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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

☢OVER 10 SIEVERTS/HR Radiation OUTSIDE Reactor 1 and 2 - Fukushima I Nuke Plant

The survey meter went overscale, so no one knows how high the actual radiation really is. 

TEPCO hasn't updated the "survey map (contamination map)" of the plant for about a month, and I've been wondering why. (They have a new one out now, but it doesn't mention the exhaust duct at all.)

If you are exposed to 10 sieverts radiation in a short time, you will be dead.

Photo is from Kyodo News Japanese, with the original photo by the Ministry of Defense. The exhaust duct is where the black arrow is pointing.

Not clear from the Jiji article below, but the Kyodo article does say the meter went overscale and the accurate measurement is not available.

From Jiji Tsushin (11:59PM JST 8/1/2011):

TEPCO announced on August 1 that the highest radiation of over 10 sieverts/hour (or 10,000 millisieverts/hour) was detected on the surface of the exhaust duct between Reactor 1 and Reactor 2 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The workers who measured the radiation were exposed to maximum 4 millisieverts of radiation.


Prior to this reading, the highest radiation measured was 4,000 millisievert/hour [or 4 sieverts/hour] measured inside the reactor building of Reactor 1 in June. If one is exposed to 10 sieverts/hour radiation for 6 minutes without any protection, he would get 1,000 millisieverts [or 1 sievert] radiation, the level which causes nausea and rapid decrease of lymphocytes.


TEPCO will prohibit access to the area within a few meters radius of the duct, and plans to shield the radiation by installing steel panels around the area. However, according to TEPCO, there is no work planned near the area, and there will be no effect on the progress of the work at the plant.

東電によると、排気筒には非常用ガス処理系と呼ばれる配管が接続されており、この接続部で高線量が測定された。1号機では震災直後の3月12日、原子炉格 納容器の圧力逃がし弁を開く「ベント」が行われたが、その際に、容器内の空気がこの配管の中を通った。東電は、通過した気体に含まれる放射性物質が配管内 に付着し、何らかの理由で高い放射線量になったとみている。

According to TEPCO, the pipe for the emergency gas process system is connected to the exhaust duct, and it was at the joint that the high radiation was measured. On March 12 right after the earthquake/tsunami, they did the venting in Reactor 1, in which the pressure release valve on the Containment Vessel was opened to let the air inside the CV out. TEPCO thinks the radioactive materials in that air somehow got attached inside the duct, causing the high radiation.
Wait a minute. How could the work at the plant not be affected? TEPCO is going to put the gigantic cover over Reactor 1, and this exhaust pipe is right in the way.
(h/t Dr. Ono and anon readers)

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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.