Synopsis / Improved Version: ‘Mainland USA June 14 2015 Radioactive Rain & Lichen Data Revisited’.

Introduction:  This is intended to be the shorter and clearer overview of what I posted the other day @ July 30, 2015, “Mainland USA June 14 2015 Radioactive Rain & Lichen Data Revisited – A More Balanced Analysis. + Strontium Data!“.  That’s my reassessment of the rain & lichen data collected during and after a radioactive thunderstorm in mid-June 2015, which I wrote about in the now-admittedly-too-alarmist July 6 post, “Gamma-Spectroscopy Results of Colorado Radioactive Freak Rain […]”.   My conclusion, unfortunately, is not really different.  This post also does contain some corrections, improvements on the visuals, and a few pieces of new material.

Aug. 1, 2015 — Crestone, Colorado, USA


The gist is this:  At least half the time (as the samples were all tested twice, except for the Strontium-89/90 tests), the measurement values of many radionuclides were notably higher than the ‘background noise’ measurements found in the ‘Method Blanks’, albeit usually below the respective Minimum Detectable Concentrations (MDC).   The significance of this being the case for some synthetic radioisotopes I found in looking at certain natural radioisotopes, about which we know they would be present in practically all rain, namely K-40 and Be-7.  Also to be expected in this region are the more abundant natural decay products of Thorium and Uranium, both common in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, such as: Bi-212, Bi-214, Pb-212, Pb-214, Ac-228 and Tl-208.  Although they didn’t all always reach the MDC, they were obviously present enough to show up on the scintillator graph and be identified as such.  This is for the rainwater sample’s initial test:

peaksidentified_1annot_1bAs you can see, apart from background peaks and the 511 annihilation peak, Pb-212, Pb-214, Be-7, Bi-214, and K-40 were all clearly present in the rainwater.

Next is the data for these most abundant natural radioisotopes found in local rainwater and lichen samples with my visual representations of this data (Bq/L):  Purple is the measured concentration, the red/orange, blue or green boxes are the margin of error ranges, and the black is the Minimum Detectable Concentration (MDC).  Liquids are in Bq/L, Solids in Bq/kg.  [Correction made:  Aug 3, 2015 – When this post first appeared, it stated that the solids results were in Bq/g, which Is what the report said in its opening pages (“4. The analysis results for this sample are reported on a “Dry Weight” basis in units of BQ/gram.“)  I had not noticed that they changed it in to Bq/kg in the actual tables.  Tx to diemos for pointing that error out.]

For help with the becquerel, picocurie and other units, see Radiation Units & Conversions.)  Scroll down past the green-to-magenta-lined Nullschool 250 hPa wind data  screenshot for the visual presentations of the synthetic isotopes’ data.  The ‘Duplicate Sample’ was the same sample tested again the next day.  I’m sharing a bit more here than what I need to make my point, as there’s some other things to be seen, such as the speed with which some isotopes decay away.

In the rain sample:

pb.Bi.212-> Pb-212 shows up just above MDC first, then, as to be expected for such a fast-decayer, is gone (became Bi-212, etc.) the next day.  All this contributes to the conversation is that an uptick above background can’t be discounted, though in this case it is just a fraction above MDC too.

Bi-212 data is not really different from background. Given its very fast decay and very similar

Ac228_Tl208-> We see clearly that Ac-228 is strongly detected (>MDC) at first, and only weakly the second time, albeit still above the (much lower) MDC.   Since Ac-228 decays down along the decay chain to eventually becomes Pb-212, then Bi-212, etc., as strong signal of Ac-228 is bound to also lead to trace presence of Pb-212, as observed.

For the bottom part of the last image, we can see that the Blank Method showed what looks like a temporary lab contamination, the only for all isotopes and tests. Nevertheless, the first test showed a strong positive, which had clearly decayed away by the next day.  (Pointing out the obvious…)

In the rain sample:

pb214_bi214_data_visual You can see that on June 22 both Bi-214 and Pb-214 were clearly detected, even above MDC.  That it is still NQ (“non-quantifiable”) has something to do with the density being too different than the what the instrument was calibrated to.   24 hours and a lab test later, due to their fast decay, they’re gone.  This also illustrates that “definitely present” isotopes sometimes just barely surpass the MDC level, with their margin of error stretching below it.

In the rain sample:

Be7_Rain_vis–> Perfect example of a “definitely present” isotope measuring just a bit higher than than the Method Blank, yet still below the MDC in one test, while its presence is shown to be certain (above MDC) in the second test.  The difference between the Method Blank value and the Duplicate Sample is only x3.2 here.

In the rain sample:

K40Rain–> Another good example: while certain to be present (obvious from the first measurement), sometimes this just shows as a slight uptick above background, but below MDC, as illustrated in the Duplicate Sample test.  The half-life is too long for it to have decayed away.   Perhaps this case suggests that even negative measurement results, as long as they’re clearly above the also-negative background measurement value, could still suggest trace presence.  I did, however, discount all synthetic isotopes that did not show positive values.

