Feb. 7, 2016 Beautiful warm day…
Some music before I get rolling… “Blogpost Soundtrack”:
Well, this morning after coffee, somewhere in the middle of sweeping the floor, an urge arose out of the dust clouds: “Have a second look at the very first data!“ Wondering what that could be about, I did so: I went back to that old blogpost, (June 5, 2013) “Radioisotope Analysis Results for sampled Seaweed, Soil & Mushrooms – (Northern Humboldt County, California),” which at the time had alleviated my concerns about local soil contamination (specifically where I briefly lived at that time). I pondered over the data… (shown again below) Ponder… ponder…
While the Cs-134 presence confirmed both the soil and the compost soil I had lab-tested contained Fukushima fallout, the Cesium-134/137 levels were not particuarly alarming. Actually, although higher than some official data, they were still on the low side of what I expected. The suspected hotspots are likely much more to the south in California, is what I concluded.
Something in the compost’s gamma spectroscopy results prompted me to do a couple searches. I added some colors to highlight what I had not given a second thought before:
The “soil sample #3” was just store-bought compost soil, meaning that whatever was in there was in there because the vegetable food scraps the compost was made with contained it, and thus most of it likely came from South and Central California’s food growing regions. The black arrows point at the radioCesium. Highlighted in magenta, are two radioisotopes not detected in the regular soil:
- 0.726 pCi/kg Radium-226
- (= 0.026862 Bq/kg, rounded down to 0.026 Bq/Kg Ra-226)
- 0.291 pCi/kg Thorium-231
- (= 0.010767 Bq/kg, rounded down to 0.01 Bq/kg Th-231)
- No detectable concentrations of any Uraniums
Only now do I realize that those COULD be pointing at something unusual…
Could be entirely natural. Yet, there also could be an “enhanced natural” factor at play. Ra-226 could, for instance, be contamination from hydrolic FRACKING: !-> See, “How Fracking Is Exposing People to Radioactive Waste, by Tara Lohan, originally published by Alternet | May 5, 2014” Excerpt (my emphasis):
“[…] Another problem is that it’s really hard to keep track of all the stuff that may become tainted by radioactive materials in the drilling process. Millions of gallons of soupy wastewater that flow back from wells after drilling and fracking can end up in a number of places. Sometimes the wastewater is simply left in lined or unlined pits to either evaporate or sink back into the ground. Other times it is sent to water treatment plants and eventually released back into rivers and streams. At times it is simply spilled or illegally dumped. It also ends up contaminating drilling mud (a more solid waste from the process), storage tanks, and equipment.
“Radionuclides in these wastes are primarily radium-226, radium-228, and radon gas,” reports the Environmental Protection Agency. “The radon is released to the atmosphere, while the produced water and mud containing radium are placed in ponds or pits for evaporation, reuse, or recovery. […]”
I’ll leave it that for Ra-226. Th-231, however is actually quite strange…
That’s the one that caught my attention. I used to think all Thoriums are “only natural”, and literally ignored this detection. So it goes as an amateur at times… As per my DISCLAIMER, I insist you think for yourself. I’m merely interested in this topic, but have no formal training and zero academic credentials. You are invited to consider everything I write “for entertainment purposes only”. Yet… maybe there’s something of value in my rambles after all… If there is, it would actually be pretty disturbing.
Th-231 is the decay daughter of U-235, which is an extremely rare form of Uranium, only comprising about 0.72% of natural Uranium. Unlike the predominant isotope uranium-238, it is fissile, i.e., it can sustain a fission chain reaction.
Interestingly, no other types of uranium were even listed, and U-235 (possibly listed due to the presence of Th-231), however, was not detected (<MDA). Double odd.
There isn’t all that much to be found on Th-231… In https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_thorium#Thorium-231 it says:
” 231Th has 141 neutrons. It is the decay product of uranium-235. It is found in very small amounts on the earth and has a half-life of 25.5 hours. When it decays it emits a beta ray and forms protactinium-231. It has a decay energy of 0.39 MeV.“
Maybe I’m really just putting my own ignorance on display, but it seems odd to detect Th-231, and neither its parent, U-235, nor its decay product Pa-231…
Wondering if I had already mentioned Th-231 before, I did a search on my own blog and to my own surprise found 1 blog post… which lead me down memory lane…
The rain/lichen samples I had lab-tested last summer (June 2015)…
Remember when the jet stream was blowing in straight from Japan, to meet its first significant slow-down over Colorado in June 2015 (last year)?
It doesn’t happen very often like that. And it just so happened to coincide with thunderstorms dumping unusually radioactive rain… Just natural Radon progeny, or was there more to it? To test my hypothesis re. ongoing releases from Fukushima, I sent 2 samples to a lab, as some of you might recall: 1 with rainwater that fell from that ominous sky at the time this jet stream pattern was in place, and 1 with (rained-on) lichen, because lichen soak up what comes down with the rain and (due to bioaccumulation) might be able to show radionuclides otherwise missed.
