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Failure of state and federal authorities to have been prepared for such a calamity – a nuclear disaster overseas that would impact the homeland within a week – made clear the need to immediately inform millions of people in real time with continuous radiation monitoring that could be trusted.


EnviroReporter.com responded to this need and began broadcasting Radiation Station on March 15, 2011 the ambient air readings in the coastal city of Santa Monica in the greater Los Angeles basin.

Upwind of millions in the basin and the Inland Empire beyond, Radiation Station has grown to include Radiation Stations in Glendale, the Santa Monica Mountains and Ventura locally, with the Glendale station also streaming 24/7 with a live Inspector and a scrolling averaging display.

Potrblog’s St. Louis base and a Harrisburg, North Carolina Radiation Station also share their precipitation readings in this free network updated frequently. All of these stations use Inspector Alerts.

These highly sensitive monitors can detect alpha, beta, gamma and x-ray radiation in air, water and soil along with food and drink. Experienced operators can differentiate what type of radiation is being detected through tests for alpha, beta and gamma though not the exact isotope.

Isotopic identification can be achieved through lab tests, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars per sample depending on how large a suite of radionuclides is being tested for. A more desirable, and trustworthy, method for radionuclide recognition is an isotopic identifier. This detector immediately identifies radionuclides obviating the need for multiple lab tests. Isotopic identifier are very expensive with the top Ludlum model costing over $25,000 with software and ancillary but required equipment.

Regardless of the limitations, the amount of data generated by Radiation Station – Santa Monica since four days after the meltdowns began has been voluminous and illuminating. Over 1,500 tests in four states and miles about the Earth where we measured jet radiation over 5 times normal even accounting for altitude.

Special tests revealed elevated radiation in Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon rain. Southwest Michigan rain samples were hot. Santa Monica and Los Angeles rain and mist were also high. Japanese sake, beer, vegetable juice, seaweed, pastries and tea all registered significant ionization above background. Powdered milk, turkey hot dogs, and jet travel breathing masks were all part of the specific media tested many of which were recorded in these videotaped radiation detections.

Establishing a comprehensive data set of interior and exterior backgrounds was crucial to this work not only to have the information but to more precisely and inventively use available radiation monitors. Experience gained from working with nuclear radiation monitors since 1998, crucial to reporting on Rocketdyne, Runkle Canyon and the nuclear dump on Veterans Administration property in Brentwood, has been valuable in maintaining high quality control and accurate readings and determinations.


Radioactive fallout can come in several forms, such as the hot ash and debris that rained down on Fukushima residents fleeing the multiple meltdowns last March. Radioactive rains, particularly on the West Coast from the Bay Area to British Columbia, have rolled in repeatedly over the last 11 months.

Driven by the jet stream eastward, the Midwest and Ontario have also been hit pretty hard by radiation if numerous online reports from folks with Geiger counters are to be trusted. YouTube videos drive home how hot some of these rains are.

In Seasons Readings, we detected radiation in two different rain storms at about 561% and 650% of normal in Southwest Michigan Dec. 30.

Bookending these sizzling showers were snow storms December 27 and January 1 that came in at background with no added radiation. This shows that Fukushima radiation on the jet stream can flux in amounts of radiation in precipitation.

These rains also showed no sign of radon daughter decay. Rain without radon daughters was recorded in Santa Monica December 12 and November 12 of last year. The deduction that the precipitation was radon-free comes from the fact that the rain came in at background showing no additional radioactivity.

Radon daughters or progeny are the radioactive decay product of radon, a colorless and odorless gas that occurs as uranium and thorium decay in the soil. Large regions of the country have high levels of radon gas which is dangerous especially when it’s allowed to collect in basements.

Radon 222, bismuth 214 and radon daughters stick to dust and can be inhaled increasing a person’s risk of getting lung cancer. The progeny can also attach itself to rain. That in turn can lead to false readings of Fukushima fallout if progeny present is mistakenly identified as meltdown-generated isotopes.

