Rain Water & Rain Swab Testing Reports for 2013

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This short animation of Northern, and Southern Hemisphere air circulation, shows why we can get detections so far south.



Roof down pipe filter design for rainwater testing, http://sccc.org.au/down-pipe-filter-desig

Rain water testing for November 2013

Just a couple of showers and storms for November at this location, not much rain mainly dry.

Scintillator testing shows the most significant peaks were for radioactive Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7 isotopes, plus a small trace of Uranium U-235.


The rain swab collected on the 30th November and tested on the 31st, was interesting in that there were significant detections of both Radon-222 and Radion-220, plus possibly a trace amount of Cobalt Co-57.


Rain swab test 18th September 2013 - Detection of Radon-220 in rain washout.


9th September 2013 - Detection of radioactive Iodine I-129 in roof gutter moss Australia.


Rain water test for July 2013 - There were very small traces of  Iodine I-129, Lead Pb-210, Uranium U-235, Thorium Th-234 and Beryllium Be-7, detected in this month’s rain test. It was in smaller amounts compared to previous months.


Rain water test report for June 2013
Junes local rain water test detected Beryllium Be-7, Uranium U-235 ?, Lead Pb-210, and possibly I-129 in trace amounts. (See test chart). At the location here, June was a very wet month, with over 300 mm of rain. A lot of water went through the filter. Even so, the amount of these isotopes that were detected, was less than previous months.


Rain water test for May 2013 - Possibly a detection of Iodine I-129 from the tin roof down pipe polyester filter, that had rain water was passing through it off a 36 sqm tin roof, at a location on the Sunshine Coast. If it is, it is still a very small detection of I-129, because the filter was in place for all of May. Mind you, not all of it would have been captured using this filter system. It is not conclusive.  If I-129 is present in this Southern Hemisphere test, it would suggest that there is a lot more in the rain in the Northern Hemisphere! Lots of Beryllium Be-7 is also present!


For background on this subject read this article on using Be-7 as a tracer for I-129.



There is a natural Beryllium Be-7 and Lead Pb-210 cycle here in the Southern Hemisphere. There is more Beryllium Be-7 and Lead Pb-210, detected in rain washouts, during summer than in winter. This appears to be above average detection of Beryllium Be-7, and Lead Pb-210 in this test for May 2013.


Be-7 is produced by cosmic ray spallation in the upper atmosphere. The Sun had been relatively quite during May 2013. It takes around two weeks to reach sea level. It is my understanding that the Japanese have been pumping large amounts of liquid Nitrogen onto the multiple molten coriums at the Fukushima Nuclear disaster, to cool them down. The neutron bombardment, plus lots of underground corium venting, has also been releasing large amounts Beryllium Be-7 and 1-129.


Test chart using experimental Theremino MCA V4.5 software.




Because the I-129 at 39.6 keV, and Pb-210 at 46.5 keV, have energy peaks so close together it can be difficult to tell them apart with a NAI scintillator. If they are present at the same time, the peak that shows will drift toward the 39.6 kev if more I-129 is present, and towards 46.5 keV if more Pb-210 is present.

Scintillator rain swabs test chart, for the 2nd and 11th May alert level rain event, at Nimbin Australia. It appears to be another very large Radon washout. The levels  of Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be7 detected in these rain swabs, is much less than the Nimbin late January and early February 2013 rain swabs.



Caloundra 14th May 2013, Rained this morning, so I did a  rain swab test, 0.69 uSv/hr. Longer testing with a sensitive Geiger counter showed the normal decay of Radon daughters in the washout.


Rainwater capture test 13th April, 2013. Detected traces of Beryllium Be-7, Lead Pb-210, and Uranium U-235 in local rain test, Australia. If the large amounts of Beryllium Be-7 being detected in this, and previous tests, has not been created in the upper atmosphere, this means Fukushima is still very unstable, and the molten underground coriums could be still fissioning.


See rain test chart



Roof down pipe filter design.



This is not a test of the activated charcoal in this rainwater roof down pipe filter design, (see link), but the polyester particulate filter I placed before it. The polyester particulate filter was placed in front of the activated charcoal, to trap course material that may get flushed down off the 36 sqm tin roof.


Just thought I would also test the polyester particulate filter, as I usually just test the activated charcoal in this roof down pipe filter experiment. It had been in place for a couple weeks before testing. There had not been much rain through it until recently.


To get better accuracy I placed an Aluminum beta shield in front of the scintillator, during this test. This was to help stop peak position shift caused by a test chambers artifact at 511 keV, and Be-7 being a strong beta emitter.


Beryllium Be-7 has a theoretical back scatter peak at around 166 keV, very close to the 185 kev for Uranium U-235. There is the possibility that it is contributing to the size of the peak at that location. It may also explain the width, and rounding of that peak at around 185 keV. Please feel free to comment on the test analysis.  In the next couple days I will air dry the activated charcoal filter, and test it.


Rain capture test February 25th 2013. Beryllium Be-7 and traces of Uranium U-235, found in latest rain washout capture test.



