Conspiracy websites have been touting a video that claims to show unusually high radiation readings on a beach in San Francisco.
The video (below) was uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 24, 2013 and has since gone viral with over half a million views.
The video shows an unidentified man measuring radiation readings at different spots on a beach in San Mateo County. When the man walks towards the water, his Geiger counter spikes from the 30s to the 150s.
However, a Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Edward Morse says the reading has no connection to the radiation that leaked from a nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan (video below).
“Someone going around with a Geiger counter is likely to discover these great variations in levels from time to time,” Morse told CBS San Francisco. “That’s absolutely no correlation with anything that happened in Fukushima.”
Morse then demonstrated how easy it is to spike a Geiger counter with high radiation readings from a pile of rocks.
Local government officials are performing tests at the beaches, but have not found hazardous radiation levels.
“It’s not something that we feel is an immediate public health concern,” Dean Peterson, a county environmental health director, told Half Moon Bay Review. “We’re not even close to the point of saying that any of this is from Fukushima.”
However, the conspiracy website Infowars.com has wasted no time in trying to create a US government scheme:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Public Health are now investigating the cause of the radiation and more information is expected to be released this week.
While officials will almost certainly downplay the situation in order to prevent panic, it’s important to remember that genuine public health crises are virtually always preceded by government duplicity.
Another conspiracy site PreppersWorldUSA.com announced:
Background radiation is 30 CPM. Near the ocean it’s 150 CPM. The fine mist coming from the ocean waves seems to be what makes the Geiger Counter jump. More thorough readings need to be done! Where is the useless government/media?