Radiation From Fukushima Reaches the United States. Panic?

No reason to hyperventilate, unless you think you’ll live to 858 years old or are really, really, really thirsty. Berkeleyside:

Are you still concerned about radiation crossing the Pacific from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, despite the steady stream of scientific advice that it poses no danger?

Now you can check radiation readings from right here in Berkeley, thanks to the monitors that the Department of Nuclear Engineering has on the roof of Etcheverry Hall. A team of scientists working under Kai Vetter is testing air and water quality (from rainwater) every day.

What are the results?

Unless you are the most irrational worrier in Berkeley, there’s nothing to be worried about. Although the measurements are in the standard Becquerels per liter, the Berkeley team helpfully translates the data into more understandable terms. For air quality, the unit they choose is the number of years of breathing the air that would be needed for a person to receive the radiation exposure of a single round trip flight from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. On Monday the worst result was for a radioactive isotope of iodine (I-131): it would take 858 years of breathing the amount measured in Berkeley to equal that plane flight. At the peak measurement, last Friday, it would have required 168 years to equal the flight exposure.

Water quality is equally unalarming. Again, I-131 has the worst result: on Monday’s data, you’d need to drink 1,734 liters of water to equal the radiation dose from a single round-trip flight to Washington, D.C, and back. At the peak measurement, last Friday, you’d need to drink 134 liters to equal the flight exposure.

The rest here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More