By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The impact of the badly damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan is being felt in the Twin Cities. A slight increase of radiation levels were found in a rainwater sample taken in St. Paul.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency says the levels of radiation are well below levels that would trigger health concerns.

“EPA scientists routinely test precipitation samples from more than 30 sites in the U.S.,” said EPA spokesperson Phillippa Cannon. “That includes rain, snow, and sleet. Since the Japanese nuclear incident, EPA has accelerated that routine precipitation sampling.”

The EPA also found elevated levels of radiation in California and Idaho. Scientists were expecting to find some radioactive material since radiation is known to travel in the atmosphere.

“It depends on the actions and the directions of the jet stream as to whether or not you’ll receive any kind of numbers,” said Sue McClanahan, radiation specialist with the Minnesota Department of Health.

McClanahan’s department does regular radiation testing around the power plants in Monticello and Prairie Island. They also have a sampler setup on the roof of the Freeman Building in St. Paul, 20 feet away from the EPA’s sampling that detected the increase.

“All of the readings that we have gotten up to this date have been significantly lower than anything that we have to be concerned about,” said McClanahan. “One of the things about radiation no matter where it is or where it’s coming from, you can’t see it, smell it or feel it.”

The Minnesota Department of Health is closely monitoring their air samples with this latest news from the EPA. They’re in the process of testing last week’s air samples and hope to get the results later Monday.

The EPA says even though this is a small level of concern, they have decided to increase monitoring of precipitation, drinking water and other potential exposure routes.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

Comments (10)
  1. James says:

    What a load of cr ap. Just another left leaning no nuclear campaign to make electricity from bicycle powered exercise equipment and windmills.

    Hate to break it to you wcco, but we need electricity from COAL and Nuclear because the rest just isn’t viable.

    Who’s going to do a study on just how dumb and scared people get from reading these hair brained reports? Show the math if you’re going to do it. Compare this “rain” water sample to the level of radiation that exists naturally in every day products at home!

    Give me a break.

    1. James says:

      I don’t think the “left” wants to rid the world of nuclear power… I agree that the green movement often comes off as “clean and expensive”. However, I think most people would be alright with “responsible and cost effective”. Nuclear power (and even coal) has a place in this world, and it is articles like this that don’t do anyone any good.

    2. Mike says:

      Why don’t you take a flight to Japan and do your “reporting” from the site of the disaster to prove your point how safe it is? No amount of radiation is good to the cell that finds it’s DNA destroyed and cancer starts its course, and NO EXPERT knows who, when or where this will take place. That is a fact! The best they can do is derive statistics of probability which has no significance to those that get cancer!
      The only BS going on here is the cheer-leading for nuclear power.

  2. Concerned Reader says:

    This is irresponsible journalism. It ranks right up there with the “radioactive milk” articles coming from the west coast. Reports of milk containing “radiation” that is 5000x below the “safe” limit. What was the level before the Japan disaster, 6000x below?

    What these articles fail to do is provide any real data on what constitutes an “increase”. Perhaps once that is defined they will take a lesson in what constitutes “news”.

    Yeah, we get it CBS. Minnesota hasn’t had an article on “how the radiation affects us”. Maybe next time put up an article on how to donate to the victims in Japan. Ridiculous.

  3. Jon says:

    I thought I felt my skin burning this morning…

  4. No Drama says:

    Ignore the drama queens above. What levels were reported?

  5. Old Science Know says:

    With heavy metals, all it _needs_ is a trace for it to become evident — even to the human senses. They SAY “just a trace” of this radioactive rain, but one can also smell the “trace” amount of mercury present in those spiral lightbulbs.

  6. Victim Du Jour says:

    “Blue States” use the most energy, and this is how they keep us in the middle east.

    California blames Enron when the neighboring states don’t keep up with their energy demand.

    I can bet Minnesota, California, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts used more electricity, Oil and gas than the rest of the country.

    And I really don’t see environmentalists in these states living like the Amish.

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