Radioactivity

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GEIGER COUNTERS AND ME

I became interested in nuclear radiation by accident -- quite literally  -- back in April 1986.  At  the  time  Jane  and  I  were  in an Aeroflot aircraft, parked in a remote corner of Gatwick Airport. We had just returned from a  trip  to the Soviet Union, as was. During the closely chaperoned tour we heard vague rumours of an industrial accident somewhere in the USSR but it wasn't until we returned that we discovered that Chernobyl Reactor number 4 had popped its lid.

Our plane along with all aircraft coming in from the USSR had to be checked and decontaminated. Fortunately we were given the all clear but being of a curious disposition, and with the threat of clouds of radioactive dust floating over much of Western Europe I decided there and then that I  needed  a Geiger counter.

 

They were then, and still are expensive and quite hard to come by. Eventually I found some plans in an old electronic magazine that I used to work for and set about building one. It was fairly crude but produced a satisfying click every so often, more so when bought close to old luminous wristwatches and Calor Gaz camping light mantels. .

 

My most recent brush with radioactivity occurred when Jane underwent radiotherapy treatment for a thyroid disorder. This involved her being injected with an iodine isotope,  which resulted in her becoming impressively radioactive for several weeks. I dug out my old DIY Geiger counter and it still worked, providing us with hours of fun playing nuclear hide and seek! 

 

This reawakened my interest in Geiger counters and I felt sure that the technology must have improved in the intervening 20 years. In fact very little seemed to have changed. Geiger counters are still rarer than hen's teeth and if you find one it's almost certainly going to be a big old army surplus or ex-Civil Defence jobby costing the thick end of 100.

 

Eventually  I managed to track down a number of modern, pocket-size Geiger counters or dosimeters, designed for use in hospitals and the nuclear industry. Needless to say were  all horribly expensive but then I stumbled across the DRSB 88. It's made in Russia, by a company that supplies the military and Government departments.

 

Anyway, the upshot of all this we are now selling and designing simple geiger counters and if you are interested in buying one then click HERE and you'll be magically transported to anythingradioactive.com, where you will also find a wide range of products and information.

 

 

 
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