“If There Were a Reactor Meltdown or Major Leak at Fukushima, the Radioactive Cloud Would Likely be Blown Out … Towards the US West Coast”
March 13, 2011
Map of Jet Stream flowing from Japan to West Coast of U.S.
Agence-France Presse notes:
California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks from a quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant, a spokesman said Saturday, as experts said radiation could be blown out across the Pacific.
“At present there is no danger to California. However we are monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with our federal partners,” Michael Sicilia, spokesman for California Department of Public Health, told AFP.
“California does have radioactivity monitoring systems in place for air, water and the food supply and can enhance that monitoring if a danger exists,” he added.
Experts have suggested that, if there were a reactor meltdown or major leak at Fukushima, the radioactive cloud would likely be blown out east across the Pacific, towards the US West Coast.
“The wind direction for the time being seems to point the (nuclear) pollution towards the Pacific,” said Andre-Claude Lacoste of the French Nuclear Safety Authority, briefing journalists in Paris on the Japanese crisis.
Earlier the NRC said it was “examining all available information as part of the effort to analyze the event and understand its implications both for Japan and the United States.”
The winds could shift at any time, blowing radiation into Tokyo or other parts of Japan.
However, even if the prevailing winds remain off-shore – towards California and Washington – those American states are still a long way away. As AFP notes:
While US nuclear experts acknowledged the seriousness of Japan’s reactor crisis, some stressed that taking steps in the United States such as distributing iodine tablets — which prevent iodine 131 from being absorbed into the body — would be “vastly premature.”
“It’s a big ocean. These (radiation) releases are essentially going to be at ground level,” said Ken Bergeron, a physicist who has worked on nuclear reactor accident simulation.
“We should not confuse it with health issues in the United States.”
Japan is roughly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from the US West Coast.
But while the great distances make the risk of radiation exposure to Californians and Washingtonians small, it is not zero.
For example, pollution from Chinese coal factories routinely hits California. For example, Mongabay noted in 2008:
Previous studies have documented that dust from Asia — especially from deserts and industrial regions of China — routinely crosses the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds to sully the air over the western U.S.
As as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wrote last December:
About a third of the airborne lead particles recently collected at two sites in the San Francisco Bay Area came from Asia, a finding that underscores the far-flung impacts of air pollution and heralds a new way to learn more about its journey across vast distances.
In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Air Resources Board tracked variations in the amount of lead transported across the Pacific over time.
It’s well known that particles and other aerosols cover long distances through the Earth’s atmosphere. But the details of this transport, such as that of the lead particles’ 7,000-mile journey from the smokestacks of China to the west coast of North America, are largely unknown.
Message from Infowars:
As always, we should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
It is admitted that the first plant has melted down, and 6 more nuclear power plants in Japan are in danger. If they fail, this situation could get even worse. Japanese authorities are distributing potassium iodide to its population for thyroid protection.
For U.S. populations, we can hope that most of the radiation will disperse into the ocean and never reach us, however, with the U.S. West Coast in the direct path of the jet stream from Japan, it is a good precaution to stock up on potassium iodide or natural iodine from kelp, which can prevent the absorption of radioactive iodine, the most common complication from radiation poisoning. Consult with your doctor or medical professional before taking these or any supplement (we are NOT giving medical advice). However, unfortunately, we cannot count on the government to be honest and upfront with us about the dangers of fallout, so you should consider your own potential risks and don’t wait until things are already underway.
Try these Google shopping links or check your local stores for iodine from kelp and potassium iodide. Check Wikipedia and other sources for more info on the safety of potassium iodide and recommended doses.
This article was posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 6:20 am