morePacific Northwest National Laboratory Detects First West Coast Radiation