FAQ: Effect of Fukushima radiation on flying in commercial airliners
By Christina Consolo (Radchick) [Founder & Host of "Nuked Radio"]:
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Radchick: Nuked in the Sky
Radchick: Fukushima triggers unprecedented increase in airline pilot & passenger heart attacks, cancers, radiation illness symptoms
WATCH ON YOU TUBE
1. RADIATION IN FLIGHT
Radchick: During normal solar activity, radiation levels at 10-11 kilometers cruise altitude are about 2-3 uSv/h, which is 20 to 30 times the radiation you're exposed to on the ground (prior to Fukushima). Thus, you get about the same dose as from 1-2 chest x-rays if you fly for 11 hours (but distributed to all of your body - not just the chest, of course).
Waters M, Bloom TF, Grajewski B. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Federal Aviation Administration (NIOSH/FAA) working women's health study: Evaluation of the cosmic-radiation exposures of flight attendants. Health Phys 79(5): 553–559; 2000. <------Notice year of study
Radiation dose levels represent a complex function of duration of flight, latitude, and altitude.
Based on data collected for this study, radiation dose levels that would be experienced by a flight crew are well below current occupational limits recommended by the ICRP and the FAA of 20,000 uSv y-1.
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) recommends a monthly equivalent dose limit of 500 uSv. The ICRP recommends the radiation limit during pregnancy be 1000 uSv.
Only flight crews flying both a large number of hours during pregnancy (for example, 100 hours in a month) and strictly the highest dose-rate routes (typically global routes such as United States to Buenos Aires or United States to Tokyo) would exceed the NCRP monthly guideline.
2. RADCHICK: MY PERSONAL RADIATION IN FLIGHT EXPERIENCE
Radchick: On my flight to Cancun, we were exposed to 900-1400 cpms for 2 hours. While ascending and landing rad levels dropped considerably, it was at the cloudline before they resume 'normal' ranges of 200 cpms. The majority of the journey, from Charlotte to Cancun leg was 4 hours long. Using the uSv to cpm conversion (which is being highly debated right now in radiation measurement circles) our total exposure on just one leg of our journey was approximately (of course this is dependent on the model of Geiger and type of radiation -- In my case I was using an Inspector reading cpm and a Soeks uSv) 108,000 counts in just 2 hours. Overall a 4 hr. flight was approximately 200,000 total counts over 4 hrs. or 50,000 counts per hour 833 cpm rough average. And that is using the lower range to estimate of 900. Assuming a conversion factor of 100 cpm per uSv, my exposure was approximately 8.33 uSv.
Just this flight would expose an airline worker to 1/10 of their yearly exposure limits. ASSUMING as all flights encounter this level of rads within 10 4-hour flights a person would reach guidelines for airline industry workers of 20 uSv/year. That's only 40 hours of flying!! Flight attendants fly an average of 80 hours a month. Pilots 75-85 hrs. per month. Within 2 weeks they would have reached their exposure guidelines. NO WONDER the pilots are dropping dead. I would also like to remind you I went into kidney failure within hours of landing, and my 28 y/o daughter was hospitalized for kidney failure 2 weeks after we returned from our trip. A number of students on the trip as well suffered from skin problems, swollen eyes and other ailments during and after. I also observed that 2 out of 4 stewardesses on this particular flight had some major skin problems, possibly eczema? on their face. It was severe enough that I was surprised they were working/not on sick leave.
FYI: Comparisons with X-rays and CT scans “meaningless” — Inhaling particles increases radiation exposure by “a factor of a trillion” says expert
3. OTHER INFLIGHT READINGS (3)
A. Connie Fogal, Former Vancouver, BC Parks Board Commissioner:
Date of flight: 1/11/2014 Average Alt. 35,000 feet Air Canada
Vancouver, BC (YVR) –Heathrow UK (LHR)
Average Geiger counter reading 2.45 uSv/hour
Date of flight: 1/19/2014 Average Alt. 35,000 feet Air Canada
Heathrow UK (LHR) - Vancouver, BC (YVR)
Average Geiger counter reading range:
2.89 - 3.60 uSv/hr.
B. Tom Clearwater, Lawyer, Vancouver, BC:
Readings On Flight From Vancouver, BC To Hong Kong
Date/Vancouver time/altitude in feet/reading in micro Sieverts per hour uSv [locational data]
16/11/Vancouver (home) 0.06 uSv
16/13/airport (departure) 0.04-0.08
16/13:30/plane (ground) 0.04-0.06
16/15:30/32k 1.70-2.09 (held above my fish dinner)
16/17:30/32k 2.10-2.20 [W of Alaska] uSv
16/19:11/32k 1.53-1.91 [E of Kamchatka]
16/19:50/32k 1.76-1.95 [S of Kamchatka]
16/21:45/32k/1.31-1.53 [just SE of Sapporo Japan]
16/22:00/32k/1.42-1.53 [NE of Sendai
16/22:15/32k/1.20-1.46 [just NE of Sendai]
16/22:30/32k/1.27-1.46 [just N of Sendai, over land]
16/22:45/32k/0.98-1.30 [just S of Niigata]
17/1:11/32k/1.35-1.53 [E of Shanghai]
17/2:45/28k/1.02-1.07 [descent for Hong Kong]
We flew almost directly over Fukushima.
