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California 'too far' for Japan radiation to reach, officials say

Despite the growing nuclear crisis in Japan, health officials in California said they were doubtful that  harmful radiation would flow 5,000 miles to the West Coast.

Jordan Scott, a spokesman for the California Emergency Management Agency, said nuclear experts had reassured officials in his office that “there is no danger at this time.”

Scott said they also have been told that, should a meltdown occur at one of Japan’s quake-damaged nuclear reactors, “it is highly unlikely that we would see any effects of it here.”

Photos: Scenes of earthquake destruction

“Things would have to get kind of 'end of days' for us to see even a little bit of it here. We’re talking very extreme,” Scott said. “We’re just too far for anything to really reach us. A majority of the materials that would come out of there in a meltdown would dissipate” within miles, he said.

“That being said," Scott said, "we are doing our due diligence in monitoring the situation and making sure we have the most updated information.”

State health officials kept close watch Monday on potential radioactive releases at Japanese nuclear plants, making conference calls to local and federal officials every few hours, said Mike Sicilia, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health.

Sicilia said federal nuclear regulatory agencies had told state officials that the Japanese nuclear troubles did not pose an immediate danger to California.

“The Department of Public Health has radioactive monitoring for the water, food and the air,” Sicilia said. "We do have a plan of response and constant contact with our partners. From a health standpoint, we’re not concerned at this point.”

Some potassium iodide tablets and personal radiation detectors were selling out on Amazon on Monday morning, with price hikes drawing angry accusations of gouging from commenters.

Scott said California residents should not just focus on preparing for a potential nuclear disaster but on preparing for any of the natural disasters that routinely strike the state, including floods, wildfires and earthquakes. He recommended that people check out which disasters are common where they live and prepare with earthquake kits, evacuation and reunification plans.

“It’s a big reminder to people that we are vulnerable to all sorts of disasters," Scott said, "and we need to get prepared.”


Japan nuclear plant rocked by another explosion

Japan-style earthquake and tsunami unlikely to hit Southern California, experts say

Japan's nuclear problems pose little danger to U.S., Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief says

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Comments () | Archives (60)

Chernobyl went for thousands of miles and they still have stuff radiated in parts of Germany. Saying it won't spread is like saying if Mount St Helen's were to erupt the Ash Cloud wouldn't make it to Europe. 2 reactor cores are exposed one of them containing plutonium, which will make Chernobyl look like a sneeze and step one in a meltdown is core exposure but you say it won't travel here? If you mean their won't be enough that gets here to kill us stone dead then yes you are right, but large amounts will get here and it will cause food, water, air, etc to become irradiated. Cancer will start popping up like crazy wherever the winds blow the stuff and much more birth defects in those areas. The Media told us that their was no radiation in the first explosion and the had expert to back them up. Then they back tracked after the USS Ronald Reagan and various relief helicopter passengers were all exposed to massive amounts while they were in the ocean. Back tracking is adorable in the news today.

Jordan Scott is also selling a bridge in Brooklyn. Never believe governments when it comes to nuke power leaks and the like.

"Highly unlikely" So Cal will receive radiation from Japan, as in "A nuclear meltdown occurring in a Japanese reactor is 'highly unlikely' due to all of the safety precautions installed over the last thirty years."

It is irresponsible to print such nonsense let alone say it. The NRC is a captured regulatory agency, leave rad testing to them and they will tell you, 'no harm here folks.'

What is wrong with the reporters and officials?! This is indeed a very serious issue and negating the significance now is not smart. We need to be prepared for worse case scenario - not acting as if we here in the US are immune to what has happened in Japan. Nuclear power is not the answer!

"Doubtfull"..."No danger at this time" . These are not exactly what the people want to hear. How about "there is absolutely no chance of any sort of problem" That would be better.

the sky is falling.....the sky is falling...

Dear Mr Jordan Scott and all other 'officials',

your comments that “there is no danger at this time” and that “it is highly unlikely that we would see any effects of it here” should a meltdown occur at one of Japan’s quake-damaged nuclear reactors, are hideous, and in fact represent gross negligence in informing the public. It is well known that Asian dust, aerosols and other particulate matter easily travels across the Pacific in a few weeks, along with the prevailing jet stream. Spring time is especially effective. After Chernobyl, the plume spread over the whole globe and was detected in even the remotest areas. Sure, people over here will not drop like flies in an instant, but Spring rains would contaminate the agriculture area in the valley - and then what? No iodine tablets will help you, there would be food shortages and long-lasting soil radiation contamination similar to what occurred in Europe after Chernobyl. Your 'don't worry' mantra is sickening.

