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An Austrian web site has released plume model data here. I don't read the language, so all I have done is look at the imagery.

end update ...................................................

The United Nations and the United States government are modeling the transport and dispersion of the radioactive plume from the Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis, but they are not releasing the results to the public. Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) has a center called NARAC that has supercomputers to predict the consequences of nuclear incidents, but the New York Times was only able to get some results, likely from the Livermore modeling, through confidential sources.

On Wednesday, the agency declined to release its Japanese forecast, which The New York Times obtained from other sources. The forecast was distributed widely to the agency’s member states.

LLNL's secure login states that NARAC has the capabilities to predict the consequences of nuclear incidents.

NARAC provides airborne hazards predictions of the consequences of radiological, nuclear, chemical, and biological releases. Under the DOE, NARAC “provides real-time computer predictions of the atmospheric transport of material from radioactive releases and of the downwind effects on health and safety” (National Response Framework, Nuclear / Radiological Incident Annex). Under DHS auspices, NARAC is currently the primary provider of Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC) products.

The last image from the Times article shows the plume reaching southern California on Friday. However, because the plume is aloft and southern California may not have rain, there may be no fallout from the plume. Moreover, the plume may be very dilute as the article explains. The figure obtained from confidential sources by the Times indicates that radioactivity in air over California will be diluted to about 1 percent or less of the levels at the source in Japan.

March 18 2:00 AM

A forecast by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows how weather patterns this week might disperse radiation from a continuous source in Fukushima, Japan. The forecast does not show actual levels of radiation, but it does allow the organization to estimate when different monitoring stations, marked with small dots, might be able to detect extremely low levels of radiation. Health and nuclear experts emphasize that any plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States. Source

The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko, said Monday that the plume posed no danger to the United States. “You just aren’t going to have any radiological material that, by the time it traveled those large distances, could present any risk to the American public,” he said in a White House briefing.

Chairman Jaczco's conclusion that the plume poses no danger to the U.S. seems very reasonable. However, he should not be afraid to show us the plume dispersion model results that support his position. The U.S. Navy saw fit to move its ships away from the coast of Japan as a precaution. Clearly, the U.S. Navy wouldn't reposition it's ships if there was nothing to be concerned about near the coast of Japan.

Click on weather map to see warning statement.

Earlier this week, the leading edge of the tangible plume was detected by the Navy’s Seventh Fleet when it was operating about 100 miles northeast of the Japanese reactor complex. On Monday, the Navy said it had repositioned its ships and aircraft off Japan “as a precautionary measure.”

Moreover, studies of the Chernobyl accident show that the level of radioactive contamination on the ground at distant sites such as Scotland and Germany were affected by rain events that rained out radioactive isotopes from the plume.

Because the Fukushima event has apparently had nothing close to the levels of radioactive release that Chernobyl did, the 2 events aren't comparable in terms of levels of radioactivity at this time. However, the atmospheric processes are similar.  On Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the model results reported by the Times ends, northern California has a major rain storm. That rain storm could rain out the radiation that was predicted to be present in the plume offshore of California hours earlier at the end of the model run.

The University of Hawaii's weather site shows strong winds across the Pacific, well below jet stream levels, at about 13,000 feet. At jet stream levels winds are much stronger.

I ran a particle trajectory model to gain insight about the speed and track of radioactive particles across the Pacific. Because wind speeds are very high across the north Pacific now, a common situation in March, radioactive particles may quickly cross the Pacific, in about 4 days. Plumes that cross quickly will tend to disperse less.

I trust the reassuring words spoken today, about the radiation risks to the U.S, by President Obama.

Second, I know that many Americans are also worried about the potential risks to the United States. So I want to be very clear:  We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it’s the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific.  Let me repeat that:  We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific.  That is the judgment of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission and many other experts.

However, because there is an enormous inventory of radioisotopes present in the fuel rods and spent fuel at the Fukushima reactor sites, a full melt down or spent fuel fire could emit a far more radioactive plume than has been emitted to date. It is conceivable, if unlikely, that significant levels of fallout could affect the U.S. Publishing the model results would help verify the claims made by the NRC and President Obama. The government should not be keeping the plume model results secret. Secrecy will lead to fear and suspicion.

Originally posted to FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks, Nuclear Free DK, and Japan Nuclear Incident Liveblogs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (203+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckydog, Dreaming of Better Days, Miep, Brainwrap, mightymouse, Empty Vessel, JekyllnHyde, Wheever, antirove, Wendys Wink, blueoasis, gchaucer2, jamess, mithra, Cuseology, happymisanthropy, Ender, Ian S, bythesea, ekyprogressive, martinjedlicka, Prognosticator, RiaD, DawnN, cosmic debris, Mary Mike, blueoregon, kevinpdx, jabney, ctsteve, maggiejean, Floande, Muggsy, DEMonrat ankle biter, mahakali overdrive, erratic, BarackStarObama, Mogolori, greycat, Abra Crabcakeya, jethrock, joanneleon, chimene, Shotput8, pgm 01, Trendar, shaggies2009, KimD, edsbrooklyn, soothsayer99, Julie Gulden, kingneil, jim d, Alumbrados, Morague, Agathena, Simplify, Ignacio Magaloni, Debs2, wu ming, thomask, drnononono, Roger Fox, silence, Pescadero Bill, Justina, yet another liberal, NJpeach, conchita, OlyPenDem, Sandino, mikolo, Glen The Plumber, Ekaterin, kayhag, Dave925, BusyinCA, solesse413, vacantlook, mofembot, vahana, ninkasi23, ruscle, ZhenRen, pvmuse, yuriwho, Faroutman, eeff, Annalize5, Kentucky Kid, jayden, begone, Magnifico, Nulwee, a lynn, Friend of the court, justalittlebitcrazy, Andhakari, magnetics, ganymeade, stevenaxelrod, Angie in WA State, WI Deadhead, aitchdee, DWG, Quilldriver, grollen, Mike Taylor, cassidy3, HeartlandLiberal, skywriter, juliesie, LamontCranston, hideinplainsight, triv33, Ginger1, Cassiodorus, pat bunny, madgranny, fidel, MidwestTreeHugger, beach babe in fl, raines, mamamedusa, concernedamerican, indyada, Loonesta, Florene, Don Quixote, Executive Odor, emmasnacker, larmos, ohmyheck, elziax, ScienceMom, Captain Sham, aoeu, Jake Williams, Oldowan, Snud, KS Rose, sillia, sngmama, sydneyluv, hester, CA Nana, zerelda, AZ Independent, One Pissed Off Liberal, Olkate, Statusquomustgo, dirtfarmer, Joieau, Alice Venturi, DeadB0y, bigrivergal, Athena, 88kathy, Tinfoil Hat, roses, bibble, SeaTurtle, MaryinHammondsport, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Irons33, jazzizbest, opinionated, Sychotic1, ricklewsive, dotsright, Shadan7, spooks51, Catte Nappe, elengul, cotterperson, houyhnhnm, Athenian, HoundDog, smileycreek, Matt Z, Zinman, mrkvica, kck, side pocket, jfromga, millwood, science nerd, An Affirming Flame, QuestionAuthority, splashy, Terranova0, cookseytalbott, Pluto, pensivelady, dadadata, neroden, Oh Mary Oh, means are the ends, northsylvania, Albanius, KateCrashes, kurt, MJ via Chicago

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:31:41 PM PDT

  •  I'll read this, Fish (15+ / 0-)

    I'm kind of depressed now.

    I'll read this, Fish.

    You all other people go read this too. Fish is about reality.

    Everybody about reality here rocks. Deal.

    The revolution will not be televised. -V-

    by Miep on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:43:52 PM PDT

  •  Wow, we're all going to die and it's a secret. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm very, very, very, very, very, very glad that the feds are covering up the effect of raising the sea level two feet.

    This should have the effect of damping future Tsunamis because of the increased depth of the ocean.

    Over two hundred thousand people were killed in the Indonesian Tsuami a few years back, although none of them had the luxury of dying from a nuclear related event.   This proves that raising sea levels is a good idea, since future Tsunamis will be more or less permanent.

    I am also glad that the Feds are covering up the plumes of polyaromatic hydrocarbons coming out of China, um, continuously for many decades, and of course, the plumes of oil coming out of the Gulf of Mexico.   This means I will never have to worry about gassing up my car, or panicing on a website because my coal plants are shut.

