• EPA Admits 73 Percent Of Radiation Sensors Don’t Work And They Have No Idea Why

    Environmental Protection Agency officials have confirmed that 99 of 135 (nearly three-quarters) of beta-radiation sensors in the national monitoring system are either not working or have been turned off. The agency admits it doesn’t have a clear understanding of the sensors failed.

    The system, called RadNet, was “expedited and strongly influenced” by the September 11th terrorist attacks and is responsible for monitoring radiation levels during nuclear events, such as an explosion or power-plant accident. During such an emergency, real time monitoring is critical according to the EPA’s own nuclear experts.

    The non-functional sensors include the ones protecting New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

    The EPA blames electromagnetic interference from sources such as WiFi networks, cellphone towers, and other powerful transmitters for disrupting some sensors.

    The agency stated it could rely on gamma-radiation monitors on each sensor instead of real-time beta data, as most sources of radiation that emit beta rays also emit gamma rays. During certain situations, detecting both gamma and beta radiation is extremely important.

    Beta radiation has little penetrating power compared to gamma radiation, but it can cause burns if radioactive contamination or nuclear fallout is deposited on skin or clothing. Beta radiation normally doesn’t travel very far from its emitter, but can cause significant damage if ingested, inhaled, or allowed to remain on exposed skin.

    The readiness of the RadNet system has been criticized before, as 20 percent of the EPA’s  radiation sensors were out of service during the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011.

    An investigation by the EPA’s Inspector General after the system’s poor performance during Fukushima stated “EPA’s RadNet program will remain vulnerable until it is managed with the urgency and priority that the Agency reports it to have to its mission.” The EPA remains behind schedule for installing RadNet sensors and did not resolve the contracting issues identified by the Inspector General.

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