I can't say I have too many friends that left school stating they wanted to work on a nuclear reactor when they were older, which has sort of forced me to become a Google pro when it comes to research on this topic. I've come across a number of blogs and media sites of writers that spew a ton of information with little research of their own, which has made this little research project that much harder.
I have compiled a list of websites that I believe can help you determine whether there are risks here in the U.S. and what sites can be viewed as unbiased in terms of information. There will be a couple of websites below that not everyone will agree with and that's fine, but at least it's a start and will take away from each of you having to do your own research project. It's not helpful enough to follow one news channel to get your information. I believe this catastrophe could possibly be the worst nuclear accident in history once the dust settles.
Many talk about Chernobyl being a much larger problem, but as this issue in Japan continues to unravel, we see the potential of Chernobyl being dwarfed by Fukushima. I did a little research this morning on the event at Chernobyl and noted the rates of cancer in countries like Belarus that took the brunt of the radiation and found that cancer rates soared some 40% 10-15 years after the event. That's not good news for anyone in the path of a nuclear meltdown. It's our duty to study and examine the potential risks and also weigh the truth as it pertains to the US.
The first site I'd like to point out is the Radiation Network. This site has a list of all nuclear sites in the U.S. along with radiation readings in a number of locations around the country, which includes the west coast. The site is updated in real time and as we can see at this moment (March 16th at 6pm) numbers are still at normal levels. This is not a government website, so I trust that the information is much more accurate.
I am also monitoring a number of sites that talk about the current situation, as well as update what could be happening. I will also try to do that here, but unfortunately there is just way too much information for that to happen. Here are a couple of sites that I am monitoring outside the US media outlets:
Live streaming of Japanese news in English on NHK:
An excellent source of only Nuclear news and information:
A blog that is updated a number of times a day with new information:
For those that like to read the worst case scenario I've got a great site :). Although this site has some very helpful information, I try to take most information with a grain a salt until I can find additional information to back it up. I will say that some news is very intriguing, but that's how media makes their money:
As most of you have already heard there has been a run on potassium iodide/iodate tablets and liquid in the U.S. I'm not a professional here, but I will say that anyone planning on taking these needs to be prepared for side effects. This is a very heavy supplement for the body, so please don't start taking this unless you are convinced we are in danger or you have consulted your doctor. At this point I am still under the assumption that this radiation has not reached the upper levels of our atmosphere. A number of these elements are heavier than air and have a hard time traveling even with the jet stream. Here is a site that gives you health tips on how to prepare yourself with certain foods, etc:
Here is a jet stream model for the next 5 days +/-, which predicts the jet stream to run it's course right over California as an area of low pressure forms and the weather changes.
Now this may change a lot of things over the course of the next week, so it's important we follow the story of all the reactors and any new potential damage that has occurred. Don't be scared, be prepared if and when a disaster strikes. It's always helpful to have people that have no agenda, which is why I enjoy blogging. I am simply writing this to help my friends and family if a situation arises. Continue to pray for Japan as well as surrounding countries that will be affected by this catastrophe.
UPDATE: March 17th, 12:45 AM
After further research and some additional information there may be an event in Southern California this weekend as the jet stream pushes southeast with a low pressure system moving in. We don't know how much radiation will arrive when this system pushes south, but there's one thing that is now certain, a percentage of radiation will make it to the west coast of the U.S. from Japan:
Start with this interactive plume map and click the play button:
Then read this article:
And lastly read this LA Times article. Most of all read the TITLE and the LAST SENTENCE: