Something stinks in California.

Many news organizations have reported a widespread rotten-egg smell in southern California Monday. This smell is of course due to sulfur. It was immediately blamed on a fish die-off in the Salton Sea, which has been a dead or near-dead lake for decades.

There has been a criticality in Fukushima last week. Large amounts of krypton-85 were detected in unit 1, a rise in temperature in reactor 2, and large amounts of hydrogen in unit 1 and oxygen in unit 2. We have had fission and radiolysis. Radiolysis is the splitting of water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen. There must have been a lot of water involved, because these two gases went into widely separated puffs, units 1 and 3.

In other words, corium has hit a large pool of water.

Sulfur-35 is a radionuclide that is produced from neutrons interacting with seawater. There is a paper published last year that documented sulfur-35 in California air in both aerosol and gas form. Neutrons are emitted in a criticality. What is likely is that corium has encountered seawater and is producing sulfur-35. See the graphic above for the path of this plume.

Sulfur-35 collects in the testes and causes testicular cancer.

What happened was either:

1. There is an underground pool of seawater that is due to the earthquakes opening up a fissure underground where the seawater leaked… OR
2. Corium has entered the ocean directly.

If #2 is true, this might never stop.

19 thoughts on “Something stinks in California.

  1. I live in the SF Bay, and while I don’t smell any sulphur today, I have smelled sulfur periodically since 3/11. It has happened enough that my eight year old daughter will casually say, “yuck, rotten eggs, Mommy, the radiation is back,” while we are driving our guests around town. Life post-Fukushima is insane. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are elevated levels of iodine here since last night, even though the jet stream is far north. Batten down the hatches.

    • It’s in Texas too…

      “i work in a small hospital in east texas. Last night i went to inspect all the bathrooms because I smelled this horrible odor and couldn’t imagine what it could be (in a hospital its usually poop) all bathrooms were clean, no toilets clogged up and it still smells tonight.. on my 20 minute drive home i smelled it again while my window was down and had to roll it up.. Now im a long ways from California so i can’t blame the Salton Sea over it, but only a few months ago we had a small earthquake, it was big enough to rattle windows and crack a few cement picnic tables… so im leaning towards a major quake hitting somewhere soon who knows where remains to be seen, but its a little strange that a lot of people are mentioning it around hospitals.”

  2. No sulfur smell in South Korea (near Seoul)… radiation level on our counters register normal so far…..

    BTW, a third product tested positive for Cesium 137 from New Zealand….details to follow….

  3. Contamination resulting from volatile sulfur compounds can be controlled to some degree. An activated carbon or charcoal canister, charcoal filled absorbent sheet, or tray (50-100 grams of activated charcoal granules evenly distributed on a tray or dish) have been shown to readily capture S-35. Just one gram of activated charcoal has a surface area in excess of 500 m2 so a little bit in a dish will greatly reduce the probability that your sulfur will plate out on the inside of your incubator and refrigerator.

    Another simple method is to use copper coated materials. Volatile sulfur compounds readily chemically bind to copper. Simply adding copper foils, copper fittings, copper mesh sponges (Chore Boy Scrubbers), or even pennies have been shown to be effective sulfur traps. These have the added advantage of being unlikely to spill when disturbed.

    • So just get a box of Chore Boy scrubbers, or any copper scrubbers, and attach them to the grill of a fan. The radioactive sulfur will bind to the copper. Pretty simple.

  4. There was a low-pressure area on the southern California-Mexico border that collected the nuclides from the latest Fuku release. It is now moving into west Texas. It will move into Arkansas – southern Indiana – Pennsylvania – New England by Tuesday with dirty rain. It might give a little rain to St. Louis where Potrblog could measure the radiation.

  5. I used to live near Gary, Ind. There is a permanent rotten-egg smell coming from the steel plants there. There are also periodic fish kills in Lake Michigan.

    The stinking dead fish smells totally different from the sulfur coming from the steel mills. People are so gullible.

  6. Respectfully, can you verify that that photo is indeed of Su35 concentrations & not that of relative humidity with some arrows drawn upon it, please? Thanks in advance.

    • No, it’s relative humidity and wind barbs at 700 mb (10,000) feet, showing a feasible path for the S-35. I drew some arrows to make it more obvious. It’s not pretty, but I was in a hurry at the time.

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