    In a way, it's probably not a bad thing that everyone in Japan has died from this grand nuclear accident which is the worst thing that has ever happened from energy use.     I would expect that they would have difficulty getting around because of the need to phase out high speed trains.

    Also there is good evidence that we will now ban buildings, since many people in this earthquake died from, um, buildings.   (Also terrorist events involving buildings leads us to suspect their safety.)

    I have heard reports that more than 400 people died in a high speed train connected with the Tsuami.   They might still be with us if they hadn't been in the train, and therefore trains have been eternally banned in Germany and many other countries.

    And then there's the matter of the collapsed dam, but we won't talk about that.

    I used to work with I-125, a radioactive isotope.   I could detect it relatively easily by use of a geiger counter.   I suspect that everyone should buy one, and if they detect anything, they should hold their breath indefinitely to prevent the risk of dying.

    •  Your point? (62+ / 0-)

      Trust what you are told without data?

      Nuclear power would not be having another crisis if nuclear engineers had listened to competent earth scientists. These power plants were poorly sited. The backup diesel systems weren't adequately protected from tsunamis.

      After the Indonesian M9.3 quake and killer tsunami, Japan should have reassessed the safety of these reactors.

      You don't get it.

      I'm for well managed nuclear power. We need every possible source of power that isn't from fossil fuels.

      You don't get it.

      Mismanagement and lack of trust is killing nuclear power.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:02:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is clear enough. (14+ / 1-)

        My point, in case you missed it, is that nuclear energy need not be risk free to be superior to everything else.

        Competent chemical engineers would not have built any refineries anywhere at any time because they all release plumes of contamination in normal operations, toxic carcinogenic plumes.

        There's lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of data on this point.

        Nobody is happy about this event.   I know I am not.

        I also note that the world would face a smaller risk from the used nuclear fuel if common sense had allowed it to have been reprocessed.

        In fact the world would face a smaller risk from everything, including climate change if the fuel had been reprocessed.

        I consider the reaction to this event to be, frankly, hysteric.    Of course I feel for those people who have, and will lose their lives, just as I felt - and wept - for the brave fire crews that lost their lives in the oil related terrorist event at the World Trade Center.

        But I consider that there is some very selective attention going on here.

        I have a diary in preparation on this point.

        All of the events I referred to in my sarcastic post actually correspond to real events.   It disgusts me that in the West the nuclear aspect has become a fetish and there is little balanced discussion of buildings, trains, cars, and the exploded burning refinery in Japan.

        The shutting of the German reactors yesterday in hysterical response to this natural disaster will kill people, all of whom will die from the increased use of dangerous fossil fuels.   That's a natural fact.

        The hysteria and panic will kill far more people than will die fighting to stabilize the reactors.

        Have a nice evening.

        •  Keep in mind. (12+ / 0-)

          Hydrocarbons may be destroying our planet, without any headline disasters. Just by doing what they do every day. Nuclear is an essential element of a smart energy policy for the next 50 years. An odd mixture of panic on the one hand, and irrational complacency on the other, may be our undoing as a species. Ironic.

          I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

          by doc2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:20:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Note my first diary was on sea wall failures (55+ / 0-)

          These reactors are wrecked because the sea walls failed to protect the back up power units.

          Sea walls also failed to protect thousands of people who died in the tsunami.

          I worked for years trying to get engineers to listen to earth scientists. My "fetish" isn't nuclear power. It's deniers of all sorts who ignore earth and environmental science.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:29:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Need not be risk free? (2+ / 0-)

          Nothing is risk free; but in your first comment, I laughed and got mad at the line, "none of them had the luxury of dying from a nuclear-related event." Please don't split my emotions like that anymore.

          Hyperbole will be the death of us all!

          by MrHinkyDink on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:39:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that it's a safe energy source (30+ / 0-)

          statistically. It's that when it goes awry, the damages are potentially far greater and more irreversible than when any other possible energy source meets with some uncontrollable human OR natural disaster. Repeat: the damages are potentially far greater because of how irreversible they are, and how long-ranging in both geographic and historical scope, compared with other power sources. While fossil fuels are absolutely dangerous in their own right -- I would argue too dangerous for human use -- we have more ability, however low, to reverse the damages done by these right now then we do by a potential major nuclear catastrophe given the lag time. Global warming is a serious issue. There's no doubt about this. None. But how quickly we are could incur major disaster on this planet, and with what degree of reversibility, seems to be a good reason to try to completely avoid nuclear power as well as to also combat fossil fuels.

          How is your attention any less selective?

          You've been in quite a number of diaries touting the grandeur of nuclear power through the false dichotomy of how evil fossil fuels are. And yet no one is embracing fossil fuels. At least not with the zeal that you display toward nuclear power as, to quote you, "superior to everything else."

          Moreover, it's best for people to focus selectively on one issue or another in order to best maximize their own efficacy. Your promotion of telling people to somehow work in an activist capacity for multiple issues has the potential to dilute good advocacy. If you care passionately about ending fossil fuel use, why don't you share with us all the work you do toward this end?

          It is obvious that we're only using nuclear power out of a desperation to stop global warming. What you call "panic," others might call "better analysis."

          Good evening to you as well.

          •  MO, I have a ton of respect for you and (15+ / 0-)

            I understand that this is a very emotional subject for you, given what you've been through medically.  

            But to be honest, there are other disasters that are just as bad or worse than a nuclear disaster... even one as bad as Chernobyl.  And there have been no other disasters anywhere near tha horrible, including the current one (so far).

            More people have died from a single chemical plant accident than died as a result of Chernobyl (including the ones who died immediately and those who died of cancer afterward).

            The effects of mountain top removal, coal burning, mercury contamination and discarded plastics on many ecosystems will be felt long after the levels of radiation are safe in Chernobyl.

            And finally, the effects of climate change will last thousands of years...

            I'm not saying the Nuclear power is a great idea, and I fully understand your personal reasons for opposing it.  

            However, I think it we need to consider it in the proper context as a possible alternative to fossil fuels... which my most calculations are much worse globally.

            "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

            by Hopeful Skeptic on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:00:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps I've just not articulated myself (11+ / 0-)

              well. But death is not the worst thing in the world, in my view. It's why you do, how you die, with what dignity you die, and for what reasons. But this gets into personal ideology which totally transcends my point. I hear what you're saying. I really think it's a neither-nor proposition, however (sic). I also think my views on this have absolutely nothing to do with my personal situation, other than that it's made me somewhat reflective about death in general. I'm not particularly scared of death, for what it's worth. It's the most natural thing in the world and something we all succumb to, in one form or another, at some point or another. But there's dying and then there's senseless violence.

              You're preaching to the choir about climate change, mountain top removal, coal, and so forth. These are all atrocities. And it's difficult to measure atrocities when the sum total is just atrocity.

              We ought be more prudent. And much, much better stewards of this planet.

              •  Another way to look at things (0+ / 0-)

                is that without modern power generation infrastructure - which to all accounts kills hundreds of thousands of people each year (most via coal) - the planet could not support nearly the number of people it now does.

                So, if you had your wish and all "dangerous" power magically went away overnight (or let's say in the next 10 years) there would not be hundreds of thousands of people dying each year - instead there would be hundreds of millions dying until a new "sustainable" equilibrium was reached (probably in the range of 10% of the planet's current human population).

                Sure, that might be a good thing in the long run.

                It'd be rather brutal in the short term, however.

            •  Wow. When you say (3+ / 0-)

              "the effects of climate change will last thousands of years..." it makes me shake my head. What a coincidence! The nasty waste products of nuclear power - hundreds of tons of it in those spent fuel pools at Fukushima and at every  other nuke on the planet - will last thousands of years too!

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:07:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that was kinda my point (0+ / 0-)

                None of the options that we have for maintaining our current lifestyle (in terms of energy and transportation, mostly) are great options.  But fossil fuels have the compound effect of adding to climate change on top of the death and environmental destruction they are currently causing... and nuclear doesn't.

                "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Given what's happening (0+ / 0-)

                  at Fukushima - which is by no means under control or anywhere near 'over' - how can you say with a straight face that nuclear doesn't have compound effects on top of death and environmental destruction? That makes no sense.

