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.
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. .
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!
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.