Note: All these natural isotopes are also produced as a result of the decay of nuclear fission products, so an unknown percentage of these de facto detected “natural radioisotopes” could actually be of man-made origin, sometimes euphemistically referred to “enhanced natural” concentrations.

(!-> I’ve brought this up re. Polonium-210 and re. Bismuth-214 before.)

Now, here’s the important part: 

All the radioisotopes that would be ‘fingerprints of recent nuclear fission were measured in concentrations that were below the lab test’s MDCs (‘Mininum Detectable Concentration’), except for Antimony-124.  “Experts” have told me that if a measurement is below MDC, it should be regarded as non-detect (ND).  Yet, as we’ve seen in the two comparable examples: Beryllium-7 and Potassium-40, the two abundant naturally occurring radioisotopes that take longer to decay away than just hours or a few days):  a slight uptick above background might actually hint of a trace presence of an isotope.  This is also similarly the case for about a half dozen synthetic short-lived fission fingerprint isotopes, which is why I consider their presence likely: Antimony-124, Iodine-131, Strontium-89, Ruthenium-106, Europium-155*, Cobalt-57, and possibly Cobalt-58 and Cobalt-56*.

Hence my impression that the likelihood of “something” releasing active FISSION products into the environment, “somewhere upwind” can really not be dismissed as nonsense.

In a nutshell:  While I was unable to proof with certainty that the radioactive rain, which contained air that blew in with the jet stream that had passed over Fukushima some 3 days prior and measured 10.2 µSv/hr upon contact with my Geiger Counter, contained a variety of ‘recent fission’ fingerprint isotopes, my data does suggest that their presence was likely.  Next is that data presented visually to make it easier to grasp.

So, to recap before presenting the “recent fission radioisotopes”:  It was the data of natural radioisotopes, about which I could be CERTAIN that they were present in the rain (K40 and Be-7 most notably), that convinced me that even relatively slight upticks above background, even if <MCD, are apparently not entirely irrelevant and might in fact point towards the at least likely presence of a radioisotope.  When reviewing all the data for such “non-conclusive, yet suggestive” evidence, by process of elimination and further researching possible ‘false errors’, I arrived at the following radioisotopes having been ‘more likely than not’ present in recent rains:   Antimony-124, Iodine-131, Strontium-89, Ruthenium-106, (Europium-155)*, Cobalt-57, and possibly Cobalt-58 and (Cobalt-56).  Next I will present their data visually.

[* I’ve scratched Eu-155 & Co-57 as Spectral Interference (SI) might discount these detections.]

Visual presentations of the most relevant data:

(purple is the measured concentration, the red/orange, blue or green boxes are the margin of error ranges, and the black is the MDC.  Liquids are in Bq/L, Solids in Bq/kg.  For help with the becquerel, picocurie and other units, see Radiation Units & Conversions.)

Antimony-124 (Sb-124), half-life: 60.2 days, fission-activation product.  See it in its decay chain @

Sb-124 in the rain sample:   Yes, near-certain:

Sb124_Rain_corr!–> One of the two measurement values is 2.5x higher than the Method Blank, outside the Method Blanks’s margin of error, ánd above MDC, and its margin of error does not go below the MDC.  (The average of the two measurement values is just above both MDCs too.)

Sb-124 in the lichen sample:   Yes, likely:

Sb124_Lichen_corr–> Both (uncertain) measurement values are higher than the Method Blank, one even more than 21x higher.  (The average of the two tests is also 11x more than the Method Blank.)

Sb-124 does not occur in nature, it is an activation product of Sb-123, created in heavy neutron bombardments, such as in an active nuclear reactor.  It’s been linked to releases from Fukushima, see here and here, but it is generally more associated with nuclear bomb fallout (caused by the sudden massive neutron bombardment of a nuclear detonation), see here

I-131 in the lichen sample:  Yes, likely:

i131_datatable_visual_errorCorrected(Note: The visual representation of the margin of error of the ‘Sample’ was drawn incorrectly in the original big post.  The above is the corrected version.  The uptick appears significant, as 0.8 is 40x larger than 0.02, and was confirmed a second time the next day of testing with a slightly smaller margin or error.    Of course, if I-131 was truly present in the lichen, this means it was recently (past 3 months max.) deposited here with precipitation.)

I-131 does not occur in nature, it is a tell-tale sign of recent fission.  It’s been linked to releases from Fukushima, which even the IAEA has acknowledges went on for much longer than they should have, see documents linked from HERE.   I-131 has also been mysteriously detected in spring 2015 in Finland, Sweden, Cyprus and Norway, coinciding with rather strangely high I-131 concentrations in Japanese sewage

In the rain sample:  Yes, likely:

Sr89_Rain2While the Sr-89’s Sample MDC is only slightly higher than the Method Blank’s, the measurement value is 5x higher.

Sr-89 does not occur in nature, like Sb-124 and I-131, it is a tell-tale sign of recent fission.  It’s been linked to releases from Fukushima, see here, here, here and here.

