Emissions from Fukushima Diiachi Present in the Tropopause and Jetstream

Quote ““The important feature of this accident was that the source position was evidently clear, however, time and vertical emission variations were unknown (in this case, it was known that the height of emission was not so high in altitude).”

Wrong. Radiosondes released from Fukushima University showed beta radiation levels off the chart at jet stream levels (30,000 feet or 10 km):


Every one of these atmospheric simulations that do not include high-altitude measurements of radiation is invalid.

From Bobby1.
end quote.

Thanks very much for this information and for the information and source on your site. It is very important, it helps me immensely and it knocks on the head the uncertainty I have had about the transport vectors and reach.

In my searches, the information I had found did not take away my uncertainty regarding the jet stream as a major vector. Your source does give certainty.

The issue which has vexed me is whether the particles released by the Fukushima event have reached the stratosphere. If quantities of fission and fuel particles have reached the stratosphere, global fallout (much more significant in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern) will continue for years, even if significant emissions into air from Fukushima have ceased, even if there are not future released.


which is: Transport and fallout of stratospheric radioactive debris

I hold the view that as the presence of emissions from Fukkushima Diiachi is confirmed in the tropopause and Jetstream, they are probably present in the stratosphere. Therefore, the Fukushimma event will probably continue for decades as fallout is slowly removed from the stratosphere by the demonstrated action of slow fallout.

The precedent my believing that the effect of Fukushima nuclear fallout will last for decades, if present in the stratospheric sink lies in the many decades worth of study of global stratospheric fallout from the era of nuclear weapons testing.

I now know, because of the source material presented at Bobby1’s link above, that the long term hazard posed by the stratospheric sink may be, and probably is, a hazard in the decades ahead.

Both immediate and long term fallout are important.

“By the time stratospheric fallout reaches the earth, its radioactivity is greatly reduced. For example, after one year, the time typically required for any sizable amount of fission products to move from the northern to the southern stratosphere, the rate of decay will be less than a hundred thousandth of what it was one hour after the blast. It is for this reason that stratospheric fallout does not have the potential to cause widespread and immediate sickness or death.”

None the less, in terms of impacts, stratospheric fallout is a concern into the future. And this concerns not only people who are present on the earth now, but also those who are yet to be born.

which is:

Report on the Health Consequences to the American Population from Nuclear Weapons Tests Conducted by the United States and Other Nations
Chapter 2: Fallout from Nuclear Weapons
2.1 Fallout Production Mechanisms
Chapter 3: Estimation of Doses from Fallout
Chapter 4: Potential Health Consequences from Exposure of the United States Population to Radioactive Fallout

Which is:
Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Tests and Cancer Risks
Exposures 50 years ago still have health implications
today that will continue into the future
Steven L. Simon, André Bouville and Charles E. Land

US National Cancer Institute.

It has been the conventional view that size of nuclear explosion was the sole mechanism which determined the altitude reached by fallout products. Within this view, the explosions at Fukushima Diiachi in March 2011 were trivial and the view was and remains that resulting fallout depended upon surface wind and other factors alone.

However Stohl and other studies, including the Fukkushima University study above, show that the Fukushima Diiachi emissions have reached very high altitudes.

Therefore the conventional view that the many tons of radioactive material resident on the ground and that portion of it liberated (or unsealed) by the events of March 2011 is of no comfort.

For the data shows despite the (in nuclear weapons terms) small size of the explosions at Fukushima Diiachi plant, the emissions have indeed reached the jetstream altitude. The hazard posed by further releases of radioactive material from the broken site remains.

The Fukushima Diiachi site is one shared by multiple nuclear reactors. The concept of a such a “reactor park” was studied and heavily criticized in the 1970s. Two such critics were Nader and Abbotts, who devoted a chapter on the subject in their book “The Menace of Atomic Energy” by Nader and Abbott, Outback Press, Victoria, Australia. Copyright 1977. ISBN 0 86888 0515. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-abbotts/menace-of-atomic-energy/

The combined thermal updraft created by the multiple units at the site may be responsible for the high altitude at which the Fukushimma emissions have been detected.

US CDC Dose Estimates from Nuclear Testing

(see cdc document at link given above.)

