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Low Radioactivity North American ETA Update

Tyler Durden's picture


Following on yesterday's report of Easterly migrating radiation through the Gulfstream, today's Reuters chimes in with an update of their own. To wit: "Low concentrations of radioactive particles from Japan's disaster-hit nuclear power plant have been heading eastwards and are expected to reach North America in days, a Swedish official said on Thursday. Lars-Erik De Geer, research director at the Swedish Defence Research Institute, a government agency, was citing data from a network of international monitoring stations set up to detect signs of any nuclear weapons tests. He said he was convinced they would eventually be detected over the whole northern hemisphere." The good news is that the dosage is very limited: "It is only a question of very, very low activities so it is nothing for people to worry about," De Geer said." Naturally, with the credibility of every government around the world shot, it is no surprise that most consumer Geiger counter stores are sold out of inventory at this point, at virtualy all price points. For those who managed to get their hands on one when we first noted the coming Geiger bubble, congratulations.


"In the past when they had nuclear weapons tests in China ... then there were similar clouds all the time without anybody caring about it at all," he said.

Before he spoke, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission advised any Americans living near Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to move at least 50 miles away but it played down the risks of contamination to the United States.

"All the available information continues to indicate Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

De Geer was commenting on data from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), a Vienna-based independent body for monitoring possible breaches of the test ban.

He said he believed the radioactive particles would "eventually also come here."

The CTBTO has more than 60 stations around the world which can pick up very low levels of radioactive particles such as caesium and iodine isotopes.

It continuously provides data to its member states, including Sweden, but does not make the details public.

The New York Times said a CTBTO forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume showed it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting southern California late on Friday.

In a similar way, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 spread around the globe and reached the west coast of the United States in 10 days, its levels measurable but minuscule, the newspaper said. The CTBTO projection gave no information about actual radiation levels but only showed how a radioactive plume would probably move and disperse, it said.

The only two developments that can adversely affect the status quo at this point would be the restart of a chain reaction at the plant, a possibility reported on yesterday, as well as a deterioration at the spent fuel rod pool which may or may not have any water in it at this point. Alas, nobody really knows.


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Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:05 | 1066368 string
string's picture

Will this fuck with the reception of my foil hat ?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:08 | 1066372 slow_roast
slow_roast's picture


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:14 | 1066394 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

Not really and your probabilities of being abducted are grim as grays really don't like any external radiation :D

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:18 | 1066412 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Bound to.

Got lead foil?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:35 | 1066485 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture


Extension cord or not... radiation is spreading fast...

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:14 | 1066646 snowball777
snowball777's picture

My guess: fake; the dosimeter is set on Batt (and fully charged!), but the sound effects were added after.

If not, that "iReporter" is a dead man walking.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:19 | 1066665 pemdas
pemdas's picture

No reason to panic.  Radiation levels in the U.S. will be less than a TSA scanner.  Oops, maybe that isn't so reassuring.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 16:43 | 1068256 dirtbagger
dirtbagger's picture

Forget the foil

Throw out the kosher salt and replace it with Morten's Iodized Salt

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:06 | 1066370 prophet
prophet's picture

My blood is already boiling.  I don't need a geiger counter to measure it.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:01 | 1066577 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

We need a seismograph!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:06 | 1066371 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

So pathetic how we can't trust information regarding shit like this-- here's to going to back to hoping the situation in Japan isn't going to get worse.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:53 | 1066552 herewego...
herewego...'s picture

Ya can't trust nobody...

...intentionally attempting to destroy civilian nuclear power in the United States....

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:07 | 1066376 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

looks like they have meters out there other than geiger counters.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:19 | 1066416 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

I reckon dees tings come wit instructions?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:56 | 1067086 I Feel Free
I Feel Free's picture

In the U.S., the EPA and NNSA have much more sophisticated instruments than that. They have gamma-ray spectrometers which are capable of identifying which isotopes are present in the environment (Cesium-137, Iodine-131, etc.). They have a monitoring network in the U.S., and you can be sure they are monitoring the air.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:07 | 1066377 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Back in the fifties and early sixties they would shoot off above ground nukes in Nevada. Nothing to fear or worry about they would say with a smile, they would ALWAYS wait for the wind to blowing to Utah before they shot they lit the fuse. Ask the downwinders of that era how safe low levels of radiation worked out for them.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:47 | 1066534 CD
CD's picture

Interesting documentary from Adam Curtis on the history of reactor design, and the soothing messages the industry crafted/crafts: A is for Atom

"And in 1971 the Atomic Energy Commission did a series of tests of Emergency Core Cooling systems. Accidents were simulated. In each case the emergency systems worked - but the water failed to fill the core. Often being forced out under pressure.


