Cesium-134 and -137 detected in sand from San Francisco Bay Area yard

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 1:15 pm ET


UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Air Monitoring Station, July 13, 2012:

We measured a sample of sand from a yard in the Bay Area. As we have seen in the various soil measurements we have made in the Bay Area, very tiny amounts of Cs-134 and Cs-137 can be detected by our very sensitive germanium detectors. […]

Food Chain Sampling Results:

“Cesium 134 […] is a signature, it is a fingerprint for the radiation coming out of Fukushima” –Source

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 1:15 pm ET


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  3. Both cesium-134 and cesium-137 increase in latest San Francisco Bay Area milk sample (CHART) September 15, 2011
  4. Over EPA limit: Cesium levels in San Francisco area milk now higher than 6 months ago January 16, 2012
  5. Highest level of radioactive cesium in San Francisco-area milk since September 2011 — Now at 150% of EPA’s maximum contaminant limit (CHART) February 7, 2012

41 comments to Cesium-134 and -137 detected in sand from San Francisco Bay Area yard

  • nonuke nonuke

    Oh goody , only a TINY amount of Cesium-134 and -137. I guess ingesting that would be like being a TINY bit pregnant.

  • Max1 Max1

    Very tiny amounts…
    … I feel safer already.

    What's another drop of hemlock in our daily diets, anyway…
    … It's just a tiny amount.

    Double doses for everybody, it's so tiny…
    … "And you get a dose. And you get a dose. And you get a dose."

    Come on people…
    … Oprah made 'em cry with that line.

  • norbu norbu

    It's only a little. Cant hardly hurt? Write?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Cesium recently found on the west coast, on the ground. Not good.

  • norbu norbu

    No not good. Got our Inspector on 16 hours a day. We love California but might have to leave soon. But to go where?

    • many moons

      I'm thinking about moving to Washington DC and joining the occupation movement there

      • dharmasyd dharmasyd

        many moons…That's a great idea. I commend you. The Occupy movement needs to get larger, and we need the numbers and solidarity to put an end to nukes.

        Also, look into the Green Party; they have a great Presidental ticket. Dr. Jill Stein, MD. and occupy activist, foreclosure opponent Cheri Honkala for VP. Listen to Friday's (the 13th) broadcast of Democracy Now. The whole hour was on this Green campaign. The only party we have (the 2 major parties) are totally useless for any of the values we advocate. This entire system must change.

        Maybe the Greens can't win this time, but we're building it. I think they'll get a lot of votes out of Occupy.

        Better than voting for the same ole same ole do nothings who only pad the pockets of the uber-rich.

    • CanaryInACoalMine CanaryInACoalMine

      I'm a native born Californian, and I never thought I would leave either. But, last summer I packed up and moved to Texas. Not sure how much
      safer it is, but I feel a bit better being below the jetstream and off the west coast.

      • Sickputer

        I am in Texas and feel a little shielded by the western mountain ranges. But in bad times the first week I had a bloody nose from the massive releases of radioactive iodine. There is no guaranteed safe haven in the Northern hemisphere.

        And as for tiny amounts of radioactive cesium…some of the other 1,000 radioactive isotopes released can very far more deadly in small amounts. One speck of plutonium in your lung is a longterm death sentence and can't be removed unless you take out the lung.

        • Net

          Hi Sickputer,
          I honestly don't think there are any safe places when it comes to nuclear accidents. We need to stop making nuclear power plants or at least stop all the old ones that are an accident ready to happen. 🙁 Texas has at least 2 plants.

          Although this is a old article it still shows how our current government wants to expand nuclear energy. 🙁

          "The administration, meanwhile, has repeatedly signaled a willingness to support at least some expansion of nuclear power production. In March, Energy Secretary Steven Chu delivered congressional testimony in which he said, “Nuclear is going to be part of our energy future. It has to be.”

          President Barack Obama spoke positively about expanding nuclear energy production during his campaign and in May said this: “I think we do have to look at nuclear, and what we’ve got to figure out is can we store the material properly? Can we make sure that they’re secure? Can we deal with the expense?”


        • dharmasyd dharmasyd

          A radical lungectomy is the only solution!

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            Net…Or perhaps a radical politicalectomy, administrationectomy, democratectomy, republicanectomy, and all the other dinosaurs who are leading us down the road to rack and ruin.

