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fallout from Fukushima arrives in UK

BBC News reports that radioactive fallout from Fukushima has now reached Europe and the UK:

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it had been informed that an air sampler in Glasgow, almost 6,000 miles from Japan, had recorded the presence of radioactive iodine.

The agency said the value reported was consistent with reports from other European countries such as Iceland and Switzerland.

Low-level traces of radioactive iodine 131 have also been detected in Oxfordshire:

The agency said measurements taken at a monitoring station in Oxfordshire on Monday had recorded trace levels of iodine 131 at 300 micro-becquerels per cubic metre.

The statement added: “This followed reports from HPA’s monitoring stations in Glasgow and Oxfordshire of measurements averaged over the last nine days which found 11 micro-becquerels per cubic metre.”

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says these levels are expected to rise but not to levels that pose a significant risk to health:

“The dose received from inhaling air with these measured levels of iodine 131 is minuscule and would be very much less than the annual background radiation dose.”

“The detection of these trace levels reflects the sensitivity of the monitoring equipment.”

HPA said that levels of radioactive iodine “may rise in the coming days and weeks” but these would be “significantly below any level that could cause harm to public health”.

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