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EPA RELEASED "FINAL" CARTRIDGE FILTER DATA FOR FUKUSHIMA MELTDOWN FALLOUT IN U.S.
Download it from our local copy here:
The name of the document alone is ironic, as the media blacked-out fires in reactor buildings #3 and #4 on the night of May 8 will likely cause a new plume of unknown radioactivity to arrive from across the Pacific ocean around May 16.
In itself, however, this document quietly details the "hotspots" across the US from the Fukushima fallout. It plainly shows that radoiactive Iodine and Cesium etc. in rainwater exceeded drinking water standards for these isotopes in many places - most notably Boise, Idaho. Milk samples also exceeded drinking water standards (but not milk standards??) in many areas. Given this, do not the many for-profit corporate media reports admonishing us not to take KI during these exposures, seem to borderline on the criminal? What about our animals and livestock drinking this rain water? What about the Cesium, which has a long enough half-life to find it's way into surface drinking water supplies from snow and rain? Ignoring the problem will not prevent people from getting cancer.
... AND NOW - THE REAL DATA ABOUT YOUR EXPOSURE
Now the story can be told. The data on Fukushima meltdown radioactive releases that US and Japanese agencies kept quite mum about, is has now been divulged (after the fact) by CTBO (the international organization for monitoring the nuclear testing ban). In the graphs below, the actual measured Radioactive Iodine and Cesium levels are shown respectively. California may be represented by the blue line with square box dots. This is what you were probably actually exposed to, and just not told about while it was happening. Both Iodine and Cesium peaked (for California) at levels about 100x normal for both. As expected, the Cesium is lingering much longer, due to its longer period of radioactive decay.
The graph below shows the detections by the CTBTO at the various monitoring stations. Note USP70 is located near Sacramento California (see the corresponding map of stations below). This station gave the first detection shown from the plume crossing the Pacific, on March 17th. It peaked here a day later, with the government giving no warning that levels were 100x normal. Actually, if the log scale below is correct, and each tick mark on the color bar represents 100x (ten to the power of two), our levels in California rose by four tick marks (white to yellow); that's 100x100x100x100, or 100,000,000x normal! As far as I know, all milk products from cows eating the contaminated grass were shipped to stores as usual. I mention this because cattle concentrate the Iodine in their milk by an additional factor of up to 1000x.
Still no data is available to us about Strontium-90 or Plutonium.
We at CalRadNet were unable to warn you about these specific isotope measurements ourselves because all we have to use are total gamma counters. Kal Vetter and his heroic colleagues at UCB did respond on their own with valuable real-time measurements of these isotopes (see "Strawberry Creek" below), while government agencies kept their own data secret. Our thanks to the UC Berkeley Radiological Air and Water Monitoring Team (BRAWM) for their dedicated efforts as real scientists acting in the public interest.
GREENPEACE PUBLISHES RAW DATA FROM FUKUSHIMA MONITORING
Here you can download the xls spreadsheets of raw data obtained by Greenpeace field monitoring teams working around the Fukushima meltdowns. Even though it's not in California, their efforts are obviously relevant and laudable! Published here with permission.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN RICHLAND, WASHINGTON?
Beta radiation in Richland, Washington, rapidly jumped on March 31, 2011, coinciding with the arrival of the "third" more northerly Fukushima meltdown plume. This was first seen from the Washington Department of Health monitoring station there. Mysteriously, the radiation metering unit in Richland was taken offline the next day, and all other DOH monitoring reports ceased the day after that.
There was no similar spike in radiation reported elsewhere in Washington or California. There was no simultaneous rise in gamma radiation in Richland either. Based on this alone, one might be tempted to conclude that the reading might have somehow been anomalous. However, the rise in beta radiation was perfectly confirmed by the EPA monitoring station in Richland also, as seen below.
Adding to the mystery (and suspicions of a news blackout as well), EPA monitoring was also taken offline just as the rise became much too large to ignore. In fact, Richland monitoring was terminated by both agencies on the very same day, after showing a very similar set of data.
So what exactly is happening in Richland? There must have been significant presence of a beta-only emitting radioactive isotope or isotopes there. Furthermore, it appears that the presence of this radioactive material became evident to the agencies involved,both of whom chose to hide any further information about this from the public.
Is there any other logical conclusion, looking at the above data? Could it be a "hotspot" of Fukushima plume fallout? Did the levels continue to rise after reporting was terminated? Additional beta range or energy information would give us more insight as to what these radioactive substances are - but we don't have that information. The independent stations nearby only report overall gamma radiation, and would likely not detect such beta-only emitters. The only reliable inference is that the EPA and DOH would not like us to know more...
