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Author Topic: Are Hams prepared for a nuclear accident?  (Read 29674 times)
KD8HMO
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Posts: 228




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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2011, 11:21:48 AM »

I live on the edge of the 100 mile circle around the Davis Besse reactor in Toledo, Ohio. If they have an accident there, my county and the next one south of me will receive a majority of the refugees and casualties because of the huge medical resources in the Lima, Ohio area. Not an exciting thought...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 11:23:45 AM by KD8HMO » Logged
K1CJS
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Posts: 6045




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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2011, 05:11:05 AM »


There's the rub.  The chance of a nuclear accident is slim.....


I think that this is the answer in a nutshell.  Nuclear power has been with us now for how many years?  50?  More?  During that time, there have been hundreds of nuclear plants built worldwide and there have been how many 'serious' accidents?  One?  Three?  

There is a certain amount of overreaction going on--and it seems that a calamity like the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan and the resultant damage to that nuclear facility brings out the worst in the doomsday prognosticators.  The worst accident of this nature was, of course, Chernobyl.  It seems like this one in Japan is going to end up being the second worst so far.  And then there was Three Mile Island, where there was no appreciable radiation release, but still a plant closing accident.

To put it mildly, and without underplaying the possibility of something happening in another nuclear plant, I would be more worried about serious weather events (hurricanes, storms, etc.) serious seismic events, and threats of meteors or comets hitting the earth--in that order--BEFORE I'd worry about a nuclear plant accident.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 05:12:58 AM by K1CJS » Logged
N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2011, 04:58:08 PM »

Wonder what Japanese Hams are doing, or been ask to do ?
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3729




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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2011, 05:13:32 PM »

hi

big problem in Japan facility is the lack of cooling water for
the spent fuel rods in containment pools as well as for the
reactor vessels that went on automatic shutdown at time of quake.
the reaction is stopped but the decay heat remains over time.

interesting info about the type of reactors used in Japan complex

http://energyfromthorium.com/

Three mile island disaster was caused by human error.
Chernobyl reactors were based on outdated graphite block designs
and did not employ modern containment building construction.

73 james
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K5FH
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2011, 02:43:22 PM »

You do realize, of course, that there is a whole new subgroup of whackers out there ready to start driving around nuclear power plants with geiger counters and HTs, reporting on radiation levels.  Don't give them any more ideas.
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AJ3O
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Posts: 124




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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2011, 05:53:56 PM »

Frankly, the main health effects from the nuclear situation in Japan right now is lack of electricity, and mental health effects from the fear of radiation - which is understandable. Under direct radiation threat at the moment are only the people on the power plant.

Don't forget about the tainted food and water supplies all ready showing up, thereby effecting everyone (read MILLIONS) in the region that rely on that food for sustenance....... Seems pretty immediate to me.

Just my .02 "Yeah, I know, not worth much these days"
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KF5GWN
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2011, 07:07:43 PM »

In my "previous life" I worked in an emergency communications center in a jurisdiction that had three research reactors operational.  I also had a bunch of FEMA training including radiological emergency response. 
About the last thing we would consider would be using ham operators for reporting readings.  Not so much because we cared about the health and welfare of such volunteers, as we would happily use volunteer fire fighters, the issue is that those reports would need to be coming in via a secure network.  The last thing we would want is information like that going over the air and into the hands of the media before we could verify it.  We would be controlling the release of that information. 

Remember the plane hitting the State Department on 9/11?  It was all over the news in D.C. at the time. 

We had a response plan that included positioning units for doing contra flow on certain roads for evacuation.  Those units would be in position before any announcement was made.  If you don't have traffic controls in place before the evacuation and panic begins you are fighting a losing battle
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W8JX
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2011, 06:32:04 AM »

Frankly, the main health effects from the nuclear situation in Japan right now is lack of electricity, and mental health effects from the fear of radiation - which is understandable. Under direct radiation threat at the moment are only the people on the power plant.

Don't forget about the tainted food and water supplies all ready showing up, thereby effecting everyone (read MILLIONS) in the region that rely on that food for sustenance....... Seems pretty immediate to me.


As bad as some things seem at times the level of radiation in food is not fatal, you just would not want to eat it for many months and as far as water, the radio active iodine found in it has a very short life (half life 8 days) which means even a very badly contaminated source will be quite safe in less than 45 days or so.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KA6MLE
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Posts: 80




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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2011, 10:30:42 AM »

The last thing we would want is information like that going over the air and into the hands of the media before we could verify it.  We would be controlling the release of that information. ...

