I’m going to keep hammering this nail into the proverbial radioactive waste barrel until the Ukrainian government admits they lied about “all being just fine – no radiation released” at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and they, with their accomplices, are arrested.
[ Hahaha Hahaha Ha… Hm… Yeah… I know: I have a vivid imagination… ;-D ].
> About the image… I was writing this blog post at a local bar, over a glass of wine, and a friend sitting next to me, committed to distract me, suggested I should, “Add a sexy guy.” What? “To make the blogpost more attractive.” Oh? Okay… So I did a little search for “sexy guy,” and she picked him. I added the radioactivity symbol. “That works,” she said. So. There. Not sure I understand, but if it helps someone in a position of political or academic authority, public health responsibility, oversight organization or major media influence, to ‘wake up’ and be like, “OMG! OMG! OMG! They lied! There actually wás a radiation release! I should alert the public!!!”, then great. Otherwise… I’m really sorry. ;-)
— Reporting from Crestone, Colorado (USA) – January 16, 2015 – 5:55 am – Good morning! —
This is yet another addition to my research into the Zaporizhia / Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP)’s late-2014 likely nuclear accidents.
I’ve had this question for much longer, but it’s come back to the fore with the many recent gamma radiation spikes in Europe: How high does a spike really need to go to hint of a major radioactive cloud?
I’ll let the cat out of the bag right away:
In order to gauge the significance of a +0.4 µSv/hr spike on several ground-level monitors in Latvia, some 1500 km precisely downwind from the ZNPP in Eastern Ukraine, I searched for similar aerial dose data from right after Chernobyl. Finally I found some:
Gamma dose rates from shortly after the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the most contaminated air layer of the Chernobyl plume 1000 to 2000 meters above Finland on April 29th revealed: the dose rate in that highest-contaminated air layer was no more than 0.8 µSv/hr ! (Source & details below).
This, and other information from 1986, suggests that the Latvian ground-level spikes, if they were valid data (and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be), plus the dozens of quite extreme upticks all across Europe in the past few months, may indeed be hinting of a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) of a scale no major media outlet or oversight organization has lent credence to yet.
Officially the word is still that “no radiation leaked.”
For your consideration:
Some of this is repetition from previous blog posts.
> Image: One of two gamma radiation spikes seen on Latvian gamma radiation monitors on Nov. 28, 2014, followed by “monitor turned off” (data not being shared with the public). Their timing suggests that the first ZNPP accident likely occurred late Nov. 26 or -and I think this is the most likely: sometime on November 27, 2014.
Both the Jelgava, Latvia and Baldone, Latvia monitors showed spikes of at least + 0.4 µSv/hr over normal background. (At peak level the assumed fallout cloud added as much as over +0.5 µSv/hr to background!) Public data sharing was cut shortly after. This blog post arose from wanting to know how significant such an uptick actually might be.
(For help with microSieverts, becquerels, etc., see Radiation Units & Conversions.)
First, to recap: By looking at Nullschool wind data, (Jan. 11, 2015: Latvian Nov. 28 Spikes Revisited: Nullschool Data Shows Perfect Correlation with ZNPP Wind Path!), I traced the path the air took to reach those monitors back to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in the Eastern Ukraine. (Shown again, below). Now, coming up further below: by looking at Chernobyl data, I’ll aim to find out if such an uptick is significant.
As far as the wind path goes: the correlation is uncanny: you can’t actually get a more exact match for the wind having come from that spot; it’s the very same wind path line at 500 hPa, and where the wind at 500 hPa slows down, the wind lines of the layers below it go in the same direction.
In the image below, you can see that between the area where the higher altitude winds (@ 500 hPa or over 15,000 ft) make a turn from going north toward the west, directly towards those monitors, that the winds slowed down a bit (less bright green). When you also check the winds at 850 hPa, 700 hPa and 1000 hPa, you see that for that stretch these winds all blow in the same direction. It makes perfect sense: the vertical fallout dispersion that could occur more easily in that little stretch must have reached all the way down to the ground-level air layer, causing that part of the radioactive cloud to blow right over a couple surface monitors over a period of at least 24 hours (radiation graph above; wind path image below).