On Flight From Hong Kong To Johannesburg
I also checked rad levels on our flight from Hong Kong (HK) to Johannesburg. Flying time was night until we reached J. Levels were consistently 50% of those on our day flight to Hong Kong, so 0.1 uSv thereabouts until the sun started rising, then levels equaled to-HK levels. I interpret this data to suggest that sun exposure was the main determining factor apart from altitude. Under this interpretation, there is no or negligible Fukushima rad in the air.
Also notice that to HK levels slowly dropped as sun exposure faded.
C. Chile to Portland, OR Flight (Reported by Rense.com) http://bit.ly/1faGQkQ
Date of Flight: July 1, 2013
Chile, South America – Portland, OR (USA)
Geiger counter readings (CPM)
Chile 366 CPM
Equator 614 CPM
Oregon 1208 CPM
1208 CPM is about the same as 20Bq.
NOTE: Assuming a conversion factor of 100 cpm per uSv, the exposure level over Oregon was approximately 12.08 uSv.
PILOT'S BLOG - MAPPING RADIATION LEVELS
Radchick: From a pilot's blog who is mapping rad levels, excellent info:
"So, finally, with all the flying I’ve done lately, I’d like to say that I’m getting a very firm grasp on where the radiation is and what you can do about it. What I’ve discovered, to date, can be summarized like this:
Aircrew get more radiation than nuclear power plant workers.
Aircrew are classified as radiological workers by the NCRP (National Center for Radiation Protection)
On average, north of 35 degrees north-latitude, radiation increases rapidly above about 35,000′. Pilots who do not need to go higher than that, operationally, might as well stay at a lower altitude if they want to avoid high radiation levels.
Altitude has little affect on the radiation level when flying at latitudes south of about 30 degrees north. I’ve seen almost zero variation between 35,000′ and 45,000′ when flying from 30 degrees all the way down to the equator.
Flying over the North pole is the most hazardous of all. Radiation levels will normally be 12-18 micro-Seiverts per hour, at 40,000′. From 31,000′ upwards, the radiation level will double about every 6500′. Pilots need to check on solar flare activity because, sometimes, levels can exceed 100 uSv/hr.
An affordable dosimeter, that accurately measures all of the different types of radiation at flight altitude, does not seem to be readily available. There is 3x more up there than just Gamma. I think the other main components are radioactive electrons, protons and X-Rays.
"Currently, the best prediction center, I’ve found, for flight radiation, is the NAIRAS website.
"Above excerpt from: http://jetradjamesblog.wordpress.com/
WHY THE VARIABILITY IN RADIATION AMONG DIFFERENT FLIGHTS/AREAS?
Ecologynews.com: Radiation in the atmosphere is not evenly distributed. As with radiation in the oceans, radiation in the atmosphere follows law of fluid dynamics in the atmosphere and is dependent on weather fronts, the location of existing radiation plumes in the atmosphere, as well as weather warfare patterns. Thus Radchick was exposed to high radiation of 14 uSv/hr (1400 cpm) on her flight from North Carolina to Cancun, Mexico, while her return trip had normal radiation exposures. PAssengers have very little concept of potential radiation exposures on any particular flight.
Government agencies, including the FAA, IATA and others are not releasing flight radiation safety data to the flying public and must do so. Passengers intending to fly should track the following websites:
Climate Viewer News: http://climateviewer.com/
Submit reports at Climateviewer: https://climateviewer.crowdmap.com/reports
4. WHAT TYPE OF RADIATION IN FLIGHT?
Radchick: I had a Long discussion tonight with a health physics professor about this...I wish I would have recorded it. At first he told me "You can't do the math for this" but then made me redo the math about 10 different ways, weighing in the different factors for cpm/uSv/h conversion, and dissecting each one. What we came up with (and he is very very conservative) is almost 100% likelihood of exceeding yearly dose in 5 months, IF source were beta/gamma spectrum...this drops in the middle if you bring the math forward to alpha which is 20 x stronger, where you have 100% likelihood of exceeding dose after ONE FLIGHT assuming you inhaled hot particles. Which is almost a given knowing what blew out of Fukushima IMHO. Too bad our Geiger’s aren't going to pick up alpha with much accuracy.
So rather than asking "how long can I fly" you have to know what size bullet you were shot with, during the flight. The alpha bullet is 20 x bigger than the beta or gamma bullet.
And unless every airliner is outfitted with a $15,000 scintillator and they are properly used and maintained, you are never going to know, for sure.
The Geiger’s we are all using cost less than $1000 and only measure about 2% of the actual radiation that is there.
