Hawaii Radiation Levels

SUBHEAD: There has been a radiation monitoring system on Kauai, Maui & Big Island that is part of a national network. Individual stations are intermittently offline. Recently only the Big Island has been regularly active and online. Updated 1/2/12.

By Juan Wilson on 27 May 2011 for Island Breath -

Image above: Map of Hawaiian Islands with monitoring stations on Kauai, Maui and Big Island. Time is US Mountain Time. From (http://www.radiationnetwork.com/AlaskaHawaii.htm).

Since the earthquake and resulting tsunami that destroyed the Fukushina Dai Ichi six reactor nuclear site it has become important for residents of Hawaii to know how high radiation levels are here as a result of the continued venting of radioactive particles in Japan. As we understand, normal background radiation in Hawaii averages about 5 - 20 CPM (counts per minute). That means normally about 15 radioactive particles hit a sensitive plate on the geiger counter every minute triggering the "click" you hear and registering on the devices meter.

Above is an automatically updated map showing hits on a geiger counter on Maui. It is the only regular monitoring of nuclear radiation levels available to the public covering Hawaii. Other sources are intermittent reports or not available to the public. If there is no yellow circle over Wailuku, Maui, it means that the geiger counter is down, for some reason.

As of this writing it was down for replacement. If the circle appears red, this is an alert. it means the CPM has reached or exceeded 100 CPM. Since Fukushima we have seen some elevated CPMs. The yesterday (5/26/11) CPMs were above 40. Below is an explanation of details about the map and the network that supports it.

The home of the National Radiation Map, depicting environmental radiation levels across the USA, updated in real time every minute. This is the first web site where the average citizen (or anyone in the world) can see what radiation levels are anywhere in the USA at any time.

How the Map Works:
A growing number of Radiation Monitoring Stations across the country (and world), using various models of Geiger Counters, upload their Radiation Count data in real time to their computer using a Data Cable, and then over the Internet to the website Radiation Network (http://www.radiationnetwork.com/index.htm).

All of this accomplished through GeigerGraph for Networks software. This system is completely automated - there is no manual posting of data required.

How to Read the Map:
Referring to the Map Legend at the bottom left corner of the map, locate Monitoring Stations around the country that are contributing radiation data to this map as you read this, and watch the numbers on those monitoring stations update as frequently as every minute (your browser will automatically refresh). The numbers represent radiation Counts per Minute, abbreviated CPM, and under normal conditions, quantify the level of background radiation, i.e. environmental radiation from outer space as well as from the earth's crust and air.

Alert Level = 100 CPM

Depending on your location, your elevation or altitude, and your model of Geiger counter, this background radiation level might average anywhere from 5 to 60 CPM, and while background radiation levels are random, it would be unusual for those levels to exceed 100 CPM.

Thus, the "Alert Level" for the National Radiation Map is 100 CPM, so if you see any Monitoring Stations with CPM value above 100, further indicated by an Alert symbol over those stations, it probably means that some radioactive source above and beyond background radiation is responsible.

 Notice the Time and Date Stamp at the bottom center of the Map. That is Arizona Time, from where we service the Network, and your indication of how recently the Radiation Levels have been updated to the Map.

Image above: Radioactive particles are lofted along with smoke from FukuShima Dai Ichi nuclear facility after earthquake and tsunami on 3/11/11 produced reactor criticalities that destroyed reactors. From (http://bigsciencenews.blogspot.com/2011/03/fukushima-get-ready-for-chernobyl.html).

How to Participate in the Nationwide Radiation Network:
If you want to join this nationwide grass roots effort to monitor the radiation in our environment, then this is all you need (click on the Software link):

Compatible Geiger Counter (See models below)
GeigerGraph Software and Data Cable
Computer with Windows Operating System

In fact, if you become an active participant in this network (instead of just a passive viewer of this website), the GeigerGraph software that you use will incorporate the same Radiation Map as above, but your map will be fully interactive, with zoom capabilities, descriptions of Nuclear Sites and Monitoring Stations, additional Map Layers, including Counties, Airports, Roads, Railroads>, Lakes and Rivers, along with the capability to download City Streets for your county. Plus, in keeping with the elements of a true Network, the GeigerGraph software has its own Chat Forum.

