|SPEEDI Rad Map|
A few weeks ago, Leaves in the Attic made referral to some public links to North American radiation map resources, but we’ve also been following the development of radiation maps for Japan and other locations during the Fukushima crisis.
Below are a few interesting websites we’ve visited, including the development of crowd-sourced radiation map resources for the public.
One radiation map by Maximum by Prefecture (Target Map) displays Fukushima and a few surrounding areas as ‘Under Survey’. The explanation is given as unknown at this time, perhaps due to the Tsunami or perhaps, by censor.
Another map (SPEEDI) has looked the same without change for several weeks, with areas such as Fukushima grayed out within the color-schemed map. Even though the website states data is updated every 10 minutes, we’ve yet to see the surrounding area of Fukushima ever come online in two weeks.
A really excellent visual map produced by Norsk Institute covers radiation movement across Japan, Asia, Europe, North America (USA & Canada) and the Northern Hemisphere. The visual representation basically demonstrates how the winds transport three common types of ionized radiation particular to the Fukushima emissions. The mention is Canada is important above, as we have yet to locate radiation maps for readings in Canada. If you know of any, please let us all know so we can pass it on.
However, while posting this the map appears to be offline and the page is not loading. This seems to have happened over the weeks at other map sites too, so hopefully it is back online shortly for us to look at.
Crowd-Sourced Aggregate Map
Lastly, a newer radiation map came online just recently with Japan Failed Robot. The readings are aggregated by Pachube Community. Currently, Japan is being mapped with crowd-sourced Geiger counter readings, and the average of these compiled into one visual online map.
This grass-root project seemed to blossom from disgruntled Internet citizens who didn’t want to rely solely on expert or governmental sources of reporting, or rely on the inconsistent disclosure of reporting to date from such sources. Irregardless, a crowd-sourced mapping of radiation raises the bar for more accountability from corporate and government experts.
Of course you can find both TEPCO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) daily reporting of radiation levels at their respective websites. It’s just not obvious to some where to find these pages. You can find these monitors in the links supplied. It could be useful to compare each map and update against one another:
More About USA-Based Radiation Maps
Two maps continue to compile radiation readings across various USA locations. However, for three weeks I’ve found these two map readings inconsistent with one another, for whatever reason.
The first map (Radiation Network) that has been referred to a lot the last few weeks has shown a consistent yet gradual rise in background radiation levels, although the readings are still below worrisome levels. The Radiation Network, once again, is a citizen-based project.
The second citizen-based project is BlackCat Systems. Over three weeks of checking in with the BlackCat Map, there has not once been a rise in radiation readings at any location across the USA. Thus, there is certainly a difference of equipment or measurements between these two citizen monitoring programs.
As far as we know, these two monitoring systems are the only backup for USA monitoring apart from EPAs monitoring system, which had various counters offline during the first two weeks after the Tsunami in Japan. The occurrence of offline counter devices during the immediate crisis in Japan caused many to question the timeliness and efficiency of the EPAs radiation monitoring system known as RadNet.
Visit our article on the Ionizing Radiation Cover-up Here. And why it's essential to know what radiation levels are at any specific period in time.
Update as of the 7th of April, 2011
Here is an example of cpm reading from the Radnet radiation monitoring system for Portland, Oregon, click Here. Cpm levels over 400 have been popping up across the USA. As far as we understood the cpm level of 100 is an unusual number, let alone in the hundreds. Not an emergency yet, but certainly a concern? But another question is why haven't other radiation monitors, as per some we've listed, indicated cpms above 100? The data for Portland is from February to April. The spikes appear to have declined over the past few weeks. But why was the cpm count so high in February as well?
Radiation Units of Measurement:
1 rad = 0.01 gray (Gy)
1 rem = 0.01 sievert (Sv)
1 gray (Gy) = 100 rad
1 sievert (Sv) = 100 rem
1,200 CPM on the meter (for Cs137) is about 1 mR/hr (milliRad per hour).
120 CPM on the meter (for Cs137) is about 1 uSv/hr (microSievert per hour)
The average annual U.S. radiation dose is about 600 milliRem, which is equivalent to 6 milliSieverts (6 mSv).
Earliest Indication of Radiation Sickness:
75,000 milliRem (mRem)
750 milliSievert (mSv)
Days compared with the Average U.S Exposure:
207 (at 100 CPM)
42 (at 500 CPM)
14 (at 1,500 CPM)
Days of Dosage to Increase Cancer Risk:
432 (at 100 CPM)
86 (at 500 CPM)
28 (at 1,500 CPM)
Eating one banana per day X 365 days per year =
36 μSv per year dosage
Bananas contain a rare radioactive isotope of potassium, which undergoes three types of beta decay. Potassium-40 also exists in the human body, but remains a fraction of the 160 grams of potassium the human body contains.