Four years of Radiation Data: EURDEP @ ‘Raufalhöfn, Iceland’ – (Long Term Pattern Spotting – Part 3 of 4)

Crestone, Colorado – January 19, 2015DISCLAIMER & SHARE POLICY

Although small, there actually turned out to be a faint signal of the ZNPP accident in the clean-air Iceland data… (see at the end).

As they say, “The best part of a visit to Europe is the layover in Iceland.”  Even radioactive fallout might agree with that.   That’s me in the mostly frozen awesome thundering landscape of Golden Falls, Iceland, in early December 2011.  :-)

This is Part 3.  So far in this quick mini-series:

Research context (includes repetition/recap from previous blogposts) As far as I can assess the situation from afar, the likelihood that there was a major radiological release coming from the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in the Eastern Ukraine has only increased the more I’ve researched it. (See some of my Dec. 2014 & Jan. 2015 blog posts);

In this blog post:  Like the other in this short January 2015 series, I’m looking at long term trends, just checking to see what can be observed on EURDEP monitors before and after Fukushima.

Because each location has a unique background radiation level, due to elevation, soil type, weather patterns, and nearby geology & industry, I’m doing this one monitor at a time.  For part 3, I picked a remote Arctic spot @ Raufalhöfn, Iceland, between Greenland and Scandinavia, because mainland Europe seems to get a lot of “radiation noise” from all the nuclear power plants (refueling,…) and medical industry (production of radio-imaging isotopes, nuclear medicine, etc.).  Just curious how different that will look.  Here’s its location:

IcalandNorthPoleThe intention of this short series is to make it easier to spot multi-year patterns in different monitor-circumstances.  I’m also learning to better gauge the significance of a seemingly benign uptick.

In this Part 3/4, I will start 4 years before March 2011 this time, to get a more equal period before and after.  We’ll find out if that shows anything interesting.  (I often write my blogposts as-I-research.  It slows down the research, but at least I’m not the only one learning something, so I fathom…)

To verify my findings:

Online Radiation Monitors –> EURDEP.  For help with nanoSieverts per hour, microSieverts per hour, and so forth, see my page, Radiation Units & Conversions for orientation.   EURDEP’s Disclaimer (also quoted in Part 2 must be read so that you are warned twice not to run with my opinions as if it were scientific fact.  I do my best, but as per MY DISCLAIMER, I insist you think for yourself.

I’m going to fit 4 months next to each other in this one, to save on space a bit.  (Let me know if that makes it too small for viewing on a smart phone.)

  • Starting in March 2007:

Iceland_1__March2007_ Iceland_2__March2007_–> Looking at the first 8 months, it’s already clear that generally the baseline of background here is around 0.060 µSv/hr with rare upticks up to almost 0.080 µSv/hr. 

In the first week of July 2007, there was only one noteworthy sudden spike of almost +0.1 µSv/hr, to up to about 0.160 µSv/hr, quite unusual in such a clean signal, and followed by a bit of disturbances, all in that 1 week.   Data gaps may be hiding much bigger spikes or unusual disturbances, but for this location, it’s was a significant event. There were no data gaps at all.  A Zoom-in of June-July 2007:

Rauferhofn_July2007 Continued (Nov. 2007 –> Oct. 2008): Iceland_3__March2007_ Iceland_4__March2007_ Iceland_5__March2007_–>At the very beginning of July 2008, you can seen an almost identical spike as seen on July 3, 2007.  It’s the same pattern of a brief spike, followed by a similar brief disturbance, but only reached 0.120 µSv/hr, this time 2 days earlier, on July 1, 2008.  An annual inspection or refueling or something somewhere upwind?   A locally heavy thunderstorm bringing natural radioisotopes down?   No idea.   A zoom-in of that one: Rauferhofn_July2008

The radiation situation is so stable here that these sorts up upticks, very common inland on the continents stand out here.   In the past 20 months, shown above, there were only 2 small data gaps. This continues for 3 more months:

Iceland_6__March2007_–> Feb. 2009 has a large (over 2 weeks) data gap, followed by some erratic disturbance in March 2009, which ends with a surge to around + 22 µSv/hr, where the monitor appears to stay stuck for over a day, followed by the values dropping to zero:

Iceland_7_8_glitch__March2007_–> At the very end you can see that in late October 2009, this monitor comes back online.  This almost eight month long period appears (to me) to have been an instrument error.