                  Some things are actually WORSE than carbon dioxide. Humanity will (like it or not) adjust to global climate change and survive. People will move uphill when the water rises, they will grow what can grow in their region if it's a few degrees warmer overall. Death and destruction are endemic in all ages here on planet earth, we'll learn to survive or we'll die. I see absolutely no good reason to commit mass suicide on top of it. YMMV.

                  Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                  by Joieau on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:15:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  maybe you misunderestood (0+ / 0-)

                    let me be clear... fossil fuels and nuclear BOTH have the capacity to create environmental destruction in the immediate future.  For fossil fuels this stems from both their extraction (MTR, etc) as well as their burning (murcury, NOX's SOX's)... these things are happening every day.

                    For nuclear this stems from catastrophic accidents, as the one we are currently witnessing.  Which, although horrific when they happen...  are actually pretty damn rare.

                    And for the record, millions of people will die of famine, drought and conflict as a result of climate change... you're awfully cavalier about that... why don't you consider that "mass suicide"? (And that is not even counting the entire ecosystems that will be wiped out... far beyond the cost in human lives)

                    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                    by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:50:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm afraid you may be right, that there is no way (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Recall, Hopeful Skeptic

                      we can lower our carbon usage fast enough to prevent catastrophic levels of climate change if we don't increase the use of nuclear power as a bridge.

                      I'm afriad you may be right, but it's a grim thought.

                      ANd the level of debate here at DKos, on this issue, makes me crazy.  There's so much dismissiveness on both sides, so much downplaying of the damage that both GW and nuclear power entail, and so much substitution of anger and contempt for detailed argument.

                      I assume if we use nukes as a bridge technology that we may end up with several dead areas like the one Chernobyl produced; or maybe worse.  And we'll end up with additional genetic damage to all species, ongoingly, for thousands of years.  That may, however, be preferable to the massive loss of species, the unprecedented die-offs, the desertification, the loss of land mass, the huge movements of climate refugees, the resource and territory wars, the increases in disease, etc., which catastrophic levels of climate change would involve.  Its a scenario so grim and multifacetted that it's almost impossible to even think about it clearly, yet we have to choose between that and risking our future in the hands of nuclear power corporations whose ethics and judgement are well known to be utterly inadequate.

                      I'm tired of listening to progressives call each other names and insult each others intelligence.

                      What I want is for someone to show me a realistic scenario in which we can shift to sustainable energy FAST ENOUGH to do without EITHER nukes or fossil fuels. But I haven't seen that yet.

                      If I have to pick between more nukes for the next two generations, or catastrophic levels of climate change, I'll pick the nukes and take my chances.

                      If we'd started dealing with climate change in the 70's, we wouldn't be facing this choice.

                      Exxon-Mobile executives and all their bought-and-paid-for climate deniers should be lined up and shot.

                      •  totally agree with everything in your comment (0+ / 0-)

                        especially this:

                        What I want is for someone to show me a realistic scenario in which we can shift to sustainable energy FAST ENOUGH to do without EITHER nukes or fossil fuels.

                        I'm actually undecided on whether we need nuclear or not as a bridge technology.

                        So I am striving to be as fact-based and non-dismissive as possible... while I may not be perfect on that score, hopefully I'm coming close in the entirety of my remarks on the subject.

                        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                        by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:51:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You do indeed avoid dismissiveness, & are a breath (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Hopeful Skeptic

                          of fresh air in that regard.

                          If you find people with serious expertise who give you grounds to believe we can transition while phasing out nukes, for heaven's sake do a diary, please.  Or several. :)   I'll be keeping an eye out.

                          At the very least, of course, we should be running any new nuclear plants as public utilities managed by an agency similar to NASA -- primarily science-based, with a heavy emphasis on safety, and no pressure to keep jacking up profits. (Profits from the sale of energy should go into developing renewables, upgrading the grid, etc.)  It's insane that we, the taxpayers, have to cover the huge risks of nuclear power, but private industry sucks up the profits, even though private industry has shown itself to be woefully inadequate at maintaining tight safety standards over time.  (See: BP, Exxon, etc.)

                          At this point the country has been pushed so far to the right that the possibility of the government running the nuke industry would cause the deaths of scores of pundits from terminal vapors.

                          But we should at least be putting out that proposal for discussion in the aftermath of the Japanese crisis.

                      •  He's wrong, we don't need nuclear power (0+ / 0-)

                        And new nuclear is worthless as a bridge, the lead time on construction is too long.  I'll go along with dismantling "old coal" before dismantling "old nuclear".

                        Massive deployment of solar together with very long transmission lines and pumped hydro could start today; efficiency improvements could start today.

                        It's a matter of political will.

                        Exxon-Mobile executives and all their bought-and-paid-for climate deniers should be lined up and shot.


                        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                        by neroden on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:55:20 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not like we haven't had (3+ / 0-)

                      many decades of prior warning on all this. We've known that our agricultural policies and practices were entirely unsustainable, all the way back to when they were implemented so we could score well on the production line against those evil Soviets. But we've kept it going, even three decades past when there were no more Soviets to beat on stupid propaganda wars. Kill the soil, poison the water, monocrop from sea to shining sea and what do you end up with? Famine. Duh. Exactly the same thing is true of our energy policies. Wars in the Middle East, meltdowns in Japan, billions of gallons of dumped oil in the Gulf... all of this illustrates the truth better than I could ever invent in my imagination. Hell, blowing up mountains that are themselves more ancient than life on this planet is a darned good illustration all by itself.

                      We've known for decades that our population growth rates were entirely unsustainable by unsustainable agricultural practices. But our erstwhile 'leaders' in the Teabagger enclave of Washington, D.C. are busy like fertile little bees cutting off funding for all family planning, birth control and abortion services. Even though SCOTUS decided 4 decades ago that women have a right to control who comes to and from their own bodies!

                      Human beings are incredibly stupid animals. Like a virus on the planet, we infect the host and then kill it with our insatiable greed. Not enough humans in any generation are willing to recognize how dangerous we really are, so nothing is ever done about anything, except to make things increasingly worse and worse. That's the lesson I've learned from 6 decades of paying attention. We're not good enough at living to go on living. And even if we were, death would still be universal in all generations.

                      I'm not a "hopeful" skeptic. I'm a realist. We can't save ourselves or any other species or the planet. We don't have that power, nor would we use it in that way if we did have the power. Especially not where there's wealth and power involved. And that's ALL of it.

                      All anyone need realize is that we developed nuclear technology for the express purpose of killing the greatest number of humans per bomb. We still prefer genocidal war over any other means of dealing with other people and developing resources. We're as stupid as the day the first hominid climbed down out of a tree in Africa and hit the savanna. It's never going to change unless WE change. I don't see that happening.

                      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

                      by Joieau on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:04:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree w/ the vast majority of your rant, Joieau (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mahakali overdrive, neroden

                        But I am hopeful that we can move in a positive direction... and potentially mitigate some of the damage that we dumb humans have wrought on the planet.

                        I have to be hopeful... even if it's the faintest sliver of hope, otherwise I would be paralyzed by despair.

                        "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                        by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:54:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Things are grim, as you say. Yet also, there (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hopeful Skeptic, neroden, Terranova0

                        are people working for positive change all over the world, and have been for decades. Consider population control, and the decades-long efforts of the UN.  Something like 16 countries have achieved population stability,and more are headed in that direction.  It can happen surprisingly fast. Since the death of Komeini in Iran, that country has gone from near biological max in population expansion to one of the lower rates, all through voluntary means.  The UN expects the human population to peak toward the end of this century or early in the next century, and decline from there.  It's still way, way too many people, but human beings are, in fact, capable of changing, even in such an instinct-driven, age-old area of behavior as population growth.

                        Our nature is not going to change fundamentally, but there is truly hope that we can learn to manage our nature better, and to build social stuctures dominated by our positive rather than our aggressive drives.

                        Don't give up hope.  Too many children, and too many non-human species, depend on our choices.

                  •  This is complete denialist bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hopeful Skeptic, neroden
                    Humanity will (like it or not) adjust to global climate change and survive. People will move uphill when the water rises, they will grow what can grow in their region if it's a few degrees warmer overall.
            •  bullshit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              nuclear energy kills people 20 years later. Therefore big money  interest can just hide the cause and effect.