    • NYWolf

      Buenos Aires is where some Americans have already moved to.
      It's in the Southern Hemphisphere of South America.
      Houses cost under 30k down their.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Great country, Argentina, but not a stable economic or political picture, long term. Good idea to hold investments in some different currencies, or have bank accounts with reserves held in a couple of different currencies.

        Search "Argentina economy" for recent news related to currency devaluations.

  • dagnew

    I despise the bastards that coerced Japan, the US, and elsewhere to accept nuclear energy, and the greedy industry that lies incessantly to protect their profits, and the federal regulators who never saw a nuke they didn't love, and the state regulators who turn a blind eye to blatant violations of the law. I'm also fully aware that there's no safe dose of radiation.

    Having said that, I'll say something that may be unpopular here. Moving from California based upon these amounts of radiation may not be rational. I believe that one would have to analyze the full dose in both places. There's a good deal of variation in 'background radiation' doses from place to place, enough that it may dwarf what's being detected in the Bay area.

    I'm NOT saying that this reckless pollution-for-profit is acceptable in any way. It isn't. But if you've ever held a geiger counter next to an apple or a banana… and not eliminated those fruits from your diet… you get my point.

    I see these figures more as an incentive to work like hell to retire all reactors than to rush to another place. Perhaps I'm wrong about the degree of hazard – if so perhaps someone can enlighten me.

    • CanaryInACoalMine CanaryInACoalMine

      BTW I didn't mean to imply that I moved off the CA coast because of Fukushima. I planned on moving off the coast and out of CA for other reasons. But, you bet when this happened I never looked back.

    • Sickputer

      I think if I lived in the west coast and had young children I would have moved last summer at least 1,000 miles east over the mountain ranges.

      The reason to relocate young children is because 1. They are more vulnerable. 2. The west coast is the first land mass stopping point for pollution in the jetstream to drop after traversing the ocean (which has very little surface resistance). 3. Most importantly… the disaster is still not controlled and may get many times worse and when it blows the fallout crisis to points west will happen in a matter of ten days.

      Far better to relocate before a mass exodus. The chaos and loss of real estate values will be enormous in the event of The Fallout Age hitting levels even the mass media will be unable to dismiss so easily. If the plant is abandoned due to out of control fuel rod radiation, then I expect millions of west coast inhabitants will vote with their feet (trucks and SUVs actually). I know some friends who are waiting to board planes immediately if the reports show the plant has gone totally rogue.

  • norbu norbu

    We are there in our minds, ready to go east in a moments notice. This is a hard way to live, but it's the only way now, plan but be ready for a change….

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    September 20th, 21st and 22nd

    SEPTEMBER NO NUKES convergence on Washington D.C.

    "It’s time to really FOCUS on nuclear power issues BEFORE the 2012 presidential election! The Coalition Against Nukes is organizing an anti-nuclear convergence in Washington, DC, Sept. 20-22, 2012 to FULLY EXPOSE the nuclear crisis in Japan and its relevance to the insidious nuclear industry in the United States. This is a GRASSROOTS effort and we need YOUR INVOLVEMENT for these events to be successful! We must maximize AWARENESS before the election to bring attention to the dangers of nuclear power."

    "We call on citizens across the country to mobilize their communities by working from now until September to get to Washington, DC for these events. We also urge you to call or email your elected representatives and URGE them to attend the congressional briefing. C.A.N will also invite our congressional representatives to the briefing on Sept. 20th at the Cannon Bldg, Rm 121, 2-4pm."

  • kintaman kintaman

    So, when will the Japanese government step up to the plate and apologize to North America and the rest of the world for the immense pollution they have and continue to spread around the world? I suspect never, right? Yeah….thought so. Spineless, lying cowards that they are.

    • micyoung

      I look at it as our karma. General Electric built Fukushima. The US nuked Japan in WWII. Karma.

      • richard richard

        hi micyoung – please note the bit where kintaman mentions 'world'. I'd just like to say that the rest of the world is not a party to USA karma, with thanks. 🙂

  • It been detected there. Proof of FALLOUT.

    What about elsewhere? When fallout occurs it is random. (based on many factors) We know this. It can be concentrated in one spot, maybe just a little elsewhere and nothing sometimes in between.

    The point is, testing everywhere on everything should have been and should be being done NOW! The accumulation factor isn't even a factor anymore. It's coming at us and it hasn't stopped. It's not going to stop anytime soon.