THE FUKUSHIMA HOTSPOT
Fukushima local plume fallout map. This is not a simulation, but a map of actual radioactive Cesium and Iodine levels found on the ground. Cesium fallout from Fukushima rivals that from Chernobylhttp://bit.ly/fPlhPI
-- up to 2.6 mBq/g in a single day. Post-Nagasaki bombing fallout totals (at similar downwind ranges) averaged 7.5 mBq/g.
MORE BERKELEY PLUME FALLOUT MONITORING RESULTS IN DETAIL
"3/27 (2:00pm): Strawberry Creek run off results posted. We do observe all signatures in the run off creek water, but the dilution is from ~2% for I-131 to 15% for Cs137. However, Cs137 and Te132 are just below minimum detectability for our system and the real dilution is most likely closer to 2-5%. Reservoir and tap water sampling begins next week. These activities are factors of 10 to 50 below rain water results.
3/26 (6:20pm): Rain water sample results posted for 3/24 - 3/25. I-131 and Te-132 activities are lower than previously observed (3.12 and 0.27 Bq/L resp.) while Cs137 remains near the high point at ~0.5 Bq/L.
3/26 (10:45am): Air sampling results posted for 3/22 - 3/24. We have observed correlated increasing trends in Cs-137 and I-131 with the water sampling results. Te-132 seems to have increased more in air than in the rain water. Full understanding of the these trends may not be understood for some time until we start to combine this data with other information. Levels remain extremely low, but we are maintaining a close watch on these trends.
3/26 (9:45am): Rain water results posted for the past few days. Delay was due to testing of new data analysis chain script that will make posting results more efficient. We have observed a sharp up-tick in Cs-137 levels from around 0.2 Bg/L to 0.55 Bq/L. I-131 had a sharp rise on 3/23 of I-131 concentration from 6 Bq/L to 20 Bq/L. I-131 levels returned to 6 Bq/L on 3/24. Reasons for the I-131 spike is still unknown. Te-132 and I-132 levels remain relatively constant.
3/23 (2:00pm): Our rainwater data has been revised to account for the half-lives of the different isotopes we are measuring. This has led to slight increases in our previously posted activity levels. Details on the correction can be found here."
Hard Data on Contamination Around Fukushima Meltdowns from IAEA
"On 26 March, the highest values were observed in the prefecture of Yamagata: 7500 becquerel per square metre for iodine-131 and 1200 becquerel per square metre for caesium-137. In the other prefectures where deposition of iodine-131 was reported, the daily range was from 28 to 860 becquerel per square metre. For caesium-137, the range was from 2.5 to 86 becquerel per square metre.
In the Shinjyuku district of Tokyo, the daily deposition of iodine-131 on 27 March was 220 becquerel per square metre, while for caesium-137 it was 12 becquerel per square metre."
For comparison, native plants in the Bikini Atoll contain about 1 - 37 Becquerels of radioactive Cs-137/kg, making them too poisonous to eat https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/306909.pdf The famed Mururoa Lagoon contains
2.79 Becqerel/m3 Rongelap Island , hit hardest by Bravo H-bomb test, soils had 55 Becqerels/kg of Cesium-137. In 1994 the island soils measured 580 Becqerels/kg of Cesium-137.
EPA Finally Starts Posting EPA RadNet Data!
Beta and some gamma spectra even... but no specific I-131 or Cs-137 levels yet. Why? Looks legit as far as it goes. Not sure whether or not you can believe their conclusions, though, given the following data....
ALARMING LEVELS OF RADIOACTIVE IODINE AND CESIUM IN CALIFORNIA RAINWATER
UPDATE: a Berkeley lab's results from testing rainwater on March 23rd suggests that 1 liter of rain-harvested drinking water in Berkeley, Calif., would have an iodine-131 concentration of 542.7 picocuries and consuming one liter of this water would provide a radiation dose to the thyroid of an infant of 7.54 millirems. About 132 liters of water contaminated at these levels would provide 1 Rem dose to the infant thyroid. (Per NRC NUREG 1.109 rev. 1 Oct. '77).
A Bay Area adult would have to breath for 425 days to receive the same iodine-131 exposure as drinking 1 liter of rain-harvested drinking water. Also, the cesium-137 levels in rain water for March 23-24 broke a new high record peak since analyses begin on March 17 at the Berkeley lab - it's now at 16 picoCuries of Cesium-137 per liter of rain-harvested water.
