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Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
03-15-2011, 06:12 PM
Post: #1
Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
I'm wondering why the local newspapers have disabled all comments when it comes to news about the earthquake in Japan. Not just on stories about the earthquake itself, but also on stories about possible nuclear fallout. Even though Obama today announced that there is no nuclear threat for Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast, I myself can't quite believe that. That's because I lived in the time and area when Chernobyl exploded and authorities back then also said there was no threat for the area I lived in. But years later they admitted that nuclear fallout had occurred there too. They said people would notice the consequences decades later when it comes to their health. I feel very bad for all the Japanese people who live near the reactors. I have many friends in Japan who are all saying they are very worried too. It also felt strange last Friday when I heard the usual Aloha Friday fireworks. There are many Japanese in Hawaii and I think that out of respect for such a tragedy an event like this should have been cancelled.
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03-16-2011, 04:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
This is a good topic to start a thread about. There is a lot of people worried about the radioactive fallout that we know is coming. There is some good points and some bad one's that we are looking at today with these reactors in Japan.
Let's start with the fallout of Three Mile Island. That was the US's first nuclear meltdown but that was only one nuclear plant. We've improved a lot over the years. They now have shield's and an outer core shell for added security.
In the case of Chernobyl, it didn't have an outer core and shell like they do today. That was two plants that went up at once and it happen so fast that it took the Russians by surprise. So fast in fact,that there was nothing left to do by the time they discovered what had happen that they had no choice but to lie to their people and the outside world. The US on the other hand, wasn't surprised at what had happen and even offered help but there was a Cold War going on at the time.
To me,what is surprising is that we are talking about problems with 7 out of 10 nuclear reactors and not one or two. We are also talking about Cesium,Uranium and Plutonium,where Chernobyl was Uranium and Plutonium and much larger amounts of the two.
So far in Japan,only clouds of Cesium have been released for now. The fallout from Cesium would be statically charged and would stick to the sides of buildings until washed off by the very next rainfall. Since that will never happen with the ocean,there isn't much punch to it. Until there is a complete meltdown,the Uranium and Plutonium shouldn't come into play.
Ok,let's say that the worst has just happen, where will the fallout go and what will is do? Here is where our luck begins as far as a nuclear fallout effecting the US. The Jetstream runs only a few miles north of those nuclear reactors,which is about 30 miles up. Well,how bad can that be?
As of today,Japan is experiencing an offshore wind current,which takes the fallout away from the people of Japan and that is good news for now. The reason why I say for now is because they will have a high pressure system move over that area later this week or going into next week. That will create an onshore wind and that isn't going to be good for the people of Japan.
Getting back to the fallout effecting the US. As long as the winds takes the fallout over the Pacific Ocean,everyone will be safe. The Pacific Ocean acts as a natural filter and for every mile of ocean that the fallout travels and more it will disperses. The jet stream then curves northward to San Francisco and the great northwest to Canada and back down to the midwest. So,seeing people in Texas buying these KI tablets is a totally unnecessary.
The question that's been asked from me over the last couple of days,is whether the fallout will float over the state of Hawaii and the answer is a 90% "no" and only a 10% a might for an answer. We definitely have good odds with this one. This answer goes back to what I was saying about the jet stream currents. The jet stream goes several hundred miles north of the Hawaiian Islands. Not that we shouldn't monitor the air but chances are good that we're pretty safe here. We have to such monitors here in Hawaii now. One in Hilo and the other is on top of a building in downtown Honolulu and works year round. We are getting two more by the end of this week. One is going to the North Shore of Oahu and the other will go to Kauai.
Let's talk about KI Tablets or Potassium Iodide tablets (IOSAT), this was making the news yesterday. donated something in the neighborhood of 50 million tablets to Japan because they couldn't sell them here because of packaging and the fact that they expired in 2007. Now these have a shelf life of roughly 60 years with the correct packaging. Even though these pills expired 4 byears ago,they still have a great value for the Japanese people and will still work, plus you can't argue with free.
Sales of these pills worldwide has left all shelves in store bare and out of stock.We have millions of people on one hand buying them up for nothing but on the other hand,providing a piece of mind and some safety according to security experts. They have talked about everyone having some of these tablets in everyone's medicine cabinets for years now but no paid those suggestions any attention all these years until now. Chances are that they will do just that,sit in your medicine cabinet to never be taken. In fact, I've had to take these before for occupational safety and they will make some people very sick and some people can't take these pills at all. If you can't eat any shellfish,then your body will not handle these pills because these are mainly made from Kelp that is found all over the oceans.
Also,if you are above the age of 40 years old,these pills are not going to do you much good anyway unless you know that you are going to be in a fallout area within a few hours of taking them. After the age of 40 years old, our Thyroids are full developed by then. Infants to 18 year old's are the one's who will get the most benefit from these pills. The Thyroid will absorb Iodide whether Radioactive or the safer Potassium Iodide, which blocks the Thyroid from absorbing the bad radioactive iodide during a 24 hour period. So for children,you'll need to use a pill-splitter so that each child gets close to 65mg's each because these pills come at 130 mg's each tablet. Only one tablet a day (full tablet for adults,half tabs for children)only while experiencing days of fallout only. These tablets in no way stop radiation sickness or exposure.
I hope you feel safer after reading this post and have a better understanding of what is really going on. If I see any important changes, I will report them here asap.
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03-16-2011, 08:27 AM
Post: #3
RE: Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
Thank you for this very informative post and for keeping us updated. Sometimes it's difficult to interpret all these newspaper stories because there are currently so many of them. If you don't know much about nuclear energy, etc. you can really feel lost. That's why I was surprised that the comments function is disabled on the StarAdvertiser because I always read what other people have to say, in addition to the main story which is written by a reporter. But this time, no comments are allowed under any of the Japan earthquake story. So either they don't tell us something or they want people to believe their story only and people not to talk among each other about this.
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03-16-2011, 02:57 PM (This post was last modified: 03-16-2011 03:14 PM by WonderinginWaikiki.)
Post: #4
RE: Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
I know a lot about this stuff at the moment because I have been asked to put together a rescue mission into the hardest hit area of Japan, in Sendai. We have to rescue a woman and her two children. We got only one email from them,so we know that they are alive. The news in the email though wasn't all that good though. We do know that their home was destroyed by quake but that they were living in the shell of the home. So the husband has been raising $$ for the survival equipment and supplies. I have been routing a map into this area to get past those nuclear plants unless we can get a military hop by helicopter into that area.
We had one team member that left Miami Monday and arrived in Tokyo yesterday. It will take several days to reach Sendai due to the crisis with those nuclear plants that has slowed progress for everyone. Unfortunately, majority of this will have to be done on foot. Unless we are creative in other ways. The member that arrive yesterday is going to try to secure some motocross type motorcycles to get through all of the hardest hit areas. He does speak Japanese and grew up in Japan.
We've are hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. The flight there is the only easy leg of the trip. I'm the only one who knows what to expect and what it's like to be in the middle of something like this. Everything will work out. Must think positive always.

