Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM)
TENORM, is an acronym that should strike fear in anyone down wind of Fukushima.
In short, TENORM are radioactive materials that one may naturally find in the environment but they have been concentrated to more deadly levels through human action.
(Q):How does one spot TENORM fallout?
(A): Look for the code word "NATURAL" in the Fukushima fallout reports and charts.
For a prime example of fallout charts with "natural" fallout, read this previous blog post: ALL BRAWM and NO BRAINS: The University of California, Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department.
(Q): Where would one find TENORM radiation?
(A): Certainly in the 19,000 TONS of radioactive spent fuel rods formerly located in Fukushima, much of which may be presently found over our heads like a veritable Sword of Damocles in our upper atmosphere.
(Q): Are the high levels of short half life fallout you have measured in Saint Louis from Fukushima released TENORM fallout?
(A): There is no doubt that there is a smoking TENORM gun in Fukushima and its Shinigami winds are blowing in our direction. The question comes down to whether one believes that the high levels of short half life radioactive materials falling out here in Saint Louis are the offspring of longer lived radionuclides raising up from the local ground, or if they are the offspring of longer lived Fukushima released radionuclides being precipitated out of the upper atmosphere by towering thunderheads and tornadic storms.
I strongly suspect the high specific activity radioactive particles we have detected in the rain are actively being pulled down out of the upper atmosphere by severe thunderstorms and tornadic storms. These storms climb high into the atmosphere, resulting in Fukushima TENFORM fallout rain here in Saint Louis.
One of the strongest scientific 'smoking guns' backing that position comes from pre-Fukushima expert reports on the subject. Probably the most damning indication that TENFORM fallout is being described as "natural" by certain authorities is this report from an "EXPERT" in radiation safety from the Health Physics Society
What makes that report damning is that in 2001 the expert stated "the short-lived radon daughters also emit gamma radiation, background exposure rates can increase by as much as 2 to 3 microR per hour for a short period during and/or following rain." To be generous, this means that natural short half life radon daughter fallout in the rain should max out at ONE times greater than background radiation. What makes this answer incredible fortuitous to find is that the person asking this question back in October of 2001 had tested some rain on his car using the exact paper towel method I use in my tests, AND he was using the exact same Inspector Geiger Counter model I use.
The radiation safety expert's answer means that a rain fallout measurement greater than 1 times background radiation is indicative of being TENORM fallout. Basically if your Geiger counter reads twice as high as normal from a rain sample, the radioactive fallout is indicative of a man made cause. The person asking the question back in October 2001 had detected levels roughly 4 times background.
Moreover, there are additional expert sources that also support that at maximum naturally produced radon daughter fallout increases by no more than 2 times. Referenced by www.TENORM.com, from: CRCPDa 1994. Report of the E-4 Committee on NORM Contamination and Decontamination/Decommissioning. Report 3. Publication 94-6. Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, "Rainfall scours radon and its progeny from the atmosphere, causing radiation levels to rise at ground level. Some larger storms may double the gamma exposure rate for a short period of time."
(Q): If TWO times background radiation is the maximum threshold, what is the maximum level POTRBLOG has detected in Saint Louis?
(A): I have detected SIXTY TWO times background radiation here in Saint Louis on two occasions. See the videos here and here.
(Q): Why would TENORM fallout from Fukushima be hitting the Saint Louis region so hard?
(A): It is not just TENORM fallout, but the TENORM fallout may be the most easily detectable indication of other harder to detect man made fallout like Plutonium. However, there are so few people publicly testing FRESH rainfall in the proper manner that I can't definitively say that the fallout is hitting Saint Louis harder than anywhere else. But, if there were one location in the North America where the local weather conditions would have the strongest capability of pulling radioactive material out of the upper atmosphere, it would here in Saint Louis where the Jet Stream and Tornado alley meet the humid confluence of the Missouri, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers.
(Q): Could the Fukushima Fallout be impacting the entire Tornado Alley region?
(A): In more ways than one might think.
(Q): How so?
(A): There is a strong correlation between the strongest Tornado season in decades and the radioactive releases from Fukushima. It is not an implausible causation that Radioactive Fukushima Fallout is seeding the formation of Tornadoic storms in the region. In fact, it would not be surprising if somewhere in Oklahoma there is an enterprising grad student using the Fukushima fallout as a radioactive tracer in funnel cloud formation. In short, Fukushima Funnel Fallout could readily be a negative synergy where under the right conditions the radioactive fallout seeds the formation of tornadoes and then washes itself out on the land below. Such a causation would also serve to explain the lack of spring rain and resulting massive drought in Texas; if there were ever a time to pray for drought this would be it.
(Q): So what do we do about it?
(A): Pray; Petition your political representatives for better testing/mapping; and until effective mapping and testing occur, take appropriate cost effective risk mitigation strategies.
(Q): How have you mitigated your risk?
(A): We avoid dairy products, leafy vegetables, and fruits. We also avoid flying anywhere. If we have to drive through the rain, we set the vehicle's environmental controls to recirculate and turn on the air conditioning. Moreover, we have purchased most of the items on the Amazon list shown on the POTRBLOG website. But most importantly, we do our best to STAY OUT OF THE RAIN.
(Q): Why not fly?
(A): Besides not wanting my wife and kids to be felt up by the TSA, jet engines have the capability of concentrating high altitude fallout in the cabin air environment. And baring any public testing to the contrary, I'm not willing to have my family ingest and bodily take up concentrated radioactive materials while flying.
(Q): Sounds like the end of the world?
(A): Hardly, but it is the end of this particular post.
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