-> See my originally overly alarmist blog post, (July 6, 2015) “Gamma-Spectroscopy Results of Colorado Radioactive Freak Rain: Fukushima’s Fissioning Mini-Sun on the Edge of the Pacific Ocean COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL ?“, which was later nuanced (Aug. 1, 2015) to “Synopsis / Improved Version: ‘Mainland USA June 14 2015 Radioactive Rain & Lichen Data Revisited’.“.
Turns out… the lichen data’s UNKNOWN-flagged detections (See July 10, 2015: “An Attempt to Identify the ‘Unknown’-Flagged keV Decay Energies in the Lichen Sample Gammaspectroscopy”) did show this peculiarity:
338 Net Counts (+/- 227 Counts Uncertainty; and with “Critical Level @ 184 Counts) above a background of 1713 Counts at the specific decay energy of 84.13 keV in Address Channel 171.96. 338 counts is almost double the C.L., and when deducting the uncertainty margins (338-227) then there’s still 111 Counts above background… Sound like there was at least a trace of something in there that emitted that gamma energy…
Thorium-231 BETA-decays, with a decay energy of 0.39 MeV, which would not be picked up in a GAMMA spectroscopy. Aside from the main decay energies, there’s many other ones, including gamma rays, that comprise a tiny fraction of its decay energies as well. I searched for what might have caused the 84.13 keV and found Th-231 back then. To repeat from that blog post, the only thing I found on that decay energy was this:
- ” 84.13 keV —> Thorium-231 (Th-231) ?
- http://periodictable.com/Isotopes/090.231/index2.full.prod.html “
So, to recap:
- Over the course of a few years, I sent two soil samples, one of which contained Th-231, Cs-134 & Cs-137, but no uranium or other artificial gamma emitters.
- Then I sent a bunch of seaweeds from Japan to a lab and one happens to contain Co-60, but nothing else (except an enormous amount of K-40).
- And to add to the list now, apparently right after it rained, my backyard’s lichen sample just happened to have contained a trace of Th-231, as well?
It leaves me with a bit of a wondering, “What are the odds?”
And then I stumbled upon this little Wilmington, North Carolina Star-News news snippet from June 23, 1957: (added emphasis)
“A Japanese physicist said today the Soviet nuclear weapon exploded on April 16  “was apparently a thorium bomb.” […] “based on analysis of atomic fallout collected here April 17, which contained no uranium at all but thorium-231 among other elements.“
Thorium-231 without uranium… Like my compost soil sample? …which was most likely made primarily from food grown in South and Central California… …where higher depositions of Fukushima fallout were modeled to be likely (See Jan. 18, 2015 (with a very important nuance editted in after posting, “UCLA: “California Thyroid Cancer Incidence Well Above National Average”. — FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT the most obvious cause!“
Could these two apparent Th-231 detections be yet another puzzle piece, just like the “beyond forgotten” mysteriously high concentrations of Cobalt-60 in Fukushima fallout? Like Co-60, ‘Th-231 without Uranium’, is apparently more associated with nuclear bomb fallout as well…
What if these are little bread crumbs that, especially when all taken together, imply things that are not officially admitted?
Add to this what I mentioned in comments last week:
And what if those Th-232 detections I mentioned a few weeks ago aren’t so “natural” either… What if they are “enhanced natural” is some way?
To quote and expand upon an [edited] excerpt from something I wrote in the comment section under that post:
“[…] that dreadful third possibility, namely that Thorium was actually in use at Fukushima and is part of what gets released.
But thát will not be possible to discuss beyond speculation, unfortunaly, because there would really only be one reason why Japan had Th-232 in use in its neutron-spewing reactor complex: to bombard it with neutrons to create Uranium-233, a fissile material.. And then we’d get into the territory of why they passed the Secrecy Act in the first place. (See (Nov. 28, 2013, ‘Orwellian Japan 2013‘)
Unless they were playing around (also in secret) with Thorium reactor designs on the side, or… I mean… WHAT?
Had a look at the Thorium Nuclear Fuel Cycle, an alternative to the more common Uranium and Plutonium reactors… Wikipedia on the Thorium fuel cycle does mention a neutron-activation process that leads to the creation of fissile U-233, which mentions the similarity to a process that parallels the process in URANIUM BREEDER REACTORS:
Just noting things. And wondering some more…
‘Cause all you can find about significant Th-232 detections in relation to the Fukushima fallout cloud in 2013 are a handful or obscure mentions referring to documents that can no longer be found online… Such as these:
The source for this is gone: http://blog.susanaromeroweb.com/?p=9232&lang=en
But this is what it claimed, excerpt:
“Experts from the Ministry of Defense of Russia studied aerosol samples obtained after the accident at Fukushima-1 2011 and concluded that the Japanese nuclear plant nuclear activities took place not stated, agency reports scientific information FIAN-Inform.
