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Fukushima and the Mass Media Meltdown

Posted on June 19, 2011 9:36 AM | Permalink | 22 Comments | Printer-Friendly View | Share This Article

Fukushima and the Mass Media Meltdown:
The Repercussions of a Pro-Nuclear Corporate Press

A sociological and technological discussion
-- in the wake of the out-of-control nuclear apocalypse in Japan -- addressing the compromise of public health and security created by the failure of the western corporate mass media to equitably report on, mildly investigate, or even moderately challenge the nuclear power industry.

keith harmon snow
19 June 2011
Revised 21 June 2011

Japan Nukes005.jpg

Author's note, 19 June 2011:

The following report was written after learning about the pro-nuclear and corporate bias of the Society of Environmental Journalists. It was originally written in 1998, and it was not published by any media source until it appeared in VOICE NEWS, Winstead CT, in 2001. It was originally titled "The Potential Repercussions of a Pro-Nuclear Press."  I have made a few minor changes, added hyperlinks, and inserted a few comments in [brackets].

The report was originally sent to Noel Grove, April 1998, who at the time was the editor of the Society of Environmental Journalists quarterly newsletter, the SEJournal. Grove was also a long-time editor for
National Geographic and their "environmental specialist for 20 years" (and I was seeking a photo assignment). Mr. Grove responded to my submission in a letter dated April 28, 1998:

Dear Keith, 

"I'm afraid I have to turn down this second effort at the nuclear story. The premise that a nuclear power catastrophe is in the works is quite inflammatory and I don't have the research capability to check out carefully what you say. I also have to wonder, if this threat is as real as you say it is, why are you not taking the story to the New York Times or "DATELINE"?

If you really think you have the facts to back you up you probably should think of approaching some of the larger media and pitching your story. I personaly cannot publish a story that sets up this provocative sentence: "What are the origins of my perceptions and beliefs about nuclear power?" and then gives the answer: "Origins are rooted in sociological and psychological factors pertinent to an individual's education, experience and identity." That's a wordy non-answer. Other attempts at proving your premise seem to me vague and rambling--corporations have done cover-ups before, qualified people are being laid off, equipment fatigue, etc.

Sorry, Keith, I can't go with it. If "media meltdown" occurs and catastrophe results, I will look like a fool. But as I said, I can't run your piece without extensively checking it out, and I don't have a research department to do that.

This draft was better organized and better written than the earlier one, Good luck in placing the idea elsewhere.

Noel Grove
SEJournal Editor

My goal in approaching the SEJournal was to publish in a venue which would get high exposure amongst journalists-- hundreds of journalists with the SEJ. It was not to be.

Now, twelve years later, the prophetic warnings advanced in this writing have come true, although the nuclear "accident" did not occur on North American soil, but in Fukushima, Japan -- a surrogate client state of the United States and a corporate ally in nuclear proliferation, permanent war and global environmental destruction.

It is now confirmed that there are three reactors at the Fukushima complex that melted THROUGH their outer containment vessels, through ALL the layers of so-called "defense-in-depth" and are continuing to spew lethal nuclear poisons and further contaminate the land we live on, the air we breathe, and the water that sustains all life on earth. We were always warned, and very worried, about reactor melt-DOWN, this being the absolute worst-case scenario and something that the nuclear industry and their purchased government agencies assured us "could never happen" -- always agreeing that these meltdowns would be "catastrophic" if they did.

Reactor melt-THROUGHs are much more serious than reactor melt-downs. At Fukushima, there is the equivalent of some twenty (20) reactor cores exposed and radiating lethal nuclear poisons. The corporate mass media system continues to downplay, distort, dismiss or deflect attention from the nuclear crises in Japan.

At Fukushima, and all over Japan -- and with deadly nuclear poisons spreading all over the world -- it's much worse than you think.

The people of the United States, Canada, and the rest of the world need to take action to stop the ongoing nuclear contamination and possible nuclear catastrophes at operating reactors all over the world. Here's why.


There is overwhelming evidence that a nuclear power catastrophe in the United States -- or somewhere in North America -- is highly probable. It matters little if you are "pro-" or "anti-" nuclear, as such constructs of your socialization are irrelevant to current nuclear realities. It is a tribute to our nuclear engineers that a worst-case accident has to date been avoided. The threat is real -- it has always been real -- but it has been dismissed.

Given the hostile economic climate of electric power deregulation [1999-2001], I submit that a major and potentially unprecedented nuclear disaster is a near certain event. This writing aims to address media neglect in probing the nuclear industry and regulatory agency assurances, standards, activities, safeguards, denials, etc. How should journalists respond? There are a few important questions from which one can formulate an answer.

How close am I to the nearest reactor? What level of emergency preparedness and evaluation procedures is currently practiced there? Such questions prompt concern. The repercussions of an "event" are dependent on the form and magnitude of the "event," on the human capacity to contain it, and on simple factors like weather. Evacuation plans constitute formal, institutionalized admissions that the threats are very real and demand attention.

