Radioactive iodine from Japan found in Russia

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Russia said on Tuesday it had found traces of radioactive iodine from Japan's damaged nuclear plant in its Far Eastern region but they posed no threat to the public.

The regional state weather service said it had conducted tests of the air just outside the city of Vladivostok between Saturday and Tuesday and found small traces of iodine-131.

"The appearance of iodine-131 in the air is connected with the accidents at the Japanese nuclear power plants which happened due to the earthquake and tsunami," the weather service said in a statement.

"Its concentration is more than 100 times lower that the acceptable level so it does not pose a threat to people's health," it said, quoting its chief Boris Kubai. It added that the concentration of the substance in the air had been declining.

The weather service said it continued to conduct the tests.

Primorye's capital Vladivostok is located no more than 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) west of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

After Japan's March 11 disaster, Russian authorities reinforced radiation controls across the entire Far Eastern region but said radiation levels remain normal and there was no reason for panic.

© 2011 AFP

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