In the rain sample:  Yes, likely:

ru106_corrWhile the Method Blank shows a negative value of -1.0, both test results are higher, positive, is entirely outside the Method Blank’s margin of error, close to the MDC.

Ru-106 does not occur in nature, it is a tell-tale sign of fission that has been linked to releases from Fukushima, see here, here and here.

In the rain sample:  Yes, likely:

Eu155_RainIn the lichen sample:  Yes, likely:

Eu155_lichen-> An obvious major difference between ‘background noise’ and sample results.

Eu-155 does not occur in nature. Due to its very low fission product yield, it could be a sign pointing at recent fission.  It’s been linked to releases from Fukushima, see here and here.

(!-> However, as with the most likely false positive for Co-56 (due to spectral interference from Bi-214, see lab note mentioned in the big post), the also seemingly likely presence of Eu-155 in these samples, so I just discovered (not mentioned by the lab), could also be due to spectral interference from naturally occurring Tl-208, Pb-212, or Ac-228, see here.  This seems likely to me, and thus I’m scratching Eu-155 off my ‘likely’ list, after all.)

In the rain and lichen sample:  Yes, likely for both:

Co57vis-> In 1 out of 2 times the rain sample came out higher than the Method Blank, and both times so for the lichen sample, one of which it sticks out of the Method blanks margin of error.

Co-57 does not occur in nature; it is a rare activation product formed by neutron bombardment of steel, usually in a cyclotron.  It has not been linked to releases from Fukushima that I know of, but Cobalt-60, which is formed similarly, hás:  see here and here.  (+ PS:  I detected 1.4 Bq/kg Co-60 in one Japanese kelp in 2013, see here.)

(Also possibly present were Co-58, Co-56 and some longer-lived synthetic isotopes.  See the previous blog post for details.)

What about Cesium 134/137?

This could be a blog-post in and of itself, but I’m trying to wrap this up after far too many nights researching late into the night, so I’ll touch on the #1 issue ‘experts’ have brought up:  If you have fission, you get fission products, and if you don’t detect significant amounts of some of the most abundant gamma-emitting fission products (Cs-134 & Cs-137), then why bother even looking for the much less common other ones?   The experts actually go even further, they’ll discount any claim of any rare radioisotope detection as having ‘probably originated from Fukushima’ IF radioCesium wasn’t detected along with it!   The EPA doesn’t even test for Strontium unless Cesium goes over a certain limit, which rarely ever happens (in part ’cause they barely test for anything to begin with…), so they pretty much never test for Strontium-89/90.

The main reason why I  haven’t focused on the longer-lived “popular with the establishment” isotopes, such as Cs-134/137 is that those could have easily originated in 2011-2012, or even in pre-Fukushima nuclear accidents, leaks and the 1945 – ? nuclear war against Mother Earth, and thus do not per se, by themselves, contribute all that much to ‘proof of recent fission’.

But I also don’t believe that everything is known about how different radioisotopes behave differently through water and the air layers, what makes some bind to other atoms and form new molecules, and which of those may come down sooner under x number of possible weather circumstances, or stay higher up longer, move with evaporation or not, etc.   When you look closely at fallout deposition maps, you can easily find examples of one isotope being deposited more in an area that you wouldn’t expect of you based all your expectations of the deposition of Cesium alone.  This is even apparent in the fallout maps from early on.  Compare Fukushima’s initial I-131 deposition with Fukushima’s initial fallout deposition of Cs-134/137, for instance.   In low concentrations, this kind of difference can create situations were one radioisotope is ‘truly detected’, even while Cs-134/137 appears absent.

Here’s my Cs-134/137 data, alongside Ru-106 data for that June 14 thunderstorm rainwater:

Cs134.137.Ru106_Rain–>  If going by the same criteria as above, the Cs-134 was also ‘likely’ in this rainwater, as both measurements are higher than the Method Blank, and one is well into the positive, albeit still

The lichen data (which I didn’t graph cause the value differences are too big to fit it on one short scale and still see much detail):

Cs134.137.Ru106_Lichen_annot–> Cs-134, with its 1 out of 2 clear positive values appears likely present, while Cs-137 is definitely present in a véry significant amount above MDC.  This could be from anything in the nuclear era, especially being downwind from the Nevada Test Site.

[This part has been edited Aug. 3, 2015.  Report was in Bq/kg, not in Bq/g, as its opening introductory pages stated.  See note at end.]