What are the origins of my perceptions and beliefs about nuclear power? Origins are rooted in sociological and psychological factors pertinent to an individual's education, experience and identity. A related question is: How do "market forces" manifest themselves in the media's coverage of nuclear power? Insight is gained by recalling that from 1991 to 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) prepared and arranged 104 press conferences, prepared and distributed 950 press releases; arranged 1,650 press interviews for D.O.E. officials; and prepared and disseminated at least 307 editorials or letters to the editor [in mainstream U.S. media].

Question: Is there precedence for institutionalized deception? Answer: What is the nature of deception exercised by the tobacco industry? Are such deceptions inherent to tobacco interests alone? Such questions are valid and important. However, this writing predominantly addresses the question: How can I -- and how should I -- evaluate and verify the integrity (safety) or compromise (threat) inherent in nuclear power operations?

This brief writing introduces a few underlying impediments to nuclear safety. Isolated analyses of these impediments might suggest isolated integrity. However, the historical technological realities magnified over 20 plus years -- coupled with industry and regulatory carelessness and arrogance, and the economic pressures of deregulation -- virtually assure disaster.


As early as 1955, the nuclear industry was persistently seeing major, catastrophic technical failures. While noting the great urgency to "capitalize on any technological lead the U.S. may have," Rear Admiral H.G. Rickover in 1957 testified to the dearth of knowledge, "Despite every design and operation precaution taken by us," he said, "we have experienced leaks in some of our steam generators... we had to spend considerable time and money on a brute-force approach, because there was no hope of obtaining an understanding of the fundamentals involved in a reasonable length of time."

A 1957 Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) study, WASH-740, created by the Brookhaven National Laboratory [now a toxic and irradiated SUPERFUND site], and titled Theoretical Possibilities and Consequences of Major Accidents in Large Nuclear Power Plants estimated "the consequences of a very large reactor accident at a hypothetically small nuclear plant near a large city" at 43,000 injuries, 3,400 deaths and seven billion dollars in 1957 losses. And, because of this, the U.S. Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act indemnifying the industry from economic liability. [The Price-Anderson Act was originally known as the 'Gore Bill', becuase it was introduced by Senator Albert Gore Sr., and this, indeed, is an inconvenient truth.] The McKinney Commission (1957) argues against "the rush to construct nuclear power plants just for us to look at, brag about and subsidize."

By 1963 there were three nuclear submarines in the water, with 22 more under construction.  By 1967, Congress authorized 107 nuclear subs and eight nuclear surface ships, and 74 of these -- including 41 Polaris nuclear missile launchers - were in operation. By 1972 there were 118 subs on order, with 95 subs and four ships in the water. Yankee Atomic Energy Corporation (YAEC) pioneered the nuclear power field with its Rowe (MA) reactor by 1960. By 1963, four larger nuclear plants were ordered, and in 1965 seven; in 1967, 20; in 1968, 14. When plants ordered in 1963 came on line in 1969, there were 91 plants on order; and by 1972, there were 162. All of the 107 nuclear plants in operation in the U.S. today deploy technology of this era. [There are 103 reactors operating in the U.S. at present.] 

[The problems, nuclear accidents and explosions, and routine radioactive operating contaminations by the Nuclear Navy occur out of sight, under water, beyond any and all public and government oversight.]

Former M.I.T. nuclear physicist and long-time industry consultant K. Uno Ingard attributes the problems with nuclear power to its 'economy-of-scale': "Engineers involved in designing these plants [got] their experience mainly from marine [steam] power plants where everything was relatively small," he confirmed [in a personal interview]. "In essence, they merely scaled plants up from what they knew before."

Problems identified by Admiral Rickover remain unsolved or ignored. One of these is steam-generator tube (SGT) cracking, an issue critical to safe reactor operation. [SGT cracking is one of the major issues that plague Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) designs.] Reports on SGT pipe cracking appeared as early as 1960. A 1979 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) document details problems with failing SGTs that plagued at least 33 U.S. reactors. At least thirteen utilities sued Westinghouse and Combustion Engineering, alleging SGT fraud. Suits are settled out-of-court, with documents sealed against public scrutiny.

In 1995, over 500 cracked SGTs were discovered at Maine Yankee [Nuclear Power Complex], prompting the NRC to issue a mild request that reactors suffering SGT failures be inspected at the next refueling outage. Most utilities balked, explaining away the problem to complacent regulators. Plants using the potentially flawed SGTs were asked by the NRC "to tell us why they believe their plants are safe to operate." Both 1996 and 1997 saw the release of major NRC reports on steam generator tube failures.

Technological innovation is not achieved by "brute-force" or "make it work" engineering, but all evidence reveals that the pace of nuclear development exceeded the human capacity for innovation. Modeled after the reactors of Rickover's nuclear navy, driven by the race to beat the Russians, to meet boom-or-bust sales worldwide, by economic optimism but unverified science, and forced to compete with an entrenched fossil fuel economy, nuclear power technology was virtually stillborn.

Yankee Atomic also pioneered a hasty and irresponsible reactor "decommissioning" at the Rowe reactor. In 1995, in Citizen's Awareness Network vs. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Yankee Atomic violated NRC regulations and Federal Statutes.

