Wave of Radiation from Fukushima Will Be 10 Times Bigger than All of the Radiation from Nuclear Tests Combined

George Washington's picture

There was no background radioactive cesium before above-ground nuclear testing and nuclear accidents started.

Wikipedia provides some details on the distribution of cesium-137 due to human activities:

Small amounts of caesium-134 and caesium-137 were released into the environment during nearly all nuclear weapon tests and some nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.




Caesium-137 is unique in that it is totally anthropogenic. Unlike most other radioisotopes, caesium-137 is not produced from its non-radioactive isotope, but from uranium. It did not occur in nature before nuclear weapons testing began. By observing the characteristic gamma rays emitted by this isotope, it is possible to determine whether the contents of a given sealed container were made before or after the advent of atomic bomb explosions. This procedure has been used by researchers to check the authenticity of certain rare wines, most notably the purported “Jefferson bottles”.

As the EPA notes:

Cesium-133 is the only naturally occurring isotope and is non-radioactive; all other isotopes, including cesium-137, are produced by human activity.

What people call “background” radiation is really the amount of radiation deposited into the environment within the last 100 years from nuclear tests and nuclear accidents (and naturally-occurring substances, such as radon).

2,053 nuclear tests occurred between 1945 and 1998:


Above-ground nuclear tests – which caused numerous cancers to the “downwinders” – were covered up by the American, French and other governments for decades. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

But the amount of radiation pumped out by Fukushima dwarfs the amount released by the nuclear tests.

As nuclear engineer and former nuclear executive Arnie Gundersen notes, the wave of radioactive cesium from Fukushima which is going to hit the West Coast of North America will be 10 times greater than from the nuclear tests (starting at 55:00).

This graphic from Woods Hole in Massachusetts – one of the world’s top ocean science institutions – shows how much more cesium was dumped into the sea off Japan from Fukushima as compared to nuclear testing and Chernobyl:

(And Fukushima radiation has arrived on the West Coast years earlier than predicted.)

The Canadian government has confirmed in October that Fukushima radiation will exceed “levels higher than maximum fallout” from the nuclear tests.

The party line from the Japanese, Canadian and American governments are that these are safe levels of radiation.   Given that those countries have tried to ban investigative journalism and have tried to cover up the scope of the Fukushima disaster, people may want to investigate for ourselves.

For example, Gundersen notes that the U.S. government flew helicopters with special radiation testing equipment 90 days after the Fukushima meltdown happened.  The government said it was just doing a routine “background radiation” check, but that it was really measuring the amount of “hot particles” in the Seattle area (starting at 27:00). Hot particles are inhaled and become very dangerous “internal emitters”. The government then covered up the results on the basis of “national security”.

As the Washington Department of Health noted at the time:

A helicopter flying over some urban areas of King and Pierce counties will gather radiological readings July 11-28, 2011. [Seattle is in King County.] The U.S. Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measurement System will collect baseline levels of radioactive materials.




Some of the data may be withheld for national security purposes.

Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security and National Nuclear Security Administration sent low-flying helicopters over the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 to test for radiation. But they have not released the results.

Indeed, residents of Seattle breathed in 5 hot particles each day in April of 2011 … a full 50% of what Tokyo residents were breathing at the time:


(the video is from June 2011.)

After all, the reactors at Fukushima literally exploded … and ejected cladding from the reactors and fuel particles. And see this.

Gundersen says that geiger counters don’t measure hot particles. Unless the government or nuclear scientists measure and share their data, we are in the dark as to what’s really going on.

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spinone's picture

Can't you read?  Hot particles can't be detected by a geiger counter.

Tall Tom's picture

spinone wrote, "Can't you read?  Hot particles can't be detected by a geiger counter."


The Radiant Energy emitted by those Hot Particles can be detected by Geiger Counters. You may not be able to discern what particle is emitting the Radiant Energy...But you will know that something is.

Citxmech's picture

I was able to detect Fukashima on my Geiger Counters (yes, I am in Seattle).  It wasn't much of a bump - but it was getting clicks at about twice the normal background rate.  I think Stuck is actually right on this one guys.  The problem with airborne is that your detector won't pick up one or two particles - but your lungs act like a sticky fly trap and collect many over time - just like an air filter.  I think that this is how they test for this shit - just like a mold test.  Your car airfilters should be impregnated with many particles which should be detectable.  

I'll try this test again tonight and tell you what I get.

Mike in GA's picture

Betcha Bill Gates cozy cottage has radioactive sensors built in.  So watch Bill and Melinda.  When they move we'll know it's real.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Cesium 137 is a beta emitter.  Most Geiger counters are calibrated to Cs137 (Cesium).

