Yes, The Radiation Plume from Japan is Moving Towards California. No, You Don't Need to Wig the Eff Out.
It is a scientific fact: The plume of radiation generated from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan is moving towards the U.S. West Coast. That plume is expected to reach California by Friday, however, "experts said they were confident that the amount of radiation would be well within safe limits," reports the LA Times.
The United Nations has been monitoring the status of the crippled nuclear plant and the movement of the radiation plume, and have made a forecast for the plume's path, though the New York Times noted that though the forecast was made on Tuesday, on Wednesday "the agency declined to release" it. The path is based on atmospheric conditions, as well as the expectation that the plant will continue to release radiation.
Causing uncertainty is the fact that while most experts agree that minimal radioactivity is likely to enter our local airspace and not pose any threat, Japan has not been forthcoming about just how much radiation is coming from their plant. "Since Japanese authorities have said little about the amount of the releases at Fukushima, nobody can say how much radioactivity will hit California," adds the LA Times.
As a matter of precaution, the Environmental Protection Agency has opted to deploy extra monitoring stations to the Pacific region, says the Associated Press. They have 12 permanent monitors already in ongoing operation in California.
While radiation is undeniably serious, Angelenos need not panic. Local health officials also warn against people taking potassium iodide tablets as a preventative measure, as the current situation does not call for such action, and is far riskier than rewarding.