A very slightly radioactive cloud coming from Japan will reach France Wednesday but it presents no health risks to the population here, the Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Security (IRSN) said in statements Tuesday.
The cloud, which is heading here from Japan which March 11 had a national catastrophe, hit by an earthquake, Tsunami and radiation leaks, has a “very feeble” radioactive content and is of no danger to “adults, children and even unborn children,” officials from the Institute said on “France Info” radio.
Experts at the IRSN said that health risks from the cloud were “unimaginable.” They remarked that the cloud had already crossed the United States and the radioactive levels were so low they didn’t even set off alert sensors in that country.
The IRSN said that they have 170 such sensors dispersed through France to detect any dangerous radiation levels.
No alert has been issued to specialised treatment centres that treat irradiated patients and there has been no mass distribution or panic-buying of masks and iodine tablets because of perceived dangers from the cloud.
Nonetheless, officials remain vigilant in view of the ongoing problems with the Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan’s east coast, where experts and emergency services are still trying to come to grips with the consequences of the Tsunami damage to nuclear reactors and another cloud was seen escaping from the plant early Tuesday.
There are also reports emerging that there is a radioactive leak into the sea from the Fukushima facility and there are some calls here to more closely monitor imports of food produce from Japan.
France last year imported 9,000 tons of food products from Japan and some political sectors here are calling for a European Union initiative to examine potential risks from such imports.
In Japan, the government has advised against consuming milk and some green vegetables coming from near the Fukushima plant and radiation levels in water in Tokyo, some 238 kilometres from the nuclear site, were also reported to have risen.
France on Monday announced it was sending more nuclear experts and equipment to help Japan and was sending more humanitarian, medical and food aid to that country