Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Comparing Fukushima and Chernobyl

Data are slippery and estimates diverge greatly for Fukushima and Chernobyl source terms. There exist no definitive figures for atmospheric emissions, only estimates. Here are some data points I've found:

CHERNOBYL Atmospheric Estimates
Estimates for Cesium-137 range from 70-280 PBq

Estimates for Iodine-131 range from 1760 PBq to 4000 PBq

FUKUSHIMA Atmospheric Estimates
Estimates for Cesium-137 range widely but in Schöppner et al. estimates range from 100-1000 PBq

Estimates for Iodine-131 range widely but Schöppner estimates 10,000 PBq


OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Radiological protection > Chernobyl: Assessment of Radiological and Health Impact 2002 Update of Chernobyl: Ten Years On. https://www.oecd-nea.org/rp/chernobyl/c02.html
[Excerpted] In their 1988 Report (UN88), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) gave release figures based not only on the Soviet data, but also on worldwide deposition. The total 137Cs release was estimated to be 70 petabecquerels (PBq) of which 31 PBq were deposited in the Soviet Union.
[Chart for current estimates of releases put cesium 137 at 280PBq]
[Chart for Iodine-131 put total release For Iodine-131 1760 PBq]

Additional source: FRANCE’S IRSN estimates total Iodine-131 from Chernobyl at 4008 PBq SOURCE Fukushima's nuclear contamination levels 'chronic and lasting' http://www.france24.com/en/20120228-fukushima-japan-nuclear-radiation-tsunami/

Range of findings described by du Bois et al:

Pascal Bailly du Bois, Pierre Garreau, Philippe Laguionie, Irène Korsakissok (2014) Comparison between modelling and measurement of marine dispersion, environmental half-time and 137Cs inventories after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Ocean Dynamics 64, Issue 3, pp 361-383.
“The 137Cs total atmospheric source term varies from 10 to 36PBq, (Schöppner et al 2012) implies a much higher activity (1,000 to 10,000 PBq in the total inventory of radionuclides released.”
Let us look at the source for the 1,000 to 10,000 PBq:

Michael Schöppner, Wolfango Plastino, Pavel P. Povinec c, Gerhard Wotawa, Francesco Bella, Antonio Budano, Mario De Vincenzi, Federico Ruggieri (2012) Estimation of the time-dependent radioactive source-term from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident using atmospheric transport modelling. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 114 (2012) 10e14 http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0265931X1100275X/1-s2.0-S0265931X1100275X-main.pdf?_tid=4b7ed0f6-9995-11e3-b127-00000aacb362&acdnat=1392835404_5fad3a3eec5a5966cd6b60c28b44f13b

[excerpted] A worst case scenario of the emission of 1019 Bq/day for both 137Cs and 131I (constant release on the 12 March 2011) was used and the resulting estimations were compared with real measurements. First estimations of worst case emissions served as input data for atmospheric simulations. These estimations were then compared with the actual IMS measurements. Further, an approach is presented to determine the time dependent source term for 137Cs and 131I at the FD-NPP. (p. 12)

…It can be concluded from the other two contemplated stations that the real source-term at the FD-NPP emitted fewer particles in the case of 137Cs than assumed in the worst case scenario. Based on these results a source term of 1017–1018 Bq/day seems reasonable. For 131I, however, these first results suggest a source term not too different from the worst case scenario of 1019 Bq/day. (p. 13)[end]
10 to the 17th power for cesium-137 (1.0E+17) = 100 PBq

10 to the 18th power for cesium-137 (1.0E+18) = 1000 PBq

100 – 1000 PBq Cesium 137

10 to the 19th power for Iodine-131 (1.0E+19) = 10,000 PBq

10,000 PBq Iodine 131


Monday, October 20, 2014

Social Pollution or Social Control?

Ajit Pai (2014, October 17) The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter. The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/truthy-project-is-unworthy-of-tax-dollars/2014/10/17/a3274faa-531b-11e4-809b-8cc0a295c773_story.html?wpisrc=nl-headlines&wpmm=1

Ajit Pai is a member of the Federal Communications Commission.

[excerpt] If you take to Twitter to express your views on a hot-button issue, does the government have an interest in deciding whether you are spreading “misinformation’’? If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your “partisanship’’?

My guess is that most Americans would answer those questions with a resounding no. But the federal government seems to disagree. The National Science Foundation , a federal agency whose mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” is funding a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data.

The project is being developed by researchers at Indiana University, and its purported aim is to detect what they deem “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” including how memes — ideas that spread throughout pop culture — propagate. What types of social pollution are they targeting? “Political smears,” so-called “astroturfing” and other forms of “misinformation.”[end]


Private tech companies pitch Web surveillance tools to police. By G. W. Schulz Sep 4, 2012 http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/private-tech-companies-pitch-web-surveillance-tools-police-17846

[Excerpted] "Private tech firms have found a new market for their sophisticated software capable of analyzing vast segments of the Internet – local police departments looking for ways to pre-empt the next mass shooting or other headline-grabbing event.