This part of the (still “hypothesized”) ZNPP fallout was now (Nov. 28 into Nov. 29) moving in near-surface air, which subsequently blew north, mainly toward southwestern Finland, albeit with a (likely diluting/spreading) bend over the Baltic Sea. (I touched on that in my Jan 11 blogpost, “Can the Rumor from Poznan, Poland and Romanian news of a “Radioactive Cloud” (Both Dec. 5, 2014) be traced to ZNPP too?“) The Finnish monitors downwind show very slight radiation upticks. They are so little in fact that they do not stand out from common natural fluctuations (such as spikes from radioBeryllium coming down in summer thunderstorms after a dry spell, for instance). But you can spot them downwind: upticks or ‘disturbances’ of no more than +0.025 µSv/hr. (Couple examples, see the below composite image). Strikingly (and rather suspicious, I’d say), for the days and times when upticks could be expected in eastern Sweden and in the western Russian Federation, those monitors were turned off (the typical ‘data gaps’, all too reminiscent of Fukushima…).
Also included in the below composite image: Right next to the Baldone and Jelgava monitors that spiked over +0.400 µSv/hr; in Jermala, Latvia, only a few higher dose data dots can be seen (of +0.150 µSv/hr on Nov. 29, 2014). So obviously the spread of this cloud is very erratic. (In the below Chernobyl info, you can read about how that was also the case with the Chernobyl plume dispersion: extremely erratic and in dry conditions barely noticeable at ground level.)
If you’re not actually looking for the plume beyond the spikes, you’d very easily miss the evidence. (To verify all this data, navigate your way to those online radiation monitors, –> Eurdep Public Map –> Accept (if curious) –> Settings: 1 week prior to Dec. 1, 2014.) If you check many other times, you’ll see that the tiny bumps are véry common and that generally nothing can be concluded about their origins, natural or man-made). But if you do know (or assume) that an uptick, even a small one, is due to a radioactive plume, then seeing upticks downwind can be further confirmation of that knowledge or assumption:
So, in any case, the data here is scant, but this is what the European Commission employees (or an automated algorithm designed by them) decided to share (with a disclaimer that leaves plenty of room for them to deny everything shared):
- Two Latvian monitors rose over +0.400 µSv/hr over 24+ hrs (mostly Nov. 28, 2014?)
- One Latvian monitor showed briefly elevated data points @ +0.150 µSv/hr (Nov. 29, 2014)
- Many if not most Swedish monitors show 2 data gaps (which could be hiding what would otherwise have been spikes?): a brief data gap at the very end of Nov. 27, and a longer one for all day Nov. 29, 2014.
- Directly downwind (surface air) in Southwestern Finland: many monitors show small disturbances, mostly on Nov. 28 and not adding more than +0.025 µSv/hr to background, less than what is caused by many common natural fluctuations (from rain-outs of natural isotopes as well as cosmic rays), but what could still hint of unusually elevated fission-made radioisotope content in the air.
To run with the hypothesis that this was caused by a release from the Zaporizhye NPP, what would an increase of 0.400 µSv/hr actually indicate? Is that a small cloud? Is that significant? What kind of accident does it hint of? Does it correspond with not much more than some extra off-gassing during a refueling???
Note: In comparisons of gauging the dangers from fallout, which comes with the possibility of lodging hot particles in bodily tissue for very long times, and cause cancers many years, even decades later: PLEASE don’t bring up ‘dose from airplane flights’, ‘eating bananas’, or ‘medical X-rays’ and other deceptive comparisons. See ‘The Dose Deception‘ and ‘K-40 versus Cs-137‘ for help debunking those classic nuclear propaganda tricks.)
So, that was the recap.
I went looking for relevant gamma dose data about Chernobyl’s radioactive cloud, which initially took a similar path: over Sweden and Finland, and then swirled around (in somewhat similar ways, actually – at least initially – as appears to have been the case with late-2014 the hypothesized ZNPP fallout plume), to rain down in a very chaotic fallout deposition pattern.
Sidenote: Check out my Sept. 30, 2011 blogpost, (Extended) Chernobyl 1986 versus Fukushima 2011 Fallout Map Comparison, from which I re-used the UN’s Chernobyl fallout map shown, above/right. You can clearly see the high deposition in the central Finland-Sweden-Norway area. An interesting study in regards to the deposition (which puts a question mark by the more common allegations that there were “almost no negative health effects” associated with the high fallout depositions) is: “Increase of Regional Total Cancer Incidence in North Sweden Due to the Chernobyl Accident?” by © Martin Tondel, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden. [http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/reports/kr139/pdf/tondel.pdf]
The answer to the below question was rather hard to find, as it is not included in most reports about the Chernobyl disaster:
What was observed as far as gamma dose rates when Chernobyl’s radioactive cloud moved over Europe at the end of April 1986?
There were not nearly as many monitors as now, and it was pre-internet, making the 1986 data quiet hard to find. But -freak’n finally- I found some very telling answers for the first week the Chernobyl cloud was moving into northwestern Europe: gamma dose data from Sweden and Finland.
