Crestone, Colorado, USA – January 9-10, 2015 – DISCLAIMER
Necessary ingredient: Patience.
A Word of CAUTION:
Please note EURDEP’s Disclaimer:
That being said, because something hasn’t been validated (yet) doesn’t mean it’s not valid data. That POSSIBILITY remains. I’m starting off by pointing that out because it is very easy to jump to conclusions if you were to take the shown measurements as ‘fact’. Its accuracy is not a given. So please be aware that what I “observe” and share here may in some cases be closer to speculation than science, at least from a standpoint of true science, which should always aim to uphold the scientific method with the highest integrity possible. There are vast uncertainties involved in any multi-variables field of investigation, as is the case for radiation levels in the outdoor environment.
However, some of the very high values actually have been validated. You can find that out by getting the data in tables and checking.
Why am I looking at this???
Who is monitoring the radiation monitors? Governments who’re involved with the nuclear industry, and related agencies and institutions. If the governments in charge of oversight have made one thing clear in the past couple decades, it’s this: when it matters most, they can’t be counted on. Well over a month has gone by since the Zaporozhye/ Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP)’s “electrical troubles” first made the news. Officially, from the Ukrainian end, as well as the IAEA, the EU, individual governments, there has been ‘no radiation leak’. Many newspapers mentioned the Nov. 28, 2014 “electric short circuit”, but not even the very similar Dec. 28, 2014 one. For most of the mainstream, the story seems long-dead.
Rumors and unverifiable monitor bumps are one thing, but those damning documents, the ones that were either ‘leaked’ or ‘liberated by hackers’ (see my blogposts about that, (Dec. 26, 2014) “Ukrainian Hackers Claim Zaporizhia Nuclear Accident Communications, mentioning Radiation Leak, warn of “Second Chernobyl” – Не наводи панику!“, as well as the very similar claims about the second accident, (Dec. 31) “Russian Mainstream Media begins to wonder too“, with this very important note: (Jan. 4, 2015) “Please Note: The Radiation Reported in “leaked documents” from Zaporozhye / Zaporizhia NPP is NOT “5 mSv/year”, but 5 µSv/hr !!! (RT mistranslation being spread widely)“), which claim significantly elevated levels (14 to 17 x the norm) of radioactivity near the ZNPP. They were mentioned on Russian LifeNews, then RT and only then a handful of blogs, and have yet to be verified. As said before, IF they’re not fake, they suggest a potentially very serious situation, and IF SO -perhaps then that may turn out to be the more disturbing aspect of this saga: a vast cover-up. Even though those documents were briefly mentioned on some Russian and alternative US media, with a tiny bit of European exposure as well, nothing was followed up on. Anywhere. Weeks have passed.
[Inserted after posting: ] Example of a Dec. 30, 2014 report by RT. It is just slightly mindboggling that one could broadcast these allegations and then just continue ignoring the topic altogether:
So, the mystery, whether or not there have been unusual releases of radioisotopes from the ZNPP thus remains de facto unresolved. Hackers versus experts and officials. Pro-Russia- versus Anti-Russia-biased news outlets. No way to determine who can be believed. So this blogpost just adds to my now-lengthy series of related ZNPP blogposts with more of the same: “armchair investigations”:
In early December, I wrote the blogpost, (dec. 3, 2014) “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. Does Additional Data Suggest a Possible Cover-Up of a Radiological Incident?“. I didn’t know yet that something had happened at a nuclear plant. I found out later that day and spent many days trying to see if those spikes could be linked to that accident. What I found was actually pretty freaky. A selection of it is in the overview blogpost (Dec. 15, 2014) @ !!!–> “Was there a causal link between the Nov 28 2014 Accident at the Zaporizhye Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine and recent Radiation Spikes in Latvia and Romania?“.
I didn’t really cover the second major (Dec. 28, 2014) “glitch”, reported to be another “benign error” that in that case shut down Unit 5 of ZNPP, rather than its Unit 3. I hadn’t re-checked the online monitors yet either. So this is just a quick catch-up.