Twitter, Facebook and other popular sites are 24-hour fire hoses of raw information that need an automated tool for deciding what’s important and what is not. So technology companies are pushing products at law enforcement conferences, in trade publications and through white papers that promise to help police filter the deluge for terrorists, traffickers, pedophiles and rioters.

In the process, privacy advocates and other critics fear these tools – once reserved for corporate branding – could ensnare Internet users who happen to be at the wrong cyberspace destination at the wrong time.

...One company, SAS Institute Inc. of North Carolina, teaches police that they can scrape and analyze massive volumes of data from the backsides of Facebook and Twitter – something not everyone even knows is possible.... Two years ago, SAS made its pursuit of law enforcement customers official by acquiring the British firm Memex, which converts disparate pieces of data like fingerprints and mug shots into intelligence by making it more easily available for sharing and analysis. Memex aggressively marketed itself to the dozens of intelligence “fusion centers” created after Sept. 11 that allow local, state and federal police to swap digital tips in a command center-like setting...

...Then there’s 3i-MIND, a Swiss company that last year prominently showcased Web surveillance products at a law enforcement conference in San Diego. There, it pitched OpenMIND, developed specifically for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which “automatically finds suspicious patterns and behaviors” across the Internet. It digs not just within social media, but also through blogs, online forums and the “deep Web,” where many chat rooms exist....
[end excerpt]

How Privacy Went Extinct By David Rosen, AlterNet 26 August 12 http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/294-159/13121-how-privacy-went-extinct

[Excerpted] Two surveillance systems that have recently been in the news, TrapWire and Domain Awareness System (DAS), point to the future of the surveillance state.

First, the isolated element (e.g., the fingerprint, the mug shot) is being integrated into a complex digital profile. Yet, whether a suspicious person or object (e.g., car, container), 21st-century surveillance is grounded in state-of-the-art guesswork.

Second, these systems represent two different business models; one of government use of private product (TrapWire), the other a joint venture between a city government and a private corporation (DAS). This may suggest the next phase in the development of capitalism's corporate state: from regulator to partner. But most of all, TrapWire and DAS exemplify how the state, at both the federal and local levels, is increasing its power to track the lives of ordinary Americas. 

TrapWire correlates video surveillance with other data, including criminal and terrorist watch lists, facial recognition profiles, license plate information, stolen vehicles reports and other event data. Its apparently most break-through feature is predictive capabilities designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance....

DAS has a very different lineage. It was developed as a commercial partnership between the New York City Police Department and Microsoft at an estimated cost of $30 to $40 million. According to New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, "We're not your mom and pop police department anymore." The city will get 30 percent of the profits on Microsoft sales of the system to other cities and countries. At the official launch ceremony, Bloomberg boasted, "We are in the next century. We are leading the pack."

With DAS, investigators can track individuals or incidents (e.g., a suspicious package) through live video feeds from some 3,000 CCTV cameras, 2,600 radiation substances detectors, check license plate numbers, pull up crime reports and cross-check all information against criminal and terrorist databases.

These two programs add to a growing arsenal of high-tech capabilities being implemented by both federal and local governments in a ceaseless war against terrorism. [end excerpt]


Buglike Drones http://videos.designworldonline.com/video/Air-Force-Bugbots 
The New Totalitarianism of Surveillance Technology. By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK. August 16,2 012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/15/new-totalitarianism-surveillance-technology?newsfeed=true

The NSA Is Watching YouBy Amy Goodman, Truthdig 26 April 12
Thirteen Ways Government Tracks Us. Published on Monday, April 9, 2012 by Common Dreams by Bill Quigley https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/09-14 
 The Surveillance Society Meets Robotic Warfare

Saturday, October 18, 2014

General Electric Shifts From Causing Disease to "Treating" Diseases Caused

In 2012 GE CEO Jeff Immelt was quoted by the Financial Times as stating nuclear is 'Hard to Justify', GE Says:
Financial Times Monday July 20, 2012, p. A1 by Piita Clark

"Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become 'really hard' to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world's largest suppliers of atomic equipment.

'It's really a gas and wind world today,' said Jeff Immelt....

'When I talk tot he guys who run the oil companies they say look, they're finding more gas all the time. It's just hard to justify nuclear, really hard. Gas is so cheap and at some point, really economics rule,' Mr. Immelt told the Financial Times in an interview in London....

Majia here: Given nuclear reactors are hard to justify, how will GE continue to make money? The Wall Street Journal is reporting GE hopes to profit from the public's increasing lack of health:

Mann, T. (2014, October 18-19 Weekend Edition). GE Highlights Medical Unit as Earnings Rise. The Wall Street Journal, p. 3

Immelt told the WSJ that GE Healthcare Life Sciences is a "key business for us" and Kieran Murphy who heads the division is quoted as stating: "This is a growing and valuable business within GE, and we continue to see a healthy pipeline and have great confidence in the future growth of the business."

