Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Emergency at Byron Illinois Nuclear; Winds Blowing Towards Chicago

The Byron Illinois nuclear plant once again had another emergency declaration due to the loss of off site power. Unsurprisingly information is limited, but as of this morning the site is still generating power at 99%. Given that the reactor has not yet SCRAMMED, the situation bares monitoring. If a reactor SCRAM does occur, precautions would be wise.

Currently both surface and Jet Stream winds are blowing from Byron, Il towards Chicago. Should a SCRAM or radioactive release occur, consider monitoring the wind maps shown below; these maps indicate the current wind directions and auto update themselves every time the page is reloaded or refreshed.

The NRC Event report for the current situation is Event Number: 47708 on 2/29/2012; please note that the NRC has apparently changed its http: linking nomenclature, as a result today's direct link (above) to event 47708 will point somewhere else in the future.  For historical purposes you may search for the Event 47708 (2/29/2012) at this link.

Surface Winds

Jet Stream

Thursday, February 23, 2012

12x Background Radiation In Passing Drizzle: Saint Louis 2/23/12 8:45pm

There was a light passing drizzle this evening around 8:30pm; we took a sample swipe from our truck around 8:45pm and the reading returned a value of 12 times greater than background radiation.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Early Warning Signs of Catastrophic Electrical Grid Collapse Leading To Nuclear Meltdowns

A description of the highest risk solar storm CME scenario starts at 14:58 minutes into the video

This is a video update to a blog post from May 2011 where we detailed how a Solar Storm could cause a multi-YEAR collapse of the electrical grid resulting in the potential meltdown of 71 Nuclear Reactors in the United States.

In this update, we attempt to define the specific scenarios and signs which would indicate that such an event is near or underway, and which cost effective risk mitigation items and strategies may be key Darwinian discriminators.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saint Louis Fallout Rain at 13x Greater Than Background Radiation

We took a paper towel swipe from the hood of our truck at approximately 4:15pm on 2/15/12; that sample returned a reading of approximately 13 times greater than background radiation. The jet-stream was once again coming out of the Southwest.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Radioactive Snowfall At 7x Background On 2/13/12 4:20pm

We took a sample wipe of melted snow from the hood our truck; the sample returned a reading of seven times greater than normal background radiation. The Jetstream was out of the Southwest, and the reading is in line with what is expected from rain fall originating from the Southerly Jetstream (post Fukushima)

Friday, February 10, 2012

2/10/12 4:15pm Light Snow Radioactive At 20X Greater Than Background Radiation

We took a paper towel swipe of melted light snow from the hood of our SUV at 4:15pm on 2/10/12; that sample returned a value of 20X greater than background radiation.

Twenty Times background radiation (approximately 0.20 mR/hr) is the typical minimum fallout reading we have gotten from Northern Jetstream storms since the August 2011 earthquakes in Fukushima.

The current reading is from the leading edge of the Northern Jetsteam moving through the Saint Louis region; we expect readings to increase if the snowfall continues through the evening.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saint Louis Snowfall Measuring 4X Greater Than Background Radiation

The reading was taken from a typical paper towel wipe from our truck; the snow had been falling for approximately 2 hours. The sample returned 4x background radiation.

[Alert] West Chester, Pa: Hershey's Mill Retirement Community: 100 R/hr Source And Death From Infection

Previously we reported on an NRC event report concerning an old ONE HUNDRED REM PER HOUR Radium 226 source which was left in a public area and later discovered at a recycling facility. That NRC event report indicated that the 100 R/hr source was NOT "to be of concern from a radiological standpoint". Hopefully, those of you who read the blog understood how corrupt the public safety aspects of such a report really are.

To put the 100 Rem/Hr dose rate in context; "At whole body doses near 400 rem, if no medical attention is given, about 50% of the people are expected to die within 60 days of the exposure, due mostly from infections". Given that kind of boundary condition, it hardly seems in the best interest of public safety for the NRC event report to state that 100 Rem/hour source is of no radiological concern.