It would be easier if we knew exact particles...because so many other decay products will come from it. Without knowing the particles and whether it's alpha beta or gamma it is nearly impossible to calculate exposure. We are speaking in very, very general terms here. Which was driving my professor friend crazy. He mentioned being specific about this in our radio discussion as it will leave us open to criticism if we adhere to closely to timelines with so many variables in the equation. Even though the implication is very obvious...that no one should really be flying at all under these conditions.
5. AIRLINE SICKNESS REPORTS AND SUDDEN HEART ATTACKS (crew + passenger)
Radchick: Searching google I did not find any reports or news stories of commercial pilots having heart attacks of passing out mid-flight prior to Fukushima until I really dug into it. These stories started appearing in April of 2011. I know it has to have happened before; I will try WayBackMachine as well. UPDATE: Per WayBack there were 2 stories in 2011 pre-Fukushima, one from Seattle, one from Bahrain Jan and Feb of 2011, respectively. Further back yields only a few sporadic reports:
In July 1985 a passenger who had flown a plane once but wasn’t certified was able to bring a Cessna safely to ground in Lansing, Michigan, after the pilot suffered a heart attack and died in midflight.
In February 2002 a woman with just 48 hours of pilot training took the controls of a twin-engine Cessna over Cape Cod after the pilot became incoherent following an insulin reaction. Unable to reach anyone on the ground, she was able to safely crash-land the plane on the ground next to the runway, saving everyone aboard.
In 2009 a Florida man with 130 hours of experience flying single-engine planes took the controls of a twin-engine turboprop after the pilot died early in the flight. The emergency stand-in, whose wife and daughters were also aboard, claimed later he'd had no idea how to operate the larger plane beyond working the radio, but he was successfully talked down to a safe landing.
According to "The Wings of the Web" at Airliners.com http://www.airliners.net, a forum for pilots, only 2 cases showed up in searching their database: One of NWA pilot passing out in January of 2004, and one of a Porter Airlines pilot passing out in November of 2009.
So we have a combined number of 6 documented cases of pilots passing out since 2004, before 3/11.
NTSB does not keep records of in-flight medical emergencies, so we have no way to research this further by hard data.
In comparing to available historic data, it would appear we have had a sizeable increase in these events since Fukushima. List of news stories sourced on google of airline anomalies since 3/11, including pilots passing out, crews having health issues, planes landing at wrong airports, in chronological order:
April 2011: California to Colorado: Wife takes over flying when pilot/husband passes out: A woman took over the controls of a small airplane when her pilot-husband started having trouble breathing and speaking on a flight from California to Colorado, authorities said. Ground controllers in Colorado and a Great Lakes Airlines pilot in another plane helped her guide the smaller craft. "I was terrified - terrified," the woman said. "I don't know how well I was flying that plane. I was trying, it was terrifying. I had never ben responsible for a plane before. The FAA has not identified the couple. The specifics of the man's medical problem, who apparently suffered from hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain, weren’t available. An air traffic controller in Longmont, Colo., noticed the 70-year-old pilot appeared to have difficulty breathing during a routine conversation they were having, KCNC reported. The woman said her husband was slurring his speech and was unable to push the buttons.
June 2011: Australia: Emirates pilot passes out for 55 minutes: A trainee pilot was unconscious at the controls of his light plane for 55 minutes as it flew 250km on autopilot over the Australian city of Adelaide and out to sea, an investigation has revealed. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) report said the young pilot – whose flying license has since been suspended – regained consciousness to find he had overshot the city’s Parafield airport and was heading out to sea.
September 2011: Reno, NV: Pilot passed out during air-show flight causing crash which killed 11 people and injured 60 (blamed on G-force):
October 2011: Africa: British Actor 'Mr. Bean' flies plane after pilot passes out:
Things got really serious when British comedian Rowan Atkinson most famous as his television persona, Mr. Bean, took over the controls of a small plane containing his wife and children after the pilot passed out 16,000ft over Kenya. According to a report on The Spectator magazine's website, Atkinson, who had never taken flying lessons, took the controls and flew the privately chartered Cessna for several minutes after the pilot apparently lost consciousness and could not be immediately revived.
January 2012: Great Britain: SCARY! Severe medical emergency during flight, both pilots 'almost pass out' and plane loses altitude sharply: A British Airways jet was forced to make an emergency landing after two women pilots 'almost passed out' at the controls.
The captain and first officer had to put on oxygen masks as the aircraft, which had just taken off from Heathrow, was climbing at 20,000 feet.
Twenty minutes into the Glasgow-bound flight, passengers heard a 'panicked' call for a senior member of the cabin crew to come to the aid of the flight crew 'immediately'. 'It later transpires that both pilots became lightheaded/dizzy/unwell at the same time, in my book that's serious.'
