\Nuclear radiation in Teton Valley?, Teton Valley News, June 23, 2011:
[...] Boise rainfall samples [were] measuring by far the highest concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the country [...]
[...] A RadNet surveillance of radiation in precipitation, drinking water, milk and air cartridges, instituted in the wake of the nuclear event, was halted in Idaho due, the EPA website claims, to “a thorough data review showing declining radiation levels in these samples.”
The problem with this explanation is that Idaho radiation levels were not declining when RadNet monitoring stopped reporting samples April 14. Boise’s first precipitation sample, collected March 22, measured I-131 (a radioactive isotope of iodine) levels at 242 pCi/l (picocuries, or units of radioactivity, per liter). That is about 80 times the legal drinking water limits, the highest levels of rainwater radiation seen in the nation at any time since the Fukushima disaster. Since I-131 has a short half-life, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality said we could expect those levels to decrease quickly.
But, five days later, I-131 had not decreased. Two more samples were taken March 27. The sample recorded on the EPA’s more accessible public site showed, in fact, a 60 percent increase, with I-131 measuring in at 390 pCi/l. A second sample, found through an in-depth search of EPA online records, yielded I-131 concentrations of 422 pCi/l. After that, no samples were recorded on the EPA site. And we can’t expect an update any time soon – RadNet monitors were shipped out of Boise Tuesday.
Published: June 23rd, 2011 at 6:44 pm ET