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Nuclear Emergency in Japan – Update

Authorities in Japan have declared a nuclear emergency following the loss of power to ten nuclear reactor units in three separate nuclear power plants (Onagawa, Fukushima Daiichi and Fukiushima Daini). The cooling systems at both Daiichi and Daini experienced problems. Daiichi experienced explosionsin three units (Nos. 1, 2 and 3) and a fire has occurred at another unit (No. 4).  The loss of power and explosions followed a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which occurred in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan’s island of Honshu on March 11, 2011. The earthquake was followed by several aftershocks and tsunamis along the Pacific coast of Japan.

The Japanese Government is working closely with the (IAEA) and is taking extreme efforts to manage the radiation event.  The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers monitor the updated situation reports about the event posted by the Japanese government and the Western Pacific Regions of the World Health Organization.

For more information on Japan and travel security, visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.


Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel.  The Public Health Agency of Canada advises travellers:

  1. to follow the advice of the Japanese government particularly where it concerns the ongoing or future protective measures around the nuclear facilities.
  2. to observe an evacuation zone of 80 km around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station as a precautionary measure, given the evolving situation.
  3. to avoid consumption of spinach and Chinese colza from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures and raw milk from FukushimaPrefecture.
  4. to follow the advice of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare  regarding food and water consumption and protective measures such as potassium iodide (KI).
  5. to choose foods produced and manufactured in other regions less impacted by the current emergency as an extra precaution.

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