FORUM: Post Your Radiation Monitoring Data Here

Published: January 1st, 2016 at 11:00 am ET


Previous radiation monitoring thread here:

Published: January 1st, 2016 at 11:00 am ET


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12,132 comments to FORUM: Post Your Radiation Monitoring Data Here

  • James Hollen

    NORBU, that site you told me to check out just might work! I am fairly new at this and that looks like what I had in mind. Thanks!

  • norbu norbu

    Ok folks we have a problem it just started raining here in Nevada city CA 1 hour ago took a swipe off the truck, rain very serious
    max data point- 610 cpm
    average data point- 383.03 cpm
    counts in 10 minutes- 3837
    stay out of the rain it is hot.

    • Question:

      Was there wind or almost no wind?
      Was the rain coming straight down? (so to speak)

      I have a theory:
      The less wind, the more the radiation can 'dump' from higher altitudes.

      I am south of Fresno, Ca in the foothills and last night/morning rains came straight down with no wind. Just an observation.

  • norbu norbu

    In line with Nuckelchen latest video, re-critical on the 29th of March.

    • crystalwind crystalwind

      Hi, Norbu, I was watching the jetstream for several days especially for Hawaii, relevant to the 3/29 incident, but doesn't it take more like 5 days for it to reach the west coast? Although the jetstream was over CA, how could the high readings on 3/30 be attributable to Fukushima's 3/29? I then wondered what else might cause it locally? Am I missing something? It's easy for something obvious to get past me, with or without morning coffee…no excuses.

      • norbu norbu

        crystalwind, the date is 29 in japan, 28 in the USA. Still only 2 days but it still could be if the jet stream is fast enough. The afternoon of the 30th the jet stream from japan was straight to San Fran, CA look at 30-3-2013 12 utc
        I am not sure what else could cause such a fast rise in C-137. FUKU?

        • crystalwind crystalwind

          Thanks, Norbu. I just double-checked. Using

          I built an animation for a 6-day period using 12 hour shots, from the 27th (US) and unless I'm not tracking right, it appears to me that the blob that was over CA around 30-31st was a "piece" of older jetstream movement. I tried to follow the spot in the stream from Japan on the 27th and it seems to me that what came out of there on our 28th is just now touching the CA coast and landfall. That also was my question: if not coming from Fuku, then Where? OR–I'm reading it all wrong. If so, apologies. Stay safe.

  • James Hollen

    Norbu, your high reading has to be coming from Fukushima, wouldn't you say?

  • James Hollen

    Norbu, I have a question here. I checked out and they seem to have a good selection. I am looking for a probe that I could mount outside the house. It would need to be waterproof, of course. The meter would be inside the house beside my computer. Any thoughts on who would sell something like that? James

  • When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. – Lakota

  • James Hollen

    Thanks Norbu. I am going to give some of these sites a call Monday or Tuesday. It looks like sells some waterproof equipment. James

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    Nimbin NSW, Australia.
    Rain arrived last night. I took a swab off a sheet of roofing iron and measured 1280cpm…

  • 3-31-13 Hawaii, Oahu, West side, 8 hour run, inside office

    25 CPM, normal and acceptable

    Doing an outside test now, they are almost always the same.

  • vital1 vital1

    Two new privately run live background radiation monitoring stations, have been set up on the Sunshine Coast Australia.

    Stations like this can provide background radiation monitoring information from anywhere in the world. It just needs people to purchase, and set up a Theremino kit or equivalent, and then send the chart images up to the FTP site we have set up regularly. We hope to have more volunteer stations up, and monitoring in the future.

    I suggest if you want to join this network use the Theremino Geiger kit. A Theremino Geiger counter station can be set up for as little as $90 using a SBM-20 Russian tube or equivalent. It is as good as commercial units but a lot cheaper. The charting software comes free. You will need a computer, and a permanently connected Internet connection if you want to join the volunteer monitoring network. The Theremino Geiger Counter kit can also be used as a normal Geiger counter for indoor, or outside use.

    I have no commercial interest in Theremino. After a lot of research on this subject it turned out to be the most cost effective, and simplest kit to put together, to do this job, that I could find.

    Read the free Geiger counter Guide for more info on the Theremino kit.

  • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

    Blackcatsystems radiation map shows a microrem count of 21646 in Maryland, between Strasbourg and Winchester towns! What plant is in this area? Screenshot is available upon request.

    I don't mean to 'dis' blackcat but, what if, the first two figures are used and the 'thousand' figure behind it is ignored? Am I paranoid much? No, just another suspicious observer- 😀 Equipment failure could be a possible reason for a high microrem count, or, yet another, nuclear plant radiation event. The conversion is: 1 microsievert (µSv) = 100 microrem (µrem), so 21646 divided by 100 = 216.46 microsieverts, right? It is a high radiation count, so let's see how long it remains at this high measurement.

    • It's till there. 21646 in Maryland.

      I snagged a screen shot if needed.

      • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

        Thx ChasAha. Sorry, I said Maryland but the blackcatsystems station looks like it's in Northern Virginia, near the border of Maryland. The wind direction is coming from the SW. What nuclear reactor sites might be involved? North Anna seems most likely or maybe Calvert Cliffs? Wind map @ NRC event reports don't go beyond 3-29 from my quick view.

    • vital1 vital1

      We need to quickly determine if it is equipment malfunction, or a serious detection event. At those levels it would be dangerous for those in the area.

      bluerthanblu, thanks for the discovery.

        • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

          Surry had a problem with a pelican back on Dec. 29, 2012:

          'The pelican contacted an overheard power cable causing a short that de-energized one of the connections between the plant and its offsite electrical power grid. One of the emergency diesel generators automatically started in response to indications that electrical voltage inside the plant were decreasing.' This story and other wildlife issues at nuclear plants @:

          The NRC event at Surry on 3/28/13 appears to be a siren that turned on at 2240. A citizen called that the EWS siren was on and police arrived ten minutes later but the siren had turned off. Plant parameters appeared normal with no follow-up radiation release noted.

          We'll see what's up Monday morning, I expect. Unless the equipment is malfunctioning, the count remains high.

