1) Hydrogen explosions are not nuclear explosions. Hydrogen turns to water when an explosion happens. The main issue with the hydrogen explosions is if the blast damages a container holding nuclear material.
2) If a meltdown were to occur, radiation is not likely to reach the West Coast. Factors impacting that include the amount of radiation released, how high into the atmosphere it travels and weather conditions.
3) Jorgensen also points out that if damage occurs to the containers, there won’t be a bomb-like explosion of the nuclear material, but rather a leakage.
Timothy Jorgensen, PhD, MPH is chair of the radiation safety committee at GUMC and a member on the National Council on Radiation Protection. He has a PhD in environmental health and holds a certificate in risk science. He is a molecular radiation biologist interested in risk assessment of environmentally-induced human cancer, from both chemicals and radiation. Jorgensen is an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
To arrange an interview with Jorgensen, please contact Karen Mallet at km463(at)Georgetown.edu or 215-514-9751.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO). In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for 79 percent of Georgetown University’s extramural research funding.
Karen Mallet (media only)