Monitor Japan’s Radiation Coming to North America
Concerned about radiation from Japan coming to North America? Check out these three real-time monitors and relax for now. But don’t do nothing. Lesson learned: Be prepared for a nuclear meltdown or something else that happens near you.
At this point, the disaster was been upgraded to a “5” on a 7 scale, the same rating for the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Chernobyl was a 7. Indeed, if the current efforts to pump water into the reactors is insufficient, these Japanese facilities will be treated to the same concrete bath as Chernobyl – meaning buried in concrete to stop the radiation output.
As devastating as this is to the Japanese people, North Americans – who are today getting their first breeze of air emanating from Japan on March 12th – have no need for worry at this time.
-New York Times’ Radioactive Plume Path. The path of the plume that would contain radiation is charted in real-time, along with the radiation levels within the plume. Go to the site, click “Play”, and watch how the plume travels from Japan beginning on March 12th and enters the coast of North America today. I just checked and all the radiation within the plume is at very low levels
– The Radiation Network. This site is operated by a mineral tools identification company called Mineral Lab. It shows a map of the USA with all of its nuclear facilities (there are lots of them) and radiation detection sites. It is updated in real-time EVERY MINUTE. Every site across the USA currently shows radiation levels at typical background levels; meaning, nothing new, nothing worrisome.
– Black Cat Systems. This site is hosted by a software programmer. It collects radioactivity readings across the USA conducted by amateurs. It’s refresh rate is every 15 minutes. All the radiation readings streaming now are equivalent to background levels.
The conclusion: At present, radioactivity from Japan should not be a worry to people in North America.
As I’ve written over the past few days, my concern is forward looking. In the USA, we have hundreds of old, tired nuclear facilities. Some, like Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California (<-- click and scroll down at the section entitled, “The Potential Disaster Next Door”) have been built near the ocean in earthquake territory, but are not earthquake-proof. They are not tsunami-proof. In this article -- Russian Roulette With the American People – Ralph Nader says:
“What we’re seeing here is 110 or so operating nuclear plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pumps and combustible materials… Why are we playing Russian roulette with the American people for nuclear plants whose principal objective is simply to boil water and produce steam? … This is institutional insanity, and I urge the people in this country to wake up before they experience what is now going on in northern Japan.”
What happens to Americans if Nature delivers something that breaks these nuclear facilities? Well, just look at Japan.
This potential is what motivated me to write several posts about how to plan for such an event. Nothing I’ve suggested is fool proof, but everything suggested helps. Here are some posts to read: