[ RadSafe ] The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

Doug Huffman doug.huffman at wildblue.net
Mon May 2 19:45:54 CDT 2011

Hash: SHA1

I used to run a process that generated thousands of gallons of mixed
hazardous and contaminated waste fluid.  We tried to change solutions
before it met our contaminated criterion, allowing disposal as mere
hazardous waste.  We used an in-line detector that displayed gross CPM
in the control room.

As much for entertainment as anything else, as I recall, we recorded the
gross counts and found a very good correlation with the position of the

On 5/2/2011 18:56, Roger Helbig wrote:
> http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html
> This interesting report popped up on the Geiger Counter enthusiasts list?
> Does anyone know if there has been any other research into this hypothesis
> that decay rates are affected by solar flares?
> The article begins as follows
> The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements
> When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the inner
> life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific detective
> investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking
> astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.
> It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of
> some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be
> influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away.
> Is this possible?
> Researchers from Stanford and Purdue University believe it is. But their
> explanation of how it happens opens the door to yet another mystery.
> There is even an outside chance that this unexpected effect is brought about
> by a previously unknown particle emitted by the sun. "That would be truly
> remarkable," said Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied
> physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun.
> The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where students
> are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is a
> constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists use
> carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts and when doctors determine the proper
> dose of radioactivity to treat a cancer patient.
> Roger Helbig
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