Monthly Archives: April 2011

Cosmic Ray? I Think I Got Hit…

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Cosmic Ray

Cosmic Ray

Nature blasts us, every now and then, with cosmic rays. They high energy particles (gamma, etc) can do considerable damage to a tiny part of our bodies, if they hit. I think I just got hit by one. Check out my graph for the past few hours. Note that the largest spike I have recorded, without a source, occured around 11:53 PM, April 22, 2011 EST (Virginia, USA). I normally have a background of 14 CPM. I hit 36 CPM!

Here is some raw data. Click the Daily Radiation Data! link above to view the current days readings (I update every day or two).

184 4/22/11 11:41 PM 19 2,680 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
185 4/22/11 11:42 PM 13 2,693 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
186 4/22/11 11:43 PM 17 2,710 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
187 4/22/11 11:44 PM 18 2,728 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
188 4/22/11 11:45 PM 12 2,740 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
189 4/22/11 11:46 PM 18 2,758 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
190 4/22/11 11:47 PM 18 2,776 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
191 4/22/11 11:48 PM 15 2,791 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
192 4/22/11 11:49 PM 18 2,809 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
193 4/22/11 11:50 PM 8 2,817 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
194 4/22/11 11:51 PM 8 2,825 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
195 4/22/11 11:52 PM 18 2,843 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10

196 4/22/11 11:53 PM 36 2,879 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10

197 4/22/11 11:54 PM 11 2,890 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
198 4/22/11 11:55 PM 17 2,907 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
199 4/22/11 11:56 PM 20 2,927 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
200 4/22/11 11:57 PM 19 2,946 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
201 4/22/11 11:58 PM 11 2,957 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
202 4/22/11 11:59 PM 10 2,967 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
203 4/23/11 12:00 AM 19 2,986 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
204 4/23/11 12:01 AM 12 2,998 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10
205 4/23/11 12:02 AM 24 3,022 14 38.296452 -77.505621 10

Radioactive Uranium Glassware!!! Oh Noes!!!

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I found these three glass ware prices at a friends house. They are radioactive because they contain, most likely, uranium. Their maximum reading, over ten minutes as an average, was 1.05 uSv/hr with the mica window in contact. The readings demenished greatly at 4 inches. The rooms ambient readings were about 0.25 uSv/hr at 10 feet, whe they were normally 0.12 uSv /hr. Note how chicken I am around obviously non harmful levels of radiation. Lol. I will tell you it is safe, then run away. Lol

The glassware is totally safe, even at 100 CPM (1 uSv/hr). I am just a chicken.

Tell me what you think. Would you eat off of this?

Enjoy!

Measurements of Radioactivity in Local Park

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Measurements of Radioactivity in Local Park

I took a journey today down to my local park in Fredericksburg Virginia in order to test the ambient radioactivity in the soil, plants, and streams. Alum Spring Park has been a favorite place of mine since I was a child and today was no different. The trees were in bloom, pink and white, and the ground covered in little blue flowers. Children played, people talked, and suddenly, a man with crazy long hair and a Geiger Counter arrived…

I walked around the park and looked for good places to test. Here are the results of my tests including pictures and locations. I took samples and performed spot testing. I returned to the lab for more detailed testing.

April 17, 2011 Test of Alum Spring Park:

tom at work

tom at work

1:51 PM – Took 5 min ambient air test. I always avoid sunlight and allow air to rush over my thin-ended mica window on my Geiger Counter. I received 69 counts in 5 minutes, which equals 13.8 CPM at 1 meter above the water by the stream.

park

Air tests at part


2:00 PM – Took 2 min rapid count of air just before testing of wet plants. 25 counts in 2 minutes which equals 12.5 CPM

2:05 PM – Took 2 minute rapid test of wet grasses growing in the water. They would probably contain radionuclide’s in their vacuals if they in-took them. The plants were wet and held about 1 foot above the water as I tested them. They produced 28 counts in 2 minutes which results in 14 CPM.

grass

grass


2:16 PM – Tested air by water and clay deposits for 5 minutes to establish baseline. 88 Counts were found in 5 minutes resulting in 17.6 CPM baseline.

2:23 PM – I placed the Geiger Counter within a bag to prevent water from spilling and exposed the sidewall and thin mica window to the water at 2.5 cm distance. I counted 98 counts in 5 minutes, averaging 19.6 CPM.

clay

clay


2:40 PM – Performed 5 minute baseline on a log to check average. 5 minutes produced 74 CPM which equals 14.8 CPM
baseline

baseline


2:50 PM – Took 3 minute rapid count on table for baseline before testing plants. 3 Minutes found 43 counts which equals 14.33 CPM.

2:55 PM – tested White Dogwood Tree flowers for 5 minutes and found 70 counts, which equals 14 CPM.

dogwood

dogwood

Summary
In summary, only the water samples tested in the stream showed any noticeable change over background. When I tested the water in the lab I found little change. This has to do with me current problem of not being able to test liquids very well. I am working on finding better ways to test liquids, other than holding my hand, which does work, over the liquid with the tool.

The Water tested 19.6 vs the ambient 17.6. The difference is 2 CPM. 19.6/10 = 1.96 (The Geiger Count has a +/- 10% accuracy). Subtracting the maximum inaccuracy from the remainder leaves: 2-1.96 = 0.04 CPM above normal.

Currently, this is too close to call!!! I am going to dry the water and measure the sediment for contamination, in lieu of a more powerful instrument.

As best as I can tell, Alum Spring Park is quite safe, currently.

Results of Radioactive Rain

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Last night a massive rain storm blew through my area, Virginia (4/16). After the storm had ended, I measured a change in my geiger counter readings. My geiger counter provides many different readings each minute, due to the randomness of radiation, but it always averages to 14 CPM for the long periods it runs (24+ hours in the same place). During the late evening and early night, after the storm, my average counts per minute rose from 14CPM to 15CPM. This is a significant change for a long running average. I have witnessed this each time now that a major front from the west has moved through my area.

Current Radiation Data

Person Monitoring: Tom
Location: Fredericksburg, VA, US
Altitude: 10 feet
Station Name: Anti Proton
Geiger Counter Model: Radalert 100
Other Criteria: CRM-100 (radalert w/o alert feature) 8-16CPM normal

Fallowing the rain storm by about 2-3 hours
4/16/11 09:33 PM 26CPM 15 Avg CPM Start of consistent higher readings
4/16/11 10:05 PM 17CPM 15 Avg CPM End of first wave of higher readings

Gusty and windy, but clear night.
4/16/11 11:32 PM 2CPM 15 Avg CPM Start of second batch of high readings
4/17/11 02:26 AM 11CPM 15 Avg CPM End of high readings

Note: These readings are all quite low, but they represent a trend, which could be caused by small amounts of Japan fallout, though this cannot be verified by my instrument.

Why Reactor Entombment is a Bad Idea for Fukashima

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