My first GUESS is that it took some time to get this monitoring station repaired and nicely functioning again.   In the next 16 months prior to March 2011, the range remains very uneventful, never even surpassing the 0.080 µSv/hr mark, although data gaps become much more common in many months:

Iceland_9__March2007_ Iceland_10__March2007_–> Starting in April 2010, data gaps become more frequent.  Since there are no other spikes, it is hard to guess if this just instrument errors having been deleted, or hiding spikes.   Based on the visible data, there’s pretty much nothing happening here. Iceland_11__March2007_ Iceland_12__EndAt_Feb2011_ –>So, to recap this location’s pre-Fukushima data:  Spikes were extremely rare, and no spikes even rose beyond the 0.090-0.160 µSv/hr. range.

  • Enter March 2011, with March 11 marked: 

Within a few days after the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Disaster began, this Icelandic monitor, over 5,000 miles (over 8000 km) from Japan rose from its 0.060 µSv/hr to 0.320 µSv/hr, rising some + 0.250 µSv/hr :


The above graph is for Raufalhöfn, Iceland.

Below, part of a little diversion-intermezzo, I’m also showing March 10 – through – May 10 is for Reykjavik:

Reykiavik_Fuku_nospike_–>  As you can see, that EURDEP monitor near Reykjavik, shown above, all the way on the other side of Iceland, shows the same tiny data gap on the 12th, but no uptick at all.  In the first week of May it showed a tiny spike that added some +0.025 µSv/hr, but that’s it for the immediate aftermath of Fukushima there.

!-> In addition, there is also a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)  monitor near Reykjavik: monitor ISP34, which measured (If I’m not mistaken this is gamma activity data they released) ‘activity concentrations’ in micro-Bq/m3; microbecquerel per cubic meter; (times in UTC).   The CTBTO‘s global network of monitors are the most sensitive in the world, but their data is generally kept top secret.  It’s rare they release data at all, but they did for Fukushima, many years after the facts were recorded.

The highest measurement this CTBTO-ISP34 monitor recorded near Reykjavik in March-April 2011 was on April 1-2, 2011“391  ISP34 Reykjavik, Iceland 64.13 -21.9 4/1/11 13:31 4/2/11 13:27 (5 measurements:) 3042.4 870 131.86 58.84 350.15 644.35″  (!–> SOURCE:  Fukushima-related CTBTO data.)

A radioactivity of 3042.4 µBq/m^3 was measured April 1, 2011 right there, or some 3 milliBq/m^3, or just 0.003 Bq/m^3 (much of it I-131 and Cs-134/137) in that spot’s surface air.  If the Chernobyl dose rate data from Finland was any indication, higher air layers would most likely contain múch higher radioactivity concentrations.

One thing this hints of, again, is that activity concentrations need to be quite elevated to even affect a dose rate monitor significantly.

