Public Health

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

In their daily routines, a firefighter and a nurse are unlikely to sit side by side and develop an emergency response plan. Yet this collaboration is essential to emergency preparedness and is an example of the unlikely synergies that keep Michelle Shoresman motivated in her role as emergency preparedness program manager at the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency on California’s Central Coast. Shoresman works with a wide array of partners to synchronize emergency response plans and ensure that the health of those in her community is protected at all times. One of the primary partners in safety is the local nuclear energy facility, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon.
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Over the weekend, multiple media outlets reported that trace levels of radioactive Cesium had been found in Blue Fin Tuna caught off the coast of California. The radioactive particles had been picked up from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (click here for the report), according to a report from the National Academy of Sciences.

Before anyone thinks twice about eating tuna, there are a couple of facts that you should keep in mind:

The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

Radiation released during the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility was much lower than previously believed, according to a recently released World Health Organization report. The report gathers together more data about the radiation release than any other report to date.

The preliminary draft study said its radiation dose measurements are “robust on the basis of knowledge and information on hand at the time of the study.”
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Japanese officials continue to monitor radiation levels in the air, water, soil, crops and livestock in an ongoing effort to protect public health.

Ongoing environmental monitoring helps Japanese officials to protect public health.

When a mega-quake followed by a massive tsunami struck Japan last March, the country’s defenses were overwhelmed by the scale of the natural disaster. While the earthquake and tsunami caused catastrophic destruction and significant loss of life, radiation released from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors has not caused a single death. In fact, the radiological consequences of the accident to date are negligible, due in large part to emergency response plans that were in place before the incident.

“The reporting of Fukushima was guided by the Cold War reflex that matched radiation with fear and mortal danger,” writes Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph. “Reactors have been destroyed, but the radiation at Fukushima has caused no loss of life and is unlikely to do so, even in the next 50 years.”
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

Radiation health experts said at a Washington press briefing that based on the radiological data collected, the health effects of the Fukushima accident should be very minimal for both the public and workers.

“From a radiological perspective, we expect the impact to be really, really minor,” said Kathyrn Higley, professor of radiation health physics in the department of nuclear engineering at Oregon State University. “And the reason for that is we understand how radionuclides move through the environment, how they disperse and how people can be exposed. Because we understand that we are able to make decisions to block exposure.”
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First