Could the Jet Stream Bring Japanese Radiation to the United States

This is a map from wikipedia. It shows the path often taken by commercial airliners to take advantage of the jet stream when it is running from Japan to the United States. This usuallyoccurs during the winter months.

Could this thing bring radiation here? I don’t know.

During the Second World War the Japanese used the jet stream to send bombs by balloon to the United States. That would suggest to me that the wind currents are quite reliable.

From wikipedia –

The balloon campaign was the fourth attack the Japanese had made on the American mainland. The fūsen bakudan campaign was, however, the most earnest of the attacks. The concept was the brainchild of the Imperial Japanese Army’s Ninth Army’s Number Nine Research Laboratory, under Major General Sueyoshi Kusaba, with work performed by Technical Major Teiji Takada and his colleagues. The balloons were intended to make use of a strong current of winter air that the Japanese had discovered flowing at high altitude and speed over their country, which later became known as the jet stream.[3]

The jet stream blew at altitudes above 9.15 km (30,000 ft) and could carry a large balloon across the Pacific in three days, over a distance of more than 8,000 km (5,000 miles). Such balloons could carry incendiary and high-explosive bombs to the United States and drop them there to kill people, destroy buildings, and start forest fires.[3]

From another web site

The balloon bombs were released from Japan in the winter months when the jet stream is the strongest. They popped up to altitude (20,000 to 40,000 ft.) and if they were lucky into the stream. They traveled along in an easterly direction crossing the Pacific at around 200 mph in the jet stream. In daytime they would ride at the maximum altitude but as time wore on they would sink. At night they would collect dew and become heavy. Below a set height the altimeter would cause a set of blow plugs (charges that released the ballast) to fire releasing the sand bag ballast. The lost of weight would cause the balloon to pop back up to altitude. This continued till all the sand bags were gone. The last ballast was the armament. Thermite bombs were armed and dropped in the last positions on the ring. Anti-personnel bombs were also used. After all the ballast was gone a picric acid block blew up destroying the gondola. A fuse was lit that was connected to a charge on the balloon itself. The hydrogen and air mixture burned the balloon envelope up as a large orange fireball.

I’m couldn’t find any information on the jet stream’s current location.

If radiation were to reach 30,000 feet and enter the jet stream, it will probably go faster than a “bomb balloon.”

I’m just speculating but I haven’t seen anything about this anywhere and I thought I would see if someone who knows more than I will talk about this.

James Pilant

29 thoughts on “Could the Jet Stream Bring Japanese Radiation to the United States

  1. Gary Bender

    This appears to show part of the jet stream over northern Japan, grazing Puget Sound, and looping over the Midwest and northwest Arkansas.


  2. Fran

    You are doing a great job on voicing citizen concerns about the potential radiation threat to the US here. Thanks!

    I live in WA state and there is a run on potassium iodide already. I read in a local paper that Cherbobyl raised radiation levels here and this map shows that it must have traveled the long way around:

    Fallout from Japan has a much shorter distance to travel. There are a few monitors set up along the WA, OR and CA coasts and so far we are being told there is no increase in radiation.

    To get potassium iodide distributed and taken effectively, it seems there should be monitors out at sea, though.


    1. I sell wild edible Maine seaweed. there is plenty of iodine in the kelp. If anyone is interested in buying some please visit my website

      I wish everyone the best of health and well being and I think it is a very good idea to protect your thyroid- I will be drinking seaweed/miso soups everyday to prevent damage.


  3. Michele

    I’m wondering if we can even trust those people chosen to tell us (the tsunami alert system did not go off in Newport, Oregon) if there is actually radiation to worry about as they don’t want people to panic. The day of the quake, I immediately grew concerned about the reactors and I called my local pharmacy to ask about getting KI and was told that KI isn’t available nor effective and the FDA or Gov can’t do testing as it’s unethical to do such testing (although we already know it does work) and I was refused KI. I then called the CDC and was laughed at and told to call the Nuclear regulatory training site or someone like that. When I called them, I was transferred 5 times and eventually transferred to a phone that just rang and no answering machine nor answer. This only breeds fear when Citizens are treated as crazy or laughed at. I’m sure they went home and watched the same thing as the rest of us and realized I’m not crazy. I did find that Prussan Blue can help for internal damage if radiated. Just an FYI if you do get radiated. Would love to have someone tell me how long it takes the winds to reach the coast or Mid-Oregon so I can be prepared. They tell us to be prepared for things like this, then they laugh at you and call you crazy when you try to prepare. Shame on them! It’s not until they are notified it’s real, that it becomes real and MY life means nothing to them.


  4. Ara

    I did not read the very last comment except for the beginning where doubt was expressed over the dependability of a proper warning and I feel the same way.

    Over the past hour ive been reading parts of a book (available for free online) titled the critical hour. It is about the nuclear threat we live in though unfortunately it is more concerned with the politics behind changing and eradicating civilian nuclear technology than it is with the dangers posed and the science behind a meltdown. Nevertheless and back to the point of an unreliable warning I have learned that the 3 mile island disaster was a complete failure not just in operation of the actual plant but in the way it was made public. Imagine the BP underestimates and you’ve essentially got the idea. They withheld the truth because they didn’t want people to panic. Make what you will of that fact (we probably won’t be as hesitant to warn our own population because the fault does not lie with us) but however you take it just keep in mind how blind the public sometimes is kept during out of control tragedies like these.