Of course it's too far. Not like you'd want to cause any panic here... just let us cook like good little sheep, right?

> Question: What's the definition of the word "is" in this context?

The powers that be can not afford a panic on the west coast of the United States. Where will everyone go and if they did go some where, who will remain to do the labor that makes the world in which they live in remain the same? Case in point, if you sent the dockworkers away to missippi who is going to unload the irraditated cargo? Who will pick the irraditated crops? Who will build the war machines if the installations are void of "blind and deaf" slaves. I tell u what you want to know the truth; get the President of the USA to come live for 3 months with his family in Los Angeles. If he's willing to set an example then I'll believe there's no risk.

Please remember this criminal report for prosecution after the disaster.

Molly Fiske and the editor are complicit in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

Chris Hamer and vmb3 speak the truth. Read their posts. People in Sweden are still dying of diseases resulting from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. People in parts of Sweden are still being warned not to eat local mushrooms. The government still checks moose meat for radiation. That disaster happened over 25 years ago.

What about long term affects of the fish? Will the Pacific, with all its currents swishing about, become off-limits for food? Just as I won't eat Gulf Shrimp now, I doubt I'll be eating anything caught in the northern Pacific.

It's difficult to take comments seriously when the writer can't distinguish the difference between 'there' and 'their.' If you haven't mastered 2nd grade grammar, how are we to believe you have anything relevant to add when it comes to nuclear power and air currents?

People like Chris Hamer and Rmb3 are why there are radical militia groups in Wisconsin. "Don't believe anything the government tells you" they say. Okay, if that is the case, then why even have a government at all? Let's throw the whole thing out and live in complete anarchy and see how that works out.

People need to stop believing everything they read on the Internet. Only about 5% of the so-called "news agencies" out there are trustworthy. The rest are stupid bloggers who don't know a grapefruit from a hole in the ground.

i live in southern california and i bought my supply of potassium idodide yesterday. i rather be safe than sorry. i know the government is lying to us that is so typical of them. we all know radition can travel in quick speeds if its caught in the jet streams. i urgue all of us in the west coast to order the ki pills now before its to late!

Germany is less than 1000 miles from Chernobyl, you idiot. How is that tinfoil hat treating you?

Well of course the US Government is going to say that there is no danger. They know that people will panic. There is a danger just like in the 50's and 60's when the used to explode nukes in Nevada. The fallout went as far a Europe so who are they kidding. I would not believe one think the US govrnment says.

How many miles? The US Navy found itself in a radioactive plume well before the feared 'meltodown' 100 miles away from the mess. Last I heard, radiation was persistent and airborn. Sounds as if the 'experts' are propagandists.

"The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other US Navy ships in the waters off the quake zone in eastern Japan were repositioned after the detection of a low-level radiation plume from the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant located 100 miles away. "

The what if, doubtful, I think, etc quotes can be alarming but the only way you will know if a disaster ok the world is coming to an end is when you DO NOT see a President on live TV. And/or, you see Obama in an airtight jumpsuit speaking to the public on TV or speaking over the airwaves, right? JESUS IS COMING...

It is clear that most of these posters have no clue about the difference between radiation and contamination and the cause and effects, but that doesn't keep them from weighing in as if they really understood what was going on. Keep that tablet tucked under your tin foil hat and you will remain safe.

I guess if some think Californians should panic because of possible radiation sources 5,000 miles away, why shouldn't the Midwest and East Coast be panicking as well? What's another 2 or 3 thousand miles if 5,000 miles away isn't enough? Why not have the whole world panic? Why not hoard potassium iodine for every person unlikely to ever see anything worth worrying about when people in Japan who are at much greater risk need it more than you do? May as well stop using your microwave, stop driving, don't go outside ever (UV rays!), along with other things that have any risk associated with them.

I wonder what they're trying to sell us this time. Maybe they should do the opposite and say the clouds are spreading to the coast. This way they can put fear into people and have them rush out and buy tape, Haz-mat suits, supplies, first aid kits, oxygen tanks etc... so it can boost the economy.

The people rushing out to buy "potassium idodide" (as this person spelled it) reminds me of the people who rushed out to buy antibiotics when the anthrax scare was going on. Go ahead and work yourself up into a nervous frenzy over something that will, in all likelihood, never affect you.

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