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9/23/2020 3:47:02 PM
Posted: 3/7/2010 3:50:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2010 7:20:28 PM EDT by Skibane]
Have been thinking about ways of making the concept of radiation poisoning more intuitive - Would like to be able to quickly tell how much exposure is dangerous or lethal, without having to consult a printed guide or PDF file.

What I came up with is a radiation dosage chart sticker:

(My apologies for the large image sizes - I wanted them to be of sufficient resolution to be printed at just about any size).

I used a laser printer to print several of these charts on a single sheet of adhesive-backed vinyl, put a layer of Cleer-Adheer laminating sheet over it, and then cut each label to size with a paper cutter. Each of my high-range survey meters has one of these labels affixed to its case. Several of my  meters display their readings in centiGrays/hr rather than the rems/hr measurement unit which is commonly used in the U.S. , so I did labels for both versions (even though both units are essentially identical).

The data for the chart is plotted from several internet and printed sources, and  is only a very rough guide - Obviously, there are many factors which determine the actual chances of any particular individual surviving any particular dosage (i.e., age, overall state of health, availability of medical treatment, etc.). However, the chart's main purpose is to assign some meaning to the readings on the meter - Provide a rough indication of whether the current exposure rate is acceptable.

Here is a sticker affixed to the top of my PDRM 82 survey meter -

If anyone has any suggestions for improvements, please chime in!
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 8:48:43 PM EDT
Nice Work!. A Meter has been on my list for a some time. Do you have a source, or recommend a particular meter?

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:33:08 PM EDT
XM15, when it comes to high-range Oh-My-God-The-World-Is-Coming-To-An-End meters, the CD V-715  and V-717 ionization chamber models are probably the gold standards of comparison. They're ancient (the last examples were manufactured back in the 1960's), but they're also simple, reasonably accurate (when calibrated occasionally) and almost bulletproof.

RadMeters4U.com is a good source for tested, calibrated 715's and 717's - They have their own in-house repair and calibration lab. Avoid the temptation to buy an uncalibrated meter on ebay - An uncalibrated meter is worse than useless.

The Plessy/Siemens PDRM 82 is another high-range survey meter worth considering. Manufactured in England back in the 1980's, it's a modern design equipped with a LCD digital readout - It automatically tests and calibrates itself when you first turn it on, and will operate for over 400 hours on 3 ordinary carbon-zinc C-cells (or probably around a thousand hours on alkaline cells). PDRM 82's occasionally turn up on ebay for $60-$100. Biggest disadvantage is the built-in radiation source which is used to self-test and calibrate it has a relatively short half-life - which means that you must power it up every few years to ensure that it still works properly.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 12:31:52 PM EDT
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