It all remains a big if, but IF the first accident released a radioactive cloud that showed up on monitors, wouldn’t the second accident do the same, just elsewhere, downwind, as well? So, basically I’m looking for two things: to see if any weird spikes can be found for Dec. 28 or after, as well if any other notable spikes have been observed in the last month, which would have to be expected if there actually was a cloud with radioactive particles being dispersed, and possibly an ongoing nuclear accident of completely unknown proportions (from tiny to huge). I would expect to see at least SOME abnormalities.
Gotta say: Gamma-T is a pretty bad indicator for fallout, but it is something. Lab tests of air filters, checking for specific isotopes (Xe-133, I-131, Cs-134 & Cs-137) would be best; and Beta-T would already be a really good clue too, but all that data is either kept secret or simply not being gathered. So, it’s limited, but it is what I have access to:
EURDEP –> Eurdep Public Map –> Accept –> Settings: 1 month, T-Gamma, standard deviation (which is often more telling than “maximum value measured”, as it basically eliminates the elevation effect):
Just ’cause this is extremely time-consuming to check ánd turn into a blogpost, I will just look at the 7 dark red – maroon-ish dots (2 in France, 2 in Hungary, 1 in Macedonia, 1 in Greece, and 1 in Turkey) on the ‘Standard Deviation’ for Gamma-T, 1 month data, map.
Working my way from west to east:
- Some of the data for station “FR1056 – BAR-LE-DUC_55_AGG_CP (France)” appears so “off-scale”, that I typed in the Capcha code to get the data table. Interestingly, incredible actually: Some of that spike data has been validated (!): On Dec.16, 2014, between 15:00 (3 pm) and 16:00 (4pm) GMT: 180 µSv/hr was measured that hour at that specific location. Other even more extreme values seen there were not validated (yet?), but that one was. The monitor was turned off shortly after and has yet to come back online:
One possibility for an extreme value is a ‘hot particle’ being at near-zero distance from the sensor. Or maybe it had something to do with a calibration test. All just speculation, but it’s a pretty extreme value to see on a monitor.
- Station, “FR0505 – FESSENHEIM-EDF_68_SIT_GM (France)” shows a 1-hour data point as well that’s ‘validated’, Dec. 31, 2014 between 13:00 and 14:00, but only at 0.237 µSv/hr (which is still almost 3 times normal average background for that location). Short-lived phenomenon (1 hour) as well. Also notice the very slight (within natural fluctuation range) uptick around Dec. 28, 2014 (seen elsewhere across Europe as well):
- Moving into Hungary: Station, “HU0133 – KOMAROM (Hungary)” shows several spikes of the kind seen above, which are often discounted later (but sometimes ‘validated, as in the case above, too). None of these measurements at this Hungarian monitor location have been validated. The two most pronounced (unconfirmed) spikes, however, were Dec. 27, 2014 (between 9:15 and 10:15) @ 1.38 µSv/hr; and the other one just the other day on Jan. 8, 2015 (between 2:15 and 3:15), which peaked @ 3.48 µSv/hr. All NOT validated:
- This is an interesting one: This is from the other maroon-colored Hungarian monitor station, “HU0518 – PAKS G10 (Hungary)“, which is one of the many monitors surrounding a nuclear power plant. All data at this location is NOT validated, but I find it worth looking into a little deeper. There appears to be ‘a lone dot’ again, a one-point spike showing an hourly average on Dec. 30, 2014 (18:15 – 19:15) @ 91 µSv/hr. It appears isolated, but if you look at the data of the surrounding hours, and plot it logarithmically, you can see it isn’t. The pattern resembles something moving through the area (a transient, like a radioactive cloud), with one instant that ‘radioactive particles’ came really close to that monitor, or got stuck to it (distance: near-zero). For that theory to have any chance of holding any validity, I’ll zoom in and check a couple nearby monitors as well. They should at least show small bumps (slight upticks). See more below this image.
