Real Time Japan Nuclear Fallout Radiation Graphs For US West Coast Cities

Real Time US Monitoring of Japan Nuclear Fallout Radiation
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With the current news that nuclear fallout radiation from Japan has hit the US the US Government has put real time radiation monitoring data online.

Per the usual, just like with the BP spill when the Government puts information online they bury it so deep it’s very hard to find. Then once you do find what you are looking for it takes a month worth of Sundays to get through it all.

So I made an application that generates thumbnails of all of the real time Japan nuclear radiation monitoring data  for the major US west coast cities every three hours 15 minutes and posts them right here. (After watching Fairbanks Gamma Graph from jump from 1,000 CPM to over 30,000 CPM in just minutes my initial assumption that these graphs were slow moving and discernible differences would take hours was proven incorrect. I now see the graphs and thumbnails will show spikes much faster than I anticipated).

This will allow you to quickly check the status of all active EPA radioactive fallout monitors at once on this single. As more monitors come online I will update the app to include data from those monitors.

Update: Looks like this is up just in time as independent radiation monitoring has just gone offline.  Keep in mind though this is Government supplied/censored data.

You can click on the individual thumbnails to view the update to the minute graph for the city and radiation type as labeled on the thumbnails.

Anaheim, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphAnaheim, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphAnchorage, AK Real Time Beta Radiation GraphAnchorage, AK Real Time Gamma Radiation Graph
Bakersfield, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphBakersfield, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphCorvallis, OR Real Time Beta Radiation GraphCorvallis, OR Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphEureka, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphEureka, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphFairbanks, AK Real Time Beta Radiation GraphFairbanks, AK Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphFresno, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphFresno, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphHonolulu, HI Real Time Beta Radiation GraphHonolulu, HI Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphJuneau, AK Real Time Beta Radiation GraphJuneau, AK Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphLos Angeles, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphLos Angeles, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation Graph
Olympia, WA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphOlympia, WA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphPortland, OR Real Time Beta Radiation GraphPortland, OR Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphRichland, WA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphRichland, WA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphRiverside, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphRiverside, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphSacramento, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphSacramento, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphSan Francisco, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphSan Francisco, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphSan Jose, CA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphSan Jose, CA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphSeattle, WA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphSeattle, WA Real Time Gamma Radiation GraphSpokane, WA Real Time Beta Radiation GraphSpokane, WA Real Time Gamma Radiation Graph 

About the Nuclear Radiation Monitoring Data

(THESE ARE GOVERNMENT EXPLANATIONS NOT MINE)

The beta gross count rate measures the radiation from all radionuclides that emit beta particles, which is indicated by the term gross or total. The term count rate tells us how quickly beta particles are being detected, which indicates how much radioactivity the monitor is seeing.

Notes on the Data

  • Brief gaps in RadNet data represent instrument error.
  • Larger gaps (>1 day) occasionally appear when RadNet monitors are taken offline for servicing.
  • Electrical interference can cause spikes, shown on the graph as one point significantly higher than the rest of the data.
  • As you view the data, be aware that there are often large differences in normal background radiation among the monitoring locations because background radiation levels depend on altitude and the amount of naturally occurring radioactive elements in the local soil. What is natural in one location is different from what is natural in another.

The gamma data measures radiation from all radionuclides that emit gamma rays and splits them into ranges of energy. The word gross, or total, indicates that the measurement is from all gamma emitting radionuclides. Not all gamma rays have the same amount of energy. Breaking the data into discrete energy ranges helps scientists to determine which radionuclides may be present.

RadNet Air Monitoring Data from the U.S. West Coast

EPA designed this site to summarize findings and assist in interpresting the data on the CDX website.

EPA continuously monitors environmental trends in radiation and has been doing so for 50 years. EPA has permanent or “fixed” monitoring stations throughout the nation that form the RadNet System.