The  lichen measurement lists:

  • Cs-134 @ 0.81 Bq/kg  (originally listed as (originally listed as 0.022 pCi/g, which is 0.81 Bq/kg) for the first test; and &  -0.18 Bq/kg for second test.  (Averages to: 0.315 Bq/kg)
  • Cs-137 @ 42.4 Bq/kg (originally listed as 1.15 pCi/g, which is 42.55 Bq/kg) for the first test; & 45.4 Bq/kg  for second test.  (Averages to: 43.9 Bq/kg)

With an uncertain but possible amount of 0.81 Bq/kg Cs-134, and Cs-137 averaging some 43.9 Bq/kg puts these lichen at a relatively benign level of contamination.  That means that even the most polluted food for deer and elk populations in this region does not surpass the levels deemed safe for human food consumption, which are 100 Bq/kg Cs-134/137 in Japan.  (Scandalously, the US raised its “Derived Intervention Level” up to 1,100 Bq/kg Cs-134/137 after Fukushima.)  44 Bq/kg is not something I’d be all too concerned about, unless it was a large part of a my regular diet for years to come…  To see some of the results of Japanese Food tests, see my March 22, 1014 post, “Japanese Food testing data & fallout maps: some useful LINKS“)

Very few thorough studies, if any, have been done about the effects of Fukushima on Northern Hemisphere wildlife, though. But for a clue of how disastrous worse contamination can be, see for instance, “Effects of the Chernobyl Disaster on Sámi Life“.

An excerpt that seems relevant: “[…] Most detrimental was the contamination of lichen, the main winter staple of Scandinavia’s reindeer. Lichens have no root system so they extract nutrients directly from the air, thereby acting as virtual radioactive sponges, absorbing incredible amounts of airborne cesium 137 and passing it straight onto the deer.  Lichen is an extremely slow-growing plant, taking 30 years to regrow completely (Vitebsky). Thus, radioactivity in affected lichen may not drop to safe levels short of 20 to 30 years after contamination. […]

It still has me wonder if Fukushima has somethng to do with all these “mysterious, perplexing, vexing, baffling,…” die-offs in the past several years…

How about the above as a hint for this tidbit of old news:   Alaska Department of Fish and Game, July 2014:

Alaska‘s largest caribou herd, the Western Arctic Herd, numbered about 235,000 animals as of July 2013 […] That’s down from 325,000 caribou estimated in the 2011 census […] The recent census indicates a decline of about 27 percent since 2011.  Mortality was very high during 2011-2012 […] In addition to high adult cow mortality during 2011-2012, survival of calves born during 2011 and 2012 was relatively low.

(See also my posts,

June 18, 2015The “Mysterious” mid-May 2015 Kazakhstan Saiga Antelope Die-Off – aka “Do Not Mention Radioactive Fallout…”,  and

June 22, 2015Fin Whale Die-Off by Alaska area ‘a Perplexing Mystery’… + More Data Rigging Evidence: EPA Radnet Beta radiation monitor @ Anchorage spiking when DATA GAPS @ Anchorage.)

Anyways, I digress…

Ru-106 appears not to be present in the lichen at all, yet it seems quite likely that it was present in the mid-June rain…

Could that difference be because lichen does not bio-accumulate Ruthenium?  Evidence points in that direction.  See for instance, Ruthenium: its behavior in plant and soil systems:

“[…] The form of the ruthenium contamination was thought to be nitrosyl ruthenium … ruthenium is taken up in much smaller quantities than either strontium or cesium. […]”

My “New Conclusion” Stands:

While it borders on the humorous that I am trying to prove ongoing fission at Fukushima-Daiichi, some 5,000 miles away (often operating out of a camping tent in a remote wilderness of the Southern Colorado Rocky Mountains), the extremely limited data I was able to collect means the following to me:

It appears more likely than not that certain synthetic short-lived fission products were present in that rainwater.   I do not have proof of this either, but given the wind patterns at time of sample collection, the still-leaking Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster site is my #1 suspect for where this would have originated from.

I think a lót more, véry thorough and véry sensitive widespread and well-timed testing at various atmospheric altitudes IS absolutely and urgently called for.  The situation needs to be approached as if investigating a planetary crime scene.

Unfortunately, the suspects are all the best funded and best-armed warring nations in the world.  Armed to the teeth, including with collectively over 15,000 nuclear weapons, all pointed at our very own home planet…     Good luck to us all” tackling this mess… 

The seriousness of this situation cannot be underestimated.

— — — — — — —   — — — — — — —   — — — — — — —

Eisenhouwer warned us…

— — — — — — —   — — — — — — —   — — — — — — —

So did Einstein…

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes.”
– Albert Einstein

— — — — — — —   — — — — — — —   — — — — — — —



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Except for minor corrections, last edited: Aug. 3, 2015:

!-> major correction in the Cesium section: units were in Bq/kg after all, not Bq/g,

as stated at the beginning of the lab report.

(@ ‘diemos’ See first comment),   My basic reading comprehension is fine.  I just didn’t double check on the units as it was [erroneously!] clearly stated in the beginning of the report to be in Bq/g.   Glad you pointed out the data was actually in Bq/kg.  My bad to not spot the lab’s error.  Screenshot of the contradicting lab statement re. report units:


Pointing out errors is appreciated.  Thank you.
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49 Responses to Synopsis / Improved Version: ‘Mainland USA June 14 2015 Radioactive Rain & Lichen Data Revisited’.

