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Radiation in Utah: Death of the Bald Eagle.

Updated on January 4, 2018

On Friday, March 11th, 2011 East Japan experienced a massive earthquake that measured at a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter Scale. The enormous tsunami that followed this earthquake caused even more damage than the earthquake itself. The effects of the Tsunami led to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster. Three of the sites nuclear reactors melted down, resulting in record amounts of radioactive materials seeping into the Pacific Ocean.

Almost three years later, the effects from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster are only starting to get worse in the United States. Radiation has started to engulf the Western Coast of the United States, and has even spread to the East Coast. Recently, I have become enormously concerned with the extremely high levels of radiation in Utah and other non-costal western states. The highest concentrations of radiation rest in the Pacific Ocean, so why are in-land states, Utah in particular, testing in second place for radiation levels? And why are all our Bald Eagles dying at such an alarming rate out there?

France Weather modeling of the dispersion of radioactive releases into the atmosphere on a global scale due to the "Draco Kill Shot", March 20, 2011.
France Weather modeling of the dispersion of radioactive releases into the atmosphere on a global scale due to the "Draco Kill Shot", March 20, 2011.

Ever since March of 2011 the radiations levels in Utah have been rising at alarming rates. The Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center has warned officials with the Utah office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeland Security numerous times about the high amount of radiation in St. George and other cities, but they have failed miserably at informing the residents of those areas about the radiation.


The Draco Kill Shot

An interesting event occurred nine days after the nuclear meltdown in Japan. On March 20th, 2011, a thirteen year old boy named William Lucas discovered the largest Gamma Ray Burst ever observed. He was able to make this discovery with a Geiger counter he had received for his thirteenth birthday. His findings were confirmed by NASA. The Gamma Ray burst came from a black hole in the Draco Constellation, 3.8 billion light years away from Earth. William named it the “Draco Kill Shot”. A Government map of radiation reveals that the day of the “Draco Kill Shot”, the most concentrated and highest levels of radiation ever recorded in history were in Salt Lake City, Utah and surrounding areas, even more than Fukushima on the day of the nuclear meltdown.


It is hard to say how many Bald Eagles have died since the Fukushima Disaster, but from just December 2013 to February of 2014, well over 100 Bald Eagles have died. All sick Bald Eagles that have been brought into Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers in Utah suffered from seizures, head tremors, and paralysis. Most died within 48 hours. For many years these deaths were blamed on the West Nile Virus, now they claim lead poisoning. But the symptoms these Bald Eagles are suffering from are not typical of lead poisoning, and only four Bald Eagles have been reported as having any high levels of lead or mercury found in their blood. Many are starting to question, is the country’s official bird being wiped out due to radiation poisoning? I would tell you without a doubt, yes.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

Before the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, Utah already had above average levels of radiation. Utah is home to an unknown amount of active man-made nuclear sites, only four of which are monitored by the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP). The Delta Site, nearest to the Salt Lake Valley pumps out over 12 micro roentgens of Gamma Radiation an hour. The Cedar City Site and the St. George site are producing about 10 micro roentgens an hour, while the Milford site comes in first, pouring out over 17 micro roentgens of Gamma Radiation an hour. All these sites are filling Utah’s air with Gamma radiation every hour of every day. This radiation seeps into our soil and is in our air, water, and rain! It is clear Utah could not take much more radiation, and now signs of radiation poisoning and death are showing up in our Wildlife. Who are the next victims? Is it our pets, then us?

Kennecott Copper Refinery on a hill above Magna, Utah.
Kennecott Copper Refinery on a hill above Magna, Utah.

Utah was built on big businesses like ATK (formerly Hercules Powder Co.), and the Kennecott Copper Mine; who are two of the largest contributors of pollution and radiation in the state of Utah. That is a whole other article on its own. These two corporations alone have created thousands of jobs for Utah workers. That is one small reason I believe that many have chosen to be ignorant or ignore the pollution problem in their own state. But what can the people of Utah, who are willing, do about this pollution problem? I do not know. What will the Utah Government do? Probably nothing.

