Friday, December 16, 2011

California Hwy Patrol Says: 'Anything Above 3x Background Radiation Is A HAZMAT Incident'

According to this NRC Event report, the California Hwy Patrol stopped a linen truck for having radioactivity above THREE times background radiation,
"The CHP said that their protocols dictate that anything above three times background is treated as a hazmat incident"

Knowing California to be the regulatory paradise that it is, it would not surprise us if it were actually a crime NOT to report anything above 3x background radiation to the police as a HAZMAT incident. Given the radioactive materials falling out of the Jet Stream thanks to Fukushima, such a reporting requirement could turn into the largest HAZMAT incident ever reported.


  1. I had an interesting conversation with an EPA rep, recounted here

    I went back and ran some gamma levels for Phoenix during various times before the EPA radnet quit on me.

    I found definite correspondences between peaks in levels 1 and 2 gamma and beta peaks. I also found incidences of censorship via straight lines at times of beta peaks.

    This is not a systematic analysis.

    I don't know what "normal" gamma levels look like. Running a baseline may be tough to crunch for someone with my limited computer skills.

    Do you have any idea where typical gamma levels might be found for ranges 1 and 2?

    From anecdotal sampling I think level 2 might range from around 2600 to 3100 and I've found peaks up to 4500

    I need to know if that is significant...

    Peaks ranged up to 4500

  2. Because the EPA "reviews and approves" (read censors) their data, there just is not enough granularity to do detail analysis. The best you can hope for is to look for trends, and correlations in trends among different cities.

    Next time you talk to the EPA ask for the RAW ("unreviewed and unapproved") data; when they won't give it to you, ask them why.

  3. EPA called me again today. This time from Washington DC with a tech and a conversation facilitator.

    The EPA admitted that the beta and gamma spikes recorded for Phoenix by radnet were "accurate" in the sense that there have been significant gamma and beta peaks, but attributed them to "radon" and "normal variation."

    I told them that there had not been this kind of "normal variation" since April. They insisted such variation is normal. It was kind of like tug-of-war.

    I also asked about the straight lines on the gamma and beta charts. They said that they sometimes find the data flawed or do not receive data so the graphs show straight lines...

    The tech did tell me how to run searches on NOAA from Fukushima's coordinates and then the administrator ended the call...

  4. "Conversation Facilitator" The Soviets used to have those too.

    You'll never "win" a discussion with them (or influence them); the best one can hope for is to get them to define their terms. For example when they say its Normal variation, ask them to define (in numbers) what ABNORMAL variation is, and ask them to give numbers that would be indicative of concern.

    The other thing is to see if they will define their policy and procedures for manipulating the data, ie under what circumstances do they change raw numbers and how do they arrive at the new numbers; How and when do they decide to change filters BEFORE their useful life span is over. --Changing the filters early hides the build up of longer half life fallout.

    Another interesting thing to try would be to see if the "conversation facilitator" will let you converse with the scientist/engineer who crunches the numbers from all the various RADNET reports. Of course if they wanted to plausibly hide risks, they would prevent their people from doing that kind of analysis under the guise of manpower constraints.

    Also, see our previous report on the EPA's RADNET data censorship here: