[ RadSafe ] Fwd: Fwd: [New post] Raised radiation level found inMissouri Snow

parthasarathy k s ksparth at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jan 7 12:09:14 CST 2014


During 1969-1972, I used to love foggy days when the atmosphere is very stable. I was studying the influence of airborne radioactivity on the background counting rates of sensitive gamma spectrometers as a part of my Ph D research (University of Leeds, UK). Away from argon belching nuclear reactors, the major components of radioactivity which were providing identifiable variations in the background counting rates of sensitive gamma spectrometers and whole-body radioctivity monitors are mainly the gamma -emitting decay products of radon and thoron

I have measured ten times the normal concentrations of radon decay products on foggy days.Do you recall that post Three Mile Island nuclear accident, a company assigned the task of measuring radioactivity in the public, came out with the shocking statement that they picked up radium in some of the members of the public.The Health Physics journal referred to this observation.Walking in the open air with a clothing made of any synthetic yarn can collect copious amounts of these decay products. Synthetic yarn collects airborne radioactivity as their surfaces are charged.

Years ago I have read a news story about a worker triggering an alarm as he entered a nuclear power plant (was it Limerick plant??) in USA. His clothes were laced with large amounts of  radioactivity picked up from his home. His home was built over a large vein of uranium ore deposit which released radon continuously.

Radioactivity in snow is a well known example. I was not surprised that the news got top billing. I realized two decades ago that if you want publicity for any news add some "radioactivity" to it! I was very pleased to see that many people made correct contributions in the "comments" that accompanied the article.

Warm regards

On Tuesday, 7 January 2014, 23:05, Chris Alston <achris1999 at gmail.com> wrote:

What is happening to the radon source term, given the cold and
snowpack?  I can remember, many years ago, when I was green as a
grasshopper, doing verification of remedial action for depleted U on a
property (a large lawn or backyard, from which we had stripped the
sod) with a FIDLER, during an afternoon when it was warm, sunny, and
breezy.  I went back to finish work the next morning, when it was
cold, damp, and heavily foggy (the airport was socked-in).  The whole
area was "hot" again.  Baffled, I walkie-talkied my boss.  He laughed,
and explained, basically, that due to the low-pressure, more *natural*
radon was emanating from the soil, and it was not moving much, due to
the cold, so the daughters were ingrowing.  In effect, our carefully
determined gamma background for the area was out the window.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brennan, Mike  (DOH) <Mike.Brennan at doh.wa.gov>
Date: Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Fwd: [New post] Raised radiation level found
inMissouri Snow

To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics)
MailingList" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
I don't know the answer to this offhand, but how does the response of
a GM tube change with temperature?  The reason I ask is that it is
currently COLD in much of the Midwest, and it wouldn't surprise me if
things are different at -20C.
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