Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Surfing The Apocalypse: West Coast Radiation Monitoring

Japanese child gets checked for Radiation

It's hard to say where to begin;
A series of huge earthquakes around the Pacific Rim, the devastating wall of water that swept parts of Eastern Japan; the failure of some of the most advanced nuclear technology to be contained. Scientists say the West Coast of the United States is probably next for a big shake-up.
If there was ever a clear sign that Nuclear power is far more dangerous than the industry will admit, this is it.
Skeptics say that Japan survived and rebuilt after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But that was a short-term event. The destruction of the Japanese reactors is ongoing and unlikely to be resolved soon. Another key piece of information that is buried in the news is that at least one of the reactors is fueled with a mix that includes Plutonium, the most deadly of all radioactive isotopes. This is a game-changer.
More disturbing, this was reported in the "San Jose Mercury News":

"EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California. Margot Perez-Sullivan, a spokeswoman at the EPA's regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency's written statement would stand on its own.
Critics said the public needs more information.
"It's disappointing," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don't want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money."

With this in mind, other nuclear energy watchdogs have set up websites that have real-time (click refresh) monitoring of radiation levels. The one below is measured in "CPM", or counts per minute:

Link to above website
Notice the unusually high readings in Colorado; that's where the Rocky Flats Nuclear Arsenal is. The East Coast has high readings around nuclear plants also.

And this website has various charts that show type of radiation and when spikes occur. Look at the spikes for certain days in Portland:

Washington's Blog has a great article describing how many nuclear plants accidents have been covered up to protect the nuclear power industry. Some of these have been very serious.:

"As a History Chanel special notes, a nuclear meltdown occurred at the world's first commercial reactor only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and only 7 miles from the community of Canoga Park and the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
Specifically, in 1959, there was a meltdown of one-third of the nuclear reactors at the Santa Susana field laboratory operated by Rocketdyne, releasing - according to some scientists' estimates - 240 times as much radiation as Three Mile Island."


There is no way to tell exactly what is currently happening and how serious widespread radiation could be. It is certainly serious in the affected areas in Japan, and our hearts go out to the people who are suffering.
This is going to be a huge economic issue as stories like this occur:

"Large German Fund Freezes Accounts Because Tokyo Real Estate ‘Now Impossible to Value’

"Union Investment, one of the largest German fund managers with €177bn under management, said that the nuclear fallout in Japan has made valuation of its properties too difficult as its surveyors had never had to deal with the threat of nuclear contamination before.
It said that while there is no physical damage to any of Union's Tokyo properties, the threat of nuclear contamination is unknowable.
It said that it therefore had "no option" but to freeze all buying and selling of units in its Unilmmo Global fund. This means investors can neither withdraw their money nor put any extra in."

Japan will take years to rebuild.
Here on the west coast, naturopath doctors are advising detoxifying the body. This includes eating kelp, herbs, vitamin D, and even red wine and black tea. Potassium iodide is only recommended for extreme exposure as it can be hazardous itself.


When we look around the world right now, things are a mess, in a state of flux. I don't think we've ever had a U.S. President that has to deal with as much as Obama does now; The Bush Depression, the gulf oil spill (which is still going on), the revolutions in the middle east and three wars.

People hype and worry about the doomsday prophesy of 2012, a misreading of an ancient Mayan calender. Rather than an abrupt end, is signals a shift into a higher consciousness in people around the world.
Let's hope so.


Craig Willits said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toldain said...

The data you provide is interesting, but not much use to me since it's not denominated in Sieverts, the standard radiation dosage measurement, named after Rolf Sievert, the Swedish physician/researcher that worked on figuring this stuff out.

Dojo Rat said...

Wow, Toldain, I'll review this.

The thing we are not told about is the various elements drifting by and the hazard each might present.

I'll review your info.


hermann said...

Hopefully, people get more conscious about it, but I'm not so sure.
You should see what is going on over here in Taiwan. No information, keeping the public stupid and in the dark. And that after Japan's fallout closed in on us (500km left), before the wind changed and blow all up northeast.
Not much better in my European home country, and Hanford in the southeast of Seattle seems worse than anything I heard of.

Sorry, but I'm a bit pessimistic about that.
Grets from Taiwan

Dojo Rat said...

Yes, Hanford is a concern. There was a series of releases in the ww2 era resulting in "The Hanford Down-winders"
The Columbia river has measurable radioactivity from Hanford.
But what I am seeing is a lot of people in the States doing monitoring seperate from Government sources. That helps us understand what is happening while they try to "sweep it under the rug."

Sean C. Ledig said...

DR, you're one of the few people to get our economic state correct. It's not The Great Recession. It's The Great Depression 2.0. (Though I like that you called it "The Bush Depression.")

Toldain said...

I've got a great follow up for you.
Randall Munroe, of xkcd, has made this chart outlining dosages and their effect.

Also, I've found this really cool crowd-source dosage map of Japan, which is denominated in sieverts.

Dojo Rat said...

Thanks, I saved that chart.