Jeff asks: Do April Showers bring Strontium-90? I bought a radiation alert to find out!

Jeff H writes:

April showers,

Bring Strontium-90?

I feel like collecting rainwater samples.

Am I the only one?

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My response:

Well, if it’s any clue… my brand-spanking-new Digilert 100 Radiation Alert just arrived yesterday (I ordered it a month ago)!  So I reckon I’m concerned!  I’ve seen a one-hour total of 697 and several ten-minute totals of around 130, none less than about 120.  Is that high?  Well, a month ago, I was watching someone’s reader in Santa Monica (same model, possibly) and it was averaging about 40counts per ten minute intervals, so yes, that sounds like it’s of some concern.  Is it “dangerous”?  ALL radiation is dangerous.  If background really is elevated to 3X previous levels, that sure sounds like a VERY serious increase to me! But I don’t know what mine would have read two months ago.  Mine picks up alpha, beta, gamma and xray, and is accurate to very low values: 0.01 microsieverts per hour.  The unit is guaranteed on arrival to be calibrated within 15% of actual values.  I presume I’ll do a newsletter about it in a day or two…  I think I’ll put it in an enclosed place and see what it picks up… lots of places to put it, I guess, and every day and every reading is different…  ten minute totals vary, but 10 hour totals shouldn’t vary by much at all, all other things being equal.  Home science labs are fraught with impediments!

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Jeff adds: KI party tonight?

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Possibly!  Distribution party, JIC, anyway… The total was 679 for the last hour… I think I’ll leave it outside for the next hour.. I wish I had bought one of these a long time ago… five weeks ago, at least!

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About acehoffman

Computer programmer, author, nuclear investigator, animator, videographer... acehoffman.org Also visit my YouTube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/user/AceHoffman or my business web site: http://www.animatedsoftware.com
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