Friday, February 24, 2012

USGS Paper: "Wet Deposition of Fission-Product Isotopes to North America from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Incident, March 2011"

The paper by Wetherbee, Gregory A. et al was published online on February 22, 2012 ahead of the print, on Environmental Science and Technology.

Abstract, from Environmental Science and Technology (emphasis is mine):

Using the infrastructure of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), numerous measurements of radionuclide wet deposition over North America were made for 167 NADP sites before and after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station incident of March 12, 2011. For the period from March 8 through April 5, 2011, wet-only precipitation samples were collected by NADP and analyzed for fission-product isotopes within whole-water and filterable solid samples by the United States Geological Survey using gamma spectrometry.

Variable amounts of 131I, 134Cs, or 137Cs were measured at approximately 21% of sampled NADP sites distributed widely across the contiguous United States and Alaska. Calculated 1- to 2-week individual radionuclide deposition fluxes ranged from 0.47 to 5100 Becquerels per square meter during the sampling period. Wet deposition activity was small compared to measured activity already present in U.S. soil. NADP networks responded to this complex disaster, and provided scientifically valid measurements that are comparable and complementary to other networks in North America and Europe.

The map above the abstract at Environmental Science and Technology indicates cesium-137 deposition between 0.8 to 240 becquerels/square meter. But without seeing the paper I have no idea how the numbers on the map are related to the numbers in the abstract. (My guess is that the numbers in the abstract, particularly the high number, include iodine-131.)

For more about the paper, here's USGS webpage on the NADP.

USGS press release on February 22, 2012 regarding the paper is here.

Open-File Report detailing the results and methodology is here.

Here's an interesting map at USGS page on the NADP. Green dots represent the NADP sites, and "Dot size represents relative deposition amounts. Fallout amounts measured in precipitation by USGS provide a clearer picture of fission-product wet deposition across the USA."


Anonymous said...

Is that a large deposit near DENVER? Our family is there with children and some cases of thyroid cancer. Was?is MORE exposure to danger caused by Fukushima? We thought it was safe in the USA. They can not afford anymore radiation. Why not warn the public? Or is this a way to insure we all sign up for OBAMACARE?

Anonymous said...

If previous "Anonymous" is concerned about his/her family, I suggest he/she use what's left of his/her wisdom to get rid of the republican and democrat establishment that are greatly in favor of nuclear power. Most of the extra-natural radiation in Denver is there from all the nuclear bomb tests and from whatever escapes into the environment from nuclear power plants that don't have to report it if it does not exceed what the U.S. government has determined to be a safe level. Anonymous' "family" has been living in a mini Fukushima for decades, and it ain't gonna get any better soon. Sounds like he/she probably has no idea what he/she means by "OBAMACARE" either. We don't need meaningless political statements on this site.

Anonymous said...

>We don't need meaningless political statements on this site.

That's for the blogger/site admin to decide, not you. Besides, your comment is full of political statements.

netudiant said...

I am a bit surprised by these figures, as the fairly sketchy numbers collected by RadNet at the time of the accident showed considerably more activity in Alaska and Washington State than in Colorado or California, at least to the best of my recollection.

More to the point, the reality that this accident created a shroud of contamination that covers the earth, most densely in Japan, least densely in the southern hemisphere, is underscored by these figures. The problem cannot be fixed, it can only be modestly mitigated by removing the most contaminated materials from human proximity. Beyond that, large scale cleanup is a pipedream.

Anonymous said...

I see that a nuclear power plant is better than a bombala
oops.////U WORRIED? NAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
maybe the nukes will go bankrupt and we can have a fucking democracy.
surprised at these communist nations that CAME OUT OF THE CLOSET

Anonymous said...

Here is one thing to ALWAYS remember....ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ALWAYS LIE! They understate the serious statistics and overstate anything that is slightly positive.

For example, they overstate a movement of low-paying job creation as a "positive heating up of the economy". They understate serious facts, "no noticeable effects on the public from "Fuckisima" radiation."

So these dangerous stats are ALWAYS 100% understated. The problem is much, much worst and growing more deadly for the public every day.

Obama wants and is pushing for more nuclear plants here, which we have NO need for.

If we did need them, it's time for America to STOP watching millions of hours of useless, mind-numbing TV; STOP leaving lights on all night long; and own less electric-wasting junk that consumes power!" Otherwise, nuclear power generating plants, will kill millions in the next coming years worldwide!

Did you know that 80% of the steam a nuke plant generates, ends up in cooling towers because they can't use it to run the turbines? So, obviously it's an extremely wasteful technology and polluting every second its on!

JD said...

"The star "Wormwood" fell into the sea and poisoned a third of the living creatures. A third of the grass died and a third of the people also."

Fukushima is not even the beginning. Things are going to get very dicey. There will be no place to hide. The elite's underground bunkers, like Iron Mountain, will be their burial crypts.

Men will hide beneath the rocks and cry out for the mountains to fall on them. A third of the world population will die and then a third of who is left will die. Then! A third of the remaining population will perish. Ugh!