        • vital1 vital1

          Jet stream is over the area.

        • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

          The only one a teensy high in count is a '57' in New Jersey on the detail maps for Northeast US. Well, certainly on Easter weekend, there aren't as many people 'manning' the radiationnetwork and blackcatsystems to report in.

          Ok, Harrisonburg, Va on Radnet says at 2200 3-31-13, the gross beta count went up to 141. At 0906, same day, the gross beta count was l72 so the current '216' is likely, real or it's a spike 'stuck on.' Here's another, on 3-30-13, beta gross counts went up to 194 at 20:03. These higher beta counts need more investigation. Certainly, this is not good news for Virginia citizens- 🙁

          Forgot to mention the most recent Radnet, gross beta count for Harrisonburg was '0'. Also checked Richmond, VA. Ah ha, a potential 'bingo'! Radnet shows all zeros from 3-25 to 3-31. Someone who knows the ins/outs of gamma counts may discover something more.

    • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

      Thank you- 🙂 You're sure of the decimal point? Well, that's great news if the software simply didn't lop off the correct decimal point. Also, it appears the number was not rounded up to 22 as I would expect. Still, I'm glad I checked Radnet. The beta gross counts are higher than usual in Virginia in the last week, something to keep an eye on for 'persistence' of counts over 100 CPM, which is evident over a couple of days time, in recent Radnet data.

  • James Hollen

    Anyone in North Carolina doing any active monitoring these days?

  • norbu norbu

    ChasAha, I was looking at the wind map and radiation network back and forth and I noticed where there was no wind the cpm# seem to be higher.In Utah it said 58 cpm, looked at the wind map and sure enough it was calm in that area. I am not for sure but other spots seem to be that way as well.

  • vital1 vital1

    Sunshine Coast
    2nd April 2013

    March Monthly report

    This month saw lower background day averages than the January (52%) and February (39%) highs. The whole month background average was 32% above the 4 year pre-Fukushima March background average. It was also higher than last March's (2012) month's average of 24% above average. A few day averages towards the end of the month went to 40% + above average. See charts.

    Let's see what a 42% increase in a day average means. It means there was and extra 0.042 uSv/hr increase for 24 hours. That is 24 x 0.042 or an extra 1.008 uSv radiation dose for that day. Let's say that the 1.008 uS/hr extra was detected for just one hour in that day, instead of being spread over the whole 24 hour day. 0.10uSv/hr normal background for one hour + 1.008 = 1.108 uSv/hr for that hour. Most people with Geiger counters who detected a 1.108 uSv/hr detection for one whole hour would be ringing alarm bells!

    The local Sunshine Coast monitoring station site colour coded alert levels are set in 40% increments. For every colour alert level increase, there is a 0.96 uSv exposure increase for that whole day.

  • SwimsWithGators

    EPA 7 day data from Arkansas

    EPA Radnet data shows spike in Gross Beta

    These are directions to EPA 7 day data graph and numbers.

    No hot link. Copy first EPA link and remove space in URL then go from there. Found an almost 90 Gross Beta count when I looked yesterday.

    Spaced out link here:
    http://www.epa (space)

    REMOVE SPACE between epa .gov
    *Near real time data*

    Selecting Arkansas and clicking brings:


    Which is where you ask for data from ARKANSAS
    Selecting data……

    select these two below… move them to the box at right to query using >

    *beta gross count rate*

    *measurement start date time*




    select *time*

    click small calendar… go back just a month or so

    click: submit

    scroll down and find the

    *Graphical Plots for the Past 7 Days*

    Click *Scatter plot* To get graph

    You'll see some rather high readings

  • vital1 vital1

    "This radiation reading in northern Virginia, around 60 miles from here, last night was over a 1,000 times normal…

    I just went outside for a bit, I started to get a metal taste in my mouth. This doesn’t happen anymore… or I thought it didn’t till now."

    bluerthanblu posted this in this forum yesterday.

    "Blackcatsystems radiation map shows a microrem count of 21646 in Maryland, between Strasbourg and Winchester towns! What plant is in this area? Screenshot is available upon request."

    Then there was a post in this forum that said it was just a decimal error in the data at the Blackcat site. It may not have been a decimal error after all. The comment at the top of this post, was posted by someone on Bobby1's Blog yesterday,

    at around the same time and location, of this detection showing up on the Blackcat systems map.

  • James Hollen

    Vital1, I am in the High Point,NC area and I will be starting to monitor this area in a few days. I just ordered some equipment from blackcat-should be here by Friday? maybe. With all of whats going on in Japan and now Arkansas, I do not trust the government for anything of value! All of us on this website/blog seem to work together-AND THAT IS GOOD !

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    This EPA query site doesn't come up for me anymore:

  • vital1 vital1

    I was sent this resin encapsulated sample of black fungus like material. It has reportedly come from somewhere in the Minamisoma area Japan. A contact in Japan sent enenews forum member Spectrometising this sample.This my test chart of it. For those of you who have not looked at a chart like this before. The position of the peaks in a the chart indicate what isotopes are present.

    This fungus started growing on the concrete, and rock surfaces in Japan after the Fukushima Nuclear disaster. It appears to be bio-accumulating Cesium.

    Scintillators are less sensitive as you go to higher energy keV. The Theremino MCA software allows you to increase the magnification of the higher energy peaks. The peaks in this Theremino MCA V4.5 software chart have been energy compensated, to bring out the smaller details at higher energies. The sample very small, grams or less.

    A professional lab reported test results 117 Bg Cs-137 and 58 Bq Cs-134.
    I don't know the exact weight. Spectrometising is trying to find out.

    Any comments or suggestions, regarding the results of this test chart results are welcome.

    There is no copyright placed on the chart screen shot, so you can copy it, and make use of it where ever you like.

  • * I'm not expert, but I've developed a few opinions –based on recording background CPMs and periodically taking air samples here near the west coast –since April 17th, 2011.

    * Unless contamination gets really bad (like in northern Japan), even a good Geiger counter like a PRM-9000 or an SEI/Medcom "Inspector" probably won't alert us to "hot particles" in our food, water or in the air we breath –I'm sorry to say. But it's good that we keep a record (so there's a baseline, in case the fallout gets really wicked), but we need a vastly better national system for monitoring our food, water and air –via such disciplined techniques as gamma spectrometry and scintilation.

