Fukushima Radiation and Fallout Projections

11 - 17 December 2011

North America


2011-12-16 Yomiuri: Former Japan PM ‘hints’ of recriticality at Fukushima — Found Chlorine-38 in Reactor No. 1 water tested at research institute,
Critical mass, Nature Magazine, Dec. 15, 2011:

More than nine months after the nuclear-reactor disaster at Fukushima, fundamental questions about what happened remain unanswered. Without answers to these questions, Japan, and the rest of the world, is in the dark on what went wrong, what must be done now, and how to avoid similar accidents in future.
A Comment in this week’s issue summarizes these concerns (see page 313). For the Japanese public, one of the most troubling things about the article should be the identity of its authors: two ruling party politicians, including a former prime minister. Surely they should be able to get some answers? [...]

Unfortunately the issue is not available online, but Yomiuri summarizes the contents.
Hatoyama: Nationalize Fukushima N-plant, Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 16, 2011 (Emphasis Added):
In the Nature article, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama:

1. Criticizes Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled plant, for disclosing only limited information to Diet committees
2. Hints at the possibility of recriticality at the plant
3. Says there is still much about the crisis that needs clarification, including the state of the molten fuel within the nuclear reactors

Chlorine Detected… “Released During Recriticality”


Hatoyama also says that he and [Tomoyuki Taira, member of the House of Representatives] obtained data on samples of contaminated water TEPCO obtained from the basement of the plant’s No. 1 reactor and asked an outside research institute to reanalyze them.
Results showed that radionuclide chlorine 38, one of the isotopes released during recriticality, “was indeed present,” he claims.
TEPCO reported at one point that it found chlorine 38 in the sampled water, but the utility later retracted that statement, saying there was a mistake in the analysis.

More from Yomiuri

Only by bringing the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into government hands can scientists thoroughly discover what caused the nuclear crisis, former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama says in an article published in the Dec. 15 issue of the British science journal Nature. [...]
Hatoyama said the Fukushima plant “must be nationalized so that information can be gathered openly.” [...]
It is extremely rare for a major science journal to carry an article written by a former prime minister as a cover story, according to an official of Nature Japan.

More information on past Chlorine-38 reports at Fukushima

* “If chlorine-38 was detected that can only mean ‘recriticality’.” -Professor Hiroshi Koide, Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute
* “Radioactive chlorine found March 25 in the Unit 1 turbine building suggests chain reactions continued after the reactor shut down, physicist Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, wrote” -Source
* “In order to form CL-38 [...] Dalnoki-Verress did some calculations and came to the conclusion [there] was the presence of transient criticalities in pockets of melted fuel in the reactor core” -Source

h/t Anonymous tip
Watch nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen discuss chlorine on April 3 here

