Taiwan: Agency Forecasts 10 Percent Chance of Radioactive Fallout Hitting Taiwan

The chances of radioactive fallout from two Japanese nuclear power plants crippled by Friday’s massive earthquake are not high, the Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council said yesterday in a statement.

If two plants in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture release large amounts of radiation, the probability of it reaching Taiwan is only 10 percent, the council predicted.

The area most likely to fall victim to radiation from Japan would be Taiwan’s northeastern coast and Monday would be when it would most likely arrive, the council said.

If any abnormalcy is detected, the council said it will issue a warning.

The council and the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. have set up a total of 30 monitoring stations on Taiwan’s northeastern coast, in metropolitan Taipei and in Yangmingshan on the capital city’s outskirts, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Cheng Ming-tien, director of the Central Weather Bureau’s Weather Forecast Center, said the probability of radiation from the Japanese nuclear power plants being blown to Taiwan is low.

“Radioactive fallout is not likely to move southward to Taiwan because Japan’s upper atmosphere is now dominated by mesospheric winds moving east and winds blowing in a southwestern direction in the lower level atmosphere are weak,” Cheng said.

According to wire service reports, Japanese authorities expanded the evacuation perimeter around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to a 20-kilometer radius last evening after smoke billowed out of the facility, raising worries that large amounts of radiation had been leaked.

Aomori, Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures in Honshu were hit particularly hard by Friday’s earthquake, the biggest on record in the country in 140 years.

It left at least 1,000 people dead or missing as of Saturday afternoon.

Central News Agency
2011-03-13 01:22 AM

Source: Taiwan News

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