    * For those of us keeping Geiger counter records, it's important to do so methodically, using consistent long counts and testing geometry. Samples should be brought to our warm, dry, clean and protected Geiger counters. As your techniques improve, you'll have to be on guard, so as not to be fooled by potassium and radon. (Let us not ignore radon, however! It's all bad. In some areas, a lot might be coming from uranium mining and industrial wastes.)

    * Your efforts will be more useful to others if you join a network (like:


    That will gain you good counsel as well, should there be a problem, or if your CPMs start going up.

    What little I know and what I've measured is posted at:


  • James Hollen

    I have a question anyone here can answer. I want to mount a 'pancake' sensor inside the house but I want to bring OUTSIDE air in to it by plastic pipe and a fan. The sensor will be inside a box and the air will exit back to the outside. Now I know about moisture, dirt, etc. I will keep the sensor free of moisture. As long as I keep everything sealed up, I should get a fairly accurate reading should I not? Anyone have any thoughts on this?? James

  • norbu norbu

    Question, if you put your GC in a plastic bag how will you know if there is alpha particles?

    • James Hollen

      The type of unit I purchased is not made to stay outdoors. I want to bring air from OUTSIDE the house and "blow it" across the sensor. Everything is built in a single box with a USB cord going to the computer. (see model GM-45-blackcat systems) As you can see on their website, the unit is NOT PORTABLE. I want the unit beside my computer but sampling outside air.

        • James Hollen

          so, do you think my "crazy idea" will work?

          • norbu norbu

            I think so, you can use a long tube to bring the air inside keeping the moisture outside. Angled down to keep water out.

            • James Hollen

              EXACTLY ! I will enclose the unit in a box and the fan will exhaust the air back to the outside. I will not need a powerful fan, one of those cheap bathroom exhaust fans moving about 30 CFM will be plenty. I will disassemble the fan from its housing and incorporate it to the box. I will keep you posted on how it all works out. Thanks for all of your help. James

              • There's a good chance that dust, condensation and any radioactive particles it carries (like lead-210 from radon decay) will cake up on the screen and the delicate, moisture sensitive mica window of your pancake detector. The Medcom manual specifically cautions against moisture and voids the warranty if your GC is contaminated. Instead, run your air through a small filter (always the same amount –I do 5 cubic meters now) and then read the filter: right away, maybe 40 minutes later, then again 2 days later. –per:

                • James Hollen

                  Craig-123, you are correct about the condensation problem. Take for instance on a hot humid day, bringing outside air into an air conditioned house could set yourself up with condensation around the sensor. I was thinking about installing a relative humidity meter in the intake pipe before the air gets to the sensor. I can get one for around 50 dollars. (I notice that I am starting to "over engineer" this project!) I like your idea about filtering the air, then sampling the filter for radiation. Lots of good info. on that link you provided.

                • James Hollen

                  To add to my previous post, I like your idea using the vacuum cleaner. Do you have a part number for that in line air filter? I have a chimney in my house not being used anymore, I just might put my intake pipe in that chimney. I would not need to worry about moisture on the sensor using your method!

                  • * I have a 7/8" diameter hole punch (old fashioned kind you strike with a hammer, but craft stores have better ones), with which I knock the filters out of 3M N95 masks –which I buy in bulk 20 or 30 packs through Amazon, so the filters cost pennies. They fit into a hose washer space in my air plumbing –and I add a hose washer for a good seal.

                    * You'd want to run an intake air line all the way up, then fully seal the chimney, such that radon isn't convected up the chimney to your intake point. Since the filter goes top-side (to avoid getting junk from inside the air line), that going to be a problem.

                    It would be a lot easier just to hole out through a wall, then run the line out under/past the eaves (to get clear of the house/roof). I did that in the unfinished shop here, so that my wife doesn't have to listen to the vacuum (cheap from Goodwill). My vac has to run an hour to pull 5 cubic meters (as measured by extrapolation from collapsing a large dry cleaning bag over the intake). (Be sure to drill that bypass hole so that the vac doesn't overheat.)

                    • James Hollen

                      Yes, you are correct. I was going to run the intake pipe all the way up and out the top of the chimney, elbow over 90 degrees , run to the edge of chimney then elbow down about a foot. That should take care of the moisture problem. The chimney is about 10 ft. from my computer, so that should be perfect. I should get the GC in the mail tomorrow, then I will spend the weekend putting it all together. Should be up and running Monday. Hope so.

                    • @James 5:29pm: * I'm sorry to be so pesky about your project –and it is your project, not mine –but: the air line itself (plastic, of course) is likely to act as a filter, accumulating dust and whatever –especially if the passage of air builds up static charges inside. That's why I place my filter "top side" –at the intake point.

                      * Another factor is that, unless you screen the intake, spiders and other critters will be crawling in. If you do screen it, well there's yet another filter effect –so you might as well go with placing your N95 filter at that point (and remember to put a cork into the pipe when you don't have a filter on it).

                    • James Hollen

                      You are not being pesky! I appreciate all comments and suggestions. I never thought about a dust buildup in the pipe but you might be on to something ! OK, back to square one! Let me think about this! I will come up with something.

  • norbu norbu

    First public geiger counter in Switzerland.

  • norbu norbu

    Rain here today 4/4/2013 Inspector is busy…..
    1 hour timed count
    Max data point – 220 cpm
    average – 94.59 cpm
    total counts – 5,670
    rain swab
    no wind

    Yesterday clear skies
    geiger counter on the ground in a bag
    10 minutes
    max – 120 cpm
    average – 61.92
    counts 626
    This is double what the air was at 4' off the ground

    • James Hollen

      What is happening is the rain pulls the radiation down from the upper atmosphere where it circulates around the earth. Is that correct?

      • 53North strikes me as having it right. Hot isotopes, perhaps electrostatically bound to dust particles, might have rain condense around and pull them down –or they might simply "fall out" where the jet stream eddies along its edges.

