EURDEP’s I-131 Monitoring Network: Operating at a Fraction of Capability

Colorado Rocky Mountains  –  Jan. 7, 2016

Radiation Units & Conversions

Online Radiation Monitors

Nuclear Blog Posts Archive


Every now and then I deem my attempts ‘futile’ and ‘an utter waste of time’, but my lingering concerns about the long-term consequences of ionizing radioactive pollution still spur bouts of motivation to expose the nuclear industry for the dangerously deceptive polluting industry that I consider it to be…

I decided to graph some more long term data.  Previous rounds of doing so have revealed interesting patterns.   When looking at EURDEP’s public map (much of its data unvalidated, so please do not jump to conclusions based on what I write. See also my DISCLAIMER), for measurements of Cesium-137 and Iodine-131,  key ingredients in fallout of nuclear accidents, waste and bombings, the number of monitoring stations is utterly pathetic.  Nations like France, Belgium and Hungary (the top 3 most nuclear-powered countries in the world, per capita) don’t even have such monitoring stations, it seems:


There’s 3 monitors in Norway, 8 in Finland, 3 in Estonia, 5 in Switzerland (CH), 9 in the Czech Republic, 2 in Croatia, and a very sensitive one in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus.  That’s it.   (So it seems…)

Because nuclear power plants always leak “a little bit”, and more during venting for refueling or maintenance, the ones I find most interesting are those that are furthest away from active NPPs, as they are the most likely to be “free of local interference” for looking at the effects of the ongoing Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear catastrophy.   So I first spent (literally a few hours last night) looking at the records of Norway & Finland.  (I’ve looked at Cyprus a-plenty).  I’ll share observations on those when I find the time…

But I noticed something that became the content of this blog post, something I find disgusting actually, something typical of the nuclear industry: After the Fukushima disaster, all of a sudden, all these places across Europe are apparently perfectly capable of monitoring for specific radioisotopes!  Some, like Ireland, were monitoring just fine until then.  

[DISCLAIMER: “What do I know?”   —  Much of the public EURDEP & US EPA Radnet data is “unvalidated” to leave room for bureaucrats to deny the obvious.  But that aside. DO read my DISCLAIMER: I’m not an institution-credentialed, nor external-authority-recognized authority on these matters – just a curious concerned laptop-wielding mountain dweller.   Think for yourself.]

In the maps, below, what is shown is:  EURDEP Public “Advanced” map, data from 1 month prior to the 10th of the month, for IODINE-131 data, maximum value.

Three years after the heavy metal band Lordi won the Eurosong Festival, Finland lit the torch and began monitoring for Iodine-131 on July 27, 2009, measuring an average of 3.12E-06 Bq/m^3, 3.12E-06 or 3.12E-06 (or a tiny trace of o.ooooo312 Bq/m^3 I-131) at this monitor location in Helsinki:


The map of I-131 data points for Europe looked like this:


Another monitor was added.   Now just watch what happens to “the network” through the years…


It remains like that until te end of November 2008, when 2 monitors in Croatia come online.  They notoriously show only 0.000 values, with only their data gaps hinting of something being unusual.  Unlike the Finnish monitors, these two Croatian monitors are essentially completely useless to the public:


In spring 2010, the Suomi monitors disappeared “for one reason or another“, and the Croatian dataless bs is all there is, all the way through Dec. 2010:


In the month pre-January 10, 2011, a monitor comes online in Northern Finland:


This is followed by a monitor in Northern Norway, and 1 in Ireland by mid-Feb. 2011:


The month prior to March 10, 1 more monitor is added in Ireland and 3 in Switzerland:

I131_just Before.gif

Then on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear disaster sends massive quantities of various radioisotopes into the air.