  1. Pingback: Mainland USA June 14 2015 Radioactive Rain & Lichen Data Revisited – A More Balanced Analysis. + Strontium Data! | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

  2. Pingback: Gamma-Spectroscopy Results of Colorado Radioactive Freak Rain: Fukushima’s Fissioning Mini-Sun on the Edge of the Pacific Ocean COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL ? | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

  3. diemos says:

    Your test results list the result units as Bq/kg.

    Your two test results for Cs-137 in lichen are therefore 42.4 Bq/kg and 45.5 Bq/kg.

    I expected you to be flummoxed by probability and statistics but I had higher hopes for basic reading comprehension.

  4. MVB says:

    Tx. Correction made. See note at end of post as well.

  5. diemos says:

    Um… no.

    Your lichen measurement lists:
    Cs-134 0.81 Bq/kg and -0.18 Bq/kg
    Cs-137 42.4 Bq/kg and 45.4 Bq/kg
    for the first and second test.

    And for the original fort collins measurements, converting from pCi/gm to Bq/kg
    Cs-134 0.022 pCi/gm = 0.81 Bq/kg
    Cs-137 1.15 pCi/gm = 42.6 Bq/kg

  6. MVB says:

    Now, diemos, more importantly than your expectation of my confusion re. probability and statistics, which says more about you than about me: What the hell is Antimony-124 doing in rainwater in a remote Colorado wilderness? An neutron activation product with a half-life of only 60 days, that’s been associated with the Fukushima meltdowns earlier on…? What the hell is that doing in the rain here over the beautiful Colorado mountains? Where did it come from? That shi*t doesn’t grow on trees, you know? You may say its detection was only ‘probable’. Well, okay, play that semantics game if you will. Why is Sb-124 ‘probably’ in the rain and where did it ‘probably’ come from?
    I picked this sampling time precisely for many reasons, one having to do with the jet stream pattern having 1) blown straight over Fukushima 3 days before, 2) blown pretty much straight here without detour-swirls or significant slow-downs and 3) right at that time there was a slow-down in place that I belief allows for whatever is blowing higher up there to come down. If one were to entertain the idea for a moment that Fukushima-Daiichi were the only reactor complex in the world, and still fissioning underground, would you in such a hypothetical scenario assess that the “probably detected” Sb-124 “probably” came from there? Or would you still be flummoxed (fun word, by the way) by what that would imply, and perhaps try to come up some distractions just to deny it? Hm?

    And while you’re at it, what precisely makes EURDEP and Radnet monitors switch of their data flow to the public when such atmospheric conditions occur? Or do you think it was ‘probably’ a statistical fluke too when Alaska’s Radnet monitors at Anchorage show very obvious spikes, right as Fairbanks’ Radnet monitor further inland shows data gaps, 3 times out of 3 times those weeks? (See screenshots @ )


  7. diemos says:

    Ok, you wouldn’t happen to have any oil or gas wells upwind would you?

  8. MVB says:

    I’ve considered that. It is one other possibility for the usage of a number of isotopes, particularly short-lived ones, including Sb-124. I have no information about when this was injected where (if anywhere upwind at all), nor how much of that and how deep, and, if any, at times leaks to the surface and may even end up being detectable hundred of miles further in a rain-out. No idea if it’s the detectable range above ground at all. Do you know?

    The explorations that use radioisotopes for geological and hydrological research are common throughout the west. It’s quite likely done every now and then around Durango (west of here), definitely in parts of Utah,… It is more than likely that the wind that mixed with rain that I sampled from blew over some oil or gas fields, yes. Seems a bit far-fetched, imo, that something that is injected deep into the ground is in the rain. A contaminated well, or so, okay, but… Grated, it’s not entirely impossible.

    If the government was testing all over the place on a regular basis, I’d have something to compare it with. I looked in the EnviroFacts database for EPA Region 8 (includes CO, UT, WY, MT, ND, SD, all of which have vast resource extraction industries); The EPA apparently doesn’t test for Sb-124, so I couldn’t look that up, but a more common isotope used more often for that purpose is Cobalt-60 (strong gamma emitter, easy to detect), and which the EPA does in fact test for.

    Co-60 was detected in Region 8 in rainwater off and on from 1978 (which is the start of the data base) till 1990 in trace amounts, often below MDC. During this period the nuclear bomb testing (above and underground) was phased out. Where the detections then traces from bomb test fallout? Seems likely. For the locations that did regular testing throughout the years, Denver and Salt Lake City, there’s an interesting pattern: Both saw detection in the 1980s, and that ended by the end of 1990. Then a long period followed of nothing but NDs (none detected) all the way… into spring 2011. 15-APR-11, Co-60 detections make a comeback. I didn’t know that. Thanks for indirectly bringing this to my attention. Hmm… Makes one wonder “what may have caused and delivered that”, and if it would have made the news if it reached above MDC levels…? “Did anything happen that spring that released large amounts of Cobalt-60?” Hmm… “How odd” Must be “probably” purely coincidental… [Sarc.] The resource extraction industry has been using Co60 all along, obviously that went entirely undetected for years and years and years. But oh mystery, by August 2011: the positive detections of Co–60 pick up ome more. All data is under EPA –> @