April 2012: Wisconsin: An 80-year old woman lands plane after pilot passes out
Helen Collins landed the twin-engine Cessna, with only one engine running, after her husband collapsed. Helen Collins is not a pilot. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0403/An-80-year-old-woman-lands-plane-after-pilot-passes-out
Radchick: **It was around this time news of the flight crews having skin issues surfaced. Events and sickouts from pilots escalated as follows:
April 2012: Air Canada has to cancel 70 flights due to pilot shortage, possible 'illegal sick-out": http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/air-canada-pilots-sick-calls-ruled-an-illegal-strike-1.1264378
May 2012: ABC news reports 2,800 flight crew members have sick-outs due to chemical in uniforms ALASKA AIRLINES: According to Seattle’s King 5 News, the year-old uniforms may contain Tributyl phosphate. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said 10 percent of the airline’s 2,800 attendants are suffering from itching, hair loss, and other adverse health reactions. One flight attendant told King 5 News, “I’ve never had a uniform like this. I broke out this week. I broke out on my back first, then on my legs. I don’t know what it is, or whether it’s the uniform. But, I didn’t have it until I flew 6-7 days in a row and then I started breaking out.” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/05/rashes-hair-loss-caused-by-flight-attendant-uniforms/
May 2012: India Air pilots call in sick, causing 100 flights to be cancelled, blamed on contract issues:
**IMPORTANT: JULY 2012: WIRED MAG in the UK runs article how to fly a plane if your pilot passes out! http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/07/how-to/land-a-plane-when-the-pilot-is-out
**VERY IMPORTANT: July 2012: Story about f-22 pilots passing out frequently (11 times!) in past year.
Why have US military pilots been passing out at the controls of their F-22 fighter jets? That has been the mystery vexing Pentagon officials for more than a year. On Tuesday, they announced the results of a wide-ranging investigation into dangerous malfunctions surrounding the most expensive fighter jet in military history. “What gave the Air Force grave concern last year was the unexplained nature of the incidents and the incident rates,” says Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, director of operations for Air Combat Command, who headed the investigation. “At one point we got up to 11 incidents, which we could not explain.” This was a grave concern for pilots as well. In May, two F-22 pilots went public on CBS saying they refused to fly the plane after becoming woozy and dizzy in mid-flight. The problem, it turns out, is largely due to a pressurized vest that pilots wear when they fly. It has inflated “before it should” in some cases, creating a tightness in the chest. This has been caused by a faulty valve, installed to protect against chemical attacks.
July 2012: Tampa: Military plane (C-17) lands at wrong airport:
September 2012: Large numbers of pilots call in sick, cancelling 300 flights attributed to 'contract worries':
In a related article, American spokesman Bruce Hicks, in the carrier’s statement, said sick leave “has been up more than 20 percent year over year and has been elevated for months.”???!!! http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2012/09/union-says-sick-leave-numbers-show-that-pilots-arent-calling-in-sick-in-elevated-numbers.html/
November 2012: Abu Dhabi: pilot passes out/has stroke like symptoms: This piece of news had just been released even though it happened back in 17 Nov 2012. Minutes before an Etihad Airways Kuwait-Abu Dhabi flight was due to land, the 44-year old Omani pilot was unable to speak properly and had difficulty breathing before becoming unconscious mid-flight. The co-pilot took over and declared an emergency, and was able to do a successful emergency landing without injuries/damages in the Abu Dhabi airport.
November 2012: Australia: A Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot passed out at the controls for several minutes while transporting two patients – and later tested positive to methamphetamine, according to a report. Since when does methamphetamines cause people to pass out? http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2012/11/21/05/13/pilot-passes-out-at-controls
December 2012: Great Britain: Pilot passes out/crashes at airshow: A Red Arrows pilot was probably close to unconsciousness before his plane crashed, an inquest has concluded. Jon Egging, 33, from Rutland, died when his Hawk T1 jet crashed following a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival, in August last year. An inquest heard Flt Lt Egging might have succumbed to G-force impairment before attempting to correct his course in the moments before the impact. The coroner in Bournemouth recorded a verdict of accidental death.
December 2012: Alaska Air attendants suing over sick-outs related to uniforms: A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Alaska Airlines flight attendants who have experienced numerous health problems as a result of wearing their uniform. Last year, the airline issued new uniforms to its flight attendants. The new uniforms were manufactured by Twin Hill (a division of Men’s Warehouse), and have been found to contain Disperse Orange 37/76, which is a dye that has been banned from use in apparel products, because Disperse Orange 37/76 is a known skin and respiratory irritant. The complaint alleges that almost immediately after the new Twin Hill uniforms were issued to the flight attendants, they began to experience skin symptoms — rash, hives, redness, or itching. A growing number of attendants are also reporting abnormal thyroid functions, hair loss, eye irritation/inflammation, fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing and asthma.
