From Tokyo To Calif., Radiation Tracking Gets Crowdsourced

SAN FRANCISCO (CNET) — The intensifying nuclear crisis in Japan is raising anxieties on both sides of the Pacific over the potential impacts of radiation exposure, and a relative dearth of official information on radiation levels is leading some to turn to crowdsourced options.

>> Complete Coverage: Disaster In Japan

Japanese officials warned residents living near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to stay indoors after a third explosion at the plant in four days, followed by elevated radiation levels around the plant, which the officials said were high enough to harm human health. Panic was reported in Tokyo, as radiation levels rose to as much as 23 times the normal level, according to some reports.

With official estimations of the threat from radiation across Japan changing rapidly and sometimes inconsistent, a number of real-time amateur radiation monitors have popped up online. A live geiger counter at updates a graph with data every 60 seconds, and a uStream channel broadcasting the digital display of another Tokyo geiger counter was drawing more than 14,000 viewers earlier today.

A few thousand miles across the Pacific to the east, state and federal officials in Hawaii and West Coast states said they did not anticipate any threats to public health from radiation drifting in from Japan. Despite such reassurances, Arizona-based is seeing a run on radiation monitoring equipment. The site was down for a while following the announcement of the Fukushima leak, and came back online Tuesday morning with this message:

Due to the disaster in Japan, orders for Geiger Counters have outstripped supply. Initial orders were filled immediately from stock on the shelves at our location and the warehouses of our suppliers. But at this point, there are simply not enough detectors available to meet the overwhelming demand. At least one of our suppliers has adopted a “triage” method of doling out the limited supply of detectors remaining until more can come off the factory line.

Fallout Fears Cause Bay Area Run On Potassium Iodide

The same Arizona company also runs, a crowd-sourced radiation-monitoring network of roughly a dozen or so unofficial monitoring sites around the United States, updated every three minutes. So far, all monitoring stations report radiation measurements well within normal background levels.

California Dept. of Public Health > Radiation FAQs

It’s important to stress that few if any sources keeping an eye on the situation expect threatening levels of radiation to reach the western hemisphere, but the situation in Japan is still evolving. Meanwhile, there’s still time to get in on the crowd-sourced monitoring effort–the Radiation Network offers monitoring equipment and software to sync up to its radiation map.

(© 2011 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)

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  • Nicholas Wang

    The biggest disaster that hit the expats living in Tokyo is NOT the earthquake or the radiation, but the irresponsible mass media bombarding their families back home with dire news of nuclear fallout! These news are putting a huge amount of stress on both the families and the people living (normally) in Tokyo! Meanwhile, the real tragedy of tens of thousands of displaced Japanese who lost everything in the tsunami are forgotten. News organizations these days make me sick! I’m getting all my news from Twitter and I hope these crowdsourced reports will enlighten everyone to turn off their TVs!

    From a husband of a worried wife.

    • dootise

      you’d do better to ask yourself how you know of the ‘REAL TRAGEDY OF TENS OF THOUSANDS WHO LOST IN TSUNAMI…BLAH BLAHBLAGH.. The reason you know those things is becasue…..what for it…the MEDIA told you. Think of four isotopes…do some research on them..YOu can’t protect the wifey, the kiddies or your own ass from most of them. Iodine 131, Cesium, Strontium 90, Uranium….and another clue..Your wifey is responsible for her own mindset…not you.

    • Winston Smith

      Please shut up. We are NOT getting accurate reports of the genuine dangers of the radiation, and you’re whining that it’s overhyped? There are TWO reactors with containment breaches; that fact is bigger than the tsunami damage, as horribly bad as the latter is.

      • Fanny Forbes Franklen

        If you’re still relying on the Old Media for your information you will not be informed. Alex Jones over at has had the best and most accurate information.


      • Whoabegone

        Wow. Winston, get a clue. Someone expresses their opinion and you tell them to shut up. Don’t know where your from, and frankly don’t care. You have every freedom to express your opinions, be wise enough to allow others to as well.

  • Steve Padilla

    To quote Barry “O” “let me be clear, the reason there is a “a relative dearth of official information on radiation levels” is not indicative of high or low levels. It is only confirmatory of the fact that our governments who serve at the pleasure of the worldwide oligarchy could give a rats ass about you or me.

    They are only interested in control and power (Not the nuclear kind either). Even if that means allowing a few hundred thousand or million to die of radiation exposure as long it doesn’t interfere with there management of all us “little” (and expendable) people.

    Take Katrina as a good example. Some people confused FEMA’s job as being to help people. It was never about helping those people. It was about controlling them (which they did well -great job Brownie) Same with the the Global warming scam scaring people into submission to global collectivism with all power (and wealth) redistributed into the hand of the global elite (no you).

    • former democrat

      Steve, go bqack on the meds, or name a few of these global characters that control us all.

      • Winston Smith

        You can start by researching Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, and the Bush Crime Family.

