Helicopter is part of Department of Energy radiation study
July 5, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. July 5, 2011
Western Washington residents should not be alarmed as a slow, low-flying helicopter scopes the area from July 11-28.
The helicopter is part of a U.S. Department of Energy aerial survey of the Seattle area. The agency is measuring baseline levels of radiation in order to make a comparison in the event of a nuclear emergency, a King County Office of Emergency Management email states.
The agency intends to measure radiation levels in nearby communities, but no area east of the western shore of Lake Sammamish is scheduled to be included. In order to take the measurements, the helicopter is due to fly at about 300 feet above the ground at about 70 mph.
The study is financed by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant and has been in development since 2009, prior to the Fukashima nuclear disaster in Japan, Sammamish Deputy City Manager Lyman Howard said.
*This article contains corrected information.