Earlier this week I got to wondering how the radiation readings in the US today compare with the fallout that was dumped on the US in the wake of the Soviet air blasts of the Cold War.
Since it turns out he’s a regular reader, our consulting reactor engineer’s discussion is of interest:
Just read today’s update. For your reader who wrote in “If I get similar readings from the devices, I’ll repeat the procedure again; if I get corresponding readings, well I might spend the cash to invest in a certified RADmeter/dosimeter. Then perhaps I’d be more-able to determine whether a substantial investment in a lead mine would be financially-rewarding on a long-term, or merely a short-term basis”
I might want to add a few things.
These pocket dosimeters, while robust, can be negatively affected by humidity. In addition, back when they were making these things in large quantities for Civil Defense, there were significant quality control issues that cropped up on and off over the years.
If memory serves, the Federal government even yanked the contract for one of the manufacturers due to the poor QC program they hand in place. Your reader is quite correct in stating that the pocket dosimeters should not be showing such large readings over a short period of time, but that is a common reaction when one of these types of dosimeters goes bad.
Your reader might contact his or her state environmental agency and ask them to test samples in an HPGe detector.
An HPGE detector (common in radiation analytical labs, many hospitals, universities, etc. will give your reader the specific radioisotopes present, if any, in samples that they could swipe from the car, the garden, etc.
This would be a much, much better way to get a handle on any contamination than trying to use gross-level detection devices like pocket dosimeters or even Geiger-Mueller Detectors.
As for general exposure to the US from the Fukushima catastrophe, so far we have seen detectable levels of radioactive contamination from the event in air samples and ocean fish on the West Coast.
All the data I have seen shows that the contamination levels are very low. I also regularly follow up with friends and associates around the country who are responsible for running detectors in labs or for facility monitoring.
No one is telling me that they are seeing anything of significance, but we continue to keep an eye on things. Just my two cents.”
That seems to square with the data I have been reading elsewhere. Virtually all of us in the over 55 set, who were dosed with the Soviet fallout, or in Elaine’s case with US-made fallout from the Nevada Test Site, have already received much higher doses that anything in the cards * SO FAR * from Fukushima.
Believe me, I study this stuff closely, and since Elaine grew up near the Four Corners area, which was heavily dosed, I keep wondering if her early years exposure might account for her abnormally developed shopping gene. Just a theory, mind you.
But it’s a mighty damn strange abnormality: She shops but doesn’t really buy much. I’m not complaining, mind you: It’s more a scientific inquiry into unexpected behaviors. It’s almost like the male analog (*catch & release fishing): What’s the point?
As we continue our travels, here were some of the pictures of our extended working trip that I haven’t put up yet: Here’s what Mt. Baker (east of Bellingham, WA) looks like from over Naval Air Station Whidbey on a decent day:
And, a few minutes later? The Cherry Point oil refinery. This is where a lot of refined product comes from – and those tankers that you see are what led the Coast Guard to set up Vessel Traffic lanes in Puget Sound, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Good bit of fog up here and fog, islands, and tankers is just a problem waiting to happen as the people of Prince William Sound know. Wait, or was that a fifth of something? Anyway, it’s kinda like air traffic control for the ships that bring in potentially dangerous cargoes…
Heading west from Anacortes, you can get a sense of how big these islands are – and in the summertime, they fill up with boaters from the Seattle area to the south and a fair number of boats come south from the Vancouver area, too. Maybe to see how the “other half” lives… Island populations about double in summer.
Below: Survivalwoman and Elaine wandering around the resort community of Roche Harbor with SW’s four-legged mobile alarm system:
I have actually considered putting together some of the other pictures (more to be taken this weekend) as screen backgrounds – though I’m not sure if anyone is interested. No, not of the ladies…I mean the big panoramic stuff. The ladies would want royalties.
Around the Ranch
Back home, Panama reports nothing except deer and the odd possum have moved at the ranch. The cats are hot-weather fur-slugs. There is one notable exceptions: Stephen, our Orkin bug guy is concerned about where all the scorpions are coming from into my office and filling up the sticky-traps. With temps there around 100 today, you have no idea how much I wish I could be back there to look at the scorpion reduction effort, the brown recluse spraying results, and to check if any copperheads have wandered up to the house from the creek area. NOT.
If you’re wondering how we can afford such a trip, though it’s surprisingly inexpensive thanks to SW finding a local person who rented us essential “half a house” for two weeks. I think this is going to be a major trend, since as people get older (grow up?) if single and with a big home, it’s a great way to supplement things.
It pencils out well for us: The cost/per/night of such deals (when you can find them) is about one-third to one-quarter of what the going rates are. Or, when you look at a resort area, like Roche Harbor, where a high end overnight condo is $900 per night, it’s less than 1/9th the cost.
But even this kind of bargain for a work/play adventure is steep compared to other alternatives. The premier outfit for really cheap travels (and I have mentioned this before) is www.couchsurfing.org and if you’re going anywhere, this one is work looking into for destination hook-ups.
Main thing is that travel really broadens a person’s outlook. It’s very easy to get mentally corralled into thinking this way or that – as a matter of local customs. But, if you get out and see a lot of the world – up close and personal – it does something to you that’s hard to describe.
The food is different (not many Dungeness crab are caught in East Texas, oddly) the views are different – Northwest Mountains have one or two more zeros to them compared with “mountain” claims in the Republic, and people are still people pretty much everywhere you go.
Write when you break even…
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A Check on Our Trading System
This morning we’ll focus on how that trading system I developed a while back performed this week, which as it turns out was surprisingly well in one of the most difficult markets imaginable. But before we lay out the details, let’s start with a smattering of data points, realizing that there are many “balls in the air” this weekend, starting with what will happen next week in the EU mess…
Safer Computing: Swearing Off Cookies
It has been a while since I roared the praises of the Maxa Cookie Manager which you can download and install for a free test drive by clicking here.
To upgrade from the demo to full working is still less than $30 (During their Spring Sale) and one heck of a bargain at that, if I do say so.
“Live on $10,000″ A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn’t, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book “How to Live on $10,000 a Year…or less!”
It’s an automatic download. . Click here for the index and details.
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