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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

☢ Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Report BBC NEWS - Japan Earthquake Research Center Worried ☢

Transcribed Video BBC NEWS Australian Cannonball Fukushima Disaster Report

More than 300.000 children from around Fukushima nuclear plant are having health checkups because of fears of possible thyroid disorders from radiation. The meltdown at Fukushima has added to public unease in Japan about nuclear energy, and some experts say their warnings about the risks were ignored. Our science correspondent David Shukman has been reporting on the nuclear question and has been given rare access to the Hamaoka nuclear power station.

David Shukman: This is the friendly face of nuclear power, bright and reliable, an exhibition to persuade the public that getting electricity this way is safe. But people have also seen a much darker image. Men struggling inside the Fukushima power station for the past six months and opinion is shifting even inside the plant itself.

None of the staff can speak to the media openly but engineer from Fukushima agreed to meet us. To hide his identity we have altered the video, but this is what he said.

Fukushima Engineer: That if people think nuclear power is safe, I’d like them to work with me for a day in the ruble. They’d see a disaster at Fukushima, and if after that they still say it’s safe, they are just ignorant.

David Shukman: Most of Japan’s nuclear power stations like this one at Hamaoka are now shut down. Here the 2000 staff are just keeping things ticking over. And none of the plants will reopen until they are better defended, especially from the sea.

David Shukman: The big shock for the Japanese nuclear industry was that the earthquake was stronger and the tsunami bigger than anyone expected, so they are having to take emergency measures, here they can no longer relay on this huge embankment for protection against the sea. They are going to build an 18 meter wall just the other side of it.

David Shukman: A company video explains how this massive new sea defense will work, and on a rare visit inside we were shown how the power station is already been made more waterproof. It was flooding that caused the catastrophe at Fukushima so here the backup systems are now installed up on the roof. Officials hope the public will be reassured.

Kanji Nishida, Chubu Electric Power: We confirm that tsunamis will not come over our embankment we still think our nuclear power plant is safe enough.

David Shukman: But at the governments earthquake research center they are worried, they have simulated in graphic detail a really huge tsunami that struck Japan more than a thousand years ago, and they say that no one listens.

Japan Earthquake Research Center: According to the director Yukinobu Nakamura we warned that a tsunami could overwhelm Fukushima, but they put of doing anything about it.

David Shukman: In the past Japan quietly relied on nuclear power but the question now is whether the next generation will still want it. David Shukman BBC NEWS at Hamaoka in Japan.

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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.