icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Nuclear radiation from Japan could reach US

Nuclear radiation from Japan could reach US
Following a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan and an immense tsunami, the nation is racing to prevent multiple nuclear meltdowns which, if not prevented, could leak radiation reaching as far as the United States.

"One reactor has had half the core exposed already," Joe Cirincione, nuclear expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund explained to Fox News. "This is the one they're flooding with sea water in a desperate effort to prevent it from a complete meltdown. They lost control of a second reactor next to it, a partial meltdown, and there is actually a third reactor at a related site 20-kilometers away they have also lost control over. We have never had a situation like this before."Cirincione explained that if a meltdown occurs Japan is not the only population mass at risk. In fact, radiation would spread across the Pacific Ocean, affecting North America and other parts of Asia.“The worst case scenario is that the fuel rods fuse together, the temperatures get so hot that they melt together in a radioactive molten mass that bursts through the containment mechanisms and is exposed to the outside. So they spew radioactivity in the ground, into the air, into the water. Some of the radioactivity could carry in the atmosphere to the West Coast of the United States,” he said.

Likening the event to Chernobyl, where radiation spread across the Northern Hemisphere, Cirincione explained it is quite possible for radiation to spread great distances. “It depends how many of these cores melt down and how successful they are on containing it once this disaster happens," he noted.Thus far the vast majority of threats have been contained, with only minor leaks being reported at plants in Japan. Currently, there have been no warnings issues for the western portion of the United States, many of which are not fully equip with radioactivity monitoring systems to watch air and water quality, or the food supply.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.