Not detecting radon daughters in rain in two states is significant. It means no radon was present. It also means that the radiation detections in precipitation cannot be dismissed as radon progeny when no radon or progeny existed.

From the beginning of the Fukushima disaster, detections of radiation in rain and mist have been dismissed by a bevy of fallout naysayers saying that the radiation was “natural” radon daughters.

The consensus among these people, and the governments of Canada and the United States as well, was that Fukushima was too far away from North America to pose any threat, let alone be detectable.

This wishful thinking continues today even though it violates the very basic foundations of sound science practiced since the Renaissance which dictate that facts not opinions, or in this case pro-nuke posturing, dictate the reality that is Fukushima fallout and contamination of the Pacific.

Meltdown deniers are not alone in making assumptions. This reporter assumed that radon progeny was indeed a factor in Radiation Station – Santa Monica readings. A light rain September 30 came in 48.1% higher than background yet was discounted even though the reading far exceeded the Inspector’s 15% plus or minus margin of error. On our stats page I wrote “[M]ost likely the overage is the product of radon progeny.”

That was wrong. Radon daughters haven’t been inflating our radiation readings simply because there is so little radon in this area to make it even possible. Automatically assuming that radon progeny was affecting the readings was a mistake. Further investigation revealed why.

The California Department of Health Services, as it was then called in 1999, conducted a yearlong investigation into the radon levels of 99 Santa Monica residences and released the results March 14 of that year. CDHS found that the radon readings were so minute that the department didn’t even suggest further testing of buildings or homes in the seaside town.

This was not news to the local officials who were well aware that the city sits in a structural depression filled with alluvium and didn’t have the geologic features that would produce radon. In addition, Santa Monica’s predominant wind direction, which dictates much of what will be in the wind, is from the ocean not from upwind land seeping radon gas.

LA County radon potential zones
LA County radon potential zones

A detailed “Radon Potential Zone Map for Southern Los Angeles County, California” created by the California Geological Survey in January 2005 confirms that Radiation Station Santa Monica doesn’t appear near any possible radon or radon daughters source.

Another common misconception about radon progeny-impacted rain is that it can double or triple background hence that amount should be subtracted from the total count. The higher the radon daughters count is, the lower the detection of any possible Fukushima fallout.

A 2003 National Tsing Hua University investigation looked at “the radon progeny concentration in raindrops as well as the radon concentration in cloud air,” according to the Taiwanese report. The upper limit of the daughters in rain is a fraction of the figures commonly attributed, according to the report. “For some circumstances the additional air dose rate due to rainfall can even amount to more than 60% of the background level without rainfall.”

Repeated non-detections of radon daughters in Santa Monica rain and Southwest Michigan snow, along with maps showing both areas to have near zero radon, indicates that any progeny from the gas hasn’t impacted detections in those areas. Radon daughters aren’t present in these areas.

The ever increasing detections of alpha and beta radiation in Radiation Station – Santa Monica HEPA filter dust point to the most logical source of the contamination: Fukushima. Knowing how hot the latest sample was – about 5.38 times background – is powerful knowledge when there are ways to mitigate against it.

“Just did a HEPA filter check although it has been running only about 8-9 days and did not have near the degree of buildup as the ones Michael C measured in his video,” posted Frank Thompson of Roanoke Virginia on Radiation Conversation February 18. “Did note a few definite hot spots on the filter however so this is DRY radiation and not rain accrued radon progeny. ‘It’s’ here all right and am glad I had gotten [a HEPA filter air cleaner]. We also sleep better now too. It’s in the filter and not as much IN us.”

HEPA filters capture more than just radiation, including radon and its daughters; they are effective against the kind of air pollution that kills nearly 10 percent of Los Angelenos according to an EPA study released last month on air quality exposure across the country. LA has the worst air in the country. HEPA filters can combat that menace.

Ironically, the need to mitigate against buckyballs and Fukushima radiation arriving in the Pacific through using HEPA filters air cleaners at home, the office and in the car will save lives from other contamination pervasive in the environment. These filters also reduce odors, reduce the severity of allergies and improve environments, a paradoxical positive effect of the multiple meltdown’s sea of goo visiting our shores while it is destroying untold numbers of marine creatures.

