Low Level Radioactive Fukushima Fallout moving over Pacific Northwest – Portland EPA Radnet Data – August 2013

[Nuance-adding disclaimer: Added Jan 8, 2014 – Until lab tests are performed on rain samples at the time of radiation spikes, no statement about the cause of the observed elevated radiation measurements can be made scientifically: neither that it’s natural, nor that it’s from Fukushima.    It requires lab tests.] 

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Portland, Oregon – August 21, 2013.

!–> Added: Recent radiation measurement were more pronounced in Seattle, see HERE.  For a sampling of various EPA Radnet monitors as well as rain data, see THIS.  

Background Radiation (on Medcom Alert) currently 36.8 CPM (normal)

You wouldn’t read about it in The Oregonian, which seems to only parrot nuclear-industry-approved AP articles, such as today’s overly-carefully worded “Japan nuclear watchdog may raise leak to ‘serious’” following yesterday’s “Tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant leaking radioactive water“, but… perhaps noteworthy for places like Portland:  radioactive particles have been moving through the Portland air again.  Apparently…

Three weeks ago, when much of the media was still asleep at the wheel, somehow believing that the situation was under control or something (?), I wondered about new criticalities – see my blogpost, “Radioactive Iodine in Seaweed and Sludge, Summer 2013? (Hints of Recent Criticality Events…) + Data suggests radioactive fallout still blowing around the world…“.  As far as I know, TEPCO has not yet admitted that, but it seems that is indeed what’s been happening:   TEPCO has not even secured successful cooling more than two years later.  

Looks like Fukushima fallout blowing around the world is being measured in Portland as well.   [See added nuance at the top of this blogpost]

Notice:  As far as I can tell, now over two years into this:  regardless of what is going on, you can expect this one line from EPA and FDA ‘experts’:  whatever “the authorities” find is and will be “below the established Derived Intervention Level (DIL) and posed no public health concern”.  But they’re not likely to add that they adjust the intervention levels …so, if they keep that shady practice up, they never have to change that sound bite… (see also here).  Just saying.  PS: Read my DISCLAIMER.

Back in spring 2011, I put together a page to more easily check radiation levels around the world, including this page for Radiation Monitors in the United States, which remains one of the most pathetically monitored regions of the industrialized world.  Take the entire Pacific Northwest’s “network” of radiation monitors, for instance:  Except for one lone monitor in Eureka, California, the entire coast is left unchecked.

All of Washington has four monitors, all of Oregon just two.  May I accuse the US government of blatant “criminal negligence” yet?  Nothing has changed at the EPA Radnet since the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster in March 2011:

Barely worth the name "network"

Not what I’d call a radiation monitoring “network”…

The EPA’s Radnet remains unbelievably user-unfriendly

Although to specify how much bequerels per cubic meter of air of which isotopes and such, would require lab tests, it is possible, however, to provide data that backs up my claim (that radiation has passed over Portland this month, something local media has remained silent about) with their somewhat-camouflaged data:  ‘Camouflaged’ in the sense that they show the data in its raw (very scientific) forms and graph it in such a way that the abnormal spikes look insignificant.

US EPA Radnet – Just to pick the local one in Portland Oregon, http://epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-portland-bg.html, you can see there’s been spikes in the spring and now again a little bit more pronounced.  Note that the monitor was “turned off” for several days in June when things started to get more serious again in Japan.  The same thing happened after the disaster when suddenly a lot of the EPA monitors had to be “fixed” (re-calibrated) and there was “no data available”.  Anyone’s guess if it was legit maintenance, or one of their cover-up days.   The US government doesn’t really have much leg to stand on criticizing the Japanese government, as far as I can tell.  Inadequate testing, the “regulatory agencies” being in cahoots with the industries they’re supposed to regulate, etc.  All the same.  All the way to lack of monitoring and downplaying the dangers of fallout to children.

Quick look at Portland’s EPA Radnet monitor.  Note the spikes on Gamma Range 3 (the grey line) shows a most pronounced recent change, which I’ll plot the data for separately, below:

Annotates Screenshot  Data source: http://epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-portland-bg.html Comments: Michaël Van Broekhoven.  Read my Disclaimer.

Annotates Screenshot
Data source: http://epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/radnet-portland-bg.html
Comments: Michaël Van Broekhoven. Read my Disclaimer.

“To view the data shown in this graph, please use the query tool to search the RadNet database in EPA’s Central Data Exchange.”, where I specified the time range from August 1 through 21, and gamma range 3.

If the system crashes and gives you a “502 Proxy Error“, that’s normal in EPA land…  They apparently designed it so that when traffic increases just a little bit, no one gets on.   (Don’t get me started…)

Anyhow, here’s Gamma Energy Range 3, showing the spiking these past weeks.  Clearly something radioactive is moving through the air here.  Most of the fluctuations are natural, but those 3-4 spikes must be Fukushima-related.

Gamma Energy Range 3, plotted over 3 weeks in August 2013, as detected in Portland, Oregon by the EPA Radnet.

Gamma Energy Range 3, plotted over 3 weeks in August 2013, as detected in Portland, Oregon by the EPA Radnet.

Other people have pointed out that air moving over Honshu, Japan, taken by the jet stream is moving over the Pacific Northwest: http://pissinontheroses.blogspot.com/2013/08/max-alert-columiba-river-nuclear.html

Problem with all of this is that it is incredibly complex, and it’s difficult to get good information in the first place, mainly because it’s hard to trust the nuclear-industry-aligned sources, as they’re notorious for deceptions, denial and omissions.  Yet, they are the ones with the extremely expensive testing equipment.

In any case, please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to spread fear.  Yet, there REALLY is scientific statistical evidence that even small amounts of radioactive fallout can have negative health effects (see HERE, HEREhere and here).

Yet, at the same time, also true, the body can handle a lot and people who stay active and well-nourished can stay healthy even in far worse contaminated areas, from nuclear bomb survivors to mysteriously healthy people all over Europe (which was hit very hard with Chernobyl fallout, see here).   As I see it, there’s reason for concern, and there will be people who will be negatively affected by the radiation from Fukushima in North America, but that doesn’t mean you need to live in fear.  Much more monitoring and education would go a long way, for starters.    Disclaimer.

In a way it’s nice that the EPA Radnet provides the gamma energy ranges, though, without reducing the whole complex soup to some ridiculously simplistic dose rate (in microsievert/hour), which has its own deception built in (in that it gives the impression to make doses from particulate fallout comparable to doses from non-particulate (cosmic ray or medical apparatus) radiation sources), but it would take additional sample analysis to conclude anything.  Those tests are expensive and simply not affordable to the general public.

The government has yet to step up.   Either they need to start doing their job, or I need to get their budget.  ;-)

[LAST UPDATED:  Nuance-adding disclaimer was added Jan 8, 2014:  Until lab tests are performed on rain samples at the time of radiation spikes, no statement about the cause of the observed elevated radiation measurements can be made scientifically: neither that it’s natural, nor that it’s from Fukushima.    It requires lab tests.]

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