Home > Earth changes, Earthquake, Japan > Nuclear nightmare: Japanese reactor meltdown could propel ‘death cloud’ to US West Coast

Nuclear nightmare: Japanese reactor meltdown could propel ‘death cloud’ to US West Coast

March 14, 2011


Some Japanese officials have admitted that Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic reactor No. 1 may experience a total meltdown. That disaster would be followed by the release of a deadly radioactive death cloud that would drift over the Pacific and poison the people of the U.S. West Coast.

A worried Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Yuji Kakizaki warned:“If the fuel rods are melting and this continues, a reactor meltdown is possible,” Kakizaki said.

A core meltdown of the nuclear pile occurs from an intense build-up of heat—sometimes approaching the internal temperature of the sun—that melts through containment, the floor, and runs into the earth releasing huge plumes of intense, invisible, killing radiation into the atmosphere.

Such an event may dwarf the nightmare at Chernobyl, the Russian reactor that experienced a nuclear core runaway ending with a terrible explosion, fire, and the release of an irradiated death cloud that drifted over much of northern Europe.

That death cloud precipitated an increase in cancer deaths—specifically leukemia—and caused an uptick of birth defects throughout the region.

Unlike Chernobyl, the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactor is sealed within a reinforced containment vessel. But now the containment vessel has been breached by a powerful explosion of accumulated hydrogen gas and a core meltdown may be occurring from indications of increased radioactive cesium-137, a nuclear element that’s produced when a nuclear pile melts from uncontrolled chain reaction fission.

The dangers of Cesium-137

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radioactive cesium-137 is produced when uranium and plutonium absorb neutrons and undergo fission. The element is normally found in nuclear weapons and some types of reactors.

The EPA states that the half-life of cesium-137 is three decades.

This deadly, life-threatening substance can move throughout an environment with little or no difficulty. Disposing of it is next to impossible, and contamination by the element leads to lingering death.

The federal agency warns that simply Walking on soil contaminated by cesium-137 exposes people to deadly gamma rays. If the substance pollutes the air, water and soil, people may unknowingly ingest it by eating contaminated food, drinking irradiated water, or simply by breathing radioactive dust particulates in the air.

It kills by increasing mutation in the cells and affecting DNA. Normal replication processes at the cellular level are disrupted and lead to cancerous tumors, lesions and cells. Higher, chronic exposure has been found to create radiation burns and rapid death.

The EPA has set maximum annual exposure limits for cesium-137 at 100 millirem.

A radioactive death cloud from one or more of the Japanese reactors experience core meltdown and catastrophic release of radiation could result in levels spiking far above the EPA maximum safety scale from as far north as Alaska to as far south as Los Angeles.

Global jet stream and prevailing winds

The prevailing jet stream winds blow from Japan across the Pacific to the west Coast. Airborne radiation will follow the path of the jet stream. The radiation would reach the coast in less than two days.

At this time of the year the jet stream crosses the Japan Islands, roars across the Pacific diagonally and then bends south as it approaches of the vicinity of the northwestern quadrant of the North American continent. The average velocity of the wind is between 110 to 150mph. Mathematically that means that the distance between Japan and the West Coast—about 4,500 miles—can be covered in less than a day to, at best, less than 40 hours.

Nuclear core meltdown chain of events

Here are the progression of events that can lead to a total core meltdown, loss of containment and release of a death cloud:

1. Failure of graphite control rods to dampen chain reaction of nuclear pile.
2. Core coolant failure as backup systems fail.
3. Reactor continues to create heat.
4. Emergency venting valve systems unable to release pressure build-up in containment vessel fast enough.
5. Uranium fuel melts metal containment housing as core temperatures soar past 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Deadly radiation pours into reactor vessel.
7. Radiation then breaches the reactor vessel.
8. Finally, killing radiation escapes into the the surrounding environment and atmosphere and is swept towards U.S. West Coast.

As this article is written, the first four events have occurred. The current debate about the integrity of the housing is centered around event number five.

Lingering death threat

Toxic rain generated by a billowing death cloud is a serious threat. According to meteorological statistics, up to 90 percent of the atmospheric water vapor generated within Pacific weather systems falls as rain. In the case of an irradiated death cloud, the water vapor would be heavily contaminated with deadly nuclear elements.

The areas most likely affected in the northwestern U.S. include the Cascades, Coast Mountain range and Columbia River.

The population at risk in that region exceeds 10 million.

Besides particulates of cesium-137, other deadly by-products of nuclear fission that could pollute the West Coast include radioactive isotopes of iodine and strontium that would contaminate agricultural products.

  1. Jay
    April 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Don said, “Wow. Talk about fear mongering!
    The french tested actual nuclear weapons above ground in the pacific as recently as 16 years ago. Didn’t affect the US west coast.”

    Well now wait just a second the Don. Let’s not be too hasty with our conclusions here.
    There have been lots of nuclear test, above and below ground over the last 70 years or so by numerous countries, not to mention all of the sunken nuke subs and power plant accidents we were never told about. So let’s just ask ourselves, when did the first appearances of cancer and the corresponding clinics start appearing and take the time to consider the cumulative effects of radiation as time has progressed. Remember that radiation is colorless and odorless and it doesn’t just announce its arrival in the human body or in the atmosphere. And besides, some of those people out there on the west coast have been acting rather strange for quite some time now.

  2. March 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Very good article

  3. Don
    March 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Wow. Talk about fear mongering!
    The french tested actual nuclear weapons above ground in the pacific as recently as 16 years ago. Didn’t affect the US west coast. This accident won’t either.

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