THIS BLOG IS FOR INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.
DO NOT TRY ANY OF THE CONCEPTS DEMONSTRATED HERE, BODILY HARM AND/OR DEATH MIGHT RESULT.
I DO NOT ASSUME ANY LIABILITY FOR THE MISUSE OF THE CONTENTS.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Measuring Radiation Levels

What is the use of understanding the way radiation works theoretically and practically if you can't measure it. This post will address the different measuring equipment available, from the high-tech to the home made. The ability to measure radiation levels will help you choose where to take shelter and when it is safe to get out.

Measuring equipment will use different units such as Rad, Rem, Grey, Roentgen, etc. It is not important to know what each of these terms mean or how they are calculated. The essential is to understand how much of each unit will be dangerous or fatal.

Different Measuring Equipment:

  • Survey Meters.
  • Geiger Counters.
  • Dosimeters.
  • Homemade KFM (Kearny Fallout Meter).
Survey Meters:
These devices are portable, typically weigh between 3 and 6 pounds, and are battery operated. They use 1 or 2 ''D'' batteries to power them up to 150 hours. They use a different measuring equipment than the Geiger Counter but yield the same results. They sell for approximately 300$US. They have to be calibrated every 4 years. The age of the typical unit goes back to the cold war, where they were produce in massive quantities. Calibration costs approximately 80$US.

Geiger Counters:
They look and weigh the same weight as the survey meters. They are typically used to measure lower ranges (0-50R/hr). They are very useful for measuring radiation levels in food and water. This in turn avoids you from ingesting harmful fallout particles. This range typical for a post-nuclear war, where lower levels are attained and where only prolonged exposure is dangerous. They can help you determine the maximum time you may spend outside the shelter. They sell for 300-600$US Calibrated. They have to be calibrated every 4 years. Calibration costs approximately 70$US.

Dosimeters:
These little gadgets are very useful to have with you. They measure the total radiation you were exposed to. They are very small, normally the size and shape of a pen. They measure the absorbed radiation in Roentgens. There are different ranges of dosimeters availible. Typically the most common are the 0-100R and the 0-200R. As you may have noticed they do not measure the ''R/hr'' like Survey Meters and Geiger Counters. You just take it with you and it will add up the total radiation to which you were exposed. A lot of survivalists prefer having a dosimeter over a survey meter. With the use of a Dosimeter charger you can reset them to 0R. They sell for approximately 200$US for a set of 3 Dosimeters and a charger. They have to be calibrated every 4 years. Calibration costs approximately 30$US per Dosimeter.

Homemade KFM (Kearny Fallout Meters):
These meters are made from very common components and can easily be assembled with a simple tutorial. The main items needed are: a tin can, aluminium foil, a couple of human hairs. This may sound ridiculous to some but this meter has been scientifically tested hundreds of time since its introduction during in the cold war. Free instructions to build the KFM can be found here. The section that covers the KFM Meter is in Appendix ''C'' (page 350). Anyone that puts time and effort to build a KFM can redo it easily when necessary. These are sometimes built as science projects by kids so it isn't very hard.

The important thing when choosing a meter is to be able to measure the whole range of radiation exposure. Ex: If a meter measure from 1R/h to 50R/hr you wouldn't be able to know if you are exposed to 50R/h or 100R/hr. This is why you should consider having the highest range meter to effectively know when radiation levels are deadly (500R/hr and +). Keep reading for future posts!

No comments:

Post a Comment