1/3 of 6,000,000,000 = 2,000,000,000 dead leaving 4,000,000,000
1/3 of 4,000,000,000 = 1,300,000,000 dead leaving 2,700,000,000
1/3 of 2,700,000,000 = 900,000,000 surviving souls

For some of you folks who think that knocking off 5.1 billion people is a good thing is insane considering that the remaining .9 billion people will be in a sorry ass state. The environment will be upside down at best. It has begun. The end of days is upon us.

Laugh or mock if you wish, but despite your scoffing the destruction is beginning and it will only get worse.

No one will escape the calamity that had already begun.

Believers say your prayers while you can.

Atheists, well good luck...

Have a good life while you can............................I am going fishing!

Anonymous said...

Watch where you fish....

SP: I often think about Hiroto Abe who died unexpectedly of acute leukemia at age 24 last September after trying to prove the point the salt and fresh water Fukushima fish he was catching and eating were safe to eat(obviously most observers think he was wrong).
Japanese page here (Google Chrome gives an excellent translation)

Enenews article on Mr. Abe:
Also the sick with leukemia TV host Norikazu Otsuka in Japan comes to mind in that same Enenews article.
Direct link to his story:

Anonymous said...

Very good article on the deal with Japan and its insanity..


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

DRAW A PENIS CUTED WITH A KNIFE TO GIVE THE MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You can't seal the whole damn thing up because nuclear reactions are still going on. It will explode. Chernobyl was different because it exploded and released a lot of radiation but then it was over. They were able to seal it because the nuclear reaction ended with the explosion.

Anonymous said...

Laugh or mock if you wish, but despite your scoffing the destruction is beginning and it will only get worse.

Who the fuck are you hallucinating is laughing and mocking ?? Can you fucking understand what people are writing in these comments? YOUR READING COMPREHENSION IS NIL.

Anonymous said...

Time to shut down the Uranium reactors and start thinking of using thorium reactors.

Thorium is much safer and there is no need to store nuclear waste with Thorium reactors as they use almost all the fuel as it creates the heat needed to create the steam for the generators.

Thorium should be the fuel we now are using but Uranium has a huge amount of money invested in it and those that own the uranium mines do not want thorium, which is much more plentiful, to be used. So we end up with disasters like Fukushima and Chernobyl.

Anonymous said...

Please stop with the thorium reactor baloney. You make it sound so simple but a thorium reactor is very, very unsafe (imagine a company like TEPCO running one. dear God, no) and will not be available for commercial use in the near future, if ever.

Anonymous said...

>No one will escape the calamity that had already begun.

>Believers say your prayers while you can.

>Atheists, well good luck...

>Have a good life while you can............................I am going fishing!

Nobody here except pagans or wiccans and we hate you. Why do you keep coming back to bother us, you sanctimonious asshat.

Anonymous said...

think people .. nobody can get close enough to these things to do ANYTHING .! period (exclamation point) All the effort onsite is to achieve the goal of simply making it safe enough to operate remote machinery in order to facilitate intel gathering. Every discovery only leads to theory because the core problem (if you would excuse the term) is not yet definitive. The deposition of RA particles in the US on this chart is also not definitive (a circle hardly tells the true story). Is it serious ... yes it sure is, but arguing anonymously about who is more stupid or making statements without fact is useless. You need to start at the source and work your way home .. call bullshit on EVERYONE who tells you that NP is safe or needed or containable and if they are in office ... for for ANYONE but them. God help us all. Good Luck MK

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:18PM -- I agree re: thorium. Although rather than enormous centralized nuclear reactors I would like to see mini-sized, black-box indestructible, self-operating reactors installed in individual businesses and households. If not on this small a scale then at least of the size to provide electricity to a single community, rather than covering a vast region of hundreds or thousands of communities. Basically I believe that decentralization is the key. It may sound far-fetched but I think it is possible. The smaller scaled power sources would make us less vulnerable to massive grid failure. (Our current grid is aging dangerously and has grown in complexity and interdependency over the years.) We need to eliminate our dependence on a system that puts us at the mercy of monolithic power companies and increases our vulnerability to natural or man-made disasters. This decentralized approach would be more efficient because transmission losses would be reduced. If a community had a problem with a power unit then a new unit could be snapped into place quickly and the power outage would be limited in scope. Mass production of these small power units would bring their cost down and make them available to even the most remote and poorest regions of the earth. It would then be people power not corporate power electrifying the world. A monopoly on the production of the power units would ideally be made illegal so that any company could make them as long as rigorous safety and quality standards were met. This all seems possible, considering how our science innovations seem to be developing at an exponential rate these days. Time to switch the focus from weapons of mass extinction to reactors of mass electrification (built on a small scale model that is).

Anonymous said...

My god ---- you people are morons.

Anonymous said...

China and France are now going to start using thorium reactors. Saying it is a pipe dream is having your head up a dark dank nether region.