[See also: keith harmon snow, Nuclear Poisons: They continue to accumulate: Too much, too fast, too hot to handle, insidious and deadly, lasting forever, Valley Advocate, July 1995.]

more Japan nukes images001.jpg


Pervasive and systemic aging degradation -- like metal fatigue, structural embrittlement, corrosive water chemistry, and neutron bombardment -- has been institutionalized by NRC and industry complacency and arrogance. Aging mechanisms like cracked SGTs degrade performance and compromise safety in unknown and unpredictable ways. Decades-old problems defined as "generic safety issues" (applicable to similar types or classes of reactors) were officially designated unworthy of immediate action. Many "generic" issues have never been resolved.

Compounding the original problems encountered -- the incorrect and incomplete or forgotten assumptions, the inevitable instabilities and failures, the aging components and crumbling materials -- have been the uncountable modifications, repairs and part substitutions which have caused significant and unpredictable deviations from the operational parameters of the original design.

Parameters have been altered, designs modified, upgrades creatively and casually implemented. Multiple modifications have spawned multiple blueprints -- often outdated, poorly modified, and unavailable in an emergency (e.g. Three Mile Island). There have been countless license modifications with their many justifications, but only mock attention to detail and procedure. "Every modification due to some problem," says Paul Gunter of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, "constitutes an erosion in the design margins of safety."

In 1990, the U.S. GAO reported that "utilities operating at least 72 of the 113 domestic nuclear power plants have installed or are suspected of having received nonconforming products." Computer software has proved inadequate, hardware has failed.  And too, there are the thousands of valves, plugs, pumps, motors, relays, switches, 
gauges, air ejectors, ducts, conduits, valve seals, grommets, electrical cables, switchboards, alarms, diesel generators, electrical buses, penetrations, inverters, resistors, turbines, condensers, transformers, nozzles, fuses, nuts, bolts and welds which have failed -- fallen out, corroded, short-circuited, melted, disintegrated, fractured or stuck -- under various circumstances.

Modern chaos theory says that Safety Analysis Reports (SARs) -- submitted by industry and approved by the NRC -- do not anticipate the consequences of all the severe reactor incident possibilities. [Fukushima's earthquake.Tsunami one-two punch makes that clear.] Such predictions are beyond the realm of human knowledge and human capacity and human imagination. Initial conditions, specifications and assumptions chosen or argued to insure safe operation no longer apply. Engineers and scientists, for the most part, operate in their own little areas of specialization. Says James Gleick, author of Chaos: Making a New Science, they are "biased by the customs of their disciplines or by the accidental paths of their own educations."

Human factors engineering introduces significant unpredictable risk. By virtue of the hundreds of plant employees and shift changes -- with their unique personal concerns; their limitations of knowledge, comprehension, memory and judgment; their emotional and psychological realities; their disillusions, resentments, animosities and distractions -- the man-machine interface is a fallible link in an already compromised chain.


Reactor operations are being "streamlined" at the expense of safety. Reactors are run longer and harder, with fewer inspections, at higher output power capacities. Given the greater propensity for failures to occur on start-up and shut-down phases of operation -- where transients, power surges and instabilities proliferate -- testing and safety analyses performed during refueling outages may prove meaningless after the subsequent start-up.

Utilities are minimizing reactor outages and maximizing operations at the expense of safety.  Reliability and quality assurance testing of back-up safety systems have been relaxed, postponed or eliminated completely. Optimizing economic factors, Houston Light & Power (TX) recently broke industry records for a refueling outage. The intensity of irradiation prohibits or restricts access and in-service testing of systems and components. The concomitant shift to on-line maintenance means that so-called "redundant" safety systems -- ever touted as the backbone of "defense-in-depth" -- are disabled during full-power reactor operations. Economic imperatives are dictating patchwork repairs in lieu of expensive parts replacements. Disregarding structural constraints and systemic defects, GE has pushed output power levels to five percent above the maximum specification ratings of the original design. 

[See: keith harmon snow, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station: A Second Lease on Half-Life? Montague Reporter, December 2003.]

Corporate "downsizing" has displaced talented and qualified employees. Others are suffocated by budget and schedule constraints, driven by corporate imperatives divorced from the dynamic realities of daily operations. The profit principle translates directly to control room operators increasingly inclined to risk reactor deviation or operational uncertainty. Operators -- too nervous in an emergency to exercise a "controlled breach" of reactor containment -- may in the uncertainty of the moment allow the system to exceed the thresholds of control. 
[This is exactly what happened at Fukushima: reactor operators and the TEPCO management delayed triage actions out of the fear of economic losses; once they did react -- dumping saltwater on the molten reactor cores -- it was too little, too much uncertainty, too late] 

Employees legitimately concerned about safety, improper procedures or the cutting of nuclear corners, are not free to speak without fear of retaliation:  The NRC has persistently betrayed "whistleblower" security -- and punished nuclear whistleblowers.


Deregulation -- coupled with the historical compromises of this technology - is be the coup de gras for nuclear power as manifested in the U.S. today. Utilities long shielded from normal "market forces" by monumental public subsidies are now exposed to hostile competition.  While some utilities may appear to cling in desperation to our entrenched but obsolete and unprofitable nuclear economy, evidence also suggests that executives shielded by the Price-Anderson Act consider themselves impervious to the consequences of reactor failure.