        99.999% (I just pulled that out of my butt) –of what you'll measure are radon/daughters, however. If you listen to (say) German authorities, they'll speak of rain displacing radon upward –out of the ground. Our authorities speak of rain pulling it down on us ("wash out"). Once radon is present, it hovers low, since it's the heaviest of all gasses. If I'm interested in the radon, I'll sometimes intake air only 5 inches off the ground. Normally my intake is 12 feet above the ground –and clear of whatever might be sliding down off my roof.

  • A bit bass ackwards. The particles can fall out, convect down, drop into low pressure, etc, and moisture forms on them, like seeding, and naturally clatter into any below washing out the air.

  • Oh.. gods.. I have come to HATE that word.. "Radon" !!
    1: most detectors DO NOT DETECT RADON… Why? THEY CAN'T! Radon emits ALPHA not Beta, Nor Gamma and so can't be seen by your detector, PERIOD!
    Radon is decay of Uranium. Wasn't issue until they started the bomb-dropping! Then Chernobyl added even more! Then put all the reactors spew on top that!
    2: CANCER wasn't an issue until they built the bomb! You wish to cure cancer..? get rid the bombs and reactors! Clean the MESS they made UP!.. PERIOD! Anything else is fools-work, and taking your money for your lack of understanding of the CAUSE!
    3: Yes.. it falls out the sky.. more so now we have volcanoes spewing-out ash.. it will attract due to its charge and concentrate it and deposit it in your lungs when you breath, where it sticks like concrete!
    4: Much of the PLUTONIUM that it sent into the sky…? Was burned to dust a size of less than 0.05 microns. That means it doesn't stop in the lungs, but goes right through them and into your blood. That does the most damage, and is killing folks quickly, in about 2 years time-frame… like now!
    5: Fukushima is STILL having random quakes and now corium based blasts in the earth, and generating "Radioactive Steam EVENTS" that are all but once a month, lately! So the supply in the sky keeps being refreshed!
    6: There are "5 yes FIVE" coriums in the Earth in Japan, possibly more just not confirmed yet.. we have two other plants with robots / remote-operated…

    • norbu norbu

      Yes PB you r right.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Hi PattieB,
      True, Radon is the "out" for the nuclear industry. It's the wildcard that covers all lies. Understanding that Radon is a naturally occuring noble gas from uranium and thorium as not the only fact is critical. The industry does not bring to light the fact that, they are the ones bringing more of these elements to the surface of this planet where the Radon gas is released.
      There are some beta decays in some of the daughter isotopes of radon IIRC.
      From what I have seen, it's not the Radon that is the big danger from these decay chains. It's the fact that Radon is the last, and heaviest noble gas, no stable isotopes, all radioactive, and all progenies are solids that stick like glue to dust and such. This increases the chance of ingesting one of these progenies of one of these chains…
      Here's 222Rn
      222Rn, 3.8 days, alpha decaying to…
      218Po, 3.10 minutes, alpha decaying to…
      214Pb, 26.8 minutes, beta decaying to…
      214Bi, 19.9 minutes, beta decaying to…
      214Po, 0.1643 ms, alpha decaying to…
      210Pb, which has a much longer half-life of 22.3 years, beta decaying to…
      210Bi, 5.013 days, beta decaying to…
      210Po, 138.376 days, alpha decaying to…
      206Pb, Lead, stable.

      Don't let Radon be the cover for the Nuclear Industry.
      Ionizing Radiation is Ionizing Radiation
      There would be less Radon in the air, if they left the Uranium in the ground.
      Nature buried it for a reason.
      It's all bad, at any amount, for all Life.

  • At New Westminster, close to Vancouver, BC. Did 1 hour count with SOEKS detector.
    Raining, in car. Windows up turned fan on high to pull in outside air. No difference in count fan off to fan on. With yellow bar on a high of .17 microSv/hr to low of .06

    Couple of twenty or thirty something spikes which is normal and one .51 spike which is not normal. 20 ft above sea level.

    Radon is gas created from decayed uranium in the ground. The rain displaces the radon gas in the ground, releasing it in the air. Then it could be blown fairly long distances and still not have decayed after a day. You need to know if you are in a high radon area. I don't and raining or not the background stays the same. If background went up on a rainy day, I would suspect radiation from fukushima or other man made source. But if I lived in a radon area, how would you know? I don't know if any of us has equipment that can accurately measure decay.

  • don't know.. have not confirmed it.. but VOGLE who had burned-up inverter had explosion @ 4 pm..?

  • norbu norbu

    Radon is a alpha emitter GC in bag, can not be radon for me.

  • I'm not sure about measuring a filter as outlined above. That would be accumulative, right? So how do you get real time readings? I mean if you got a high reading after a 24 hour exposure how would you know what an average would be?

    The SOEKS has its limitations. My main beef is the mini USB plug is only for charging purposes. My ideal system would involve a weather proof detection unit hooked up to a computer tracking real time results 24/7

  • Pattie,Thanks. I did not know that.

    According to Wikipedia, it emits alpha and beta according to what decay stage although most of it decays as Alpha. The more expensive detectors do detect Alpha
    But essentially Patti is right and I stand corrected to what I say below.
    Wish my cheap SOEKS was one of them as plutonium also emits Alpha.

    Although if there was a big release from a nuclear accident a lot of cesium 137 would be released and that emmits Beta and Gamma radiation that all detectors detect.

    The Alpha from plutonium might show up as a fraction of the radiation detected but would be dangerous in its own right

  • To Pattie-B, Mark, norbu and Jebus:

    * As Jebus indicated, a lot of our radon is being liberated by mining uranium (leaving great piles of abandoned tailings). I believe that processing has generated enormous amounts of radon emitting wastes as well –like that monumental pile near St. Louis:

    > (scroll halfway down)

    That being said, most of it, and in most places, is "natural" (snake bites are natural too), so our credibility suffers when we attribute high radon(daughter) readings to events in Fukushima. It's your duty, to endeavor, to know what you're talking about (within the limits of your methods), and to make clear what you don't know –before making public pronouncements.