North America


2011-12-11 Fukushima Radiation in the U.S.,
I have been following radnet data and the levels appear to be rising. Over the last ten days Phoenix has hit a high of 850 CPM beta and has bounced up and down to 500 CPM and yesterday 350 CPM.
I'm concerned that Fukushima is becoming hotter and hotter, and more and more out of control.
Yesterday, at Enenews, an anonymous commentator using the name Gmouse reported the following
"Hi folks,
First time posting. I’ve been running a Rados (rad-60) digital gamma/Xray dosimeter accumulation survey since the beginning, in San Diego Cal.
I’m a retired physics lab rat, class II fed rad worker cert. Worked in particle research, not electricity production.
It is 10:30am 12-10-2011. In the last 24 hrs. the “post FUKU new normal” .2-.3 mr per 24 hr. gamma accumulation has risen to 2.2 mr for the 24 hr. period.
Heads up for personal countermeasures. We’re cooked!!
This is higher than the initial fallout wave in March. Be diligent , be careful, be strong. Unity on this site, likely the best info on the planet." [end quote]
Majia here: Using a conversion table, I converted his 2.2 millirem an hour to microsieverts an hour. The conversion result is 22 microsieverts an hour.
Annualized that would constitute an exposure of 193 millisieverts.
(22 X 24) 365 then divided by 1000 = 192.72
For background on the significance of this level, see my posts here
San Diego has had much lower levels, according to radnet, than many other areas of the country.
The 192 millisieverts would simply reflect external exposure and would not include the contribution of internal emitters from contaminated water or food and would not include the contamination load each of us carries from a cumulative lifetime of exposure to natural and artificial ionizing radiation.
People need to wake up and start demanding that their federal and state officials increasing air, food, and water monitoring and disclosure.
As Harvey Wasserman states, Safe Radiation is a Lethal LIE
View Fatal Fallout by Dr. Gary Null
Read: Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for the People and the Environment
2011-12-12 Phoenix Radiation Increases and Why They Matter,
This post is not intended to imply that levels in the US are comparable to those in Japan. Rather, the point is simply to reinforce the truth that Fukushima is a global problem capable of impacting lives many thousands of miles away.
That is why we need global cooperation and transparency on Fukushima radiation.
That said, now I turn to examine radiation in Phoenix and I address why relatively low-levels matter.
Capt. Clyde Stagner on Phoenix Radiation:
"EPA Gross Beta 2007-2010 was .0143 pCi/L^3
EPA Gross Beta Jan 3- Oct 2011 was O.O158 which is a 9.5% increase
Conversion to CPM is mathematical, but the increase will remain the same
This increase is either from utility [Palo Verde] or Fukushima with events occurring in Fukushima supporting the increase to the CPM -the best Clyde"
Majia here: And this 9.5% increase was before we had the big spikes ranging upward to 850 CPM in November and December (30 to 60 is normal).
The highest reported level we had in March was 300 CPM. We had a few spikes in May but the real increases were this fall.
Previous Posts on Capt. Stagner's work
Why does this matter?
Low-Dose radiation suppresses the body’s adaptive response against genomic instability
Huang L, Kim PM, Nickoloff JA, Morgan WF. 2007. Targeted and nontargeted effects of low-dose ionizing radiation on delayed genomic instability in human cells. Cancer Research 67:1099–1104.
“Background” Low-Dose Ionization Radiation Can Cause Leukemia in Children
• Mark P Little1,4, Richard Wakeford2 and Gerald M KendallUpdated estimates of the proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionising radiation Journal of Radiological Protection Volume 29 Number 4 467
FINALLY, check out the excellent video by Goddard's Journal
I discovered the Goddard's video at Enenews
2011-12-13 [Good News] 5:50pm 12/13/11 Saint Louis Radioactive Fallout Only 8x Background Radiation by Potrblog Team
Good News, this is the lowest radioactive fallout reading we have had in a rain swipe from our truck since July 2011. Much lower than our previous record of 276 times greater than background radiation. Long term testing of this sample will provide more information.
We attribute the low reading to the primary influence of the Southern Jetstream (thank you "la Nina"). If this pattern continues, our greatest fallout risks this winter will be when the Northern (Fukushima carrying) Jetstream and Southern Jetstream converge to bring snow and ice to Saint Louis.
You may follow the Jet Stream at the following link
2011-12-13 Phoenix EPA Data Showed 700 CPM Beta Yesterday,
30 to 60 is "normal" for Phoenix and emergency responders are instructed to take precautions at 300 CPM beta.
Ichicax4 provides analysis of the jet stream and precipitation patterns for the US and highlights the high radiation cities right now
"HIGH RADS 18 CITIES! WINNER AMARILLO 810 CPM 12.12-12.13.2011"
There is speculation that something may have happened to unit 4 to cause this radiation surge
Fukushima Diary is reporting that there may have been recriticality again over the last few days because of the detection of Iodine-131, which has a 8 day half life
I am very concerned and you should be too.
2011-12-14 [Good News] 1:00 pm 12/14/11 Fallout Rain in Saint Louis Only 7X Greater Than Background Radiation, Potrblog team
"A 1:00 pm sample swipe of the rain off the SUV returned a reading of 7X background radiation. It appears that the La Nina weather pattern is pushing the Southern Jetstream towards Saint Louis; the result is reduced fallout from Fukushima.
Since the corium hit Fukushima ground water in August, Radon and meltdown products have been moved towards North America via the Northern Jetstream. Rains from the Northern Jetstream have dumped short half life radiation with readings above 276 times greater than background radiation (2.76 mR/hr) on Saint Louis; The very same rains have also dumped long lasting radioactive fallout which continues to be detectable. At least one of the rains has had strong indications of the presence of Neptunium 239 (which quickly decays to Plutonium 239). There have also been previous indications of Iodine 133 / Xenon 133, however those detections have a greater uncertainty than previously thought.
It appears the La Nina weather pattern will be protective of the Saint Louis area, and points South) through out the winter. The primary Fallout risks will be from the encroachment of the Northern Jetstream, and the resultant snow/ice."
2011-12-17 Hazmat-level So Cal Rain, by Michael Collins, (For the radiation measurement update page, please link here)
"We already knew that the EPA considers anything at three times background to be `significantly' above background, hence why we make special note of when any media we test comes above background. But what we didn’t know is that following readings actually qualify as hazmat-level high for the California Highway Patrol.
This rain reading came right off the coast earlier today:
7:25pm SPOT CHECK SANTA MONICA RAIN: ~166 CPM sustained or 415% of normal higher (Videotaped)
Thanks to our friend and colleague over at Potrblog, we found out that the CHP defines a hazmat incident as anything three times background or higher, which then triggers certain protocols by the agency as the fascinating following report indicates:

The following information was provided via email:
“On 12/8/11 at 1430 PST, the Nevada Radiation Control Program (NRCP) received a call from the Alternate Radiation Safety Officer (ARSO) for Renown South Meadows Medical Center, that a truck carrying linen had been detained by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) at the Truckee inspection station after setting off a radiation alarm. The ARSO explained that the truck was not carrying any materials from the Nuclear Medicine Department or decay room and she knew of no reason that it would be radioactive. She provided the name and number for the CHP at Truckee.
“The NRCP contacted the CHP and were told that they had surveyed the truck with a Ludlum meter and measured .400 millirem per hour (or 400 microR/hour) outside the trailer. The CHP said that their protocols dictate that anything above three times background is treated as a hazmat incident and must have proper packaging and manifest. They had not run an identification spectrum on the truck. They had no capability to unload a trailer on site for further investigation. They were holding the vehicle pending instructions from their departmental radiation specialist and agreed to call [the NRCP] when they had a decision.
“The Aramark (linen service) representative confirmed that the vehicle in question was a tractor trailer and was carrying only linen from Renown.
“At approximately 1545 PST, the CHP called and indicated that they had released the trailer with orders to return to Renown Medical Center. They were unable to identify the radioisotope present and the dose rate reading was now .100 millirem per hour (100 micro R/hr).
“The NRCP Incident Response Supervisor arrived at Renown Medical center at approximately 1645 PST, shortly after the truck, and met with Renown staff. After conducting a radiation survey on the outside of the truck, he determined the general location of the high radiation and identified Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) as a suspected isotope. Linens are transported in large plastic bins, which were removed with a pallet jack, by the staff at Renown. When the radioactive bin was identified, it was segregated, a thorough survey was done and the radioisotope was positively identified as Tc-99m. The bin was placed in Renown’s decay room where it will remain for 2 to10 days until the Tc-99m decays.
“The most likely cause of this contamination was that a recently treated patient soiled the sheets and the possibility of radioactive contamination was not recognized by floor staff. Linens are not routinely screened for radiation. Aramark recently began transporting linens to Sacramento, rather than processing locally, so they are now subject to inspection upon entering California. The RCP will assist Renown with some procedure changes that will minimize the chances of this happening in the future.
“Dose rate readings were one order of magnitude lower than what CHP reported. It is unknown why CHP was unable to obtain an accurate identification of the isotope.
“Radiation readings: RadEye – Background 6 uR/hr; at bin 48 uR/hr; Ortec MicroDetective – Background 65 counts per second; at bin 1800 counts per second; Renown 451P Ion Chamber – Background 6 uR/hr; at bin 52 uR/hr; Ludlum 14c with pancake G-M detector – at bin 1800 counts per minute.”
Nevada Report Number: NV110024

Note that once the suspected radioactive material, which had triggered the alarm, was tested, it came in at a whopping 27.7 times background according to a Ortec MicroDetective radiation detector.
This is a good example of how proper protocol reaction can yield an important result. It also confirms that anything that reads three times background or above should be taken very seriously, as seriously as the California Highway Patrol takes it.
In this case, the Los Angeles Basin was being pelted with radioactive rain at 4.15 times background or 115% above the CHP trigger!"

Comments (2)
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1. Michael Collins says:
December 28, 2011 at 9:30 am
@ Frank Thompson: Your measurements are useful to all of us provided that they’re accurately taken which, we assume, they are. We don’t think what you found was a hot particle. It more likely was radon progeny (though at over four times background, your detection may have picked up something else that could have come from Fukushima since three ongoing and worsening meltdowns are the most obvious suspect). So keep those measurements coming, Frank. Folks in Virginia, as well as the rest of us, surely appreciate them.
2. Frank Thompson says:
December 28, 2011 at 9:00 am
I wanted to know how to contact you about contributing rad reading data from here in Virginia as I also have an Inspector Alert and have been taking readings for a week or so now. Our avg indoor is 40-44 and had taken a rain sample wiped from our windshield after returning home during a recent rain on a paper towel which hit 171 counts/min(1713 counts in 10 min). It faded to about 45 after 5 hours or so. May have been a hot particle. However, if this effort is not useful to you on the West Coast let me know by email.
Thank you.

North America

2011-12-11 (for this day) News From Japan: How Bad Can Fukushima Get?,, 29 December 2011
"...Bakersfield CA was off the charts (which reach 1000CPM) on Dec 11 and was recently (yesterday) at 850 CPM beta.
Burning spent fuel pools, or simply fissioning of melted coriums, could explain these high levels. Some commentators have suggested that what we have are open China syndrome pits of burning, fissioning corium...."

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