2 INCIDENTS IN 10 DAYS
January 2013: Seattle to Vegas: Pilot passes out (from 'flu'):
January 2013: LA to Seattle: Pilot passes out (from 'flu' or 'food-poisoning'):
February 2013: Article mentions 2 passed out pilots and unruly passenger forced landing (working on a separate list of 'people freaking out' during flights - not sure I'll have this done by tomorrow)
**IMPORTANT: August 2013: Forbes also runs story about what to do if your pilot passes out during flight!
September 2013: Houston to Seattle: Pilot has heart attack in-flight and dies:
September 2013: Great Britain: A few days after that another pilot falls asleep on route to Gatwick. Of course airlines trying to say this happens all the time:
September 2013: Great Britain: BOTH pilots fall asleep during flight:
October 2013: Humberside, Great Britain: Passenger lands plane after pilot passes out (later died):
November 2013: Plane lands at wrong airport, Kansas:
December 2013: Alaskan Airlines cancels 24 flights due to flight crews calling in sick: Egan says a "very unusual" cold and flu season hit the airline's Pacific Northwest hub, and the entire region was affected.
December 2013: Spokane teen dies on flight: UPDATE: According to the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office the cause of death of the teen who passed away on a Delta flight is currently listed as "pending" further microscopic and other studies, but is thought to be a complication of a rare disease. The manner of death is natural.
January 2014: Branson, MO: Plane lands at wrong airport: This isn’t the first time a large plane has landed at the wrong airport. In late November, RT reported that a massive Boeing 747 Dreamlifter, typically used to haul aircraft parts across the world, landed at a small airport in Kansas a few miles away from its intended destination.
January 2014: Iowa to Denver: Pilot has heart attack: Passengers heard not one but two chilling announcements on a recent United Airlines flight from Des Moines to Denver, after their pilot suffered a heart attack at 30,000 feet Quick-thinking nurse Linda Alweiss, from Camarillo, California, rushed to respond when crew asked over the loud speaker if any passengers had medical training. But as she was administering aid to the 'mumbling and incoherent' pilot, another, distinctly more terrifying plea was heard: 'Does anyone in the cabin have flight experience?' Thankfully, the co-pilot managed to safely land the plane at an airport in Omaha, but not before the unusual request thoroughly frightened all on board.
January 2014: Australia: Teen takes control of plane after pilot passes out. A teenager has described how took he the controls of a light plane for more than half an hour after the pilot passed out during a joy flight over rural Australia. Troy Jenkins says the Cessna 150 was only 10 minutes into a flight from the New South Wales state farming town of Forbes on Saturday afternoon when the pilot Derek Neville lost consciousness.
February 2014: WSJ addresses 'pilot shortage' Pilot Retirements and New Rules on Training and Rest Hurt More Than Expected By SUSAN CAREY and JACK NICAS Feb. 3, 2014 8:15 p.m. ET
A shortage of qualified pilots has hit U.S. airlines sooner and more severely than expected, leading the airlines to accelerate hiring and cut some service. The shortage flows from both a long-anticipated wave of pilot retirements and recently enacted rules that require an increase in training for new pilots and more rest for existing aviators at passenger airlines.
PUBLISHED TODAY: Landing at wrong airport common? On at least 150 flights, including one involving a Southwest Airlines jet last month in Missouri and a jumbo cargo plane last fall in Kansas, U.S. commercial air carriers have either landed at the wrong airport or started to land and realized their mistake in time, according to a search by The Associated Press of government safety databases and media reports since the early 1990s....
The FAA emphasizes that the wrong-airport landings are rare. While there are 29,000 commercial flights in American every day, there were only eight wrong airports in the last decade and none resulted in death or injury.
Radchick: According to my neighbor, former Lockheed engineer, a pilot has to willfully ignore onboard flight systems to screw up this bad and land at the wrong airport, or be really, really disoriented.
6. RADS AFFECTING BRAIN FUNCTION? UNRULY PASSENGER STUDY SEES HUGE INCREASE...1 IN 1,200
Radchick: This is interesting: Unruly passengers are becoming more and more of a problem for airlines, according to a new report — and they can cost a lot of money.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been keeping data on bad passenger behavior since 2007, and has seen a dramatic rise in problems since then.
In 2011, the most recent year covered in the report, there was one unruly passenger incident for every 1,200 flights.
The report takes a stab at guessing why unruly incidents are on the rise: “Perhaps, we could assume that unruly behavior reflects a broader societal problem where anti-social behaviour is becoming more and more prevalent,” and “in the contained, stressful environment of a commercial aircraft in flight, the type of behavior which might be tolerable in the street takes on a whole different nature.”
Will be interesting to chart the trend in 2012/2013/2014.
7. AIRCRAFT AIR CIRCULATION:
Radchick: According to specs provided by Donaldson Aircraft, half of the air circulating during flights is pulled from the outside, half is recirculated. The air is filtered thru Hepa filters (link to pdf): http://www.donaldson.com/en/aircraft/cabinairquality/supportDocs/18%20Issues%20Pertaining%20to%20Flight%20Attendant%20Comfort.pdf
About HEPA filters: High-efficiency particulate absorption or HEPA is a type of air filter. Filters meeting the HEPA standard have many applications, including use in medical facilities, automobiles, aircraft and homes. The filter must satisfy certain standards of efficiency such as those set by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). To qualify as HEPA by US government standards, an air filter must remove (from the air that passes through) 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 µm or larger.
