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Will the US be impacted by Japan's nuke plant?

It's a big ocean between northeastern Japan and the United States and thousands of miles from the crippled nuclear power plant to much of Asia. That means there's little chance — at least for now — that radiation from the shattered reactors could pose a serious threat to the wider world.

Experts say the amount of radioactivity emitted by the facility has been relatively minor and should dissipate quickly over the Pacific Ocean.

"Every mile of ocean it crosses, the more it disperses," said Peter Caracappa, a radiation safety officer and clinical assistant professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

The only people at immediate risk are workers inside the plant and the people living closest to it. The danger of radiation exposure elsewhere is minuscule — unless the plant sustains a complete meltdown, which would sharply escalate the dangers.

Japanese officials told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday that a fire had broken out in a fuel storage pond where used nuclear fuel is kept cool and that radiation had been "released directly into the atmosphere."

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Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 8:36 AM on Mar. 16, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 8:36 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • If a full meltdown occurs at the Japanese plant, the health risks become much greater — with potential release of uranium and plutonium, said Dan Sprau, an environmental health professor and radiation safety expert at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.


    "If that escapes," Sprau said, "you've got a whole new ball game there." 


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 8:37 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • I have no clue at this point if itll affect our country, but if I lived in CA still I might be keeping a closer eye on things just in case. I dont think itll be enough to kill anyone per say, but we have other issues to consider like how it could enter our soil or animals we eat ya know?

    Answer by gemgem at 8:40 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • We probably wont get radiation, BUT...We now know they have been dumping thousnads of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. That will effect the fish and sea life. Japan sushi anyone? The news has already warned us that Japan goods are going to have a high price hike so they can get the $ they need to clean up and rebuild. Their stock market is barely alive and Japan keeps injecting billions into it's own markets to compensate, so now we KNOW they have been manipulating the stock markets. Japan owns 1/3 of America's debt mostly in bonds and money market bills, if Japan cant recover, they could demand a quicker re-payment, or never collect from us. Basically? The whole worls IS screwed by this.

    Answer by vbruno at 8:46 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • As far as radiation, no one here will be affected by radiation. It hasn't done our stock market any good so far though. That might affect people in the short term.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:44 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • How much of our food comes from Japan? Kobe beef? Fish/sushi? I really don't know how much is exported but radiation leaks into food and water, so that is what concerns me not direct radiation over the pacific.

    Answer by parrishsky at 10:53 AM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • I'm in CA and not worried, I mean those radiation waves would have to travel over 6000miles across the big blue waters. The only people who should be concerned are those who are directly near it or in its 30km or whatever they've deemed bad. And the experts have already said it wouldn't be another Chernoble (sp) as the reacters are constructed differently, these are contained with water and Chernoble was contained with graphite.

    Answer by usmc0351wife at 12:04 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • Nobody can demand a quicker repayment because they bu bonds. They can't collect until the maturity date

    Answer by Carpy at 12:13 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • If one was going to jump to conclusions of nuclear issues impacted the US, I would think there would be greater risk of this, "Canada regulator reports water leak at nuclear plant"  Jump to conclusions and speculate who is defining Negligible..  But Japan, impacting the US?  Not jumping to conclusions, yet.


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 12:48 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

  • They use to test above ground nuclear bombs right here in this country in the late 1940's and 50's. They would explode them in the New Mexico and Nevada deserts. Nobody ever died from them.

    Now excuse me, my third eye is running and I have to wipe it. Good thing I have this extra arm growing out from my back to reach the Kleenex behind me.


    Answer by Natesmom507 at 1:42 PM on Mar. 16, 2011

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