It should also be acknowledged that radioactive remediation has become a billion dollar industry unto itself -- and the same corporations that are making the nuclear messes are hired to "clean" them up - which of course is not possible: radiation is merely shuffled around, poked into holes that can't, don't and won't contain it, like a radioactive shell game with invisible, odorless, poisons: Too much, too fast, too hot to handle, insidious and deadly, lasting forever.

Journalists [and the corporate propaganda system that pays them] predominantly ignore such nuclear conundrums as safety, unprofitability, waste accumulation, unlawful decommissioning, routine radioactive releases, or the epidemics of disease clustered around nuclear sites. Those who are intimidated into ignorance and self-censorship merely by the science of it all have left themselves irresponsibly unprepared in proportion to the threat. Prudence would seem to dictate that the SEJ sponsor a conference, to debate -- at the very least -- the ideas of nuclear experts that have been synopsized herein. Nor is this so narrow an issue as it seems: The potential for domestic instability due to nuclear emergency has substantial foreign policy implications. [Not to mention the economic and political ramifications leading us to complete societal breakdown.]

Journalists would do well to revisit a portentous analysis offered by Nobel physicist Richard Feynman. "It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of failure with a loss" of equipment or human life, he wrote. "Estimates range from roughly one in 100 to one in 100,000. The higher figures come from working engineers and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in machinery?"

Commenting on technical problems ignored or tolerated, Feynman emphasized that "acceptance and success cannot be taken as evidence of safety. Failures are not what the design expected. They are warnings that something is wrong. The equipment is not operating as expected, and therefore there is a danger that it can operate with even wider deviations in this unexpected and not thoroughly understood way. The fact that this danger did not lead to a catastrophe before is no guarantee that it will not the next time."

R.P. Reynman was not speaking about nuclear power, though he might have been. "The O-rings of the Solid Rocket Boosters were not designed to erode," wrote Feynman, in "Personal Observations on Reliability of the Shuttle," a brief but profound statement buried in Appendix F of Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. "Erosion was a clue that something was wrong," Feynman concluded, not something from which safety can be inferred ... For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

As this previous writing is republished, the situation in Japan is unprecedented, unappreciated, unmanageable and it remains out-of-control: it is the worst industrial accident that humanity has ever faced. For the Fukushima nuclear apocalypse and the people of Japan -- and with lethal nuclear poisons spreading all over the earth -- the end is nowhere in sight.

Written by: keith harmon snow

Photography Credits: keith harmon snow

Categories: , , , , ,


Alvin-San | June 19, 2011 1:59 PM

And certainly appears that a nuclear catastrophe of the USA’s very own is brewing in America's Heartland on the Missouri River relative to Ft Calhoun nuke plant (among others?)




Excellent article, Keith; thank you

martin burger | June 19, 2011 9:37 PM

You have listed a whole shopping list of faults and uninsurable risks associated with this completely insane technology; not even getting to what will happen in the next sunspot cycle predicted 5200 years ago by both the Mayans and the Aztec. Even the fools at Nasa are starting to get the EMP picture formed in the little brains. Next the upcoming quake.... yes up coming because these are invevitable will take out 50 or 60 decrepped nuclear power plants. The only sane perspective to take on all this madness is to take into account the potential lethal dosages associated with the plants and all there stored waste. By now their mantra of a 40 year safe operating history for the world's nuclear industry is evident to a five year old. A 40 year safe assesment with material with 80 million year half life. Lock em all up for the greedy mad criminals that they are. They can serve out their life sentences with a paper suit and mask cleaning up this waste.

Donald Moline | June 19, 2011 9:43 PM

Greetings Keith Snow, I trust this finds you in best health and in excellent Spirit.
It is doubtful the elite have read your report, so why not send them one each?:
http://theintelhub.com/2011/06/10/full-bilderberg-2011-attendee-list/The attendees know that a Becquerel is radiation emitted by radioactive substances.The U.S. apparently threatened the Japanese to stand down from the BRICS alliance...Fukushima! The 'elite' know how to connect the dots. The global population, which includes the 'elite', is now under genocide attack: NHK/TEPCO (Japan) reports 730,000 tera becquerels of radiation released into the atmosphere.Also, 720,000 tera becquerels of radiation released into the sea.This radiation is enough to exterminate all life on planet earth! U235 half life = 704 million years. Plutonium 239 half life = 24,000 years. Regards, Don Moline

Karlin | June 19, 2011 10:55 PM

This is an interesting bit of history, and it frames the present day tragedy pretty well too. [NDPP steered me here]

The Elites have been very successfull in keeping the reality of Fukushima from the public mind - almost everyone has forgotten about it. I have had to endure taunts for keeping the Fukushima thread going at my favorite forum site... but it might be picking up again.

Media has done more stories about the Tsunami aftermath, or the homeless Japanese, or cute animal stories from Japan than the nuclear disaster!!

