"If There Were a Reactor Meltdown or Major Leak at Fukushima, the Radioactive Cloud Would Likely be Blown Out ... Towards the US West Coast"

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Agence-France Presse notes:

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.




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

"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.




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:

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:

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.

And see this and this.

As as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wrote last December:

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.

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ATG's picture

They tested up to 7.9 EQ scenario

9.0 was 11,220 times more powerful than the 6.3 quake that destroyed downtown Christchurch a fortnight ago (10 to the 2.7 power, all to the (3/2) power is the Richter base10log energy magnitude formula)

Too bad Joe

Meanwhile CC, must take mainstream propaganda issue with But by the time it gets to the US west coast, it will be dispersed and dissipated to the extent that concentration is nil to none.  How do I know?  I work in the industry and know these things

Not only were these GE reactor meltdowns of Plutonium 239 with a half-life of 24,200 years, 23 of which are in the USA, many of them on fault lines, the standard nuclear industry government monopoly media claim that the radiation released is harmless is highly suspect

Any amount of ionizing radiation is dangerous. Madame Curie and Thomas Edison's assistant thought radiation was actually healthy, and died as a result. Thyroid and other cancers are in a growth curve


Unscrubbed Chinese smokestack lead showed up in America along with Mongolian desert dust. Increased radioactivity showed up in dairy and beef herds. One particle of plutonium in a lung can kill, turning brain, kidneys, liver and spleen into zombie mush



The use of DU with a half-life of 4.6 Billion years was declared harmful by British Defence and is unconscionable in view of all the birth defects since the Gulf War







PulauHantu29's picture

I better prepare an few extra beds for my relatives as they move East. After living in Irvine and Malibu, my cousins will not like a trailer home in the middle of nowhere....but it is radiation free.

fragrantdingleberry's picture

GW: Maybe I missed it but when are you going to write about the upcoming solar storm that is going to wipe out all electronics and the magnetosphere? You can't wait until it hits because the Internet will be fried. I am going into my family's underground bunker which was built my my grandfather during the cold war and won't be posting again.

fragrantdingleberry out.

Count Floyd's picture


You really ought to change your name to Chicken Little

High Plains Drifter's picture


what the hell is going on over there? This bs about taking idodine tablets is not as cut and dried as you may think. There are potential side effects and any taking of these tablets should be a last ditch, emergency effort.


The Alarmist's picture

You didn't need that thyroid anyway ... you can always take hormone replacement pills.

ColonelCooper's picture

Don't confuse iodate with iodide.  Potassium iodide is safe to use, and is regularly used as a dietary supplement to alleviate thyroid issues. 

Not pimping the stuff, just not too worried about it.

gasmiinder's picture

But Coal and Gas power plants create that evvvvvillllll CO2 that's gonna destroy the world.  Can't build any of them.

Theos's picture

BTW you got linked on drudgereport under the headline "USA West Coast in Path of 'Fallout'..."


What is sensationalism for 1000, alex?


Rogerwilco's picture

More alarmist BS from GW (aka Corexit Dude).

You want a nuclear disaster? Try this on for size: http://www.wentz.net/radiate/cheyla/cheldis.html

"A person standing on the lake shore (Lake Karachay) near the area where wastes are discharged from the plant would receive about 600 roentgens of radiation, a lethal dose, in an hour. The lake is now being filled with hollow concrete blocks, rock, and soil to reduce the dispersion of radioactivity."

ThePhysicist's picture

GW is scaremongering again...

I thought we were all going to die from the BP leak in the Gulf?

Just too many things that are going to kill us all !!!

Those french fries I ate yesterday are a lot more likely to kill me than a disabled reactor in Japan.


Count Floyd's picture

+1.  He disgraces the name.

Shed Boy's picture

I'm in Washington..WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!!  or...not...maybe someday. PFfff. At present there isnt enough solid information to warrant freaking out. It's been raining steady here since last night, pretty hard too. Nobody is freaking out about mudslides or floods, why worry about something 5,000 miles away that may or may not be an issue. When they start driving around in white vans with big red crosses on the side handing out iodine...then it'll be time to be concerned. Till then, party on!

calltoaccount's picture

 washington operatives don't freak out until their bribes dry out.

cjbosk's picture

+1 Creed, ditto that!

Chuck Yeager's picture

"But while the great distances make the risk of radiation exposure to Californians and Washingtonians small, it is not zero."


I guess Oregonians don't count because they are all a bunch of hippies?  Or they are so cool that they are radiation proof? 

Creed's picture

Oregonians thyroids are already full of THC, nothing else can penetrate it and therefore they are immune to worry about such trivial matters.

Seal's picture

Karma does seem to have a way of biting us in the a** LOL

Creed's picture

#1- To those idiots who think the USA should feel guilt over dropping nuclear weapons on Japan in 1945- you're clueless about history and why it was done. You should duct tape your mouth shut until you get some real history under your belt. (same thing applies to slavery and the Indian wars in the US, but start with the real easy stuff first like war is hell)

#2- Yeah, I don't think there's a huge chance of radioactivity hitting my family on the left coast- but I DO think there's a chance. So I went ahead and panic bought potasium iodide for my family on Friday night. He who panics early typically gets his shit.

