Radioactive Winds Head Towards Tokyo As Some Flee Capital

By: Paul Joseph Watson

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Upper atmosphere prevailing winds will send potential “radiation cloud” towards U.S. west coast

With Japanese authorities confirming that the third blast at Fukushima’s stricken nuclear plant caused radioactive particles to be released directly into the atmosphere, localized winds are blowing the radiation towards Tokyo, causing many to flee the capital, but the longer term trajectory of upper atmosphere prevailing winds will still send any potential radiation cloud towards the U.S. west coast.

Global Jet Stream Map for March 13-21.
Following a third explosion at the plant as well as a fire in another reactor, radioactive material is now leaking directly into the atmosphere at a rate of 400 milliseverts per hour, according to The International Atomic Energy Agency. Anyone who is exposed to more than 100 milliseverts a year risks contracting cancer.

Higher than normal levels of radiation have already been detected in Tokyo, with readings up to ten times higher than normal measured in Chiba, which is 15 miles from the capital. Gamma radiation levels in the Ibaraki prefecture, which is just a hundred or so miles north of Tokyo, are 30 times higher than normal.

The French embassy, which already advised its citizens to leave Tokyo on Sunday, warns that low level radioactive winds could reach the capital within hours.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says that the winds are currently blowing in a “southwesterly direction that includes Tokyo.”

“The Japan Meteorological Agency official said wind speeds will increase on Wednesday, blowing south at three to five meters (10 to 16 ft) per second before changing later in the day to blow easterly out to the Pacific Ocean at a faster rate of five to 12 meters (16 to 39 ft) per second,” reports Reuters.

South Korea’s Meteorological Administration also concurs that the winds will later head east out into the Pacific, a forecast also backed up by the United Nations’ weather agency.

The fact that the winds are set to change to an easterly direction and blow any radiation out to sea is good news for Japan, but it won’t be of any comfort to Americans living on the west coast. As we have documented, prevailing jet stream winds in the upper atmosphere will carry any radiation towards Alaska, California and Hawaii.

If the radiation leak is significant enough not to be dispersed over the Pacific Ocean, it will take roughly seven days to reach the United States.

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As notes, the threat of radiation reaching the west coast of the U.S. depends, “Upon how high the cloud rose into the atmosphere. This is because the winds normally vary widely between the near-surface and the upper atmosphere, home to the eastward-flowing jet stream.”

“Generally speaking, any radioactive cloud rising significantly into the atmosphere would travel essentially eastward and northeastward across the Pacific Ocean, eventually reaching North America anywhere between Alaska and California. The precise details as to timing and path taken would depend upon the state of the atmosphere at the time of the hypothetical radiation release.”

The potential for significant radioactive fallout over Tokyo, which has a population of around 13 million, has prompted some residents to flee the capital. Any widespread exodus would cause absolute chaos and would be worsened by the fact that the country is already trying to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

“Almost all of my friends here in the capital have left Tokyo with their families,” Jack Edney told the BBC. “They are scared about radiation reaching Tokyo and also many of their parents’ companies are taking them either down south, or out of Japan altogether.”

Another resident in Tokyo told the BBC, “There is a growing sense that the Japanese government is not telling us the true story. On one end, there is the Japanese media that plays down the nuclear drama and focuses on human drama, and at the other, the foreign media is up-playing the nuclear disaster. In my company I heard at least half the essential staff is being sent to Hong Kong, Singapore or even Sydney. I am preparing to leave Tokyo and/or Japan. So are many of my friends. There is a sense of deserting Tokyo as soon as possible.”

It is now clear that the Tokyo Electric Power Company has completely botched the crisis surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facility and is now engaged in a desperate cover-up. Even the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is being kept in the dark as to what is unfolding at the stricken plant.

According to the BBC and Japan’s Kyodo news, “The TV reported an explosion. But nothing was said to the premier’s office for about an hour,” a Kyodo News reporter overheard Mr Kan saying during a meeting with company executives. “What the hell is going on?”