Greetings from the slopes of the majestic Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Crestone, Colorado (8,000 ft altitude). It is December 4, 2014, about 9:15 am Mountain Time, as I start this blogpost. (I have till 1 pm, max…)
DISCLAIMER (I am not a ‘credentialed’ radiation or health expert; I have no affiliation with any pro- or anti- nuclear organizations, nor with any so-called authorities.)
Yesterday, I was tipped-off by a sudden uptick in blog traffic from Poland and Germany, with many checking my Radiation Monitors page. So I did too, wondering why the sudden increase in interest in the monitors in Europe.
I found the sudden gamma radiation spikes on several monitors in Latvia, at the same time, and followed by those monitors being turned off, the most striking. Data gaps elsewhere in the same period roused my suspicion. So in the morning, I wrote the blogpost, What’s up with (Nov 28, 2014) RADIATION SPIKE IN LATVIA? ‘EURDEP’ shows peak of 600nSv/hr (0.6µSv/hr). Highly unusual for Sea Level. Additional Data Suggests Possible Cover-Up of Radiological Incident.
Then I learned about an accident in the Ukraine and kept digging, which resulted in the afternoon/evening blogpost, Accident confirmed at Ukraine’s Zaporizhye Nuclear Power Plant. (Link to Latvia Radiation Spike possible). Below the blog stats screenshot, I will continue my investigation with some additional observations.
On a side-note, although this blog has gotten over a quarter million views since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in spring 2011, it remains what I consider a rather “marginal blog,” with traffic generally being under 200 views per day. The uptick began before the last few blogposts:
Additional Observations. (Dec 4, 2014)
The official word remains the same: “Ukraine nuclear plant accident ‘poses no threat’; electrical fault did not cause radiation leak“ – Ukraine Today [Dec. 4, 2014 screenshot;]
Anyhow, back to the Latvian spike. There’s a couple things about it that are noteworthy:
- There has been NOTHING in the mainstream press about them. (Do a search for Latvia and radiation and all you get for the last 24 hours are my blogposts… :-/ Or people copy-pasting from here, such as on some Polish sites.)
- The spikes occurred simultaneously on several monitors and reached heights generally not seen from natural causes. Relatively small ‘bumps’ on the graphs are generally due to natural causes, such as Be-7, Be-10, K-40 or other natural isotopes coming down with rain, especially in summer during thunderstorms after a dry period. (I’ll point this out below, using the German radiation measurements (public data), below.
What is normal and ‘very likely of natural origin’:
- Spikes that go a bit over the ‘alert level’ during rain events are common, and in summer they’re often far more pronounced than shown here:
- Also common: a couple high readings in a sea of normal measurements (they color a monitor dot dark or red, but basically amount to nothing significant); here showing such a brief anomaly in the Netherlands:
EURDEP remarks about that (in their disclaimer) [my emphasis]:
“The geographical map that will appear after acceptance of this disclaimer shows (part of) the measurements of environmental radioactivity originating from some 4200 stations in 34 European countries. Most of these measurements are unvalidated, which means that defects in the instruments, electronics or software can result in erroneous values. Who visits this site regularly will notice that on an almost daily basis, one or more of the 4200 monitoring stations are out of order and show abnormally high readings. As a consequence isolated violet or red dots on the map are NOT an indication of increased radiological values. Even several violet or red dots near to the same geographical location or near a Nuclear Power Plant is not a certainty of an ongoing accident because they are most likely caused by calibration tests on the related monitoring stations. To reduce the number of erroneous values, several countries do not wish to show their measurement data to the public in real-time and have therefore imposed a delay. […]”
But… they still could be, couldn’t they? Or is the system automated to turn off monitors when they go over a certain value for more than a couple hours? ‘Cause basically what they’re saying at EURDEP is that if anything looks like ‘an increased radiological value’, it’s not that. Ever. (Then why even have a monitoring network?) I’d say, based on what happened with every nuclear incident so far, that the-Powers-That-Be will try to cover up anything that suggests a likely manmade origin, at first. They even tried that with Fukushima, while the whole thing was melting down, telling the public there was nothing to be concerned about at first. That should work for most small releases. Really big ones may be harder to hide. Yet every now and then something may slip by. And for those instances, they have a good disclaimer. (At least we have something in common. ;-) )
Hence my questioning of the official story line:
- How long does it take to ‘calibrate’ a monitor? A day? I mean… come on… Either you’re calibrating it, and you would know that’s what your’ doing with that monitor, and then when you’re done the monitor comes back online. Otherwise something else might be going on. Or are they sprinkling radioactive dust on the monitor as part of its calibration? Why would you leave a monitor on-line during “calibration” anyhow? This reminds me of the US EPA radiation monitors after the Fukushima accident. The North-American west coast basically went ‘monitor-blind’ (monitors turned off all over the place) shortly after, and the ones that stayed on… their sudden “calibration” sure came in handy to hide any spikes that were occurring, ’cause one couldn’t really compare before and after anymore. (Check out Plume Gate if you still think there was no cover-up. FOIA documents have proven this was the case beyond the shadow of a doubt.) To refresh your memory of such the nuclear establishment’s calibration trick, here’s Beta Count for Sacramento, CA before and after the start of the Fukushima nuclear disaster:
- Do Wind Patterns tell us anything about the possibility (that the Latvian spikes and uptick “bumps” in radiation elsewhere in Europe had their origin in the Ukraine) cannot be ruled out? The wind would at least have to be blowing towards the northwest that evening. (It did..) This I will get deeper into now.
