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Nissan to monitor cars for radiation

(FILES) In a file picture taken on January

(FILES) In a file picture taken on January 25, 2011 A worker installs a charger into a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle on the assembly line at the company's Oppama plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. Shares in Japan's top automakers plunged by more than 10 percent on March 14, 2011 as investors reacted to plant shutdowns after the biggest earthquake in Japan's history. Automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda announced the total suspension of production on March 13. AFP PHOTO / FILES / KAZUHIRO NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty/KAZUHIRO NOGI

Nissan Motors said it will begin monitoring all its vehicles currently in production in Japan for radioactivity. The announcement comes on the heels of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 that claimed thousands of lives, destroyed infrastruction, and left some nuclear power plants in danger of meltdowns.

"We will continue to implement all appropriate measures to reassure the public that all products from our company remain within globally accepted safety standards," the company said in a statement.

The testing will continue "until we are confident that any risk of contamination is completely removed," the Nissan said.

Levels of radiation sorrounding the Fukushima plant, 155 miles northeast of Tokyo, has been fluctuating since the earthquake.

Niisan currently has 13 plants operating in Japan, most of them are in the eastern part of the island on Honshu. Nissan's closest plant to Fukushima is the Iwaki engine plant, 35 miles away.

Dr. Stephen Musolino, a health health physicist and radiation protection expert for the Brookhaven National Lab says that if there is radiation contamination present, it can be cleaned off. Musolino explained that the interaction between radiation with metal is similar to that of dust and a desk.

"The metal doen't absorb the radiation. Any possible radioactive contaminantes would lie only on the surface and can be safely removed," Musolino said. "It would be like wiping the surface of a dusty desk."

Nissan has also announced that it closed the Oppama plant that produces its much anticipated electric Nissan Leaf. The auto maker said they would reopen the plant and resume production sometime next week.

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