Radon Spike in Italy: Highest since 2013 ; Cyprus blocks out Cs-137/I-131 data… (May 16, 2015, a snapshot of a few EURDEP monitors)

Nothing to see here. Move along…

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After the earlier post today, mentioning the latest additions to my series of Spring 2015 Chernobyl Radioactive Forest Fire posts, I checked the EURDEP public map (http://eurdep.jrc.ec.europa.eu/Basic/Pages/Public/Home/Default.aspx, which is mostly unvalidated data from which you’re not supposed to draw any conclusions…) to see if some of the monitors that had been switched off immediately as the radioactive smoke was heading its way would be back online.

For the one in Lithuania, that answer on May 16, 2015, is clearly: no. I had graphed its Bismuth-214 data, which ended at the same time as the below data for U-234 & Pb-214.  the Bi-214 long-term data shows data gaps which most likely correlate with fallout events from Fukushima, Zaporizhye & the Chernobyl forest fires, see May 2, 2015’s “Bismuth-214 as a Fallout Indicator? Systematic Omissions: More Evidence of EURDEP Hiding Data when it Matters Most…”)

Here’s Uranium-234 and Lead-214 graphed for the past entire month (pre-May 16, 2015), and, as you can see, the pattern of systematic omissions when it matters continues…


How about in Finland?  Did I imagine things or did they really suspend the data flow right at the moment radioactive smoke likely reached Scandinavia?   Sure looks like they skipped a step…

Finland_3Months_Cs137_preMay16_2015_EURDEPThen I swung by “my favorite” Cs-137 / I-131 monitor on Cyprus (which showed a disturbing spike in November 2014, including for the recent-fission indicator I-131, with wind pattens tracing back to Fukushima…, see HERE and the one preceding that one for Germany specifically).  Never made the news… Kinda unbelievable how Orwellian our world has become…   Anyways, there is currently an unusual data gap occurring there… Which has me wondering if it is related with the major radon spike, also in the mediterranean (in Italy, see below)…:

Cyprus_Cs137_I131_May16_2015_1month_Eurdep_dataGapsThe levels are normal, but the data gaps are unusually long.  My experience in investigating possible fallout events tells me data gaps are worse than spikes.  :-/

“I have no idea what this all means.”    (“I mean… What do I know?   I’m just hanging out in tiny mountain town in Colorado, filling some time writing a blog post because it’s wet-snowing again… ;-/”)

Then I checked EURDEP’s amazing vast network of Radon monitors, shown here:


That’s right: one monitor for the European continent.  Almost funny…

Here’s the past month, with a spike  in the last 24 hours of up to 52 Bq/m^3 of Radon-220+222 at that monitor in Ispra, Italy:

RadonSPike_Italy_May16_2015Now you may say, “but Radon is natural!“.  Yes and no.  It occurs naturally, but as a decay daughter of Uranium, it can also be an indicator and part of man-made fallout, certainly when Uranium gets aerosolized, as happened after Fukushima.   To refresh your memory, here’s Uranium content in Hawaii air in 2011: [h/t http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/10/… ]

Looks like some Uranium was added to the atmosphere, doesn’t it?  So, naturally, higher Radon, Bismuth, Lead, etc. upticks are to be expected for as long as it takes for this mess to come all down.  Which, I suppose, could be awhile, since Fukushima-Daiichi hasn’t even been stopped from leaking into the air and water.

Anyhow, to see if this recent/current seemingly major Radon spike in Northern Italy is unusual, I checked back until the record began in January 2014, and copy-pasted the past entire year together in 3-month periods, for Rn-220+222 in the black graphed Plot 1, and T-BETA-ART (artificial Beta Radiation, I pressume) in blue in Plot 2, shown below.

You can see that the Rn-220+222 spike this week is more than double the peak of usual fluctuation normally observed here:Rn_Tbeta_art__1 Rn_Tbeta_art__2 Rn_Tbeta_art__3 Rn_Tbeta_art__4

Definitely highly unusual:ChartImg-12.axd

I also checked on recent earthquake activity.   (This was actually before I had checked the Cesium levels in Cyprus), as Radon releases can accompany (or announce…) earthquakes.  Nothing to be seen.


CLick image for latest at USGS

For more detailed seismic info on Italy, see http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/earthquakes/italy.html

So, anyhow, what’s going on?  Earthquake coming or fallout coming down?   I don’t know…   Cyprus’ data gaps hint at a radiological cause rather than a seismic one.  And, Nullschool shows a 500 hPa wind-slow-down zone over Northern Italy and, a swirl further, also near Cyprus…:

Nullschool_May16_2015_1200UTC_500hPa_NorthernItalyDot_“It’s anyone guess” what the origin of that ‘seemingly radioactively polluted air’ (which we’re probably not supposed to find out about again) is coming from…

Wanna guess?   I’ll give you a hint:   http://earth.nullschool.net/#2015/05/16/1200Z/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-102.34,68.48,512   It’s not that hard to follow wind lines…

I wonder if the folks at the IAEA who we’re involved in writing the software for Europe’s radiation data processing network are beginning to wonder if perhaps what they did was extremely unethical…

— — — — — — —

  • May 17, 2015, Added after posting:

SOURCE for the Radon-222 decay chart: http://www.ccnr.org/radon_chart.html, shown below:

And for the grander picture, the decay chain of Uranium-238, plucked from http://www.ccnr.org/decay_U238.html

That radiation spikes due to supposedly rain-out events of “naturally occurring radioisotopes” are becoming more pronounced MIGHT have EVERYTHING to do with Fukushima and other industrial releases.