ORIGINAL REPORT "A nuclear engineering academic department scientist at a university in California has recently made public the concentrations of radioactive material found in rain water collected on the roof of a hall on a Berkeley campus. The values reported for March 19 were measurements of 5.61 Becquerels per Liter for Iodine-131 and 0.26 Becquerels per Liter for Cesium-137 (a sampling run ending on 3/20 found slightly lower levels of Cesium-137 and 7.1 Becquerels per Liter for Iodine-131.)
If our calculations are correct, and the units convert to 151 picocuries per Liter of water for Iodine-131 for the March 19th values, then each liter of tap water consumed at these levels will give affected Americans a thyroid dose of about 1 millirem (or 1,000 microRems). [NRC NUREG 1.109 rev. 1 Oct. '77 gives 0.0139 milliRems thryoid dose per pCi of I-131 for infants; and 0.00195 mRem for adults). We use average of 0.008 milliRems thryoid dose per pCi. ]
If our estimates are correct, each liter of tap water (March 19th values) with Cesium-137 is 25% of the levels that scared the pants off Taiwanese officials on March 20 when imports of Japanese beans were measured at '1 becquerel of cesium ...detected in 1 kilogram (about 2 pounds) of fava bean.'
The Berkeley lab's levels are equal to 7 picoCuries per liter/or kilogram of Cesium-137 in rainwater, which, if manifested at those levels in grown foods, this would be similar to lower levels in the U.S. food supply in the 1960s. More maps on that here.
How do foods become contaminated by rainwater? It is well established that cow milk tends to reflect a concentration about 1,000 times the levels of radioiodines in the air over a pasture. This effect, called bioaccumulation, also applies (although to a lesser extent) to cesium-137 and strontium-90 in milk.
The radioactive 'distilling' effect in the air-grass-cow-milk-human chain is enhanced when it rains because precipitation is more effective at depositing airborne radioactive debris to the ground than with 'dry deposition.' Even on dry feed lots, cows drink from puddles of rain water and are exposed in other ways to their rain-soaked environment.
So, the slightly radioactive levels in California air - according to recently released EPA data - that included a high reading of 0.068 picoCuries per cubic meter (March 18, San Francisco, CA) for iodine-131 means that pasture-fed dairy cow milk measuring 68 picoCuries per *liter* may have recently been on Bay Area store shelves. Iodine-131 levels in milk could have been even higher than this because the EPA failed to correct for the fact that iodine-131 captured on the San Francisco RADNET filter decayed during transit to the EPA's lab in the Southeast. Although public health officials might consider these levels to be of zero concern, prolonged intakes of contaminated milk might pose a health danger to toddlers, infants or young children. State and federal public health officials need to determine the impact of sustained and uncertain radioiodine inputs to the thyroid glands of the young. The daily rate of exposure is not the issue - it is the cumulative exposure that could lead to dire problems down the road. "
[tremendous thanks again to Idealist.ws for the leaked data. Also see "POTASSIUM IODIDE AND YOU" below.]
FUKUSHIMA PLUME PASSAGE SHOWN ON JUST RELEASED EPA GRAPHS
Pretty distinct plume arrival peaks here. A good example of how much more a gamma spectrometer will show you than a Geiger counter.
Excellent clear display of increases as the plume arrives, this time shown in beta rays. The very low baseline level suggests that the increase in radioactivity was much more substantial than the scale makes it appear.
More clear evidence of the plume arrival on March 18th, just as predicted. The EPA does not interpret this as anything to be concerned about. But doesn't this make you wonder just what isotopes are causing these increases?
WOW! Still nothing to be concerned about? If I was in Fairbanks, the top range would really get my attention. EPA says; "Don't Worry - Be Happy."
Is it just me, or does it look like somebody was jacking with the attenuation level of the meters on March 18th? Wouldn't want some nasty peaks showing up here, like they did in Fairbanks... better turn that energy range 2 down a skoshe.
CONCLUSION; It seems at least the EPA did release some real-time data eventually - even if some of it does look fishy. How about the rainwater? What are the actual I-131 and Cs-137 levels? I'm waiting...
First detectable amounts of radioactive Xenon, Iodine and Cesium arrived in California from the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdowns on Friday, March 18, 2011.
Morro Bay Station now has a 10" polyglucose Iodine concentrator for increased I-131 sensitivity. Detections with it would indicate an emergency and be posted here and on Twitter.
