North Carolina authorities have stepped up statewide monitoring of radioactive fallout in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that damaged nuclear reactors in Japan this month.
Officials last weekend began taking daily measurements of radioactivity in air, water, vegetation and milk samples in downtown Raleigh and throughout the state. Normally the routine air sampling is done once a month and less often for other sources. The state also checks for radiation in the air at nuclear sites once a week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has picked up faint amounts of radiation from the Japanese nuclear incident in some states, including California and Alabama, but none in North Carolina, agency spokeswoman Davina Marraccini said.
On Friday, however, Duke Energy and Progress Energy reported increased radiation levels in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida as part of their routine air sampling. That prompted state officials to increase their own monitoring. They expect to receive their first lab results this week.
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