Radiation from Japan not likely to harm North America

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:53 PM GMT on March 14, 2011

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Radiation from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been detected 100 miles to the northeast, over the Pacific Ocean, by the U.S. military. Westerly to southwesterly winds have predominated over Japan the past few days, carrying most of the radiation eastwards out to sea. The latest forecast for Sendai, Japan, located about 40 miles north of the Fukushima nuclear plant, calls for winds with a westerly component to dominate for the remainder of the week, with the exception of a 6-hour period on Tuesday. Thus, any radiation released by the nuclear plant will primarily affect Japan or blow out to sea. A good tool to predict the radiation cloud's path is NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model. The model uses the GFS model's winds to track the movement of a hypothetical release of a substance into the atmosphere. One can specify the altitude of the release as well as the location, and follow the trajectory for up to two weeks. However, given the highly chaotic nature of the atmosphere's winds, trajectories beyond about 3 days have huge uncertainties.One can get only a general idea of where a plume is headed beyond 3 days. I've been performing a number of runs of HYSPLIT over past few days, and so far great majority of these runs have taken plumes of radioactivity emitted from Japan's east coast eastwards over the Pacific, with the plumes staying over water for at least 5 days. Some of the plumes move over eastern Siberia, Alaska, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 5 - 7 days. Such a long time spent over water will mean that the vast majority of the radioactive particles will settle out of the atmosphere or get caught up in precipitation and rained out. It is highly unlikely that any radiation capable of causing harm to people will be left in atmosphere after seven days and 2000+ miles of travel distance. Even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which had a far more serious release of radioactivity, was unable to spread significant contamination more than about 1000 miles.


Figure 1. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Saturday, March 12, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 2. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Sunday, March 13, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.


Figure 3. Forecast 7-day movement of a plume of radioactive plume of air emitted at 12 UTC Monday, March 14, 2011 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radioactivity emitted at 2 levels is tracked: 100 meters (red) and 300 meters (blue). Images created using NOAA's HYSPLIT trajectory model.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting FloridaHeat:
I am afraid that millions upon millions in Tokyo are dying and they do not know it yet. The government won't tell them until it is to late this is the worst disaster in the history of the planet! You mark my words! I have been reading up on this a lot and I did take a class in high school where nuclear plants were covered and I got a 99% on that chapter. So you can take it from me or one of the lying government people of Japan!


I'll choose the lying 'government people' of Japan over you.

I know you're yanking everyone's chain but give it a rest.
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Quoting SQUAWK:
AMY!!!!!

I know better than that kid. You are way smarter than the average duck on here.

As for my last statement, look at #197 ----- I rest my case.

edit= add #203.


I am very smart so I resent that remark.
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As for my last statement, look at #197 ----- I rest my case.

edit= add #203.


and 205....

;)
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Well having spent a year with the Japanese,,some should realize they have a complex Manager to Worker system.


It works for and against them in ways very different than in the West.

But that aside, calamity has come to Japan on a National scale, Thousands are dead and tens of thousands are unaccounted for as well.
Whole communities and families are changed forever.

The best prepared Country in the world has been defeated in a almost military fashion.

All her Tsunamni defenses and all the infrastructure was attack by ground,sea forces and her roads,bridges and communication cut.

Rescue and relocating thousands are in full ramp up mode,,as time and cold become enemies to the first responders.

Shock and 4-5 adrenaline surges has worn down those doing the most since the event.They are worn and most need help Im sure just to continue on,,as some surely are.


The Psychological and social impacts are great and havent been seen in Japan since WW-2.

New generations will now come to bear their talents and the Globe must respond in kind as well.


We at portlight are focusing on the Disabled community needs as that's what we do.
Were getting the Atlanta Warehouse in GO mode to send what we have as quick as we can.

Please Help us Help Japan.





portlight.org




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Quoting FloridaHeat:
I am afraid that millions upon millions in Tokyo are dying and they do not know it yet. The government won't tell them until it is to late this is the worst disaster in the history of the planet! You mark my words! I have been reading up on this a lot and I did take a class in high school where nuclear plants were covered and I got a 99% on that chapter. So you can take it from me or one of the lying government people of Japan!


SQUAWK, you are correct.
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I am afraid that millions upon millions in Tokyo are dying and they do not know it yet. The government won't tell them until it is to late this is the worst disaster in the history of the planet! You mark my words! I have been reading up on this a lot and I did take a class in high school where nuclear plants were covered and I got a 99% on that chapter. So you can take it from me or one of the lying government people of Japan!
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jeff... I've got mad skills....
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197.

