Apr 032011
 
CME of April 3, 2011

CME of April 3, 2011

An ongoing coronal mass ejection (CME) has been captured on the COR2 Ahead solar satellite. The CME appears to be even larger than the solar eruption occurring on March 8 that preceded by a few days the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku, Japan, earthquake and resulting tsunami.

The relative size of the sun is shown as the circle on the occlusion disk at the center of the image.

Mar 202011
 

According to American television station KIRO, 200,000 U.S. personnel are currently being evacuated from Japan to cites along the U.S. West Coast. The Seattle, Washington, based broadcaster states on its website:

The USO said about 200,000 U.S. personnel are being evacuated from Japan to U.S. West Coast cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle/JBLM.

The voluntary evacuation is in response to growing concerns over the ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe.

As we recently reported, barring a nuclear detonation at the site, the Fukushima disaster should have little direct impact on the United States mainland.

Mar 172011
 

I have been very concerned about the fear mongering and outright hysteria that has erupted as a result of the ongoing Japanese nuclear catastrophes. I have attempted, through mostly anonymous channels, to dispel and debunk some of the most egregious hoaxes, misconceptions, misinformation and profiteering that have exploded since the tragic March 11th Japanese earthquake that has since been upgraded from 8.9 to 9.0 on the Richter Scale.

As conditions exist at the moment, the fallout from the Fukushima reactors does not directly pose a threat of any significance to the United States with the possible exceptions of some areas of Alaska.

I served as a Nuclear Weapons Maintenance Specialist in the U.S. Army where I attained the highest average score in the history of that school. I was in West Germany during the Chernobyl disaster and I took measurements to detect fallout in that area. I have a degree in physics. Consequently, I have some perspective on nuclear fallout.

Certain radioactive isotopes that are the products of nuclear fission will likely become detectable in the United States over the next week using specialized equipment. However, the diffuse levels of these isotopes will be so low that, like during the similar Chernobyl disaster, the American fallout will be more of a curiosity than a threat.

The only way that the United States mainland can become directly and measurably impacted by the Fukushima nuclear plume is if the power plant suffers an atomic detonation that disperses many tons of radioactive material high into the atmosphere. This is unlikely, but it would devastate Japan with fallout, poison the northern Pacific Ocean for many years and contaminate large areas of the Northern Hemisphere to levels high enough to appreciably increase cancer and birth defect rates.

However, I do not mean to downplay the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, which will likely eclipse Chernobyl, perhaps by a large margin. It is increasingly apparent that large areas surrounding the afflicted Fukushima nuclear power plant will have to be permanently evacuated. If the situation continues to worsen, hundreds of thousands and perhaps even millions of Japanese will have to be relocated. Tens-of-thousands of Japanese casualties are possible. Ocean life in the surrounding waters will become contaminated. Many square miles of farmland may have to be abandoned for decades.

The Fukushima nuclear plant crisis might well become the largest human initiated disaster outside of war, but the United States mainland is currently safe from the resultant fallout.

Jun 032010
 

Political turmoil sees the resignation of prime ministers in Nepal, Germany and Japan.

Nepalese prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was to step down on May 29, one day after parliament’s term expired. He will not step down immediately.

German President Horst Koehler abruptly resigned May 30 allegedly under pressure from opposition parties to explain his comments on Germany military actions abroad. The comments made on May 22 can be read here. His comments linked the need for military action abroad to support economic interests at home, as well as the need to prevent regional instabilities.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned June 1. He said that he had not kept his campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the southern island of Okinawa. Hatoyama was a veteran politician. His career started in 1986 with an election to the House of Representatives.