lunes, 14 de marzo de 2011
North America Safe From Radioactive Particles
Radioactive particles from the failing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station pose little immediate risk to North America, and should fall into the Pacific before reaching western shores.
Using a publicly available modeling system for airborne pollutants developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters has modeled the spread of radioactive plumes. So far, the “great majority of these runs” have seen the plumes float over the Pacific, reaching eastern Siberia and the western coast of North America in about a week.
“Such a long time spent over water will mean that the vast majority of the radioactive particles will settle out of the atmosphere or get caught up in precipitation and rained out,” wrote Masters. “It is highly unlikely that any radiation capable of causing harm to people will be left in the atmosphere after seven days and 2000-plus miles of travel distance.”
A press release issued March 13 by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission echoed Masters’ speculation. “Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” (pdf) they announced.