    So, let’s take the Co-60 return of above-ND, below-MDC “related energy counts” (if you don’t want to call it detections), Are you asserting that Fukushima has nothing to do with all of this, and somehow, hokus spokus, the date that disaster began made radioisotopes that had been in use by the resource extraction industry underground for many years suddenly detectable in precipitation? You seriously think that the radioisotopes detected in Finland this past May 2015 (I-131, Cs-137, Cs-134, Co-60, Nb-95, Ce-144, Ru-103, Te-132, Na-22) were just a resource extraction-related spill that “just coincidentally” also included radioisotopes not used in the oil & gas, nor medical industry? Or are you just saying that ’cause any admittance that perhaps it came from Fukushima implies that Fukushima may still be fissioning, and you don’t want to go there to avoid the stress of cognitive dissonance? Or what?

    Finland data is @

    I appreciate contributions to my “process of elimination”, and in this case, I have no problem acknowledging that, with an addition rather than an elimination, it does add a bit of extra uncertainty to the origin. But I hope you can consider the historical data and CONSIDER the possibility the detected SB-124 and the other maybe-present-radioisotopes perhaps did originate in a fission-environment… “somewhere upwind”…

  9. diemos says:

    I looked at the EPA Co-60 data. After all my harping on probability and statistics you should have noticed that there was not a single central value in the data that I saw that was more than 3 sigma above zero. They were all non-detects. It’s just that during certain time periods instead of listing the actual central value and error and letting the user figure it out for themselves they had the output program print non-detect.

  10. MVB says:

    I get your point. You made it well. I don’t care for your shoulds, though. And you never managed to convince me that <MDC data is irrelevant and the same as "non-detect", nor that "non-detect" equals "not present". Counts of decay energies were detected above background that correspond with certain isotopes. You know there's "lies, damned lies, and statistics", right? You may be a master at the latter, that doesn't necessarily bring us closer to knowing the actual truth of the matter. From your attitude, I'm not even sure you're interested in that.

    If the value + its positive margin of error was entirely below zero, you could just as well write 'ND', although there's always the possibility of instrument negative bias, so sharing it anyways is good policy. But to say that when a measurement that is below MDC means that the isotope is non-detect is just a matter of protocol of how you'd define 'detect'. You could just as well make your detection definition 2x MDC. It still doesn't mean that 'the isotope is not present' if it were below 2x the MDC. MDC simply means that there's a 95% chance that radioactive material in the sample will be detected when it's at that concentration or higher. It doesn't mean that when the concentration is lower, that the instrument can't measure it, or that it won't detect the decay energies above background, nor does it mean that if the contaminant's concentration is lower, that it is somehow "non-existent". If it's in the sample as just a trace, just a fraction of the MDC, it is likely to still hint of that.

    Reality trumps concept.

  11. MVB says:

    To quote from the EPA: “What is the Minimum Detectable Concentration (MDC)?

    The MDC is the net concentration that has a specified chance of being detected. It is an estimate of the detection capability of a measuring protocol and is calculated before measurements are taken. The detection limit is the lowest net response level, in counts, that you expect to be see with a fixed level of certainty, customarily 95%. The MDC is the detection limit expressed as an activity concentration. If the activity concentration in a sample is equal to the MDC, then there is a 95% chance that radioactive material in the sample will be detected.

    Let me repeat that last part: If the activity concentration in a sample is equal to the MDC, then there is a 95% chance that radioactive material in the sample will be detected. Okay? Get it? It’s NOT that if the concentration is lower than the MDC and the instrument detects it, that the detection is invalid. Detection is detection. You just can’t be quite as sure about the exact amount, and if the margin of error goes below zero, it means the possibility that it wasn’t even present at all, however unlikely, cannot be excluded. wow… I did realize that even the MDC is being used to deceive people…

    Take a new look at the data graphs. It surely looks like there was Sb-124 in the rain I sampled. And it looks quite likely that a bit of these were present as well: I-131, Cs-134, Sr-89, Ru-106, Co-57. Isn’t thát curious: I-131, Cs-134, Sr-89 would be exactly (or costitute at least 3 of the top 6 or so) of what you’d expect in long-distance fallout if Fukushima was still fissioning. It’s not like super-oddball-isotopes were the only ones detected. No, it’s the to-be-expected, and a few normally rarer ones.

    The presence of these 6 isotopes together spells it out: “something upwind is fissioning”. Do I know for sure they were all in there? No. There is room in the data for them not having been present at all. I didn’t proof anything. But the data DOES suggesting that the presence in that rain of Sb-124, I-131, Sr-89, Ru-106, Co-57 & Cs-134 is more likely than its absence…

    My MDC for “trolls” is pretty high, but that doesn’t mean that the likelihood of a troll detection can’t increase long before reaching the MDC level, nor that that doesn’t mean anything.

