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Testing seaweed at Radiation Station Santa Monica This was the hottest L.A. rain detected with our Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor in the over 1,500 radiation tests taken up to that time. As of December 22, 2012, Radiation Station Santa Monica had conducted over 2,554 tests and had been seen on EnviroReporter.com‘s Ustream channel by 1,499,386 viewers seeing testing 24/7 for over 630 consecutive days.

Food and drink testing have been an important part of EnviroReporter.com‘s ongoing regime since the Fukushima disasters began. We started Eat Me in order to provide information on potential radioactive threats to the products we consume including exacting tests on foods.

In Japanese Seaweed Radiation Doubles April 20, EnviroReporter.com journeyed back to the same Japanese store in Los Angeles to purchase the same brand and make of Nori seaweed we had bought in August 2011. The green sheets of seaweed, prized for its nutty, crispy flavor by hipsters and locals alike, come in at double background radiation, with a substantial part of that ionization emanating from alpha radiation which is 60 to 1,000 times more dangerous than beta and gamma radiation if ingested or inhaled.

The eight-month old Nori seaweed bought last year still radiated far above background but lost some of its punch strongly suggesting the presence of medium and long-lived radionuclides like cesium-137 and the lethal brew captured in uranium-60 “buckyballs.” Worse still was the fact that the gelling substances in seaweed, 90% of which is grown in the Far East, are used in toothpaste, milk shakes, beer, desserts and all manner of food and drink products that are made with alginate and carrageenan.

Hot seaweed like this is sold in 49 Japanese and Japanese-American stores in Southern California as well as over 900 restaurants without a peep from mainstream and alternative media. Michael Collins did, however, test the hot seaweed on the popular television program Attack of the Show! which was seen by seen by millions according to the producers of the show.

L.A. Air Even Hotter with Radiation also was published April 20 topping EnviroReporter.com‘s last radiation readings of HEPA filter dust in the western Los Angeles Basin. A 40-day accumulation of dust and debris by three HEPA filter machines at Radiation Station Santa Monica yielded the highest air rad readings we had yet taken: 7.46 times normal.

In May, Windmill well tanks have no bottom outlets or spigots Runkle Roulette brought new developments in the long battle over development in Runkle Canyon hard on the border of the nuclear part of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The occasion was a city of Simi Valley Planning Commission meeting to rule on whether to allow KB Homes a five-year extention to build since it had been stymied by resistance to the venture by the Simi Valley-based Radiation Rangers who have been a thorn in the side of Runkle Canyon developers since forming in 2006.

EPA found huge strontium-90 hits uphill and next to Runkle Canyon boundary. (Later EPA radiation survey maps in the year would reveal that extremely hot areas of gamma radiation in a large area come right up to Runkle Canyon’s fenceline where the testing stopped.)

The article showed how DTSC signed off on KB Home’s minimal testing of the site for radiation. It included Radiation Ranger “Wild Bill” Bowling’s discovery of two underground flammable liquid tanks tipped to pour liquids into a Runkle Canyon well that tested positive for trichloroethylene. Compounding the contamination questions was the long-awaited EPA SSFL Area IV radiation study that found alpha radiation in an offsite well two miles from Rocketdyne. The hot water was detected on American Jewish University’s Brandeis-Bardin campus below the lab with over eight times alpha radiation’s “Maximum Contaminant Level.”

Runkle Canyon Tanks reported on the first time in six years of residents battling KB Homes that company representatives and the community faced off at a Simi Valley Planning Commission meeting. The developer’s representative and his attorney, perhaps flustered by the vocal opposition to the project, embarked on an odyssey of factual inaccuracies about the controversial building scheme. (2013 coverage will examine KB Home’s legal debacle before the Simi Valley City Council last summer and the challenges it faces before the tractors possibly start rolling this Spring.)

A Radioactive Nightmare hit the stands on June 7. The Ventura County Reporter took the unprecedented step of being the first print newspaper in the United States to publish an in-depth expose showing the extent of Fukushima meltdowns-related radiation contamination in the Pacific Ocean, West Coast and the United States. Wide-ranging in scope, this cover story tied together the grim scenario of how the Pacific is being polluted, how that contamination is getting to North America, and what the a sea full of radioactive “buckyballs” might mean for people and animals living along the coast and up to 200 miles inland.

