PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Frightening scenes from Japanese nuclear reactors have raised concerns airborne nuclear particles and gases will shower this country in local weather events.
Professor John Metzger, director of Pitt’s nuclear engineering program, says not to worry.
“I don’t think there’s a reason to be concerned,” he said.
Metzger says we live every day with lots of background natural radiation.
“We get it from the sun, cosmic radiation, the ground below us, materials in the building contain natural radiation of all sorts,” Metzger explained.
Scientists say the amount of nuclear radiation getting here from Japan has been insignificant.
Michael Krancer, the state’s Secretary of Environmental Protection-designate, notes the contaminated water they tested poses no health risks.
“If you drank two liters of that per day for a period of three complete months, every day, would be the equivalent of getting three chest x-rays,” he said.
Wes Hill is director of Beaver County Emergency Management, the only county in this region with a nuclear facility. His 9-1-1 operators are used to nuclear hazard questions.
“We’ve had numerous calls when there is concern,” he says, “but because of the power plant being in Beaver County and the training programs and planning process we’ve been in for a number of years, for the most part our people are pretty comfortable with what we have.”
DEP’s Krancer says his agency has some of the best monitoring devices anywhere.
“We here made it a priority to get on top of it, get out in front of it and to be able to reassure the public.”
Metzger isn’t worried at all. “I gotta tell you. Tomorrow I’ll go out in the rain and it won’t bother me one bit,” he said.