  If you don't have traffic controls in place before the evacuation and panic begins you are fighting a losing battle

Excellent points! I was in the Joint Info Center on the last FEMA drill. I can hear and read all of the events of the drill. I know they wouldn't want me to transmit any of that even though it was a drill. We would have a "War of the Worlds" panic all over again!  Shocked
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W3JKS
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Posts: 200


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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2011, 10:55:21 AM »

To the folks thinking about buying a CDV-715 off eBay because they are cheap.  DON'T.

CDV-715 survey meters are ion chambers meant for post-attack radiation levels.  Unless they come from a calibration facility directly, there is a very good possibility that they do not work or will give you incorrect readings.  In any case, they are not very useful for anything short of working inside the containment. (BTDTGTTS) Grin

The CDV-700 is a geiger counter, fairly sensitive and usable for things like contamination checking ASSUMING that they are calibrated and working correctly.  A very large percentage of the old shelter stock meters do not work any longer.  Even when working correctly, they are usually around +/- 15% accuracy ("close enough for government work").  They were designed to be simple, reliable after long storage and easy to use assuming that they were periodically checked or repaired.

One problem with the CDV-700 is that if you are not careful, it is possible to enter a high radiation field where the meter will read zero ("jamming").  Not a happy situation.  I have seen this happen (once).  This is why one carries a radiation alarming dosimeter or an appropriate mid-range ion chamber meter along...

This is not a good "hobby" for the untrained!
73, john W3JKS/AAT3BF/AAM3EDE/AAM3RE/AAA9SL
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2011, 04:29:59 PM »

You do realize, of course, that there is a whole new subgroup of whackers out there ready to start driving around nuclear power plants with geiger counters and HTs, reporting on radiation levels.  Don't give them any more ideas.
Right, but you wouldn't object to properly trained people who also happen to be hams?
Sometimes "whacker" is used for people who are untrained or operate outside their training, but sometimes it's used for anyone who does anything while having an amateur license.
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K7RBW
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Posts: 398




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« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2011, 10:12:05 PM »

Right, but you wouldn't object to properly trained people who also happen to be hams?

I suppose that some properly trained radiation monitoring technicians also have Ham tickets, but, so what? I'm guessing that they would communicate whatever they had to say on their own frequencies and radios.
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K5FH
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2011, 12:26:00 AM »

You do realize, of course, that there is a whole new subgroup of whackers out there ready to start driving around nuclear power plants with geiger counters and HTs, reporting on radiation levels.  Don't give them any more ideas.
Right, but you wouldn't object to properly trained people who also happen to be hams?
Sometimes "whacker" is used for people who are untrained or operate outside their training, but sometimes it's used for anyone who does anything while having an amateur license.

The term "whacker," strictly speaking, is used to describe people who are untrained, unqualified, and unauthorized to act in a certain capacity but attempt to do so anyway, either by bluffing or, sometimes, outright  lying.  We can all cite personal experiences with this type of person.  Someone who is trained, qualified and authorized to act in a capacity, and does so within the limitations of that capacity, is not a whacker.

As K7RBW points out, if properly trained and authorized radiological monitoring personnel have ham licenses, so much the better, but it is almost certain that they will not be using Amateur Radio for their "official" comms simply because Amateur Radio is not a secure service - indeed, it was never intended to be and we are prohibited by FCC regs from encrypting our comms.  So they are most likely to use Part 90 encrypted equipment and frequencies. 
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N9AOP
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Posts: 149




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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 12:39:53 PM »

The county I work for has 2 nuclear generating stations in our footprint.  The NRC mandates each plant
have a major exercise every other year.  These involve the plant, the county (and affected municipalities
within the footprint) and the state.  It tests many plans such as shelter, evacuation, monitoring, traffic
flow etc.  If you have a nuke in your area and have the desire, by all means contact your local EMA and
see if you can be a part of what they do.  If not, stay away expecially if there is a declared 'site area
emergency' because the response has already been planned for.
Art
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N8CMQ
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2011, 06:19:25 PM »

I am quite prepared to fry and die...
Providing a service? I think not...
There are enough government radiation vehicles running around monitoring radiation levels...
They spend most of their time around airports and other points of entry.
Good luck trying to tell the men with the M-16s how valuable your "help" is,..
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