I have an old friend who worked for many years as a scientist for the U.S. military. I asked him about the damage done to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This is what he wrote:
Think back. It’s the 1950s and the U.S. is doing regular above ground nuclear testing. The clouds are traveling the weather trail and people have to learn how to wash themselves and their food to keep the radiation down (called decontamination). We still adjust all carbon dates for the effect of those U.S. and Soviet tests. What’s possible from Japan — worst case — is nothing on the counter by comparison.
It is measured in micro milli rads (called “Health Science Dosage Levels”). It’s what you get when you have a fluoroscope exam, an x-ray, CAT or NMR Scan etc. Soldiers are trained to fight in rads, get sick, start crawling and rotate out. A terrorist who puts a LAWS into each of the four downtown reactors in Chicago — now that would be a big problem (3 million dead). A small nuclear exchange (about 100 missiles each) between Pakistan and India — that’s a slow lights out for the majority of humanity. Japan’s multiple reactor leaks — not on my scope, even for my friends in Hawaii.