A fast moving thunderstorm system blew through Southern California Friday bringing with it more than much needed precipitation. The rain read hot for dangerous beta radiation.
Radiation exceeding 3.3 times background levels was detected and videotaped by EnviroReporter.com at its Radiation Station Santa Monica at the western edge of the Los Angeles basin. It is the hottest precipitation detected at the station since March 2012 when ocean mists topped 500 percent of background.
“Just when I thought it was safe to step out into the rain again,” said Dale Ramicone of Radiation Station Glendale California in an email to EnviroReporter.com. “That little surprise shower even had a bit of lightening in it! When you asked for a sample, I didn’t really expect to find anything all that significant. My wife arrived minutes later, and I took a sample from the rain still remaining on edge of the windshield. The Inspector ten minute sample counted 121.2 CPM [Counts Per Minute] way above background which was 37.9 CPM.”
Ramicone’s reading nearly matches that of Radiation Station Santa Monica’s highest detection with the hot Glendale water coming in at 3.20 times background. That is above the California Highway Patrol’s tripwire for a radioactive material exceeding triple normal radiation readings.
According to government documents obtained by EnviroReporter.com, the CHP considers any substance radiating more than three times background hot enough to trip its Hazardous Materials protocols. This information was gleaned from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission “Event Notification Report for December 16, 2011.”
“On 12/8/11 at 1430 PST, the Nevada Radiation Control Program (NRCP) received a call from the Alternate Radiation Safety Officer (ARSO) for Renown South Meadows Medical Center, that a truck carrying linen had been detained by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) at the Truckee inspection station after setting off a radiation alarm,” the report read.
“The NRCP contacted the CHP and were told that they had surveyed the truck with a Ludlum meter and measured .400 millirem per hour (or 400 microR/hour) outside the trailer,” the report continued. “The CHP said that their protocols dictate that anything above three times background is treated as a hazmat incident and must have proper packaging and manifest.”
CHP emergency measures include suiting up personnel in impermeable outfits with ventilators, commonly known as “moon suits.” Those precautions were not evident in the greater Los Angeles area as the storm drenched thousands of people caught unawares of the impending rain.
High levels of beta radiation in rain are especially of concern when children and pregnant women are exposed to the hot water which can cause blood cancers, including leukemia, and a host of ailments introduced courtesy of the Atomic Age. Cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium 239/240 are beta emitting radionuclides of particular concern because of their lethality.
Ramicone’s radiation station streams live radiation readings around the clock and has been seen by tens of thousands of viewers. The Glendale station is part of nine EnviroReporter.com-affiliated radiation detection branches which have generated over 2,733 special radiation tests and reports since the triple meltdowns began at the destroyed Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan March 11, 2011. There is still no control over that disastrous situation with no end in sight as hundreds of thousands of gallons of highly radioactive water continue to spew into the Pacific Ocean every day now for close to four years.
This invaluable radiation stations data is in addition to over 4,351 reports, analysis and tests conducted by EnviroReporter.com in California and across the United States. We have also organized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation detection for easy access and clarity in RadNet Air Monitoring. Only 34 out of the agency’s 124 beta monitors across the nation were functional Friday, a dismal 27.5 success rate.
The surprise storm, which circulated counterclockwise through Southern California and Arizona before depositing its toxic cargo on Los Angeles, originally blew onshore from Pacific waters off of Baja California, Mexico. After pelting these desert climes with radioactive rain, the system rumbled eastward across New Mexico and Texas carrying its hot load.
“This is troubling nearly four years after Fukushima nuclear meltdowns,” remarked Ramicone. “Clearly, there’s radiation still coming from somewhere, and it’s washing out of the atmosphere. Notably, not every rain shower contains it. Finding out exactly what kind of radiation it is, and determining its source is the most important thing now. Radioactive isotopes don’t just vanish because we’re not thinking about them.”