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Japan detects xenon 133 in air – Blames North Korea but could the source be a bit closer to home?

Feb. 22, 2013 – 07:05AM JST

Japan Today


Japanese planes detected a trace amount of xenon-133 during monitoring flights over Japan the day after North Korea carried out its third nuclear test last week, the science ministry said Thursday.

The radioactive material amounting to 1.9 millibecquerels per cubic meter of air was detected from samples collected at an altitude of 300 meters off the coast of Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, Jiji Press reported.

It was the first time Japan had detected xenon-133 since it strengthened radiation monitoring in response to the test on Feb 12, the news agency said.

Xenon-133 is released into the air not just by an atomic explosion but also from nuclear power plants and medical institutions.

(Image is of Fukui Predecture, the home of Japans only working reactors)

Ministry officials quoted by Jiji said they did not know whether the xenon was connected to the North’s underground test.

South Korean warships and air force planes equipped with highly sensitive detection devices were deployed after the blast to try and collect any traces of radioactive fallout.

But Seoul experts said on Feb 14 they had been unable to detect any.

Experts are eager to discover whether the North used highly enriched uranium for its latest test rather than plutonium as in 2006 and 2009.

An enriched uranium program would give the North a new and easier way to produce bomb-making material.

Interesting PDF showing the differing medical isotopes in use on the link below.. Xenon 133 is not listed and is just a by-product of the Fissioning process and could also be a by-product of medical isotopes! Ohi nuclear Plant had a shut down about a couple of weeks ago.. Has this Japanese release been caught by another prefectures monitoring? The locality of the nuclear power plant and the monitoring find is suggestive.

Medical Isotope Production and Use [March 2009] – National Isotope…/Medical_Isotope_Production_Use.pdf

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
Nuclear reactions result in isotope production. 14N +4He → 17O + Some of these are important medical isotopes! Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Japan)


February 22, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […]… (Nuclear plants near you, or upwind of your family release this radioactive gas.)  The detection of these radioactive isotopes is used to monitor compliance with nuclear test ban treaties,[157] as well as to confirm nuclear test explosions by states such as North Korea.[158] […]

    Pingback by Everyone In USA Exposed to Massive Amounts of Radioactive Xenon Gas via @DrHCaldicott | Content Curated By Darin R. McClure & a few photos | March 5, 2013 | Reply

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