WillyGroper's picture

I think it's the comprehension.

HobbyFarmer's picture

I used to hope mankind would get off this planet and spread...one planet is too vulnerable. 

Now, for the sake of the rest of the universe, I hope we remain earth-locked.

Buck Johnson's picture

We have poisoned our biosphere with this radiation that isn't naturally occuring.  We don't know what is okay or not, because it's never have been in our environment until the advent of Uranium and the making of nuclear reactors.  We may be looking at an extinction level event.

monkeyboy's picture

Here's to my new Potassium Iodide ETF which I'm looking to launch...

krispkritter's picture

We'd become some kind of galactic herpes.  As it is, I think we should start 'thinning the herd' by lopping off the head of the race, starting with banks/bankers, multi-nationals, politicians, etc. and maybe we'll get to the point where we've killed off enough of the fungus among us and the human race can start to right the ship and sail on.  Otherwise we're just stewing in this shit soup they've created and don't stand a chance.

Roehamster's picture

Are you familiar with Douglas Adams' "B Ark" from the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy?  Suddenly sprang to mind...

StychoKiller's picture

"You're a bloody load of useless loonies!"

Joe A's picture

We on earth are desendents from them. Explains a lot.

TheReplacement's picture

I have an idea.  Sort of a reverse hunger games.  Every year we take the 100 richest people in the world and make them fight to the death.  One would think that would discourage destructive greed and encourage philathropy.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

your idea inspired me!
Final battle: winner must eat the last survivors.
On the way there: contestants may purchase the execution of another contestant, price beginning with 1 billion dollars, multiply by 10 for each following purchase.
For those who die, of course, all assets are forfeit to the organizers of the games.
May the odds evah be in your favahhhhh

Freddie's picture

LOL!  Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger could wear their golden slippers.   I would pay to see maybe Larry Ellison finishing off Zuckerberg with a samuri sword.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture

Works for me except maybe we get to shoot the winners??

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

OK.  Here is the list of competitors for the initial round of games:


I pick first.  I pick entrant #2.

mkkby's picture

Kill all sociopaths, regardless of income level.  These are the predators who crave power and become the bankers, politicians, CEOs, generals, LEOs, mafia, etc.

Once that gene has been wiped out, mankind might be able to settle down to a peaceful, sustainable existance.

Goldilocks's picture

Locke versus Hobbes

Rule of law                (<---try shooting for this first)

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

when the sociopaths make all the laws then following the rule of law is as helpful as cutting your own throat.

rlouis's picture

funny, Zuckerberg is worth more than Ichan - and Ichan has been plundering the country for years.

Mike in GA's picture

Wow.  The magic of capitalism.  People gain and lose wealth all the time.  Schumpeter's creative destruction writ personal.  Rarely do banks lose. There's your real multi-generational wealth.

willwork4food's picture

It would be even more entertaining if we combined the shadiest, most corrupted politians that money could buy pitted against the banking scum.

By 2017 we might just have a chance to make it out alive.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

"We'd become some kind of galactic herpes."

Maybe, maybe not:

 An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century; it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.



Tall Tom's picture

Dick Buttkiss...There is a major problem with your hypothesis...


Exponential Growth leads to Exponential Collapse in all adiabatic systems. It will not happen as it is a Pipe Dream.


Dream on...Dream on.




rubiconsolutions's picture

Technology may be advancing more rapidly than a hundred or thousand years ago but man is by in large the same beast. He just has better tools at his disposal. His wooden club is now a 5 megaton hydrogen bomb. His slingshot is now a F-22 Raptor. His spear is now depleted uranium rounds. But is man any more moral than he was a thousand years ago? I don't think so. It doesn't matter how advanced mankind becomes if it is wielded by the someone with the same mental and emotional intelligence as existed in the distant past.

August's picture

Kurzweil is one of those "genius morons".  Perhaps you've encountered the type before:  sometimes they die young and famous, sometimes they live on as cranky old men with a limited talent for self-promotion.

carbonmutant's picture

People ridiculing Kurzweil's projections are not paying attention to current events.

The first team to build a sentient neural network is not going to call the press. They going to attempt to use it. Which means that it could be used to exploit markets and governments... Everybody recognizes the markets are being manipulated and they're all pointing fingers but the Banks and the FED are dependent on the options given by their models. They're just following orders.

However, a there are many ways to attack the problem of sentient processors. Google, IBM, Facebook all have (in house as well outside) development teams working on building a software agent that understands the meaning of words. That simple step will dramatically change how you interact with your computer and what your computer knows about you.