Thorium has proved to be a safe alternative as it is self controlling and does not overheat and explode as uranium seems to want to do.

Anonymous said...

Murphy's law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

In case of Chinese, the weakest component that can go wrong is human. Don't know about France.

netudiant said...

Thorium reactors come in several flavors.
The simplest use is merely to substitute thorium for uranium in the fuel rods of existing reactors.
More interesting, but much less proven, are the various molten salt thorium reactors, which descend from a small prototype the US ran until 1974.
No one has built a thorium power reactor anywhere, so it will take time to design, debug and certify such a plant. Moreover, after this disaster, no one will be in a hurry to build lots of them until there is some real world experience that they perform as advertised.

Anonymous said...

During this crisis, the pop pseudo-theology of fringe preachers is having effects even more dangerous than those from fallout.

For a sober and credible commentary on Revelation, please see Archbishop Averky Taushev's book "Apocalypse," an English-language paperback well worth a read. (See

A good antidote to current end-times fearmongering, Taushev's book is brief, lucid, authoritative, and far more profitable reading than the rants of so-called exegetes who would not know exegesis if it bit them.

Anonymous said...

Here is Germany's foray into a PARTIALLY thorium fuelled commercial reactor using uranium-235 and thorium-232.

Impressive, eh? Startup was in 1985, shutdown in 1989. It's the future! NOT.

"On September 1, 1989 the THTR-300 was deactivated due to its ever rising cost: in August, 1989, the THTR-company became almost bankrupt after a long shut down time due to broken components in the hot gas duct. It had to be bailed out by the government with an amount of 92 million Deutschmark[3]. Also, increased public scrutiny following both the Chernobyl accident and the THTR-300 fuel pebble event of May 4, 1986, in which a fuel pebble became lodged in a fuel feed pipe to the core and some radioactive dust was released to the environment, played some role in the decision for shut down. Further German utilities had lost any interest in pebble bed reactors. On October 10, 1991, the 180-metre (590 ft) high dry cooling tower, which at one time was the highest cooling tower in the world, was explosively dismantled and from October 22, 1993 to April 1995 the remaining fuel was unloaded and transported to the intermediate storage in Ahaus. The remaining facility was "safe enclosed" and dismantling will not start before 2027."

Anonymous said...

Substitute nuke for nuke? They said our present uranium fuelled reactors were safe, safe safe and cost efficient.

Nuke engineers scoffed(and oddly some still do on Physics Forums) at the mere thought of meltdown involving breach of containment. It could never happen!!! The nuke industry has regulatory bodies that keep operators in check! The plants are built to withstand anything! No way any plant would be situated in a mega-high risk zone. If things weren't right there would be whistleblowers! Old decrepit reactors would be decommissioned the minute wear and tear was observed! No one in their right mind would take crazy risks or cut corners where dangerous nuclear material was concerned!

Thorium reactors will be so much safer!


actuallyIamarobot said...

The claims that thorium reactors are safe is just another attempt to perpetuate nuclear energy, which is never safe.

Anonymous said...

>I would like to see mini-sized, black-box indestructible, self-operating reactors installed in individual businesses and households.

Good God, man, are you nutz?

China and France are going to use thorium reactors? Nobody has built a commercial molten salt reactor yet. And your highly imaginary mini-sized reactors would have to be molten salt reactors.

A particularly loud LOL at "indestructable" and "installed in individual businesses and households".

Anonymous said...

Let's give a big hurrah for partial thorium or molten salt reactors! Forget about solar, tidal, wind and geothermal sources of energy. Yes, after all the uranium is mined out, let's go for the thorium. That's going to be some awesome progress right there. :-((((

Ivan said...

Floride salt in liquid form as coolant and fuel, it's terrible corrosive and irritable(explosion or ignition) when in presence of moisture and/or heat and/or oxygen. This is only one of problems with molten salt reactor plan but maybe most dangerous. I rather have sometimes non-optimal performing solar panel in home than indestructible(like Titanic ship, haha) mimi molten salt reactor using highly temperamental coolant and moderator(graphite) that can easily catch fire. Anyway I'm doubting MSR it's going anywhere in future.

Anonymous said...

Rocky Flatts in the suburbs NW.of Denver is very contaminated with Plutonium dust and other nasty's.Good source of Leukemia, Thyroid and various other cancers.Check it out on

Atomfritz said...

Really sad to see how little remained of the once-extensive environmental radioactivity measurement network of the USA.

Remember, the funding of this measuring network was massively cut down in the 1970s after Sternglass, Gofman, Tamplin and other nuclear-critical researchers proved the danger of nuclear power plant emissions by correlating infant mortality, child cancers and stillbirths to nuclear power plant emissions using data of this massive measurement network which was established in the Cold war age.

After the massive funds cutting only a very patchy measurement network remained, as the map shows very well.

The three-monkey-syndrome isn't a Japan-specific phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

The best solution is to round up all of the advocates of nuclear energy, and imprison them on an island in the middle of the ocean. They are not fit to coexist with normal human beings.

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