Majia here: The WSJ explains GE is under investor pressure to spin off the health care division because margins are thin but GE executives are convinced they will have a "healthy pipeline" of sick patients in need of GE equipment, which mostly (as far as I can tell) consists of medical scanning equipment.

GE's use of the term "healthy" to describe their pipeline is indeed ironic given that said pipeline consists largely, if not primarily, of cancer patients.

Cancer rates are expected to skyrocket:
Nanci Hellmich New cancer cases worldwide expected to skyrocket , USA TODAY http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/04/cancer-cases-worldwide-increase/5200445/

The incidence of cancer worldwide is growing at an alarming pace, and there is an urgent need to implement strategies to prevent and curb the disease, according to a report from the World Health Organization. New cancer cases will skyrocket globally from an estimated 14 million in 2012 to 22 million new cases a year within the next two decades, the report says. During that same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million a year.
Majia here: With Fukushima's GE reactors in meltdown spewing radiation contamination into the ocean and atmosphere I imagine that cancer rates will soar still higher.

No wonder GE sees a bright future in medical imaging. It is helping to produce the plague of cancer its techologies are designed to diagnose! How profitable!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beta Spikes and Rising Radiation Levels

Yesterday and perhaps the day before Phoenix encountered a radioactive plume:
I don't know where it came from. It could have derived from Fukushima, Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, or Palo Verde nuclear power plant. In the end, I guess it doesn't matter because the overarching point is that nuclear power plants are contaminating our environment with man-made radionuclides (and I do mean "man" made).

After seeing this uptick in beta count, I perused the other west coast sites. Many Radnet sites are no longer reporting beta data at all, while gamma data patterns look odd, as illustrated here by the inexplicable shift upwards in Riverside gamma data:

 The EPA Radnet data over the last three years have not been reliable because of many problems with collection, inexplicable temporary outages, and permanently offline sites. I strongly suspect these problems are deliberate because the EPA Inspector General chastised the Radnet system, and Gina McCarthy who was responsible for EPA's atmospheric radiation monitoring, for poor performance during the March 2011 Fukushima disaster and yet the problems cited in their report remain unaddressed and now Gina is heading the EPA. Poor performance was richly rewarded.
Majia's Blog: Gina McCarthy and the Failed Radnet System
My guess is that there have been deliberate efforts made to halt and/or censor atmospheric radiation reporting at locations that show strong beta surges with incoming radiation plumes from Fukushima and other spewing nuclear power plants.

The public has been re-sensitized to radiation contamination by the Fukushima disaster and so industry and its captured regulatory agencies are on the offensive. Atmospheric radiation data are selectively released, especially beta counts because they are easy to compare for novices.

I can tell you that in my observations of EPA's Radnet beta charts for over 3 years now and from running reports from 2010-2009, that normal beta background in the US rarely extended beyond 60 cpm in the highest radiation areas prior to Fukushima UNLESS there was a plume from somewhere coming through (probably from re-fueling at nuclear power plants, which was recently documented by Dr. Ian Fairlee to raise background radiation levels substantially).

Many locations in the US that used to average under 20 cpm with very few spikes are running much higher now, as indicated in Radnet data for California cities located directly on the coast (e.g., LA, San Diego, San Francisco). West coast cities with mountains to the east of them (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento, Yuma) typically have the highest beta levels, although cities under the jet stream in Colorado and the Dakotas also have huge spikes at times.

Private monitoring efforts all over the US and also within Australia reported at Enenews post-your-radiation-readings-discussion forum have found local radiation levels to have increased by 2 to 3 times in North America and slightly less in Australia since Fukushima. See here

However, until recently, the big spikes we saw in late 2011 and early 2012 in North America seemed to have subsided. Now I see that Phoenix is running high beta counts (like a patient coming down with a fever). Other west coast cities are also.

Is Fukushima now producing more atmospheric radiation than it did through the latter half of 2012 and most of 2013?

I don't know what is going on but the new rising levels have me concerned.

I wish I could trust public officials to honestly appraise the public of conditions, risks, and mitigation strategies but I cannot.

I worry that even the environmental science on Fukushima and other radioactive contamination processes will be corrupted by capture.

For example, a friend shared with me this slick new radiation monitoring sight called Fukushima Inform available here http://fukushimainform.wordpress.com/about

The site seems completely neutral until one looks carefully at the board of directors. Director names are not listed alphabetically so one is led to conclude that those names listed first are of greater import than those names listed last.

Here is the name listed first:

Dr. Robert Walker (Chair) President & CEO, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

I'm guessing that Dr. Walker, CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada, is not a neutral party. It concerns me that his bias, in conjunction with his presumed leadership role among the board of directors, might adversely impact the environmental science on Fukushima eco-system effects through funding decisions and through controlling rights for data publication, the latter of which was a practice that occurred with BP grants to researchers studying oil spill effects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Everywhere I look I see WILLING CAPTURE evidenced by the steadfast refusal to step back and look overall at what is happening to many Pacific sea mammals and fish, among other life forms that are clearly suffering greatly from hazards that have yet to be fully disclosed because to do so would call into question powerful military-industrial institutional matrices.