Lorna | June 20, 2011 3:14 PM

Thank you for this article. I spent sometime trying to find information on the status of this disaster this weekend and was amazed to find very little. My heart bleeds for the Japanese in the area who have been lied to from the beginning. There is an obvious media bias /blackout. Is there a useful website tracking the situation? Peace, forward to freedom!

Gabriel | June 22, 2011 9:18 AM

Independent short film on the Japanese nuclear industry from 1995:


keith harmon snow | June 22, 2011 9:24 AM

@Gabriel -- that link doesnt seem to work (its a single image only). thanks

Terrence O'Neill | June 22, 2011 9:37 AM

Excellent reminder. Needs to be repeated weekly, for folks who 'just want to be happy'.
I'm looking for authoritative or historical comment on punishing the criminal-elites behind this (and all) corruption of the People's governments. Either they get stopped, now, or we all end.

KH | June 22, 2011 10:26 AM

Understand the danger of boiling water in this manner given that I use to live close to the development and working nuclear power plant called appropriately "Diablo Canyon." Now we are surrounded with over 100 in the United States and over 400 worldwide [including the US]!

My family were surveyors and knew of the fault by Diablo Canyon since the 1930's Are we an inferior species, unable to organize and perpetuate a safe environment for ourselves?

Julie | June 22, 2011 9:04 PM

Yes, yes, yes... How do I protect my children when there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head?
What do we do? How do we, isolated peoples, stop the madness?

keith harmon snow | June 23, 2011 10:39 AM

Organize. Sacrifice. Speak out. Form community. Boycott. Refuse.

Lalita Ramdas | June 23, 2011 1:09 PM

Whew! What more and what next?

Lalita Ramdas | June 23, 2011 1:52 PM

Excellent piece - needs to be circulated and stuffed into peoples' mailboxes and preferably down their throats. How do we deal with our scientific community in India who together with our venal politicians and bureaucracy, continue to insist that there are no dangers - that there were hardly any casualties - whether in Chernobyl or in Fukushima - and are relentlessly going ahead with the plans to build an EPR reactor[by the French AREVA] just 200 kms from where I live on the west coast of India

Arizonan | June 27, 2011 1:28 PM

The website enenews.com has the best continuous updates on the ongoing crisis situation at Fukushima, despite the obvious media blackout.

Mike Corbeil | July 26, 2011 7:44 AM

Having seen this article a couple of hours ago and now coming across a video about a lot of suicide happening in Japan due to the Fukushima nuclear incident, it seemed fitting to post a link to it here.

"Suicide Plague: Japan swept by Fukushima depression", posted by RT on July 26, 2011


Mike Corbeil | July 26, 2011 9:50 AM

I know very little about nuclear science, so can't give any expert opinion on what the videos in the following article, below, say; however, having just listened to the first of the videos embedded in the article, it seems like research that will surely interest all of you and others. The page was posted by Alexander Higgins, but I'm not sure if he's the person in the video clips.

"Dangerous Levels Of Radiation Recorded In Multiple Canada Locations As Fukushima Radiation Dangers Continue", July 19, 2011


In the first video embedded in the above page, the person speaking in the video says to see part 1, but the titles for the video clips are not identified with or as "part 1", "Part 2", et cetera. In the first embedded one, he's at Lake Louise and then he's going to travel to Calgary, Edmonton, et cetera, saying he hopes to make it all the way to the east coast, Halifax. However, he is traveling from west to east and there is a video clip at his Youtube channel and for which the title for the clip mentions Victoria, BC, so it should be a likely candidate for part 1.

At Lake Louise, his instrument measured up to 1.68 micro-sieverts per hour and the instrument says that this is a dangerous level. And he says that the level begins to be dangerous starting at 1.2 microsieverts per hour. The following Wikipedia page provides information about dose levels.


Mike Corbeil | July 26, 2011 5:32 PM

Actually, because the video clips don't say "part 1", etc., I'll post the links for the clips presently available and will do this according to the dates they were posted. The article linked in my prior post about this research trip only has three or four embedded videos and there are more than that at the researcher's youtube channel, so further below is the complete current list.

And I hope that this is not considered spamming, for it's only to provide readers with a convenient list of the links, as well as upfront information about what each of the video clips consists of. Some of the first video clips don't show levels of radiation above normal, but this is noted in the notes for each of the links in order to help people who only want to view the videos showing readings of high and dangerous levels to be able to avoid viewing the other clips when people want to view only the clips with high and dangerous level readings.

"‪CRMT Day1 Radiation readings Cowichan lake area British Columbia part 1of3 -07/09/11‬‏",
July 9, 2011

The above clip shows only normal readings with his Geiger counter; except for one, single reading that went up to 0.48. He says that that is nevertheless considered normal, but adds that it would be necessary to determine the radiation source once the counter gives 0.4 and/or higher reading three times in a row. He also says that to be sure to have an accurate reading of a high sort, it's necessary for the Geiger counter being used to go through at least four or five 20-second cycles and high readings must also occur at least three times in a row; after five cycles or more have been completed.

