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Could Nuclear Radiation From A Meltdown Of The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Reactors In Japan Reach The United States?

The possibility of a full-blown nuclear meltdown of one or more of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors seems to increase by the hour.  Millions of weary Japanese citizens are desperately hoping that the worst case scenario does not play out.  A major nuclear disaster is the last thing that they need at this point.  So could radiation from a meltdown of one or more of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors reach the United States?  Unfortunately, the answer is yes.  Right now authorities in Japan are hoping to avert a full-blown meltdown and keep the radiation that is escaping to minimal levels, but at this point it appears that they are fighting a losing battle.  Yesterday, yet another of the reactors exploded.  The explosion at Fukushima Dai-ichi unit 2 was the third major explosion in four days.  Previously there had also been huge explosions at unit 3 and at unit 1.  Japanese authorities are feverishly trying to pump sea water into all of the reactors in the complex in an attempt to cool them down.  At this point authorities in Japan have admitted that the levels of radiation in the areas immediately surrounding the reactors “can impact human health”, and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is saying that the risk that further radioactive material will be released is “very high”.  Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has told the media that fuel rods in three of the reactors appear to be melting and that he cannot rule out the possibility of a full-blown meltdown in all three of the problem reactors.  Right now, the Japanese government is advising all people living within a 30 kilometer radius of the reactors to stay indoors.

As far as Japan is concerned, the worst case scenario is that multiple reactors could experience a meltdown and they could end up facing a situation of trying to deal with “many Chernobyls”.

Tokyo has 13 million residents, and there is a very real possibility that during a full-blown meltdown the winds could shift and carry a massive radioactive cloud in that direction.  That would be an unprecedented health disaster.

But could a full-blown meltdown at one or more of the reactors mean a health disaster for the United States as well?

During the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago, radiation was spread literally throughout the entire northern hemisphere.  If the worst case scenario happens in Japan, the prevailing easterly winds would likely transport radiation from Japan directly to the west coast of the United States.

Nuclear expert Joseph Cirincione recently told Fox News the following….

“The worst-case scenario is that the fuel rods fuse together – temperatures get so hot that [they] melt together into a radioactive molten mass that busts through the containment mechanisms. So they spew radioactivity into the ground, into the air, into the water. Some of that radioactivity could carry in the atmosphere to the west coast of the United States.”

During a full-blown meltdown, radioactive material would be blasted high into our atmosphere.  Once the material was high enough in the atmosphere, the jet stream would pick it up and transport it at high speeds across the Pacific Ocean.

The following video shows how the jet stream takes air currents from Japan straight over to the northwest United States.  If radiation gets into the jet stream over Japan, the first major land mass that it is going to encounter is North America.  Just check out the video below….

So how long would it take radiation from Japan to reach the United States?

Well, according to a report on Infowars.com, it wouldn’t take long….

It would take roughly seven days for the radiation to reach Anchorage, eight days until it reached Honolulu, ten days for Seattle and eleven days before it hit Los Angeles, according to figures calculated by Expert Senior Global Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

What could potentially make things even worse is the kind of fuel being used in these reactors.  Apparently mox (mixed oxide) fuel is more dangerous than the conventional fuel used is most nuclear reactors.  According to the BBC, a Japanese engineer named Masashi Goto told a news conference in Tokyo the following….

Japanese engineer Masashi Goto, who helped design the containment vessel for Fukushima’s reactor core, says the design was not enough to withstand earthquakes or tsunamis and the plant’s builders, Toshiba, knew this.

Mr Goto says his greatest fear is that blasts at number 3 and number 1 reactors may have damaged the steel casing of the containment vessel designed to stop radioactive material escaping into the atmosphere.

He says that as the reactor uses mox (mixed oxide) fuel, the melting point is lower than that of conventional fuel. Should a meltdown and an explosion occur, he says, plutonium could be spread over an area up to twice as far as estimated for a conventional nuclear fuel explosion. The next 24 hours are critical, he says.

Why in the world did anyone think that it was a good idea to build nuclear reactors in Japan anyway?  The truth is that Japan sits on or next to four different tectonic plates.  It is one of the most tectonically active regions in the world.  Anyone should have been able to foresee that any nuclear facility built near the coast in Japan would eventually be hit by a tsunami.

