SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Part of the nation’s radiation warning system was out of service as the U.S. braced for possible exposure to the fallout from Japan’s nuclear crisis.
Although no dangerous levels of radiation have reached American shores, the test of the monitoring network is prompting some lawmakers to ask if it can safeguard the country against future disasters.
Federal officials use the monitors’ readings to confirm the impact of nuclear incidents, then alert local governments and the public.
In California, the Environmental Protection Agency says four of its 11 stationary monitors were offline for repairs or maintenance last week.
Officials did not immediately say why. But the monitors weren’t fixed until days after low levels of radiation reached the mainland U.S.
About 20 monitors out of 124 nationwide were out of service earlier this week.
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