Singapore Government Statement on Fukushima Nuclear Incident

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The following statement was released by the Singapore Government on 15th March 2011. You may find the original statement here: http://app.mfa.gov.sg/pr/read_content.asp?View,15508,

Please continue to visit the embassy website http://www.mfa.gov.sg/tokyo/ regularly for updates.


15/03/2011

Public urged not to be unduly alarmed

1 Minimal Risk of a Radiological Plume over Singapore
The Singapore Government has been closely monitoring the developing situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Station and assessing its possible impact on Singapore.


2 The National Environment Agency (NEA) is in contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other overseas experts to obtain the latest information available. The IAEA currently categorises the nuclear incident at Fukushima as a Level 4 accident. According to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, this means that it is an “accident with local consequences”.

3 Although the current situation remains serious in Japan, the incident site is more than 5,000 km away. Daily modelling studies are being conducted by NEA. Its simulations and those carried out by the World Meteorological Organization-designated Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres for Environmental Emergency Response in Tokyo and Melbourne have shown that at such a distance, there is minimal risk of Singapore being affected by the radiological plume. The public is advised therefore not to be unduly alarmed about exposure to radiation in Singapore arising from the Fukushima accident.

4 The NEA has nevertheless also been tracking the impact on Singapore’s radiation levels through its radiation monitoring stations. No abnormal changes in Singapore’s radiation levels have been detected so far.
Surveillance of Food Imports

5 The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is working closely with its counterparts in Japan and continues to keep a close watch on food imports from Japan. The AVA has increased its surveillance of food imports from Japan to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

6 Food products from Japan that were exported before 11 Mar 2011 are safe for consumption as they would not have been exposed to any radioactive contamination. These include products that are currently in the market and those which had arrived in Singapore over the last few days.

7 As a precautionary measure, samples of fresh produce exported from Japan after 11 Mar 2011, such as seafood, fruits, vegetables and meat, are being tested for radioactive contaminants.

8 The impact of the earthquake on Singapore’s food supply is expected to be minimal. In 2010, seafood imported from Japan constitutes less than 2% of our total seafood imports by quantity. The import of other food products from Japan is negligible (less than 0.5%).

No Need for Aircraft and Passenger Screening

9 The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been monitoring the potential impact of the incident on flights and airport operations. Developments so far do not necessitate the screening of aircraft or passengers for radiation. However, Changi Airport has in place contingency plans to deal with radioactive contamination. Developments are being watched closely and this assessment will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Health Advisory

10 The Ministry of Health (MOH) assesses that it is highly unlikely that any Singaporean who was outside the evacuation zones[1] will need any form of medical assessment as there is negligible risk, if any, of impact on health.

11 However, any returning Singaporean who was within the evacuation zones on or after 12 March 2011 should visit the Emergency Department of their nearby Public Restructured Hospital [2](RH) for a medical consultation upon arrival in Singapore.
[1] The “affected” and “safe” zones depend on the specifics of the incident, and may change as the situation develops. According to Japanese authorities, the current evacuation zones are 20 km-radius from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 10 km-radius from the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.
[2] The Restructured Hospitals are: Singapore General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National University Hospital, Changi General Hospital, and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Children and pregnant women are advised to go to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Singaporeans advised to avoid unnecessary travel to Japan

12 Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reiterates its earlier advisory, strongly urging Singaporeans to defer non-essential travel to Japan. Singaporeans who cannot avoid travelling to Japan at this time should eRegister with the MFA at www.mfa.gov.sg. This will enable MFA to contact them and render the necessary consular assistance in case of emergencies.

13 MFA also advises Singaporeans who are in Japan to continue to take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, monitor the local news diligently and take heed of the Japanese government’s advice and guidance. If they have any concerns about their personal safety, they should consider moving to a safer location. Singaporeans wishing to leave Japan should
closely monitor the situation, check with local authorities as the main access roads to airports may be closed and trains may not be running on schedule, and reconfirm their flights with the relevant airlines.

14 MFA has despatched additional staff to reinforce its Embassy in Tokyo in view of the heavy volume of requests for consular assistance. Consular assistance is available 24 hours, and Singaporeans can contact the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo or the MFA Duty Officer (24hrs) at:

Singapore Embassy in Tokyo
Tel: +81 90 3208 4122 / +81 90 2435 5543
Email: singemb_tyo@sgmfa.gov.sg

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tel: +65 6379 8800/ +65 6379 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

For Further Information

15 The public can obtain the latest updates from www.gov.sg, the NEA website at www.nea.gov.sg or contact the NEA Call Centre at 1800-2255632. For health-related queries, please contact the MOH Hotline at Tel: 1800 333 9999.

Jointly Issued By:
Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Home Affairs
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
National Environment Agency

Date: 15 Mar 2011