Compatible Geiger Counter Models:

The Geiger Monitor 4 (yr 2008 redesign)
Radalert, Radalert 50 and Radalert 100
Digilert 50 and Digilert 100
Inspector EXP
Images SI models

Most of these models, as well as the GeigerGraph for Networks software, are available at GeigerCounters.com, a web site operated by Mineralab. Click on the links in the previous sentence to go there.

Disclaimer: Mineralab, LLC, the operator of this web site, can not independently verify that the Radiation Levels, or any Radiation Alerts, that are displayed on this Radiation Map are correct and valid. Among other possibilities, Geiger counter malfunctions or proximity of the counters to certain medical procedures or to radioactive items can cause high readings at a Monitoring Station.


Anonymous said...

The Kauai monitoring site is in Princeville. It is an Detector model (one of the more sensitive models). It is mounted outside and hooked up live. I don't know where the information came from that Kauai is at an average cpm of 15-20. That is just wrong. For the month plus I have been monitoring, it has been a consistent 35 to 42cpm. We had two serious spikes on the 9th or 10th of June where had a sustained readfing of 140 for 15+ minutes in the early am. It happened again two hours later. People can conatact me via facebook or through KKCR on Tuesdays at 4pm. 808-826-7771. I am saving up for a high end weather station that can be live on the internet that will match rainfall to spikes, plus give UV readings and other weather details. Keep up the good work.
Karlos deTreaux Kauai Station at radiationnetwork.com

Lee Binder said...

Thanks Karlos. The 5-20 CPM for HI was BEFORE Fukushima. That's what's meant by "average background radiation". Therefore the almost 40 you have been measuring ever since you purchased the 'Inspector Detector Dosimeter' means that ever since 11311 we are @ ~ double dosage as normal. Looking fwd to the high end weather station.

info said...

If you need good radiation detector visit this store:

Lee Binder said...

Why order from the UK when we're in HI? What's wrong with all the models from GeigerCounters.com?

MauiSkyWatcher said...

Thanks for posting this, I have been checking this radiation network site too, its the only one with any good information regarding Hawaii, which seems to have higher radiation levels than anywhere else except Japan, and no one is talking about it! (except us) Another spike was recently reported on June 22 of 456 CPMs, that sounds really dangerously high to me?

Also, has anyone experienced their skin burning from the rain? This has happened to me twice...burning and itching like fiberglass for days after exposure. Just trying to get some feedback on this.

Karlos, you're a true citizen scientist! Mucho Mahalos for your work.

Mauibrad said...

Have noticed that Karlos' site began going down a number of days this week, after showing a day of elevated readings, and now as of today it seem the entire www.radiationnetwork.com site is down. What's the deal?

Lee Binder said...

@ Mauibrad: Karlos' site? What do u mean? Karlos does not have a site.

re. rn.com down: http://www.radiationnetwork.com/Message.htm

Lou said...

I was thinking about going to Maui this fall, but know I am wondering if I should just stay home?

Anonymous said...

@Lou, got to the Cook Islands. Just like Maui only prettier and no radiation whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

BTW, have been following the private Radiation Network and comparing it to RadNet and it is becoming clear that Radiation Network data is NOT reliable. EPA RadNet in rain is showing a lot higher CPM than Radiation Network.

mikey said...

Hey, me and my girl have been on the mainland for two years since before the tsunami. we were planning on moving back to kauai next month because we want to raise our kid there instead of here. then she brought up the question of if there is still radiation. i am not really sure but you guys seem legit. what is your opinions? is the radiation dangerously high? do you think the risk of slightly higher radiation is balanced out by the benefits of a more natural food supply, less air pollution, and more exercise? thoughts?

J.Horse said...

Is the spirulina from Kona contaminated from radiation?

Anonymous said...

Truth is all Hawaians have been eating drinking breathing contamination by fukushina. It will cause many problems to some even generations later get off those contaminated islands as soon as u can , anonymous scientist who was told to keep his mouth shut about this as have many others

Anonymous said...

I am concerned for all the die heart surfers who love the waves as they love their breath, how endangered are they for continual exposure to intake of sea water contaminated by radiation.. Concerned parent.

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