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Monday, March 24, 2014

Testing for Evidence of Fukushima in Bellingham: Part I

45 days of filtration in a Bellingham neighborhood that heats with wood.


I am working on (DIY)  testing for evidence of Fukushima fallout in Bellingham. This is a "science project" fraught with difficulties for a layman. I will leave pictures and R code output without much comment for now. So far most of my testing has been exploratory and I looking at how to systemize my methodology.  I have collected three years worth of external air filters sealed in plastic. I change them out every 45 days as they are so filthy with smoke and soot! 

My thesis is that  Fukushima radionuclides bio-accumulate in our forests. As quite a few of my neighbors burn for heat, I should see a gradual increase Cesium137, Strontium90, Iodine131, etc. as the months progress since the accident. However, subtracting background radiation and differentiating Fukushima radionuclides with a Geiger-Mueller counter (even with Aware Electronics very sensitive RM80) is an exercise in probability and inference.  Gamma spectroscopy and a radiation testing lab are the correct prerequisites for this task.  Most citizens concerned about their environment don't have access to those types of resources. No testing of radionuclides is being done in Whatcom County that I know of. Testing I did in 2011 is located here:
I could really use a graduate degree in nuclear physics and a device which would allow me to do sensitive gamma spectroscopy.  If you have such a device or such resources to lend me, please email me and let me know. Click pictures to enlarge .

Control Sample is the air in my office (which passes through my heating stack). Sample 1 consists of separate,close measurements of  a dozen rocks from the north fork of the Nooksack. Sample 2 are spot measurements from two dirty external air filters from December and January. These are all two second averaged samples. (TBU=2)
The sample data below is culled to 701 records for all tests.
[1] "Time Base Unit is 2 seconds. 
 MicroRads_HR = microroentgens/hr"
[1] "Sample Statistics:"

        Samples.V1 SampleEqZero.V1 MinNot0.V1 max.V1   mean.V1    sd.V1
Control        701             323       8.47  42.37  6.683766 7.624941
Sample1        701             219       8.47  50.85 10.479815 9.729658
Sample2        701             289       8.47  42.37  8.001469 8.846479

[1] "Matrix Information for Non Zero Data"
[1] "Control"
  MicroRads_HR freq
1         8.47  244
2        16.95  101
3        25.42   26
4        33.90    6
5        42.37    1
[1] "Sample1"
  MicroRads_HR freq
1         8.47  228
2        16.95  162
3        25.42   61
4        33.90   24
5        42.37    6
6        50.85    1
[1] "Sample2"
  MicroRads_HR freq
1         8.47  245
2        16.95  110
3        25.42   35
4        33.90   18
5        42.37    4

[1] "Sending Three time-based Graphs of MicroRads_HR Averages Non Zero Data"
[1] "Sending Three frequency-based Graphs of MicroRads_HR Averages for Non Zero Data"

[1] "(Matrix) Sums of row based multiplication for non zero samples."
        MR.HR.Mtrx.Mult
Control         4685.32
Sample1         7346.35
Sample2         5609.03

1 comment:

Alan Abraham said...
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