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B.C. to open nine extra radiation monitoring stations

Radiation scanning crews check eath other's levels as they change their working shift at a screening centre in Koriyama in Fukushima prefecture, 60km west of TEPCO's striken Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, on March 18, 2011.

GO TAKAYAMAGo Takayama/ AFP/Getty Images/Go Takayama/ AFP/Getty Images

The federal government will open nine extra monitoring stations in B.C. to check for radiation from crippled nuclear plants in Japan, but it still insists there's no danger to Canada.

Word of the extra stations came after B.C. health officials were swamped with calls from people worried by reports that minuscule amounts of radiation had been detected in California.

The federal Public Safety Ministry says there's no threat to Canada from the nuclear crisis in Japan because any radiation would dissipate in the atmosphere before reaching this country.

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B.C. Solicitor-general Shirley Bond says that the province may expand its emergency warning systems in the light of the Japanese disaster.

She says tsunami warnings in B.C. are handled by phone calls, e-mails and faxes, but the system could be widened to include Twitter and Facebook because many people don't have land lines.

She says a similar approach worked during forest fires in B.C. last year, adding information is critically important for keeping people calm in an emergency.

Meanwhile, Vancouver International Airport says it's spent millions of dollars compacting the ground before constructing new buildings to make sure the soil doesn't liquefy in a major quake, and YVR could withstand a 7.5 magnitude shaker.

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