Japan nuclear radiation unlikely to reach US: NRC

Some of Japan's nuclear power plants went into emergency shutdown following the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Friday.

"All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population.

Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the US Territories and the US West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity," the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is coordinating with the US Department of Energy and other federal agencies in providing whatever assistance the Japanese government requests as they respond to conditions at several nuclear power plant sites following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

NRC has sent two boiling-water reactor experts to Japan as part of a US Agency for International Development team.

In a statement, NRC said during a nuclear event it has requirements to protect populations around reactors.

For instance, the US evacuation standard at 10 miles is roughly equivalent to the 20-kilometer distance recommended in Japan.

The US also uses sheltering in place and potassium iodide, protective measures also available in Japan.

"United States citizens in Japan are encouraged to follow the protective measures recommended by the Japanese government. These measures appear to be consistent with steps the United States would take," NRC said.

Japan is battling hard to contain a looming nuclear crisis.

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