On July 11, the Pasadena Weekly reprinted the story and called it “Radioactive Nightmare” which included an unfortunate art piece choice that suggested that the art director didn’t understand the story. It showed a nuclear bomb going off as the source of the radiation. This was the second print article in a row with art that was factually inaccurate: the VC Reporter cover “A Radioactive Nightmare” showed a map of the Pacific implying that’s how Fukushima radiation would flow in the ocean. It is wrong, however, as the image is of seismic shock from the Fukushima earthquake. This is unfortunate, but the larger picture is that these excellent papers tackle and explore controversial but all too real information that mainstream media either can’t or won’t cover.

The Unforgettable Fire, June 19, documented a threat that continues to grow as the blow-apart Fukushima reactor complex teeters from earthquakes and continued structural degradation and subsidence. An unforgettable, and inextinguishable, fire will break out if Fukushima’s Reactor 4 building collapses taking its spent fuel pond with it.

The uncontrollable blaze would lead to full meltdowns on Fukushima’s other three reactors in addition to the trio already destroyed, as well as alighting the common spent fuel pond with over 6,000 incredibly radioactive spent rods. The disaster, ignored by the American and Canadian governments as Japan blunders along, would make Tokyo uninhabitable and ruin Japan and lands beyond possibly including our own depending on fallout deposition in rain.

Reporting this sometimes grim news requires a little levity to keep this online news organization operating smoothly and at full capacity. That levity came in 2012 in a the form of EnviroReporter.com‘s editor and webmaster Denise Anne Duffield’s turn as a Toxie at the Toxies for Bad Actor Chemicals.

The Third Annual Toxies took place June 24 at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles with some new faces in the toxic crowd including a fetching Fracking Chemical Cocktail. A Fracking Night to Remember captures the excitement of the event.

Collins interviewed Fracking Chemical Cocktail and Trichloroethylene for the July 26 story Fracked. More brawl than interview, TCE clobbered Collins who jousts with the volatile organic compound. The journalist then truly meets his match in Fracking Chemical Cocktail where the chemistry sparks when the subject turns to drilling and fracking. Expect to see more of “Frackie” in 2013 as she promotes fracking across the country with Collins hot on her tail.

Frackie’s star turn came on the same day as the 54th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards Gala. EnviroReporter.com won First Place for Website – News Organization – Exclusive to the Internet. The judges comments: “A wealth of resources when it comes to our environment. From investigations to videos to exclusives, EnviroReporter.com is one interactive site that should be clicked on everyday.”

Runkle Canyon Fraud and Folly came out July 16 and reported on KB Homes rolling out the big guns at a Simi Valley Planning Commission meeting deciding whether the developer would get a five-year extension on its permit to build in Runkle Canyon. An extension, however, was exactly what the activists need because it won’t force KB Home’s hand with two years left on its present permit. Opponents of the project pointed out that the canyon is protected by the Clean Water Act which KB Homes has ignored.

No Place to Hide – Fukushima Fallout Findings Widespread came out August 28. The article showed that high alpha and beta air readings were the least of Southern California’s worries with new evidence of Fukushima meltdowns contamination in California oranges, dried plums, almonds and pistachios.

Florida grapefruits and Missouri beef are also shown to be impacted by Fuku-goo. Radiation-induced mutations in Japanese insects cause concern over mutated Santa Barbara sunflowers as radiation in jet plane cabins goes up probably linked to airborne Fukushima meltdown emissions.

This powerful piece covered a wide range of topics that have been ignored by the flagging alternative media as well as mainstream legacy media. The technological capabilities of New Media, as demonstrated robustly on EnviroReporter.com, have proven to be far more effective, informative and authoritative on the Fukushima crisis than traditional news outlets.

Toxies character Perchlorate blasts off at Farmers Field
AEG’s Perchlorate Problem on September 14 brought perchlorate and heavy metals back onto our radar. AEG’s Farmers Field $1.2 billion project in downtown Los Angeles got the go-ahead from the Los Angeles Planning Commission despite plan’s environmental impact report leaving out crucial data about the use of the toxic oxidizer perchlorate in fireworks that the facility will be able to shoot off every day of the year when it opens as soon as 2017.

Activists were concerned over health effects while Los Angeles Times took project boosterism to new and unseemly lows. The project’s Environmental Impact Report is figuratively obscured by toxic smoke which may open up city and developer to future lawsuits from fans, players, employees and people living around Farmers Field and possibly impacted by perchlorate and heavy metals in the fireworks. A week later, we published AEG Punts Perchlorate Football at Farmers Field which further documented the ongoing story.

The October 2 publication of Radioactive Tritium Found in Water in Vancouver B.C. Canada was a first on EnviroReporter.com. Team EnviroReporter wrote of tritium discoveries in Vancouver, B.C. Canada drinking water reservoirs. The results were dismaying – the Capilano Reservoir was 144% above background levels and the Seymour Reservoir was 185% higher.