But unfortunately a whole bunch of nuclear reactors were built along the coast in Japan.  And right now problems are starting to develop at facilities other than the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.  Let us just hope that we don’t see any more explosions.

This is a problem that is not going away any time soon.  According to The New York Times, this is a crisis that could potentially last for months….

As the scale of Japan’s nuclear crisis begins to come to light, experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months.

So what should you do if you live along the west coast of the United States?

Well, you should keep a close eye on the news, that is for sure.  Any signs that large amounts of radiation have been released in Japan should be taken very seriously.

Hopefully the folks in Japan know what they are doing and will be able to get this crisis under control.

But there is absolutely no guarantee that is going to happen.

If the worst case scenario comes to fruition, we could end up facing the worst nuclear disaster in history.  That is not something to be taken lightly.

Let us just pray that this nightmare does not get any worse.

  • http://www.planorperish.com Gutter Economist

    Potassium Iodide (KI) is used by health officials worldwide to prevent thyroid cancer in people who are exposed to radioactive iodides caused by nuclear reactor accidents and nuclear bombs. It protects against radioactive iodine by preventing its absorption by the thyroid gland located in the neck. Thyroid cells are unique among all cells of the human body as they are the only cells which have the ability to absorb Iodine. The thyroid gland absorbs it from the bloodstream and concentrates it inside the cell to produce hormones. For radiation that is not immediately lethal, the thyroid is your body’s most sensitive organ to the effects of radiation. The Radioactive Iodine is absorbed by the thyroid and can cause thyroid disease and cancer later on. Sometimes it only takes a short time if the victim is a child because a child’s thyroid is very active in helping the child to grow. FDA Approved IOSAT and ThyroShield saturates the thyroid with stable iodine, shutting off its absorption mechanism, and it will remain off long enough for the radioactive iodine that you inhaled or ingested to to be safely disbursed through the kidneys. IOSAT KI is the only FDA-approved full strength thyroid blocking tablet available to the public. ThyroShield is the only liquid Potassium Iodide approved by the FDA.

  • Mychal

    I always look forward to your posts :-)

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    Japan radiation
    BP’s Gulf of Mexico
    9/11 mass murder scam

  • mondobeyondo

    Naturally, the government (Japanese, U.S., or any other) is going to say that everything’s fine, the situation is under control, blah blah. We assume the Japanese government planned for such an emergency after a 9.0 earthquake. Let’s hope they were right.

    As for whether the radiation from the Fukishima plant will affect the U.S. Well, we will know for sure, if three-eyed fish start appearing in San Francisco Bay, in some insane parody of a “Simpsons” TV episode.

  • Tao Jones

    I am weeping for Japan.

    I lived in Japan for two years while serving in the US Navy, and found it to be a beautiful country with warm, friendly people and a culture that stretches back several thousand years.

    Now it appears that Japan is dying. Laying aside, for the moment, the very real possibility of a nuclear disaster that will affect the entire Northern Hemisphere, my thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people who are watching the destruction of their homes, their families, their very country.

    There seems little doubt that the world as we know it is ending. I’m not sure how any thinking person can go on denying what is happening to the earth. It remains to be seen how all this will play out, but I think it’s time to openly acknowledge that we are witnessing something unprecedented in our known history.

    The time has come to recognize our universal brotherhood. it is time to renounce our greed, our hatred, our endless wars for profit. Now is the time to reach out to one another with all the love and compassion in our hearts.

    We are dying, but maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe this is what we must go through to bring forth a new Heaven and a new earth, one built on love and justice rather than fear and hate.

    I do not believe that Jesus is coming to save our bacon, but I do believe that our redemption draweth nigh. Let us have courage and cling to the things that have real value.

    Peace and love to all the world.

    And especially to our brothers and siiters in Japan.

  • emma

    Alot of people think we are doomed, but there are still great ways to make money. Even while the economy is collapsing around us.

    I subscribe to the guy from australia and his FFT economic newsletter at http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com that guy has called many big events before they have happend, including the stock market crash in 2008 and the current financial collapse of the US. (currently happening) I found him from a friend last year, and he has some important work.

    His oil calls are insane, and I have been making good money with them. He is well worth a look, if you want to keep two steps ahead of the sheeple out there.