  12. diemos says:

    Wow. That definition is seriously wrong. No wonder you’re confused.

    “If the activity concentration in a sample is equal to the MDC, then there is a 95% chance that radioactive material in the sample will be detected.”

    There is the measured central value and there is the actual activity. You want to use the measured central value to tell you something about the actual activity.

    If the actual activity is zero then the measured central value will be above the MDC 5% of the time. So you will have a false positive rate of 5% if you cut at MDC. If you look for 100 things in a sample that has nothing in it then on average you’ll get 5 “detections” that are false positives and 95 “non-detections” that are true negatives.

    If the actual activity is at the MDC then there is a 50% chance you will get a detection and a 50% chance you will get a non-detect if you cut at MDC. If you look for 100 things in a sample that has everything in it at their respective MDCs then you will on average get 50 “detections” that are true positives and 50 “non-detections” that are false negatives.

    If the actual activity is at 2x MDC then there is a 95% chance that you will get a detection if you cut at MDC. If you look for 100 things in a sample that has everything in it at 2x their respective MDCs then you will on average get 95 “detections” that are true positives and 5 “non-detections” that are false negatives.
    Really. It’s time.

  13. MVB says:

    The book you suggest has reviews like this:

    “…barely-explained formulas, and pages of impossible exercises that test you on material nowhere to be found in the examples. It’s unbelievable to me how many errors there are in this book considering it’s the eighth edition. When you’re staring at the pages for hours trying to figure out how something works from the scant examples, nothing’s worse than the suspicion that the book itself is wrong.”

    “The book offers little to no explanation of the example problems. Frustrating. Why should an expensive textbook require buying Schaum’s just to see some worked problems? This is perhaps the worst textbook I’ve ever been subjected to.

    “I am completely disappointed and have nothing but burning anger for any educator who want to teach their class statistics from this book. After just a few chapters the examples wane, and 60% or more of some homework problem sets only have a page (at most!) for explanation of the concepts. The harder concepts in later chapters nearly always lack any sort of example problems, and notation from previous sections or relevant chapters is barely ever reviewed. The application portion of the book, the part for engineers and scientists? Fat chance of seeing any of that in most chapters.”

    “The first six or so chapters are fine, but after that things go downhill fast. The statistics portion of this book is just bad.


    I suggest you take it up with the EPA. AND I’m going to cut you off.

    You’re as well-documented as the Turd from Oak Ridge:

    Take care of yourself,

  14. diemos says:

    Ah well … and your kelp analysis showed such promise.

    But anyway, thanks for the data, I found it interesting.


  15. MVB says:

    The 1.4 Bq/kg of Co-60 in a kelp sample from 2013 (see ) is not really different than the one 0.25 Bq/L of Sb-124 detected in Colorado rain (see above). Both are true above MDC detections, although in the later their is an issue with the density, so the exact concentration amount doesn’t have the 3 sigma certainty, hence “NQ”. But by any normal standard, 0.25 Bq/L, when the MDC is 0.15 Bq/L is a true detection. It was detected. I’ve pointed out by looking at Co-60 data that it’s highly unlikely to be from resource extraction, as in that case more commonly used Co60 would have showed up in >MDC concentrations throughout EPA region 8, and it doesn’t. Can you acknowledge a leaking reactor is the more likely origin? (No, you don’t, ’cause that’s not what trolls do. You just find something new to pick on. On and on. At Fukushima Diary, at Nuke Professional, on ENEnews,… on and on all over these blogs and forums the same trolls show up and play their little game, gathering interaction profiling intel, and filling comment space with so much distraction, resulting in conversations ending up going nowhere. It becomes pretty see-through the more you observe this.

    Anyways, aside from Sb-124, the other ones do not meet strict 3 sigma detection standards, I’ve acknowledged that, but I’ve also made clear by looking at the K40 and Be7 data that their positive values above background do suggest an unquantifiable trace presence is more likely than their absence. You can get stuck on your definitions all you want. Detections above background, especially if you have this occur exactly for the fission-related isotopes I was wondering about, does add up to odds in favor of ‘fingerprints of recent fission’.

    You’ve been helpful and I appreciate the errors you pointed out, for sure, but you fit the pattern of the pro-nuke trolls, which is that over many comments, spread over different posts, you seem more interested in diverting attention away from that key issue I made.

    ALL the 400+ the meltdown-capable reactors all need to be shut down once and for good.

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  17. Dud says:

    Hallo & groeten Meneer MVB.

    It is with regret and a heavy heart on this anniversary of Nagasaki that i write to you.

    I have read what it was that i wrote over a year ago on NukePro and must admit the possibility of mine own err.
    I offered no proof of my contention at that link on NukePro and may have incorrectly grouped ‘diemos’ with bona-fide malefactors. Though diemos and myself often differ in opinion within many topics, that is no reason for me to besmirch his person. I have renounced my own usage of ad-homenim in mine own arguments (due to the extreme ensample provided by BDuff) and have since noted diemos’ own restraint in that regard.
    Though my commentary across a limited range of sites here on the interweb may be somewhat anonymous, i acknowledge that does not give me the right to besmirch others, no matter what i might think or believe.

    My sincere apologies diemos. I was wrong to engage in that manner, and will repost this below that particular comment on NukePro.
    My apologies to you and your readership too MVB.

    This would have been a factual representation, and a better way to argue, unlike my previous commentary:
    Quote: “Detection of I-131 in sewage sludge without detection at the site is a sign of medical patients undergoing radioactive iodine therapy excreting I-131 into the sewers.”

  18. MVB says:

    Thanks for that, Dud.

    Troll characteristics come in many forms and do indeed not mean someone’s part of a quasi-orchestrated distraction campaign.

    I don’t now what to think of just about anyone anymore across the pro- and anti-nuclear spectrum. Even just little commentary like his latest, “your kelp analysis showed such promise”. Why was that “promising”? Because I admitted the radiation wasn’t due to Fukushima, and I had no idea yet that the Co-60 finding in one kelp was actually significant. Basically, I admitted ignorance. That was a couple years ago. I’ve learned some things. The detection of Sb-124 is just as significant. What is it doing in the rain? See, people who’re in denial about Fukushima do only one thing: bring up valid points until they run out, and then just find something else to “contribute”. It has it’s value, for sure. It’s merely my impression that they’re not really interested in the truth, except in exploring every possible even less likely angle just to… I don’t know why. Waste our time?

    Take the suggestion that Sb-124 may be coming from resource extraction use, for instance. Not a bad suggestion, but if that were so, the more commonly used radioisotopes would be detected on a more consistent basis. They’re not. So it’s more likely from a leaking reactor… But the conversation won’t go there, because that’s not what these troll-like folks are into. It as if thát specific possibility is a no-no, an area they won’t go into. “diemos” appeared fine first, but then I began to wonder, and it was a sad surprise to see that many have felt the same way.

    Anyways… As I said, I don’t now what to think of just about anyone anymore… sometimes even including myself. What am I doing this for anyhow? …

    – m

  19. Dud says:

    It’s certainly not any endorsement of the guy.

    Quote: “it’s more likely from a leaking reactor”
    Duely noted. Stock’s statistical opinion about a week ago or so seems apt.

    What are you doing this for? To find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, i believe.

    The only people that i have met locally that seem to care about the ongoing Fukushima Mega-Disaster literally couch-surf one step away from living on the street. Others whom i try to warn are readying themselves to go fishing after complaining that previous years canned salmon bones didn’t soften like all previous years. Am wishing that i was kidding. I actually asked them “Are you INSANE?” only to be met with a “deer-in-headlights” opened mouth expression, then disdain. :(

    Has the lab offered any further clarity? Perhaps they have an addendum to add, further refining results??

    No need to respond to me if time is not permissive. I thank you for caring enough to investigate ongoing and presumably increasing radionuclide pollution!

  20. MVB says:

    The contact person at the lab (ALS Global) resigned between the time I got the raw data and the final data. Why? No idea.
    With the helpful assistant gone, the lab wants me to pay extra for ‘consulting’ if I want more questions answered. It was already a financially stupid thing to do, so there’s no way I’ll pay more. So end of story on that one. (Definitely not as happy with this lab as I was with EMSL in 2013); Then the Associate Professor who would gladly test the rainwater with more precision at the nearby university has gone silent. Did he lose interest, without communicating about his change of mind? No idea. I’ve told the lab they can toss the rainwater sample next week, but I want the lichen sample back and was told ok, but that that “could be awhile”. Why would that be awhile? To make sure all I-131 has decayed away? No idea…

    I’m just stepping back from it. I did what I could, presented the data as complete and visual as I thought would help others make sense of the data, and now, one step closer to the truth or not, I’m left with a feeling that it was quite the ‘exercise in futility’.

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  23. Dud says:

    Never give up; never surrender!
    Alternate methodologies may become presented.
    That, and you might already have exactly that within you that you need.
    Take inventory privately of what you do have, including knowledge and wisdom. Money is not the only answer.
    Others may be asking questions, even to seemingly unrelated problems at first blush, to which you can help resolve. I don’t believe in “accidents”, per se. You are exactly the right person, in the right time for the right reasons. There is always serendipity and Nature can inspire.
    Marie and Pierre Curie needed 5677 crystallizations before discovering radium, for instance. (strange thought: Alpha & Beta cause changes in piezoelectric materials?) Henri Bequerel had all but given up until accidentally discovering that pitchblende caused changes in his photographic plate. Edison found hundreds of ways to not make a light bulb. Skip personal comparisons, as that can rob one.
    Only you can decide what, when, how and where to proceed. (Now, I have to take ownership of what i wrote today or become an hypocrite.)
    Mayhap that lab (et al) be hiring or accepting volunteers?

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