Unlike Hank who is not too concerned, I am less optimistic. There is definitely serious radiation going on. According to Bloomberg, passengers from planes from Japan set off radiation detector alarms at American airports. The explosion at one of the nuclear plants also sent plumes of radioactive material in the air -- hundreds or radioactive spent fuel rods where shot sky high. While the Japanese (and even American) governments are playing it all down -- as one would expect of them to try and keep panic induced chaos -- independent organizations are mentioning alarming levels of radiation.
|An artist's illustration of a hypothetical possibility.|
|A 2007 study showed that pollution from Japan|
could reach America in about 7 days.
|An illustration indicating how the Chernobyl disaster |
affected many parts of Europe thousands of kilometres
away from where the nuclear reactor meltdown took place.
As we learned from the Chernobyl disaster which likely smaller in scale to the Japan incident, the radiation could seriously affected many parts of the world for years to come. You can read more about the Chernobyl disaster and long-term after effects here. Back to Japan. They have been using (sea) water to cool down the reactors and some of this water have been leaking out -- back into the sea? Also, some of the plants continue to smoke -- definitely radio active. Even if this smoke do not go into the higher atmosphere, it will still affect the local areas. How will this radiation affect the surrounding seas? How will it affect the food supplies, not only of Japan, but of Korea? With the Chernobyl incident, certain European countries had their citizens only eat tinned food for six months, for fear that the fresh produce (and soil) might be contaminated.
A good acquaintance of mine suggested that I get an emergency backpack ready, with at least some basics, like my passport and the like, in it just in case. In the meantime I'm going to start eating seaweed like crazy. (Seaweed contains potassium iodine which fills up your thyroid with healthy iodine, making contaminated radio-active iodine less likely to be absorbed by the body.)