This raises the question, "Can you have understanding without sentience?"


flapdoodle's picture

Stephen Wolfram is another example in the "genius moron". Come to think of it, Bill Gates and Zuckerberg also fit the category, perhaps within subcategory "evil genius moron". Wolfram and Kurzweil aren't actually evil, just myopic...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Kurzweil's "law" of accelerating returns is a misguided attempt to extrapolate technological progress in a rather narrow field (advancements in microprocessors) over a relatively brief period (about 40 years) to all technological advancement.

Over this time, while chip-level computing power has been following Moore's law and doubling every 18 months, technological advancement in other fields hasn't been playing along.

Look at pharmaceutical R&D. Costs are sky high, especially if corners aren't cut and test results aren't rigged, and yet we're facing a diminishing selection of effective antibiotics and increasing challenges from drug-resistant bacteria.

Battery technology is another example. Huge fortunes stand to be made by anyone who can significantly increase the energy density of batteries. Just ten years of Moore's law-style advancement would have everyone driving electric vehicles, not because of subsidies or environmental reasons, but for reasons of economics and convenience. Fifteen years of such advancement and you'd have battery-powered aircraft dominating air transport.

Even Moore's law, as said by Gordon Moore himself, can't continue indefinitely, and is showing signs of slowing down. In what is sometimes called Moore's second law, costs of microprocessor R&D and the capital costs of chip fabrication facilities have also been increasing exponentially. This is another example of the diminishing marginal returns of increased investment in technology, a concept of which Kurzweil is unaware or willfully ignores.

This concept is one of the key points that Joseph Tainter pointed out in The Collapse of Complex Societies. It's best for Ray Kurzweil to let him be happy in his illusions. If he were to read that book, he might just hurl himself from a tall building.

TNTARG's picture

The only thing accelerating here is the ammount of shit we have to take.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Tainter confuses the complex with the complicated. The universe is complex and, at around 14 billion years old, is the very definition of sustainability. Conversely, the US Tax Code, which started out at seven pages, is now "10 times the size of the Bible with none of the good news" (http://news.yahoo.com/us-tax-code-longer-bible-without-good-news-1912085...) and is destined to collapse, along with its creator, in the not-too-distant future. That's because its creator, the state, is the most complicating apparatus in human history and, being inherently antisocial, thwarts the complexity that a free society would naturally generate, sustaining itself accordingly. Thus are we experiencing The Collapse of Complicated Societies, and thus are we entering (assuming we survive the collapse) a paradigm shift of unprecedented — nay, universal — proportions.

And no, Moore's Law is not failing:


On the contrary:


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Thanks to quantum mechanics Moore's Law failed a while ago for making chip wires smaller, thus densities increasing.
Unless you want to go to x-ray beam epitaxy - which we don't - because it's hard to re-scale that & expensive to roll out.

Citxmech's picture

Tainter was not confused - that's why the next word in the title after "complex" is "SOCIETIES."  Tainter says nothing about complexity itself leading to collapse of general systems - in fact I'm pretty sure he has at least a basic understanding of thermodynamics.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Today, all "SOCIETIES" consist of the nation-states that blanket (as in smother) the human world/imagination/potential. Eradicate these cancers, and you eradicate the degenarative complication that Tainter confuses with the generative complexity that all organic growth and development is based on.

We are a "universal" species that is just getting warmed up.

Evolve or die.

Citxmech's picture

You are way too hung-up on the semantics of the "complex" v. the "complicated."  Tainter's thesis in a nutshell is that as societies get more specialized they chase decreasing marginal returns and lose resiliancy over time.  

Your critique takes nothing away from that thesis - unless you believe that the elimination of "cancerous" government/monetary structures could lead to some sort of "Star Trek" future for mankind.  Good luck with that.   

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Kurzweil's thesis, which is that of the Technological Singularity, is that the returns are accelerating and that we are only in the "knee" of the curve:


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Kurzweil's going to find out the future is actually more like this - http://img.youtube.com/vi/BSDRNc-SLos/0.jpg - figuring out which end goes in your mouth and which end...

Citxmech's picture

Kurzweil going to be sorely disappointed IMHO.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

While I have in the past generally tended to agree with your comments, I must take issue with you here. Tainter used a substantial part of his book to clarify what he meant by societal complexity. You appear to be conflating governmental complexity with societal complexity.

Again, the key point is the concept of diminishing marginal returns on investments in complexity, which translates into ever increasing costs in terms of both capital and energy for successively smaller incremental benefits. It reaches the point where a society's entire productive output is used simply to maintain the status quo, which means it cannot generate surpluses to set aside for future needs. The existing reserve of surpluses is thus consumed responding to crises, and when this runs out, so does the capacity to respond to further crises while maintaining that level of complexity.