"‪CRMT Day1 Honeymoon Bay Radiation readings Cowichan valley area British Columbia part 2of3 -07/09/11‬‏"
posted July 10, 2011

In the above clip, he says readings are a little high, but still within normal range; nothing dangerous or alarming.

"‪CRMT Day1 Youbou Radiation readings Cowichan valley area British Columbia part 3of3 -07/09/11‬‏"
posted July 10, 2011

In part 3 of 3, he gets mostly low readings, with a single spike of 0.53 at 5:13 into this clip that's 6:22 in length. And in these first three parts, he's using a SOEKS Geiger counter, which he says is not considered to be officially unusable, for official readings. He's waiting to receive an officially valid instrument for the rest of this CRMT trip, but doesn't receive it for a few more days.

So these three clips, above, aren't worth viewing, though the first one provides beautiful scenery and a little explanation about radiological readings. The latter might not be enough to bother viewing the clip though, unless a person really wants to view it.

"‪CRMT - Ladysmith Background RADIATION readings in British Colombia Canada -07/10/11‬‏"
posted July 10, 2011

Still using the SOEKS counter, which he says can't be used for official readings, he got very low readings at Ladysmith. His Ludlum Geiger counter, costing him over $2,000 is soon to arrive and it can be used for official readings.

"‪CRMT -Nanaimo airport Background RADIATION readings in British Columbia Canada -07/10/11‬‏"
July 10, 2011

There's nothing radiologically abnormal or unsafe at Nanaimo airport, and the same is true for the next clip about testing at or in Na«naimo.

"‪CRMT - Nanaimo Background RADIATION readings in British Columbia Canada -07/10/11"
posted July 11, 2011

"‪CRMT - Duncan Background RADIATION readings in British Columbia Canada -07/10/11"
posted July 11, 2011

Very low readings in Duncan, BC, except for a single spike of 0.42 at 3:03 into the clip of five minutes. A few totem poles provide all there is for excitement in this clip.

"CRMT begins with Radiation results for Victoria, Tofino, Ucluelet and Long beach",
July 14, 2011

That clip is about BC, not Long Beach, Calif., and he now has his Ludlum Geiger counter. And he says that he got 0.59 in Victoria when it was raining, but in the above video clip, Victoria is not having rain. 0.59 microsieverts is a high level and it's necessary to find out what the source is, but it's not a dangerous level. He also says that the jet stream has not yet arrived in BC, still being further south, but adds that it'll be over BC by Friday, which'ld be July 15th. He expects it to make a difference in the readings he's getting.

"‪CRMT -Geiger calibration,conversion chart & Fukushima SUPER RADIOACTIVE soil & food‬‏"
posted July 15, 2011

In the above video, he begins by providing an update on Fukushima using articles of July 12th and 13th that were sent to him by a friend in Japan. And he says that when he got readings of radioactivity in the rain in Victoria, it was on July 12th.

Besides the short update on Fukushima at the start of the above clip, which is nearly 14 minutes long, the rest of it is only about testing the two Geiger counters (again) with the radioactive test sample that he has. And he shows how to convert from microsieverts to millirems. He also says that the Ludlum is a little less sensitive than the SOEKS counter, which is the one that can't be used for official readings.

"‪CRMT- Kelowna BC receives High Fukushima Fallout Radioactive Rain on 07/16/11‬‏"
posted July 16, 2011

He says the above clip is Kelowna part 2, but I did not see any video for Kelowna part 1, so it's probably part of one of the other clips, below; or else it apparently wasn't posted at Youtube. And he now has rain to work with. The readings are of high level, over 0.4 and 0.5, though 0.59 is around the highest that his SOEKS counter showed and this is far below the dangerous level at which people would need to get out of the area. But it's still reading high levels, definitely above normal, and he gets out of the rain because of these levels. At the very end of the clip of roughly 4 minutes length, however, the reading drops back down to the still high level of 0.45, but then drops also lower, to 0.37. Nonetheless, he got high readings enough times in a row that they have to be taken seriously.

He didn't use he Ludlum counter in the above clip, but I guess after having tested the other one against the Ludlum one, he can confidently use the other. And maybe he didn't use the Ludlum in order to not put it in the rain, since it is a far more expensive counter.

"‪CRMT- Chilliwack @ 1.13 mcSv Fukushima Fallout of Radioactive Rain on 07/16/11"
posted July 17, 2011

It's a roughly 9-minute clip and he begins (and ends) by using the SOEKS counter and has a rain sample to work from. As soon as he places the counter, which he has placed in a plastic bag, on top of the rain sample, the readings immediately jump to high levels over 0.5, then up to 0.72 microsieverts per hour. After that, it goes up to 0.77 and 0.82, so roughly half way between the start of high level and dangerous level readings, with dangerous level starting at 1.2; and dangerous level means GET OUT of the area a.s.a.p. The SOEKS also goes up to 0.84, but is more often reading 0.82 and .077.

