Japan has had another explosion in their nuclear reactor and are unable to cool them. Most of our readers are in the United States, so the question becomes, beyond the catastrophe of Japan, where will the radiation land in the United States?
Below is a report about the Jet Stream which hits Alaska, Hawaii and the West Coast. The original map predicting the Jet Stream for this week is at this link. The below new reports gives some analysis on this possibility. Bear in mind this report was done before the latest explosions and evacuation orders near Tokyo.
There are evacuations ongoing in Japan. The French embassy has told it's citizens to evacuate the area. On one nuclear reactor the containment chamber is damaged:
Below is a video of an independent nuclear scientist and his assessment of the situation as well as Japan's cultural response. One might think about BP underestimating the oil spill before watching.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken nuclear power plant was today rocked by two further explosions and a fire as workers struggled to avert the risk of a meltdown.
A hydrogen blast hit the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant’s No. 4 reactor, where Tokyo Electric earlier reported a blaze, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a briefing. Four of the complex’s six reactors have been damaged by explosions.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan appealed for calm as he said the danger of further radiation leaks was rising at the crippled nuclear facility, 135 miles (220 kilometers) north of Tokyo. Sea water is being pumped to cool the reactors and prevent the uncontrolled release of radioactive material.
Earlier there was a fire at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant reactor number 4. The above explosion is reactor no. 2.
There isn't much one can do beyond entering a fall out shelter and taking potassium iodine.
Q: How do radioactive materials contaminate food? A: Atomic bomb tests in Nevada during the 1950s and 1960s released I-131 into the atmosphere that was blown thousands of miles away. Animals grazing on pastures contaminated with I-131 had the radioactive material in their milk, which poisoned some children. People exposed to I-131 may have an increased risk of thyroid cancer.
Right now the radiation in Tokyo is 23 times normal but is not a threat, this post is more of a better safe than sorry, just in case.
The Japanese Stock Market is crashing at the time of this posting, down 13%. Japan is issuing warnings that might be prudent as we learn more about radiation fall out in the United States. From AP:
Kan and other officials warned there is danger of more leaks and told people living within 19 miles (30 kilometers) of the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex to stay indoors to avoid exposure that could make people sick.
"Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told residents in the danger zone. "Don't turn on ventilators. Please hang your laundry indoors."
"These are figures that potentially affect health. There is no mistake about that," he said.