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Okay .. I'm not trying to be an alarmist and this is just my personal opinion but .. posting this as fyi in case things completely go south with Japanese nuclear reactors. Hopefully officials can contain all since structures have multiple safeguards, but sharing this in the event a complete failure or meltdown could potentially impact the west coast of North America. (Please note, I'm not talking about anything released to date .. there are no concerns with that whatsoever. Just thinking worse case scenario.)

Hopefully you have KI and radiation detection units on-hand because if reactors blow and release massive amounts .. well, again - let’s just hope it all stays contained.

Just remember .. TIME, DISTANCE and SHIELDING are important during any type of radiological disaster. And radioactive materials decay rapidly .. per 7/10 rule, for every sevenfold increase in time, there is a tenfold decrease in radiation rate. For example, 75 Rems (rad) would drop to 7.5 Rems after 7 hours. Best thing you can do IF this even happens is .. stay inside a structure (don’t be running around outdoors) and stay put for hours or a day or 2 until it decays. Also move livestock and their food and water supplies into structures to protect them from fallout (esp milk producing critters.)

USFRA has nuclear power plant accident tips posted here .. and learn how to build an expedient shelter here. (I can also provide these in PDF if any of you want them for local communities.)

Also, if you don’t have access to KI, get a bottle of iodine from a local pharmacy so it’s on your shelf .. then and only IF instructed .. wipe a swipe on your abdomen. It’ll stain your skin but it can fill up your thyroid with good iodine so it doesn’t absorb bad stuff. Children (including unborn) are most susceptible since their thyroids are still active.


But also remember as a plume gets carried by winds, it will dissipate so there's no way to know how much intensity (IF ANY) would remain in fallout.

Please don’t panic and try not to obsess over the news .. but do stay current on events and try to educate yourself and others as best as possible. The International Atomic Energy Agency site is and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission site is .. and obviously officials and media will be monitoring all this too. stay safe out there, j

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Comment by Benjamin Van Eck on March 16, 2011 at 3:21am
My pleasure, being prepared is always a good idea, even if a significant widespread radioactive contamination disaster is unlikely, and most of the information I've looked at concerning both meltdown accidents and RDD attacks seems right on the money. I also threw up a (very simplified) primer on radiation dosimetry that might help you catch some of the more outrageous misinformation. Unfortunately people are pretty good at disseminating misinformation, especially when people are scared, I only knew better because it happens to be my field.

Comment by Janet Liebsch on March 16, 2011 at 12:31am
Thank you Benjamin and I just edited out map and statements associated with it. Agree about the KI hoarding that's going on (just heard it on our local news here in Arizona) and know many of the vendors are buried with backorders so agree .. the countries in and around Japan need it much more desperately than here. We've been preaching preparedness (including planning for nuclear power plant accidents) since '99 using same data FEMA and others say about those types of scenarios. Appreciate you taking the time to post here and actually had hoped you would when I saw your bio when you joined.
Comment by Benjamin Van Eck on March 16, 2011 at 12:10am
Unfortunately this map is a fake. The NRC would not give radiation measurements in units of RAD (Sv is the SI unit) and they would specify either a rate or a or a time period of exposure. More importantly there is not nearly enough radioactive material in a nuclear reactor to cause these kind of widespread doses. Even in a 100% meltdown scenario radioactive contaminants are unlikely to travel more than 5 miles from the originating site and if they traveled over 50 they would be too disperse to cause any discernible health effects (both long and short term). I have personally simulated core meltdowns in both PWR and BWR reactors using Hotspot and other weather prediction models in the course of my education. The only people who need to be concerned about radiation exposures from a Japanese reactor are the Japanese. Moreover Americans should avoid buying Potassium Iodine supplements at this time as they may be desperately needed by the Japanese. It is a good idea to own one, but right now the flood of individuals buying up stockpiles of the supplements makes it more difficult and expensive for those in Japan who may really need it.

Comment by Janet Liebsch on March 14, 2011 at 12:39pm
Thanks Chief. I debated posting since it would take a lot for something of this magnitude to happen (complete meltdown and total failure of containment systems). The redundancies and safety on these Japanese facilities is top notch, but they sure have their hands full. As fyi, an interesting read in NYT today discusses how minor releases may continue for months

Comment by Fyre Walker on March 13, 2011 at 5:31pm
Thanks for this post Janet. It is something that should definitely be read by everyone at this point.

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