Tag Archives: atomic

Ruggles Uranium Mine Trip! (Uranium Mine)

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I traveled to Ruggles Mine, New Hampshire to find uranium (and other minerals too!). The trip was fine until I learned I could not use my radiation detectors… which was terrible news! They did sell burgers and drinks and even had uranium for sale in the giftshop lol WARNING! There is uranium on-site, so keep control of the kids or don’t bring them. No need letting children get too close to uranium.

Large area to mine.
Loads of minerals.
Wonderful giftshop.
Food on site

Cannot use radiation detectors! 🙁

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On a recent business trip, I found an airplane at an airplane museum with what appears to be DU. This is not uncommon in airplanes.

Peaks found:
Thorium 234 63.29 keV
Thorium 234 92.38 keV
Thorium 234 92.8 keV
Protactinium 234m 766.36 keV
Protactinium 234m 1001.03 keV

Half Lives of Detected Isotopes (secular equillibrium with U238):
Thorium 234 t0.5 = 24.1 Days
Protactinium 234m t0.5 = 70.2 seconds

Unknown peaks (likely from natural uranium present in the concrete below the aircraft)
162.5 keV Unknown
176.3 keV (186.1 keV) – Possibly from Ra226
231.5 keV (241.98 keV) – Possibly from Pb214
307.3 keV (295.21 keV) – Possibly from Pb214
355.6 keV (351.92 keV) – Possibly from Pb214

Radiation at Six Miles Up!!! – Gamma Spectroscopy in an Airplane!

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I noticed that at ground level, the dose rate was 1 or 2 uSv/hr, but after take off it dropped!!! From 1000 feet (eyeballed) to about 5,000 feet it read 0 uSv/hr on the Poli (1 or 2 CPS, max!). This was due to being too far from the ground radiation (NORM), but too low to pick up lots of background cosmic rays.

My Polimaster misses most cosmic rays and mostly picks up mostly uranium, thorium, potassium, and bremsstrahlung radiation. Neat!

By the time I hit about 15,000 feet the dose rate was rising again. By 33,000 feet the dose rate was at its peak of about 0.5 uSv/hr. I know from the spectrum that most of my dose was from high energy particles. This means my Poli misses most of this dose. lol

Ironically, the plane was probably the source of most of my low level energy dose due to high energy particles striking the hull.

As for the x-ray machine, what could I do? I told the TSA guy what the detector was and he just stared at me… so oh well lol

Collecting Uranium

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!!!The most important aspects of safety!!!

Key things to reduce exposure:
1. Shielding
2. Time (of exposure)
3. Distance

Key things to keep safe:
1. Minimize exposure if possible.
2. Always wash hands and wear gloves.
3. Never allow inhalation or ingestion of dust from samples.
4. Keep samples away from children (anyone, actually) and only bring
5. Never store samples under your bed (not sure why they do, but apparently people do this lol)

Good books:
Introduction to Radioactive Minerals – Robert Lauf

Places to buy uranium:

(eBay and Amazon have some too, but be careful!)

Places to get equipment:


Places to get a Geiger counter (including recommended models):

Model 3 + 44-9 Pancake Probe – Ludlums.com
Inspector – GeigerCounters.com
PRM9000 – GeigerCounters.com
CDV700 – VArious places (careful of bad units… may need repair and claibration)

Spectrum Techniques Universal Computer Spectrometer UCS30 – A Review and Overview

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A nice little unit, the UCS30 comes with 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096 channels. The unit has a built-in high voltage source and a pre-amplifier.

There are many great and wonderful scientific devices which we can obtain and use to understand our world. The most important things we can do in our lives are to learn all that we can and teach as much as possible to all who will listen.

The unit can be seen at http://spectrumtechniques.com/

Oh… and no, they didn’t ask or pay me to show off their unit. Unfortunately, I had to buy the unit myself 🙂