    …and even if it does stop, things are going to be radioactively contaminated and hazardous to life far beyond our lifetimes. Not to mention DNA damage and genetic futures of species globally.

    No mention of tests on Strontium or PLUTONIUM or anything else.

    Side note:
    "UC-Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department… has been awarded a Presidential Citation from the American Nuclear Society:"
    "For serving at the leading edge of communication to educate California and the nation about radiological impact to the U.S. from the Fukushima incident."

    Sorry enenews, maybe it will be you next year or even the year after that.

  • [quote=Feliks]Nice look at the animation:



    And my animation, showing what you can do in 4 Fourth swimming pool in Fukushimie.
    You need to build a new building, to the basement of the reactor building to insert with three new reactors, only to store the fuel. They manage any guarantees when possible earthquakes.After filling all the water also will be a guarantee of the & span settlement.



    • Sickputer

      Nice graphic, but unless the shysters in Tokyo can get your design built for the price of a used Corolla, it ain't going to happen. Remember they are so cheap they used diapers to try and stop the flow of millions of gallons of irradiated water to the Pacific Ocean. And they probably sent their used adult diapers.


      On a similar note… Did you hear adult diaper sales in Japan exceeded baby sales for the first time in the history of disposable diapers? Yep. For the fiscal year ending March 30, 2012 the folks over 60 bought more diapers than parents of babies and toddlers:


      Of course they ascribe it to the aging of elderly and the low fertility rate of females. But others have questioned the coincidence of having a year's worth of diarrhea-inducing radiation fallout across Japan.

      Yes, Fukushima's Revenge does require a massive stockpile of diapers. Expect even more poop records to be shattered as even elderly Diet and Tepkill officials pitch in to do their civic doodie… uh…duty.

  • entropy

    Is it just me or are the reports of heart attacks increasing?

    • Sickputer

      If they are you can bet they will go unreported and undocumented by the Diet-controlled health care industry.

      About all you will discover is excess mortality rates which will be "explained" in Japan the same way they explain it in America…as a statistical variance.

      Or even more likely they will blame the excess deaths on fear of radiation. It's not an idea Yamashita invented. The nuclear cabal started using it at least since Three Mile Island in 1979.

      A tried and true excuse except when you ask did the fear also kill 7 million of the 22 million migratory New Zealand mutton birds that wintered in Fukushima 6 months ago?


      Think happy thoughts birdies! We will try and get you some adult bird diapers next winter!

  • Toby

    How about some perspective?

    We are inundated with fearful prognostications without very much in the way of dependable science or hope. To detect a radioactive element in our soil sounds and feels terrible, but it much be weighed against the soil testing done before the event, and compared with all other sources of natural radioactivity in the environment.

    Radon emissions from the earth are still a serious consideration, as is the radiation we absorb during repetitive dental xrays and from cross country air travel. Also, as bad as cumulative radiation exposure sounds, I think it's important to step back and remember that heart disease is still the number one threat to human life. Yes, keep tabs on Fukushima, but don't let fear control your life, however short it may be.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      Perspective? Even very small amounts of radiation can cause cancer. They report on Ceasium (sp?) like it is the beginning and end of the isotopes we must all now deal with. There are hundreds of isotopes that have been spewed in humungous quantities. Massive amounts of radiation have been spewed and continue to be spewed with virtualy no end in sight. The entire surface of the earth is being contaminated. Now, how exactly does one put such things 'into perspective'? What does one measure that against?

  • TheMysticWizard1

    Hm. This article caught my eye when it said Bay Area… then I started reading and saw the sand came from Palo Alto. Great. I have worked there for the past year and a half, spending 9-11 hours a day basically outside. I am sadly one of those people who has to work for my living to support my family and don't have much of a choice in it. I wasn't following all this in the beginning, I remember days of being in and out of the rain, probably when the worst of it hit us. I sometimes feel my days may be numbered. Whenever I feel sick, I just wonder if it's Fukushima getting to me.

    What about plutonium, wish they would have tested and published numbers for those finding. I'm sure some of it made its way over here.

  • Rationalist

    Did anyone click on the UC Berkley link to the full report?

    If they did they would find that the figure in the picture in brackets (2.0e+04) is actually the amount in kilograms you would have to ingest to receive the same dose of radiation from a round trip flight from SF to Washington DC (0.05mSv). What does 2.0e+04 mean? 20,000kg of sand. You would need to eat 20 tonnes of sand to get the same radiation dose as a flight from SF to DC. 20 tonnes! You would die from eating that much sand alone.

