Rad Spike, February 1, 2018

  • Sonarflash
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4 years 6 months ago #3836 by Sonarflash
Was just reviewing my rad data for Feb. 1, from 00:00 to 23:59 Pacific. Had more than 50 spikes above 50 cpm, about 20 over 60 cpm, and one early afternoon of 122 cpm.
These are scattered over a few hours when it was pouring rain that came in squalls.
Normal cosmic and air/earth background here averages 30 cpm.
Either the sun was acting up, or something unpleasant was washing out of the sky.

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4 years 6 months ago #3837 by nulldragon
Rainfall can wash radioactive particles out of the air, maybe that's what you were picking up?

www.weather.gov.hk/radiation/tidbit/2005...iation_level_q2e.htm

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4 years 6 months ago #3838 by Sonarflash
Hi. Recorded another random set of spikes on February 3, between noon and 6 PM Pacific. Once again, there was rain, though much lighter than on February 1. It seems likely that daughter products from something are washing out of the air, however I was wondering if anybody knew of unusual cosmic or solar activity that might explain these unusual peaks.
Though my Feb. 3 level averaged 30 CPM, there were several spikes above 50 CPM, one at 68 CPM at 6:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time)
If this is washing out from the rain, then there must be a source, since the previous weeks of heavy rainfall never showed any spikes. In fact, there wasn't a reading above 53 CPM all through January.
By the by, this is from an Aware Electronics RM-80 pancake detector, an American LND7313-3 GM tube. It sits at a 30 degree angle from horizontal, mica window face down, in my open window behind a nylon screen. It doesn't get wet, but it samples incoming air.
I wonder if there has been unusual venting from the melted Fukushima reactors, Chernobyl or some other source. Not to get too paranoid, there is always the crazy North Korean government, which is capable of using a missile to spread nuclear waste in the upper atmosphere. That wouldn't require a detonation.

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4 years 6 months ago #3839 by Bert490
Replied by Bert490 on topic Rad Spike, February 1, 2018
The Feb 1 spikes on your detector do not appear on nearby, presumably indoor detectors (NETC, uRADmonitor, r@home) or the government ones (EPA, Health Canada), so it is more likely short lived radon progeny rather than longer lived Cesium, etc. from Fukushima / Chernobyl. I wish more open-data detectors had direct outside air like yours. I believe the government ones pull in outside air, but the detectors are less familiar and their averaging / filtering algorithms are unknown.

Just recently a radiation researcher was interviewed on a Canadian national news broadcast. His work shows that North America had a measurable increase in oceanic Cesium due to Fukushima, but it was lower than feared. Release levels from Chernobyl and from 1960s nuclear testing were much higher. Here is a link to their NW Pacific report:
fukushimainform.ca/category/peer-reviewed/location/nw-pacific/
and their North America report:
fukushimainform.ca/2017/05/09/the-fate-o...radiation/#more-3222

The principal researcher even wrote a piece on what to expect if North Korea detonates an atmospheric weapon:
fukushimainform.ca/2017/09/27/north-kore...we-expect/#more-4223

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4 years 6 months ago #3840 by Sonarflash
Thanks for the response. As mentioned in my personal letter, I have egg on my face. So that everybody knows, on February 1, I was using my ham tranceiver after having dug up a secondary grounding rod on the opposite side of our house. That rod/pipe was below my G5RV dipole, which has 40 feet of ladder line to a balun, to RG8X coax that runs down the side of the house. Where it goes into the basement, then across to my suite, I had wrapped it with 12 gauge stranded to ground. I'd removed that to dig a trench and lay a better ground. Turns out, I'm getting strong RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) back into my bedroom, and also into the rad detectors.
On February 6, I was staggered by counts between 50,000 cpm and 105,000 cpm, so I did some serious checking, then ran a quick test. My radio is nicely tuned on the 40 metre band, but has a 3 to 1 standing wave ratio on 20 metres and a 5 to 1 ratio on 80 metres. When I transmit on those bands, despite the tuner matching to the antenna, I get RFI kicks into my room.
So, the radiation scare has been explained. No new fallout. No cosmic ray spikes.
As we all know, S**T happens.

Brian, VA7BDG

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