As one of the AEC scientists says in the film:

"We discovered that our theoretical calculations didn't have a strong correlation with reality. But we just couldn't admit to the public that all these safety systems we told you about might not do any good"

And again the warnings were ignored by senior members of the Agency and the industry.

That was the same year that the first of the Fukushima Daiichi plant's reactors came online. Supplied by General Electric."


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:08 | 1066378 morph
morph's picture


So now MSM is a good source of information? Talk about picking and choosing.

Plenty of people would disagree with this article, but of course their opinion doesn't fit into the world nuclear meltdown ideology.

Nuclear power != Nuclear weapons.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:13 | 1066391 romanko
romanko's picture

Holy crap Tyler, fear monger much?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:14 | 1066396 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

fuck the foil hat, ive been reading about cloud seeding air planes causing rain.

well get teh fuck out there and make it rain, preferably over japan

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:14 | 1066398 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Just fill out your brackets and all will be fine.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:14 | 1066399 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

To anyone  on ZH who has a Geiger counter go outside and post the results on ZH so that everyone Knows the REAL levels around the country ,so we do not have to rely on the Government BS that way we know for sure whats going on lets get organised , fuck the Government. If you want a job doing properly do it yourself , so what do you think ? So who has a counter

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:20 | 1066422 schoolsout
schoolsout's picture

my geiger counter is in my other pair of pants...

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:32 | 1066472 Agent P
Agent P's picture

I don't even know what a Geiger is, so how am I supposed to count them?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:44 | 1066520 Deepskyy
Deepskyy's picture

I tried counting them, but they won't sit still long enough and I kept losing count, so I gave up and decided to take up lawn darts.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:29 | 1066726 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I would, if I could. I looked into getting one after GW's article, but there's weeks of lead time to get one now.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:26 | 1066978 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Still Normal background levels here in Seattle, WA.

Will be checking daily.  If something changes I'll definitely post it.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:17 | 1066415 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Voluntary group that posts radiation levels in US

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:26 | 1066451 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

New York area (next to Indian Point:) radiation levels:

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:21 | 1066426 Cdad
Cdad's picture

The only two developments that can adversely affect the status quo at this point would be...


I beg to differ.  Voracious dip buying is on over at the VXX where every single investment bank is short to the tune of millions of shares...having abused the shit out of the creation units machine...just as Japan's economy sinks into a big black bag.  The gap up this morning notwithstanding, the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street is selling into this rise...and convincingly so.

Buy VXX...and get the fuck out of this ridiculous market...I says!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:44 | 1066524 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

DAX futures are up nearly 6% from last night's lows.  

I wonder if this is all about having 48 hours at most until particles hit the US and the mixture of isotopes reveals that there was a blow-out of the primary containment vessel in unit 3?  The more I see the shape of the explosion, the more I am convinced this is what happened..

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:51 | 1066542 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Don't know about Isotope travel times, but I seriously doubt this rally has 48 more minutes...much less 48 hours.

Not sure where Tyler's radiation update is, but it was already reported by the Ministry of Truth [CNBC] that "high radiation levels" have now reached out to the 30 kilometer range from the reactors...even as the Japanese government has its safety circle at 20 kilometers.

As for the DAX...the price of that market is perhaps even more disconnected from reality than is the S&P.

And more importantly, when this thing turns, comes the dip that no one will buy.  Market credibility is now expressed in negative terms.  Thank you criminal syndicate Wall Street bankers.

But anyway...on with stories about LuLu Lemon!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:21 | 1066427 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

In the 60's I lived by an airport, and fuel was dumped on my head. The surrounding area was farm land, spray heavily with DDT.

I'm going to worry about a little RAD rays? I'm tuffer than boiled owl shit.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:22 | 1066435 tmosley
tmosley's picture

So, where are the fucking numbers?

Just saying "radiation is here" does nothing but spur panic.  Give us the numbers, and repost that radiation chart from yesterday.

