Tag Archives: nuclear fallout

‘Nuclear’ cloud over Saint Petersburg

‘Nuclear’ cloud over Saint Petersburg

People in northern St. Petersburg on Thursday evening witnessed a strange mushroom-like cloud which bore an unnerving resemblance to a nuclear explosion.

Thoughts of a disaster passed through the minds of alarmed citizens, but the Emergencies Ministry gave reassurances that none had been reported.

Meteorologists say the strange-shaped cloud may have formed as a result of rare atmospheric conditions in the area, which had been experiencing alternating sun and rain showers.

Doubt has been cast on the explanation by skeptics who pointed out that clouds are formed high in the sky, while the mushroom cloud appeared to be rising from the ground.

Some St. Petersburg residents say photos of the cloud suggest it must have been produced artificially.

“We had fog yesterday, but it’s a morning event. Of course a mushroom-shaped cloud could appear, because there were many rain clouds. But it happens at great altitude. It’s unlikely to happen near the ground,
” meteorologist Aleksandr Kolesov said.

However, the cloud in question only gives the appearance of touching the ground but is actually as high as it is supposed to be, he added.

“The photo was taken from afar, and that’s why it looks like that,” he said.

Atmospheric phenomena can sometimes be very peculiar. In December 2009, for instance, a Russian missile test resulted in a spiral cloud appearing in Norway’s sky.

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Conflicting messages on the need for US residents to purchase Potassium Iodide

Surgeon General: Buying Iodide a “Precaution” Conflicting messages appear in the effort to buy iodide tablets

By LORI PREUITT
Updated 3:30 PM PDT, Tue, Mar 15, 2011 | Print

The fear that a nuclear cloud could float from the shores of Japan to the shores of California has some people making a run on iodine tablets. Pharmacists across California report being flooded with requests.

State and county officials spent much of Tuesday trying to keep people calm by saying that getting the pills wasn’t necessary, but then the United States surgeon general supported the idea as a worthy “precaution.”

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U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is in the Bay Area touring a peninsula hospital. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo asked her about the run on tablets and Dr. Benjamin said although she wasn’t aware of people stocking up, she did not think that would be an overreaction. She said it was right to be prepared.

On the other side of the issue is Kelly Huston of the California Emergency Management Agency. Huston said state officials, along with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the California Energy Commission, were monitoring the situation and said people don’t need to buy the pills.

“Even if we had a radiation release from Diablo Canyon (in San Luis Obispo County), iodide would only be issued to people living within a 10-mile radius of the plant,” Huston added.

Santa Clara County’s public health officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib told the Mercury News he also does not recommend getting the tablets, adding some people can be severely allergic to the iodine.

“There is no reason for doing it,” Fenstersheib told the paper.

Either way, the pills are hard to get. eBay prices have skyrocketed.

View more videos at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com.