#3- Lots of volcanos going off in that part of the world right now, which means a lot more fine particulate matter in the air. Just the kind of thing radioactive dust particles might like to hitchhike on. Or maybe not.

#4- Thanks goldfish1, excellent link, bookmarked- you da man. :)

Confused's picture

"you're clueless about history and why it was done.....(same thing applies to slavery and the Indian wars in the US, but start with the real easy stuff first like war is hell)"


Just curious how the bombing of Japan is related to slavery and genocide?

And war is hell is hardly a reason. 

Creed's picture

Confused- my comments relate to the America hating crowd that loves to attempt to make Americans feel guilt over dropping the A bomb to end WWII, slavery in the US, and the conquest of north American Indians. "War is hell" relates directly to dropping the big one on H & N.

Since I noticed that crap right at the beginning of the thread I don't feel the least bit ashamed of tackling that nonsense head on.

Note the poster above quoting some douche stating that the US committed the most heinous war crime eVah. Google Rape of Nanking & Japanese war experimentation on Chinese & STFU is my answer to that.:)

I've noticed the following things coming from the same crowd all over the internet:

America hating & guilt tripping

Bashing & outright nonsensical hatred of Christians

Really friggin' scary Jew hating....really scary because those who forget history are going to do it again


Confused's picture

I get your point.  And no disrespect is meant by my questioning. 

The men in charge of Unit 731 weren't tried by the Americans as war criminals. Which I find interesting. However, Rudolph Hess, was tried at Nurnberg. Hard to know what to believe. 

There is a lot of America hating for sure. My guess is the hate isn't directed at what it represents, but because of what it has become (or maybe it always was that way?). A corporate fascist state. I can only make arguments based on my own direct experience.

DavidPierre's picture


 The United States of America grants immunity to prosecution to Shiro Ishii, head of Japan’s notorious Unit 731 Program, and other major Japanese war criminals who, according to the U.S. Justice Department,

"conducted inhumane and frequently lethal pseudo-medical experiments on thousands of captured American prisoners and civilians, including live dissections”.

 Compared to Ishii, the much better known Joseph Mengele, also rescued from prosecution by the U.S., is a bumbling amateur.

Experiments were conducted by Ishii and his co-conspirators on Chinese and Korean prisoners at Ping Fung in occupied northern China, included infecting people with bubonic plague (via infected rats), anthrax, typhus, typhoid (put into wells), cholera (given to children on infected rice cakes) and glanders, which causes flesh to rot and fall off.

The victims were then dissected while still alive.

Ishii and his accomplices referred to their victims as "maruta" or "logs" since they were nothing but objects to be experimented with.

It is estimated that over 250,000 people died in China as result of Japanese biological warfare during World War Two.

Over 30,000 died when infected rats were released after the war ended.

Ishii and the others provide the U.S. military with the results of their experiments to be used in the U.S. biological warfare program and they are then free to walk off into the sunset leaving the U.S. government to apply their results of their hard work.

Ishii lectured and worked at the U.S. Army's biological warfare laboratories at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Other unprosecuted mass murderers and war criminals in Unit 731 become pillars of American controlled post-war Japan.

One becomes the governor of Tokyo, another becomes president of the Japanese Medical Association and another will become head of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

DavidPierre's picture
ANTI-AMERICAN? Whenever anyone dares to point out the painfully obvious fact that the U.S. and its leaders have for two hundred years consistently acted in a fashion diametrically opposed to the values which America claims to represent, that person is instantly accused of being anti-American.

Am I anti-American? I don't think so.  But, if believing in free speech and real democracy is anti-American, then I guess I am. If believing that a government should not lie endlessly is anti-American, then I guess I am. If believing that a government should not spy on its own citizens is anti-American, then I guess I am. If believing that a government should not kidnap, torture and murder is anti-American, then I guess I am. If believing that a government shouldn't slaughter millions of innocent people simply to further enrich the same old handful of psychopathic bastards and their offspring is anti-American, then I guess I am.

ColonelCooper's picture

And as often as I may or may not find myself agreeing with something you say, I always find myself irritated by your posts.  Delivery? Condescension? Just sayin...

DavidPierre's picture


"You can't always get what you want

But If you try sometimes

You get what you need"

Just sayin...

ColonelCooper's picture

Fair enough comeback since I kind of jumped in flaming from out of nowhere.

Must be my lack of style that keeps me from recognizing it when I see it. 

DavidPierre's picture

 "...clueless... on the left coast-...":


 On August 6th, the U.S. commits the most murderous war crime in history when it becomes the first and only country ever to use the atomic bomb in warfare at Hiroshima, Japan.

The U.S. had broken the Japanese diplomatic code and knew first hand that Japan was on the verge of military collapse.

