Thailand’s ministries of Public Health and Natural Resources and Environment will closely monitor and inspect food imported from Japan and Thailand’s air quality to check radiation levels but downplayed any direct and immediate threat to the country following explosions in Japanese nuclear power plants in Fukushima.
The crisis at the Fukushima No 1 plant has now spread to four of its six reactors following Friday’s quake and tsunami which knocked out the plant’s cooling systems. The Japanese government said that radiation levels near a quake-hit nuclear plant are now harmful to human health after two explosions and a fire at the crippled facility today.
Permanent Secretary for Public Health Paijit Varachit urged the Thai public not to be alarmed, as the ministry has prepared pre-cautionary measures to assure that Thais will remain safe from any possible effects of the nuclear crisis in Japan and to remain confident regarding the Japanese government, considered one of the countries with effective safety measures to protect the health of its public.
He said that there is a possibility that radiation from Japan could be carried to Thailand by radiation-exposed food products and the atmosphere.
The Office of Atoms for Peace which oversees the use of nuclear technology in the country has played down fears radioactive leakage at a nuclear power plant in Japan may spread to Thailand.
“We have closely monitored the situation of the nuclear power plant explosion in Japan since Saturday,” OAP secretary-general Chaiwat Toskulkao said yesterday.
“From the wind direction, radioactive dust has been swept towards the northeastern direction. The dust, if there is any, will not reach Thailand. So I would say we are quite safe.”
Thailand is more than 4,300 kilometres from Japan.
Thailand has eight radioactive monitoring stations. None has detected any radiation, said Siriratana Biramontri, director of Bureau of Technical Support for Nuclear Safety.