The following list is a series of fallout detections that were reported in the US, Europe, and NZ (in chronological order):
EARLY IN CRISIS:
Europe and Asian flights were all halted going into Tokyo: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/15/radiation-tokyo-flights-cancelled
Commercial air carriers were trying to make the decision whether or not to ground flights because of rads (per NRC conversation):
Title: Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi ET Audio File Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Date: March 17, 2011
MR. CASTO: Yeah, it’s a significant amount of people, and they have — and they have authorized all Americans to go on the charter. So they have taken half the flights and have Embassy dependents — well, no, each flight — I don’t know how to say it. Now I’m starting to get tired. Each flight is reserved — half reserved for Embassy dependents; the other half of the flight is for American citizens.
MALE PARTICIPANT: Right. MR. CASTO: Okay? So they’re pumping those, but they’re worried because, you know, they may get grounded eventually, because of — because of, you know, radiation. They are worried about radiation. Commercial air carriers are trying to make the decision whether they are going to stop their flights. And if they do, then that puts more pressure on the charter flights to get people out.
More from NRC phone calls: On Day 7, a participant who is not identified by name said that the Japanese had asked the N.R.C. “how we deal with extending dose,” or allowing workers to soak up higher amounts of radiation in an emergency. “We just told them for emergencies and a condition like this, we have guidelines that let us go to a certain limit. But in this case, you need to do what you need to do to get it done,” said the unidentified N.R.C. voice on the line.
“This government has got tremendous, tremendous, I mean, unfathomable challenges,” said another official, Charles Casto, the deputy administrator for the N.R.C. region that covers the western United States.
Speaking from Tokyo, he predicted that rising levels of radioactivity might stop airliners from coming to Tokyo. He remarked on his own tiredness, and rambled a bit. “When you’ve got a thousand dead bodies washing up on the shore, you know, it’s — you know, these people — I don’t know, I mean, we — you know, I think we’d be prepared for it, but it’s — this is — it is a tough time for them, and we’re over here barking at them.”
At that point, an unidentified participant responded: “This is good. I mean, the president is calling for an assessment of the safety of nuclear power in this country. And I’m not exactly sure what that means yet, but I think we have an opportunity to shape it. And I would jump in and shape it in roughly the same direction you’re pointing.”
April 2011: Why are people in full-body suits and facemasks when checking radiation at a water facility near San Francisco?
As late as June 2011: Metallic taste reported in Japan and Pacific Northwest:
Health Canada covered up radiation levels too: For 22 days, a Health Canada monitoring station in Sidney detected iodine-131 levels in the air that were up to 300 times above the normal background levels. Radioactive iodine levels shot up as high as nearly 1,000 times background levels in the air at Resolute Bay, Nunavut.
Meanwhile, government officials claimed there was nothing to worry about. “The quantities of radioactive materials reaching Canada as a result of the Japanese nuclear incident are very small and do not pose any health risk to Canadians,” Health Canada says on its website. “The very slight increases in radiation across the country have been smaller than the normal day-to-day fluctuations from background radiation.”
In fact, Health Canada’s own data shows this isn’t true. The iodine-131 level in the air in Sidney peaked at 3.6 millibecquerels per cubic metre on March 20. That’s more than 300 times higher than the background level, which is 0.01 or fewer millibecquerels per cubic metre.
“There have been massive radiation spikes in Canada because of Fukushima,” said Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/12/canada-busted-lying-fukushima-radiation.html (original article from 2011)
Surprise? Researchers say radioactivity levels detected by air monitoring stations were higher than computer models had predicted
Iodine-131 now detected in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary… other countries — An indicator of nuclear chain reaction — 10 days after criticality talk at Fukushima
Traces of iodine-131 detected in Europe, Trend, November 11, 2011:
“Low levels of a radioactive isotope have been detected in several European countries in the past days, but the source of the emission was unknown, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Friday, DPA reported.” [...]
‘”But it’s a concern because there is a source somewhere,” an official close to the IAEA said, adding that atmospheric measurements were made in countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary.” [...]
“People who take a transatlantic flight are exposed to a radiation dose 40,000 times as high as the one detected recently, the Vienna health ministry said.”
From the International Atomic Energy Agency’s brief statement on the detection:
“The IAEA has learned about similar measurements in other locations across Europe”
“The IAEA believes the current trace levels of iodine-131 that have been measured do not pose a public health risk and are not caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan”
“The IAEA is working with its counterparts to determine the cause and origin of the iodine-131.”
The iodine-131 finding comes around 10 days after the announcement of xenon at Fukushima, which was suspected to be caused by a criticality.
How long did it take for radioactive particles from Japan to reach Europe back in March?
“The substances were blown eastward by a jet stream traveling at a speed of some 3,000 kilometres a day, arriving on the US West Coast on March 18, in Iceland on March 20, and many other European countries on March 22, the researchers said.” -DPA
Because radioactive releases after the March 11 quake occurred almost immediately, the radioactive isotopes from Japan took about 10-11 days to reach Europe.
