Data from Russian research expeditions in the Kamchatka region of Russia’s Pacific coast indicates that radiation levels caused by leakage from the Fukushima Daiichi plant remain at a safe level in the area, thousands of times less than radiation safety standards stipulate. The mission from the Russian Geographical Society made its report on 20 May.
A Russian expert reiterated that it was unnecessary in this case for the general population to take iodine, even in small amounts, as a precautionary measure. (Iodine-131 is a significant biproduct of fission, and causes radiation sickness. Ingesting iodine to saturate the thyroid gland with the non-radioactive I-127 prevents take up of the I-131, but it must be taken as a salt, usually potassium iodide.) Elemental iodine is toxic. Yuri Raptanov, chairman of the Supreme Council of Russian public ecological organisation Plantain said that two people had already died from ingesting iodine in this way.