    The bottom line is that we take for granted our world until it starts to fall apart… And that I’m going to go get some potassium iodide asap


  5. Howard


    I found this website that shows the track of jetstreams. They have an option to choose animation or still images. Here’s the link:

    I worked with nuclear power many years ago, and so am not current on modern design of reactors. But the basics should still be the same. The fuel rods interact with each other (a fission reaction), causing extreme heat. The reaction is controlled (read “cooled or shut down”) by the control rods being inserted between the reacting fuel rods.

    The reason I’m putting this information on here is the explanation being given on the news (about attempts to “cool the reactors with water”) seems nonsensical. No water I know of can slow or stop a nuclear reaction. That’s what the control rods are for. The water circulating through a reactor is there to transfer heat from the fuel rods to a secondary water system, where pressure is relieved allowing the secondary water to flash into steam. The steam then drives turbines that perform work such as generating electricity.

    If the reactor is melting, that means something must have gone wrong with the insertion of the control rods. My guess is the earthquake damaged their control systems, preventing the emergency shutdown of the reaction. I don’t know how any amount of water passing over an uncontrolled fission reaction can even begin to cool it down. It certainly can’t be put out like a fire.

    Maybe the control rods were successfully inserted partway, and what we’re seeing really is a “partial meltdown”. Maybe there’s only a small amount of exposed fuel, and it’ll use itself up soon. In any case, it’s a good idea for all of us to keep an eye on the situation and on any fallout that may come our way.

    Prayer is always a good idea. For anyone who isn’t already a born-again Apostolic Christian, I encourage you to read Acts 2:38 in the Bible. None of us knows when our time here on Earth will end, and it’s best to be ready to meet our Maker at any time.



    1. Andrew

      I had the same concerns when I watched the news and they attempted (poorly, I might add) to explain what was going on, technically speaking.

      What about the “spent” fuel rods that are maintained in those plants? Those have to stay submerged during their cool down phase before they can be transferred to a long term storage facility. Even though we consider them “spent”, those fuel rods still contain a considerable amount of nuclear radioactivity, or fuel, left in them (hence the need to keep them submerged and cooled with water).

      Could it be those rods that are being exposed? If the cooling pumps arent working, then there would be no way for heat from the spent rods to escape the water. This water would then evaporate and expose the rods.

      Just a thought.


      1. They are currently on fire. This reactor was temporarily shut down for repairs. I don’t know what happened to catch it on fire (more correctly I don’t which one of the disasters at the plant nailed it) but not that is on fire, it is in the same boat as the other plants, the spent control rods are not useful for making electricity but all the other problems of nuclear fuel they retain.


  6. drew

    Don’t know about anyone else but i am nervous about radiation and the jet stream. I wish we would see experts on the news commenting on it if only to dismiss the notion. Perhaps that because it doesn’t merit serious consideration but still…


    1. The experts from nuclear regulatory agency have said the no “harmful” levels of radiation will come to the U.S. I am troubled by that adjective. What does that mean?
      Another thing that worries me is when it has been talked about before, it appears they were talking about a meltdown at a single plant. It seems now that several might be destroyed. I think that will change all the conclusions.
      But you’re quite right. Forecasting is very difficult.
      James Pilant


      1. Andrew

        That means that in all liklihood, by the time any radiation hit our shores it will be very widely dispersed by the long travel and wind patterns, thus posing very little, if any, health risks.


  7. Woggalito Pogg

    SAD thing we as a people are not trusted enough to develop our own conclusions regarding Radiation and the Jet Stream.based on “ALL” the info out their..suppression of information is the star of the Panic people feel when the form opinions without all pertinent information.
    Control of the people for fear of panic has a snowball effect and leads to problems. Let the people see and read the complete Facts on the “LEAKS in Nuclear Plants in Japan and the direct proportional Radiation/Jetsream relationships regarding cross Pacific contamination possibilities of the West Coast of the United States. We are capable of deciding what steps we should personaly take.


  8. Beth

    Someone asked about time the jetstream takes to travel. I don’t have the website, however, I’ve read it’s about 36 hours.

    As well, I would’ve suggested online sites for K1, and was going to utilize that myself, but by the time I had the money to do it… it was rashly limited in the U.S.

    Those places that do have it, don’t seem to be willing to ship within 24 hours. However, perhaps you can find someone that will. Ebay has it, at greatly increased prices and no positive that you’ll once again receive it within 36 hours even.


  9. Woody

    Any radioactivity would have to get up into the jet stream, first.

    The explosions we’ve seen so far wouldn’t come close to getting any radioactivity into the jet stream – you’d need to get it 5 to 8 miles up.


  10. Jim

    I’m not trying to be a fear monger but I have been waiting days for simple explainations that someone needs to know but no one will adress. Please answer this! If the situation in Japan turned into a minimum of a Chernobyl event, 1. What normal wind patterns would the radioactive materials take towards California? 2. Where in California would these patterns have landfall? 3. What would the radioactive levels be at during first landfall? 4.What ocean currents would these material follow? 5. How would radioactive materials in the ocean currents affect the food chain and for how long?


  11. The Westerly winds tend to blow directly across the Pacific to the West coast of the United States, however, the distance is huge. I think the radiation effects will be quite light. Landfall will depend on local weather conditions, so you’ll have to take the day of meltdown, and follow the weather as the range closes. What ocean currents will be affected? Well, how heavy is the material and how far from Japan will it go? Too many variables. You see the jet stream gives a certain predictability to airborne radiations. I am unaware of any similar phenomenon in the ocean. (if you find one, get it to me immediately) After Chernobyl, there have been radiation found in fish in the lakes and rivers near the plant. But the ocean is huge and we know so little about how much radiation will be released, predictability is hopeless.


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