Will SCE and CEP support a Real Time Radiation Monitoring System?

CEP members,

Decommission San Onofre, ROSE, and San Clemente Green on the 7th Anniversary of Fukushima have offered Southern California Edison a SAFECAST radiation monitor for the San Onofre facility that will monitor 24/7/365 and will be live-streamed in the public domain for all to see. We have provided to each CEP member an information sheet about SAFECAST with links to the complete articles. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster on 3/11, there was no information coming from Tepco or the Japanese government. There was much confusion between agencies, local governments and the Japanese people. They were afraid and couldn’t get any accurate and truthful information. The real-time radiation monitoring done by SAFECAST provided the accurate and truthful information to the public, which relieved much fear and confusion for the citizens of Japan and their government. It is my belief that if SCE allows and takes part in the online radiation monitoring program we are setting up it will go a long way to calm fears of the people of Southern California. And, if God forbid, there is ever a nuclear accident at San Onofre we, the citizens, will have the real and accurate information the public needs and deserves.

In fact, we should not expect anything less from SCE and our state and local governments for our communities of Southern California than a Real-time Radiation Monitoring accessible to the public. After all, no one, not even SCE, ever wanted the San Onofre site to become a Nuclear Waste Dump.

To get more information about the SAFECAST program, CEP and SCE could invite co-founder Sean Bonner to speak at the next CEP meeting or a special event as the CEP has done in the past that could be planned soon to gain more knowledge on this very important topic.

Many of our local environmental groups are already working together in conjunction with SAFECAST to do a baseline study of the surrounding communities to provide the information needed in case there ever is a problem at San Onofre.

For the CEP members who represent City councils and local governments we believe it is important that all local cities spend some of the funds given to them by Southern California Edison for nuclear preparedness for a real-time radiation monitoring system. What I’m suggesting is that Southern California Edison and our local governments and state agencies such as the “hazmat units” and our local environmental groups combine our efforts for an interlocking baseline study that will provide invaluable information in case of a future accident at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump. We invite us all to start immediately to find a way to sit down at the table together and begin to work out a process to ensure a real-time radiation monitoring system is provided for our communities. Our local environmental groups, along with SAFECAST, will continue to working towards this goal. Gene Stone, founder ROSE

Safecast is an international, volunteer-centered organization devoted to open citizen science for the environment. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, accurate and trustworthy radiation information was publicly unavailable. Safecast was formed in response, and quickly began monitoring, collecting, and openly sharing information on environmental radiation and other pollutants, growing quickly in size, scope, and geographical reach. Our mission is to provide citizens worldwide with the tools they need to inform themselves by gathering and sharing accurate environmental data in an open and participatory fashion. To read more about Safecast to go https://blog.safecast.org/about/ to read about Safecast history go to https://blog.safecast.org/history/. You will find interesting News from Safecast at https://blog.safecast.org/news/ .

Safecast data map: map.safecast.org

Safecat Calibration addressed it in a short article here: https://blog.safecast.org/faq/about-calibration-and-the-bgeigie-nano/
Validating Safecast data by comparisons to a U. S. Department of Energy Fukushima Prefecture aerial survey. Coletti M1, Hultquist C2, Kennedy WG3, Cervone G4.Author information Our objective was to validate Safecast data by comparing Safecast data with authoritative data collected by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U. S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gathered in the Fukushima Prefecture shortly after the Daiichi nuclear power plant catastrophe. We found that the two data sets were highly correlated, though the DOE/NNSA observations were generally higher than the Safecast measurements. We concluded that this high correlation alone makes Safecast a viable data source for detecting and monitoring radiation. Source: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0952-4746/36/2/S82/meta Or https://www.osti.gov/pages/biblio/1393887-validating-safecast-data-comparisons-department-energy-fukushima-prefecture-aerial-surve

