September 18, 2012
“Little Dissipation Occurred…
Due to the Nature of the Rapid Global
Air Circulation System”
mere days after the Japanese earthquake that the West Coast of
North America could be hit with radiation.
Our concerns - unfortunately - have been
The peer-reviewed scientific journal
Science of the Total Environment
Massive amounts of anthropogenic
radionuclides were released from the nuclear reactors located in
Fukushima (northeastern Japan) between 12 and 16 March 2011
following the earthquake and tsunami.
Ground level air
radioactivity was monitored around the globe immediately after
the Fukushima accident. This global effort provided a unique
opportunity to trace the surface air mass movement at different
sites in the Northern Hemisphere.
The analysis of the air mass forward
movements during 12th -16th March showed that the air mass was
displaced eastward from the Fukushima area and bifurcated into a
northern and a southern branch outside of Japan (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. The two
main air mass branches (centroids) from Fukushima Daiichi
power plant from 12th to 16th March. Each centroid has a
temporal coverage of
192 hours (8 days) and initial height of 1000 m. The number is
number of the centroid and the percentage indicates the number
of hourly backward
trajectories occurring in that cluster. 1 and 2 in the figure
stands for the south and
north branches of the Fukushima radioactive plume.
This eastward bifurcation of air
masses is in agreement with the simulation of the potential
dispersion of the radioactive cloud after the nuclear accident
of Fukushima (Weather OnlineWebsite of United Kingdom, UK,
This work clearly demonstrates how
little dissipation occurred during this time
due to the nature of the rapid global air circulation system,
and the Fukushima radioactive
plume contaminated the entire Northern Hemisphere during a
relatively short period of time.
Note: The West Coast of North
America is also
at risk from ocean radiation.
The Department of Homeland Security
and National Nuclear Security Administration recently sent
low-flying helicopters over the San Francisco Bay Area
to test for radiation. But they almost certainly will not make
their findings public.