This page provides the radiation air monitoring data from the West Coast fixed monitors, which would be the first to detect radioactivity associated with a potential release from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactors. As the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said, we do not expect to see radiation at harmful levels reaching the U.S. from the damaged Japanese nuclear power plants. EPA recognizes that RadNet provides complex data. The data can be difficult to understand at first glance, but, in its simplest form, the data shows radiation trends over time. Tracking trends allows us see changes to radiation in the United States. EPA will continue to work with its world-class scientists to make this data understandable and relevant to citizens.

What information does the RadNet data provide?

To make the monitoring results easier to visualize and follow over time, we have developed charts from the RadNet fixed air monitoring data. We have included two sets of data;”beta gross count rate” and “gamma gross count rate ranges.” Tracking beta and gamma radiation, which are particles and rays that come from radioacitve material, helps us to identify the type and amount of the radioactive material in the air.

  • The beta gross count rate measures the radiation from all radionuclides that emit beta particles, which is indicated by the term gross or total. The term count rate tells us how quickly beta particles are being detected, which indicates how much radioactivity the monitor is seeing.
  • The gamma data measures radiation from all radionuclides that emit gamma rays and splits them into ranges of energy. The word gross, or total, indicates that the measurement is from all gamma emitting radionuclides. Not all gamma rays have the same amount of energy. Breaking the data into discrete energy ranges helps scientists to determine which radionuclides may be present.

Why are there fluctuations in the data?

Occasionally, you may see brief gaps in the data. Scientists remove any data points from the database that are caused by instrument error.

Larger gaps generally mean the RadNet monitor was temporarily taken offline for maintenance or repair. In response to the Japan incident, we have prioritized maintenance to the west coast monitors. Having a monitor offline is not cause for concern. Even if the closest monitor is not operating, the RadNet system as a whole continues to provide a national view of airborne radiation in the environment.

Spikes in data can be caused by a variety of situations, including fluctuations in naturally occuring radiation levels like from radon, rain concentrating natural radiation, and changes in atmospheric (barometric) pressure.

Why are there fluctuations in the data?

Occasionally, you may see brief gaps in the data. Scientists remove any data points from the database that are caused by instrument error.

Larger gaps generally mean the RadNet monitor was temporarily taken offline for maintenance or repair. In response to the Japan incident, we have prioritized maintenance to the west coast monitors. Having a monitor offline is not cause for concern. Even if the closest monitor is not operating, the RadNet system as a whole continues to provide a national view of airborne radiation in the environment.

Spikes in data can be caused by a variety of situations, including fluctuations in naturally occuring radiation levels like from radon, rain concentrating natural radiation, and changes in atmospheric (barometric) pressure.

About RadNet Fixed Air Monitors

RadNet fixed (permanent) air monitors sample continuously at a nominal flow rate of 60 cubic meters per hour (Adults typically breathe at a rate of about 20 cubic meters per day.) The monitors collect any particles in the sample on a filter. Radiation detectors continuously measure the beta and gamma radioactivity from particles on the filter. Every hour, the fixed monitor sends an electronic report to EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory.

 

About RadNet Fixed Air Monitors

RadNet fixed (permanent) air monitors sample continuously at a nominal flow rate of 60 cubic meters per hour (Adults typically breathe at a rate of about 20 cubic meters per day.) The monitors collect any particles in the sample on a filter. Radiation detectors continuously measure the beta and gamma radioactivity from particles on the filter. Every hour, the fixed monitor sends an electronic report to EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory.

About RadNet Fixed Air Monitors

RadNet fixed (permanent) air monitors sample continuously at a nominal flow rate of 60 cubic meters per hour (Adults typically breathe at a rate of about 20 cubic meters per day.) The monitors collect any particles in the sample on a filter. Radiation detectors continuously measure the beta and gamma radioactivity from particles on the filter. Every hour, the fixed monitor sends an electronic report to EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory.

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/net2/Fairbanks-AK-Gamma-Real-Time-Radiation-Graph.aspx

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