Experts who analyzed the radioactive cloud that 17 March 2011, six days after the accident at the plant, Read the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, claimed that thorium concentrations detected in the samples confirm the intention of the Japanese to obtain uranium-233 (fissile component of nuclear weapons) in pure form and in excess of those agreed in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the cycle of uranium-thorium amounts.
On the surface of the aerosol particles investigators found the 238U and 232Th isotopes relative atomic concentrations in the tens (in the case of uranium) and hundreds (in the case of Thorium) times higher than those corresponding to the average content of the element in the earth’s crust.”
Similar to this allegation, found @ http://forummsk.info/english/material/eng_news/10361787.html
“Ministry of Defense of RF Confessed That Japan Has Been Accumulating Nuclear Weapons Materials – 3 Years on” Quoted excerpt (seems perhaps not the best translation from Russian), follows:
“17.05.2014 – The group of the Russian scientists from the department of the Ministry of Defense investigated tests of aerosols taken after accident on the nuclear power plant “Fukushima-1”. Method of Seсondary-Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) which allowed not only to estimate condition of active zone and scale of discharge of radionuclides in the air, but also to make a conclusion about not declared nuclear activity taking place before accident took place was used for the first time for analysis.
The values of concentration of thorium measured testify, according to the scientists, about intention to receive uranium-233 in pure form in quantities which exceed concentration stipulated in the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of the Nuclear Weapon in uranium – thorium cycle.
– In no less than 3 years the scientists of the Ministry of Defense understood that Japan was accumulating weapon fissionable substances, – the editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov got delighted. – If the Russian Federation so “quickly” reacts to nuclear threat, I have nothing to say. Especially in present situation in the world which strongly changed towards probability of the third world war. After all I and Alexander Shabanov, the specialist in this problem from the Moscow State University, spoke about it right after accident on Fukushima. All, probably including scientists from the Ministry of Defense, laughed at us very loudly…
– We spoke about it openly, without equivoques in simple Russian, – Anatoly Baranov continued. – For some reason there was no reaction of official circles. If they didn’t want to offend nuclear Japan with its not conventional nuclear weapon? While it’s possible not to listen to us, we understand nothing…”
[Added after posting: On the matter of “breeder reactors” and “recurrent recriticalities”, here’s a short excerpt from my post (Nov. 20, 2015), “Debunking the ‘Impossibility’ of Ongoing Criticalities at Fukushima-Daiichi” which could be relevant for making sense of the strange detections as well (?):
- […] a quote from Wikipedia re. ‘breeder reactor’:
“A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor capable of generating more fissile material than it consumes. These devices are able to achieve this because their neutron economy is high enough to breed more fissile fuel than they use from fertile material such as uranium-238 or thorium-232.“
So there are configurations with mixtures of nuclear fuel in which enough neutrons are created for the fission-reactions to continue without the need for new fresh fuel to be added. More, even, there are configurations in which the amount of fissile material will actually grow over time. Can those conditions come together after a mega-meltdown in which fresh fuel and spent fuel merged together to form a giant lava-like blob in which the heaviest elements would become more concentrated at the bottom of the molten corium over time? These are questions the arise in my mind.”
So perhaps Cobalt-60 ánd Thorium-232 ánd Thorium-231 are all three little bread crumbs pointing at… At what precisely?
- That the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power complex played some role in a top secret Japanese nuclear weapons research program ???
- That perhaps the “conspiracy fringe” allegation that the mega-earthquake was triggered intentionally (not by HAARP, but) with a nuclear bomb deep-underwater as part of some geopolitical terrorism blackmail scheme, is not entirely nonsense ???
- That during the meltdown super-criticalities occured, similar to an actual nuclear explosion, which is why there’s aspects of the fallout that are more reminiscent of nuclear bomb fallout ???
- That the molten corium(s), which most likely is comprised of a mixture [of regular Uranium fuel + MOX fuel (which contains more Pluonium) + spent fuel (also contains Plutonium and lots of activation products), some of it super-hot, + as well as various radionuclides that were formed during the massive neutron bombardment (like Antimony-124/125, Cobalt-60, Manganese-54 and Tritium), + the regular soup of radioCesiums, + ever-increasing levels of Strontium-90 leaking into the Pacific, etc.] … is a mixture that perhaps has come to resemble an underground quasi-“breeder reactor”, recurring criticalities and all ???
- Or perhaps a combination of some of the above?
All those possibilities are extremely disturbing…
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Or maybe it all means nothing.
There’s always thát.
How was the Super Bowl?
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