Eathan A. Huff
In the immediate wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan last year, radioactive releases of epic proportions flooded the waters of the Pacific Ocean, where they now flow adrift. And even though more than a year has passed since the time of the first releases, some scientists believe the worst is yet to come as these water-borne radioactive plumes head for the U.S. West Coast.
Russia Today (RT) reports that a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory recently constructed some models designed to assess the impact of Fukushima radiation over the longer term. To do this, they simulated ocean currents in the Pacific, and evaluated how radiation would both disperse and travel.
They discovered that, within the next few years, the worst of Fukushima’s radiation releases will make its way across the Pacific and hit the American coastline. So-called “packets” of radiation are also expected to continue forming as the larger plumes travel via the ocean currents, which could result in highly radioactive waves of ocean water striking West Coast beaches in the very near future.
“Within one year, it will have spread over the entire western half of the North Pacific, and in five years we predict it will reach the U.S. West Coast,” says Claus Boning, co-author of the study, about the Fukushima radiation releases. “The levels of radiation that hit the U.S. coast will be small relative to the levels released by Fukushima. But we cannot accurately estimate what those levels will be because we do not know for certain what was released by Fukushima.”
Leaked – Fukushima clean-up crews covered up true radiation readings
And the world may never know just how much radiation was, and potentially continues to be, released by Fukushima, as a recently leaked recording verifies that Fukushima plant workers were encouraged to lie about radiation readings at the plant. According to RT, clean-up workers were given lead boxes which they were told to use as “shields” to block radiation readings in order to make them appear lower than they really were.
This obviously insinuates that radiation readings were far higher at the Fukushima plant than the world was told they were, and that these levels more than likely far exceeded the maximum exposure levels considered to be safe for plant workers. The company accused of the cover-up, Build-up, later admitted that workers were encouraged to wear these deceptive radiation shields.
Radiation readings at Reactor 1 reach record levels
The situation at the Fukushima plant itself appears to still be highly problematic as well, as reports indicate that radiation levels at Reactor 1, the fuel rod of which sustained 70 percent damage as a result of the disaster, are the highest they have ever been. According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the Fukushima plant, levels of radiation at Reactor 1 reached 10 times higher than levels recorded at Reactors 2 and 3.
“Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition,” said TEPCO officials about the severity of the situation. According to reports, levels of radiation in the basement water of Reactor 1 reached 10,300 millisieverts per hour (mSv/hr), which is the equivalent of receiving the maximum annual dose of radiation in just 20 seconds, or enough to become gravely ill in just a few minutes.
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