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Radiation Detection

Radiation Detection

In order to take effective radiation protection measures, it is important to know exactly what you are up against, since different contaminants warrant different protection procedures. The two most important questions are, “How much?” and “What kind?” Unfortunately, the answer to the “What kind?” question is fairly expensive, involving close to $2,000 for analysis by a gamma spectrometer.  For this reason, it makes sense to invest in a less expensive detector in order to discover any elevated readings, and then to send samples for analysis if this is determined to be the case.

Radiation Detection: Personal Measurement

We located a relatively inexpensive geiger counter for personal radiation detection for $299. Specs are as follows:

radiation detection crm100“The CRM-100™ is a general purpose geiger counter that measures alpha, beta, gamma, and x-radiation. It is intended for personal safety and educational purposes. Like the popular Radalert 100™, the CRM-100™ features a 3-second update on its digital liquid crystal display (LCD). The LCD shows the current radiation level in your choice of milliroentgens per hour from .001 to 110 or counts per minute (cpm) from 0 to 350,000. When SI units are selected, the LCD shows readings in microsieverts per hour from .01 to 1100 or counts per second (cps) from 0 to 3,500. This instrument also offers an accumulated total and timer function, up to 9,999,000 counts and 40 hours. A red LED blinks and a beeper chirps with each count (the chirp can be muted). – See more at: http://medcom.com/radiation-monitors/geiger-counters/crm-100/#sthash.PMNpMwdc.dpuf”

Radiation Detection: Gamma Ray Spectrometry

After performing personal radiation detection, you may discover specific concentrations of radioactivity (as may be found in accumulation areas such as rooftops or on the margins of drainage ditches). Depending on what is discovered, you may wish to gather a sample and send it to a lab for analysis. This option is generally too expensive for most people, unless they are part of an organization and requires some understanding to interpret the radiation detection data correctly. The video below, walks through this process.

Radiation Detection: Monitoring Sites

Many people cannot afford Gamma Ray Spectrometry, and must rely on data provided by others.

Here is a real-time, volunteer-supported site: http://radiationnetwork.com/

Here is a global monitoring network for radiation detection. http://blog.safecast.org/maps/

Simple Radiation Protection Steps: