Sunday, July 29, 2012

37X Background Radiation in 12:30pm STL Storms

The rain/storm from this morning ended at approximately 12:30pm. A swipe from our truck returned a reading 37x greater than background levels. A swipe taken 3 hours earlier returned  a reading of 27x greater than background radiation. Our live outdoor airborne radiation monitor recorded an approximately 50% increase in background radiation. (see below)

A quick look at chart indicates that weather moved into the area around 5am with an initial peak in radioactivity that may represent local washout. From 6am to 12pm airborne radioactivity increased as the leading edge of the jetstream neared Saint Louis.


  1. I'm in Charleston, SC. Last night it was a light misty rain after an early evening line of thunderstorms. I came out of Denny's restaurant about 1AM. I wiped off the 3X3' plastic sunroof of my Smart car and was astonished to read the highest reading I had ever taken, over 1000 cpm on my old V700 Victoreen that has been upgraded with the pancake tube used in the Inspector. I've never seen over 150 cpm in this test. We rarely go under the Jet Stream.

    Now comes my question. What do you measure on your paper towels 8 hours later? I left the wiping surface of the towel folded up tightly to prevent the surface from evaporating, except through the paper, to prevent particle escape. However, this morning at 8AM, 7 hour later, I opened the towel and put the detector to the same wiping surface and measure only 30 cpm. Our background is about 20 cpm. Do you have any idea why the radiation disintegrates so fast on the towel? Are we measuring short lived radiation caused by lightning or some other phenomenon in the thunderstorms? The radiation is simply gone.

    I'm headed to my local NOAA Weather Bureau after sending this to ask the meteorologists what's going on. The radiation was scary, but very short lived.

    Wanted to send you an email but couldn't find it.

    1. Looking at the jet stream maps, you were directly down wind of the leading termination edge of the jetstream.
      Basically, you are picking up fallout that blew in from somewhere else.

      We have tested such fallout for extended periods, this post gives a good example of the longer half life fallout found in the samples.

      We collect this data in our "lead cave" with two pancake geiger counters, you can see that lab here:

      If you want to understand what we think is going on see this video:

      I'll wager, if the Japanese keep reporting data, that in a few weeks we will (as has previously been the case) see the evidence show up as elevated Iodine 131 readings reported at Japanese sewage treatment plants.

    2. Iodine-131 is still measured from dried sewage sludge in Chiba

      Sample 1
      Sample taken 7/20/2012
      217 km from Fukushima plant
      Iodine 131 : 25 Bq/Kg

      Sample 2
      Sample taken 7/18/2012
      219 km from Fukushima plant
      Iodine 131 : 13 Bq/Kg

    3. Thanks for the heads up; it is just as predicted. Assuming they keep accurately reporting the data, there will likely be a big jump in Iodine 131 reported in the Japanese sewage correlated to the larger fallout event we detected here in STL on 8/8/12

  2. Sounds like Radon break down bi-products since none of the other radiation monitoring sites around you are having elevated readings. next time throw your sample in a ziplock or a canning jar to trap the water (in case it was tritium contamination.) and wait 8 days for follow up test (break down period for radon bi-products/naturally occurring isotopes.). If still high then you've got yourself a goodly sample of tritium and someone local is leaking like a sieve.