    That report also says that the level of Potassium-40 (radioactive) is 7000 times higher than the Caesium levels. The same Potassium-40 that naturally occurs in your body and bananas. This result of caesium is 0.129 Bq/kg of radioactivity, the human body emits 7000bq/kg naturally. What is more radioactive, your body naturally or the sand in Palo Alto?

    There is absolutely nothing to fear in this result. Look at the full report next time.

    • "There is absolutely nothing to fear in this result."
      – Rationalist

      1. Using Math misdirection (trying to talk over one's head)
      2. Comparing to airplane rides
      3. Eating sand. (I don't even get that one)
      4. Banana comparisons
      5. Natural Human Body radiation comparison

      "There is absolutely EVERYTHING to fear from lame comments like this one." – ChasAha

      Sounds like this person subscribes to the Berkeley school of "There is no immediate concern". (Why? Because their potential future jobs in the Nuclear Industry are at stake.)

      Personally, I would like my soup, my milk, my lettuce, my kelp, my tuna, my air, my water, my beer, my meat and everything else that I ingest, even the sand that kids play in, to be CESIUM FREE!

      Just so we are all clear:
      Ingesting a 'hot' particle, just one, of cesium or strontium for example, can cause damage. This cannot be compared to an airplane ride. Know that when you see or hear these kinds of comparisons the person is either trying to mislead you or they have a lack of understanding for 'hazardous' radiation.

      I guess it's only fair to consider that this person might have been mislead by others. Hopefully, they just need to be better informed. 🙂

  • johnnyo

    Well folks, as if the massive, and growing protests in Japan aint proof enough that we got em scared and on the run, here come more shillsters (irRationalist and Toady) with their Radon, bananas and cross country flights, right on time.

    Either of u 2 want to estimate how much plutonium Fuku has deposited in the US? Or why ALL isotopes are not being comprehensively tested for(i mean of course w/results being published) You all really are pathetic. You should really stick to peddling your junk/anti science at blogs like ABC news where the sheeple might still buy it(for a little while)

    Here most if not all, can see right through your dirty paychecks to the black slime of your soul. You are wasting your and our time with your pro-nuke garbage. Become a useful human being for once …..take your sorry butts, and your children over to Northeast Japan and help clean up the mess your masters have created

  • SmokinSess SmokinSess

    Remember that they only look for Cesium and Iodine. There is Plutonium and Strontium also for sure. They not test for it because it's too expensive and a time consuming process. F*cking Capitalists. I hope you die… all of you.

    This summer it rains a lot here in Europe, Germany… I feel sick. Something is wrong with my immune system.

    I knew it was the end when i saw the nuclear reaction back in march 2011 on Unit 3. Tell me what ever you want. Call me fear monger, block me, delete my post. I doesn't matter.

    And where the hell is the visual evidence on Unit 4 explosion? I bet it was even more ugly then Unit 3. That's why they hide it, TBS/JNN filmed it for sure. classified. Nuclear Mobsters.


  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Tiny amounts of isotopes found on the soil of California…
    …Bioaccumulate into significant amounts in produce, in grapes, in the wine…
    …Bioaccumulate into deadly amounts in the human bodies who eat foods from California and the PNW.
    It may take another year for the public to become hip to the fact that Pacific seafood now carries radiation.
    It may take several years before the public to become aware that California and PNW produce is contaminated with radiation.
    It may take five or six years for the Pacific seafood industry to crash, as people stop eating.
    It may take seven or eight years for the California agriculture industry to crash, as people stop eating.
    But it will come. It is coming. Most ENEnewsers have already stopped eating.
    We are hip to bioaccumulation. We are also hip to "small doses", "trace amounts", "safe levels", lies, distortions, and coverups. Fuku has changed the world.

  • Sickputer

    Rationalust amused the local Enenewser natives after nightfall:

    "You would need to eat 20 tonnes of sand to get the same radiation dose as a flight from SF to DC. 20 tonnes! You would die from eating that much sand alone."

    SP: Such persuasive arguments 🙂 I never would realized how dangerous my mid-day 20 ton snacks of sand were to my health!

    You are an astute prodigy of the nuclear cabal. Let me know how that works out.