[ExI] How dangerous is radiation?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Jul 15 09:20:40 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 5:28 PM, spike wrote:
> The most obvious one was simple: if you spend all day helping set up the
> test, then get outta Dodge when they turn on the beam for ten minutes, isn't
> that escaping the risk entirely?  Wouldn't that be analogous to a couple
> fellers working on a motorcycle all day, then one of them rides it away
> afterwards.  Only one takes any risk, ja?

Small, portable and cheap radiation detector is being designed for the public.

Ever since the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, there has
understandably been an upsurge in the sale of consumer
radiation-detecting devices. Most of these gadgets are variations on
the Geiger counter, in that they alert the user to the presence and
level of radiation, but not the type of radiation - which is very
important to know. Researchers at Oregon State University are hoping
to address that situation, with the MiniSpec. Currently in
development, the handheld device will additionally tell its users what
type of radionuclide is creating the radiation, and whether it poses a

The MiniSpec is actually a miniaturized gamma ray spectrometer, and is
claimed to combine digital electronics with a new type of
"scintillation detector." The latter typically combines an electronic
light sensor with a scintillator, which is a material that luminesces
when exposed to radiation.

The inclusion of the scintillation detector also allows for the device
to be small, durable, lightweight, energy-efficient, and to be able to
operate at room temperature.

Several models are planned, including one for use around the home. It
could be used to check for and analyze radiation emanating from things
like soil, granite countertops and concrete walls.
Once commercialized, it is hoped that the MiniSpec will sell for under US$150.


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