Anchorage (Alaska): Radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan is unlikely to contaminate North Pacific fish and that there's no reason to test them, according to federal and state of Alaska health officials.

Dangerous levels of radiation have been reported off the coast from the Fukushima reactor complex. Alaska is the nearest US state to Japan. That has prompted some fears, particularly in Europe, that Alaska fish could be contaminated.

However, a spokesperson for the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told a newspaper that the ocean is so huge, and Alaska fisheries so far away, that there is no realistic threat.

Alaska's food safety program manager, Ron Klein of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said the FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have demonstrated that Alaskans have no cause for worry.

"Based on the work they're doing, no sampling or monitoring of our fish is necessary," he said.

Japanese officials believe they have plugged the major leak that allowed tons of water containing highly radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium to flow into the sea.

The reactors and spent-fuel-rod pools remain unstable, according to Congressional testimony by the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A Japanese official said recently the crisis will continue for "a long time."

Tyson Fick, spokesman for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said he's urging fishermen and consumers to look at the science conducted by federal agencies. In Germany and Austria, he said, Alaska fish may have gotten caught up in anti-nuclear politics.


(Agencies)