Hungarian gov’t radiation expert: Iodine-131 detected in Budapest, but it’s OK because “this is far below the levels found after Fukushima”
Nov. 11 — Dr. Geza Safrany of Hungary’s National Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene told Reuters:
“A very minimal increase in activity was registered (in Hungary) on Nov. 5 … but this is far below the levels found after Fukushima”
“For the time being the source of the leakage cannot be determined”
Detections were made at monitoring stations in Budapest and the eastern town of Miskolc
He said it was unlikely Hungary would be the source of the leakage as it was detected in several places in Europe
Elevated radiation also in Germany, Sweden, and Slovakia — UK expert claims iodine very unlikely from Fukushima since it was “so many months ago”
Poland tries to blame Pakistan for iodine-131 over Europe — Pakistan says no: “Release of Iodine-131 is not possible unless there is a nuclear fuel failure”
Confirmation by IAEA November 2011: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/11/us-nuclear-iodine-iaea-idUSTRE7AA4U020111111
Major Website: Mystery cloud of dangerous iodine-131 over Europe is absolutely cause for concern — Certainly deserves more than 129 words by IAEA
Gov’t Report: Kansas detected Iodine-131 in grass at over 2,000 pCi/kg — “Attributed to Fukushima” — About 700% higher than highest levels reported by UC Berkeley
Report: “High level radiation cloud” detected passing over New Zealand city — Peaks reached an “incredible” 1.89 microSv/h
Anonymous Korean official says radiation detections rising because two Fukushima reactors are currently leaking -Yonhap
April 2013: Xenon Japan:
Xenon detected in Japan — Consistent with nuclear fission event — Could be from reactor or other atomic activity — N. Korea bomb test?
August 2013: New XENON detections in Korea:
Nuclear Expert: Xenon detections in S. Korea may be from Fukushima reactors — Criticality or ‘spontaneous fission of curium’ to blame?
*I know there are probably more but this establishes a timeline by ongoing detections of fallout/ Iodine 131 and Xenon/ that proves criticality is occurring, and at levels high enough that it is being detected/reported even from Europe and NZ. If we look at sludge data from Japan there is evidence of this almost weekly, but this shows the radioactive pollution is continuously affecting the entire planet, and therefore airlines.
8. HELICOPTER RADIATION FLIGHTS // ACTIVITY (in chronological order):
Radchick: As there is no publically accessible data or record of these flights, this list has been generated by google search through local and mainstream news.
We know that helicopters as part of Operation Tomodachi were heavily contaminated, including 60,000 cpm off the radiator intakes after a single humanitarian flight. SDF helicopters that flew over Fukushima and the coast had high levels detected too, even after decontamination (obviously): "Higher than normal levels of radiation have been detected on Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters that flew over the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant even after decontamination.
GSDF sources say hundreds of microsieverts of radiation per hour were detected at engine inlets and other parts of the helicopters, which monitored radiation levels and took aerial pictures of the plant."
Read more at
*Since Fukushima, there have been a number of helicopter flights measuring background radiation levels on both coasts, starting in summer of 2011. Before that I could find only occasional postings of these flights being conducted, 1 in 2006 and 1 in 2009.
Flights are explained as DOE study that has been ongoing since 2009: http://www.issaquahpress.com/2011/07/05/helicopter-is-part-of-department-of-energy-radiation-study/
July 2011: Puget Sound: The measurements will be used to determine what normal radiation levels are various locations. The data will provide a baseline that can be used for comparison should there ever be a nuclear accident, the Department of Health said. http://mylocalhealthguide.com/2011/07/08/low-flying-helicopter-will-map-local-radiation-levels-this-month/
July 2011: From Seattle Times: "Similar surveys have already been done in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta." http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2015597219_helicopter14m.html
Rad flights then started being promoted as anti-terrorism exercise after 2011, this from Forbes: The crew is collecting data on background radiation so local and federal law enforcement agencies will have a base line to compare to spikes detected by new monitoring equipment sniffing for radioactive materials at the nation’s ports and border crossings.
NNSA is conducting the survey in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, which was criticized in 2009 by the General Accounting Office for not doing more to monitor the smuggling of radioactive materials on the domestic front
November 2011: Las Vegas: http://www.lasvegas360.com/1702/helicopter-scans-for-radiation-over-las-vegas/
May 2012: Baltimore MD: http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/PressRoom/Pages/NNSABaltassessment.aspx
August 2012: SF Bay area: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Copters-to-measure-radiation-in-Bay-Area-3815658.php
August 2012: Berkeley area: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/08/29/low-flying-helicopters-over-berkeley-are-measuring-radiation-levels/
September 2012: Bellona weighs in on flights and possible Fukushima connection: "In the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima accident, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused to answer questions or to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
On March 21, 2011, the EPA pulled 8 of 18 air monitors in California, Oregon and Washington state that track radiation from Japan’s nuclear reactors out of service for “quality reviews.”