              Bad is never good until worse happens

              by dark daze on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:32:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  and the same could be said for (0+ / 0-)

                coal, mercury, plastics, etc which are all related to fossil fuels.  Yet we all are willing to accept those risks in order to maintain our lifestyles.

                My point was not that nuclear is a great alternative... but that it's not really so much worse than everything else (as MO is making it out to be).

                "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

                by Hopeful Skeptic on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:57:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yeah, still a massive false choice (0+ / 0-)

              Let's compare the relative benefits and costs of the dozens of different solar techs, the dozen different geothermal techs, the several different hydro techs, the different wind techs, and the millions of efficiency moves, as well as comparing various batteries, pumped-storage hydro, and transmission lines....

              All rate "cleaner" than nuclear power, easily, and most rate cheaper.  All rate "cleaner" than fossil fuels, and many rate cheaper in the long run.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:53:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No, you are completely wrong. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            While fossil fuels are absolutely dangerous in their own right -- I would argue too dangerous for human use -- we have more ability, however low, to reverse the damages done by these right now then we do by a potential major nuclear catastrophe given the lag time.
          •  Potential damages (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KS Rose

            Potential damages msssively overstated - assuming one does not build a reactor in a City. We are getting sick from other polutants - we get bombarded with radiation every day - that is how we have evolved living on this planet.

            •  Jeebus (19+ / 0-)
              we get bombarded with radiation every day - that is how we have evolved living on this planet.

              So, obviously, there's nothing wrong with getting bombarded with a whole lot more radiation.

              It's like watching a film strip produced by GE around 1962.

              Will the revolution be easier if we HR each other a lot?

              by JesseCW on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:05:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your statement is mind boggling (10+ / 0-)

              on so many levels it is hard to know where to start to unravel that mess.

              First, I detect many nuclear advocates on this thread that have come here to disrupt. If you are one, I don't know, but it seems likely.

              Many nuclear reactors are near cities and do pose huge risks to those populations if things were to go wrong.

              Yes, we do get bombarded with radiation every day and the body has the capacity to repair damaged DNA, IF the healing systems are not overloaded with too much radiation for those systems to keep up. Hence, limiting x-rays, sun exposure, home testing kits for radon etc. In essence radiation is always bad for the body, it is only our ability to heal from exposure that that can make any level tolerable. Overwhelm the systems and much damage is the result. This does not even take into account that many people have a bad diet and and are already suffering from many diseases like diabetes and cancer, and already have a compromised ability to heal from "normal" exposure.

              Because we are getting sick from "other pollutants", it further compromises our ability to respond to excess radiation because our systems are already overwhelmed. That would be a negative thing. Your statement is bizarre. It is like saying, lets burn the house down because the kitchen is on fire, instead of offering to help hose down the kitchen.

              And lastly, Just look to Japan at how insidious the radiation risk is. Instead of being able to rescue and mourn from the twin disasters of earthquake and tsunami, they are now wandering around in fear wondering if they will contract cancer. The disaster has not completely unfolded yet. It is like the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

              Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

              by Babsnc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:55:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nearly all reactors are in cities (0+ / 0-)

              or very near them, rendering your comment irrelevant even if true.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:56:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh really? The BP Gulf spill was a piece of cake? (4+ / 0-)

            The measurable effects of radiation spills is glaringly obvious to anyone with a geiger counter for many many years.

            But, how long will the BP spill affect sea life in the Gulf?  Birds? all the other organisms that depend on a balanced ecosystem that has been thrown out of whack?

            When a fly ash heap from a coal plant suddenly breaks down and leaches into the aquifers, how long are its effect felt by life in the surrounding area?

            NNadir is right when he calls the reaction to this accident "hysteric".  The reactions have been totally disproportionate to the realities.

            Close to 1000 atmospheric tests were done in the Pacific in the 50's and 60's.  The radiation from those blasts should probably be more worrisome than this accident for North America.

            And that is not to lessen what the people of Japan are going through.  It is a terrible accident that will cost many lives and disrupt many more.  But, let's get some perspective, please.

            •  You know, when you start (5+ / 0-)

              listing all the awful consequences of fossil fuels in order to dismiss the awful consequences of nukes, it just makes nukes look as bad or worse than fossil fuels. Which, of course, they are. All the worse because the garbage they produce is deadly for 10,000 years.

              This line of nuke defense isn't going to work anymore.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:12:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  HRed for false choice. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm completely tired of this bullshit.  We can go with all renewables, we don't need fossil fuels or nuclear, this is fact, it's just expensive up front.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:57:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  NNadir: Your post is the model of an overexcited, (9+ / 0-)

          breathless tone: read again the diary you just posted to.

          I hope you emulate in your diary FishOutofWater's serious presentation of information, qualified statements, work ethic, and respect for his audience.

          I also hope you stop attempting to write satire. I bet you are better at discussing what you have in mind--just remember not to insult your audience.

          The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

          by Ignacio Magaloni on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:26:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I keep telling NNadir he's not funny (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Picot verde, Ignacio Magaloni

            But he won't listen to me. He just gets all yelly when I bring up VERMONT YANKEE and how they keep finding "little" leaks that have made their way into the aquifer and Connecticut river.

            "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

            by Wheever on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're right about the hysteria (7+ / 0-)

          We saw it with the BP blowout last summer, and now with Fukushima.

          And Now lots of us are going to use the hysteria as a political tool to get wind and solar. Afterall, why waste a perfectly good crisis?

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:46:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Change your sigline. (5+ / 0-)

          "Arrogance Kills" might be an appropriate alternative.

        •  I'm going to interpret this as similar to: (6+ / 0-)

          "I am going to kill you with the jawbone of an ass, because jawbones of asses are factually safer than really big handguns."

          Now, I'll openly admit that I've been pro-nuke; that I am and will continue to be, but I'll also note that the twenty-some GE Mark-1 units still in service in the US are still running w/ the same design flaws pointed out in the '70s---flaws that are eerily similar to the B/W PWR unit that failed at TMI in PA.  PBR (pebblebed reactor designs) do hold some better promise for safety, but the risks associated w/ bringing a fission unit online that's anywhere near a poulation center is beyond the palest of the pale---and anywhere near a major fault compounds that risk exponentially.

          I'm finding myself wondering:  If I were to take all the money spent on Fukushima---from the initial concept, through construction. licensing, and maintenance/upkeep, and right through to the eventual end (which now appears to be a Chernobyl-like burial and long-term monitoring of the encasement)---and throw every last yen into solar/wind, what would Japan look like today?

          Oil and nuclear.

          Jawbones of asses and handguns.

          Why not get rid of both?

          I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

          by Liberal Panzer on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:52:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  NNadir, I like me my German hysterical women. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, dirtfarmer, neroden, Terranova0

          who actually aren't afraid to lose face and change their minds, because they use their brains.

        •  Your point (0+ / 0-)

          is an ideal world not the real world.

        •  Your point is clear (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You love nukes.

          What could BPossibly go wrong?? -RLMiller

          by nosleep4u on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:42:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The issue (9+ / 0-)

          for many is not "pro" or "con" Nuclear power.  IF nuclear power is going to be used then the foxes CAN NOT guard the hen house.  Companies running a nuclear power plant need to be concerned with safety first and not just proffit.  

          The same is true with deepwater drilling for oil.  Safey was not put first and look what happened.  

          Money and profit are always first in this global corporate world we live in.  That needs to change.  

        •  It does not matter (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sydneyluv, Joieau, mrkvica

          how safe it can be.  As long as corporations are running anything they will  place short-term profits over public safety.  As long as goverments allow corporations to police the safety of their operations for short-term profit gain the public is screwed.  

        •  you are full of shit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, neroden

          sorry but you are.  I live in NJ, a bunch of friends have worked in various plants, and ALL of them have had incidents of all types of health problems, that almost none of us other friends, none nuke workers have.

          Sell your shit somewhere else, anyone who has lived and worked among those that work in that field, knows working in nuke facility is opening you up to all types of health concerns.  To say otherwise is bullshit.

          My uncle worked in the navy, died years later of a very rare cancer.  The doctor when diagnosing the cancer, said, "let me guess, you worked iclose proximity to this and that"  and my uncle said how do you know that. He said, basically that is the only way you get tis cancer.

          He died, yes he was 60 some, so he want killed til 30 or so years after exposure.  He still lost 10 to 30 years of his life.  All his siblings are healthy and living fine into their late 70s so far.

