When it comes to the truth about radiation and health effects, there are no experts who are honest - not in government, not in science, not anywhere. Yet, people would rather listen to liars than challenge their assumptions about the sources of the so-called truth and disregard the purveyors of actual truth on this topic: the non-creditialed self-taught. - Andrew Kishner, May 18, 2013
You are reading from a free online e-book titled 'Deception, Cover-up and Murder in the Nuclear Age.' The book discusses the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hydrogen bomb testing fallout, U.S. experiments done on Marshall Islanders (Project 4.1), the Irene Allen trial, Cosmos 954, the Fukushima meltdowns, Three Mile Island updates, and so much more. Visit the Table of Contents to find this free content.
Footnotes are located at the end of each chapter - press the (right facing) 'PAGE' button icon until you reach the footnotes page, or locate it via the table of contents
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|Chapter 16 - Introduction to environmental radiation monitoring|
1 The number of stations in the 'air program' in ERAMS fluctuated from 67 in 1983 to 69 in 1988 to 52 in 2001 to 59 in 2005.
1b Read EPA's 2005 report "Expansion and Upgrade of the RadNet Air Monitoring Network", Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (that are no longer available at the EPA URLs - or anywhere online except at scribd.com or archive.org (2006-2008)- of http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/er/draft_radnet_plan-vol1.pdf or http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/er/draft_radnet_plan-vol2.pdf)
2 There are different GM detectors for each type of radiation: a Pancake G-M will detect alpha/beta/gamma, a thin-wall G-M will detect beta/gamma, and a G-M tube will only detect gamma.
3 The beta counter used by EPA is a 600 square millimeter Passivated Ion-implanted Planar Silicon detector.
4 (what volunteer is going to to drive into a plume to do that?)
5 In the 'old days' - before automated continuous beta detectors - station volunteers would take the filters and they wouldn't analyze them for beta until a 4-6 hour period had lapsed for the same reason: so as to 'permit decay of radon daughters that may be attached to collected particles.'
6 There are other questions - relating to calibration, QC, etc... - about the 'new' Radnet air monitoring network raised by the Radiation Advisory Committee's (RAC) RadNet Review Panel of the Science Advisory Board - read a draft report of their 2006 concerns here.
7 The DOE's CEMP network is the complete opposite of Radnet. CEMP stations arrayed across three states in the Southwest around the DOE NNSA's Nevada Test Site - now called the NNSS - provide publicly-available meteorological and radiological data but that radiological data is extremely limited in scope since CEMP renders gamma exposure rates in real-time but has no monitoring for alpha or beta radiation. CEMP has no real time or manual on-site counting of alpha or beta radiation of filters. Filters in CEMP are collected twice monthly and sent to a lab. The results are normally kept from the public. Should many types of radiation-effluents pass by a CEMP station, the station's air filter will likely catch any alpha, beta or gamma particles and results of a lab analysis will be available several weeks later, which obviously is too long to wait to warn the public if a large release occurred.
Obviously, CEMP can't detect in real-time a plume of alpha- or beta-emitting radioactive noble gases (i.e., Krypton-85) escaping, by seeping or leaking, from underground test areas at the NNSS - which has been a common occurrence since underground testing stopped in 1992. Long-lived krypton and xenon and argon gases, like krypton 85 and xenon 133, are all heavier than air and thus they settle near the ground. Because we breathe in air whether it is radioactive or not, humans routinely intake radioactive noble gases from nuclear reactor emissions and leaks from underground nuclear test shafts into our lungs. In the lungs, these radio-chemicals get absorbed into the bloodstream and because they are soluble in fat they tend to accumulate in our 'fatty' deposits in our bodies where they give off Xray-like gamma radiation.
