Hurricane Isaac is about to hit the Gulf coast. This storm originated off the coast of Africa, and moved across the tropical Atlantic in a relatively clean, radiation-free area. The rain associated with it is pretty clean. It also pushed some clean air into portions of the US ahead of it. The graphic, which indicates beta radiation levels in the Baltimore MD area, shows how the radiation levels dropped when the tropical air moved in. Heavy rain that occurred usually increases the amount of radiation in the air, but instead it dropped. Baltimore received over 3 inches of clean rain, which will dilute the radiation concentrations in the surface reservoirs used for tap water. Note that when a cold front passed this morning, radiation went up again, because the air originated in the western US and Canada. But it didn’t go up as high as before, because the rain cleaned the air and soil out somewhat. Potrblog also has posts about this phenomenon in St. Louis here and here.
The remnants of this hurricane are predicted to move through the midwest, northeast and mid-Atlantic region the next few days, providing some needed relief to the air and water contamination.
Michael Collins at enviroreporter.com has an excellent article posted about Fukushima fallout. To me, the most significant item is the increase in radiation on cross-country flights. This indicates increasing amounts of fallout in the atmosphere above us. “What goes up must come down” as they say.
Andrew Kischner at NuclearCRIMES.org has good material. Check out his graph of Cesium-137 in California oranges, now they exceed the 1963 fallout measurements. We should not be comparing Fukushima with Chernobyl, but with the Bravo bomb and the total of the atmospheric nuclear tests of the 1950s and 1960s. Check out his pdf ‘Japan Finds Radioactivity in More Foods From California: The California Radiation Report’.
There is now a “List of Posts” tab on the site to make navigation somewhat easier.