Which would be worse? 200km from total Fukushima meltdown, or 200km from Hiroshima/Nagasaki A-bombs?

I think I’ve seen news stories citing the distance from Fukushima to Tokyo as something like 200+ kilometers. In case of a total worst case Chernobyl-plus sized disaster, I’ve been wondering how badly Tokyo could be affected – and that got me thinking, would it be worse than a full blown nuclear detonation, like Hiroshima or Nagasaki? I guess assuming the winds were just right.

A Chernobyl-type incident is simply not possible. so it is a moot point.

However, by all accounts you would have a greater risk being downwind of Chernobyl.
The Japanese nuclear bombs were air-bursts and wouldn’t have carried a fallout and radiation risk beyond the immediate area.

Essentially, unless you were downwind in exactly the right spot, being 200 km from a 20 kiloton airburst would be something horrible that happened a long way off, with no direct effects at all. Even if you were downwind, the fallout from such an airburst would be relatively light- you might have an increased cancer risk in your lifetime or something along those lines, but full-bore radiation sickness would be very doubtful, if not impossible.


(that’s a surface burst, which has MUCH more fallout than an airburst, and it still peters out at about 50 km)

Some sort of full-tilt meltdown with catastrophic containment failure and the nuclear material itself catching fire (what happened at Chernobyl more or less), is a lot worse to be 200 km from.

Kind of as I suspected. I wonder if anyone will suggest nuking Fukushima as some were about the BP oil spill…

There are certain people that find the allure of cataclysmic weaponry very difficult to resist.

I fear them far more than a grumbling nuclear power plant

New FOI docs prove that Tokyo and points south received alarming amounts of radiation from the leaking reactor.

And the US knew this, on March 13th 2011

yes, the main question is “which way is the wind blowing”? And, of course, are you downriver/downslope from these events? (Or prevailing ocean currents)

The events themselves are not that dangerous at that distance or even more than a dozen kilometers. What may be most risky is long-term exposure to the fallout/byproducts.


Probably should be an entire topic. Sadly, I can’t start one about Fukushima, per Mod directive.

Hell, I will get a warning for saying that,

Here seems to be an answer.

But even the worst case scenarios they were imagining, they are small compared to what could actually have happened. (and still can, no kidding, it’s not like it’s over)



But, none of those actually describe the worst case scenario, which would be so very much worse.