Um, why are you "so worried"? You're in Japan?
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Quoting NRAamy:
That'll work. We'd have everyone running from the west coast, digging fallout shelters, sunbathing on the west coast, doing heavy breathing exercises, worrying themselves to death, shouting "what, me worry?" and in general running around in circles.

SQUAWK.... how did you know what I was doing?


;)

I knew you were multi-talented Amy, but wow... Running, building a fallout shelter, sunbathing, shouting, deep-breathing, AND worrying... all at once!

NRAamy: (n.) See "multi-tasking master"
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199. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #3
PERTURBATION TROPICALE 07-20102011
22:00 PM RET March 14 2011
==========================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Disturbance 7 (1002 hPa) located at 12.0S 85.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts of 40 knots. The disturbance is reported as moving west southwest at 6 knots.

Near Gale Force Winds
======================
50 NM from the center in northern semi-circle

Dvorak Intensity: T1.5/2.0/D1.5/24 HRS


Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 12.7S 83.9E - 25 knots (Perturbation Tropicale)
24 HRS: 13.3S 82.1E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)
48 HRS: 14.0S 79.5E - 40 knots (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
72 HRS: 14.9S 76.1E - 50 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additional Information
=====================

Latest microwave and SCATT fix suggest that the system has slowed down over the last 6 hours and takes a more southwestward track. Overall pattern remains ill-defined with still an exposed low level circulation center removed to the northeast of deep convection. The ASCAT pass of 15:26z confirms the current intensity and shows that 30 knot near gale force winds exist locally close to the center over the northern semi-circle. Available numerical weather prediction models remains in good agreement for a west southwestward track within the next few days with a motion that should speed up a little bit later tonight or tomorrow. Tuesday night and Wednesday all models shows a weakness in the subtropical ridge south of the system. This pattern should allow a slow down of the motion. A more poleward track (not reflected in this forecast) is possible during this period. Tuesday and Friday, the highs rebuild to the southeast of the system that should allow a faster west southwestward track. At the end of the forecast period, a southward turn is likely as the system should move on the western edge of a subtropical ridge towards a strong high to mid level weakness.

Easterly wind shear remains the limiting factor for intensification. Wednesday, it is expected to decrease and so.. some gradual intensification is expected. Intensity forecast has been upgraded to the end of forecast period, but uncertainity is still great for this forecast (northeasterly win shear but good poleward outflow on the edge of an upper level ridge and sea surface temperature oooler towards the south). One should note that the latest STIPS output bring the system to hurricane strength at days 4-5.

The next tropical cyclone advisory from Mauritius Meteorological Service will be issued at 0:30 AM UTC..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45603
Initially winds were blowing East, then you can see that swirl blocking Easterly winds...

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Quoting Skyepony:
I don't think there is plans to evacuate Tokyo. More just people online chattering the wind direction & that officials are leaving Tokyo.. here's one..

1844: Mikan in Tokyo writes: "There is a growing sense that the Japanese government is not telling us the true story. On one end, there is the Japanese media that plays down the nuclear drama and focuses on human drama, and at the other, the foreign media is up-playing the nuclear disaster. In my company I heard at least half the essential staff is being sent to Hong Kong, Singapore or even Sydney. I am preparing to leave Tokyo and/or Japan. So are many of my friends. There is a sense of deserting Tokyo as soon as possible.


Where did you find this information. I am so nervous y'all.
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That'll work. We'd have everyone running from the west coast, digging fallout shelters, sunbathing on the west coast, doing heavy breathing exercises, worrying themselves to death, shouting "what, me worry?" and in general running around in circles.

SQUAWK.... how did you know what I was doing?


;)
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195. DEKRE
Quoting RecordSeason:
Water moving 50mph is 25 times as powerful as air (wind) moving 160mph.


So the destructive power of the tsunami is roughly 25 times greater per unit area, than the wind in Hurricane Andrew at landfall.


250 not 25

Impact is proportional to the impulse which is density times velocity

The density ratio is about 800
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194. Skyepony (Mod)
I don't think there is plans to evacuate Tokyo. More just people online chattering the wind direction & that officials are leaving Tokyo.. here's one..