A “Global Sensor Network”
As one of the post-Fukushima DIY networks, Safecast has significantly contributed to generating information on nuclear risks in Japan and beyond. Safecast sees itself as “a global sensor network for collecting and sharing radiation measurements to empower people with data about their environments14” and offers online space on which volunteer Geiger counter users can upload their collected data. Based on the idea of Creative Commons, its highest priority is aggregating data on nuclear radiation around the globe and making them available to the public for free:
Safecast supports the idea that more data-freely available data-is better. Our goal is not to single out any individual source of data as untrustworthy, but rather to contribute to the existing measurement data and make it more robust. Multiple sources of data are always better and more accurate when aggregated.15 Source: https://apjjf.org/2014/12/7/Yasuhito-Abe/4077/article.html


2.4. IMPACT OF RADIOACTIVE RELEASES: FOODSTUFFS AND MARINE BIOTA Lessons Learned: The Fukushima Daiichi accident highlighted the need for radiation monitoring programmes in all Member States to measure radionuclide concentrations in environmental samples and foodstuffs in order to provide transparent and accurate information to members of the public. Of particular concern to the Japanese public were the levels of radioactivity in food and whether or not locally produced food was fit for consumption. In response, the Japanese authorities initially set the limit for 134Cs and 137Cs in foodstuffs at 500 Bq/kg. Approximately one year later, this was reduced to 100 Bq/kg. At the same time, the limit for milk and infant food was reduced from 200 to 50 Bq/kg. The Japanese limit is about a factor of four to ten lower than the national standards applied in other Member States. These values were established to ensure that no individual received an annual dose above 1 mSv. Dose assessment studies in Japan showed that, one year after the accident, the highest annual doses were of the order of 0.02 mSv, compared with an average annual dose of 2.1 mSv from natural background radiation. This indicates that a highly conservative approach to protecting the public has been adopted. Source: https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/te_1092_web.pdf

Atmospheric Modeling and Radiation Monitoring and Analysis
Dr. Daniel Blumenthal, program manager, Consequence Management, Office of Emergency Response, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), talked about his experience related to NNSA’s radiation monitoring during the initial response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan. An NNSA team of radiation monitoring experts was dispatched to Japan the day following the accident. It had data collection, analysis, and assessment capabilities (see Chapter 1 for a description of Department of Energy (DOE) NNSA assets) which were coordinated with those from other federal agencies through the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC).24
Initially, the NNSA team focused on atmospheric dispersion modeling. This modeling was used to predict the path of radioactive material released from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, and from that, provide initial guidance on protective actions and locations for sampling of products to assess contamination levels.
The FRMAC received many requests for modeling support during the Fukushima accident from the United States and Japan. In particular, there were requests for modeling hypothetical scenarios: What if the reactors and spent fuel pools released 100 percent of their inventories? What if this happened when the wind was blowing toward Tokyo for 24 hours? Some of the scenarios that the FRMAC was asked to model were not realistic according to Dr. Blumenthal.
Atmospheric dispersion models can be refined once there is information from environmental measurements and used to project into the future, taking into account some model assumptions on weather conditions and other factors. Environmental monitoring can be both aerial and ground based. Aerial monitoring is conducted by aircraft and typically occurs first because it can cover wide areas quickly and cost-effectively. Also, it is considered to be a safer way to collect information because it does not require physical entry into potentially contaminated areas or, in the case of the Fukushima region, to areas that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Dr. Blumenthal said that some measurements from DOE’s Aerial Measuring System were available within 1 day of the NNSA team’s arrival at Fukushima. Products from the environmental monitoring could be framed in terms of EPA Protective Action Guides (PAGs) to inform protective actions or agricultural protective action guides.
Dr. Blumenthal provided the following lessons learned relevant to emergency planning for environmental monitoring within the United States:
During a nuclear emergency, there is a need for fast, accurate, and comprehensive information when data about the nuclear reactor status are incomplete and conditions (e.g., nuclear reactor status and prognosis, weather) change with time.
Confirming the lack of radioactive contamination in an area is as important as providing information on contamination levels in a different area. In both cases, the information on contamination needs to be updated with time.
Federal capabilities for radioactive contamination data collection are large. However, there is not enough subject-matter expertise to perform the needed quality controls and integrate and interpret the data.
Information on radioactive contamination acquired from nongovernmental organizations needs to be formally integrated in the national response to a nuclear reactor accident. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK268804/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK268804/#sec_000026

