Japan Radiation Won’t Nuke U.S.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Radiation from nuclear plants damaged in Japan’s earthquake is unlikely to reach US territory in harmful amounts, US nuclear officials said Sunday.

“Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the US Territories and the US west coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said in a statement.

“All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population,” the statement read.

The office also said it sent two boiling-water reactor experts as part of a US Agency for International Development (USAID) emergency team helping respond to the crisis in Japan.

The NRC is coordinating with the US Department of Energy and other federal agencies in providing “whatever assistance the Japanese government requests” as they respond to conditions at several nuclear power plant sites following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the statement read.

Japan is battling a feared meltdown of two reactors at a quake-hit nuclear plant Sunday, in the wake of the disaster.

An explosion at the aging Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant blew apart the building housing one of its reactors Saturday, one day after the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan unleashed a monster tsunami.

The emergency escalated Sunday as crews struggled to prevent overheating at a second reactor where the cooling system has also failed, and the government warned that it too could be hit with a blast.