          SO spare me that nuclear energy is safe.  Yeah oil is shitty too, but thats not the point.

          Bad is never good until worse happens

          by dark daze on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:30:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Data is Nice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, neroden
          Competent chemical engineers would not have built any refineries anywhere at any time because they all release plumes of contamination in normal operations, toxic carcinogenic plumes.

          There's lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of data on this point.

          I'd love to see some of that data.  I was under the impression that refineries and all sorts of other chemical processing plants were being built long before their cumulative toxic effects were known.  The first oil refineries were built in the 1850's.  I always thought the effects of hydrocarbons on living organisms were studied as a result of observing their effects on human health.  I'm pretty sure the word, "carcinogenic," wasn't even coined until after WWI.

          At least some of what you describe as hysteria, I see as caution.  If I have a complaint regarding how data is used in determining public policy with regard to public risk, it's that short-term outcome always seems to take precedence over long-term outcome when monetary profit is the driving force behind progress.

        •  No one has suggested risk free. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          My point, in case you missed it, is that nuclear energy need not be risk free to be superior to everything else.
          No one here is fixated on that stale strawman. If you see otherwise show it.

          A public push for testing would be embraced by a responsible industry.

          As someone else said earlier IOW, nuclear power stations can be built to withstand earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorism whatever at maximal degrees. But like Space Shuttles, passengers jets, and cars, nuclear power stations can't be built to withstand the profit motive to evade standards and regulations.

    •  I get your point...... (19+ / 0-)

      ....grand catastrophe directly threatening one of the world's most populous and culturally significant cities -- just a cost of doing business.

      It's a cool calculation that ignores the human tragedy and suggests it is folly to examine the wisdom of nuclear energy or the way on which we obtain it because life is not safe.

      That truly is a chilling nadir.

      British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

      by Bensdad on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:08:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm curious, if for the last week the winds (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Onomastic, ScienceMom, Joieau, mrkvica

      had been blowing towards Tokyo, would you have written the same thing?

    •  Are you still proud of the diary you wrote (12+ / 0-)

      poo-pooing the risk of earthquakes causing meltdowns in Japan?

      Will the revolution be easier if we HR each other a lot?

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:06:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This snarky, hyperbolic bit a encusted poop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      doesn't seem to be at all related to the calm and factual tone of the diary.  Did you even bother to read it before offering this odiforous contribution to the discussion?

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:01:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  oh, and? (6+ / 0-)

    Trust Fish. Give me lots of mojo. Make his work get all over the Internet.

    Promote the living shit out of everything FooW does here. Do it.

    If necessary, be sneaky.

    Do it. Spread the truth.


    The revolution will not be televised. -V-

    by Miep on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:46:59 PM PDT

  •  Is it possible that (17+ / 0-)

    there  is an agreement with the Japanese that the results will not be released -- to a certain point?  I know DOE had to get permission for the flyovers.

    Getting the Japanese to accept the American detection equipment was a delicate diplomatic maneuver, which some Japanese officials originally resisted

    from NYTs Radiation Spreads  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:03:19 PM PDT

  •  I'm worried about the very toxic (15+ / 0-)

    Plutonium risks;

    are they, will they happen?

    assuming the worse -- will it keep "giving",
    until experts find the right "Junk Shot" to shut it down?

    this article is somewhat reassuring:

    from NPR, quoting the Union of Concern Scientists:

    I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
    -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by jamess on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:03:33 PM PDT

  •  Forcast is for rain Sunday in the San Diego area (7+ / 0-)

    I have an old military surplus geiger counter that I am going to try to repair and get operational by then.

  •  if the people more than 50 miles away are not (9+ / 0-)

    experiencing dangerous levels of radiation, why should people 4,000 miles away be concerned at this point, Fish?

    Are you advocating for a public release of the "Worst case scenario (i.e. full meltdown of multiple reactors)" modeling?  If so, wouldn't that cause unnecessary panic, since we are nowhere near such a situation (yet, luckily!)?

    "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

    by Hopeful Skeptic on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:14:35 PM PDT

  •  When it comes to an energy power that (8+ / 0-)

    releases toxic material into the air and is carried and affects other countries, i feel it becomes an international issue. Hang what the Japanese gov't wants. I'm trying not to worry, because i don't have the money to run or to go to a doctor. But, i still feel it's better to up front with any information than hide it from ppl for fear of losing support for nuclear power.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:19:53 PM PDT

  •  As during the gusher in the gulf, (10+ / 0-)

    as witness to dramatic changes in the polar zones and oceans in general, you inform, raise awareness, share expertise. Thanks for the time you put in then, and now.

    Your research opens windows where needed. I agree that the governments involved should provide as much transparency as possible. All the responses to previous recent disasters were not managed well by obfuscation and shell games. It would really be nice for a change if that lesson was taken to heart. It matters. Lives depend on it.

    Thanks again Fish.

    Normally I do a mental daily rain dance here in the desert. I think I will refrain this week.

  •  Either this is bullshit, in which case it (0+ / 0-)

    is bullshit, or it is true, in which case it is very depressing. So any way I interpret this diary, it's not something I want to be reading about this evening. Good day.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:22:21 PM PDT

  •  Think of what California "fallout" (14+ / 0-)

    would do to the rest of CONUS, given our W-to-E weather pattern!  Think what it would do to our food supply - all that produce (besides wheat, corn, soy, etc.) that we eat, grown in CA.

    Our whole nation needs to INSIST that CA nuke plants on faultlines need to be shut down immediately and the plants re-assessed for safety and viability, and the situation assessed for... sanity.  (Plus non-CA plants on faults, like Indian Point in NY.)

    The damn Circle of Fire is ACTIVE!  Knock, knock... Anybody!?!

    It would also be nice if oil and gas industry would stop fracking shaking the GROUND everywhere, especially near the Yellowstone caldera!  

    •  Fresno is trying to build (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prognosticator, mrkvica, neroden

      that's right, in the country's most productive ag area they are trying to build one. Oh and ya, it's faulty, it's populated and gee can we talk about water....

      As for fruits and veggies this year, yesterday I bought all that my freezer will store. Rice, flour, and olive oil from a time before the winds came carrying who knows. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention a couple boxes of wine, I think I might want to remain blurry. For those of you who are thinking I'm being a fool, how do you know, they aren't releasing information?

      Remove BP's corporate charter for environmental terrorism.

      by Picot verde on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:40:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't eat bananas (8+ / 0-)

    It makes interesting news to talk about an invisible radioactive cloud heading to California.  Scary as it sounds, us Californians are likely to face far greater danger from eating one banana.  

    A medium-sized banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. [Potassium-40] makes up 0.0117% of this, or about 53 μg, which produces 14 radioactive decays per second (dps), or 0.37 nCi of radiation. If the banana is eaten, the dose equivalent is about 0.01 mrem, which is equivalent to 0.1 μSv

    This is not to scare anyone from eating bananas.  They are safe as long as you do not eat them in spectacular quantity.  Let's just use the humble banana to keep things in perspective: if you are not scared of a banana, you don't need to worry about an invisible plume of radiation invading California from 5,000 miles away.

    You have the power to change America. Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Will.

    by CA Pol Junkie on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:29:50 PM PDT

    •  The banana example? (7+ / 0-)

      The example demonstrates that eating a banana exposes the consumer to a dose of 0.1 μSv.  A normal hourly dose is on the order of 0.3 to 0.6 μSv/hr.  

      The question of interest, however, is the radioactivity of the plume as it reaches the US West Coast.  If the article quoted by FooW is accurate, the dose will be measured in tenths of μSv/hr (a reduction to 1% of rates in Japan that were consistently measuring in the tens of μSv/hr at the worst of the crisis.  

      Radiation levels within normal variation may well be measured on the Pacific shoreline;  I would want to know the mean and standard deviation of background levels before declaring that the plume has arrived.  The trajectory models also move the plume well above the ground;  the lowest of the ensemble is at 1500 m.

      2009: Year of the Donkey. Let's not screw it up.

      by Yamaneko2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:55:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's about 1% of the model's initial values (0+ / 0-)

        which may be different from the measured values at the power plant. I don't know how they initialized the model from reading the Times article.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:24:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So rain would have to bring the bananas down: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OtherDoug, neroden

        That's a banana's worth of radioactive isotopes heading our way--every three hours of rain with the current level of plume radiation, if I'm making sense of this.

