Japan Radiation: PNRI capable to address threat — Malacañang

Malacañang on Thursday said the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) has the capability to address the Japan radiation threat as the government is ready to acquire new equipment to monitor and stop imported goods which are contaminated with high level of radiation from entering the country.

During the regular press briefing on Thursday at Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda allayed fears of radiation threat from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan reaching the country after a professor and toxicology expert warned that the threat was real.

University of the Philippines professor Dr. Romeo Quijano testified before the Senate hearing that the radiation threat cannot be ignored, citing the two studies from the French nuclear institute and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research to support his position.

Quoting the studies, Quijano stressed the possibility of radioactive fallout to land the Philippine shores and other parts of the world.

“This is not the first time that it happened,” said Lacierda, adding that the PNRI had dealt such kind of situation before.

Lacierda said PNRI Director Alumanda dela Rosa assured that the institute has the capability to deal with such situation.

“When the Chernobyl incident happened in the past, the PNRI was designated to conduct and monitor the radiation level of milk from Russia (which might be affected by Chernobyl incident). We are able to do it, we have the capability to do it,” he said.

He further said: “In fact when the this thing first came up, I asked Director Alum dela Rosa if we have the capability to do so during security cluster meeting,” he said.

Concern of imported goods contaminated by high level of radiation to reach the country through hand-carry of small time businessmen was raised considering that the Philippine’s port of Manila is the only one equipped with radiation scanner.

“Dati may concern sila sa gatas na galing sa (before there was concern on milk that came from) Russia or Europe so they were able to do it naman. So I don’t see any problem kung sakali may kailangan (in the event there is need). I’m sure that we will be informed by the PNRI if there is a greater need for some equipment,” he said.

Monitoring of goods from Japan and other parts of the world that might be affected by radiation leak are constantly and strictly being done.

The official also assured that the monitoring are not only limited on goods from Japan but also from other countries which can be possibly exposed to the leak.

PNRI Director dela Rosa earlier reiterated the country will be safe even in worst-case scenarios.

Source: PCOO.gov.ph