    * Thanks to Jebus' posting, we see those beta emitting daughters: lead-214 and bismuth-214, the combined 38 minute (or so) half-life of which is a great clue that you're counting radon(daughters). Your Soeks and my old Radex will tell-tale that just fine. If you've got a spendy Geiger counter with a "pancake" tube in it, then block its aperture with a piece of paper –so you can see that characteristic beta decay without any alpha to interfere.

    (to be continued)

    • norbu norbu

      Hi Craig-123 thank you for the info. I keep my inspector inside a bag during operation witch would block alpha emitters right? Except Pb214, Bi214 they are beta emitters and short lived. 2 days in a row high numbers with rain, 1 hour counts.
      thanks again

      • Right, norbu, and especially if you take it outside into the elements, or are trying to read something messy and rather dusty or otherwise volatile (like "salt substitute" potassium chloride).

        When safe inside the house, it's best to keep the bag unsealed/open, so it can "breath" and moisture isn't trapped inside.

        ** Again: I'm by no means an expert, so I encourage any correction which the many more knowledgeable can offer.

    • * If you don't smoke, then (statistically) radon is the #1 threat for you getting lung cancer. After the (Mineralabs) Radiation Network grows to several hundred members (and assuming that we don't get clobbered by radioactivity from nuclear reactors or a war in the meantime), I'm hoping that we'll be able to determine just where some of those gross detections of radon are originating from. All we need are enough stations and to be aware of which way the winds are blowing. (One of our RN members is trying to interest members of the 25,000 station "Weather Underground" in joining and adding Geiger counter reportage to their meteorological instrumentation.)

      * Meanwhile, we at least stand ready to report severe fall-out contamination from –inevitable– nuclear power plant disasters. Let's try to do that as methodically, credibly, and as usefully as we're able –with our humble Geiger counters.

    • vital1 vital1

      This short period scintillator test chart I made in September 2012 from a rain swab, shows the types of isotopes that are present from Radon washout. It is mainly radon daughters Lead Pb-214, Bismuth Bi-214 and Lead Pb-210. Radon washout does leave behind radiative lead Pb-210 isotope with a half life of 22.3 years.

      I saw a recent report that stated that the nuclear industry has underestimated the industries release of radon into the atmosphere by 100,000 times.

      Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have been detecting increased amounts of radon in the atmosphere since Fukushima. We have been trying to work out why, here are a couple theories.

      Radon Theory One

      50 times more Uranium than normal was detected in air over Hawaii on the 21.03.2011.

      All this extra Uranium that has been aerosolized into the air from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster into the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere, is constantly releasing extra Radon gas. This would explain the increase in radioactive Radon gas coming across the equatorial boundary from the Northern hemisphere.

      • vital1 vital1

        Also, there are constant steam releases from the underground super heated melted Nuclear reactor cores, hitting ground water. This releases a lot of extra Radon that is in the cores and soil at Fukushima. Watch this video from the 30.10.2012 to see a live shot of ground venting at the Fukushima site, from the underground Nuclear reactor cores. This is a common occurrence there.

        Radon has a half life of 3.82 days so it is around for at lease 38 days. You
        multiply the half life of an isotope by 10 to get the effective life of it in the environment. If a sufficiently large enough extra amount of Radon is
        continually being produced in the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere, there is
        plenty of time for it to get here, and be detected, if the weather conditions are favourable.

        Radon Theory Two

        Increasing Radon levels have nothing to do with Fukushima, but by increased
        global temperatures, or seismic activity in the Northern Hemisphere.

        Any increase in background radiation levels, or Radon levels is not good. Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer, after smoking. So getting regular large radon washouts is not good. Lots of Lead Pb-210 with a half life of 22.3 years will be left behind, coating everything that got wet.

        • Interesting information, Vital1 –and thanks. I've been trying to find the source of that underestimate of radon releases by the nuclear industry. I'll post it here when it turns up.

          Meanwhile, I've found some very interesting pages posted by a radon sealing contractor. Here's one of his factoids –something I'd never considered:

          "The US EPA estimates that 6 to 8 million homes exceed the radon "action limit" of 4 pCi/L. What if all these homeowners installed fan-based radon mitigation?

          Underground radon levels range from 200 to 2,000 pCi/L and average 1,000 pCi/L. With a 70 cfm fan, the typical radon stack emits 1 Curie of radioactivity per year (equivalent to 1 gram of radium). The total radioactivity released each year by all these radon stacks would amount to 6 – 8 million Curies. This is comparable to a Chernobyl-size nuclear disaster occurring in the U.S. every seven years! Moreover, the radon emissions would be concentrated in populated areas."

          • vital1 vital1

            "released each year by all these radon stacks would amount to 6 – 8 million Curies"

            That is really interesting outcome from preventing the build up in homes.


    Coal plant.. but seems to have been running radioactive coal.. got guy who fixed the turbines says rad-meter went off at side of empty coal-car.. they had closed wide-area around it off from public access..?? and now they even kick the media to the curb..get lost.. and claim was no explosion.. doesn't matter folks got houses shaken!??? Um.. what makes boom like that in such a plant.?

    And why they got crew out on grounds with rad-meters..?
    And happens Charleston NC get lots of random rads from no-place quite often,…?

    • * By the way it's described: a big, shaking wump!, but not much injury at ground zero, it sounds like they somehow managed to disperse fine coal dust or maybe exhausted carbon particles –through a large volume of the plant.

      * Stuff you dig up out of the ground –coal, oil, has varying degrees of radioactivity. Back in the bad old smoke stack days the air was full of radioactive dust in and around cities.

  • James Hollen

    Craig-123, I received my GM-45 black cat sensor today. I believe I come up with a suitable answer for the sampling pipe. I will have the filter on top of the pipe. I will extend the top of the filter approx. 4 foot above the peak of the house. My land slopes toward one end of the house. I built a deck on the back of the house and the one end is about 6 foot off the ground. I can stand on the deck and touch the rain gutters. I am going to put the sample pipe on a weighted swivel so I can swing it down to change the filter. The pipe is one and one-half inches but I am reducing down at the top to about three-fourth of an inch where the filter goes. I will have a "t" in the pipe so I can hook up the vacuum. This setup is close to the house and I am putting the vacuum in the basement and putting the plug in beside my computer. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • * You've got a good Geiger counter and a good system (assuming Black Cat software) for making best use/analysis of the data it generates.

