posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 12:32 AM
reply to post by GullibleUnderlord
OK, one at a time...
It's not the half-life, but the energy of the emissions that makes a particular isotope dangerous. Cesium emits beta particles just like iodine-131,
but the particles emitted have much less energy. The half-life just tells us how long it will take for half of a certain amount of an isotope to
decay, i.e. how long it lasts.
My response on what states might be affected first.
That map is a hoax.
To Japan, this is extremely serious. Every time they vent the reactors, they release radiation. If they don't vent the reactors, they risk releasing
all of the radiation inside if they crack from the pressure. Any radiation they emit is immediately exposed to the population with no time for it to
dissipate or decay. So far, they are doing the best they can, and considering what caused all this, a pretty darn good job IMO!
To the US, this is a concern but not a problem at this point. If, and this is a big, huge, monstrous if, there is a complete reactor breach, it is
possible for the Jet Stream to transport the radioactive materials to the US West Coast. The primary problem should this happen would be the neutron
radiation from the uranium (and any plutonium), as the energetic neutrons will bond with the hydrogen in water molecules, forming heavy water that
would fall as radioactive rain. Other types of radiation would either dissipate or decay and thus not be a major problem (with the possible exception
of plutonium... I am not up to date on MOX). But again, this is a worst-case scenario which does not appear to be happening!