With Japanese authorities confirming that the third blast at Fukushima’s stricken nuclear plant caused radioactive particles to be released directly into the atmosphere, localized winds are blowing the radiation towards Tokyo, causing many to flee the capital, but the longer term trajectory of upper atmosphere prevailing winds will still send any potential radiation cloud towards the U.S. west coast.
Global Jet Stream Map for March 13-21.
Following a third explosion at the plant as well as a fire in another reactor, radioactive material is now leaking directly into the atmosphere at a rate of 400 milliseverts per hour, according to The International Atomic Energy Agency. Anyone who is exposed to more than 100 milliseverts a year risks contracting cancer.
Higher than normal levels of radiation have already been detected in Tokyo, with readings up to ten times higher than normal measured in Chiba, which is 15 miles from the capital. Gamma radiation levels in the Ibaraki prefecture, which is just a hundred or so miles north of Tokyo, are 30 times higher than normal.