  • Returning/Continuing with EURDEP data, showing four-month periods, starting with March 2011 (repeated from single frame above), for Raufalhöfn‘s monitor:

Iceland_PostFuku_1__ Iceland_PostFuku_2__ Iceland_PostFuku_3__ Iceland_PostFuku_4__ Iceland_PostFuku_5__ Iceland_PostFuku_6__ Iceland_PostFuku_7__ Iceland_PostFuku_8__ Iceland_PostFuku_9__ Iceland_PostFuku_10__ Iceland_PostFuku_11__ Iceland_PostFuku_12__ –> You can see very clearly than in the post-March 11 era, even in a pristine remote place as Northeastern Iceland, unusual spiking, often just a few higher data dots amidst seemingly small disturbances continue for the first year, affecting this monitor well into 2012, followed by very long data gaps (Monitor turned off, or all values reduced to zero). In Spring 2013, data flow is restored, and all seems back to normal those disturbances become more common again in autumn 2013 and continue through the winter till April 2014.  A couple months of quiet.  A data gap at the end of July 2014…

  • A ZNPP Signal???

In October and November 2014, more outspoken spiky disturbances can be seen.  All is within the normal range, though.   It doesn’t really matter that the magnitude of it is so small, thing is – this surprised me:  there appears to be a ZNPP fallout signal in the recent data here:

!!!–> Not counting data gaps (which could be hiding much worse), in the past 2 years (2013-2014), there has been just one tiny spike large enough to surpass 0.080 µSv/hr:  On Nov. 29, 2014(Shown here again, below on the left, with similar upticks seen in many parts of Europe:)

3From all tiny bumps in radiation across Europe and beyond, as well as meteorological wind data I’ve looked at, whatever radioactive cloud set off those Latvian monitors, lead to data being redacted in Sweden, Russia and elsewhere, must have been large enough to cause a slight uptick even in Iceland (!).  The 1-2 day delay, again, fits perfectly… with the hypothesis that this was caused by the Nov. 27, 2014 Zaporizhia Nuclear Accident (ZNPP), which officially STILL “never happened”…

!–> If you’ve missed previous blog posts:  In regards to that ZNPP Nuclear mystery, I’ve been a bit on a roll:

I reported on disturbing hacked/leaked internal ZNPP communications before most had heard of these.  I discovered a very important translation error in a widely-shared RT article.   Using Nullschool meteo data and EURDEP radiation monitor observations, I effectively showed that some of the most extreme recent radiation spikes were precisely downwind from the Zaporizhia Nuclear Accident.  I’ve pointed out that the magnitudes of those ground-level spikes were surprisingly véry significant by scrutinizing post-Chernobyl data, suggesting something much worse than just a mere refueling off-gassing took place at ZNPP’s Unit 3 (or Unit 1 ? – See Comments) on November 27, 2014, and possible again at the end of December 2014, at ZNPP’s Unit 5 (or Unit 6 – See Comments).

Other findings:

I didn’t mark every tiny spike on the pre-Fukushima graphs, but when you go back and scrutinize those, you can see similar patterns: upticks, disturbances, data gaps, followed by monitor turned off, such as in winter 2008-2009, when measurements, although within a very low and normal range appear “unsettled”, followed by sudden erratic spikes and … quite possibly an instrument error, but … one never knows… even after the monitor comes back online many months later, the disturbances are still ongoing.  Could totally be normal, for sure.  But it is also possible that there have been many other major releases of radioactivity into the atmosphere that never made the news.  Given the media silence regarding “the ZNPP accident-or-not-which-one-is-it?”, which IS actually being discussed here and there, that doesn’t seem too far-fetched at all.

I looked at Northern Iceland because it has been such a clean signal that more stands out.  I did not expect to find ZNPP fallout hinted of in EURDEP data though.  (CTBTO data, yes perhaps, but those fine folks have yet to break their silence…).    Perhaps it is not a good sign that, as of posting this on Jan. 19, 2015, that northeastern Iceland monitor has been turned off since Dec. 18, 2014… 

That’s it for this monitor. 

Sweet dreams, everyone…

— — — — — — — — —


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[Except for minor edits: Last Updated/Edited (‘final’):  January 19, 2015 @ 5:55 pm Colorado/ “See Comments” added on Jan. 21, 2015]
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22 Responses to Four years of Radiation Data: EURDEP @ ‘Raufalhöfn, Iceland’ – (Long Term Pattern Spotting – Part 3 of 4)

  1. Kay says:

    Your amazing research and hard work is greatly appreciated.