!!!–> DATA SOURCE: Data can be found in Aerosol Science and Technology: History and Reviews Edited by David S. Ensor (©2011 Research Triangle Institute. [http://www.rti.org/pubs/bk-0003-1109-frontmatter-contributors.pdf] ), as part of “Part IV. Military Applications and Nuclear Aerosols” in Chapter 12: Chernobyl Observations in Finland and Sweden (by Jussi Paatero, Kaarle Hämeri, Matti Jantunen, Pertti Hari, Christer Persson, Markku Kulmala, Rolf Mattsson, Hans-Christen Hansson, and Taisto Raunemaa [http://www.rti.org/pubs/bk-0003-1109-chapter12.pdf]).
Excerpts (my emphasis) – (It’s worth reading Chapter 12 in full – link above):
” […] Dispersion of the Plume: The energy released during the accident caused the radioactive plume to reach considerable altitudes and spread the debris with high wind speeds (8–11 m/s) quickly into the atmosphere. At first, the emissions were transported northwestward over Poland, the Baltic states, Finland, and Sweden. The plume arrived in Finland from the southwest on April 27  at 12:00 UTC, with a release height of 2,000 m. The plume then moved across the country northeast to the Kuhmo region and then back to the Soviet Union and toward the southern shore of the White Sea. […]
As of April 27 , emissions were spreading to eastern central Europe, southern Germany, Italy, and Yugoslavia. Within the next week, the plume was transported southward from Chernobyl to Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkans, the Black Sea, and Turkey. After that, the emissions arrived again over Central Europe, Scandinavia, and Finland […]. Finally, the plume nearly covered the northern hemisphere. Most of the Chernobyl-originated activity remained in the troposphere, but it could also be detected in the stratosphere […].
The air parcel trajectories originating from Chernobyl at the time of the accident show that the radioactive plume moved first northwestward […]. Over Lithuania, the plume separated into two main paths. At lower altitudes (750–1,000 m), the plume continued toward Sweden and Norway. At higher altitudes (1,500–2,500 m), the plume turned toward the north. The plume arrived in Finland from the southwest, arriving in southwestern Finland on April 27 at 12:00 UTC, with a release height of 2,000 m. […]”
–> From those findings you can already deduct the likelihood of similar complexity of the cloud dispersal, with the cloud moving differently at different altitudes. Given it is winter now, widespread atmospheric stratification is likely, also over land (meaning most of the radioactive cloud would stay higher up, not reach the ground). My assumption that the hot release from ZNPP would have gone quite high, and that in the part of its path where the wind below it was going in the same direction and a little slowed is – just like during the Chernobyl disaster – precisely where ground-level monitors would pick it up. What did they pick up then?
‘[…] First Observations in Sweden and Finland – In Sweden, the first clear registrations were being made in eastern Svealand, north of Stockholm on April 27 at 12:00 UTC (Persson et al., 1987). The Forsmark nuclear power plant, which is situated in the contaminated area, received rain on April 27 and 28 [Note: the accident occurred on April 26, 1986], and the rains’ radioactivity caused a radiation alarm to sound in the external monitoring system on the morning of April 28. Also, the contamination monitors of the personnel detected unusual radioactivity. […]
In combination with the weather data, Swedish scientists concluded that the source of the radioactivity was a reactor accident somewhere in the western Soviet Union. The existence of radionuclide contamination in the air forced the Swedish National Radiation Protection Institute to conduct a mapping of statewide radiation.
According to the gamma activity measured via airborne counting at a height of 150 m from May 1–8, a high dose rate region (300–400 μR/h [3–4 μSv/h]) was distinguishable around Gävle, 200 km northwest of Stockholm. The deposition was later converted from dose rate units to 137 Cs ground surface deposition in kBq/m^2. The gamma activity map was published by the local newspaper Dagens Nyheter on May 8, 1986. The flight survey covering all of Sweden disclosed two other high-activity areas north of Gävle […].”
–> This dose rate is over areas with a high fallout deposition, so that data doesn’t tell me much of the dose rate of such a radioactive plume in itself yet. Also telling is that monitors didn’t pick up much at all, unless it rained.
“In Finland, many of the radioactivity and weather observations and dispersion estimates were not available during the acute fallout phase because of a government employees strike. The Chernobyl plume did not reach ground-level air in the archipelago of Ahvenanmaa southwest of the Finnish mainland on April 27, but two hot particles (i.e., highly radioactive agglomerates discussed in detail below) were observed with the aerosol beta activity monitors of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) […]. The particles were large enough to settle by gravitation through a clean layer of air beneath the plume.