Not saying this is a failure on Tyler's part, but rather on the part of Reuters.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:25 | 1066445 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:29 | 1066464 HeavyHand
HeavyHand's picture

Yeah I was just about to post this, you beat me to it.  It's not enough to say "don't worry about it, it'll be too low", give us the data so we can make that determination for ourselves.  

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:34 | 1066475 romanko
romanko's picture

you know what, I don't think it's about the numbers at all, it's all about the headlines - that's all it takes to fullfill the agenda of the source

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:33 | 1066477 romanko
romanko's picture

you know what, I don't think it's about the numbers at all, it's all about the headlines - that's all it takes to fullfill the agenda of the source

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:40 | 1066512 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Latest I have..(all numbers in uSv/hr)

0.0020 Vancouver

0.0030 South Cent WA st.

0.0028 San Fran


All well within normal.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:57 | 1066565 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Where are you getting your numbers?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:21 | 1066939 snowball777
snowball777's picture

EPA RadNet

You need to set up an account (I may be fined or jailed for all I know), but the info from all RadNet participants is there for the browsing...

Fixed Monitor Location: CA: SAN FRANCISCO
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/17/2011 02:36:39 PM
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/17/2011 03:36:46 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 18

Fixed Monitor Location: CA: EUREKA
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/17/2011 02:56:22 PM
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/17/2011 03:56:30 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 16

Fixed Monitor Location: OR: PORTLAND
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/17/2011 02:48:42 PM
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/17/2011 03:48:50 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 12

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:53 | 1067075 stephysat28
stephysat28's picture

Thanks for info. site down now , of course.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:27 | 1066721 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Sorry those should read

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:01 | 1066875 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Still within normal?  

Also, where are those numbers coming from?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:26 | 1066980 ShatteredArm
ShatteredArm's picture

Yes.  0.02 microsieverts is nothing.  By comparison, sleeping next to a human overnight will expose you to 0.5 microsieverts of radiation.

The highest officially reported radiation right outside the Fukushima plants is something like 1,000 mSv/hour, which is still small compared to the readings of up to 300,000 mSv/hour outside Chernobyl.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 21:29 | 1069508 AreWeThereYet
AreWeThereYet's picture

Does this mean my Sour Kush will be "Sour"?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:45 | 1067039 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Bingo! If we had some actual numbers then perhaps people would relax.  Problem is, from looking at a bunch of sites/forums/youtube, people are freaking out over low normal background numbers.  The press reports maps and charts from anybody with a computer, (arbitrary units in the NYT? LOL)   Nobody trusts the government.  If they post nothing, we scream.  If they post something, they panic.

What would be helpful would be a simple webpage that: - a) lists SV, GY, Rad, and Ren, and their conversions. (Notice how the shit we reads comes in Sieverts, Grays, and Rads? Micro, milli, nano, pico, kiss my ass.   Is this done by MSM to create more panic/confusion?  Nobody knows what the hell they're actually reading)  b) readings from official monitoring stations (of course nobody trusts them), c) create a larger network of citizens with counters (but how many people have old uncalibrated equipment they don't know how to use?  More panic?)

Bottom line is, at this point we're getting fed nothing but horseshit.  I don't know which is more maddening, being kept in the dark, or reading the bullshit people are putting on line.  If you know someone with equipment, see what they're getting.  But take the info with a grain of salt.  Also, keep in mind that RadiationNetwork says normal background is 0-60 CPM.  They don't even consider a reading at an "alert" stage until 130.  Also, if you are monitoring that site, or others like BlackCat, those meters are not online all the time, and are spaced so far apart that they can't be considered comprehensive. 

Don't panic.  Watch.  And IMHO, the most important meter out there right now is the "bullshit meter".


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:21 | 1066436 Rhone_Ranger
Rhone_Ranger's picture

Mauybe they need to do one of those "junk shots," since it worked so well for B.P. in the gulf???

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:26 | 1066447 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

heres a measure of panic for you

for shits and giggles i listed a two hundred dose bottle of KI on craigslist philadelphia for best offer over five hundred dollars yesterday

i had purchased 3 of them days before this whole shindig for my disaster cache at 15 bucks a bottle

i accepted an offer of 720$ within a half hour of listing it

keep mongering that fear...i've got two bottles left to sell


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:36 | 1066488 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

KIpad price levels.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:17 | 1066655 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

except you CAN eat it

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:13 | 1066631 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

Wow, free capital markets at work.