1844: Mikan in Tokyo writes: "There is a growing sense that the Japanese government is not telling us the true story. On one end, there is the Japanese media that plays down the nuclear drama and focuses on human drama, and at the other, the foreign media is up-playing the nuclear disaster. In my company I heard at least half the essential staff is being sent to Hong Kong, Singapore or even Sydney. I am preparing to leave Tokyo and/or Japan. So are many of my friends. There is a sense of deserting Tokyo as soon as possible.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
Quoting RitaEvac:
FYI I would not listen to any government officials, their pinheads and you are better off taking your own advice, at least the people on this blog anyway


That'll work. We'd have everyone running from the west coast, digging fallout shelters, sunbathing on the west coast, doing heavy breathing exercises, worrying themselves to death, shouting "what, me worry?" and in general running around in circles.

No, I think taking the advise of those on this blog would be a very bad idea.
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I can see those guys with sweat rolling down their faces, hollering and knowing of their demise, basically saving a whole region from destruction
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I can only imagine what it must be like to be working in the literal and actual pressure cooker that is the Fukushima nuclear plant. You've been on the job for nearly four days now with barely a moment to rest or eat; it seems that everything you try only leads to further cascading problems; you know you're probably being showered with radiation that may kill you in a month's time; you realize that at any moment you could die in an explosion, or a blast from a ruptured steam pipe; you haven't had time to address your own personal and family issues that have arisen because of the quake and tsunami; you're being constantly harangued--by TEPCO, by the Japanese government--to make it right, right now--and you feel the entire world is watching you. But that's only because they are.

Those workers are definitely heroes.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13555
If I made a map showing Hurricane Ike hitting Galveston on a long range track when the damn thing came off the coast of Africa that too would of been fake to most people, it's called planning ahead folks,
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Quoting Chicklit:

It claimed the tsunami wave was radiation.


lmao it showed the jet stream winds carrying that stuff, not a radiation wave of water?!
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188. Skyepony (Mod)
Nuclear test ban agency has valuable radiation monitoring data from Japan nuclear accident -- but can't share
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
FYI I would not listen to any government officials, their pinheads and you are better off taking your own advice, at least the people on this blog anyway
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Nobody went nuts and said you were crazy--but the map was--and still is--a fake.


It's not a fake, it's legit in the event if a worse case scenerio took place. How can it be fake? it's called necessary precaution and planning ahead
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Work resumes to pump seawater into troubled nuclear reactor unit: TEPCO

"Work resumed early Tuesday morning to inject seawater into a troubled reactor unit at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after a steam vent of the pressure container was opened, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

"Fuel rods became fully exposed again at the No. 2 reactor late Monday night after workers recovered water levels to cover half of them in a bid to prevent overheating, according to the utility."
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13555
Quoting RecordSeason:



What is your take on my theory above that the gauges and machines may have been broken in the original event, and the reactors never actually shut down?


No take on anyone, just posting comments on that site...
Wel all have the right to see different positions, analyse data and reach conclusions, thats all...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
183. srada
Quoting jwh250:
America on nuclear alert: Could fallout from Japan explosion reach U.S. West Coast?

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:37 PM on 14th March 2011

Fears that America could be hit by the nuclear fallout from the Japan earthquake dramatically increased today after the reactor hit by the tsunami went into 'meltdown'.

Officials revealed fuel roads are melting inside three damaged reactors at the Fukushima plant, triggering fears of a serious radiation leak.

Scientists in the U.S. warned today of a 'worst-case scenario' in which the highly radioactive material could be blasted into the atmosphere and blown towards the West Coast of America.

They said it could be picked up by powerful 30,000ft winds, carrying the debris across the Pacific and hitting America within four days.



Potential consequences: How a full-scale meltdown could affect the U.S. by flying across the Pacific Ocean



Predictions: This jet stream forecast diagram shows that if the radiation material was to reach the upper atmosphere, it could be carried over the Pacific Ocean in high altitude wind currents

Earthquake-hit Japan is fighting to avoid a nuclear catastrophe as one over-heating reactor lost its cooling today, following explosions at two other reactors at the Fukushima plant.

Leading nuclear expert Dr John Large, who has visited the plant, said he is concerned that where the radiation ends up is %u2018in the lap of the gods%u2019.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366055/Ja pan-earthquake-tsunami-Navy-crew-months-radiation- 1-HOUR.html#ixzz1HV7lllkG



According to the white house THIS MORNING, they said that no radiation fallout will affect the US including Hawaii..I think that was premature to state since winds change from day to day..we are of course following the weather models which do not have a 100% certainity in forecasting..Is Iodine in great supply in NA because if not..
Member Since: August 17, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 774
Quoting Neapolitan:

Nobody went nuts and said you were crazy--but the map was--and still is--a fake.

