AW: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Thu Mar 26 18:12:25 CDT 2009



As I mentioned in a previous post, the maximum permissible concentration of
Cs-137 in meat (excluding pork) was 16 nCi/kg. Yes indeed: “nCi”, because at
this time we had still officially “nCi’s”, which caused a terrible
confusion, when comparing our data to most of the European countries’ which
had long gone SI. (The Sovjetunion still used the “Ci”.) Those limits were
exceeded in a very large number of animals, not to talk about venison! We
had to find very fast a very fast method of doing scanning of live animals
for their Cs-137 contamination. My laboratory (I was not personally involved
in it) used a portable Ge-detector to check the hind legs of beef and sheep
in contact. Advantage: High “concentration” of meat. Calibration was done
after the slaughter of the animals, which was in the case of slaughterhouses
done immediately after the measurement. The worst problem was the
background, because the whole territory of Austria and also the stables and
slaughterhouses were highly contaminated. There was no time to wait for some
devices of a company, we needed an immediate solution of the problem.  


Other scientists  had different solutions, for instance the collegues in the
lake district of Cumbria who designed a simple, but excellent whole body
counter for sheep. Well one could probably write a book on the Chernobyl
stories, but RADSAFE is not the right forum for such extensive dealing with
that subject.


I personally do not know about about the Canberra involvement in Saudi
Arabia. When I was last time in Saudi Arabia (a while ago) at an expert
mission of the IAEA I was shown a lorry, which I was told was a
transportable (not portable) radiation measurement facility. As far as I
remember it might have been also Canberra, which equipped it, but I am not
sure. Since I was there because of advice on the measurement of NORM in
water I was not so much interested in this device. The second reason was
obviously that after so many years of Chernobyl related work I was really
tired of that topic.


Best wishes,




Franz Schoenhofer, PhD

MinRat i.R.

Habicherg. 31/7

A-1160 Wien/Vienna



-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: edmond0033 at [mailto:edmond0033 at] 
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 26. März 2009 18:26
An: blreider at
Cc: radsafe at; franz schoenhofer
Betreff: Re: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island




I was aware that Canberra built several for the Saudi Government.  Also EG&G
(then) built three portable Laboratories for the Saudi's.  They also set up
six Laboratories to test the incoming food products.  I will later recount
some interesting stories.  I believe some of the equipment is used at their
main airports for monitoring.


Ed Baratta


edmond0033 at 
----- Original Message -----
From: blreider at
To: "franz schoenhofer" <franz.schoenhofer at>,
edmond0033 at
Cc: radsafe at
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:11:58 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Claims About Three Mile Island

Rowena Argall brought post-Chernobyl Turkish Tea back from a trip overseas -
the tea is now in the Oak Ridge Museum.  Paul Frame should be able to give
you details, and if you have an opportunity to visit you should as the
collection of artifacts is interesting.  Canberra also was commissioned to
built live animal counters for scanning particularly for Cs-137 content in
cattle and other livestock.   TMI's releases were very small compared to
Chernobyl, the report on the accident identified an individual - I think he
was camping on an island in the river - who received 80 mrem as the maximum.



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