        Still, I'm for data disclosure as well.

        The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

        by Ignacio Magaloni on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:47:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      I don't eat them because I don't know WHERE the hell they come from - some tinpot banana republic with no environmental rules, or old nuclear testing atoll, or ???

      I'd be much more terrified of living on the ring-of-fire near a fault-line nuke plant, like in CA.

      I'd have LONG ago had some potassium iodide, were I there.  CA folks need some on general principal...

      •  the nuke plants are all in socal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and prevailing winds blow west to east, not south-north. so norcalifornios wouldn't really need potassium iodide even in a worst-case scenario.

        •  And the Trojan plant in (WAY north) OR (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Picot verde, mrkvica, neroden

          (only nuke in state) was closed prematurely because it leaked.  Good for OR people:

          In the 1980 Oregon election, a ballot measure to ban construction of further nuclear power plants in the state without federally approved waste facilities was approved by the voters 608,412 (53.2%) to 535,049 (46.8%).

          "The spent fuel rods, however, are still stored on site, as they are at all the other 108 or so commercial reactors in the country. Almost 800 rods are in a pool, next to the Columbia River, awaiting the possible opening of the Yucca Mountain radioactive storage facility in Nevada."

          I think they'll be waiting a long time, like all the rest of the nuke plants in the US.  Hoo...

          And I can't imagine what a "worst-case scenario" might be, on the ROF (ring of fire)...

    •  I am very afraid of a banana... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prognosticator, Matt Z

      ...if it is used in the wrong way.

      British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

      by Bensdad on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:12:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's the 1/2 life of K-40 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, Joieau

      What's the 1/2 life of Cs-137?

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:26:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Help, Have I Over-Dosed on Bananas? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, Matt Z

      Living in Venezuela, where bananas are plentiful and succulent, I eat four or five bananas a day.  Is that "spectacular" enough to be over-dosing on radiation?

      Please say "No", I adore Venezuelan bananas.  Unlike many of those found in U.S. markets, they are real bananas, not genetically engineered to look like perfect bananas but taste like cardboard.

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

      by Justina on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:56:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that is not an overdose (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, Justina

        I never realized just how many different kinds of bananas there are until I moved to the tropics.  Do they have banana-maça ("apple-banana") in Venezuela?

        O povo unido jamais será vencido

        by SLKRR on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:35:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Great Apple Bananas Here Too. (0+ / 0-)

          But here is the first place I've ever heard that bananas are a potential source of radiation poisoning.  Goodby cruel world, I intend to go on eating bananas, even if  they kill me.

          Where in the tropics have you lived?

          Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

          by Justina on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:08:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're OK (0+ / 0-)

        With that level of banana consumption, you are still more likely to be struck by lightning than to get cancer from radioactive bananas.  Be careful with Brazil Nuts, if you eat them, as they are by far the most radioactive of foods.

        You have the power to change America. Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Will.

        by CA Pol Junkie on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:11:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Without genetic engineering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      bananas will soon be extinct.

      Which from your post sounds like it's all for the best.

      Scary, scary stuff!!

  •  Tipped & Rec'd & Reposted to Nuclear Free DK (15+ / 0-)

    until someone tells me the Science is bunk here (and I don't mean the same people who I keep seeing on this site promoting nuclear power despite the fact that a good part of the world is presently reevaluated its previous commitment to this energy source, whose problems lie not in the lack of safety per se, but rather in the irreversibility and long-term consequences of a disaster with this particular technology).

  •  You can't handle the truth (16+ / 0-)

    What, you think because you paid for that model and because it may affect your life that you have the right to see it?

    Obama said it's all fine.  That's all you need to know.  It's classified, dude.  The only thing that isn't classified nowadays is the White House soup menue.  And I hear the Pentagon is working on that.  

    Pentagon said it's for your own protection and Obama says, "okay, and yes, maybe that soup menu should be a state secret."

  •  Lets get this straight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, emelyn

    The hysteria is ridiculous. American have nothing, absolutely nothing to concerned about. The Japanese have very little to be concerned about (except the poor souls within 1 mile.

    Of course they are going to detect radiation in California - a geiger counter will detect radiation from a marble floor and all sorts of "natural" sources. People used to visit radiation sites because they used to think it was good for ones health. Not much evidence that their lives were cut short. Try working in a coal mine and try comparing the health hazards.

    Any body who has been alive for say fifty years has lived through far worse with minimal or no consequences.  Setting off real Nuclear devises in the open was common practice. The 'safe' radiation levels are ridiculously conservative, and that is fine with me. Some radiation is perfectly normal - we are all bombarded with it all the time.

    Even Chernobyl, which was a very different situation, with massive errors before, during and after had minor consequences. Yes the standard thinking is that cancer in kids spiked because they drunk the milk - but even that theory is suspect and the supposed danger is easy to avoid.

    I highly doubt that when this is all said and done that Japan will see any cancer spike (although for those  Nuclear workers all bets are off)  there will be endless conflicting studies for the next twenty years. This in it self is a self perpetuating Industry.

    Of course if you are an American living in Japan - the sensible and very safe advise is keep 50 miles away - but that is like saying do not have an Xray unless you feel you need one. So of course the US Government advise will diverge from the Japanese Government. Providing safe advise in this context is a relative concept.

  •  It ain't over yet. (8+ / 0-)

    All of this appears to be based on the current output of radiation. Unless the Japanese perform some magic, there appears to be a likelihood that this could get much worse.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 09:58:57 PM PDT

  •  Everytime I hear officials from the government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, KimD, Pluto

    say, "We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States," I have to think that they have no other alternative. There already isn't any KI on the shelves, not that it would do that much good anyways. We can't evacuate 50 million people. If terrorists exploded twenty nukes ten miles offshore from San Diego, LA, SF, and the PNW, I have to think that they'd say the same thing. There's just no other alternative.

    By the way, the forecast is for heavy rain all weekend in Northern California, moving down the coast by Sunday. Dry weather will not be the saving grace, that's for sure.

    •  Radiation data (0+ / 0-)

      Radiation data comes from Scientists not Government officials. One can equally argue that Governments err on the conservative side - because it is easier to get votes by falling in with the consensus view - and the consensus view is utter nonsense. It is easier to say 50 miles rather than 10 miles - because that fits in with peoples instintct.

      Regarding the rain - if you are really concerned, simply do two things - stay indoors while it is raining (assuming radiation is reported,) and do not drink milk for a few of after such rain. This is massive overkill but will effectively reduce any harmless radiation that you might be exposed to.

  •  There are living things in Canada too (13+ / 0-)

    These reports should not end at the US/Canada border. I live on Vancouver Island and we are concerned.

    The plume is aiming towards North America not just the USA, and British Columbia's coast is part of the Pacific coast.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:19:31 PM PDT

  •  For helpful information (7+ / 0-)

    on the exposure in Japan, see Radiation, Cancer and the Linear No Threshold Model currently on the Community Spotlight.  There are two links in the diary which provide real time radiation levels in Tokyo and all of Japan.  The measurements are in nGy/h but Raul78 has provided a link to a calculator.  Most important info re: these levels is:

    Based on the current numbers as of this writing, if the radiation levels remained as elevated as they are for the next 1000 hours in Ibaraki, the highest measured prefecture, the increased risk of cancer would be 0.003%, or 1 additional cancer per 36,000 people.  


    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:27:22 PM PDT

    •  Is that risk to children (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, mrkvica

      or to adults?  Infants, foetuses, and children are much more sensitive to radiation.
      Does the radiation risk calculation assume indefinite or permanent exposure, or just a brief exposure?
      Does the risk calculation assume simple radiation exposure, or does it include the consumption and absorption of radionuclides?
      It's hard to trust anyone who always finds a way to low-ball the risk.  

      "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

      by Andhakari on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:18:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this has an eery resemblence (17+ / 0-)

    to the BP disaster. So much of this seems parallel. The information we are being told is questionable. WE were then facing a cataclysm of tainted ocean, and now it's a tainted atmosphere. We're beating the shit out of this planet and it can only take so much.

    “If you nail together two things that have never been nailed together before, somebody out there will buy one” - George Carlin

    by steelman on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 10:47:23 PM PDT

  •  AQMD Daily Radiation Monitoring Update (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KimD, Joieau, mrkvica, Pluto

    FooW and others have probably already noted this daily update from the Air Quality Management District.