By April 2011 the EPA had temporarily raised limits for radiation exposure by rewriting its Protective Action Guides (PAGs) to radically increase the allowable levels of iodine-131 by 3,000 times, a 1,000-fold hike for exposure to strontium-90, and a 25,000-fold increase in exposure limits to radioactive Nikel-63.
The EU followed suit by implementing an “emergency” order without informing the public that increased the amount of radiation in food by up to 20 times previous food standards, according to Kopp Online and Xander News. According to EU bylaws, radiation limits may be raised during a nuclear emergency to prevent food shortages."
January 2013: New Orleans: http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/noaerialsurvey
December 2013: Program for LA "Detection Halo": "A controversial federal program to secure cities against the threat of nuclear terrorism, conceived during the George W. Bush administration, is ramping up its activities in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city had received an $11.4 million grant to create what he called a “detection halo” that would provide an early warning of impending doom. The program, administered by the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), utilizes sensor equipment, communications infrastructure and special training to attain what some skeptics think is unattainable—security in an insecure world.
The office was created within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in April 2005. A year later, the office introduced the “Securing the Cities” pilot program in New York City. In the program’s first expansion beyond New York, the Los Angeles/Long Beach area received a $1 million grant and $500,000 in training support from the federal government in October 2012 to develop what the office calls “a region-wide, robust nuclear detection capability.” "Some observers wondered if the time and effort at detection might better be applied to figuring out how the city would respond if the bomb were actually triggered. The 2013 DHS budget summary (pdf) noted that 6,000 pieces of radiological detection equipment had been deployed in New York and 11,000 personnel had been trained in preventive operations."
January 2014: Baltimore:
January 2014: NJ in prep for Superbowl: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/01/choppers_to_scan_background_radiation_as_super_bowl_security_measure_starting_tomorrow.htm
Radchick: *TO MY KNOWLEDGE none of the results of ANY of these helicopter rad mapping missions has ever been released publicly.
9. NEW CELEBRITY SICKNESS AND CANCER/DEATH LIST
Radchick: These are all cases since earlier Nuked in the Sky interview. I actually have more; this is just what I have saved on this computer. Almost all these people live in California, and/or travel by airliner frequently.
Our previous celeb interview included Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Lil Wayne, Kelly Osbourn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber, and Morrisey.
These are all NEW cases of celebrity sickness, cancer, heart attack, stroke in past 11 months possibly rad-related (since Leuren Moret and I did our original interview):
Significant hair loss/bald spots reported in celebs with photo documentation:
Paris Hilton, Khloe Kardashian, Kristin Stewart
Illness after long flights requiring hospital visit:
Selena Gomez, Rita Ora, Jennifer Lawrence
Gaunt appearance, Vitamin IV's:
Denise Richards, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie
Miscarraiges, including late term:
Bode Miller's wife (Olympic skier), Jack Osbourn's wife (brother of Kelly Osbourn)
Jet Li, possibly Charlize Theron, Brooke Burke (previous interview)
Bruce Jenner, Hugh Jackman, Vinnie Jones and his wife (both)
Todd Williams, Frank Chamberlain, Mike Patterson
Several coaches have also had heart attacks during games or while playing golf.
John Bryson (Commerce Sec), Kerry Kennedy
Members of band 'Blues Traveller' (who contacted Bill Fox after last interview),
Rick Ross, Lord Infamous of 3 six Mafia, Tone Loc, Chris Brown, and Dwayne Michael Carter
(From last interview) All had seizures in flight or on stage, except Lord Infamous, who died of sudden cardiac.
Reality Show Stars:
Royce Reed (Basketball wives), Jen Arnold (The Little Couple), Sean Sasser (Real World-died rare lung CA),
Ahmad Givens (Real Chance for Love - stage 4 colon CA), Brittany Hanes whose newborn diagnosed with cancer age 2 months (Big Brother)
TV directors/producers/news anchors:
Jeff Pollack (dies running on California beach), Houda Rafle (Toronto TV producer, died age 28 HEART CANCER),
Komla Dumor (BBC presenter died age 41 heart attack 3 weeks ago), Anna Waithera (Also BBC presenter died age 39 CA this week), Amy Robach (ABC anchor Br CA), Julie Chang (Anchor 'Good Day LA' brain tumor)
Other random Hollywood celebs:
Nick Cannon, Frankie Muniz (series of strokes, age 27), Marcia Wallace ('Simpsons' died Br CA), NeNe Leakes (blood clots lungs), Katie Price, Dr. Drew, Robin Quivers, and former Spice-girl Mel B's 6 y/o daughter hospitalized for severe bloody noses.
Radchick: These are all cases since earlier Nuked in the Sky interview. I actually have more; this is just what I have saved on this computer. Almost all these people live in California, and/or travel by airliner frequently.
Nuked in the Sky
Date: February 18, 2014
FAQ: Effect of Fukushima radiation on flying in commercial airliners