      • libero

        you are right. i just checked Yahoo! Trending Now and guess what we all find interesting: Drew Barrymore, Emma Watson, Rihanna and Tax Preparation.

        thank god for Y!

    • Christina Jones

      The Bush Crime Family. REALLY????? Get off your soap box and realize that what happened and is happening is tragic. Everyone has the right to feel or think the way that want. Including you. I feel and think you are a nut job. The government is lying to us about everything.
      NICE, our President was golfing this weekendend while our friends in Japan were dying, GREAT LEADERSHIP!!!
      Clinton and the US Surgeon General both talked out of their a**es in the last few days.
      Do I feel safe with them in control? NOOOOOOOOOOO! Neither should you. However, it is my husband and my job to protect and plan for our three children. Dont depend on the government to help you and you wont be dissappointed when they DON’T!!!!

      • CommonCents

        Yes Christina.. the Bush Crime syndicate, here’s a synopsis of 3 generations:

        Prescott Bush = Skull & Bones, Helped fund and build-up Hitler’s war machine.
        G.H.W. Bush = Skull & Bones, Chinese Ambassador, Director CIA, V.P. and President.
        G.W. Bush = Skull & Bones, Governor of Texas, President

        Oh, and before you call me a Liberal… far from it. I’m a Nationalist.

        BOTH political parties are filled with NWO shills working for criminal rackets!

    • Travis C

      Bump for Steve. ‘Former Democrat’ – quick sucking your thumb. Research yourself. If you dare to know.

  • Josh

    Thanks for your insight. It’s amazing that not a single reporter has analyzed the situation in a down-to-earth manner like this (or in any manner). Of course, they think we’re all too stupid to understand, so they just tell us the important things like — “oh no, it’s bad!” “can it happen to us?” “there is nothing you can do, except by tablets, hide in your basement, and cry!”

    • Sparkjockey

      Spelling errors do not help your cause.

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  • Winston Smith

    “There was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity.”

    The guy who wrote this is a KOOK – there are two containment-breached reactors SPEWING radiation. That statement is all you need to know to dismiss everything he writes.

    • nightwriter

      Winston, you obviously live in the Bay Area! Put your dress on and go take a stroll down California Street. It will calm you down! BTW, I live here too and I am having a great time watching you limp-wristed fools run around screaming about radiation posioning. There are lots of lawyers on California Street… wobble in there on you high heels and start your next lawsuit! Useful idiot!!!

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  • fredb

    What a load of BS, If all of these reactors were fueled with uranium oxide, they are not, some reactor 3 are fueled with MOX Mixed oxide fuel rods (look it up)

    • dootise


    • Winston Smith

      One particle of Plutonium dust inhaled = guaranteed cancer. FACT.

      MOX = Plutonium & Uranium mix.

  • Barrium Obama

    Geez this is bad. After I figure out if Old Dominion can get by Butler an 8 seed, I will look into all this.

    • Craigster

      I don’t think Obimbo is far enough along to realize that the situation is bad. And he is getting ready to party in Rio after his b-ball picks so he won’t get to this until it after he returns from samba lessons. By then the situation will have been resolved and he will then claim credit.

      • dootise aren’t paying attention…the 7th fleet and the USS Reagan, a nuke powered ac went to the scene and then had to head out to sea..why??? oh why???? radiation levels..that was four days ago. Neither Barack Obama, nor Glenn Beck, nor Sarah Palin, nor Jesus Christ canb stop a nuclear meltdown..once it has begun.

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  • Hank Warren

    Useless EPA, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  • dootise

    you are just …..full of goo

  • TheEye

    Been living in Tokyo for 30 years plus. Believe me, there is more panic on the other side of the pacific than there is here. This is swine flu, bird flu, west nile virus times a million. Too bad but with all those pandemics that has laid us all to waste, there is no one left to die from radiation poisoning.

  • JD

    I was literally looking at EBAY for potassuim iodine pills about two days before the earth quake. Ever since the 24 season 5 or 6 episode about a nuke I did research and know it’s survivable if you aren’t in a direct attack, but the main thing that will get you is the thyroid issue. After that it’s simply all about not breathing radioactive dust particles and getting away from the area, as it’s a matter of time and distance. The radiation is about 1 percent it’s initial level about two weeks later, and 1 percent of tha two weeks after that, etc.
    Of course the main use is if you live near a nuclear plant, and if you take the pill you’re good to go, just don’t linger in the area if it’s still ongoing. But even then it’s really not that bad if a few kilometers away, but why risk it.

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  • DEF

    PLEASE FORGET REALITY, We live in the age of “Political correctness”!!…No worries, until “Mother says, May I’

  • iusbvision

    Chill with the hype you guys. Much of the “fear” is generated from some irresponsible journalism.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    damage set in motion will be beyond comprehension
    “Now I am become death….The destroyer of worlds”

    • Sparkjockey

      Is this dungeons and dragons?

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