Email from Jon.Willacy@dfat.gov.au - Department of Foreign Affairs
details 12:54 am 16 March 2011
The travel advice for Japan has been reviewed and reissued. It contains the latest advice from the Australians Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan.
The text is repeated below. You can also access the travel advice at www.smartraveller.gov.au
The Department of Health and Ageing and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued the following advice on exposure to radiation arising from nuclear incidents in Japan, based on information from Japanese authorities:
The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has caused major damage to a number of nuclear reactors on the east coast of Japan. The Japanese Government has established an evacuation zone around the affected reactors.
ARPANSA has been closely monitoring the situation, in particular the potential exposure to radiation of Australians in Japan.
ARPANSA advises that there is a small chance of contamination at very low levels for Australians who were in the Fukushima area at the time of the incident. The risk of health effects from exposure at these low levels is considered very low to negligible. Australians who were in the affected area at the time of the incident should continue to follow the advice of Japanese authorities.
For those Australians in Japan but outside the affected areas, based on current information, ARPANSA advises that they are extremely unlikely to be contaminated and the health risks are negligible. As the situation
develops, all Australians in Japan are strongly encouraged to continue to follow the protective measures recommended by the Japanese Government.
Given the very low risk of exposure, ARPANSA advises that people should have no physical symptoms. If there is any doubt about contamination this contamination is easily removed by washing your body and clothes.
Australians returning home from Japan are highly unlikely to be contaminated or exposed to significant radiation and will not require checks for radioactivity. However, if people wish to seek medical advice
they should contact their local GP.
Meetings are being held with GP representatives, the Department of Health and Ageing, and ARPANSA to discuss the provision of consistent advice to those who present with inquiries about radiation exposure.
Discussions are ongoing between jurisdictions. Further information will be provided as the situation develops.
*Current as at 2200 hours (AEDST) on 15 March 2011. This information will be updated every six hours or more frequently as required.*
If you require consular assistance you can contact the Australian Embassy in Tokyo on 03 5323 4144 and you will be transferred to the Crisis Centre.
DFAT Crisis Centre