    Your discovery that Chernobyl radiation measured no more than 0.8 µSv/hr in aerial monitors is fascinating. Such a small amount of Chernobyl radiation captured in aerial monitors, yet the damage to humans and the environment was huge.. So…I guess when pro-nukers claim everything is okay because only small amounts of radiation were measured after Chernobyl/Fukushima, that’s just more pro-nuker falsehoods (imo).

    • Hi Kay, glad you dig it. It’s been a lot of work indeed. Learning a lot as I go. I didn’t think that even the tiniest of spikes could possibly hint of a radioactive cloud having been released thousands of miles away, or how to interpret those “glitch dots” (which now that I’ve looked at so much data are clearly part of a delayed fallout pattern, or “sprinkles” from higher up).

      Yes. imo, also. By the way, to top, that 0.8 µSv/hr was a kilometer above the surface, measured by planes. (that level was measured in Tokyo at ground level briefly in March-April 2011) On the ground much less was measured in Finland, UNLESS there was a rain-out, in those cases it could go as high as almost 4.0 µSv/hr.

      (for other readers, this is all in )

      How much damage Chernobyl did remains hard to estimate. I found this source quite compelling (though didn’t read it all):

      The main deception the nuclear industry seems to play is the dose deception. And they pull it off by comparing equivalent and effective doses. Many “radiation experts” will literally tell the public when they’re holding up a Geiger Counter in a radioactive dust cloud, like in the Fukushima Prefecture in many areas, and make it sound like it’s “like eating a couple extra bananas”, or “you get a bigger dose from taking a plane somewhere else”, completely ignoring that the radioactive particles in the air can get lodged in tissues and cause all kinds of problems (not just cancer and leukemia, but also psychological troubles, heart disease, etc.), sometimes not until decades later. That’s the thing… they can almost always say, truthfully, that there’s “no immediate danger”, ’cause especially with fallout, the delay can indeed be very long. I wrote about that in “the Dose Deception” and K-40 versus Cs-137‘


      and @

      Yeah,… [sigh] It’s a sad thing to discover, pro-nukers make fallout seem benign by comparing dose rates, and different kinds of dose rates. Often it even sounds like they believe it themselves, not getting how their comparisons are deceptive. They get lost in number games, tunnel vision,… And I don’t actually have a clue how to reach them. The ones I’ve talked to seem incapable of even grasping the difference between chewing down a banana or a nuclear fuel rod (so to speak). It has a bit of a hopeless dynamic to it. Meanwhile more and more people, of ALL ages, seem to be getting cancer… ;-/

      I will eventually, most likely, feel compelled to return to exploring “the shamanic dimensions” regarding this whole situation again, ’cause while I actually enjoy data crunching and analysis, I doubt that it can restore harmony to the fabric of life… which is being degraded precisely through feeling-detached processes that involve data crunching and analysis…

      Like Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Kay says:

        Hi Michael, That’s a very interesting document you linked to —> “HEALTH EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL” by the “German Affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)” —>

        I read thru it and here are just a few examples of the detrimental health effects attributed to Chernobyl radiation, found throughout Europe:

