Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Radiation from Japan "too low" to threaten French health

Updated: 2011-03-22 22:03


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PARIS -- France, the world's second biggest nuclear power, said Tuesday radiative elements in air mass coming from Japan were too weak to harm people here.

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"Air masses were very slightly contaminated, with levels of around 1,000 to 10,000 times lower than those recorded after the Chernobyl accident. They are expected to reach mainland France on Wednesday without any effect on human health," the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) said.

The government-run body added in a statement posted on its web site that detectors would be unable to measure the level of radiation, given the low quantities of toxic elements in the radioactive air mass floating from the damaged Japanese nuclear plant at Fukushima.

As a result, the ASN envisaged the public needed to take "no special measures".

However, it noted that imports of fresh products from Japan were suspended.

France is a larger nuclear power producer, second only to the United States, with 58 reactors that supply about 80 percent of the country's electricity needs.

The government last week ordered an assessment of all its nuclear reactors to ease fears of radiation risks and ensure the safety of local power plants.


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