    I am worried about my financial future. Is anyone else nervous out there?

  • brent

    There is a small possibility that this could reach the US, . yes, . Someone on another page was saying it was harmless and mentioned several nuclear tests in nevada in the 60’s, .I would like to say, my father died from the fallout years later of a rare form of lukemia whiile living in Idaho, this has been documented, you only need to do a search on “downwinders – reca”

    Another thing to consider is the question “Is Japan and the US corporate govt being up front?, and is there a possibility that a meltdown has already occurred?”, . one only needs to look shortly back to the BP spill to see how we were at first deceived in being told how many thousands of gallons were actually being leaked into the gulf, . ..which off the subject actually begs one more question, .”Has anyone tested the fish we are eating from the gulf for COREXIT content?

  • brent

    http://catastrophemap.com/downwinders.html A nice map showing the radioactive fallout in the US from nevada tests in which my father died from, . . . residents effected of utah had along time ago been compensated for their medical in a form called “reca” by the us govt, ..Idaho was never compensated

  • HS

    I’m sorry but Tokyo has about 35 million inhabitants, not 13.
    You are asking why Japan did build nuclear power plants along active earth quake zones? I tell you: They weren’t built by Japan, they were built by General Electric, 40 years ago, made in U.S.A.!! and installed there in Japan.
    And: USA is operating roughly 100 of these rubbish-reactors. California and other areas are earth-quake zones as well.
    Please,please: make people in US sensitive to this death-bringing techniques. Vote for switch-OFF and enforce renewable energies.

    When the last tree is chopped off, the last river is poisoned and the last fish has been eaten, then you will recognize that you can’t eat money.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Worrying about the fallout from Japan is just pointless. It’s like Global Warming if it is man made the economic damage fixing it would be worse than the seas rising 4 inches. If it’s happening and is not man made you can’t stop it.

    Either you have an ample supply of Potassium Iodide or you don’t everybody is out. If you are in the United States the chances are you’re more likely to be ran over and killed by an Illegal Mexican, than killed by radiation. If you far enough inland (like Colorado) your just worrying for nothing. Worry about those poor folks in Japan or those poor bastards in Libya getting the He$$ beat out of them, or you could be out of unemployment facing life in the streets. Life is good trust me it could be much worse!

  • forecastfortomorrow_is_a_scam

    emma – your posts regarding forecastfortomorrow, which you constantly post under various aliases, is starting to get really old. not only that, given the subject matter of this particular article, it is extremely distasteful. why don’t you get lost you damn troll?

    Moderator – I recommend that you simply remove any posts that link to forecastfortomorrow. I’m sure there is a way to automate it. I don’t think you want to see any of your site’s visitors wasting their hard earned money on this scam.

  • Tao Jones

    The Chernobyl meltdown spread all across Europe. Worrying about the possibility of fallout in the US is far, far from pointless; it is entirely possible that we will get radioactive fallout. Deny it if it makes you feel better, but in WW II Japan launched baloons carrying bombs that were designed to reach the West Coast and detonate. Several of these baloons actually DID reach our shores; some of these baloons did indeed explode in Oregon.

    What makes you think that contaminated air couldn’t reach the US just as easily? You can plug your ears and chant LALALALALA! ALL IS WELL! as much as you like, but you are deluding yourself. Some of us choose to face the ugly facts even though we are frightened.

    And even if you are living far inland, such as Colorado (to use the example you chose)….what do you think a radioactive cloud will do to the fields and soil that provide our food?

    Like I said, bury your head in the sand if it brings you comfort, but stop acting as though discussing these REAL POSSIBILITIES somehow makes us hysterical or foolish.

  • mondobeyondo

    You get quite a different perspective when you read the foreign press.

    From the “Excelsior” newspaper, Mexico City (www.excelsior.com.mx)

    Fukushima al borde del colapso; cuatro de los seis reactores están ya fuera de control

    Translation: Fukushima on the brink of collapse, 4 of the 6 reactors are now out of control.

    Of course, CNN won’t report that. They’ll tell you that everything’s fine, Japan is the most advanced nuclear country in the world, yada, yada.

    Who is telling the truth??

