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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire wants people to follow the U.S. Department of Health's advice: Do not take potassium iodide pills in response to fears of radiation from Japan.

Gregoire says that radiation levels in Washington have not changed and officials don't immediately expect a surge in those levels.

The governor also says that potassium iodide pills could pose health risks and encouraged people on Thursday not to take them.

Japan was ravaged by a massive 9.0 earthquake and tsunamis last week. Now, Japanese authorities are struggling with damaged nuclear reactors. Gregoire says that Washington has a deep friendship with Japan.

Gregoire says she's been assured the Hanford nuclear power plant in eastern Washington has undergone the required safety checks to make sure it could withstand a powerful earthquake and flooding from the Columbia River.

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