Radiation Detectors, Part Two: Detect Radiation Around Your Home
Damage has been reported at two of Japan's nuclear plants at the Fukushima Daiichi complex. While the nation has struggled to control and repair the damaged reactors, complications caused by the earthquake have made it hard to reach the areas through the normal routes. It has almost been two weeks since the catastrophe and the word out is that the the damage sustained by the reactors has caused a breach and radiation is slowly leaking out in Japan and has spread to other parts of the world, including California.
While there are many agencies and outlets posting updates about the amount of radiation that has been detected all over the country (like the Radiation Network), you can do more to appease your own anxiety about how much radiation is actually in your home with the use of a radiation detector or geiger counter.
"The TriField Meter is the only EMF meter which offers magnetic, electric, and radio/microwave detection in one package.
This meter combines all these unique features with affordable pricing for fast, reliable measurements of electromagnetic pollution: Continuous sampling analog readout; Omni-directional electric & magnetic sensitivity; Two separate scales for magnetic field readings; Hand-held portability and simplicity."
"Images SI Inc's Digital Geiger Counters are useful for detecting and measuring radioactivity. The model GCA-04 has an internal geiger mueller tube. It's applications are: Education - Classroom demonstrations and experiments; Emergency Services and Domestic Preparedness; HAZMAT and Compliance Verification; Dirty Bomb Screening and EMT's. It detects the following types of radiation: Alpha above 3.0 MeV; Beta above 50 KeV; Gamma above 7 KeV. The Geiger Mueller (GM) Tube detector is Ne + Halogen filled. The GM tube's end window is made of Mica, with a .38 effective diameter and a density of 1.5-2.0 mg/cm2. The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is 16 character by 2 line that provides an easy to read output. Switch selection allows Geiger Counter to measure and convert radiation (counts per second) into in mR/hr or mSv/hr. Factory calibration insures accurate measurement. Secondary indicators; audio (clicks) and visual (LED) included. Also includes a headphone jack and a power jack for external power. The GCA-04 outputs serially the counts per second to our Windows PC program for charting and recording the measured radiation over time. Serial cable RS-232 adapter is an available accessory."
"The Inspector EXP is designed to meet the requirements of emergency response personnel. It has the same valuable features, small size, and quality of the Inspector, but instead of the built-in detector, it has the added versatility of an external probe.
The carrying case has a clear window panel that provides a full view of the readout and count light and access to the switches. It includes convenient hand straps and a belt loop for carrying the instrument and a small pocket for a check source.
The probe can be attached to the carrying case for one-handed operation if desired. The protective probe cover folds easily out of the way during one-handed operation."
"The CRM-100 is a general purpose geiger counter that measures alpha, beta, gamma, and x-radiation. It is intended for personal safety and educational purposes, not for professional applications. Like the popular Radalert 100, the CRM-100 features a 3-second update on its digital liquid crystal display (LCD). The LCD shows the current radiation level in your choice of milliroentgens per hour from .001 to 110 or counts per minute (cpm) from 0 to 350,000. When SI units are selected, the LCD shows readings in microsieverts per hour from .01 to 1100 or counts per second (cps) from 0 to 3,500. This instrument also offers an accumulated total and timer function, up to 9,999,000 counts and 40 hours. A red LED blinks and a beeper chirps with each count (the chirp can be muted)."
Many manufacturers are reporting that their geiger counters are either sold out or left in limited quantities because of the recent news about the radiatio leaks in Japan. I suggest that you purchase one as soon as possible before they run out.