[ RadSafe ] thermal neutron backgrounds

Joseph Shonka jjshonka at shonka.com
Tue Feb 18 13:01:26 CST 2014

Lightning has been seen to create bremstrahlung to 30 MeV in measurements
by the Fermi satellite.  The electromagnetic cascade can produce giant
resonance neutrons by the dipole interaction.  (compound nucleus decays and
produces low energy nucleons).  By the way, the FAA now suggests that
aircraft avoid thunderstorms and estimates doses of 30 mSv are possible.
The research that is based on has a 100 mSv estimate, but truncates the
estimate at 30 mSv if there is no multiplication in the discharge.
Aircraft are hit by lightning once or twice a year.

On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM, Joel C. <cehn at aol.com> wrote:

> I came across some data on thermal neutron backgrounds at sea level.  They
> showed an almost doubling during thunderstorms.  Here are some possible
> explanations:  lighting strikes are generating nuclear events that emit
> neutrons.  Or, is there a change in the stratosphere which allows more
> neutrons to bombard earth?  Or, does the electromagnetic storm influence
> the detectors (false signals)? Anyone know?

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