JAPAN: THE PERFECT STORM REDEFINED
The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is a massive complex of 6 reactors with two more under construction. It is located on the Largest Japanese island of Honshu, 137 miles north of Tokyo. All 6 reactors have been damaged and are on the verge of meltdown, according to some reports, some of them already have reached meltdown status. The oldest reactors, 1, 2, and 3 were designed over 50 years ago and have been online for as long as 40 years. There are many of these old and dangerous reactors of the same or similar design operating in the US. Some of these plants are located on the West Coast in Southern California directly above seismically active areas.
The Ring of Fire:
The earthquake that rocked Japan had so much force that it moved the entire island chain 8 feet to the east. Japan and California are located in a region known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is the most seismically active region on Earth where approximately 80% of the largest recorded earthquakes have occurred.
An area of the Ring of fire that is of concern is the Cascadian Subduction Zone that stretches from Canada to California. This is an area of great concern because it is where one plate is pushed under (subducted) another plate. The overlap causes great tension with a lot of potential energy waiting to be released. When that pressure is released, it can cause a catastrophic earthquake that may devastate the Western Coast of the US.
In Southern California, along the Ring of Fire there are 2 nuclear power plants using a similar reactor design as the plant in Fukushima Japan. The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo is built to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and is located in a town with one main road, next to a beautiful state park, on a gorgeous expanse of coastline. After a recent survey, new fault line was discovered only 1800 feet from the reactors. The other plant is San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (also known harmlessly as SONGS) in San Diego County is built to withstand a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and it has a 25 foot high tsunami wall. Once again, right off the coast and built very close to a fault line.
With a toxic cloud of radiation crossing the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the West Coast of America, there is some speculation as to the danger. Some experts say that due to the great distance travelled, the risk of radiation exposure will be negligible. Others say that radiation levels will be elevated, enough to raise some concern, but not enough to cause serious health risks. They all assure us to continue with our normal activities.
The Perfect storm:
However, the radioactive release from Japan is and will be ongoing and can continue for weeks, perhaps months and maybe years. I have yet to hear any of these experts mention the potential hazardous health effects of this long-term steady stream of airborne radioactive material. As of this writing there are reports of water and food being contaminated with radiation. This, coupled with the same conditions that triggered the nuclear disaster in Japan; high seismic activity, potential for earthquake induced tsunamis and similarly built nuclear power plants that are located in high-risk seismic zones, has redefined what man thinks of as a perfect storm of disaster! Nations all over the globe are actively reconsidering their growing reliance on nuclear energy generation.
1. You can protect yourself by minimizing your exposure to potentially harmful radiation by taking the following precautions: Minimize your time outdoors, if you do go outdoors, cover yourself up as much as possible. Do not open your windows. Stock up on KI Potassium Iodide Pills. They are inexpensive and they are taken to protect the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine. For more information about of KI and its importance, click Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Because of the quiet panic, KI is sold out nationwide. If you do find KI available, chances are that the vendors have considerably marked up the price in order to profit from this disaster. Chemical supply companies have large quantities of KI, and it is legal for you to purchase it. You just have to find a supply company in your area. In addition, Liquid Iodine, and Iodine Tincture can be applied to the skin to minimize absorption of dangerously toxic radioactive material.
3. An alternative and inexpensive source of Potassium Iodide is Kelp, or Kelp Supplements. Kelp has the highest concentration of KI of any known food source. However, because the supplement industry is largely unregulated, actual amounts of KI are not consistent, so know your source. There are also retailers that supply Kelp Granules and Kelp Powder.
4. You may also want to invest, if you have not already done so, in a Geiger Counter to measure levels of radiation. An inexpensive alternative is a Dosimeter. They are about the size of a pen, you keep it in your pocket, and it measures cumulative radiation levels. They require charging units so that they may be reused.
5. You should also stock up on N95 particulate respirators or masks. The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering face piece respirators. They filter at least 95% of airborne particles but are not resistant to oil and water.
With governments and industry doing everything to assure you that all is well, you must understand where their true interests lie. Educate and protect yourselves. Think Safety! Life has no reset button.