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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

☢Extreme levels of radiation detected at Fukushima nuclear reactors☢

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said on Aug. 1 that it had detected radiation doses exceeding 10 sieverts per hour, the highest level of radiation measured since the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, outside the buildings for two reactors -- a new discovery that could hamper efforts to bring the troubled reactors under control.
The dosage, which exceeded the capacity of measuring equipment, was detected near the surface of an exhaust pipe between the No. 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima nuclear complex, said TEPCO, the operator of the crippled nuclear facility. People risk death if they are exposed to radiation doses of 10 sieverts per hour, or 10,000 millisieverts. The high levels of radiation mean that a person could be exposed to 250 millisieverts of radiation -- the upper limit set by the government for workers engaged in restoration work at the Fukushima plant -- within 90 seconds.

The utility firm said it had made the area within a radius of several meters from the trouble spot off-limits and that it was going to shield the area with steel plates and the like. The utility said the radiation doses would not affect restoration work. But if similar doses were found elsewhere on the premises of the nuclear plant, it could affect the efforts to bring the nuclear reactors under control.
Therefore, TEPCO needs to rigorously check to see whether high radiation doses are spreading elsewhere and thoroughly control radiation at the nuclear plant to prevent workers from being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Three plant workers, who were checking radiation levels after finishing their work to remove debris, confirmed the radiation doses at about 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 1.
The exhaust pipe where the radiation doses were detected is used in the event of an emergency to release gas from reactor containment vessels. Steam containing high levels of radioactive substances may have remained in the pipe after TEPCO vented steam from the No. 1 reactor on March 12 in an attempt to protect the reactor containment vessel. Radioactive particles may have also adhered to the outside of the pipe. The exhaust pipe is not in use now. Previously, radiation of 4,000 millisieverts -- the then highest level of radiation since the outbreak of the nuclear crisis -- had been detected on the first floor of the reactor building of the No. 1 nuclear reactor.
The three workers who measured the radiation doses on Aug. 1 were exposed to radiation of up to an estimated 4 millisieverts. TEPCO also said few workers had been working near the trouble spot and that it had not found any workers who were exposed to massive radiation.
In a related development, TEPCO said on Aug. 2 that there were two more pipes nearby that apparently showed radiation in excess of 10 sieverts. The utility said it had not actually measured the radiation there and it had no plans to do so because there would be no one working there.
(Mainichi Japan) August 2, 2011

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Geiger Counters - Radiation Detection Meters - Handheld Radiation Detector

When it comes to radiation detection meters you really have a wide field of gadgets to choose from, however radiation detectors are the most common to use. First of all if you need to know what type of radiation you are looking for. There are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation detectors. And also there is neutron emission of nuclear radiation. And all these different types of emissions have radiation detectors for a specific type of radiation that you can buy radiation detector for. Some also measure both Alpha and Beta. Others detect Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While others let you measure Beta and Gamma radiation.

What most people have use for though are Dosimeters you can buy a handheld radiation detector pretty cheap that are good addition to a survival kit. There are different kinds that you can use that will detect radiation. There are radiation badges that will tell you when radiation become high. Workers at nuclear power plants use these to inform them of how much radiation they have been exposed to. Now also children in the Fukushima prefecture have each been given a radiation badge so they know if they are exposed to radiation. Some come in the shape of a pen that you can carry in your pocket while other are made more compact so that you can attach them to your keychain. And then you have what is called a personal radiation monitor. These are also called Dosimeters and also normally called Geiger counters. Although not all use the Geiger-Muller Tube for the radiation detection some use a semiconductor instead. These and mostly the older geiger counters seen are pretty big to carry around, so they might not be best suited for a survival situation where you only need to carry the most important things. However if you have land and want to check radiation around the property and drinking water then these are the geiger counters to get because they are very well built units.

These are the once that you normally see people use. They have different units of radiation detection, because when it comes to radiation there are many standards used. some give the measurements in Rads, while other use Sieverts. Some have the maximum radiation value for the measured radioactivity quite low but they will still give you an idea of the amount of radiation in the area. With the units ranging from between background radiation 0.001 mSv/hr all the way up to 10 Sv/h. Normally a dosimeter will measure radiation in micro siverts per hour. If you were to walk into one of the reactor units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant you probably would get an error reading from your dosimeter because the radiation levels are so high there.

Note that some places outside the exclusion zone in Fukushima that are too radioactive for people to live in have areas where the radiation levels are above 30 Sv/h. So if you are in a area that have high radiation the radiation detectors would also there go off the scale. However Geiger counters or radiation detectors are still favored as general purpose alpha/beta/gamma portable radiation detectors and radiation detection equipment, due to their low cost and robustness. Most come with an LCD Display that show you the radioactivity in the area. Nowdays you will even get alarm sound and the possibility to connect the device to a computer. Either with a Infrared, Bluetooth or USB connection.

So if you look at the radiation detectors for sale that have this, then these radiation detection meters will allow you to make maps of contaminated areas that show where the radiation is high and low. This also will help you to see which areas are becoming more contaminated over time. With several nuclear reactors in the US and around the world located near fault zones that makes it a danger if a big earthquake would hit the area there is always a good choice to have a radiation dosimeter avaliable. I'm sure many in Fukushima would have been grateful to have dosimeters avaliable at the time of the disaster and I am sure you to would be grateful to have a geiger counter handy when you need one.