#169 - WH6FQE is Joining the Radiation Network
I recently decided to add to the capabilities of my ham shack by installing a permanent nuclear radiation meter at my station. The new meter will be connected to the Radiation Network and will upload current radiation readings every minute to be displayed on a map that is viewable by anyone around the world in real time.
This meter is in addition to the geiger counter that I carry with me every day in my communications equipment bag and the radiation dose detector card that I wear around my neck. While those items are good, they only alert me to higher radiation levels. This system will alert everyone else.
With everything that is going on in the world today, and the recent "Incoming North Korea Missile" scare from a few years ago, being aware of rising radiation levels as soon as possible is extremely important. The longer you are exposed to elevated radiation levels the more health consequences there are.
As you can see from the USA Map image, there are nuclear reactors located in almost every state across the country as indicated by the small radioactive symbols. The round symbols with numbers on them are monitoring stations like the one that I am setting up, that send in their data over the internet to be added to the real-time map which is viewable by anyone around the world.
A nuclear radiation emergency can be caused by a natural disaster, like we recently saw at the Fukushima Reactor in Japan, or it can be caused by a terrorist organization detonating a "dirty bomb" or a nation launching Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) armed with nuclear warheads. No matter what the cause is for elevated radiation levels, having access to that information quickly is paramount for safety.
The Radiation Network is a grassroots organization of volunteers that have no affiliation with the government, so they are completely independent of any government influence, just as it should be.
I am also considering building a mobile radiation monitoring station that can be deployed as needed, to monitor radiation levels at specific locations away from my ham shack in the event of an emergency on the island to augment the portable weather station that I have.
The software for the system has been installed and set up, I am now just waiting for the monitor to arrive so that I can connect it to the system and start uploading readings to the Radiation Network.