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Radioactive Material Found in Illinois

Jim Anderson
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) - Radiation believed to be from the nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been detected in Illinois.

The radioactive iodine similar to what was released in Japan was found in a grass clipping in the Joliet area by the Radiological Assessment Field Team, which regularly checks on vegetation, air, milk and eggs to determine if any radiation is leaking from Illinois’ nuclear reactors.

In this case, the grass clippings were taken as part of a drill for the emergency plan at the Dresden nuclear power plant.

Once that grass sample tested positive for radioactive iodine, an air sample in Springfield was taken, which also detected the radioactive material.

Patti Thompson of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says the levels are low: The amount of radiation would have to be 200,000 greater than what was detected to meet the regulatory limit for emission from a nuclear power plant.

Nevertheless, the state will now conduct more tests in other parts of the state.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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