CEMP also can't detect the most damaging forms of dust or particle effluents (i.e., Strontium-90, or Plutonium-239) from the radioactive soils of the NNSS. It is for that reason that this author was shocked to read on September 25, 2012 a message posted at the CEMP-dedicated website (cemp.dri.edu) titled 'Public Notice of Rad Removal from Ranch Sites' announcing DOE's decision for a 'transition...toward a vision of increased public outreach' in the CEMP network. This transition will entail the removal of the radiological air monitoring capabilities at six CEMP 'ranch' stations north of the test site. The justification for the removal of monitoring from these rural stations is that CEMP 'has not detected radionuclides of concern in the airborne environment of the NNSS since testing ended in 1992...' Yet this conclusion - which is repeated in the notice in the phrase 'radionuclides are not being displaced into the airborne environment from the NNSS in amounts that represent a threat to public health' - is a fallacious one. The DOE is not monitoring for plutonium or strontium-90 offsite, which are radionuclides of concern to anyone, and therefore can't positively state that dangerous quantities of these radioisotopes aren't making it into communities. The public notice adds that an 'ample number of monitoring stations' (what remains after the removal of ranch monitoring) will be sufficient to 'confirm that detectable quantities of airborne radionuclides...are insignificant or absent' but that additional cuts in radiological monitoring (those 'in communities') may be made through 2017. The DOE, as in 1998 (when ever greater cuts were made to offsite monitoring), did not seek stakeholder input - this is a decision made by DOE, and the DOE alone.
Although the notice, which hails the cost-savings of the decision, says funds may be reallocated for water monitoring (a growing concern in areas adjacent to the NNSS), there is nothing promised in this announcement that's good for the public. In fact, this decision by the DOE to further gut monitoring is a very bad deal for the public. This is a PR move - pure and simple - that helps the DOE avoid attention to more embarrassing failures of its monitoring equipment and potential large leaks of radiation that can still occur at the test site. An anonymous letter sent allegedly by a group of DOE and EPA scientists to the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects in 1998 implied that one of the radiological 'situations' at the (formerly named) Nevada Test Site that a DOE-gutted environmental program would largely fail to 'mitigate' included nuclear "devices [that] have failed to detonate partially or completely." There were two nuclear devices that failed to detonate underneath the test site in the 1970s that were never convincingly 'terminated.' These are unexploded nuclear bombs that threaten the American West. We need more monitoring, not less, to be a 'first line of defense' when and if drillback operations leak out a major plume of krypton-85 gas, unexploded nuclear bombs unexpectedly explode at the site or severe wind storms (winds regularly sweep plutonium from the test site across the country) carry extreme contamination into offsite areas.
The Nevada Test Site's Noble Gas and Tritium Surveillance Network, established in March and April of 1972, monitored for radio-xenons and -kryptons and forms of tritium but was shut down at the end of the Cold War. Thus, presently, many radioactive gases - especially tritium - cannot be easily detected in the case of a terrorist attack or a nuclear accident in the U.S. because such gas-detecting ability doesn't exist in CEMP or RADNET.
There are several forms of tritium:
8 The startling finding of re-criticality, or the resumption of atomic chain reactions, at the reactors at Fukushima suggest that the same might occur in unexploded or partially exploded nuclear bombs in underground areas of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). This inventory of nuclear UXO (unexploded ordnance) includes at least two atomic bomb devices - one damaged during emplacement and another that failed to detonate; two attempts by the Department of Energy in 1979 to use nuclear blast-induced shaking of underground areas to 'destroy' the UXO likely failed. A permanent deployment of radioactive noble gas monitors ringing the NNSS to detect abnormal increases of leaked gaseous fission products at the site could prepare for the possibility of unanticipated nuclear excursions or explosions in Nevada.
Since 2007 NuclearCrimes.org has been advocating for improvements in the CEMP network. Most of our views and suggestions are expressed in our letter regarding the need for improved radiation monitoring.
Sidenote Consider that in a 2007 Associated Press article titled 'US Short on Labs for Radiation Testing,' journalist Eileen Sullivan noted that owing to a shortage of labs nationwide that are certified to test body tissue, etc... for radioactive contamination in the event of a dirty bomb attack, "officials recently said the nation is ill-equipped to quickly track down the make and origin of nuclear materials."
Here are links to websites that continuously monitor radiation in air around North America:
Home of the National Radiation Map
Chadds Ford, PA
Clarkdale, AZ (radon)
Washington D.C. suburbs
western Montogmery County, MD
Reading Prong (NY/NJ/PA)
Archived air radiation monitoring data in U.S. in months after Fukushima
Oregon, radiation in air data during 2011 Japan Radiation Event (March 11, 2011 to May 15, 2011)Canada CTBT data for Aug 2011
State of Washington gross beta in air readings thru May 24, 2011
EPA's gross beta and gamma monitoring data for extreme Western U.S.
Air Monitoring at UNLV
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