How are everyone's paranoia levels doing? Got enough obsessive fear in your life? 'Cause if not, you can always look to the sky next week and imagine all the worst-case-scenarios for why there's a radiation-measuring helicopter flying around.
The helicopter, which is operated out of the U.S. Department of Energy's Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measurement System, will be flying low in parts of King and Pierce county from July 11 to 28.
According to a Q&A on the Department of Health's website, the reason for the measurements have nothing to do with the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi in Japan.
Are you doing the survey to find out how much radioactive material came from Japan?
This project is looking for radioactive material that exists in our environment. The survey isn't focused on radioactive material from Japan. The amount of material from Japan was extremely low and will not be detected by equipment on the helicopter.
Did the nuclear reactor damage in Japan lead to this project?
This project isn't related to the disaster in Japan. It began in September 2009, well before the earthquake in Fukushima. The helicopter flyover is part of a multi-phase project to improve our state readiness to respond to radiation emergencies.
The actual reason for the measurements is apparently to establish a baseline level with which to measure other radiation levels with.