  • Gooby

    Three Mile Island was a melt down also and no one was hurt. The Japanese situation is worse but not too bad. They just need to flood the reactors with sand and cement with helicopters. Only one reactor containment vessel maybe compromised. It’s definitely not a Chernobyl where they didn’t even have even one containment chamber and no shutdown protectors. It was like flying a 747 made of wood. Thousands were fried right away. Don’t buy into the fear programming method of news distribution. You won’t even be thinking about this a month from now. Regarding radiation reaching the US that is just ridiculous. You will get more exposure by natural radiation by living in a brick house, flying on an airplane; and much more if you get an x-ray. Whenever the word radiation is used people have an ignorant emotional reaction and say stupid things. By the way coal powered power plants give off 100 times more than a power plant nuclear power plant because of the trace amounts of thorium and uranium. Just get the parts per million of thorium and uranium in coal from the EPA and the amount of coal burned in the US and do the junior high calculation and tell me how many tones of uranium and thorium are freely released into the atmosphere and in the ash which has no radioactive restrictions of disposal. That doesn’t even include the emission of CO2 that the ecowackos are always talking about or the thousands of miners that die from accidents and black lung every year. Anyway, just something to think about. If you like to worry have at it.

  • joseph castango

    just look at the jet stream duh.go south young man.if you are already on thyroid meds,see if your problem gets worst.then you will know.too late you say,well it’s too late for all of us.it’s the greed that has condemned us all.as always,the poor are the only ones fighting the battles.the battles of live as we know it are many.just keep listening to people in power and they will have us all walking of a cliff and liking it.life is to be enjoyed.get busy enjoying yourself before you never have the chance.bring on the party.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Look Tao you’re not being reasonable if radiation on the level you’re taking about arrived hear you’re hosed anyway, if it’s Alpha radiation and you’re in the area your dead period. You said you chose to face the ugly facts, great in the face of a very high level of radiation. What do you intend to do? I’m not sticking my head in the sand I chose not to go screaming into the dark in a blind panic. I chose not a panic about crap I can’t control, and prepare for what might happen and learn about what I don’t know. An Illegal Mexican will kill more people today than any cloud of fallout that’s just feeking fact. More people are killed by complacency and panic during disasters, I and the people I care about do not intend to be one of them.

    Have Fun

  • Tao Jones

    I certainly hope you’re right, Dodgy.

    Even if nothing happens here, it appears that Fukushima will be having problems for a long time to come.

    I never gave a great deal of thought to nuclear power before, but I’m starting to think it’s time to dismantle our nuclear power program here. The benefits do not seem to outweigh the risks.

    Am I simply being alarmist? Maybe I am. But how smart is it to fool around with a source of energy that creates poison that cannot be properly disposed of and lasts for 10,000 years?

    It strikes me now that this is a shortsighted policy at best.

  • Dawn Maddox

    Well, people are worrying about this, and thinking about it, from many different angles, and I realize that is only to be expected when something this horrendous happens.

    My first visit to this site and only because I was searching for worst case scenario for the US if things in Japan go completely down the tubes. So, please don’t bother to comment because I won’t be back. I just thought since others are saying what they sincerely think, I’d do the same. I have 2 thoughts actually.

    One is, in WWII, our country bombarded the Earth with radiation where Japan is located. Now, the Earth is reacting and causing radiation to spew out from the same area.

    Second thought, Edgar Cayce said Japan would be destroyed after the Earth changes really got going.

    Perhaps both of those thoughts are foolish. I don’t know anything about radiation or nuclear stuff or science, so maybe that’s why I think simple thoughts.

    But, even though I am absolutely not a foolish person usually, these thoughts won’t leave me alone. Wish there were someone I knew who could explain things to me.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Tao I hope to god it all works out ok not just for the People of Japan and for all of us. Things around the world are going to get much darker in the next few years. In regard to Nuclear power I whole heartily agree with you.

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    Nice Government you have there! These things should be done but will NEVER be done.
    The average American sheeple are far too stupid or too involved with MTV reality shows to even have a clue. Be informed!

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • pogue

    The radiation will come here, but we’ve dropped something like 1000+ atomic bombs all around the world since 1945 and that radiation is also out there. The real thing to be curious about is what radiation we’ll be consuming in our food as a result. Europeans may remember when Chernobyl happened they couldn’t eat cheese or drink milk for a while. In Russia now, folks get survey meters to test their food. I’ve run a meter over Russian produce and picked up a few clicks. It was a sober reminder of the catastrophe.