    Update for Thursday, March 17:

    As of today, radiation levels measured at three regional sites operated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have not been higher than typical “background” levels seen before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In the unlikely event that this changes, these extremely sensitive monitors will detect any change in outdoor radiation levels and it will be reported on this website.

    AQMD has operated these radiation monitors in Southern California for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for several years.  Radiation levels at these sites and many others around the country are monitored every hour and the information is sent immediately to U.S. EPA.

    The AQMD will continue to monitor and assess the hourly radiation levels at sites in Southern California and elsewhere in the United States.  It will also assess the weather conditions affecting the potential movement of airborne radioactive material across the Pacific Ocean.  Updates will appear on this website daily or more frequently if needed.

    The monitoring was noted in this blog.

  •  Great diary - they should definitely release (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde

    And I hope they will live up to their promise to disclose actual radiation levels here in air, water and soil.

    Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

    by maxschell on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 11:45:33 PM PDT

  •  GIGO - Input is known to be questionable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so there's no official results. And you know that the very first batch of results based on questionable input will be taken a totally official. The instant that the imput gets better and new results are published, there will be loud complaints that there's now two "official" answers that show different results. Once again, nobody can decide who's lying.

    Been there, done that.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:15:54 AM PDT

  •  A couple of things jump out at me (5+ / 0-)

    First of all, why are there diesel generators at a nuclear power plant for backup power? Secondly why were they placed in an area susceptible to a tsunami?

    The more I read about what is going on there the more I have to wonder if those who engineered the plants were complete morons.

    We're being told it takes months for a core to cool even after it has been shut down. That means the water still boils and produces steam for fairly large part of that time. Why can't they design it so that some of the steam runs smaller generators providing the backup power for the plant to keep the cooling pumps running? It would seem that by the time the core was unable to produce enough steam to run the pumps it would be cool enough not to be a problem and other power sources can be brought online to keep the pumps running just to be safe. There may be some small (when compared to the scale of a nuclear power plant) technical obstacles but I'm sure such a system could be brought on line and made to work.

    The second thing that jumps out at me is the fearmongering over radiation from the power plants. Chernobyl emitted FAR more radiation than the Japanese power plants will thanks to their containment design. The half life of the most likely radioactive isotope (Iodine) is 8 days and it would have to cross thousands of miles of ocean to reach our shores. Most of it would either precipitate into the Pacific before it got to us or end up in the jet stream far above our heads and by the time it reached earth the radiation wouldn't be more than a blip in the normal background radiation.

    What we should be more concerned about is what would happen if an earthquake of a similar size happened just a few miles off of our west coast. It's probably not a bad idea to get a 14 day supply of potassium iodide pills to keep on hand just in case one of our reactors melts down but you only really need it if you're under 40. The only time it helps if you're over 40 is if a very large amount of radioactive iodine is in your immediate environment. There is certainly no need to panic buy anything right now. Just pick up a bottle to stick in your emergency or first aid kit but whatever you do DON'T TAKE ANY until such time radioactive iodine is released near enough to you to actually affect you.

    All potassium iodide does is help keep you from getting thyroid cancer and only then if you're young. It doesn't protect you from other forms of radiation. That hasn't stopped our media from breathlessly touting buying it and other expensive devices like radiation detectors and water filtration straws. As an aside the water filtration straw promoted on the Today Show a couple of days ago doesn't work that well apparently removing almost no contaminants, but what do you expect for $5? It's also the most counterfeited one so unless you buy direct from the manufacturer you have a 50% chance of getting a fake. If you want one that works you have to shell out $50 or more for it and it doesn't do a thing to help the bad taste of polluted water or pull out possibly harmful chemicals. It just filters out e.coli, giardia, and other biological nasties.

    The first rule to follow in any disaster scenario is don't panic. There's no reason to unless your life is in immediate danger and even then it's not a particularly useful thing to do.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:12:28 AM PDT

    •  For me it's simple (7+ / 0-)

      All the nuclear experts in the world do not know how to stop the uncontrolled chain reaction in the pools containing spent fuel rods. If they did, it would have been controlled by now.

      And we are being asked to trust the experts when they tell us we are safe from airborne radiation. And we are asked to trust the experts that nuclear energy is a safe, clean form of energy.

      I've lost my faith.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:08:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not Only Are The Designers DUMB (4+ / 0-)

      they also make gigantic assumptions which increase risk massively.

      Japan has a long history of earthquakes AND tsunamis.. so it's more than questionable to assume just one or two failsafe/backup systems would suffice in the face of a catastrophic type event.

      right now, there's no goddamn water in the "cooling pools" where spent rods are stored.. it's my understanding these rods have a massive amount of radioactive material in them. if these rods melt, it's game over.

      if the diesel generators/pumps fail as they have.. what is the plan to get water back in the cooling pools if the water leaks out/evaporates?

      you can see what they are doing-- attempying to drop water in the pools from helicopters 300 feet up in the air (pilots can't even see the pools to know if they are hitting them) and using water cannons to shoot water into the pools.



      "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

      by Superpole on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:54:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your first two questions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, trueblueliberal

      are easy to answer.

      First of all, why are there diesel generators at a nuclear power plant for backup power?
      Among other things, to run the cooling and monitoring equipment in case of power failures.


      Secondly why were they placed in an area susceptible to a tsunami?
      Stupidity, or maybe "cost-saving" greed.

      What could BPossibly go wrong?? -RLMiller

      by nosleep4u on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:05:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You miss the point (0+ / 0-)

        Because you didn't fully read my post.

        Why can't steam from the reactor be used to turn auxiliary generators? After all steam still being generated even if the core has been shut down (it takes weeks for a core to cool). Using steam from the cooling core to generate electricity eliminates the need for diesel powered generators.

        It is a power plant after all. It's sole purpose is for generating power and it should be the last place where a power outage would happen.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:14:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's such an immense amount >1,900 tons (13+ / 0-)

    Containing MOX plutonium... and it's ongoing and so degraded. Disclosure is essential.

    I think public trust is eroded so deeply by this Corporate Governance Era after 9-11, Katrina and the Corexit BP spill that transparency is required.

    We pay for these assets. We should have the data they have to make our own informed decisions. I think it can't hurt to be prepared.

    Dammit. I miss having a government. I'd like it back.

    •  The first two things I'd like to get back, as a (9+ / 0-)

      taxpayer and citizen owner of these resources:

      the airwaves-- television and radio.  We own them, and we should be able to establish how much they are leased for, what the conditons of leasing are, and the conditions of use.  No more corporate billions made at the expense of our country's civil discourse and need for educational, informative broadcasting.

      Mineral and water rights.  No more leasing land for less than dirt cheap (pun intended) to mining, gas, and minerals exploration companies.  No more granting of use for literally cents, to coal companies who will reap millions without paying any taxes on their profits.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:26:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Mining Act of 1872 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        concernedamerican, a lynn

        The 'good guys' have been trying to repeal it for something like 50 years, because it literally gives away public land to people who claim to be hard rock mineral miners for pennies.

        We haven't succeeded yet.

        This government is non-functional.  I don't know how to replace it with one which is functional.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:06:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll add to that: (0+ / 0-)

          We could start by refusing to drink the energy deregulation Kool-Aid in plutonium flavor worldwide.

          Yeah, what kind of person would conceive of or approve placing nuclear weapon based plutonium in a 40 year old reactor with known issues local and global opposition when it's not designed for it on a fault line near a population center? Then, repeatedly rubber stamp it and ignore outcry and reported safety reports? The same people are downplaying an ongoing unstable situation from tainted water to milk and spnach up to 90 miles away.

          Newsflash to IAEA, Chu's DOE and the NRC and EPA - mission failure. You're incompetent. You're fired.

          As a special bonus - release the hard data to the public from assets we funded. Stop pushing the "safe dose" threshold myth. There is no safe dose - only one that's acceptable to your opaque standards. I personally don't appreciate others making those determinations for me without open source backup data. Especially suspect are reports frm people, industry and media with a profit chip in this poker game. Credibilty gap on steroids.