Shortly before Hiroshima, the U.S. had killed 80,000 civilians in a single night in the fire-bombing of Tokyo. The country was utterly devastated and, with its oil supplies cut off, militarily finished.

The Hiroshima bombing results in the immediate deaths of 150,000 people, almost all of them civilians plus twelve U.S. Navy flyers in the Hiroshima city jail.

Another 300,000 Japanese will die lingering, horrible deaths from radiation burns and as a result of radiation poisoning.

 Fully documented offers of surrender by Japan are deliberately ignored, over the objections of many prominent Allied and U.S. military figures and many of the scientists who had developed the bomb.

Dropping the bomb achieved no legitimate military purpose but served to test the bomb’s effectiveness, to make a threatening demonstration of U.S. military might against its own ally, the Soviet Union, and ensured that Japan was occupied by the U.S. and not by the Soviet Union which was bound by agreement to enter the war against Japan two days after Hiroshima and would likely have occupied all or part of the country if the the U.S. hadn't dropped the bomb.

A week after Hiroshima, an atomic bomb is dropped by the U.S. on Nagasaki resulting in the instantaneous deaths of 140,000 people. The total death toll of the two bombs is now over one million, almost all civilians.

In addition to being a war crime, although they don't count when the USSA commit them, the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was a “scientific” experiment to determine the differences in yield and effect between the two types of nuclear bomb which had been developed: the uranium 235 bomb dropped on Hiroshima versus the plutonium type dropped on Nagasaki.

 The deceptively-named U.S. Department of Energy still lists the nuclear annihilation of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "TESTS".


 "...you should duct tape your mouth shut until you get some real history under your belt...  same thing applies to slavery and the Indian wars in the US, but start with the real easy stuff first..."


More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

Easy big guy...it's easy to throw stones 70 years after... A lot of Americans dies fighting Japan in the Pacific theater.  Remember , there are 3 sides to every story, your side , their side and the truth.  Don't preach to people that you know everything and they are simpletons. It only makes you look small...Just saying...

SheHunter's picture

Yeah and the truth hurts.  So what if many Americans died fighting Japan?  That does not make us right.  We needed to test and compare our bombs.  Do some reading on the subject MoreSeller.  You grew up in the America Does No Wrong generation methinks.

Confused's picture

Agree with your premise, however, the original comment came off as:

preaching to people that you know everything and they are simpletons


Just saying. ;-P

DavidPierre's picture

A tip of my hat to you.

'Confused'... not really!

locinvestor's picture

What does this mean? Potentially lots of "town hall meetings" where Homeland Security and other agencies will try to reassure the public that it's ok. And various people will say I don't f*****g believe you! Kind of like when the AIDS crisis started.

How many "Terror Alert Color Coded Warnings" have we had? Does anyone keep track? Does anyone know what the range of colors is? Does anyone care what Janet Napolitano says?

kaiserhoff's picture

Over the next few days, the US Navy will perform many small miracles of logistics and mercy.  The rest of the world would not attempt this, but my bet is that the squids will pull it off without much fuss.  Thanks for your courage and skills, gentlemen.  Hail and well met.

disclaimer:  This coumbaya moment does not extend to football season;)

George Washington's picture

Good luck and God bless to our courageous men and women in uniform who will put their lives on the line to help the people of Japan!

dark pools of soros's picture

how'd they do in Katrina?


this is about 20 times worse


kaiserhoff's picture

They were not allowed in, thanks to a Dim Mayor, and a Dim Governor, but the national guard restored law and order in looter land, as the cops went AWOL.  Thanks for asking.

hardcleareye's picture

Kaiser, you must have taken a catnap during this section of American history!!!!!

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention (in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807) of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits members of the Army, and Air Force, from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.

kaiserhoff's picture

There was an Army Air Corp in 1878?  Who knew?  Thanks for the cite.  Now if we could just restore the rule of law.

akak's picture

... but the national guard restored law and order in looter land, as the cops went AWOL.

Ah, I think you are forgetting about all the BlackWater mercenaries, whose very first priority was illegally confiscating all firearms from law-abiding citizens.  Let's not rewrite history, OK?

eaglefalcon's picture

Stay calm, relax, and chill


Rest assured that the chance of some Japanese nuclear power plant meltdown seriously affecting the west coast is as slim as the probability that the BenBernanke will launch QE4 and tank the dollar and treasuries

Racer's picture

and Chernobyl didn't affect the UK... until it did

Fred Hayek's picture

California realtor:  "Get 'em while they're hot!"

SparkyvonBellagio's picture

Lead prices will be going through the roof.

Dip your Hugo Boss in lead, but don't let the kids eat the flakes.

Looks like life is going to be changed and a real challenge for all going forward


Kinda sucks to be downwind of this thing.

Really sucks to be living on top of it.

Good luck to all of those in Japan.


Cheers,,,, I guess. 

ebworthen's picture

Ready the Chinooks, the sand, and the cement.

I pity the folks who have to try and contain that mess, I hope they can get out alive.

goldfish1's picture

Unsung heroes. May they succeed.