National agencies to closely monitor nuclear incidents in Japan

Posted on March 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

-The Borneo Post-

KUCHING: The National Security Council, assisted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), has been closely monitoring the nuclear incidents in Japan since earthquake struck Japan on March 11.

Two Mosti agencies, namely the Atomic Energy Licensing Board and Nuclear Malaysia, have been keeping a close watch on the situation and regularly updating the Government daily on the latest information, in ensuring safety of Malaysians, according to a press statement issued from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The agencies are also obtaining relevant information and data through their close network with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa).

Aside from these measures, there are also other safeguards in place. For example, the environmental radiology monitoring system present at six locations throughout Malaysia – in Chuping, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan, Kudat and Senai – do not show any significant rise in radiation levels in Malaysia.

The system shows that the levels are normal.

Radiation portal monitoring systems are also available at international entries at the KLIA, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching airports since 2009.

The systems would detect any passengers or baggage contaminated with radioactive material.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan had created an incident at the nuclear station in Fukushima Daichi that has six units of nuclear reactors.

The March 11 earthquake impact caused the cooling systems of Unit 1 and Unit 3 to stop functioning.

The incident is classified as Level 4 under the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, which is localised within the area. (Three Miles Island incident was at Level 5, Chernobyl at level 7). As of 5pm on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that radiation level was under control.

In the latest information obtained from the IAEA on March 15, explosion is also reported to have occurred at Unit 2 and sheltering order has been issued to those within 20 to 30 km radius of the facility. The IAEA has maintained that the situation is under control.

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