  • pogue

    Oh, and it will be interesting to see if looters and unscrupulous salvers will be selling us radioactive stuff scavenged from Japan. I heard Russians steal car parts from car graveyards in Chernobyl for sale to the unsuspecting. Remember how folks started selling flooded cars with doctored titles after the Hurricane Katrina? It’s going to be interesting to see how they deal with contamination in such a heavily urbanized area…

  • Bon

    I am sure that a meltdown is already occuring in Japan. As we are all aware of they do not tell us the truth about much of anything these days nor did they even back as far as the early 40’s on anything nuclear. Just plain and simple common sense tells you if you have nuclear fission going on and it is open to the air and it obviously is where is the radioactivty going??? All the sea water that the are pumping into the reactors, where is that going??? it sure is not holding the water. So all those atoms that are being smashed in that reactor and each on contains 2 nuclei, I am guessing this is a done deal for those poor souls over there that are trying to save what they can, but no one is going to save them. If you haven’t looked up the half life of plutomium and uranium you might want to take a look at that online and that will pretty much tell you the story. It is a sad state of affairs. You think maybe the world should think about not putting anymore nuclear reactors on line or ever building another on. As said above by someone General Electric is who we can thank, and In Chernobyl we can thank Union Carbide. And you know those hydrogen explosions they are telling us about, Did you know that on may 15 1957 the first British hydrogen bomb destroyed Christmas Island in the South Pacific and it just goes on and on and on so I say buckle up your seat belts get the potassium iodine pills and lets all hope for the best I think we had the best so lets just pray and be thankful that Japan is best remembered for it Komokazi veterans,and pray for those poor people over there..

  • saferenergy

    Really think about what you doomsdayers are saying. Go to the EPA site and get informed. Think about it if the government is giving us false information in this age and time it will come out and destroy any future credibility they might have. How many civilians do you think are out there with geiger counters or how about dosimeters that are worn by many in the medical field there is just to many ways that a coverup would be discovered and the government knows that. A major coverup by the government regarding the radiation would be all over the internet. There is just to many ways for us to detect a coverup in this case. I am not in favor of Nuclear energy and think it should be shut down as a source, but come on it is not the end of the world here. We need to support sustainable energy and not play with things that we can’t control such as nuclear the risks vs. benefits just don’t add up. Stop spreading fear and ban together to support a safer future for people who will be on earth hundreds or thousands of years in the future.

  • Howard Glen Martinez

    I am selling all my possessions and going to the mountains to live in a cave. This is going to get worse and I’m going to be prepared.

  • Jon Sowa

    I agree that it is reasonable to at least be skeptical of what we are told by government and the press.

    I am especially surprised by the almost unanimous statements about the dangers of taking Potassium Iodide for people or pets. The claims about serious side effects that even FEMA’s literature claims is less than 1 in a million cases, are replete with incomplete half-truths, and overstatements. NRC, FEMA, and even the EPA have all stated in the past that it’s a good idea to have Potassium Iodide on hand as part of your Emergency Preparedness. No one is suggesting that you overdose yourself, your family or pets!! In fact, no one is even talking about taking Potassium Iodide(KI) at this time.

    No one should ever dose themselves or any animals, companion pets or otherwise, with Potassium Iodide, unless there is an imminent danger of radioactive exposure, or unless they or the animals have actually been exposed. In that case, time is critical and the faster the better. Once exposure has occurred, you only have four hours or less to take or administer the Potassium Iodide to get the protective effect. After four hours, the benefits are greatly diminished. That is why the Dept. of Homeland Security(ready.gov) recommends that people should “Consider keeping potassium iodide in your emergency kit, and learn what the appropriate doses are for each of your family members and pets”. I think that it is prudent to have Potassium Iodide on hand for both yourself and your pets. It is inexpensive and available in pill form for people (IOSAT at http://www.nukepills.com) and for pets as a carefully formulated powdered form (PETSHIELD-KI at http://WWW.KI4PETS.COM) .

    You should always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. In this case, it isn’t hysterics to be prepared. Being prepared doesn’t make you a kook. It makes you smart!! After all, you can’t always rely on what is reported.