Then he tests the rain sample with the Ludlum counter, but I can't make out what conclusive readings are, for the needle keeps jumping back and forth quite a bit and he doesn't say which of the readings to use. After that, he uses the SOEKS again over the rain sample and it reads 1.01, so considerably higher than the first time, and the counter eventually goes up to 1.13, so very close to dangerous level; but it doesn't stay that high, going back down, to 0.92 and then 0.8, 0.7, 0.72, 0.75, etc, the counter staying pretty steadily between 0.7 and 0.8. And when he was in Kilowna in the rain, he got readings of 0.59 and had to get out of the rain to avoid this radiation, once his readings were taken. It's not raining while he's doing the testing in Chilliwack, where he uses a rain sample taken from his truck before it stopped raining. His truck is dry during these tests.

Oddly, or I think it's odd anyway, he says that when he took tests in Vancouver, which apparently isn't far from Chilliwack, in the rain, he did not get high readings, only having gotten normal level readings, but he gets high readings from the rain in Chilliwack and other locations of BC.

"‪CRMT- Hope BC receives High Radioactive Fukushima Fallout Rain on 07/16/11‬‏"
posted July 17, 2011

That is one of his shorter clips, being under 3 minutes, and the rain sample he collected in Hope, BC, provides readings very similar to those in Chilliwack.

"‪CRMT- High levels of radiation(.97 mcSv/hr) found in Rain from Lloydminster, BC 07/18/11"
posted July 18, 2011

After the SOEKS counter has gone through several 20-second cycles, and he says it takes at least five before beginning to get reliable readings, he gets readings of over 0.7, 0.8 and 0.9, getting 0.97, 0.98, and 0.92, for the readings over 0.9, and then the readings go back into the 0.8x range. This is from a rain sample from Lloydminister, and the video clip is roughly 7 minutes long.

"‪CRMT- connectingdots1 finds Dangerous Radioactive rain in Lake Louise, AB (1.68 mcSv/hr)‬‏"
posted July 18, 2011

According to the next video clip for readings in Red Deer near Edmonton, Alberta, below, he was at Lake Louise, Alberta on July 17th. It's a roughly 8-minute clip and after the SOEKS goes through several cycles, he gets mostly readings in the upper 1.5x and 1.6x ranges, with the 1.6x ones mostly being 1.66 and 1.68, if recalling those correctly. At the level of 1.2 it's time to GET OUT of the area due to the dangerous level of radiation. A few of the readings are lower than 1.5x, recalling as low 1.39, f.e.; but most are 1.5x and 1.6x microsieverts per hour.

"‪CRMT- HIGH Radiation levels found in Rain samples from Red Deer/Edmonton (1.02 mcSv/hr)"
posted July 18, 2011

Red Deer and Edmonton are in Alberta, AB, and he again has rain to use. Red Deer is apparently very near to Edmonton and he's in Red Deer. It's a roughly 5-minute clip, is July 18th, and he gets high level radiation readings of over 0.7 microsieverts per hour, here. But the 0.7x readings are the initial ones and aren't reliable, since the SOEKS counter hasn't yet gone through at least five 20-second cycles. Once those cycles are completed, he gets readings that are mostly in the 0.8x range, especially upper 0.8x, and over 0.9, as much as 0.98. It later goes up to 1.02, but it's the highest he gets and I believe that it doesn't repeat a second time; descending back to over 0.9, while less than 1.0. So he gets high level readings definitely above the half-way point between the start of high level radiation and the and beginning of dangerous levels.

"‪CRMT- Edmonton sees HIGH Radioactive levels in Rain (1.14 mcSv) July 18th 2011"
posted July 23, 2011

That video, which he recorded July 18th, is 5 and a half minutes long and I don't know what he means, but at the start of the clip he says that he's been locked out of his Youtube channel. The videos I'm providing links for and which I downloaded to create backup copies are from his channel, so I wonder what he means by locked out of his channel. I'm not making backups of all of these clips, only doing it for those proving high and dangerous level readings, but now that he says he has been locked out of his channel, it seems like these backups should definitely be made by some people. Based on more of what he says, he had break problems and he says that he stated this in his previous video; but it's not stated in any of the clips I'm providing links for and have viewed. Maybe that was a clip that he was unable to post at his Youtube channel while locked out of it.

He got several readings of 1.0 and above in the above video clip for Edmonton, but also plenty of readings in the upper 0.9x range, as well as some readings in the upper 0.8x range. Above 1.0, he got a few below 1.10, but also got 1.10, 1.11 and 1.14, which is awfully close to dangerous level.

And here's another of his videos that seems to surely be part of his CRMT trip, but without CRMT in the title for the clip.

"Fukushima,Fort Calhoun UPDATES: cesium at 250 times legal limit & soil samples w/ 12016.3"
posted July 11, 2011

That is not for any of his CRMT radiation testing. The video is roughly 5 and a half minutes long and, in it, he presents three stories. One is about the US having expected as much as 3in. of rain in the Mississippi River basin with waters potentially overflowing 70 more levees, which evidently would be very bad news. Another of the stories is about farm animals, cattle anyway, in the Fukushima area having been fed hay containing 250 times more than the legal limit of radiation and I believe that meat from these cattle were made available to consumers who then ate the meet; unless that part is only stated in the video clip of his CRMT series, further above, the one in which he presents some articles sent to him by a friend of his in Japan. The article his friend had sent him specifies the amount of this radiologically poisoned meet that was sold or given to consumers. And the other story in the above July 11th video clip is about the NRC in the US often or usually covering up US nuclear industry reports, including about nuclear leaks.