I came across this story and wanted to post a link to it and also post the story itself. You only need to click on the link if you want to see the images that came along with the story. A couple of months from now,this link isn't going to work anymore but I want to save this article so that I can come back and refer to the figures that was featured in this story.

Mon Mar 14, 9:56 am ET

Japan’s earthquake shifted balance of the planet

By Liz Goodwin

By Liz Goodwin liz Goodwin – Mon Mar 14, 9:56 am ET

Last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has actually moved the island closer to the United States and shifted the planet's axis.

The quake caused a rift 15 miles below the sea floor that stretched 186 miles long and 93 miles wide, according to the AP. The areas closest to the epicenter of the quake jumped a full 13 feet closer to the United States, geophysicist Ross Stein at the United States Geological Survey told The New York Times.

The 9.0 magnitude quake (the fourth-largest recorded since 1900) was caused when the Pacific tectonic plate dove under the North American plate, which shifted Eastern Japan towards North America by about 13 feet (see NASA's before and after photos at right). The quake also shifted the earth's axis by 6.5 inches, shortened the day by 1.6 microseconds, and sank Japan downward by about two feet. As Japan's eastern coastline sunk, the tsunami's waves rolled in.

Why did the quake shorten the day? The earth's mass shifted towards the center, spurring the planet to spin a bit faster. Last year's massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile also shortened the day, but by an even smaller fraction of a second. The 2004 Sumatra quake knocked a whopping 6.8 micro-seconds off the day.

After the country's 1995 earthquake, Japan placed high-tech sensors around the country to observe even the slightest movements, which is why scientists are able to calculate the quake's impact down to the inch. "This is overwhelmingly the best-recorded great earthquake ever," Lucy Jones, chief scientist for the Multi-Hazards project at the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Los Angeles Times.

The tsunami's waves necessitated life-saving evacuations as far away as Chile. Fisherman off the coast of Mexico reported a banner fishing day Friday, and speculated that the tsunami knocked sealife in their direction.

(An energy map provided by NOAA shows the intensity of the tsunami caused by Japan's earthquake: Reuters/NOAA. Below, Satellite image of Japan's coast moving: NASA.)
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03-16-2011, 09:21 PM
Post: #5
RE: Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
I didn't know you're a nuclear/rescue mission expert. I hope that this rescue will be successful! Keep us posted. Also thanks for posting the information about the shifting of the Earth's axis. It really shows how powerful this quake was.
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03-17-2011, 11:27 AM
Post: #6
RE: Japan earthquake and possible consequences for Hawaii
I discovered yesterday that many airlines including Hawaiian Air and JAL are now flying empty planes to Japan and are now offering free seats on those planes. They are calling these "free charter seats" as of yesterday.
The fear is now that the weather is starting to change in Japan and that the radioactive clouds will blow into Sendai this weekend. At the moment, the Japanese Government is offering all citizens including citizens of other countries what is called a "Re-entry Permits". This will allow anyone to leaving and then return at will or when it's safe to do so.
The US Government requested all US Citizens to leave Japan last night and also ordered a 50 mile radius around those nuclear plant that exceeded the 19 mile radius the Japanese Government had ordered. Either way, there seems to be grave concerns by both governments. At this point,I would lean away from precautionary concern by both governments to a very serious concern.
There is over 1 million survivors of the quake and tsunami in the city of Sendai alone, that is a lot of people to move in a very short time in area that still isn't back to normal after both disaster events.
Any window of opportunity to rescue any loved ones or family is now shorten to just hours instead of days. I would not be completely wrong in saying that the news that will come out of Japan this same time next week will certainly be very,very sad.
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