The Chernobyl Project - HOME

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Impulse buyer's guide

So I've talked to danex about going to Chernobyl, about a week ago. This was not the first time, but we have not been so serious about it before. I asked him yesterday, wether he wants to come with me. He said something like: "Hell yeah I want!" So that settled, we continued on chatting.
Not more than five minutes have elapsed, and he already bought a Geiger counter on e-bay. Not any counter, but a real cold-war era relic: a civil defense dose-rate meter.
So congrats to him, I'm really curious of his new toy. Although this device (at least according to the seller) is in perfect working condition, it is not calibrated. But it looks insanely cool with all its "retro mojo", and it makes the clicking / chirping sound. The one you'd expect from a Geiger counter. Isn't all that we need?:)He chose (after 2 minutes of careful research) a Victoreen CDV 700 6b, which is a true counter for fairly low level beta and gamma radiation. Although this is just what we need on our trip, in a real nuclear event - this type of device would give a false reading. At extreme high levels of radiation, the Geiger tube tends to saturate and give a low figure. This is exactly what happened in Chernobyl, after the incident occurred. They've sent out a guy, who came back with the information that the levels are safe. For such cases a so called survey meter is needed, which can measure radiation from 1-500rad (up to 5Sv)... These are enormously high levels, 500rad would certainly kill anyone in an hour.
You can read more about the civil defense Geiger counters on Wikipedia, or you may also check out e-bay. More on the Victoreen CD survey meters on "Civil Defense Museum" (excellent site, you can even see the original manual scanned) and there is a schematics page as well.
Hopefully when danex gets his CDV-700, he will write an extensive review for us.