When it comes to chaotic nightmare scenario, earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear accidents easily rank at the top of just about anyone’s list. On the other hand, there is also a pervasive sense among preppers that these scenarios are not likely to happen in their area, let alone strike all at one time. Sadly, in Fukushima, Japan, all three events did happen at one time, and the long term impacts still need to be considered by everyone interested in prepping.
What Is the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis About?
On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, then a very powerful tsunami occurred. The water struck a nuclear power plant and caused major failures in the cooling system for several of the reactors. Within 24 hours, enormous amounts of radioactive material were being released into the land, ocean, and air, and it remained impossible to stop the radiation from leaking out. Today, radiation still pours out as there are three reactor cores that melted down, and very little can be done to stop this process.
At least 610 workers and nearby residents died due to radiation exposure, and thousands more are expected to develop cancers related to exposure to radiation. The toll is greatest on children, of whom over 1/3 already show signs of abnormal growth in the thyroid glands that indicate an increased risk for cancer.
To put it simply, yes, the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis is still ongoing, and presents a danger to everyone in its path. It is estimated that at least 520 tons of radioactive water found its way into the Pacific Ocean, and at least 50 grams of plutonium were released directly into the air, plus an undisclosed amount of other radioactive materials. (50 grams of plutonium can produce an explosion that would normally take 750 pounds, or 340 kilograms of TNT.)
The radioactive half-life of materials used to power nuclear reactors spans thousands to hundreds of thousands of years. When these particles find their way into the water, air, and soil, they will remain radioactive and continue to pose a serious danger to almost all life forms.
How Is Fukushima Crisis Impacting the US?
As of December 2015, radiation from Fukushima has reached the western shores of the US and Canada. It is estimated that some isotopes have jumped as much as 50% in concentration, however government agencies still claim that radiation levels are not high enough to promote the idea that people should stop swimming, boating, and eating from the coastal waters.
This mirrors Japan’s claim that their coastal waters in the area are safe despite the fact that radiation levels are 10 to 100 times higher than what is currently being seen along the west coast of the United States and Canada.
Why Should I Be Concerned?
As a prepper, dealing with a nuclear crisis is something that is sure to have crossed your mind. Here’s why you need to be concerned right now about Fukushima and its potential deadly impact on your life:
- Increasing levels of radiation from Fukushima are readily detectable now along the western coast of the United States. The progression of the radiation has progressed inland and now shows up in water and soil located further away from the ocean.
- If you buy food or water from areas currently contaminated by radioactive materials from Fukushima, there is no way for you to know if these consumable goods are even safe. This includes wines, cigarettes, and just about anything else that you think is safe to consume just because it is “made in the United States”.
- Unlike Chernobyl and nuclear bomb explosions, the radiation leaking from Fukushima has not stopped.
Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for consumers to determine if elevated radiation levels are coming from Fukushima, a nearby power plant, or some other source of radioactive material.