It claimed the tsunami wave was radiation.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11351
Quoting RitaEvac:
That mapped I posted the other day was a worse case scenerio of what might happen and everybody went ape $#*! and told me I was crazy and it was fake.

Nobody went nuts and said you were crazy--but the map was--and still is--a fake.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13555
Quoting Skyepony:
Wind is toward Tokyo. Chatter of maybe deserting there.


How many people live in Tokyo??
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 166 Comments: 26054
Quoting Skyepony:
Wind is toward Tokyo. Chatter of maybe deserting there.

Evacuating Tokoyo is no small feat either.
Wind is 14 mph from the north on WU.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11351
That mapped I posted the other day was a worse case scenerio of what might happen and everybody went ape $#*! and told me I was crazy and it was fake.
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175. Skyepony (Mod)
Wind is toward Tokyo. Chatter of maybe deserting there.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
Neapolitan - check your WU mail, please.
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820: The French ASN nuclear safety authority says the incident at the Fukushima plant could be classed as level 5 or 6 on the international scale of 1 to 7. It is currently rated at level 4.

Chernobyl was a 7; TMI was a 5.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13555
Quoting RecordSeason:
These videos are just heartbreaking really.

I mean you try to look for something good to say about the situation after this, but it's hard.

I think if these quake had happened near any other place besides Japan we might be looking a hundreds of thousands, if not millions of deaths.

Nobody else was as prepared as them. They even had 30ft high flood walls in some places, which got overwashed by the waves. I don't know of anyone else with this level of protection or warning systems.
The Japanese peoples' preparedness comes from many centuries of documented tsunamis. Some of the famous ancient paintings depict tsunamis wiping everything away. I would not be surprised if after this event, the government tells everyone in the "zone" to not re-inhabit it, but to move back away from the coast. The only thing that should be there is farming (which includes fishing). However, there will be a long time before that land can be used for planting with all the salt water that washed over it. Only a drenching rain storm could possibly save the land, but what would it do to the survivors. It is a bad situation all around.
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Other comments:

Having worked for years at GE Nuclear in San Jose, CA as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I keep asking the same question: -CHow can you have a Japanese Nuclear Reactor containment explosion that blows the roof off the secondary steel-reinforced cement containment vessel, without having the primary steel containment vessel compromised? It seems implausible
If you go to the below webpage, youll see a basic BWR design schematic that is a wonderful graphic to use while answering technical questions.
My question is this. If one of the steam pipes feeding through the core of the steel containment vessel cracked or was breached from the hydrogen blast, could the plants be venting radiation into the air? The secondary cement containment is damaged, and the current rates taken at the gate on March 11, & March 14 show a significant rise in radiation.
www.nucleartourist.com
As with the first responders who rushed to the scene after the tragedy of 9/11, I would hate to see no one clearly explain the possibility of a breached containment vessel, and endanger the lives of military personnel and civilians rushing to help.
comment by karenw at 2:20 PM


www.bousai.ne.jp - Readings from the closest radiation monitoring site to Fukushima (Ibaraki) is showing levels far higher than any other site. While this reading isn't high in and of itself, it's also approximately 130 miles from Fukushima.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
A disturbing detail recently posted is that in these Mark I reactors, the spent fuel pool is inside the reactor building. If there's substantial contamination from reactor venting (or a leak in the reactor vessel), it therefore becomes impossible to be there to keep cooling the pools with firehoses or other improvised means. This could threaten a melt or burn of the spent fuel if it dried out -- and the spent fuel contains far more radioactivity than the reactor core..

1820: The French ASN nuclear safety authority says the incident at the Fukushima plant could be classed as level 5 or 6 on the international scale of 1 to 7. It is currently rated at level 4.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
Here is a link to BBC with video that is just heart-wrenching. There's one segment that shows the tsunami wiping out and entire city/village and people are trying to get to higher ground. Not everybody makes it. You hear the screams of people watching. It's awful. It's on a loop so just keep watching. This has been the best coverage I've found so far. The live page has constant updates on it. But the video is here:


BBC

Posting because my work computer does not play mp4's
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Quoting calder:
Link



Really depressing... impacting scenes...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.