Although any injections of radioactivity for the damaged Japanese reactors would be highly diffused, with very low concentrations, by the time it got to us, I did a trajectory analysis using the NOAA Hysplit Model. I first released the trajectories in the general region of damaged region at 10, 1000, and 5000 meters. Here is what I got:And there I tried some higher levels: here are trajectories released more at jet stream level (7000 and 9000 meters):I tried several levels because it is uncertain to what level the radioactive materials will rise. It would injected by an explosion, diffuse vertically by turbulence in the atmosphere, be pushed aloft by atmospheric convection or rise with the vertical motion associated with weather systems (like fronts and cyclones)
But there is a bottom line: what does gets injected is generally heading our way...particularly at jet stream level (9000 m) and near the surface.
You may not believe this, but some of the survivalist and anti-nuclear web sites are already going nuts about the "threat." On CNN right now they are talking about the potential for a melt down of at least one of the Japanese reactors, but it is clear that this will not be a Chernobyl level release in any case.
But taking a more philosophical angle, it is clear that both the ability to a Japanese tsunami to influence our coast, and the threat of radioactivity injected into the atmosphere there to move our way on the jet stream shows that we cannot consider our environment in isolation from the rest of the world.
PS: Here is a good editorial on the Common Core math standards