What the ‘Fukushima’ is going on, the Irish are saying, as fallout reaches Ireland, Scotland, France and Greece

[Patrick O’Connell, Health and Safety Contributor]

[The Journal.ie]: “Fukushima” is now officially a swear word for the Irish today as radioactive iodine was discovered in three milk samples as reported by the Irish Food Safety Authority of Ireland. This follows the discovery of radioactive fallout from Fukushima which was recently detected in the air, rainwater (and milk samples) in Scotland, France, Greece as well as Ireland.

The milk samples taken today by the country’s Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) which is the agency in Ireland responsible for monitoring radiation in the atmosphere, showed particles of iodine-131, a radioactive isotope, in three separate tests.   However, it seems that the contamination amounts to a very small part of what is legally permitted under EU law and the authority’s chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said:  “Consumers should have absolutely no concerns in relation to this finding.  A person would have to drink some 96,000 litres of milk with Iodine-131 at current levels to exceed the annual safe limit set to protect consumers”.

The three tests recorded 0.13, 0.19 and 0.18 becquerels (Bq) per litre of milk which is considerably below the maximum of 500 Bq per kilogram of dairy produce as allowed by EU law. Prof. Reilly added: “We had expected that such traces could occur given recent weather conditions, as it was already detected in the air…. similar findings had been found in milk samples from France and Greece”.

The RPII said that the radioactive elements were entirely consistent with the type of radioactive elements being emitted from Fukushima and a test of rainwater in Dublin between March 22 and April 4 had shown radioactive contamination at 2.6 Bq per litre which was of “no concern from a public health perspective”.

Legal analysts are saying that whilst the world is sympathetic to the Japanese and their plight caused by their recent earthquake, they should be made to pay compensation to countries that are being affected by radioactive fallout from Fukushima. That is because, the plants had been negligently maintained and should never have been placed in a area like Fukushima which is an earthquake zone.

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