Displacement of the plume from Japan: IRSN strengthens environmental radiation monitoring, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), March 19, 2011:
Watch the animation on the IRSN website here.
Compare that to the Chernobyl animation on the IRSN website here.
Since March 12, the plume resulting from discharges from nuclear reactor accident at the Fukushima moves, while thinner, air currents in the northern hemisphere. The IRSN has a model of this dispersion, in collaboration with Meteo France, which allows it to monitor and anticipate this shift. The first card was wide areas near Japan and the second card is the scale of the northern hemisphere as a whole.
According to this model, the plume was covered yesterday in most of North America and north-eastern Siberia. He is currently on the North Atlantic, and should reach the Territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and the Caribbean. It could reach mainland France, the 23 or March 24, 2011.
The expected concentrations of cesium 137 in the air over the territory swept by the plume are extremely low. This radionuclide is representative of radioactive material released long-distance during a nuclear accident.
These concentrations will be too low to be detected by the 170 beacons warning network Téléray IRSN, whose measurements are also available on the website of the IRSN.
IRSN agreed with the Environment Agency of the United States ( EPA ), which suggests that these concentrations will not affect health and the environment. In addition, they will be so small that they may probably be detected in the environment than by sample measurements performed in specialized laboratories.
The IRSN has such laboratories in France (and Tahiti, located in the southern hemisphere and therefore outside the main stream of the plume). The Institute will publish the test results when available, that is to say, several days after the passage of the plume. Regarding Saint Pierre and Miquelon or the West Indies, the results of data analyzed in the United States are considered representative of the situation in these territories.
Published: March 19th, 2011 at 9:27 pm ET