Japan nuclear situation not a health risk to Canada

Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:23pm EDT
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The problems at Japan's earthquake-damaged nuclear reactors do not appear to pose a health risk to the Canadian Pacific coast, an official in Canada's western-most province said on Sunday.

Canada is monitoring efforts to avert a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, where all three reactors were threatening to overheat, said British Columbia's safety minister Rich Coleman.

"Health Canada has advised us that at the present time the current radiological activity at a facility in Japan is expected to pose no health risk to British Columbians," Coleman said in a statement.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission also said on Sunday it did not expect to experience "any harmful levels" of radiation in Hawaii, Alaska or its mainland's Pacific coast because of their distance from Japan.

Canada has warned its citizens not to travel within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the Fukushima facility, avoid non-essential travel in areas hit by the tsunami and be cautious in traveling to Tokyo because of transportation and power problems there.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Todd Eastham)

<p>Official in protective gear scans for signs of radiation on a man who is from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon</p>