RPII continues to monitor developments at Japanese nuclear power plants

Date released: Mar 14 2011

No immediate implications for Ireland.

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) has said that radioactive material from the Japanese nuclear power plants is highly unlikely to reach Ireland. 

Dr Ann McGarry, the RPII Chief Executive said today “Our advice is that it is highly unlikely that any radioactive material released into the atmosphere from the nuclear reactors in Japan would reach Ireland.”

“Even in a worst case scenario where there was a large scale explosion in the core of the reactor it is still unlikely to have adverse affects here, given the distance involved.”

“All available information indicates that any radioactive releases are contained to the local region and are highly unlikely to have any impact for Ireland.” 

“We will continue to work with our international colleagues to monitor the situation.” 


For further information: 

Murray Consultants     01 498 0346 

Aoibheann O’Sullivan   087 629 14 53 

Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland 

Marie Kelly 269 7766

David Dawson 206 6913

Notes to editors: 

Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) 

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) is the national organisation with regulatory, monitoring and advisory responsibilities in matters relating to ionising radiation. In particular, the RPII concerns itself with hazards to health associated with ionising radiation and with radioactive contamination in the environment.

The RPII is an independent public body under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and was established in 1992 under the Radiological Protection Act, 1991. The RPII’s role is to ensure that Irish people and the environment are adequately protected from the harmful effects of ionising radiation. We do this by providing advice to the public and the Government, by monitoring people’s exposure to radiation, by regulating and licensing those who use radiation, by providing technical support to Ireland’s plan to deal with radiation emergencies (NEPNA) and by cooperating with similar bodies internationally. 


Although Ireland has neither nuclear weapons, nor a nuclear power industry we have a detailed National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents, known as NEPNA. The central goal of the plan is to substantially reduce public exposure to any radioactive contamination which might reach Ireland from a nuclear accident abroad. This in turn would minimise the potential long term health risks to the population. The national emergency plan is coordinated by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and involves a number of other government departments and agencies working together.

More information on NEPNA is available on: http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/EnvironmentalRadiation/NationalEmergencyPlan/  

The EPA web page on National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents (NEP)

RPII’s Monitoring Network 

The RPII with support from Met Éireann, local authorities and the Defence Forces operates a national network of permanent radiation-monitoring stations which are operational around the clock. These stations include air samplers and gamma dose rate monitors. Data from the gamma monitors is continuously fed back to a central computer at EPA and displayed here.

This network would provide the first measurements in the event of a radioactive 'cloud' reaching Ireland. If elevated radiation levels are detected, an alarm system is automatically triggered.


The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna keeps national authorities informed of nuclear incidents and emergencies under the Emergency Notification Convention. For further information visit http://www.iaea.org/