Man, I would bet that you could name your price on a plane ticket outta Japan right now and probably get it.

So far the images and stories generated from this disaster are pretty much what you expect…empty shelves, footage of people walking along highways, rubble everywhere, and that sort of things. The pictures of folks running around with nuke survey gear is a new one though.

In his excellent book, Nuclear War Survival Skills , Kearny gives info on how to make your own fallout monitoring device from household goods. Apparently, it works but there are other alternatives.

The Nuk-Alert keychain device has always interested me but not enough to drop the money for one. It is listed as being sensitive to gamma and x-ray radiation but, and I think Im probably off on this one, I was under the impression that most nuclear accidents involved alpha and beta radiation which is, as far as radiation goes, fairly tame stuff. Hmmm…I need to drag out my nuclear war references and double check that. I suspect that once this ‘blows over’ (!) and things quiet down Im going to have to go ahead and pick up a Nuk-Alert or two. The true do-it-yourselfer may simply whip up a scintillator and hope it’s for the right wavelength.

The various surplussed Civil Defense meters that are available (and, amazingly, still in use in some municipalities), would probably work for detecting increased levels of radiation but they need to be calibrated and that is not something that you can do at home with your meter and a broken smoke detector.

:::sigh::: I’ve actually got a pretty good library at home regarding this sort of thing…I just havent read it in quite a while since the likelihood of needing the information seemed to have dwindled. If nothing else, I should go re-read the parts about different types of radiation, decay rates, absorption and lethal dosages just so I can understand the news better.

0 thoughts on “Detection

  1. I feel sorry for those folks.
    They really don’t have anywhere to go to.
    I would never live on a freaking island.
    I would never live in a large city either.
    As a side note;
    There wear some Japanese folks that lived in the town where I grew up.(North Central Montana).
    You could not find nicer, or more honest people than they were.

  2. Sorry, don’t have time for a long post as I’m heading to bed soon.

    I came across this site a while back, lots of great info. They also sell assorted radiological stuff. Including a cheap sticker style dose meter….

    WARNING: This site is addictive and you might find that the clock has jumped ahead significantly…

    I’m another who’s thinking that it might not be a bad idea to pick up a few of those stickers and some iodine pills, just in case. I’m going to wait until things calm down though.


  3. Alpha and Beta waves aren’t dangerous unless they’re inhaled (like radioactive dust or something) because your outer layer of skin (the dead one) is dense enough to block them. I once had to drop off some scrap metal at a scrap yard for work that was coated in 40+ years of lime. Apparently that much lime produces low levels of natural Beta waves, not nearly enough to harm you but enough to set off the radiation detector at the scrap yard. Long story short I got paid to spend an afternoon in quarantine while we waited for the state hazmat workers to show up at which point I got to learn firsthand about the dangers (and overinflated worries) of radiation as well as methods of dealing with them. Good stuff.

  4. I have two NukeAlerts and have given them as gifts to relatives. Nice stuff. After this settles down another place with high quality instruments is a company in North Dakota called Arrow-Tech. Not cheap, but made in America high quality insturments for those into serious preps. You simply cannot trust what our fearless leader might say in a crisis so at least get something. The NukeAlert instrument is certified by the Navy I think.

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