Of course given that this source was left out in public at a RETIREMENT VILLAGE, who exactly is going to question if some old people die of infections in the coming weeks? So what are the odds of a whole body 400 rem dose at a retirement village from a 100 Rem/Hr discrete source? We would wager that they are good enough that a wise personal injury attorney would seek an autopsy for anyone at the retirement village who dies in the next few months.

Fortunately at least someone in Pennsylvania is trying to do a tiny bit to alert the people who may have come into contact with the source. Here is the relevant excerpt from the press release-

DEP health physicists worked with Waste Management to properly evaluate and store the radium, and traced its source to a roll-off container that had come from the Hershey's Mill retirement community in West Chester.
The radium-226 was contained in four capsules inside a small lead safe marked "Radium Chemical Co., Inc." The safe and some antique surgical equipment were stored inside a larger, locking metal box, which had been pried open. 
"Although the capsules do not appear to be leaking, we believe that someone could have had direct contact with these sources of radium-226," Allard said. "The radioactive radium they contain is about five times the amount found in modern medical sources, and we are concerned about the health of anyone who may have handled them."
Anyone with information about the kit is asked to contact Allard at 717-787-2480. All calls are confidential. To view photos of the lead safe and other contents of the box, visit and click on "Bureau of Radiation Protection."

[ALERT] Prepare For Increased Fukushima Fallout, STAY OUT OF THE RAIN!

Hat tip to Mauibrad, for the link to the video below.


The POTRBLOG team previously predicted that winter Fukushima recriticalities would be easier to spot because the cold ground temperatures would make the ground water upwelling as radioactive steam more easily visible. In the same manner, we also predicted that these radioactive ground water steam upwellings would melt the snow surrounding them. With the predicted snow showers for the upcoming week and the on going recriticality, we should have our first strong potential for spotting this phenomena (assuming the cameras let us see it).

As unfortunate as these events are, they do provide us early warning that more Fukushima Fallout will be on the Jet Stream. We expect increased levels of readily detectable short half life radiation in rain swipes resulting from the high levels of Radon present in the ground water. These high short half life levels likely are strong predictors of high amounts of harder to detect man-made Fukushima fallout in those same rain swipes.
Suitable cost effective risk mitigation actions would be well advised.

Ground Water Steam Video.

[ALERT] Byron Illinois Reactor SCRAMMED During Restart, YOU SHOULD TOO

If the POTRBLOG team lived near Byron Illinois, much like their Nuclear Plant, we would scram too. Yesterday, the operators had to manually SCRAM the reactor during a restart attempt. They were restarting the reactor after the previous SCRAM which involved a blast of radioactive steam leakage.

The most dangerous time for any reactor is when people are mucking around with it. And, reading the latest NRC event report indicates there is A LOT of MUCKING around with the Byron reactor. It is enough that we would not hang around the Byron area (or downwind) during any reactor restart.

For example, this little excerpt from the event report SPEAKS VOLUMES:

"2FW009C was the first valve to be opened due to previously experienced problems with this valve being stuck in the seat."

The POTRBLOG team considers this to be a "safety procedure" similar  to stepping on your car's brakes as you pull out of your driveway because you know you have a brake problem. A competent person would document the problem and not drive that car, or let anyone else drive it, until the brakes were fixed.

So what does that say about the Byron Nuclear Plant? Well, it indicates that the Byron Nuclear Plant is operating with a known fault under UNDOCUMENTED TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE and NOT UNDER STANDARDIZED POLICY AND PROCEDURE. If there is not a better sign to get the out of heck out Byron during any reactor restart, we don't know what it would be. If we lived there we would want to know when they were planning to restart the reactor, and we would make sure we were out of town and upwind when they were doing it.

Yesterday's SCRAM may have was stopped short of cold shutdown, and that helped hush the NUCLEAR RAPE WHISTLE. If you wait for the Nuclear Rape Whistle, you may have waited too long.

Below is video of the rape whistle from the previous reactor SCRAM and radioactive leak.

Monday, February 6, 2012

[Good News] Cooper Nuclear Station Finds FOD Filled Fuel Lines

Any one who has scanned the daily NRC event reports probably has a good idea how Situation Normal All Fouled Up (SNAFU) the entire regulatory system really is. One key aspect of such a feigned saftey structure is keeping SNAFUs from going FUBAR (Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition).

In that regard, someone at Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska was vigilant enough to keep a SNAFU from going FUBAR. That person performed a quality assurance inspection on a shipment of high pressure fuel lines which are used to supply the emergency diesel generators with fuel. They found that those fuel lines were clogged with manufacturing debris (FOD). Had those FOD filled fuel lines been installed, the Nuclear Plant likely would not have had emergency power available during a station blackout, and that could have quickly lead to a Fukushima FUBAR scenario. Without a doubt, the FOD finder deserves a gold star.

Of course the question remains how such an escaped defect SNAFU in such an important piece of equipment ever happened at the fuel line manufacturer. Obviously it is the type of situation one might expected when buying a fuel line for a 1972 Ford Pinto, but it is not the type of quality assurance one expects for a fuel line going into a Nuclear Plant.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

17X Background Radiation in 5:30pm 2/4/12 Saint Louis Misting Rain

At 5:30pm we took a sample swipe from our truck and it returned a reading of 17 times greater than background radiation. The reading is significantly less than the 30-50X background measurement we had late yesterday evening; however, the reading is still somewhat high for a jetstream blowing out of the South West.

Friday, February 3, 2012

5:50pm 2/3/12 Saint Louis Fallout Rain At 10X Background Radiation

Leading edge of the 2/3/12 rain storm returned a reading of 10X background radiation (0.109 mR/hr) in a sample swipe taken from the surface of our SUV. Given the current Southerly JetStream we expected the readings to be in the 10x range.

Readings may increase as the storms continue tonight and tomorrow, however we do not expect readings to go above 20X background. We will update this report with further testing as the storms continue.

10:30pm Update:
Samples returned between 33X to 51X times background radiation; the sample most comparable to the 5:50pm reading returned 38X background (0.384 mR/hr). The readings are higher than expected.

100 R/hr Source Found in Pennsylvania NOT a "Concern From a Radiological Standpoint"

An NRC event report came out yesterday about an old Radium 226 source that was found at a waste management company in Pennsylvania. The source measured 2 R/hr INSIDE a lead box, and 100 R/hr at contact.

  "The unlocked roll-off container was located for several weeks in a parking lot of an adult-only living community in West Chester, PA while a contractor performed work on townhomes in the development".

Despite the nature of the situation this 100 R/hr alpha source is considered by the authorities to not be a concern from a radiological standpoint.

So to sum it up a 'safe' 100 R/hr source that the authorities say is no threat to anyone makes its way on to the NRC event reports, in the mean time the partial shutdown and radiation leak from the North Anna nuclear plant STILL HAS NOT APPEARED IN A NRC EVENT REPORT.

SAN ONOFRE: The Tubes Don't Want to Wait Anymore

Tubes at San Onofre
Didn't want to wait anymore
They where eaten thin
its a symptom
but its not their sin

Chemistries gone bad,
Look at the puddle
Look in the core
Look to the Futures
We're all worn thin

That was our midnight haiqua, and relevant music video selection for the San Onofre radioactive leak.

Now to put it country plain and simple: The POTRBLOG SWAG is that the tubes weren't the problem, but rather the result. Chemistry is the problem, it is related to the refueling, and that we were lucky that the tubes failed before the fuel did. We'll be even more lucky if it is only limited to San Onofre. Expect electrical futures to climb, when the leaks start pouring out of the NRC.