Hokus Spous, the Iodine-131-data-sharing networks suddenly expand into nearly every European country (meaning they have all the equipment and people ready whenever “needed” – AS IF this service, present-day nuclear era, with over 400 nuclear fission reactors in operation worldwide and over 10,000 nuclear warheads pointed at ourselves…– isn’t actually needed all the time…); this is 1 month prior to April 10, 2010, with quantifiable detections practically everywhere:

JustAFter_the 1month_pre_April10_2011_I131.gif

The following months, however, I-131 & other key radioisotope monitoring, is dramatically scaled back very quickly, to leave just a handful by Summer’s end:

I-131, April 10 – May 10, 2011:


I-131, May 10 – June 10, 2011:   I131_1mo_pre_June10_2011

I-131, June 10 – July 10, 2011:I131_1mo_pre_July10_2011

I-131, July 10 – August 10, 2011:I131_1mo_pre_August10_2011

Quick little detour (1 composite image): Here you can see EURDEP’s just as good and equally short-lived ability to test for Cesium-137 all across Europe:


Back to Iodine-131 detections (the yellow or darker is a detection, at the light blue the detection, if there was one, remained below the minimum quanitiable concentration).

I-131,  August 10 – Sept. 10, 2011:   Malta is turned off, never to be heard of again (so far)… .   Cyprus is turned of for a véry long time…:


I-131,  Sept. 10- Oct. 10, 2011


I-131,  Oct. 10 – Nov. 10, 2011:


I-131,  Nov. 10 – Dec. 10, 2011:


I-131,  Dec. 10, 2011 – Jan. 10, 2012:


I-131,  Jan. 10 – Feb. 10, 2012:


I-131,  Feb. 10 – March 10, 2012:    Poland’s I-131 monitoring is axed:


And precisely one year later, the “network” has been reduced to almost no different from before the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe began.  As is , AS IF, it’s all under control one year later, and no longer letting out burst of radionuclides…

This is March 10 – April 10, 2012:


The sad part, of course, is that nearly all these additional monitors across Europe were quickly disappeared.   How can you get a baseline context, a clear picture of before and after, or see evidence of a recriticality for that matter, without a continious record?

It all, again, fits with my impression that the European and American radiation monitoring networks’ MAIN function is perception management, and NOT public health or alerting the public about radioactive pollution.  If the latter were the intent, the network would stream data from all monitors all the time, and not be full of data gaps either any time something obviously abnormal is going on.

The interesting part is that curious detections of Iodine-131 continued to occur in remote areas, far from NPPs, such as parts of Norway, Finland, Cyprus and Poland, even in 2015, LONG after Fukushima was declared to have stopped having fission reactions.   (See my Nuclear Blog Post Archive for examples, like June 7, 2015:  Yup… Fukushima is Still Fissioning – A Nullschool Wind Data Analysis of May 2015 EURDEP-Finland/Germany Radioactive Air Samples. (ETC.))  And that has continued, as documented in the very peculiar validated quantifiable detections of I-131, Cs-134, Co-60, Mn-54, and such in both spring (See  June 6, 2015:  Pink Unicorns beach themselves on the shores of Lake Dystopia; for peculiar Finnish data,  again in fall of 2015.)

Anyhow, I though the above was share-worthy, as it gives an idea of the times that very specific data can be found for other locations than the currently viewable “network” (like Ireland before, and Poland for 1 year after 3.11.2001), and which monitors might have the longest-standing data records (like Switzerland and Finland).

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A list of other nuclear-related posts can be found in chronological order in my Nuclear Blog Posts Archive (recently updated).

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Disclaimer, etc.

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7 Responses to EURDEP’s I-131 Monitoring Network: Operating at a Fraction of Capability

  1. bo says:

    You’re on a roll… ! Thank u Michaël

    Btw – any isights on N Korea nuke test ..?
    Was it? Or wasn’t it..?

    • MVB says:

      No idea on the North Korean allegation.

      The available networks are barely sufficient to figure out a release from a nuclear plant in meltdown (which tends to be MUCH worse fallout-wise than a nuke), and the vast field of publicly accessible radiation-measuring buoyees and balloons all across the Pacific Ocean is still in its unfunded dream stage…

      The CTBTO has likely already sniffed out the data, though, and should know by now:

      On Twitter: @CTBTO_ALERTS

  2. bo says:

    ‘SO nice of you to show up to the party, SPEEDI..’

  3. Pingback: Me: Spike! EURDEP: What Spike? | Allegedly Apparent Blog

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