Execuative Summary

Radiation Dose Estimates. In this study, for the first time, doses for representative persons
in all counties of the contiguous United States have been estimated from exposure to the
most important radionuclides produced as a result of nuclear weapons testing from 1951
through 1962 by the United States and other nations. Any person living in the contiguous
United States since 1951 has been exposed to radioactive fallout, and all organs and tissues
of the body have received some radiation exposure. Doses were estimated separately for the
tests conducted at NTS and the tests conducted at other sites throughout the world (global
Lifetime dose estimates were calculated separately for external and internal irradiation.
External irradiation results from exposure to radiation emitted outside of the body, for
example, by radionuclides present on the ground. The corresponding doses are similar in
most body organs and vary little with the age of the person. On the other hand, internal
irradiation results from the decay of radionuclides incorporated in the body by inhalation or
ingestion, with levels of exposure varying according to age and to the distribution of
radionuclides in the organs and tissues of the body. For example, radioiodines concentrate
in the thyroid gland, whereas radiostrontium is found mainly in bone tissues.
Because the purpose of the project was only to determine the feasibility of doing a study,
there was no intention in the allowed time to develop new tools or to gather all data needed
to complete an extensive study of doses to Americans from nuclear weapons tests conducted
by the United States and other nations. Instead, crude dose estimates were made on the
basis of reviewing a limited number of reports in details and using available dose assessment
models. In some cases—particularly for the doses resulting from the intake of shorter-lived
radionuclides (e.g., iodine-131) in global fallout—the doses calculated may have
considerable error. Future work would improve the precision of these calculations.
The usefulness of the doses estimated in this project is limited to rudimentary evaluations of
the average impact on limited health outcomes for the population of the United States.
Because of the low precision of the dose estimates, they should not be used to estimate
health effects for specific individuals or for subpopulations. The goal of these calculations
was to determine only the feasibility of a study; therefore, the magnitude of uncertainty of
these doses has not been fully evaluated. However, though the computed county-specific
deposition densities and doses are uncertain, dose maps presented in this report are useful
for illustrating general spatial patterns of fallout exposure for average individuals across the
United States.

A summary of doses averaged over the contiguous United States is presented in Table 1 as
an example of the findings from this study. Because the thyroid and red bone marrow are
among the most radiosensitive organs and tissues of the body, their doses were selected as
examples for presentation (Table 1). Thyroid cancer, noncancer thyroid disease, and
leukemia, which arises from the red bone marrow, are the health effects that are discussed in
this report. ”

The United States does not possess a fine record of the health impacts contributed to the population
by nuclear testing. Nuclear fallout from civil nuclear engineering is an additional contribution which adds to the unknown.

4 Responses to “Emissions from Fukushima Diiachi Present in the Tropopause and Jetstream”

  1. Bobby1 Says:

    Thanks, Paul. I don’t know what Martin is talking about. The rate of decay is the same one hour after the blast as it is ten years after the blast. Perhaps he was thinking of short half-life radionuclides decaying away quickly.

    Cesium-137 and strontium-90 in the stratosphere will be a problem for decades. In 30 years, there will be 50% of the becquerels left, which is significant. In 60 years, 25% will be left, which is still a lot. And there would be nuclides like uranium and plutonium which are not going away at all.

    • nuclearhistory Says:

      Hi Bobby, yes, I too took Martin to mean the very short lived material. “The early fission products.” The long lived material, agreed, will be a problem for decades. Many decades. The nations of the world, certainly the nuclear powers, have not determined the extent to which nuclear weapon testing has affected human health. The CDC document link on the page confirms this. It appears to me that the nations of the world are responding to the global fallout resultant from Fukushima in the same way that they did after the nuclear test era.

  2. CaptD Says:

    I believe that radionuclides in the upper atmosphere is playing a major part in the weather we have been having, which is being “hidden” in climate change.

    I believe that time will show that radioactivity from Fukushima is MUCH greater than what has been acknowledged by TEPCO and/or the Japanese Gov’t.

    Radiation is not going to just “go away” and will continue to plague the Japanese people for many decades, maybe even a Century or even longer!

  3. CaptD Says:

    Seen This: New Web Pages Illustrate NRC’s Post-Fukushima Activities wp.me/p1fSSY-12c

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