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Originally posted by Cloudsinthesky
Denver is now detecting 73
N Denver 73
S Denver 31
Update: 3/18/11, 6:00 A.M.
*** Radiation Levels - As of this morning, background radiation levels from our stations on the West Coast still look pretty normal, when disregarding the randomness of background radiation in the first place. As an indication of foreign radiation moving into the environment, such as a gamma laden cloud, keep on the lookout for a sustained increase and trend in background levels over time, to where multiple stations start averaging first in the 40's, the 50's, and 60's to 100 CPM range. Keep in mind that spikes and troughs in readings for any one minute are not relevant - only average readings at a sustained rate are meaningful.
***You have responded! - We asked you to set up your own Monitoring Station, and the response has been overwhelming, and you are already seeing new Stations popping up on the map. Unfortunately, we have sold out of Geiger Counters for the time being, and that is now the limiting factor. Until we are re-supplied, I can tell you that there are already tens of thousands of compatible Geiger counters already out in the marketplace, from acquisitions over the last 20 years, that are in the hands of your local Fire Departments, or collecting dust in drawers in homes, businesses, and universities. So review again the compatible models listed on the Map page, and if you know someone in that category, see if they can't put those detectors to work. We can supply the required Software and Data Cables to "plug in" to the Network.
*** Media Coverage - Our work and your interest is paying off. Just in the last two days, we have seen media coverage from, and done interviews with everyone from the New York Times to Fox News, along with a myriad of talk shows, alternative media, local press, and TV network affiliates. At a time when our government continues to assure of us of no radiation danger, yet fails to follow that up with actual collection data, the media is noticing that our network is one of the few resources where concerned Americans can obtain data on actual radiation levels in at least some locations in the US.
*** Alert Level - You are an astute group! A few of you already noticed that we recently lowered the Alert Level for the Map from 130 to 100 CPM. It was probably too high in the first place. The optimal setting for a Radiation Alert is one that is not so low as to invite false alerts from momentary spikes in radiation, yet not so high as to defeat its original purpose.
*** Stations disappeared - Why did the Monitoring Stations in NM and TX disappear, you ask? It's like the TV in your family room - it's always there, but where some people watch TV all day long, others turn it off for awhile. We can't control that - running a radiation Monitoring Station on our Network is as voluntary as watching TV - nothing sinister about it.
*** High readings in CO - The Radiation levels on the stations in Colorado are higher on average than the others because some are at elevations as high as 8,000 to 9,000 feet, where there is less atmospheric shielding from the cosmic rays that make up most of what we call the background radiation count. As an example, I have taken a Geiger Counter on a passenger plane flight and recorded readings up to 800 CPM at 40,000 feet! So those high readings are quite normal for certain Colorado stations.
*** Bakersfield - Due to some confusing news coverage, a report and/or rumor circulated that one of the Monitoring Stations on our Network recorded a spike or reading of 222, or something like that (I don't know what unit of measurement was supposed to accompany that number.) Anyway, the story is false. This network has never operated a station in Bakersfield. Because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, i.e. potential radiation danger, we must caution ourselves to deal strictly in fact, and resist the rumor mill. To illustrate the point, I know for a fact that our Monitoring Station in Vancouver, BC just recorded a reading of 14 CPM in the last minute. That is a fact, not speculation, not rumor. If someone is claiming this or that, ask them to back it up.
*** Units of Measurement - It is confusing - Rems, Rads, Roentgens, Sieverts, CPM, mili, micro... In the US, the standard unit to quantify dosage is the Roentgen, or more particularly, usually milli-Roentgens per hour, abbreviated as mR/hr, or micro-Roentgens per hour, written as uR/hr.
*** Meanwhile, in Japan and most other countries, the common unit is the Sievert, and in practice usually micro-Sieverts per hour, written as uSv/hr. It is easy to convert - 1 mR/hr equates to 10 uSv/hr, so a reading out of Japan of 500 uSv/hr would equal 50 mR/hr - just divide by 10. Some people use the term Rads or Rems as substitutes for Roentgens, and for all intents and purposes, they are interchangeable, although not scientifically correct.
*** A cautionary note - because of the large array of radiation units, when stating a reading, it is meaningless, dangerous, and irresponsible to give just the number - always follow that number with the corresponding unit of measurement - not doing so breeds wild rumors.
*** But the Radiation Map uses CPM - why? Well, because CPM, or Counts per Minute, corresponds directly to the output of the compatible Geiger Counters, and CPM levels are also user-friendly integral numbers. Problem is, some Geiger counters, particularly those that use the "pancake" Geiger-Mueller tubes, are more efficient than others and detect a higher count rate than standard tubed models - up to 3 times, which also explains why some stations on the Map show higher levels than others. We are going to correct that in future software versions, and adopt the uR/hr standard. But the CPM unit serves us for now, and as it turns out, the CPM readings for standard tubed Geiger counters does in fact equate exactly to the same readings in uR/hr.
*** Accuracy of Readings - While most visitors to the Radiation Network welcome the service, a few have questioned the accuracy and legitimacy of the radiation readings. That healthy skepticism is a good thing, especially given the sensitive nature of this subject matter. I can only say that we don't have an agenda, other than the collection and reporting of Radiation levels taken on a scientific basis. Since our network is of a server/client nature, we exercise some control over the issuance of Monitoring Station participation in the first place, and retain the ability to shut down any station that abuses its license. Having said that, I am very pleased with, and proud of the makeup of our Monitoring Stations. These are largely just individuals like you and me who are concerned and aware, diligent in recording readings, and interestingly, many of them are ham radio operators at the same time.