Those worried about Plutonium dust ought to consider using a spinthariscope on atmospheric dust samples or concentrated rain sediment, as Pu emits alpha particles only (a geiger counter will not detect them). Zinc sulfide spinthariscopes (Google the word) are sensitive, as well as extremely cheap and easy to make and use. Morro Bay station may implement this at some point. Some of the Fukushima releases involve explosions and zirconium fires around hot plutonium oxide fuel. Plutonium is one of the most lethal substances known. Lead dust from Chinese industry often crosses the Pacific to the US, so why not plutonium oxide?
I don't like being reduced to begging, but because of government censorship with their data (our data), if anyone viewing this site has access to gamma scintillation counters / gamma spectrometers able to discriminate the isotopes we (this nation) are concerned about, we would be much obliged if you could send us some data (calradnet at hush dot com).
Those of us with GM counters, no matter how sensitive, are metaphorically trying to
use a broom when we really need a baseball bat.
Rain samples continue to be benign (reading 0.18uS/h or less). This is significantly reassuring, as weather is now approaching from the West rather than from North. We also have this slightly reassuring report with actual data inferred (PDF in English) leaked around our own government censors. Note, however that the levels inferred in this report are for 16 March, two days BEFORE the plume actually hit California (levels now may be 100x higher): Japan2011-03-19_1400_English.pdf
Got old photography gear, like film and developer? The PDF below by "Idealist.ws" outlines how you can help detect radioactive particles from the Fukushima meltdowns. Pretty easy if you also have some flypaper or packing tape, saran wrap, and a dark closet. This may be also be how they detected such Fukushima particles in Iceland last night (March 22, 2011). Please share the results with us.
DOSIMETER CHANGES (ACCUMULATED DOSE SINCE FUKUSHIMA):
Morro Bay Station - 13 millirem
(Since 12 March 2011, 6:00pm, updated May 10)
NOTE ON DOSIMETER READING AND OUR REPORTING CHANGES -
Dosimeters have a unique advantage of being "on all the time", and giving a very good overall picture of average radiation levels over an interval. Dosimeters are a good way to make sure that "hot spots" are not missed. The usual background for our Morro Bay station (not too far away from the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power facility by the way) is just under 3 millirem every 10 days. As of April 7, this is exactly what we have seen since the Fukushima meltdowns- in other words, there has been no detectable rise in average gamma radiation in that time.
Morro Bay has 2 well calibrated and maintained dosimeters which are checked against each other.
Given all that and the tabular results at right, we feel comfortable in less frequent tabulation of detailed readings, which have so far all been indistinguishable from normal background.
That being said, remember we simply have no way of picking the crucial types of radiation, i.e., that from I-131 and Cs-137, out of the normal background. The government has this data in their hands, but keep it secret. We wish we had access to the equipment or the data, but we don't.
Until we get that, subscribe to our Twitter Feed, and we will keep you apprised of anything we discover from our ongoing monitoring as well as any government held data that is leaked out.
Also see - California Regional Precipitation Radar
ABOVE - FUKUSHIMA RADIOACTIVE PLUME HITS CALIFORNIA to WYOMING - MARCH 18, 2011
"Not significant?" Note the light blue area over Sacramento, CA to Nevada. Integrated, this is already more radioactive material than is covering most of Japan! This scale (presumably for radioactive Cesium) is showing levels (see scale) 100x greater than the normal Cesium background! And there's a lot more out there. If the "linear dose-response" idea is accepted, doesn't that mean 100x greater risk, all else being equal? Be sure to check out our What the Government Isn't Telling You section for more.
NEW Finally a governmental site that actually releases "real time" data. Hurrah for Washington State Department of Health!
- Days with no data represents days monitor was out of service.
These levels did not cross the threshold for Washington State to collect isotope data. However, we have other data showing levels of radioactive Xenon from the plume; "Xenon-133 gas detected in Washington Mar 16-17 and Sacremento, CA, on Mar 18. Level: 0.1 Becquerels/meter3. Radioactive Xenon levels from Fukushima seen in US so far (as of Mar 18) are similar to those observed during Russian cold war bomb testing. Radioactive Iodine levels are expected to follow suit.
We hope Washington State's example of transparency will be followed by other governmental agencies in days to come. All the more so for Canada, Alaska, and Washington, as Fukushima meltdown releases from the March 19th onward appear to be headed for more northerly latitudes than California.
