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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Electric utilities in North Carolina and South Carolina report they have detected trace radiation from Japan’s nuclear reactor accidents that followed an earthquake and tsunami.

Progress Energy and Duke Energy in North Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. all operate nuclear plants and say they have detected trace amounts of radiation.

Nuclear experts and health officials say there is no public health risk. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says people are exposed to much more radiation on an international airline flight.

Progress Energy of Raleigh said it picked up very low levels of iodine-131, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear fission, at its Robinson nuclear plant in South Carolina and a Florida plant. The company expects to detect similar levels near Raleigh and Wilmington this week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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