Team EnviroReporter also revamped one of the cornerstones of this website: Rad News Digest in its second addition as Rad News Digest II. The thousands of critical articles, photos and videos that form Rad News Digest make it the go-to place for all Fukushima meltdowns and nuclear issues-related information. This atomic library of information is one of the pillars of EnviroReporter.com.

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  1. Michael and Denise…..This summary of 2012 is absolutely overwhelming! Even one article alone is a knockout, but, putting them all together like this more than doubles the scary impact!
    When it comes to Fukushima, you have done an incredibly huge amount of investigation and writing on a subject that our major newspapers seemingly do not want to to touch with even a 50 foot pole. Just knowing that Fukushima reactor#4 could cause a global disaster, and that some of our food items are radioactively contaminated has been reported only by you and Denise….and no other major newspaper, to say nothing of our Governmental agencies who are supposed to be protecting all of us in the USA.
    And then there is the comedy going on up at the SSFL…our new and wonderful park. I, personally would never have understood the bait and switch positioning of the RTLS’s and the BTV’s without you. They don’t tell us this kind of thing at the technical meetings.


  2. This reminds me of the debates I get into with nuke power advocates. I like to argue that if your efforts include a scenario that kills all life on the planet … you probably need different plans.

    Let’s not mince words. We’ve all got thyroid cancer in our futures, courtesy of Fukushima. Maybe we should try using less energy rather than more pollution.

  3. I agree with Bonnie. Great summary.

    Q: How long will it be until the final summary reads…?

    “The radioactive contamination from Fukushima has stopped.”

    A: Beyond our lifetime and for generations to come.

  4. I am very grateful to know Michael and Denise and thankful for all the excellent writing and details presented for our community on these critical topics. I love this comprehensive summary with all the links included.

  5. @David – A huge catastrophe has indeed occurred at Fukushima and has not been brought under control. But it is not too late to close the barn door on reactor #4 – it is still standing and ready to topple (see Michael’s The Unforgettable Fire). Let’s hope TEPCO removes the fuel rods from the spent fuel pool at reactor #4 before it’s too late and the entire northern hemisphere is contaminated beyond habitability. Sadly, we can only “hope” this happens before it’s too late – the Japanese government is not allowing international assistance in that effort, the United Nations is not doing anything, the Canadian government has ignored the people’s petition urging them to get involved and the U.S. is promoting the use of nuclear power in Japan. But while we are hoping, we can, as Arnie Gunderson says, “watch it like a hawk” and decide where we will evacuate to if the absolute worst happens.

    It is also not too late to close the barn door on all the 104 reactors in the U.S. that are still standing – and leaking and aging. 23 of them are GE Boiling Water Reactors that failed three times at Fukushima.

    For 2013 I encourage everybody to get involved in shutting down your local reactor and stopping the insanity of the nuclear age. Join Beyond Nuclear’s campaign to Freeze our Fukushima’s: ” a national campaign created by Beyond Nuclear to permanently suspend the operations of the most dangerous class of reactors operating in the United States today; the 23 General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactors, the same flawed design as those that melted down at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan.” http://www.beyondnuclear.org/freeze-our-fukushimas/ . Or find a local organization that is working to shut down the nuclear power plant closest to you. Always come back to Enviroreporter for the latest RAD NEWS. Get active and put as much time into it as you possibly can – before it really is too late to shut the barn door.

  6. Great work, intrepid enviroreporters. Tragically, Fukushima is indeed a catastrophe for the whole world, and will be for a very long time, and there’s nothing we can do about it – just like GMOs – it’s too late to shut the stable door, the horse has already bolted. The human race and planet Earth were doing fine ecologically until the last century saw war and corporate fascism become all the rage. Then what a bunch of silly monkeys we seem to have suddenly evolved into – or been conned into…

  7. @ Michael and Denise Thanks for the 2012 in Review. What an amazing amount of energy you both have so selflessly devoted to keeping a million and a half people informed. Your work has educated many about the radioactive contamination in their tuna, sushi, airplane travel and hiking adventures in LA’s Simi Valley. Inhaling that fine ocean mist now has new meaning for me as will the lovely smell of perchlorate at each fireworks demonstration. Denise, your creativity and costuming is unsurpassed. What you have both done this year is nothing short of spectacular reporting. On top of this you provide a forum for us in Radiation Conversation where we can share our knowledge and ideas. I am gratefully pressing the DONATE BUTTON and encourage all your readers to do the same and to contribute to this extremely valuable work. Wishing you both the very best in 2013!

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