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  1. Nuclear power is stupid anyway, but how much stupider to have a nuclear plant on a coast, where earthquakes happen frequently, and then not do jack about it for a YEAR when it blows up due to someone’s incompetence.

  2. Another informative article Michael that inspired me to research further. Please check out the National Library of Medicine’s ‘Toxnet’ pages regarding Uranium Peroxide (UP) and it’s progress after inhalation or ingestion. The article describes it’s solubility, primary effect on gut-mucosa-lung tissues, increased effect on people with acidic urine, emergency treatment for exposure, how people get exposed, etc. (UP) is a known carcinogen that readily targets the kidneys. Not mentioned however is the effect of uranium peroxide in buckyball form or how it might degrade depending on various other isotopes present (mentioned in your ‘Endless Bummer’ article). Take this for what it’s worth, after all, we are in uncharted territories now.


  3. I was looking for info on radiation from Japan and its connection to lung cancer and found your excellent article. The reason I was looking for the connection was that I recently found out that a relative of mine (by marriage) just discovered he has lung cancer that has spread to his liver. He lives in Washington state. He had become ill last spring and at that time, the doctors told him it must be tuberculosis. Now, a year later, they tell him, Oh, we were wrong about TB; this is cancer. Hmmmm. All this time, they could have been using alternative methods of curing cancer if they had been aware that radiation from Japan could have caused it in the first place. They must not have even suspected that his problem could be cancer. If only the officials had let people know of the very real dangers of fallout, this man could maybe have protected himself.

  4. @Chase: Funny you should write this because, following, is another comment on another forum that also looks at ‘cute’ terminology (though, do note Chase, I did not come up with using “buckyballs” as that word has been around long before Fukushima):

    February 29, 2012 at 8:58 am Log in to Reply
    Hey folks, enviroreporter has started to use the word “goo”.


    At first, I thought it was too simplistic. But as he continued to expertly describe various releases with the word “GOO”, I began to see its genius. Perhaps we’ve been getting the blank stares because we have said too many new words, too many large new words, all together. If you don’t have a science back ground that can really shut your brain down.

    EVERBODY has had to deal with a “GOO” of SOME sort at some sort of a time. It’s GOOeY, it gets all over everything, and it only gets GOOYER as you try to clean it up.

    Check out how he kinda throws it on as a repeating tag/meme/refrain. I am so gonna try that !!!!

    Report Comment

    @Lennie: I sure hope some of that goo in and around the debris gets rad tested.

    @Potrblog: Thank you again for your excellent observations, sampling, testing and useful and possibly lifesaving warnings like this one.

    @Margery Brown: Comments like yours keep the (buckyball-free, hopefully) wind in our sails. Thank you.

  5. Buckyballs… sounds cute.

    Maybe, if we come up with ‘cute’ names for this kind of stuff people won’t freak out as much. Maybe they’ll listen?

    Maybe we could call the other contaminated ocean goo ‘Muckymuck’.

    Sounds like something one might order at a fancy restaurant. I’ll have an order of Buckyballs and a side of Muckymuck. Mmmm….

    Seriously, most of us know this is just the beginning in the big (long term) scheme of this man made monstrous tragedy. There will be many new descriptors for this crap. But, will the ‘masses’ understand or care? Will the human race still be here in 200 years? I guess that’s just one of the questions at this time.

    I hope we learn from this, I pray we can correct it somehow.

    Avoid the rain!


  6. Jeff Rense Interview with Michael Collins
    February 27, 2012: Full-hour show where many topics are covered as one year anniversary of Fukushima meltdowns approaches. Collins describes, drawing on his years as an investigative reporter and journalism judge, how the government and some mainstream media obscure and diffuse danger presented by world’s worst single environmental disaster even as new evidence shows that Los Angeles had the largest cesium-137 deposition after the meltdowns began March 11, 2011.