POTASSIUM IODIDE AND YOU
FREE PDF; Potassium Iodide Fact Sheet
FREE PDF DOWNLOAD; What you may do if you cannot get Potassium Iodide protective pills
Radioactive Cesium and Iodine levels are higher in most of the USA now, than before the Fukushima meltdowns. Nobody can dispute that. The only question is "how much higher?" So far, no information on this is given to us by government agencies - the only ones who for sure know the answer. This leaves us in the dark as to whether and how we should protect ourselves.
The definitive solution is taking the nutritional supplement of 65mg Potassium Iodide tablets (see Potassium Iodide literature just above). These prevent uptake and retention of Cesium and Iodine.
If you have studied the above materials and elect not to do any form of Potassium Iodide blocking, there are still other ways you can protect yourself:
1) -- Do not consume milk products produced after March 18, 2011, until at least a month after the Fukushima meltdowns are fully contained. I-131 levels will drop to about 1/16th by that time. (Note that milk production DRAMATICALLY concentrates the Iodine deposited by rainfall on pastures of grass.)
2) -- Do not consume vegetables or produce produced after March 18, 2011, until real data is available on the amount of radioactive Cesium they may contain.
3) -- Avoid drinking water from open sources, such as rivers, lakes, aqueducts, reservoirs, etc. Well and spring water and deionized water should be OK.
4) -- Make sure you are at least not nutritionally deficient in potassium or iodine! Such deficiencies are not only detrimental to your health for obvious reasons, but they result in a dramatic increase in retention of any radioactive Cesium and Iodine you are exposed to.
5) -- Don't forget to consider all of the above for your pets and livestock as well.
Send your own radiation report to; "calradnet at hush dot com".
We will not reveal your email address to anyone.
We also host some links to technical info you can use to help contribute. You don't necessarily need expensive equipment to have useful information.
Do you know anyone in physics, chemistry, geology or biology departments of schools with radiation meters? Hospitals, fire department personnel, or X-ray technicians with their own equipment? Or anyone with an old Civil Defense meter lying in the basement? Please pass along the address of this website and ask them if they would kindly help!
Levels can be reported as Counts Per Minute (CPM) if all you have is an old survey meter. MicroSieverts per Hour (uS/h) is the modern radiation unit, but we can convert from REM or most other units for you. Changes in dosimeter readings are also useful, as long as you provide a time interval for the reading change, and the normal drift rate of your dosimeter.
All places on earth have some level of naturally occurring radiation. This comes from the cosmos and from traces of radioactive materials in rock and soil etc.. It varies from one place to another, and is usually nothing to worry about. It is helpful to know in advance what the background radiation level is for your area. If there is anything unusual about your area, please include this in your reports.
Most often, background levels are about 0.08 to 0.18uS/h. This may correspond to perhaps 10 to 20 CPM on many geologic survey meters or old Civil Defense meters (more sensitive meters read this up to 50 CPM).
Because really high levels of radiation are not expected in the U.S. resulting from the Fukushima reactor meltdowns, external radiation exposure is not what the worry is about. INTERNAL radiation exposure is the main concern. If there is an internal radiation hazard from this in the U.S., it will most likely be from radioactive Cesium or Iodine isotopes inhaled or ingested from the radioactive plume now approaching the West Coast.
The only way most of us would have to detect the presence of these isotopes would be the relatively small change in radiation levels above background.
This increases the importance of knowing your background levels before the plume arrives!
TRANS-PACIFIC JET STREAM INFORMATION
If these predictions are not up to date, you can find more jet stream predictions using the link in the right hand column. Movements of air across the Pacific are almost always from West to East, and will probably transport most of the radioactive material from the Fukushima meltdowns to the United States. Only intense precipitation or oceanic absorption is likely to substantially remove these radioactive materials from the atmosphere. Some will also diminish by natural radioactive decay (radioactive I-131 will decrease by about half due to natural decay. Cs-137 will not decrease signifcantly due to decay.)
LATEST AVAILABLE ANIMATED PROJECTION OF RADIATION PLUME TRAVEL ACROSS PACIFIC
THANKS - Dr. Gerhard Wotawa
Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
This is only the first plume. It will be followed by more such bursts until containment is achieved
for all the Fukushima reactors.
AREAS OF CURRENT CALRADNET MONITORING
Approach latitude of first Fukushima plume - computer simulation from atmospheric model.
Of our currently listed stations, it seems first detection may be by EnviroReporter and SoCal AQMD. Unfortunately, California AQMD does not list data, EPA refuses public access to data in real time.