Kennecott Copper Mine

Do you believe the death of the Bald Eagle is due to Radiation?

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    • Fryday profile image

      Blank Spaces 18 months ago from Boston

      Good idea, Tom! It has been so long since I have continued my series of 'Utah's Pollution Problem'.

    • profile image

      Tom 21 months ago

      Interesting and informative article. But I think you may want to consider a follow-up to continue to inform your readers. Thank you.


    • lifeessence profile image

      Essence 2 years ago

      Didn't expect to see it in Utah, it's very sad

    • profile image

      Celine 3 years ago

      Although I agree with those that have been suggesting means by which to avoid sifiagncint exposure to radiation, I am highly critical of the way the media have exploited peoples already high levels of anxiety by further raising the fear level in people, effectively causing a global panic amongst western nations regarding nuclear power and radiation. I'm not a scientist or a student studying such matters, but I think if all of us took the time to look outside of the media everyone would discover that the media has overblown this situation. It is wonderful that the world has come together to help the people of Japan, but it is also extremely unfortunate that the media and governments the across the globe have effectively raised the levels of fear and anxiety, which have been blown out of proportion. When Gregory Jaczko announced before Congress that the government in Tokyo is not trustworthy, and Washington is, has left the world in a rather idiotic panic, scrambling for potassium iodide even in Miami. It is also unfortunate that Washington should discredit the Japanese governments 30km evacuation zone, by suggesting an 80km evacuation zone. Radiation levels in Tokyo are far below potentially hazardous levels (levels at which SOME people may experience nausea and headaches), and are lower than they would be in high elevation cities like Denver, or even Paris. In Tokyo radiation levels are below .20 microsieverts, while in a city like Denver radiation levels can be between .45 and .70 microsieverts. Radiation levels in a city like Chicago or Paris can be as high as .40 microsieverts. In other words its harmless. Even in areas just outside the 30km evacuation zone, radiation levels are sifiagncintly below potentially health effecting levels at below 5 microsieverts, which amounts to 50 banana's. If you live in the middle of a banana plantation you are exposed to more radiation, in other words, again, harmless. People who fly regularly are exposed to far higher levels of radiation, anywhere from 100 to 300 microsieverts, depending on the length of the flight. The levels of radiation within the 30km evacuation zone, although differing sifiagncintly by area, are as of now lower than what one would expect to be exposed to on a trans-pacific flight. Reports of levels of radiation that are hundreds of times higher than normal levels fail to report that the levels of radiation that begin to cause potential health hazards are 250,000 microsieverts. Which, when we compare to the highest levels of radiation outside of the immediate vicinity of the power plant, 90-105 microsieverts, we see that the current panic is baseless and has effectively caused an unnecessary panic of hoarding and unnecessary traffic congestion. The government evacuated people when levels were still well below harmful levels, and to further note, below levels one would experience from a trans-pacific flight. The government has been remarkably transparent throughout this incident, there are plenty of private online live geiger counters to see levels across the Kanto area to prove that. We must also remember that people like Gregory Jaczko, who have caused this unnecessary panic, have known political leanings against nuclear power. Jaczko is not neutral, and has more interest in exploding the situation by scaring the people with the worst-case scenarios and of apocalypse, by shouting Chernobyl; which is just disgusting. Then the media followed suit. The likes of CNN and Fox, have created a firestorm of panic, both unnecessary and dangerous. I'm not suggesting blindly following the Tokyo's announcements, but on this occasion I think there is greater reason to believe that the government has been highly transparent. I ask those that are believing the announcements being made in Washington or Paris to evacuate areas up to 80km; why would you trust someone in Paris or Washington, who are not being fed immediate and accurate information from those at the plant this very minute, over those in Tokyo who are?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Wow, I wasn't aware that all of this was going on in Utah. Thanks for sharing the information.

    • profile image

      Dan R. 4 years ago

      Very informative, very scary, great work!