  7. A family member saw debris on the shore in Oregon above Brookings Harbor, while driving south on the 101 Oregon Coast Highway. He believes it was from Japan. He said that growing up in Oregon he would periodically see things wash ashore from Japan due to how the ocean current flows.

  8. Thanks for sharing your work! I only wish more would listen and learn! I am not surprised to see your findings, but was hoping beyond hope that just maybe it would not get this bad. As usual, shame on lame-stream media!

  9. Has anyone on KPFK interviewed you Michael? Please try sending an audio tape to “Roy of Hollywood” with a note and he might play it, and certainly should.

    I will write a piece for the Venice Beachhead and have good reason to believe it will be published.

    The Unurban cafe’ is the political cultural hangout of choice, and a great place to connect with people.

    You must know all of that, and I must add, I have learned more than I knew from you, can I have shared so far. Decontamination is a priority, especially for my grandchildren. Anything on that?

    Bill Mitchell

  10. Great work tonight on Rense. I didn’t hear it all, but caught most of your comments.

    We have been fighting the good fight there a long time. In my opinion the best documentation on the web of the events in Japan and the world. Arnie says he likes it. *;-)

    Take care,


  11. Michael….This is an amazing and incredible article you have written, and, needless to say,it is terribly frightening! It is absolutely shameful and unbelievable that EPA has packed up a lot of their equipment and announced that everything is o.k….no harm no foul.

    We are all just so very lucky to have you, Potrblog and the others who have been contributing to this website!!! You may very well be the only folks standing between all of us and and the “gift” from Fukishima….the one that keeps on giving.

    And, most wonderful of all, Michael, is your ability to write (understandably)about the science of what is happening to all of us. I predict that it will all make first a book, and then an Academy-award movie some day. Please keep your HEPA filter going 24-7.

  12. Well done Michael – a fine piece, very fine, with lots of important information and dates.

    Most people get angry at me when I mention the R word (radiation). I’m going to send them this piece to brighten up their day.

  13. QChad, I would think about hiking for awhile, or something else. It’s better than risking your very precious life. I know it is a loss, and maybe you can get hooked on another release and spiritual path. All of life is changing in every area, and we are all going to have to make adjustments, even beyond the fallout problems.

  14. well, considering the boat is my only home i almost wish i did not read this
    feel like nothing can be done
    no one will even speak about it
    the biggest question:
    do i stop surfing – the only spiritual getaway i have in life!

  15. Very good reporting on this. Thank you!

  16. icitizenoftheplanet

    Another well written powerful expose from MC. This is THE bad bad accident you drive by and better look @.

  17. Hi Lady!!! Good to hear from you. Our webmaster 😉 has fixed the problem. Hugs!

  18. Excellent. Thank you once again Michael for your comprehensive and informative work.

  19. Very good work, just one problem…Your paypal button is not working…

  20. Things don’t get no better, they just keep on getting worse.

  21. Many thanks for providing this is very important information. Guess I am going to have to get serious about moving off of the CA coast. I live less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean. This information makes me believe that my HEPA filters, washing my vegetables in bentonite clay and other measures are not nearly enough protection.

  22. Really great information that should encourage others to find out more about what is really happening on the West Coast of the USA…

    I suggest you provide a button or link for:
    1. Folks to help you collect data in different locations!
    2. Folks that want to learn how to collect data.
    3. Folks that want to share a detector but cannot afford to “own” one.

  23. Sixteen blocks from the beach is where I live. This puts a new light on coastal living. I haven’t walked the beach in months, mainly after March 11. I am assuming the Inspector won’t be strong enough to measure the buckeye balls? Time is coming where wearing respirators may be the norm. But not after many are convinced of the associated death rates.

  24. Excellent article. Informative, with far-reaching implications. An insidious tide of radioactive pollution is threatening the coastal areas of North America. I won’t be able to visit the beach areas of Southern California without thinking about this new risk. Thank you, Michael, for your excellent research, and bringing this to our attention.

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