Tag Archives: nuclear

Are Exempt Quantity Nuclear Check Sources Dangerous?

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I am not a doctor, nor a physicist, nor any other qualified person to discuss radiation safety for others. I am merely explaining my own risks using my own sources. Keep that in mind.

Cancer Risk

Cancer occurs when cells in the body are damaged in such a way that they their genetic code is altered allowing them to uncontrollably reproduce. This damage can come from the environment and from errors in how DNA is rewritten.

Current Scientific Consensus (what the majority of scientists agree upon based upon their research and data):

1. Cancer risk rises with respect to dose.
2. There is no dose rate where the risk of cancer (from the dose) is zero.
3. Determining risks from doses less than 100 mSv is statistically difficult.

December, 2008. Williams D. Radiation carcinogenesis: lessons from Chernobyl. Accessed online January, 23 2015 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19956182

The dose of a dental x-ray 5 μSv
The majority of small check sources are less than 10 μSv/hr
The dose of chest x-ray averages 100 μSv
The dose of a CT chest scan averages 7000 μSv
The dose of a CT chest scan averages 4,000,000 μSv

Accessed online January, 20 2015 at http://hps.org/documents/Medical_Exposures_Fact_Sheet.pdf

What are the risks of cancer from any source?

Males
Risk of developing 1 in 2
Risk of dying from 1 in 4

Females
Risk of developing 1 in 3
Risk of dying from 1 in 5

September 24, 2014. Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer. Accessed online January, 23 2015 at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer

Final conclusion:

A third to half of us will get cancer in our lives. My sources are only a VERY tiny contributor to my risk.

The Sounds of the Atoms

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I made the recordings and the images seen in the video.

Sounds made using a GS1100A from GammaSpectacular.com, a Radiation Sensors SPA38 from SpectrumTechniques.com, sources from SpectrumTechniques.com (and other places), software from PRA

The gamma energies are detected by the NaI(Tl) detector and converted into pulses of electricity, proportionate to their energy (low energy, low voltage, high energy, high voltage). The spectrometer converted these to sound. The higher the energy, the higher the pitch of the sound.

Sources/detector: SpectrumTechniques.com
Spectrometer: GammaSpectacular.com
Software: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~marek…
Spectra: http://anti-proton.com/?page_id=663

Radioactive Monazite Tested!

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Monazite, a Rare Earth Minerals rich mineral found in many parts of the world, from India, to Brazil.
This sample contained thorium, which made it radioactive.

Bionerd23 basking in Monazite-rich sands in Brazil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdHHUGwFoJE

My spectrum of the sample: http://anti-proton.com/monazite.png

Radioactive Camera Lens

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This is my new Pentax Asahi Takumar 1:1.4/50mm lens… but it also happens to be radioactive! It contains Thorium 232.

(Radiation and Geiger Counters) How to Separate Alpha, Beta, Gamma

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Background 38 CPM
Total 19,262 CPM *
Beta+Gamma 14,116 CPM *
Gamma 1,392 cpm *

* values shown minus background (e.g. 19300 CPM total becomes 19,262 CPM after 38 CPM removed)

This is how we figure it out:

Alpha = Total – Beta+Gamma
Beta = Beta+Gamma – Gamma
Gamma = Gamma

We can replace the words for real values from above:
Alpha = (19262 CPM) – (14116 CPM) = 5146 CPM
Beta = (14116 CPM) – (1392 CPM) = 12724 CPM
Gamma = (1392 CPM) = 1392 CPM

The results sum back to the total, which helps us check our work:
Alpha + Beta + Gamma = 5146 CPM + 12724 CPM + 1392 CPM = 19262 CPM
——————————————————————————————

Here’s that bit about the copper lol I added it for fun, but it is correct.
Sheilding HVL of Copper: 10.2 mm
Thickness of Sample: ~4mm
Most Common Energy of Gamma: 214Bi 609.31 keV at 44.8%
e^-log(2)4mm/10.2mm = 0.76199, where d/dx e^-((ln(2)/10.2mm)*x) = (4^((-2+x)/x) log(2))/x^2