Radiation monitoring group formed during Fukushima nuclear disaster now a source of global data BY NAOMI SCHANEN
For months after the nuclear disaster began, the government released only very limited information about the spread of radiation. The first informative map of radiation levels in Fukushima, based on aerial surveys, was not available until May 2011. The first map with an adequate level of detail to show contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including infamous “hot spots” in cities such as Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, was not released until October that year. As confusion spread and triggered panic among citizens, Safecast was determined to commit itself to one thing: openness. “What Safecast proves is that all the preparation in the world — all the money in the world — still fails if you don’t have a rapid, agile, resilient system,” explains Joi Ito, Safecast co-founder and director of MIT Media Lab, on Safecast’s website.
In 2012, Safecast began working with municipal governments in Fukushima to put Geiger counters on postal delivery cars and collect data. As international attention on the group’s activities grew, Safecast was invited to present its findings at an expert meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency in February 2014. Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/09/national/radiation-monitoring-group-formed-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-now-source-global-data/


The exercise of using quality equipment and consistent methodology clearly helped in confirming the nature and extent of the contamination reaching an area far away from the Fukushima plant. In this case the discovery was by several academics and publicly pointed out Professor Takeda, but the validation by Safecast was invaluable for me and other residents in the area. Source: https://blog.safecast.org/2011/06/discover-validate/

SAFECAST attends an IAEA expert meeting which starts Monday. SAFECAST was invited to make a presentation about our methods and results, and I’ll be the one giving the talk, which is on Tues. afternoon, Feb. 18.
Information about the meeting can be found here: IAEA International Experts’ Meeting on Radiation Protection after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident (IEM6), 17-21 February 2014, Vienna, Austria
We debated quite a bit about whether we should participate or not, for a number of reasons. There’s the possibility that our participation would only serve to make the IAEA look good, as in “inclusive and open-minded,” without leading to any constructive dialog. We recognized that it could also be counterproductive for us, if people felt that we had compromised our independence by agreeing to participate. But our communication with the IAEA staffers who contacted us has been surprisingly candid and gave us the strong impression that many people within the organization are truly interested in what SAFECAST has been doing, and feel that specialists who are unaware of our methods and results would benefit from learning about them. They were also hoping we would have a lot of critical things to say. At the same time, the organizers opened themselves up to criticism by including us, because we are not “established” as legitimate experts in the field. Source: https://blog.safecast.org/2014/02/safecasting-the-iaea/

SAO/NASA ADS Physics Abstract Service
Citizen-led movements producing scientific hazard data during disasters are increasingly common. After the Japanese earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, and the resulting radioactive releases at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants, citizens monitored on-ground levels of radiation with innovative mobile devices built from off-the-shelf components. To date, the citizen-led SAFECAST project has recorded 50 million radiation measurements worldwide, with the majority of these measurements from Japan. Finally, the GPS located points were selected within overlapping extents at multiple spatial resolutions. Quantitative measures were used to assess the similarity and differences in the observed measurements. Radiation measurements from the same geographic extents show similar spatial variations and statistically significant correlations. The results suggest that actionable scientific data for disasters and emergencies can be inferred from non-traditional and not vetted data generated through citizen science projects. This project provides a methodology for comparing datasets of radiological measurements over time and space. Integrating data for assessment from different Earth sensing systems is paramount for societal and environmental problems. Source: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016AGUFMNH22B..02H

About residentsorganizedforasafeenvironment

Vision for ROSE Working for the good of the Mother Earth. To provide a safe and clean planet for our children and grandchildren, and the seven generations to come. Working to support Ethically Sound Environmental decisions for the future. We hold the power of our vision in our own hands.
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