UPDATE! Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant Problems?

It appears that the monitor that radiation network was showing, as reported in my recent article, was the problem for such high readings. Read here, Radon accumulation at the monitoring site apparently caused these high readings.

Update: 01/07/17Pilgrim Alerts

The Pilgrim 2 Monitoring Station in Massachusetts has been detecting elevated radiation levels, first during a two day period late last month, and then more recently, over the last 3 days:

                                              

For context, that station is located in Massachusetts, on the west coast of Cape Cod Bay, and about 15 miles SSE of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.  The station operates an ultra-sensitive, pancake tubed PRM-9000 Geiger counter with a normal baseline of about 35 CPM.  The detector is logistically situated on a window sill in the second bedroom of a house.  You can see that readings during the periods in question reached as high as 150 to 200 CPM, well above the Alert level.

The graph pattern shows steadily increasing radiation levels over a multi-hour time span, so we ruled out explanations such as connection glitches and the like.  This appears to be agenuine detection from something.  Given proximity to the Pilgrim plant, which has had issues recently with steam leaks, we looked for corroboration of the elevated readings from theother 5 monitoring stations in the Pilgrim sub-network, including one station only a couple of miles from the plant, but their readings were all normal over the same period.

So our focus turned to local explanations.  The station operator indicated that there was no known radioactive material present, nor any persons undergoing medical tests or therapy that would make them temporarily radioactive.  We then considered the possibility of Radon accumulation in the monitoring room itself, because the graph shows that familiar pattern.  We asked the station operator to ventilate the room while still connected to the Geiger Counter and the Radiation Network, and to record the date and time.  That Radon theory proved out because the detected radiation levels began dropping immediately, starting at 10:11 AM Arizona time (12:11 local time) on Dec. 27th (study the first graph above).

The pattern of increasing radiation levels repeated itself over the last 3 days, so in consultation with the Pilgrim group, we agreed to take Pilgrim 2 offline temporarily, until a new monitoring location can be found that is not prone to Radon accumulation.

Will update further if needed. Pilgrim is still a problem despite the fact that this wasn’t a disaster this time.

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