      * Your pipe system sound good –and better than mine. (I have to take down the last length in order to install the filter.)

      * Nice that your land slopes, such that radon will tend to flow away.

      * I also envy the start-stop for your vac 🙂

      * Once you have everything in place (including the bypass hole, so that your vacuum cleaner gets plenty of air [which won't significantly reduce the vacuum]), get some kind of a big "balloon", like a dry cleaning bag –something for which it's simple to calculate its volume.

      With the filter in place, put the bag over it and seal it in place with tape. Reverse the vacuum cleaner to inflate it, then find out how long it takes to deflate the bag. From that, you can determine how long a run is needed to pull (say) 5 cubic meters of air through your filter (or whatever your standard draw is going to be).

      While simply being consistent about that draw time is what's most important, it's nice to be able to say how much air was pulled through a given filter –should one end up with residual radiation.

      ** You end up with a small filter, the radiation from which is nicely captured by the aperture of your GM-45. The well in my test jig places the top of the filter about 1/4" below the protective screen. That leaves room for an aluminum (beta stop) plate.

      more —

      • While the filter is small –especially for any future spectrometry analysis, if you can detect any significant radiation with a GM-45, I expect that the isotope sample will be large enough to generate a usable spectrum graph. (Ask Anti-Proton about that.)


        • James Hollen

          Craig-123, thanks for your support. Got a few questions. Instead of measuring for say 5 cubic meters of air, why cant I measure for time? Lets suppose I run the vacuum for say exactly 30 minutes. Take the filter sample immediately to the sensor and check the CPM for 30 minutes. That would tell me how much I received if I stayed outdoors for 30 minutes. I would think time is the critical factor here in how much radiation you received. I noticed amazon sells a 1 micron filter sheet for around $18.50. Is that what you used?

          • * Check my earlier response at:
            –for filter information. You won't/can't, of course, catch all particulates –which range down to .05 micron, but then again, your Geiger counter only catches about 2% of the gamma radiation. What matters is to always use the same methods.

            * Similarly, yes: you do want to run the vac for a given length of time, but that won't mean much to anyone unless you can say how many cubic meters or cubic feet of air that was (AND what kind of a filter you used). The "thing" about 10 cubic meters: that's how much air the average person breathes in a day, so using all or half of that is at least a gesture toward trying to be relevant.

            * Since the radon daughter half-life decay you're watching for (as a radon signature) is beta, and since that decay is a short 40 minutes, block alpha with a piece of paper and count from minute zero^ to minute 10.

            Leaving everything in place, wait for the 40th minute, then count until the 50th minute.

            ** Previous to having checked that filter, you've been tracking background radiation –right? maybe even doing 100 minute counts, so you've got a good, current BG CPM number on that in hand. Subtract that BG CPM from both the first and the second 10 minute filter count. (Also: you should have removed the filter and resumed tracking background radiation.)


            • more:

              * The 2nd count remainder will nearly always be a bit less than 50% of the 1st count remainder: your beta radon signature –log it.

              * Wait a couple days and check your filter again, for 100 minutes this time, counting alpha, beta, and gamma. Subtract the (then) current BG CPM and log the difference. If it's much more than a "standard deviation"^ higher than the BG CPM, check it again. Still high? Get someone (like Anti-Proton) to read it with gamma spectrometry.

              ^ "Minute zero" is a measured countdown from (say) T-5 minutes –when you pulled the plug on your vac and headed out to retrieve your filter. (I've got it down to 3 minutes here.)

              "Standard deviation", or "standard error" (and anyone is welcome to step in and correct me on this) is the assumed, expected, random variation of your CPMs –which will wander around the actual average. You take the total count (say: 3600 over 100 minutes), find the square root (60), divide that by the minutes (getting 0.6cpm), and THAT is how much you expect your averaged CPM to be wiggling around –with 100 minute counts. For a 10 minute count (say: 360c), it would be 19 divided by 10, or about plus/minus 2cpm. (See the Wiki for "Poisson distribution".)

              If you get a difference that's 3 deviations higher than background, consider it significant.

              • James Hollen

                I understand now why you want to check volume of air breathed. You can "work" both angles, but I see what you are saying now.

              • James Hollen

                Craig-123, Basically what you are saying is , giving the facts about radon and it's half-life of 40 minutes, it would be beneficial to stay indoors for say 2 hours after the rain stopped. That would be 3-40 minute half-lifes that would dissipate a lot of the radon/daughters? I know that in real life would not be practical, but would I be correct?

                • * I was only addressing the issue of not counting clicks for longer than 10 minutes (at zero minutes and 40 minutes), since the beta emitting radon _daughter_ half-life (of what you've captured and concentrated on your air filter) is only 40 minutes.

                  * The parent radon lasts for many days (3.8 day half-life) and the normal amount present keeps getting replenished.

                  * Depending on your home's location and construction, it might be worse to stay inside.

                  * Classic experiments (circa WW-I) and my own limited efforts indicate that the air (under your umbrella, say) is actually cleaner when it's raining –which goes toward the theory of it being in the rain drops.

                  Higher readings when it snows (and it's not soaking into the ground to displace radon gas) –also suggests "wash out"/precipitation as the source.

                  * Were it to be displaced upward out of the ground (by rainfall), then air draws taken closer to the ground should result in higher CPMs. I have to find time to run more 12 foot versus 5 inch high air draws, but it (so far) hasn't been consistently so. (It seemed to be the case for Anti-Proton, however.)

                  * Of course, most of the "clicking" is about those daughters –which might be "another thing" –more about ionized dust motes nucleating raindrops –rather than bringing down dissolved(?) radon gas –which might be why "car wipes" can read so high.

                  There's room for investigation (or learning, should I find good, cut and dried explanations).

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Anyone know of a good handheld spectrometer. I know Polimaster? I'm not sure which brand is the best to purchase. If anyone knows which brand is best please let me know. Thanks in advance

  • EPA's RadNet shows bump up in Los Angeles, CA over the last couple of days.

