Well as we all know things are still not going according to plan and there are some grave concerns currently being discussed around the world. There was only one glimmer of hope that occurred was when the wind changed direction, just for one small window of opportunity, taking some of the contamination out to sea.
At the lower levels (down to sea level) the contamination that has been released is basically moving slowly around in a high pressure system in a clockwise direction. What this basically means is that it is at the mercy of the wind from when it leaves its source. It then goes off generally in a southerly direction and circulates around the northern tip of the Philippines and taking in other areas such as Vietnam, Southern China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula etc.
At the higher levels the contamination has already started it’s journey in a generally easterly direction across the Pacific before getting caught up in the jet stream that allowed it to be delivered to the Northern US Continent by express delivery……just prior to hitting the west coast of the US it spread like a fan up to Alaska and Canada with the southern extremity being down towards the Bay Area of San Francisco and LA etc…….this is not to say that the levels were extremely high but as we have already discussed there is no safe level when it comes to radiation.
The problem lies in the fact that this situation may still be in its infancy and although this may not be at the same level as Chernobyl is certainly cannot be ruled out.
So first of all lets look at the weather chart for today which shows the high pressure establishing itself in the region…….the winds will be light and so any contamination could well linger for a while before moving on its clockwise journey around the entire region.
The problem over the last few days was the water vapour in the atmosphere in and around Japan…..this allows the radiation to return to earth by rain or snow and the moisture laden air also leaves deposits on the surface of the earth……all of this has the potential to contaminate the land and water systems as well as clothing worn by all those in the region.
It was noted that one passenger arriving in Taiwan from Japan had higher than normal radiation reading on his clothing.
The other major concern is the continuous seismic activity that is currently occurring mainly on the northeastern seaboard of Japan that is ranging from 3 to 6, some of which have occurred close to Tokyo and up in the same area as the original quake.
On the issue of the plant itself the entire situation is still totally unstable although the IAEA representative, Graham Andrew is saying that reactors 1. 2 and 3 are stable but 4 is of major concern……believe it or not! One point that has not been discussed is the amount of sea water being pumped into the complex and by helicopters and fire trucks……the contaminated water obviously will return to the sea and start another chain of events with the marine life in the entire region.
What I also found hard to believe was the comments that came out of Taiwan made by the Atomic Energy Council (AEC), who stated: “The people of Taiwan have no need to worry about radiation from the nuclear power plant in Japan as levels in Taiwan are within the normal range.
They also stated that the wind was blowing from west to east towards the Pacific and therefore would not carry radiation towards Taiwan……..on can see that this gentleman was certainly totally incorrect and supportive of the nuclear industry and knew nothing about atmospheric air flows. It is probably a suitable time to show you just how the contamination from Chernobyl moved around, in a very short period of time and my comment to the Taiwanese AEC is for them to look at this in a more serious light and to take into account the worse case scenario in any future planning…… it is better to be prepared than to deceive your citizens……everyone has the right to make their own plans and to take their own precautions…….one must remember that families with small children or pregnant women are the most vulnerable as this attacks the very DNA of life especially in the unborn.
So below you can actually see how the radiation moved around from the one Chernobyl plant at an alarming rate and how such places as North Wales in the UK still have that radiation in their soil. One must not take this crisis lightly….it is better to be prepared.
Chernobyl radiation contamination spread
So there you have it…..lets just hope and pray that our own knowledge of the severity of the situation and our knowledge of the worlds weather patterns are all wrong…..somehow I think we may just be right!!
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant – 17/3/2011 www.eyreinternational.com