        >> SCOTLAND: leukemia in children under four rose by 37% in 1987
        >> ROMANIA: leukemia in children born between July 1986 and March 1987 was “significantly higher than for those born between April 1987 and December 1987”
        >> GREECE: Children “still growing in their mother’s wombs at the time of the Chernobyl reactor catastrophe developed leukemia 2.6 times more often”
        >> NORTHERN SWEDEN: by 1996, 849 excess cases of cancer
        >> WEST GERMANY: 1.5 times as many children under one year old developed leukemia than the average for the 1980s
        >> GERMANY: neuroblastomas increased in ratio to ground-contamination
        >> BELARUS: chronic lymphatic leukemia, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphomas, and non-Hodgkin lymphomas significantly increased
        >> BELARUS: 10,000 cases of thyroid cancer
        >> ROVNO area of UKRAINE: “a noticeable increase in the incidence of cancer of the haematopoietic system amongst the child and adult population”
        >> POLAND and NORTH ENGLAND: increases in thyroid cancer
        >> CZECH REPUBLIC: increase in thyroid cancer amongst adults
        >> In general:
        • Tuberculosis was more destructive
        • Decrease in lifespan of stomach and lung cancer patients
        • Increases in breast, digestive and respiratory cancers
        • statistically significant increase in leukemia risk for men whose estimated radiation exposure was greater than 10 mSv

        >> Effects of radiation on the brain:
        • “cases of neurological-psychiatric illness were found to be a somatic effect of low-level radiation”
        • “Accelerated aging of the blood vessels – especially of the brain”
        • “organic changes to the brain amongst people exposed to radiation”
        • “Reduced brain function in disaster aid workers”

  2. says:

    I believe ZNPP Unit 6 tripped at the end of December, Michael – not Unit 5. The Ukraine regulators or some ‘authority’ initially reported Unit 5, but eventually started reporting it as Unit 6. The company sites now claim it was Unit 6. Maybe I’m the one that has it backwards.

    The Nov. 27th release could have came from one of two events (that we know of): either the trip/scram of Unit 3 for whatever reason, or something connected with the rebuild/refueling of Unit 1.

    Unit 3 trip/scram was non-trivial – it was an emergency shutdown. They do not slam a reactor at full power into cold shutdown for some peripheral electrical problem. If the reactor doesn’t have a mechanical load for the steam it produces (a ‘turbine trip’) then they bring the reactor down to a hot standby state (~40% at ZNPP) until the turbine problems are resolved. The fact that they brought the reactor to 0% – cold shutdown – means there was a more serious issue related to the continued operation of the reactor. Tripping a reactor from full power to cold shutdown quickly always involves dumping a lot of cooling water as steam, releasing a considerable amount of radionuclide contaminants to the environment that are normally removed in regular operating modes or during a non-emergency shutdown.

    Nuke plants always claim ‘releases within allowable limits’ during emergency shutdowns, but the limits themselves are artificially high and averaged across an entire month. Most radionuclides released during such events are blown as high as possible out the several hundred meter tall vent stack. They will never register at fence-line or peripheral monitors, which is always the first thing operators will cite as ‘evidence’ that there was not a release.

    The other release source could have been Unit 1 undergoing it’s 30-year medium overhaul. All the really contaminated surfaces inside the reactor are disturbed, crating tons of crud in the cooling water. Cleaning those surfaces produces enormous quantities of lose cesium, strontium and cobalt. Exposing that cooling water to the atmosphere (the reactor is open) is the source of a lot of airborne radionuclides. Whatever they can’t filter out goes right up the big stack.

    So even a ‘normal’ refueling results in releases. Far worse is a refueling involving damaged fuel rods and highly contaminated cooling water. A medium overhaul is going to produce far more that either of those two because all the crud is stirred up. Now consider that Unit 1 was driven like hell just before they shut it down (evidenced by output) and also has 30 years of radioactive crud accumulating somewhere inside if it wasn’t filtered out. I don’t know what specific operation they may have been performing, but there is the potential for a lot of that to get into the environment. As long as they can blow it out the top of the main vent stack as high as possible, they’ll be able to claim ‘within acceptable limits’ and the area monitors will all show normal readings.

    To make matters worse, it looks like they rushed the Unit 1 overhaul and finished it two weeks early. Great for someone’s bonus, but hardly the kind of thing you want to hear from a nuclear plant operator. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also stuffed some high-burn fuel in Unit 1 to juice its output even more. Hey, it hasn’t blown up for 30 years. What could possibly go wrong?

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