It is interesting that you mention the parasitical nature of the modern nation-state. I agree that they have outlived their usefulness, and would even go so far as to say they are obsolete. The origins of the modern nation-state can be traced back to the 1648 Treaties of Westphalia. Yet in the second half of his book, Tainter selected three complex but very different societies to focus upon: the Chacoans of the American southwest, the classic period Mayans, and the Western Roman Empire, all of which predated the birth of the modern nation-state.

We are a "universal" species that is just getting warmed up.

Not sure what you mean by that, but the fate of humanity is tied to the fate of this planet, and the technological advances of the last 150 years were a one-time gift courtesy of cheap, plentiful energy in the form of oil. The only conceivable replacement which could continue the advancement of technology at the current rate would be fusion, but we've been "just about 20 years away" from that for the last 40 years. Unless we stumble upon a new source of plentiful, cheap, and safe energy, then we're pretty much near the pinnacle of what technology can do for us.

Evolve or die.

I won't argue with that, especially since that evolution is going to entail adapting to a less complex way of life.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

"You appear to be conflating governmental complexity with societal complexity."

No, I contrast the generative complexity of society with the degenerative complexity of the state, the latter being destructive of the former.

"Again, the key point is the concept of diminishing marginal returns on investments in complexity, which translates into ever increasing costs in terms of both capital and energy for successively smaller incremental benefits."

However mysterious, the universe is an open system that not only generates something out of nothing but order out of chaos, the returns of which are exponential in the extreme.

More proximately,

"We are awash in energy (10,000 times more than required to meet all our needs falls on Earth), but we are not very good at capturing it. That will change with the full nanotechnology-based assembly of macro objects at the nano scale, controlled by massively parallel information processes, which will be feasible within twenty years. Even though our energy needs are projected to triple within that time, we'll capture that .0003 of the sunlight needed to meet our energy needs with no use of fossil fuels, using extremely inexpensive, highly efficient, lightweight, nano-engineered solar panels, and we'll store the energy in highly distributed (and therefore safe) nanotechnology-based fuel cells. Solar power is now providing 1 part in 1,000 of our needs, but that percentage is doubling every two years, which means multiplying by 1,000 in twenty years. Almost all the discussions I've seen about energy and its consequences, such as global warming, fail to consider the ability of future nanotechnology-based solutions to solve this problem."— Ray Kurzweil

"Tainter selected three complex but very different societies to focus upon: the Chacoans of the American southwest, the classic period Mayans, and the Western Roman Empire, all of which predated the birth of the modern nation-state."

Modern, yes, but not the state itself, which is an inherently coercive apparatus at odds with humans' inate ability and desire to, in Adam Smith's immortal words, "truck, barter, and exchange" to our mutual benefit.

"...the fate of humanity is tied to the fate of this planet..."

A categorical statement without proof of any kind.

"...and the technological advances of the last 150 years were a one-time gift courtesy of cheap, plentiful energy in the form of oil."

The so-called "Oil Age" is a purely statist construct, meaning a system by which the few have enriched themselves by instituionalizing this resource at humanity's expense.

As Kurzweil says, "We are awash in energy," and we would have long ago discovered other, more plentiful, less costly sources of it, as we most surely will. At least if the state doesn't do us in first.

Yenbot's picture

Eric Drexler comes to mind.

Seeking Aphids's picture

Exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth?  I think you would just need to modify the growth rate in the exponential formula that you are using in order to obtain such a result...I don't think you can have exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth...but I could be wrong......

Tall Tom's picture

Seeking Aphids wrote, "Exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth?  I think you would just need to modify the growth rate in the exponential formula that you are using in order to obtain such a result...I don't think you can have exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth...but I could be wrong......"


The function, f(x) = Aex  , is an Exponential Function.


Then df(x)/dx = Aex , is the First Derivative, whuch is the Rate of Growth and an Exponential Function


Thus  d2f (x)/dx2 = Aex, is the Second Derivative, which is the rate of the change of Growth within the Rate of Growth, which is also an Exponential Function


Not only is it possible...it is by Definition

Citxmech's picture

Sure you can - just pick the exponent.  Not that I believe for one second that our current level of consumption stands much chance of continuing for very much longer.  Exponential growth in biological populations invariably leads to collapse.

DaveyJones's picture

funny how math works

buttkiss math forgets that most systems do not operate under a sideways 8

most patterns contract and drop, after some point, as fast or faster than they climbed