The cleanup may be able to be started, however there are problems that need to be resolved or explored further. The first is "flashes" of intense radiation coming from the reactors. Some attribute this to meltdown (more than likely the heat has damaged the cores of the reactors, but it is debatable if they have truly melted down), however it is worth mentioning. There are periods when neutrons are detected, and why some feel it is symptomatic of a meltdown is fission reactions do release prolific amounts of neutrons. However, there are also lots of highly energetic alpha particles being released from the decay of many radioactive materials. When the alpha particles strike light elements (present from core damage or from seawater pumped into the reactor), neutrons can be released as well. There are also massive releases of gamma rays. Criticality (the buildup of lumps of fissionable material in sufficient quantities to cause a fission reaction) may cause this, however TEPCO and other sources say that the radiation detection equipment may have issues with the software, or may be failing from weeks of exposure to large quantities of radiation. So what does it all mean? The jury is hung depending on who is speaking and what sources you read.
In a previous blog I had mentioned that the explosions had more than likely scattered spent fuel rods, and yes, I was correct in my assumption. Currently dirt is being bulldozed over any spent fuel rods that are found, since they are "too hot to handle." As I mentioned before, a small six inch fragment of a fuel rod would emit upwards of 20,000 Roentgens per hour, it would be fatal to simply pick one up.
On my side, I have begun to upload geiger counter readings to www.blackcatsystems.com Rad Map. I am using their Software, Rad 3.0 which is a Beta Version with my SE International Digilert. Here is the map if you would like to view it . At one time one needed to have one of their excellent geiger counters in order to participate in Rad Map, now any geiger counter can interface with the map. I highly recommend Rad 3.0, and I also recommend the Rad Map App by www.blackcatsystems.com for Android, they have the most complete map of private individuals around the world uploading geiger counter data. The App is only $.99, and is the best performing Android App I have. The mapping is the best of all the apps with radiation data.
This leaves me to the numbers, note the Data from 4/6/2011, statistically I may not have detected any of the plume deposited on my window, but it is interesting data to say the least:
Hope all is well for my readers, keep the Iodine handy, and don't drink it!
PM1703m = 7 uR/hr; PM1208 = .06 uSv/hr