    LA Graphs:

    10 California EPA Stations:
    (credit link to user drkandstarinites)

    🙂 nice layout, easy to read

  • vital1 vital1

    Repost of a post by enenews member "lickerface" on the possible weight of the Black Fungus sample from Japan test.

    "I'm an expert on weighing objects (sell scales, use different ones daily, some precise to .01g). Fungus in that form does not appear to hold too much water weight and would likely weigh less than a gram given the scale. If it jis thin and flakey type fungus, it may be under .25-.5g. Is it thick like a mushroom cap or more like lichen? I've only observed extremely thin fungi growing on concrete, and I would err on the very low side. My best guess is .3g."

    My reply

    That means the black fungus sample from Japan is very, very, hot.

    Test results 117 Bg Cs-137 and 58 Bq Cs-134

    117 + 58 = 175 Bq x (1000 grams/0.3 grams) = 583,333 Bq/Kg of Cesium

    Even if it was 10 times greater in weight 3 grams, it would still be 58,333 Bq/Kg of Cesium.

    If you are wondering what black fungus material test we are talking about.

  • norbu norbu

    I do not know if anyone has seen this, if so cool if not cool, but I searched on some Fuku city gov sites and found a few things interesting….

  • norbu norbu

    Radiation dose results.

  • South and east of Vancouver to ocean. Today during moderate rain, Long half hour count while driving in the rain, ventilation system on. Similar results to previous posts, .06 to .14 micro Sv/hr. Long drive through river valleys and coast line.
    Looked at.

    Saved the page to wrap my head around the math. The equipment looks pretty cool. When you plug the GM 45 into your computer will the software track real time readings over an extended period of time?


    That answers my question above. I will be looking forward to hearing how James makes out with his unit. It looks like something to look into.

    • * I'd noticed the Black Cat fan before –thought it nice looking, but this is the first time I've read/studied the description through. The use of it seems very well thought out –and quite gainful (literally :-). Notice the proofing for it being radon/daughters –by simply turning the fan off –and watching the decay rate (which is somewhat different when counting alpha as well as beta).

      * This same rig is, of course, for inside and fair weather outside use.

      * You get similar amplification by using an outside air draw system (or inside, for that matter), then rushing your filter to your GC test bed (per:

      • One _might_ expect that (say) 5 cubic meters of air through a small filter –would read the same as 5 cubic meters through a large filter. That would be true for captured long half-life isotopes/particles.

        What actually happens with radon/daughters, however, is that after some fraction of an hour (depending on what you're counting), you're losing as much radioactivity through decay as you're gaining by passing air through your filter. Consequently, a larger filter gives a higher reading –if you can count all of it.

        My air draw system uses a rather small filter: 7/8 inch diameter, of which only 5/8 inch is used, whereas the filter in Black Cat's fan unit covers the whole 1.75 inch pancake tube aperture and more –so my radon/daughter readings would be only 13% of that with a Black Cat –maybe less –and less still, since I initially block the alpha component.

  • In further response to ChasAha –at:

    –you remarked on that jump in the Los Angeles RadNet gamma count, which can be seen in RadNet's graphs as well. Back when that increase could still be seen on the Greg's Lab short term graph, it was a steady rise which took place over something like 24 hours –so it wasn't just a recalibration tweak (as might be inferred from how the graph levels out, before and after).

    As far as I can tell, you and I are the only two people in the Google accessible world who've taken notice of it. You'd think that "EnviroReporter" Michael Collins would have had something to say. If such big blips pass without comment, why even have these graphs? Thanks for bringing our attention to it, ChasAha.

    Speaking of RadNet and comments, I've also been searching in vain for mention of the missing "gross beta" graphs –per RadNet's statement:

    –see "more"

  • James Hollen

    Craig-123. Still working on my up pipe. I got it mounted on the hand railing on the deck and it has the ability to hinge down so I can change the filter. I got the vacuum mounted inside basement with three-quarters pvc pipe going outside to the up pipe. I will put flexible rubber hose the last 5 feet so it will "give" a little when I drop the up pipe. 90% done, just lack some little things. I had to run for the mother-in-law today as usual. Will keep you posted. James

  • Craig, interesting you post average 10 rads which is .10 microSv/hr. Me up the coast in Van BC think I have .11 microSv/hr average. But I am guesstimating as SOEKS does not conect to a computer except as a power source to operate and charge batteries. Therefore all estimates are guestimates. Would love to have 24 hr computer monitoring on a graph. Could see any potential clouds of serious radiation.

    Still did a full one hour count and call it .08 microSv/hr average as counter never hardly went north of .10. Got a .03 in the yellow band which is lowest number yet.

    Today was lower then average. Not usual.

    • Hi Mark.

      * That's (about a) 10 uR (micro-REM) avg that I post here. (nominally: 10.4)

      * There's a free application called "Geiger Bot". I gather that it involves placing a little microphone on a Geiger counter like yours, which gives you immense graphing capabilities. The speaker-mic system is said to be good for up to 5.0 uS. See:
      (and see: "Soeks-01M Thoughts" at the bottom there)

      As you can see at:
      –the developer has gone quite over the top with features –such that I looked around for something a LOT simpler –nope. Well: maybe it's got a "For Dummies" mode that I'd like better.

      * The SOEKS-01M is a beautiful little GC, but I see no other way to make practical use of it for the kind of monitoring we do, except to get something like a Geiger-Bot system to go with it.

      The worst aspect is its 20 second maximum count period. I've read through the posted HTML manual, looking for a way to get a longer period –nope.

      * Does anyone here know of alternatives to Geiger-Bot?

      • Jebus Jebus

        I have the GMC 200 and the GMC 300

        They have very good PC graphing software.

        I use the 200 in a static config and the 300 as my portable.