Weather in Europe this past week. How did the air move?
This investigation includes ‘pure speculation’, and I do not have the expertise to do a great job at this. (I hope some better-equiped people take some initiative too.) I will, however, point out every step of my logic and investigative path.
My beginning hypothesis is that:
– the event at the Ukraine’s Zaporizhye Nuclear Power Plant was NOT what is being reported: I will assume, purely for this exercise, that it did release radioactive particles to the environment, and then see how ‘the plume’ might have traveled.
– I will start with one other assumption: that the accident occured at the time that was reported, “The incident occurred at 19:24 on November 28, 2014″. (I assume that’s local time in the Ukraine, which is EET (Eastern European Time) UTC/GMT +2 hours (Time Zones)
– I will assume the release was brief, quickly contained, limited to (just making this up), let’s say…, from that reported tim of 19:24 till just midnight that Nov 28, 2014, so roughly 4.5 hours.
So… Lets see… 1) For historical weather data, I first visit my METEO page and pick Weatherspark for that, which brings me to Historical Weather For The Last Twelve Months in Zaporizhia, Ukraine: Nov. 28, 2014: Looks like it was snowing:
That means that IF there was a release of radioactivity, much of it may have come down with the snow in the Ukraine itself. As a commenter below pointed out, that’s not neccesarily the right assumption. Unless the assumed radioisotopes release was in gaseous form, which precipitation would have little effect on, I think. So, if snow were to take out particles (like a good snow storm cleans smog over cities), whatever whiff made it past its borders would be relatively low to begin with, I think. Unless, of course, it was radioactive gasses.
(Side-note: With a bloody civil war going on, (with reportedly US-backed ‘neo-nazi-fascists’ in control of Kiev, and Russian-backed “rebels” clashing, with many thousands of deaths and casualties…), independent radiation monitoring is likely not high on the priority list of most in the Ukraine. That these folks in Kiev just announced an Orwellian “Ministry of Information…” doesn’t bode well for freedom of press in the area, either…)
That site doesn’t tell me which way the wind was blowing Nov 28-19, unfortunately.
!–> At Windfinder, a very cool site, I can see the wind at the moment, and click through “reports” for previous days. For whatever that’s worth (maybe useful for something else in the future), first here’s the current wind and wind speed at the nearby airport. It’s maintaining its predicted ENE direction: (Screenshot Dec 4, 2014):
Now, for Nov 28 and Nov 29, we get these winds:
There seems to be a gap of missing data between 9pm Friday and the very beginning of Saturday. But it appears, from the above, that the wind “during the accident” was first blowing to the north-west, and then turned more directly westward, shifting to blowing south the next day:
It really would take sophisticated meteorological computer models to estimate an approximate particle cloud movement. Since I don’t have those, I think I’m going to have to step back and just stick to, “I don’t know”.
Added: In comments, the following tool was recommended: http://earth.nullschool.net/ (But for some reason I can’t get it to work. Just a back screen with the word, ‘earth’ in the left bottom corner.) On YouTube there’s some video’s of how to work with it, for those who get it to work.
But I did notice something else. It’s been snowing across the Ukraine… Right? Even on November 29, 2014, according to NOAA Snow data, the Ukraine (The country north of the Black Sea, can you find it?) was pretty much completely blanketed in snow:
Photos in the newspapers, all telling that things are fine, go back to sleep, there’s nothing happening (aside from an inconvenient power outage), show the Zaporizhye Nuclear Power Plant... all devoid of snow. I have yet to find a current photo. They’re all file photos, some even dating back 20 years ago (!). (4 examples, shown below). I don’t want to read more into it than journalistic laziness, but… Is it really that hard to snap some clear detailed pictures of the affected part of plant and email it along with the press releases?
Anyways… I’m out of time. That was it folks.
Tentative conclusion – Take 2 (Dec. 4, 2014)
On further investigating, with snow coming down at the time of the accident, and wind speed at only 5 knots at ground level, albeit blowing “towards Latvia” that evening… (the wind turned shortly after), I’m inclined to leave the possibility of my hypothesis open. It requires modeling software that I don’t have. I have no way to figure this out, and thus can’t conclude anything, but I wasn’t able to totally void the possibility either. I remain curious about what caused the spikes and bumps in many parts of Europe. Yet, given this is too time-consuming to keep up, I’m going to leave it at this. I’m certainly not trying to get people unnecessarily alarmed, just posing questions. I expect the IAEA, mainstream press and institutions to stick to the story they launched, regardless of what actually happened. If the situation were truly very serious, it would be near-impossible to keep the lid on it anyhow. Maybe all is okay.
Just a thought: Other researchers may want to look into possible radioactive plume movements that may have begun before the said accident time, which may have been the end of the release, rather than the beginning.
Coming soon: More photos of this beautiful area in Southern Colorado! ;-)
Last updated: dec 4., 2014 12:52 pm MT
[Last updated: I made some small edits on Sat. Dec 13, 2014 during the week this blog was temporarily disappeared (in early-mid Dec 2014) for a more thorough fact-checking.]