Radiation Reaches California: But Don't Rush for the Iodide Tabs

radiation counter - radiation in california
radiation counter - radiation in california

Stop the panicking! "Minuscule" amounts of radiation -- "about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening" -- have been detected in Southern California, fallout from the developing nuclear disaster in Japan. The U.N. keeps many measuring stations throughout the world, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, which keeps all its test results private, detected radiation Friday in a California station. The diplomat who released the news asked for anonymity.

The CTBTO stations run by the U.N. are interesting, set up around the world to monitor atmospheric nuclear testing. Those that have capability to detect radionuclides are scattered throughout the world, from Tahiti to Sand Point, Alaska to Macquarie Island, south of New Zealand, to St. Johns, Newfoundland.

There is also one in Sacramento, likely the only place that this reading could have been taken (although Sacramento is in Northern California). It is no surprise, of course, that low levels of radiation might be detected in the U.S.; Thursday, a CTBTO graphic predicted that a radioactive plume would reach Southern California late Friday. Sources show, it was early.