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Radiation From Japan a No-Show in Los Angeles, But Does Arrive in Northern California

Updated after the jump: Radiation detected in Sacramento. Should you worry about the weekend's rain?

Lot of build up.

No payoff. (Sorry to disappoint).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency radiation monitoring system in L.A. has found nothing above daily "background levels."

What that means is that, despite the hype, the iodide pills and (some) people staying indoors, there's no nuclear threat from Japan so far.

The EPA states that "RadNet radiation air monitors across the U.S. show typical fluctuations in background radiation levels."

Scientists this week predicted that the jet stream would push a radioactive plume from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to the Los Angeles area today.

That might have happened (hard to tell), but the distance traveled means that any radioactive material has dissipated to the point that it's probably not detectable here.

Heath officials yesterday urged us not to worry about it.

Still, we could be early, so we'll keep an eye on it.

In the meantime you can see enviroreproter's hot, live Geiger counter cam action here.

Update: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that minuscule amounts of radiation, likely from Fukushima, have been detected at a Sacramento monitoring station.

The EPA's statement:

Today, one of these monitoring stations in Sacramento, California that feeds into the IMS detected miniscule quantities of the radioactive isotope xenon-133. The origin was determined to be consistent with a release from the Fukushima reactors in Northern Japan. The levels detected were approximately 0.1 disintegrations per second per cubic meter of air (0.1 Bq/m3), which results in a dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural background sources. This validates a similar reading of 0.1 Bq/m3, taken from March 16 through 17 in Washington State.

Xenon-133 is a radioactive noble gas produced during nuclear fission that poses no concern at the detected level.

Also, a UCLA expert's opinion on whether it could be harmful to go out in the rain this weekend was relayed to us: No. Not as far as possible radiation goes.

First posted at 11:31 a.m.

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