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Homeland Defense - Radiation Detection
Arrow-Tech Website: http://www.arrowtechinc.com 
If you want to be really serious about radiation and detection to protect yourself, you will need two specific components:
  • Arrow-Tech Model 138/RM Dosimeter - ($100.00)
    With High-Range Calibration - 0 to 20R
  • Arrow-Tech Dosimeter Charger and Calibration Unit Model 750-5 - ($100.00)

Arrow-Tech Model 138/RM dosimeter with High-Range calibration
Arrow-Tech dosimeters are rugged, precision instruments about the size of a pocket fountain pen, which are used to measure accumulative doses or quantities of gamma and X-ray radiation. A metal clip is used to attach the dosimeter to your person, tactical vest or to any available object in an area to be monitored for total radiation exposure.

It is a pocket-size, conductive-fiber electroscope with an ion chamber for detecting and indicating integrated exposure to gamma and x-radiation. It has a thin poly-composite wall which permits the penetration and detection of radiation.

Wearing a Dosimeter
You can wear the dosimeter like a pen in your pocket, or clip it to your belt or to your vest. You can also set it outside in a contaminated environment for an hour. This will tell you the radiation rate of the specific exterior environment. You don't have to have a radiation meter if you have a dosimeter and are not in a hurry to measure the rate.

Also, if ten or a hundred people are together or going somewhere, only one or two of them need to wear a dosimeter. So long as they all stay together, the radiation dosage that one gets will be what they all get. It is nice to have two or three, so that you can use one to check the other and make sure that they are working.

The dosimeter is charged (reset to zero) so the dosimeter can be used over and over again.  This is usually done before each use. Be sure to keep several high output alkaline D cell batteries on hand for use with the charger. The charger unit can use any D cell size battery.

Note that even quality dosimeters will drift about +/- 2% per day, so they need to be monitored often during an actual radiological emergency and careful notes taken several times per day of the accumulation of radiation and then frequently re-zeroed.

Charger
I own a Jordan Nuclear Model JN 750-5 Charger (pictured at right) which is a compact, portable charger designed to charge direct-reading quartz fiber dosimeters. It features a fully transistorized and printed circuit board. It operates from a single "D" cell battery. It is made from heavy aluminum casting with water-tight seals and meets or exceeds the military specification of Mil-Spec NSN 6665-00-856-8813.  

Fallout Guidelines
Radioactive fallout can be local or distant. Whether it is from a distant nuclear power reactor disruption or a strike on a Dakotas nuclear missile field, the immediate downrange fallout will be severe in Minnesota and Wisconsin depending on the prevailing winds. Assuming that clouds of radio-isotopes are entering your area, take cover in any underground area you can find.

Radiation War Survey Meter
These can be a surplus Civil Defense Survey Meter such as the pictured below, or a newer and very expensive electronic version. A war-grade survey meter is important, as opposed to a Geiger counter device, as a Geiger counter will become saturated in heavy levels of radiation and can give dangerous false positives on the low end of actual radiation. If you buy a surplus survey meter like my CDV-715 model below, be sure to pay the extra bucks and get one that is laboratory calibrated.

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Copyright 2008 Tony Rogers