It is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Also heard that caneries are great for RAD detection. One store said they were "Literally flying off the shelf".

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:54 | 1067084 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Top list price for KI on ebay is $3500.  Plus $16 shipping.  I wonder if it will sell.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:35 | 1066481 prophet
prophet's picture

One of my all time favorite vids (I'm a pretty sentimental guy).  Forward to 1:59:30 and watch for one minute.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:40 | 1066486 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

Duck and Cover


and footage of soldiers observing a nuke in Nevada (scroll to minute 2)

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:38 | 1066497 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


Great that they tell us, that people were not concerned when China was testing its nuclear weapons.


Maybe, but only maybe, it's because PEOPLE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE TESTS ?


Maybe because governments don't want us to know about that ?!

Because in their eyes we are the stupid sheeple, the cattle !


Just like people didn't know about Chernobyl until 4 days after the event, because no one in the Soviet Union seemed to think it's necessary to inform anyone.


Just a stupid little guess of mine...


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:39 | 1066503 Jim B
Jim B's picture


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:45 | 1066532 Mal
Mal's picture


I have a nukalert but I bought it years ago in the event of a problem at  Indian Point or a dirty bomb in the city.

It probably wouldn't alert on the low levels even if you were standing in a visible cloud of it.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:53 | 1066549 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

The count this morning in central Missouri was normal.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:53 | 1066551 benb
benb's picture

The radiation from Three Mile Island was 100 times what the government criminals told the public. But John Q. had to wait 15 years to find that out. Most still do not know.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 10:58 | 1066567 The Butchers Dog
The Butchers Dog's picture

I disagree with "In the past when they had nuclear weapons tests in China ... then there were similar clouds all the time without anybody caring about it at all,"

There are a number of studies on Childhood lukemia from contaminated milk in Illinois following those Chinese Nuke tests.

Also didn't like:  "All the available information continues to indicate Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,"

That would be great and all except for the clarification of harmful.  Sort of like how the Chinese gubmint changed the acceptable levels of radiation by 150% yesterday.  A matter of perspective.

BTW, I pulled out my Radiological Survey Meter (Geiger) to get a baseline before the jet stream brings the juice.  At X0.1 setting got a 0 reading.  We'll see about next week.

select northern hemisphere and the animated loop.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:04 | 1066589 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture

Thanks. Your contribution is highly appreciated.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:36 | 1066766 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Headed toward New York and the northern eastern states.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:32 | 1066745 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Need some of those lead vests they use in the hospital, when giving you x rays.

About 4 would do it if they would cover your body.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:51 | 1066821 gordengeko
gordengeko's picture

unless you buy your iodine pills from china, good chance they'll have lead in them.  save money on buying the vests.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 11:55 | 1066842 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Grangers has Radiation Detectors.  I do not want one but for anyone who does:

Maybe they would overnight your purchase.


Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:24 | 1066970 gwar5
gwar5's picture

"Very small amounts of radiation. It's the equivalent of eating only one-half of a plutonium sandwich per year."  -- US Nuclear Regulatory Agency

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 12:56 | 1067091 JayQuePublic
JayQuePublic's picture

Maybe I'm a little late to comment, but I just got off the phone with a pharmacist in California, who told me that pharmacies cannot even order Potassium Iodide (KI) at this time because the U.S. Government has stepped in and is taking all production for its use.  But, I guess there's no need to worry, 'cause Uncle Sammy will take care of all of us.....right????  We are so-ooo screwed!

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 23:20 | 1069893 xPat
xPat's picture

Following on yesterday's report of Easterly migrating radiation through the Gulfstream...

Considering that the GULFstream is an OCEAN current that begins in the Gulf of Mexico, rounds Florida, moves up the U.S. EAST coast, then turns east into the ATLANTIC, I find it rather hard to believe that the GULFstream could play a role in the movement of radioactivity from Japan to the U.S. WEST coast.

Even if Tyler meant to refer to the JET stream, it's highly questionable what would elevate the particles anywhere close to jetstream altitudes, and all credible analysis I've seen suggests this will be an entirely tropospheric event.

Gotta love ZeroCred...


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 04:53 | 1070394 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

Fixed Monitor Location: CA: FRESNO
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 06:52:35 AM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 07:52:43 AM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 233

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