Whether or not what I measured here in Colorado a few weeks ago had a Fukushima part to it, I was unable to determine, due to lack of sophisticated scientific equipment, but it certainly can’t be ruled out.  (See May 3, 2015’s Wow, That is some Damn Radioactive Rain… (A Geiger Counter Measurement from Southern Colorado, May 3, 2015)  and May 5, 2015s  Rain Appears to be ‘Back to Normal’ – Or, wait, maybe not… – (May 4 & 5, 2015 Geiger Counter measurements) + Further investigation of Radioactive Rain Events)

— — — — — — —

ADDED – June 17, 2015  – UPDATE – The above record was just blown out of the water (note the scale above only goes to 16 Bq/m^3…  Here’s the past half year with the T-BETA-Art  scale now going all the way to 80 Bq/m^3.  Stil not even a peep in the media…

No idea what this means...

No idea what this means…

— — — — — — —

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13 Responses to Radon Spike in Italy: Highest since 2013 ; Cyprus blocks out Cs-137/I-131 data… (May 16, 2015, a snapshot of a few EURDEP monitors)

  1. pavewayiv@gmail.com says:

    Mt. Etna as a possible source? It was active from May 12th through May 16th: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/etna/news.html

    The winds usually wouldn’t have dragged anything to the North, and certainly not as far as Ispra. The prevailing winds over Etna are generally to the East or SouthEast: http://images.volcanodiscovery.com/index.php?eID=tx_cms_showpic&file=uploads%2Fpics%2Faetna_satelliten_bild_01.jpg&title=aetna_satelliten_bild_01.jpg&width=1500m&height=500m&caption=Etna+

    However, your nullschool May 15th 500 hPa winds show the big low centered over Sardinia. Could it have spun anything from Sicily’s Etna that far north? That still wouldn’t explain elevated artificial beta. I couldn’t find anything specific to Etna about radon.

    Radon isn’t outgassed directly by the volcano to any great degree because uranium does not decay any faster in lava than it does in solid rock. There is increased radon releases prior to eruptions just like prior to earthquakes because of either rock rupturing or deep radon-saturated waters being pushed closer to the surface and/or boiled. Radon (and it’s decay daughters) captured over months or years prior to the event are just released at the surface into the atmosphere. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02596952#page-1

    Not too convincing, just something else to consider. I’m more inclined to go with your observation as to the source.

  2. pavewayiv@gmail.com says:

    Not Fukushima this time? H/T to Bo for the site link in a more recent post’s comment:


    The article seems to refer to a broken fuel rod that separated from a fuel bundle and fell back into the spent fuel poos during the transfer to dry storage. The fuel rod ‘broke’ releasing the fuel pellets. A second fuel rod is mentioned – damaged but still in bundle? This occurred at Wolseong NPP in S. Korea on the 14th of May. It looks like the author is suggesting that it could be the cause for rising radiation the next few days in Japan, if I’m understanding the translation correctly.

    A spent fuel rod normally has a lot of pressurized radioactive gasses that are released if the fuel rod casing leaks. The plant reported no increase in radiation (imagine that). Hard to believe only one or two fuel rods were damaged if one actually **fell out of the fuel bundle back into the SPF and broke apart**. If they’re that weak or corroded, then a lot more of the 37 rods probably ‘lost pressure integrity’ = leaked.

    -Couldn’t find reference to ‘Tsukishiro nuclear power plant Unit 4’ (all from the Google translation) but the city name corresponds to Wolsong (Wolseong) NPP:
    -Unit #4 is an ancient CANDU-6 reactor.
    -Newspaper cited is ‘Hankyoreh newspaper’ but I couldn’t find a relevant article: http://www.hani.co.kr/
    -South Korea is worse than the U.S. for any adverse nuclear news censorship. You would likely not see a story on any accidents unless an explosion put one of their reactors in orbit..

    • MVB says:

      Hm. Who knows, right?

      Browsed the blog. Japanese translates so badly with Google… ;-/

      Seen this image?

      • pavewayiv@gmail.com says:

        Yes. A perfect graphic for the argument that you shouldn’t build a six-boiler nuclear plant on the unconsolidated sediment above the buried alluvial fan of an ancient river mouth. The river never really ‘went away’ – it just got buried. Everything going into the ground (even without a meltdown) is going into the water of the ancient river 20′ down and directly into the sea.

        The graphic should continue to the right or not use such a steep groundwater incline for accuracy. The water ‘layers’ do not continue to get deeper in the bottom when you get offshore. The ocean bottom drops at a much steeper angle than the groundwater layers. The groundwater layers are exposed and end on the ocean bottom a few hundred yards offshore of the nuclear plant. I don’t doubt there are many ‘vents’ up to the ocean bottom closer to shore as the diagram shows, but the groundwater layer is eventually all exposed at some point offshore and ALL the contaminated water empties directly into the ocean.

  3. katkan says:

    Hello Michael
    I have no idea or understanding of any of your data. But we talked on another blog once about an earlier problem in Ukraine. So here it is, the one and only mention of yet another problem at the same place. Have you seen any signs of it anywhere, or is it genuinely an electrical fault this time?

    kat kan

    • MVB says:

      Hi kan kan, May 16, yes, I did check Nullschool and monitors, but the wind patterns were such that was unable to verify whether or not there had been a release of radiation associated with this latest electrical issue. If there had been one, it did not blow over ground monitors in Europe. So, I really don’t know.

      • katkan says:

        Thanks, Michael. I guess even that careless lot can have an innocent outage sometimes. There’s not maintenance due on anything there right now, for a few more months.

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