Fukushima’s Nuclear Signature Found in California Wine

“Hubert and his colleagues found measurable amounts of cesium-137 above background levels in the wine produced after 2011. “It seems there is an increase in activity in 2011 by a factor of two,” conclude the team.”

Nothing alarming here. Just a scientific study. But those 50s and 60s wines, ouch!

Looks like there are 2 unintended benefits to this:

  1. Provides a benchmark against wine fraud (pre-2011 wine doesn’t have the signature)

  2. Glows in the dark, so no need for extra lighting in the cellar. :stuck_out_tongue:

The plot is a bit confusing/misleading. Certainly the dumping into the atmosphere for nuclear testing of CS-137 provides a clear signature for dating.
The 2’nd large peak there it seems to associate w/ the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
In point of fact, there was a (atmospheric) test moratorium from '58-'61, which the Soviets unilaterally abrogated, catching the US flat-footed.
That that is the source of the 2’nd peak there.
The peak at 2011 from Fukushima seems to be non-existent. Fukushima released vastly less Cs-137 than Chernoybl.

That probably won’t be very useful for fraud detection in California wine—the levels of cesium-137 are barely detectable, and even then, only if the wine is destroyed.

I doubt if anyone is much interested in pre-2011/post-2011 fraud detection in Calif wine. A solution w/o a problem.

The attribution of Fukashima as a source of Cs-137 in CA wine is ludicrous. 2 times baseline is not statistically relevant at these levels. It would be more likely due to improved detection capability. But it makes for a good headline.

Hmmmmm… I would guess the nuclear scientists doing this research knew what they were doing and the counting statistics were pretty tight so that a factor of two would be well within their detection capability. The effect they identified was all done with the same radiation detection equipment so it was not a matter of “improved detection capability”.


I saw an article with a big headline in the LA Times recently. It proclaimed that “Microplastics are found in Lake Tahoe’s waters for first time ever.”

Then there was a long article full of ominous and grave sounding comments. But nowhere in the article does it ever mention the amount that was discovered, the concentration in the water, how that compared to other bodies of water elsewhere, if they’ve ever tested Tahoe water for this in the past and if so, when, what harm it might cause. Just a whole alarmist article about how some analysis of water in Lake Tahoe “revealed the presence of” synthetic and plastic particles. Some amount of plastic greater than zero, out of some unknown amount of lake water.

This is what passes for science and science reporting these days.

probably plastic worms used for fishing.

And…the huge environmental issue for Lake Tahoe continues to be the growth of algae, due to a number of factors but banning fertilized lawns around the lake would be a significant help.

The increase was statistically significant even though it was tiny and not a reason for worry. There are other things in wine that are radioactive, they are just not unambiguously a sign of a large fission event. BTW, most of the wines in the curve going back to the '50s and '60s were reds from southwest of France.


I wasn’t clear: Do we have to pay more for this?

Waiting for the first tasting notes on Wine Critic Bingo. … The wine positively glows in the glass… on the palate intense minerality, finishing with traces of radioactive ash

I wasn’t clear: Do we have to pay more for this?

Every bottle you drank before Fukushima had more radioactivity than the tiny amount Fukushima added. So, if someone tries to charge you more for this, you should refuse and drink a birth year wine instead.


What I am much more concerned about is the alarming amount of Glyphosate founds in our processed foods and our produce. The levels detected are way above what most scientific organizations deem safe. They should ban it, but Bayer is too powerful a company for that to happen.

:fallen_leaf: American homeowners are as addicted to Roundup as smokers are to nicotine.