        I wrote my own software in .net to import the data to my HA system

      • Craig, yes micro Rems vs micro Sv. 10 micro Rems = .10 microSv. I stand corrected. But the point is we are both getting similar readings. You on coast of Oregon? Me 2 or 3 hundred miles north of you in Vancouver BC. The SOEKS is at least a working radiation detector so better then nothing. It also fit my budget since it cost me 200 canadian dollars including shipping from russia. It plugs into a computer only to get power. No data transfer. My understanding of radio active fall out is that it does not disperse evenly but any actual scientific data available (should be lots with all the bomb testing that went on) is cloaked in secrecy by the armies and govs. 24 hour monitoring is key to seeing trends or anomolies. If I leave my detector on for an hour that only tells me what the situation is for that hour. If something serious happened at Fuku or even Hanford I think the possibility would be that the higher radiated effluent could be clumpy and radiation readings wouldn't rise uniformly but go up and down depending on when clumps of high radiation hit monitoring station. Also remember all fall out shelters and nuclear preparedness info is based on a nuclear war or even a single bomb with a single release of high radiation, the idea being you might stay in your shelter for a week till the air clears up. If that main shared fuel pool goes we will have a decade long release of radiation. There is no model for that accesible to the general public

      • * Re: "Geiger-Bot" –I see at:


        –that this is an i-POD/pad/whatever thingy application. Sorry, I didn't realize that until now.

        * I downloaded the free software for the GMC units that Jebus is using, showed it at the right Com port, but it didn't pick up clicks from my running Inspector Geiger counter (and yes: I first shut down GeigerGraph). (Sorry: I'm not a computer maven, so if it doesn't work, it doesn't work –and I move on.)

        * Hay wiring that Italian kit to your choice of G-M tube looks a bit unstable, but I see good reports about it.

        * Black Cat's software found my ticking Inspector straight away and started producing a nice looking graph –but it shuts down after 10 minutes (unless you send money to Black Cat).

        Thanks for these interesting leads, Jebus and Vital-1. I guess I'm still looking for something to graph Geiger counters which don't have a line/data output.


        • * Mark: There are several nuclear scenarios which threaten to play out, including Hanford and a solar flare which could result in dozens of simultaneous "Fukushimas" here in the states and/or elsewhere –with NPP operators running away for their lives.

          * I'd like to think that your SOEKS has more going on inside than a 20 second count (and then lock the display until the next count), but if that's it, your numbers should jump around rather wildly –each 20 seconds. You could write 30 of the readings down in a row –for a 10 minute count. They don't have to be sequential, but don't deliberately skip a displayed because "it doesn't look right". Add them up, divide by 30, and Bob's your uncle.

  • vital1 vital1

    "Would love to have 24 hr computer monitoring on a graph." The Theremino Geiger Kit can do that cheaply.

    Background levels here have been back to are near normal averages in the last few days. Most of the air at my location in Australia has been coming from the east / south east, off the Pacific.

    This rain swab using Theremino Kit showed the rain that came through yesterday was also low in radon washout. I put it in long average charting to get this 13 hour chart. Then just took a screen shot with the built in chart capture feature built into this free software. The rain swab also started at a very low level at 0.20 uSv/hr.

    Information on this kit can be found in the free Geiger use Guide,

    Also set up two live local monitoring stations using this system.

    • Thanks Vital. I downloaded the PFD and that kit looks interesting. Too much going on to make it a priority but a new detector is needed. The SOEKS main limitation is not being able to feed data into a computer. But would be a small and portable unit good to
      have if you needed to be mobile. Mine has rechargeable batteries that any computer can be used to recharge. A good unit for what it does

  • It's All Lies It's All Lies

    @53 North

    Have you seen the Radiation Watch Group on Facebook?

    There's a few of us from the UK on there..

    Feel free to drop me a message.

  • Dark Lightning and Radiation – (10 chest X-rays or more)

    Airline passenger danger:

    "Near the tops of thunderstorms, at about 40,000 feet (12,200 meters) in altitude, the scientists calculated that radiation doses are comparable to about 10 chest X-rays, or about the same dose people receive from natural background sources of radiation over the course of a year."

    "However, near the middle of the storms, at about 16,000 feet (4,900 meters) in altitude, "the radiation dose could be about 10 times larger, comparable to some of the largest doses received during medical procedures and roughly equal to a full-body CT scan,"

    "Although airline pilots already do their best to avoid thunderstorms, occasionally aircraft do end up inside electrified storms, exposing passengers to terrestrial gamma-ray flashes… On rare occasions, according to the model calculations, it may be possible that hundreds of people, without knowing it, may be simultaneously receiving a sizable dose of radiation from dark lightning."

  • James Hollen

    Craig-123. Ok, got everything up and running yesterday evening. I ordered some 1 micron filters from ww Grainger. I am using a 1 inch PVC union to clamp down on the filter. It's working perfectly. Vacuum does not overheat in a 1 hour run. I run 1 hour this morning just to check everything out. Now I have a problem with the black-cat software not opening up on my computer screen. I can hear the clicks on the speakers but nothing on the screen. Program worked ok yesterday, but not this morning. I am working on it. James

    • Your setup sounds good, James. Perhaps Chris Smolinski at Black-Cat will have suggestions for prompting his program to display.

      * One inch PVC –if you're using all of it for the effective filter area, will result in a nice fit/capture within the 1.75 inch aperture of your pancake G-M tube. That's about 1.1 square inches of filter area –compared to the 0.307 squinches of my filter.


      I'm still using these small filters because they were a good wrap/fit to my first Geiger counter –per:

      We're I to break down and upgrade to your arrangement (at the top of my air pipe), I could probably capture 15 instead of 5 cubic meters of air in an hour. I guess I'll take a look at a one inch union –and find out what size hole cutter I need for the filter material.

      I'm sticking with 3M's N95 filters, however. They're cheap:

      –and they have 95% capture of 0.1 to 0.3 micron particles (99.5% at about 0.75 micron) –per:

      ** The 1mm thickness of the N95's weave is no problem for passing radon daughter beta, but it might be a problem for reading any captured alpha emitting particles –those which get stuck beneath the outer weave fibers. I don't know if a chem lab type filter paper would be better.

      • James Hollen

        I am running a 1 hour test now as I post this. What I have seems to be working ok. I still do not know how much volume of air I am moving in one hour, I am going to try some things to get that figured out. Chris just emailed me about 30 minutes ago with instructions on what to do. I followed his instructions and now I am back up running again.

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