As if to remember the terrible events of September 11, 2001, the thunder and lightning broke into the night over Zion. What the rain brought, even at levels way below the radiation fallout that has hammered the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and vasts swaths of western and eastern Canada, reminded us of the atomic disaster if March 11, 2011, exactly six months before.
We avoided the rain to venture outside to take some readings by the pool of the lodge we were staying at. As a matter of course, Denise and I treat rained-on clothes and shoes in uncertain weather with great care so as to not contaminate the interiors of ‘clean’ dwellings, like Radiation Station and our home. It’s a wise decision to continue that practice on the road and simply requires common sense.
The result of our late night Zion-adjacent sample was 204% over background. It is important, however, to distinguish the radionuclides that are probably causing the radiation uptick and “natural” background radiation. Background radiation is generally made up of radioactive isotopes of uranium, radium and thorium in the soil and gamma radiation from celestial bodies in space, including the sun.
While hazardous in concentration, or dangerous from gases like radon that emit from radium, these radionuclides come nowhere close to the cell and DNA-destructive power of radiation unleashed from multiple melted nuclear reactors and destroyed spent fuel rod ponds. That is why it would be unwise to equate multiple numbers of backgrounds in high radiation readings with multiples the quantified radioactive properties of natural background – fallout from Fukushima is far worse.
The use of multiples of backgrounds allows some perspective on the overages in radiation detection or the lack thereof. As noted on EnviroReporter.com before, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency consider two times background to be a warning sign and three times background to be a cause for action to investigate the reason for the high radiation.
Fukushima fallout detections in the United States and Canada are not unknowns and shouldn’t be treated as such. The effects of Cesium-137, Iodine-131 and Plutomium-239 are well known. The grim reality is that radioactive fallout is slowly spreading into air well south of the Jet Stream in the United States’s southwest region as our readings show. As winter approaches, and the Jet Stream dips lower, it will combine with these rare freak storms coming from the south to give the Southwest and Los Angeles precipitation that will be impacted by a silent, invisible and tasteless enemy. This widely-misunderstood foe accumulates and radiates away in the environment and agricultural lands as well as accumulate in wild and domesticated animals and hundreds of millions of people who have been recklessly assured that there is no threat to the public health whatsoever.
9/11/11 [RAIN CAME FROM SOUTH AS PART OF A NON-JET STREAM SYSTEM]
10:30 pm 10-minute average EXTERIOR NEW RAIN at 990 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, UT 84767 = 98.5 CPM^ or 204% HIGHER THAN PREVIOUS BACKGROUND AVERAGE
10:10 pm 10-minute average EXTERIOR at 990 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, UT 84767 = 48.4 CPM^