Thursday, January 3, 2013

California, Colorado worst affected by initial Fukushima fallout in North America

That is what an official survey shows:

Gregory A. Wetherbee et al., Fission Products in National Atmospheric Deposition Program—Wet Deposition Samples Prior to and Following the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Incident, March 8–April 5, 2011. United States Geological Survey 2012. Open accessLINK

Although other areas of the country have also been affected, the worst measure was in Los Angeles, followed by other California sites and also Colorado:

NADP sites where USGS measured 137Cs in precipitation samples.
Dot size represents relative deposition amounts (0.8 – 240 Bq/m²)

US radiological institutions claim that the fallout was not risky to human health:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency routinely monitors the potential radioactive exposure of the U.S. population as part of its “RadNet.” According to the U.S. EPA, the short-term exposure of the U.S. population is unlikely to have any significant health impact.

However do not forget that there is no such thing as harmless radiation level.

I find notable that no data for Hawaii, probably the most affected area has been released.

Sources: NADP, University of Illinois, EneNews


  1. This is interesting. Has any impact been measured in Asia - which is much closer to Japan. Did the radiation spread to North America due to some air-currents or the rotation of Earth.

    I hope it does not happen, but if there is an explosion in Fukushima, would we be sure which direction the radiation would spread in? East or West?

    1. I understand that most radiation went via the air and ocean currents to the USA. This is no novelty: the Japanese launched balloon-bombers against the USA in WWII, with little effect but using the same principles.

      However the data survey in East Asia is not well known and parts of Far East Russia especially and also areas of Korea and Eastern China may have been affected to some extent. Claims by Vietnam of uranium in pine needles very soon after the Fukushima accident must have been caused by some other older origin, like Pacific Ocean or Chinese nuclear tests (or whatever else), because there was no time for them to accumulate in the pines when they made the claim and also uranium is too heavy and rare to travel so far by the air.

      There is a lot of lack of information in any case. And whatever the case the problem is still unsolved and, as far as I can tell, unsolvable, even at the provisional levels of patching of Chernobyl (because of the high water table proper of coasts).

      Whatever the case each of these disasters is radioactive poisoning (locally and in a more diluted way globally also) FOREVER because most radioactive isotopes have half-lives that last for centuries or millennia and we'd need to go through many many such half-lives in order to reduce severe contamination to trivial amounts. Nobody should live in the areas near Fukushima or Chernobyl except specialized adults who know the risks (children suffer the most because they are growing and incorporate a lot of external materials that adults only do to a much lesser extent).

      You can find some more information under the label "nuclear catastrophe" but you will have to browse through many posts, as it has been a focus of this blog in the last years.


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