On the below zoom-in of just 1 week, and plotted logarithmically you can see that this clearly shows that the 91 µSv/hr at station HU0518 – PAKS G10 (Hungary) is unlikely to be “a glitch dot”. Although note: none of this data is validated (yet). The spike appears part of a radiological disturbance over a 24+ hour period, though:
To further probe this, I checked 4 randomly picked other monitors in the general area, that fit together on this map: Northwest of the plant, a monitor showed 2 significant spike-hours about 24 hours before. For the most part all is within normal fluctuations. Dec. 28, 2014 is marked in blue. If the spikes are related to a common airborne cause, then “the cloud” is moving / dispersing véry erratically. I guess is that a good amount of that data shown in this composite will not end up being validated. Chances are this is all “just noise.” But, with a bit of a stretch (a larger chance of being wrong, I’d say), one could also read this into it: a very slight uptick passed through the general region on Dec. 28, even less pronounced than was is often seen due to natural causes, yet in some cases this bump was apparently followed by major spikes, with a 1 to 2 day delay for the latter. The phenomenon is not uniformly observed. (And, that goes without saying, this is a very limited monitor selection.)
- Onward to Macedonia, station MK0003: Nothing validated, erratic measurements (a peak value on Dec. 14, 2014 @ 4.1 µSv/hr), long data outages. No data since Dec. 26, 2014. This is an example of something I’d discard as ‘likely useless data’ on first impression:
- Onward to Greece then: “GR_Kerkyra – CORFU (Greece)” on the coast appears to have been working fine – though note: nothing validated – and then shows – or spits out unvalidated possibly useless data – of a sudden extreme spike on Jan. 7, 2015 @ 7.7 mSv/hr (milliSievert!), a freakishly whopping 7,650 µSv/hr. A glitch? Has to be… Or “a radioactive particles party” snuggling up to a monitor? In any case, the monitor was subsequently turned off for almost 2 full days, after which all appeared normal again. For the very benign-looking (marked in blue) bump of Dec. 28, 2014, see the zoom-in further below this image.
Zoom on in of the week surrounding Dec. 28, 2014, for Korfu, showing the slight uptick (nothing validated): peak values measured 0.078 µSv/hr, only about 10-15% above the normal average for that location:
Onward to the one maroon-colored monitor on the southern coast of Turkey:
- This monitor’s data is interesting too. “TR13309 – MERSIN SILIFKE (Turkey)” shows a period of slightly elevated radiation, which is validated, except for one data point in it, which isn’t validated. That unvalidated peak value was 22.5 µSv/hr on Dec. 22, 2014. The validated uptick, up to 0.170 µSv/hr is over 3 times the normal average background radiation (which is usually 0.040 to 0.060 µSv/hr for that sea level location on that monitor):
That’s it for the dark red / maroon data dots.
What else could I look at? Hm… There’s thousands of monitors, and just like the US EPA, they’ve made it extremely time-consuming to get an idea about something being unusual or not.
If you put the month-period ‘Standard Deviation’ next to the ‘Maximum Value Measured’, you get this (see composite image of both together, left).
The highest values tend to be either at higher altitude or flukes; or, as in the cases of a significant deviation from normal, they coincide.
I already looked at those (above). On the Standard deviation map, the border area between Germany and Czech Republic stands out a bit, but on closer look at a sampling of monitors I didn’t see anything that stood out as abnormal (I know that’s a bit subjective, but I’ve been looking at these monitors every once in a while since before Fukushima; the fluctuations seem to go up more frequently, but the heights they reach are not really that different from what I’ve seen before. There also seem to be more frequent data gaps).
- Before I forget, does EURDEP actually have an explanation for all those spikes? Often they do. Answer: Nope… There actually has been NO NEWS since early November 2014… Screenshot of latest:
- What about Beta-T-ART, or isotopes? (Although scant, sometimes there’s something).
- T-Beta-ART map of Europe:
Alright, from north to south, starting with Lithuania (between Latvia, Poland, Russia and Belarus, on the Baltic Coast): At station, “LTCS01 – LT CUSAM 01 (Lithuania)” they were testing for T-BETA-ART in glass filters on a regular basis. On Dec. 17, 2014 a sudden value of 1,630 Bq/m^3 of Beta-emitters was measured. The data is not validated. The monitor was immediately turned off, making that the second of 3 data gaps in a month:
All monitors in The Netherlands show ONLY 0.00 Bq/m^3 values, while that lone Italian monitor shows TV-static-like erratic fluctuations between 0.0 and 7 Bq/m^3 (my guess is that one might need calibration.)