  •  We seem to have come to the point (11+ / 0-)

    where a great many people, especially those employed in the nuclear industry, seem to think they have a right to add to the poisons we breath, drink and eat merely because they've determined that the risk to you and your children is "acceptable" - to them!
    Dispose of your waste, clean up your act, stop lying as a matter of policy and you might someday earn the public trust. I don't think that day will ever come, but until it does, just stfu.

    "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

    by Andhakari on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:42:40 AM PDT

  •  Austrian tracking site (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, mrkvica

    Here is an Austrian website that shows a time shot of the plume. Scroll down to the 3rd map.
    I don't know if this map is based on real data or just a projection based on computer modeling.

  •  At 1:00 AM (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KimD, Picot verde

    in Vancouver Wa. this morning Iwas coming out of a grocery store with a open can of pop. It was drizzling.
     I could hear a couple of drops hit the top of the can.As I  was finishing it, I said to myself "when is that plume traveling over here? Friday in California. Oh shit...."

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:37:35 AM PDT

  •  It's on a need-to-know basis (7+ / 0-)

    and the people don’t need-to-know.

  •  Fish did you see this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I don't trust the reassuring (6+ / 0-)

    words of the PResident. Heard it all before on the Gulf coast where the dispersant is still being sprayed. The bottom line of capitalist countries we are seeing in this Japanese disaster is to control public mood and activity with manipulating messages, limiting information, or actively releasing deceptive information. And 50 miles ain't enough of a barrier either. Think about it.

  •  I'd guess the problem with "plume" models (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican, Catte Nappe that they're highly speculative and by creative coloring are so easily used for agit-prop.

    We saw that during the BP spill. I talked to a naturalist on Martha's Vineyard who was convinced an oil plume was on the way there, probably due to stories like this:

    Many have fretted that oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico could spread to the Florida Keys and then northward up the Atlantic. Now, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. has come up with some computer modeling suggesting that the spill could extend along thousands of miles up the Atlantic coast as early as this summer.

    The researchers at the center, a national lab sponsored by the National Science Foundation, stressed that their study was not a forecast and had not undergone scientific peer review. But they said their computer simulations offered a likely pathway for the dispersal of the oil if it entered the gulf’s so-called loop current, which circulates the waters in a clockwise pattern.

    If you ignore concentration it's easier to paint the spectre of an earth-blanketing miasma.

    Ever hear the thing about how every breath we take contains air molecules that were also breathed in by Cleopatra? Plumes from that hussy traveled far and wide!

    •  I have heard the Cleopatra thing; and our son (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      last year was fascinated when he learned that every bit of light that reaches our planet is millions of years old.  A similar sort of spectral claim.

      And recently I read that every drop of water on this planet has been cycled through the water cycle for millions of years.  Also.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of Course Not...Because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Picot verde, mrkvica

    GE's current CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, now works in the Obama administration... GE is the manufacturer of not only the nuclear power reactors near meltdown in Japan.. but the manufacturer of the exact same model... installed in numerous places in the United States... one being in Dresden, IL near Chicago.


    didn't take long to rear it's ugly head, eh?

    The criticism, concern about this particularly GE-designed nuclear reactor goes back to the 1970's. the gov't can try all they want-- this info will not be suppressed or conveniently glossed over.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:46:50 AM PDT

  •  You can find a dozen plume models using Google. (0+ / 0-)

    They ain't a secret.

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:59:50 AM PDT

    •  I'd like to see the irrational fear plume model (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      for all the media coverage this is getting.  

      Someone is getting rich shorting GE stock and going long on pharma companies that make potassium iodide pills.  

      If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

      by SpamNunn on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:02:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think there are good reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic

    First is the fact that regardless of what the models show, they are likely to be freely interpreted by a lay public prone to jumping to conclusions.

    Second is that they will be forecast models of what might happen in various senarios that nescessarally look at some worst cases that haven't happened and may not happen. Loop back to the first point.

    Third, the system (weather and reactor situation) is highly dynamic and that is why the excercise noted above would have to be done.

    You and others may not agree with me, but unlike private citizens making their own predictions for whatever reasons, governments ultimately bear responsibility to manage the consequences and correctly excercise judgement and descretion in such situations.

    Right to know? Perhaps, but right to know what?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:41:09 AM PDT

  •  What is the effect (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Want Change, Picot verde, mrkvica

    of the radiation on the ocean and sea life? So far, we are only talking about airborne radiation and the direct effect on humans. I'm aware that water will turn the radiation itself into heat, I'm asking about the radioactive particulates that can be taken up by algae and get into the fish food chain.  At what point does near shore algae become unharvestable for human consumption and are there any estimates of problems for the cetacean food-chain. Particularly if more fires put out more particulates.

    I want to make clear I'm not panicking, I'm looking for information. I tried using The Google but didn't find much. I'm hoping someone here has more information.

    President Obama is the best moderate Republican president in my lifetime.

    by KS Rose on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:12:12 AM PDT

  •  A full meltdown is unlikely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The possibility of a spent fuel fire is what's scariest at the moment. Especially with today's revelation that the entire fuel supply from Unit 4 was removed to the spent fuel pool. I can't help but wonder whether it was entirely "spent". There's a lot of inventory in those pools.

  •  One word of caution (4+ / 0-)

    I work at a pharmacy on the West Coast of N. America.

    Ever since it has been a matter of discussion that some amount of radiation would cross the Pacific we have had a good many people coming in to seek out potassium iodide.

    Our provincial drug authority had to put out a memo to all pharmacies to warn them not to sell or stockpile potassium iodide.

    It should not be taken without proper directions. It has possible side effects. If not taken at the right time, it would be useless protecting you in a radiation emergency. It won't protect you from all forms of radiation but only radioactive iodine which only affects the thyroid gland.

    Despite this, many people are desperate to get their hands on this. Hopefully, most of the people reading Dkos are reality based and seeing those parts of the diary that point out how small the amount of radiation that will remain in the plume that reaches our shores.

    We are seeing many people who see or hear the word "radiation" and simply panic and no amount of reality based info is going to calm them and unfortunately, they risk hurting themselves worse than any radiation.Ie: if a little potassium iodide is good then a lot would be better.

    Should governments protect us from information? I would say "no". But I would always push hardest on the information that will calm people that need it most.

    Wall Street: Too big to fail and too big to jail.

    by dotsright on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:38:12 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary, Fish. (0+ / 0-)
  •  hey fishoutofwater... (0+ / 0-)

    the epa has decided to raise the allowable levels of radiation that we can be exposed to after a "radiological event". What does this tell? The anticipation of an event? They did exactly the same thing on the Gulf coast: raised the allowable levels of contamination for our seafood after this disaster. Does that spell "trust" and "obama" for ya?

  •  Austrian Model Link Updated 18 March (0+ / 0-)

    The Austrian model is being updated and the latest PDF in English can be found here:

    For those who don't download the PDF, here are a couple of interesting items from it:

    Weather in the crisis region
    Currently, westerly upper-level winds predominate in the crisis region. Surface winds are relatively weak, and there are no reports of precipitation. Wind will soon turn to southwesterly directions and increase significantly. On Sunday, a frontal system is crossing the region, with heavy rain. Behind the front, northerly winds are predicted, increasing the risk for the Region around Tokyo.

    Dispersion modelling

    Dispersion model results currently show that the plume spreads towards the ocean. Currently, the plume expands towards the south-east, tomorrow towards the north-east (see images). Later on (Sunday/Monday), areas of Japan are influenced again (see image below).


    The CTBTO station in Takasaki/Gunma in Japan had a failure due to electric power problems on March 14. On March 15, there was a not reviewed radionuclide report issued, which indicates the detection of several radionuclides, among those Iodine-131 and Barium-140, with the activity concentration of Iodine-131 being 15 Bq m-3. In addition to that, it appears that radioactivity from Japan meanwhile reached the station Petropavlovsk in Russia (location see image below). Here, several radionuclides are indicated in a not reviewed report on 15 March. The concentrations of Iodine-131 was below the one detected in Takasaki by four orders of magnitude.

    "No man born with a living soul can be working for the clampdown" The Clash

    by Calee4nia on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:05:39 AM PDT

  •  Raining In SF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Crazy cold down-pour a few minutes ago, icy rain. Not that it's unusual this time of year.  I live 2 miles from the coast and must admit I'm a bit concerned.  

    “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

    by Terranova0 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:24:31 AM PDT

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