Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Help Monitor Japan For Radiation

plutosdad at my post A Radiation Safety Expert Says - Tokyo Uh Oh left a link to the following post which I am going to repeat (most of it) here. I have no idea if these people are legit. But the idea is a good one.

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This morning, my friend Sean Bonner e-mailed me this:

As you may or may not know I’ve spent the vast majority of the last month either in Tokyo or working with people in Japan on project I helped start called Safecast. Actually we just changed the name to Safecast, until last week it was called RDTN. We realized that the only information on radiation levels was coming from groups we couldn’t really trust, and decided we could do something better. Safecast has a goal of distributing geiger counters to people in Japan and creating an open data sensor network so anyone can access the information we gather with these devices. We’re also collecting data ourselves - if you have a few moments and want to read this post it’s a great example of what we’re doing right this second.

http://blog.safecast.org/2011/04/24/first-safecast/

If you don’t have a few moments I’ll sum it up for you - we drove up to Fukushima and took readings at schools that are in the “safe” zone. At one of those schools we measured over 50 µSv/hr outside on a playground. To put that in perspective outside today in Los Angeles I measured 0.072 µSv/hr. We also gave some counters to volunteers in the area who will take readings and report back to us, and measured over 5000 different points during the trip. We hope to do this on a regular basis.

Anyway, what I’m asking for your help with is this:

http://blog.safecast.org/2011/04/25/fundraising/

We have a kickstarter and are more than halfway to our goal, but only have 11 days left to hit that mark. While donations are helpful, what we really need is awareness. We need more people to know about what we’re doing, we need more people to know they can help.
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And that 50 uSV/hr reading? That translates into a 438 miliSieverts a year. That would be 43.8 REM for those of you more familiar with the old system. That is a very high dose even for plant workers who have accepted the risk. For civilians and especially children, that is a radiation level that is unacceptable except in small doses - on the order of a few hours a year. And that is not counting that the stuff is carried by the wind so it is ingestible. So it is possible to carry a dose with you even if you leave the area.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

RadTact said...

They should be applauded for such a worthy effort. RDTN is a great resource.