Expert: Japan Nuclear Exposure Unlikely In United States

CHICAGO (WBBM) — A nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory says even though there is a potential for more radioactive release in Japan – the United States is not at risk.

Depending on the winds, could a radioactive cloud drift from the damaged nuclear plants in Japan over Hawaii or Alaska or the Lower 48?

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“There’s a potential for a release, but that type of a release would never make it that far,” said Mitchell Farmer, a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Lab.

He says the quantity that he believes could be released at this point would not be a threat to any part of the United States.

As for nuclear plants in Illinois, Farmer says he’s confident they would take a lesson from this.

“What’s happened in Japan I can assure you will be closely scrutinized and if there is anything that can be done to improve the safety of operating plants in Illinois and across the country, that will be incorporated into it.”

Farmer says Illinois plants have a number of backups. But then – so did nuclear plants in Japan, which were damaged from the massive tsunami created by one the the biggest earthquakes in history.

  • Just the Facts

    You really have to admire the Japanese people for how they’re dealing with this mess. If it were to happen here in the USA, the savages would be out looting and shooting!!! Hats off to their society and the values they have!!!

  • Chivi

    Just because we don’t live by the ocean does not mean that we are prepared. Are we really prepared for flooding around our nuclear plants??

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      Are you suggesting that a mag 9 earthquake followed by a tsunami is the same as “flooding around our nuclear plants’?

  • Tom

    Every plant in the US is designed to withstand the maximum credible threat that is relevant to its location. Is a tsunami credible in the Midewest? No. Is flooding? Yes. Tornadoes? Yes.

    Meteorology, seismology, geology, population, resources, environment, and numerous other issues are all considered in the site-specific plans for safety, security, and emergency planning.

    The reactors in Japan were designed to withstand the maximum credible earthquake and tsunami. But the natural disaster unfolding in Japan is unlike anything in recorded history. It is IN-credible. Not only were the reactors affected, but entire communities, ports, schools, industries, businesses, and way of life have been destroyed. No amount of safeguards at a reactor site will change that.

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