On the afternoon of April 27, an aerosol beta activity monitor reacted to the artificial radioactivity in Nurmijärvi but not in Helsinki, despite the short (about 40 km) distance between the monitoring stations. This was probably because of the convection over inland Nurmijärvi, while the lower troposphere was stratified in Helsinki because of the cold sea surface. Most of the FMI’s aerosol beta activity monitors in southern and central Finland detected artificial radioactivity on April 28, especially in the afternoon when there was increased vertical mixing of the troposphere.
The external dose rate was not significantly affected by the radioactivity in the ground-level air. At Kajaani, in northeastern Finland, a Ministry of the Interior monitoring station measured an increased exposure rate value of 0.1 mR/h (1 μSv/h) on the evening of April 27 in connection with a rain shower […]. However, at the time, the ground-level air there was still free from artificial radioactivity […]. On April 29, an area of rain moved from the west coast of Finland in an easterly direction. The rain was considerably heavy in western areas of Finland […]. The rain brought the activity to the ground, causing notable increases in the external dose rate; in Uusikaupunki on the west coast of Finland, the dose rate increased from 0.2 to 4 μSv/h […]
The first surveys of radiation in the atmosphere were performed by military aircrafts responding to the news about a suspected radioactive plume […]. Vertical profiles of gamma radiation values at airport regions in Helsinki, Tampere, and Pori [all Finland] before noon on April 29  showed that the external radiation was at its maximum between 1,000 and 2,000 m above ground […] . The gamma dose-rate levels were between 0.1–0.8 μSv/h.” [end quoted excerpts]
!!!–> So, there you have it: The gamma dose-rate levels of Chernobyl’s radioactive plume over Finland, at its most radioactive, in the air layer between 1,000 and 2,000 m [so corresponding most closely with 850 hPa atmospheric pressure] above ground, measured 0.8 μSv/hr at the most. That’s in the plume itself, non-deposited, at its worst, still early on (5 days max.) into the spread of the plume (Chernobyl spewed it toxic mess for about 10 days).
Anyone trying to convince me of “the insignificance” of an uptick of 0.4 µSv/hr on a surface monitor some 1500 kilometers downwind from a suspected nuclear disaster has clearly no clue how significant that actually is.
In addition, IF we can believe those leaked or ‘hacked’ documents, which reported 4.39 µSv/hr near the ZNPP on Nov. 28, 2014, as well as those from a month later mentioning 5.05 µSv/hr near the ZNPP on Dec. 28, 2014, then perhaps you can see that emerging references to the ghost of Chernobyl are not all that misplaced.
Of course… I wanted to know a little more about GROUND monitors. The thing is that they were mostly affected by rain bringing the higher-up plume down. The following document reveals the gamma doses at ground level after Chernobyl in Finland:
!!! –> DATA SOURCE: One of the scientific papers referenced in the above document was published in “Boreal Environment Research 15: 19–33, Helsinki, February 26, 2010: Airborne and Deposited Radioactivity from the Chernobyl Accident — a review of investigations in Finland […]” @ http://www.borenv.net/BER/pdfs/ber15/ber15-019.pdf, which further provided me with these ground station gamma dose measurements:
In the first annotated screenshot, below, you can see 13 ground-stationed gamma dose rate graphs combined. The worst ones go over 1.0 µSv/hr. All do not show brief upticks but rather a sudden shift to a high value, followed by a slow decrease. These very high values are due to deposition of the radioactive fallout, again: due to rain. The decay of some of the radioisotopes caused the gradual decline of the dose rate. Even wíth rain-out deposition, most other monitors stayed under 0.6 µSv/hr. The major clue in all this is: UNLESS there is precipitation bringing such a radioactive plume down, dose rate upticks will be too small to cause alarm.
This below annotated screenshot shows the very worst gamma dose rate in the most Chernobyl-affected area in Finland, @ Uusikaupunki, where the ground-level gamma dose rate spiked up to just under 4.0 µS/hr, to then decrease, within less than two weeks, to under 1 µSv/hr, mainly due to quick radioisotope decay of the fallout on the ground.
So: all this shows that an uptick of +0.4 µSv/hr is véry significant at ground level, especially without significant rain. (From what I’ve gathered there was at most very light snow in Jelgava and Baldone that Nov. 28 day in Latvia);
It is impossible to assess the region affected by ZNPP-2014 fallout, because EURDEP hides data from the public. So detailed comparisons are not possible (yet). The “<0.4 µSv/hr” range on the Finland map, above, is also too broad for deducting possible implications.