Actually, he also presents information from an email about testing for cesium 134 and 137, as well as iodine 131 in the soil in the Fukushima area. The first of two tests on the soil samples produced 12016.3 counts per second, whatever that means; and he doesn't say if these counts are from testing for cesium or iodine, but all three are being tested for.

Mike Corbeil | July 27, 2011 6:24 AM

I don't know Arnie Gunderson, but a Wikipedia page for someone with that name speaks of a man who is some sort of nuclear expert. He gave an interview on CNN on June 7th and says that hot particles have reached the west coast of the US, the Seattle area anyway.

"Japan's radiation twice as bad"


There are other copies at Youtube, and I learned of the interview from the following page.

"Hot radioactive particles in Seattle at 50 percent of levels seen in Tokyo — Latches onto lung tissue", June 8, 2011


Following the above article, which has the video clip, is a link for another piece.

"Numerous Hot Spots, Up To 200 KM From Fukushima Exceeding 20 mSv/Yr Radiation Outside Evac Zone", June 18, 2011


The title of that piece seems to indicate that 20 microsieverts per year is dangerous, or high level radiation, but given what collectingdots1 says about microsieverts per hour, I wonder if 20 per year is harmful.

Arnie Gunderson certainly seems to believe that people in the Seattle area need to take precautions and he speaks of 10 and 5 hot particles per day, whatever that works out to in microsieverts.

Here's another piece from CNN and it was posted June 19th. This speaks of more than 200km distances in Japan for affected areas.

"Crisis brewing as Japan's tea farmers face radiation ban"
by Kyung Lah

That begins by saying that bans on growing Japan's green tea have now been established in several prefecturers. Actually, it's in parts of the prefecturers of Tochigi, Chiba and Kanagawa, as well as the whole of the prefecture of Ibaraki; while I have no clue where these are located and don't really have the time to look up this information.

However, the article goes on to say, "Now the discovery of radiation in fields further south in Shizuoka, Japan, some 400 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, threatens the most robust tea-producing region in Japan", but while the article also continues. This is as far as I've read, so far.

It's the 400km distance of Shizuoka from Fukushima that really struck me, believing to have read a number of people speaking or writing of 200km being affected area.

And they're talking about 500, 581 and 654 becquerels of cesium per kg having been found in the green tea and I guess that this is supposed to be a lot, as well as dangerous.

Anyway, the main purpose of this post was to add the link for the interview with Arnie Gunderson, for what he says seems to possibly be complementary information for what collectingdots1's road trip in Canada provides for radioactive readings in western Ca.

keith harmon snow | July 27, 2011 8:43 AM

@ Mike Corbell:

Thank you for all the information and attention to this. I am trying to follow and keep up with it too.


Mike Corbeil | July 27, 2011 3:11 PM


You're welcome. I only hope that it wasn't too much to post here and if you had decided to delete the post about the Canadian guy, connectingdots1, etc, then it would've been accepted. It was posted while knowing that it might get deleted, for some website editors would've certainly done that.

I'm not going to be spending much more time on the topic, being enrolled full-time in courses for computer network administration and these take up a lot of time; but wanted to look into this a little during our present few weeks off.

However, I just came across and read a little from an article at blog.alexanderhiggins.com and the title of the piece is, "Highly radioactive tea with over 1000 bq/kg of Japan nuclear radiation found in Paris", posted June 17th, in case you want to look for the piece. The reason for mentioning it is because my post with the links for the video clips from connectingdots1 refers to a separate article at the end, the one from cnn about "500, 581 and 654 becquerels of cesium per kg having been found in the green tea". Alex Higgins cites from an AFP article about this contamination of the tea and I don't like AFP at all, but if it's right, for once, then it says that the amount of these becquerels has been rather deliberately covered up. One of the sources he uses is AFP, which is not a news media I have any real respect for (they lie, a lot - re. Haiti, f.e.!), but some of what he cites from the piece says the following.

"Laboratory testing revealed contamination by cesium 1,038 Bq / kg, exceeding the maximum permissible level set at European level, which is 500 Bq / kg for this type of product, says the DGCCRF."

I don't know Alex Higgins' work, having only come across an article at his site with a few of the clips from connectingdots1 yesterday; I don't like AFP and plenty of other media, etc; am far from expert on the topic of nuclear matters; and common sense isn't of great help with this, either. It's not like wars, economic injustices, et cetera, for then common sense is greatly helpful. The exceptions are that I agree that we do not need nuclear-generated energy, and we definitely don't have any need at all for nuclear weapons, which we must totally do away with, f.e. Other than for such exceptions, I have to leave the rest to experts.

Rick | June 26, 2012 1:50 PM

Looking at the dates on comments, I'm shocked there are no recent ones.

Are people not interested in Fukushima radiation?

They're going to be as it builds up in their communities over the next couple of years.

Radiation is deadly. Period.

Read more at FukushimaForum.info

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