The other very small peaks showing in this chart could possibly be trace detections of other isotopes. At these small detections levels, they could also be created by a bit of random variation in counts in the background level over the time of the tests, showing up in the tests results. A lot of water flowed through this charcoal, in the down pipe, to get these detections. (Down pipe activated charcoal filter design)


Alert level late January 2013 rain swab tests report, (09/02/2013). Tested the Alert level +++ rain swabs collected at a private monitoring station on the east coast of northern New South Wales Australia. They were collected in late January, during a flooding rain event that had come down the east coast of Australia, from the tropics. Here is the test chart results of these rain swabs.  There were small traces of Uranium U-235 detected in this test result, plus the signature of the fallout isotope/isotopes, at around 492 keV.



Here is a theory put forward by the people running the Nimbin monitoring Station, for the large Radon washout events detected in the Nimbin and Mullumbimby areas during January 2013.  The area had been in a dry period, and the underground aquifers were low. A flooding rain event came through and quickly forced a large amount of radioactive Radon gas into the atmosphere, that had built up during the dry period, in the aquifer layers.


The Radon daughter isotopes were then washed out of the atmosphere during the rain event, and detected on the rain swabs. It is not uncommon to get large radon washout events happening anywhere in the world during rain events. Radon is in small amounts is in the air we all breath.   Radon daughter isotopes decay very quickly. Even so, in an event like this, with such high multi uSv/hr levels of detection, it would advisable to stay out of the rain.


Report at the time.

“Well, today I broke the record for high detections in rain samples. 2700cpm or ~10uSv/h (LND 7317) off an area the size of a Corolla bonnet. I’m logging its decay…”

Photo: http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Nimbin-Rain-swab-2013-01-27-11.42.12.jpg



This is the third test sample tested here, that found the signature of the fallout isotope/isotopes, at around 492 keV.

1. It was detected in a local soil sample last year, on the Sunshine Coast. Here is that test chart of that soil sample using PRA scintillator software. (In the test above Theremino MCA software was used.)


2. It was detected in the activated charcoal down pipe capture test.

3. Detected in the cloth rain swabs.

UPDATE to mystery isotope detection:
  Mystery isotope in the above test chart may be Beryllium Be-7 at 477 keV.
PavewayIII suggestion, “Can you try this sample again with a beta shield?”


I put a extra Aluminum beta shield directly in front of the Scintillator crystal, with these rain swabs behind it. This shifted the gamma peak to around 477 keV, which is the marker for Beryllium Be-7. Beryllium puts out 10% gamma to around 90% beta. Beryllium beta energies are 11% at 384 keV, and 89% at 862 keV. There must be an interaction of these beta energy’s with the scintillator crystal, that was creating the slight gamma peak shift to around 490 keV. Berylllium also has a 53 day half life.


Fukushima Corium, plus Liquid Nitrogen Injections, produces Beryllium Be-7, from what I have been reading. It can also be created by a solar coronal mass ejection hitting the earth’s atmosphere.


Traces of U-235 in Rain Water Test (28/01/2013)

Traces of U-235, and mystery Isotope found in local rain water test, on the Australian east coast. Around 880 grams of activated charcoal was placed in the down pipe from a tin roof, just before the major flooding weather event passed over the area in late January 2013.
A reference test chart of the charcoal was made, so it could be compared with the down pipe charcoal capture test. The activated charcoal came from China, and already had some isotope contamination. It was used anyway.  After this weather event had passed, the down pipe charcoal was then dried in the Sun. The charts here are a comparison between the reference, and the down pipe test. As you can see, the charcoal filter did capture some significant isotope markers.


A lot of water went through this filter to get these results, so in overall terms, they are small detections. I think this proves we are getting fallout, but not as much as we expected.


U-238 produces a small amount of gamma at 50 (0.06%) & 114 (0.01%) keV and X-rays at 16 & 12 Kev. U-235 puts out a lot more gamma at 186 (57%), 144 (11%) and 163 (5%) kev and X-rays at 89 and 93 keV.  This is probably the reason I was unable to detect U-238 directly at these low levels, when it has such a low gamma output? This brings us back to increasing Radon levels, as the biggest contributor to increasing background levels here.


Interestingly, I also detected this mystery isotope in a soil sample I collected around 15 km west of my location last year.  Here is that test chart of that soil sample using PRA scintillator software. (In the test above Theremino MCA software was used.)



Open to positive suggestions, feedback or corrections, plus any suggestions as to what the isotope or isotopes, might be, at around 492 kev.


“Unusual soil sample chart has a radioactive isotope in it, at approximately 490 keV, which has not been identified yet. It is the second blue peak in the chart. There have been lots of suggestions as to what it could be, but no positive identification yet. If you think you know what it is, leave your suggestion in the comment section.”


In nature, uranium is found as Uranium-238 99%, Uranium-235 0.72%, and a very small amount of Uranium-234 0.005%. In a nuclear reactor using enriched refined Uranium, the percentage of U-235 is significantly increased. Enriched Uranium in light water reactors has concentrations of around 3% to 5% of U-235.  The small amount of U-235 in the rain wash out means there is a lot more U-238 in the atmosphere with it, if it is purified Uranium.

Here is a test chart of Uranium ore, Uraninite. This sample was kindly loaned to me by enenews member Spectrometising. This chart has text peak markers to help you. As you can see,if it was Uranium contamination from a mine, you would expect to see significant peaks of radioactive Lead Pb-214 and Bismith Bi-214 showing up.


Helpful Tools & Services
International Food Contamination
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