- T-ALPHA-ART ? Yes, but only The Netherlands is reporting. And of its 14 T-Alpha-Art-reporting stations, all but one are below the detectable level. The one that isn’t showing a near-zero flatline, in the north, shows 3 spikes in the past week, the most pronounced one peaked at 16.2 Bq/m^3 just the other moment (Jan. 10, 2014) – all data not validated:
Although all this alpha data is un-validaded, it’s very odd to see T-Alpha-Art spikes. Alpha radiation is particulate itself (2 protons and 2 neutrons), emitted from radioisotopes such as Plutonium, Americium, and Curium (among others). Alpha particles cannot even penetrate skin, but if these radioactive particles get into the lung or the liver, bone or other organs, they kill nearby cells, and on the edge of their tiny killing zone, cell’s genes can be mutated, and cancer may later develop.
The location of that Dutch ‘Wieringenwerf’ (the dark doted-) monitor is north of Amsterdam:
- How about checking on some radioisotopes. Anything anywhere?
–> I-131, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine-131, is a good indicator of a man-made radiological incident. The Cyprus monitor (not shown here) appears to continue its habit of what to me seems like manufacturing erroneous data (likely a calibration issue?). The ones up north in Finland (not shown here either), as well as the two yellow dots from Croatia (lower right) are all fine (nothing detected). Czech Republic and Switzerland tested over various intervals and all results were either lower than the lowest detectable (LLD), or very close to that. Basically: where they’ve tested, no I-131 uptick has been detected anywhere. I found the same to be the case for Cs-134, Cs-137, Co-60 on the EURDEP public network. Unfortunately there’s very little data sharing and no data on Xe-133 at all.
In short: As far as radioisotope data goes (also all: not validated), there’s ZERO evidence of something of the magnitude of a major meltdown anywhere having happened in the past two weeks.
The spikes COULD (totally possible) just be flukes, calibration issues or some kind of instrumental errors. Or they might point at something I haven’t even considered yet. For now, though, that’s it for my data search today. ;-)
I have nothing to conclude from this.
All I can say is that I (me, moi, personally) have never seen T-Gamma values as high as those seen in the tiny sampling of the 7 first-checked monitors, as during this period (end of 2014, start of 2015) on any public monitor, validated or not. And I don’t know if that has any significance. Other EURDEP data suggests it might mean nothing.
Besides radiation monitors and plane flight patterns (see my blogpost (Jan. 8 2015) “FlightRadar24’s View of Eastern Ukraine Dec. 27, 2014 – Early Jan. 2015 (A Sampling of Tracked Flights)“, what else can I look at?
The news? ;-/
See next blogpost.
Added later in the day, after posting: I could look @ Nullschool! For wind patterns (best in Firefox): !-> http://earth.nullschool.net/ Findings:
Unlike after Nov. 28, when at least some correlation could be found between being downwind from ZNPP and spikes, the same is NOT THE CASE for the Dec. 28 bumps, spikes since, and corresponding wind patterns. No correlation between being downwind from ZNPP and observed bumps/spikes. About none. Although to really gauge it, you’d have to look at many more factors than just surface and 840 or 700 hPa. What’s sucked upward in a low pressure vortex can come back down elsewhere in ways that can’t be seen in the lower wind pattern heights. But, for a quick check, I think ZNPP’s second glitch can be ruled out as a source for the radiation spikes observed since. (Extra research could prove me wrong.) You can look at different heights and times. This one’s for 850 hPa on Dec. 28, 2014 in the afternoon (annotations added). Makes a bit of an animal face, yes? ;-)
The mystery stands. Perhaps it will remain that way…
[Last Updated/Edited: January 10, 2015, 6pm MT (Colorado)]
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