The Environmental Protection Agency is deploying some of the 40 additional deployable radiation air monitors to Pacific US states and territories that will allow the agency to gather more data and monitor any radiation coming from Japan.
The monitors are part of the RadNet program, which posts the data on a website that the public can access.
Officials say the impetus for the announcement and the additional monitors is to make sure Americans know they can see for themselves that the information that experts are telling them – that any radioactive materials from Japan will dissipate — is true.
The EPA is sending two additional radiation air monitors to Guam, two to Hawaii, and three to Alaska – one each to Dutch Harbor, Nome, and Juneau.
In a statement, the EPA said “we do not expect to see radiation at harmful levels reaching the U.S. from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants” and said the move was part of the “federal government's continuing effort to make our activities and science transparent and available to the public.”
With approximately 100 monitors already deployed, RadNet “continuously monitors the nation's air and regularly monitors drinking water, milk and precipitation for environmental radiation,” the EPA said in a statement. “The RadNet online searchable database contains historical data of environmental radiation monitoring data from all fifty states and U.S. territories.”
RadNet monitors measure gamma radiation and have built-in weather stations, sending the information to EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory every hour. If any radiation abnormalities are detected, EPA laboratory staff are immediately informed. Before posting it on the website they review the data to ensure its accuracy.
The data is generally uploaded within two hours of EPA’s Central Data Exchange website and can be accessed (Users must create a username and password).
Monitors are currently in 49 states, covering about 70% of the U.S. population.