The fact, however, that the dose-rate disturbances on monitors further downwind were relatively tiny, hints of the release having been quite small, at least in comparison to Chernobyl. But in comparison to mini-upticks very close to reactors during refueling, it appears to have been a relatively huge release.
Although the INES-scale has major short-comings, if one were to pick one for the ZNPP accidents (Nov-Dec 2014), it would likely be INES-5 at the very most. (But certainly not a no-release “INES-0”, as it stands now.) From my chair here in the Rockies… hmm… I’m putting it at INES-4. ;-/
The Zaporizhia nuclear accident most likely released far more radioactive gasses and particles into the air than a major “radioactive steam leak” or “a refueling gone bad.”
Perhaps that would explain some very extreme measurements observed in Europe since then (with validated measurements of well over 5 µSv/hr in some cases!), as well as odd unexplained upticks as far away as North America and Japan. More examples at the end of this blogpost.
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So not only does the wind path correlate exactly with that which ZNPP fallout would have taken, the minimal effect on ground monitors, as well as major differences in monitors very near each other, as well as the magnitude of ground-level spikes, all fit with the hypothesis of what may very well have been a quite significant radioactive release from ZNPP. To top, even the rumors, the news articles and allegedly hacked documents (timing, mentioned dose rates, etc., all actually match the hypothesized scenario quite well. What are the odds? This is why I consider it ‘near-certain’ that a major release of radio-nuclides took place. Not a massive meltdown a la Chernobyl or Fukushima, but WAY more significant and troubling than “a transformer circuit that did not affect the reactors.”
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It’s easy to be cynical in these days, but liars do not belong in places of political power. I know people with children who “don’t have time for this” and “choose to focus on the positive.” I get that. And I know that doesn’t mean they don’t care. They do. The thing is… I don’t have kids, I do have time, and I find the search for truth and exposing lies a very positive focus. And when you consider the long-term effects, also on children…
I’m shaking my head. The thought that people in positions of oversight, entrusted with the quite noble task of keeping a watchful eye over the industry and being ready to alert the public to take measures to reduce harmful effects, would turn a blind eye to a nuclear accident, regardless of its size… that would be quite troubling. It would open the door to them doing that for very big accidents too, and then we’re basically in “a global Soviet Union”, so to speak.
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From a public health safety perspective, though, my guess is that whatever blew into the Baltic states and into Russia from there (and Romania, Poland, etc) did theoretically not add all that much of “an added cancer risk” to the population. Not in the overall sense. Statistically it would probably be near-negligible. But there is however always that possibility of hot particles being inhaled, with potential adverse health consequences way down the line.
If YOU are the one hit, those damn statistics [, with their meaningless “risk calculations”, which obviously drown out the thousands of “collateral damage”… recipients of unintended “nuclear blessings” in a sea of “statistical noise”,] will mean jack sh*t. Cancer, leukemia, heart disease, psychological difficulties, respiratory ailments, nervous issues,… you name it… You have to be quite the die-hard pro-nuker to ignore the suggestive evidence. And unless we stop this madness, we’re only at the very beginning of the nuclear era. For documentation see:
- http://www.chernobylcongress.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/chernob_report_2011_en_web.pdf and
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Too late now, but staying indoors for a few hours or days when the plume is passing over, perhaps covering your veggie gardens, definitely not drinking the rain water, washing clothes and taking extra showers, and such, would – in my non-expert opinion, based on what I’ve read- be fair recommendations for the duration of such a radiological pollution event. If this ZNPP event gets confirmed to be what I suspect it was, then it’s a shame they kept quiet. Criminally negligent, perhaps.
—- —- —-
“Just a propaganda war, nothing real to be seen here” ???
Why has no word been said about this issue on any major outlet since? It REALLY does not make any sense how “the media” is (not) handling this. The abnormalities make me even wonder if perhaps… Did Radio Free Europe (RFE) run their ‘Donetsk Separatist’s Concerns‘ angle, and, in turn, did RT run their ‘authenticity-unverifyable’ leaked documents slant on this issue, so it would ultimately be easier to ignore this news? Russia is just as up to their neck in nuclear commitments as the EU, Japan or the United States… Why did RT drop their initial intention to try to verify the documents? Why do most European media completely ignore the topic? … …
…while hot particles may be dropping from the sky, sending some monitors sky-high?
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Data: EURDEP Public Map 1 month prior to Jan 16, 2015 – None of these extreme measurements have been ‘validated’. I looked at these a-plenty: this is not what I’d call “normal” anymore.
Is it so unreasonable to ask, what the hell is going on?
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[Last Updated: January 16, 2015 – 3:06 pm Mountain Time]