Basic Rules for the Home_Rad Lab
Building and owning GeigerCounters, Solid-State Radiation Detectors and Scintillation Probes, to make it short, i’ll specify the Detector Type in Context of the Experiment or Information, otherwise i’ll call them Radiation Monitors to have a general Name for the whole Group of Meters we can access and use in the Home_Rad Lab. Remember there might be a lot more Ways to measure and proof ionizating Radiation and Neutrons. (Bubble-Detektors, Ion-Chambers, Spark-Detektors,….)
Anyhow, our most used Instrument will be the GeigerCounter and Scintillation Probes together with different High-Voltage Sources and Amplifier and Singalprocessing Chains.
But to start at all, we’ll have a look for the general Rules, one should follow to perform save and successfull experiments….
# NEVER drink or eat at the workbench, avoid smoking, take care that nor Pets or Children can access the area without you or other authorized persons. Store all Materials and instruments in a save way.
# REMEMBER you’re working with HighVoltage in Lethal Ammounts and Radioactive Materials. The Checksources you may use are more or less Dangerous, if you dont treat them in the right way! Radiation and Highvoltage is nothing to fear, but to respect and treat in a well thought way!
Contamination and spreading it instead, is a thing you should fear and avoid.
NEVER !! store anything, what you can’t track : loose Alpha Sources without the capability for checking for contamination is almost like Suicide! ALLWAYS mark and sign Radioactive Content and Dangerous High Voltage!
Check everything, everytime and allways be prepared! Keep calm and avoid any spontanous reactions which can cause Danger or Accidents.
Watching and Working after the Rules, will open you the fascinating and phantastic World of Science and close view to the things all and everything in this universe is based on.
When handling Sources no matter what kind they are, wear rubber gloves and cover your work area with an interchangable surface as i.e. thick paper. (i’ll use mostly photo cardboard from roll backgrounds, as i have them available, big sheets of paper or newspaper in 3-4 layers will do the same) While handling powderous sources, avoid airmovements, wear a protective mask and gloves, NEVER touch yoursel in unprotected areas as face or eyes, check for surface and own contamination after finishing the experiments. (Mica Window probe or Alpha Scintillator)
Common radioactive Sources in the Home Rad Lab are:
PotassiumChloride (*Contains trace ammounts of K40, emmitting weak Beta and Gamma Radiation @1460KeV in small ammounts. Every Human contains Potassium, so this might be considered as the least Dangerous Checksource)
Uranium Glass Marbles and other Items containing UO³:
UraniumOxyde (UO) can also be in Ceramics and Tiles (The decay products of Uranium will emit Beta and Gamma radiation, Uranium itself is a PURE Alpha emitter, some of those sources can spread particle contamination, consider while storing and handling!)
Thoriated Welding Rods (Contains a percentage of Thoriumoxide *1-4%* alloyed in Tungsten Metal) almost no contamination spread, no alpha emission, Beta and Gamma + Xrays from Gamma exitation.
Thoriated Lantern Mantles (Contains ThO in high ammounts!) Alpha Radiation+Beta and Gamma. Glasswool is soacked in a solution from Thoriumoxyde, items can easily cause self and surface contamination, through the high ammounts of alpha radiation and the possibility to ingest it is a NOT recommendable checksource, when not threatened in the right way!
Spark-Gap and other kind of VacuumTubes (mostly containing elements like Cs137 or Radium226 to help the ionization process) Sealed Source, mostly secure, as the glasstube or sealing isn’t broken.
Uranitite and all other kind of natural occuring Minerals, Soil, Sand, Kristalls, Minerals and Stones:
…the most beautifull and dangerous checksources at the same point. Most of the minerals are glowing in UV light, which helps to identify and check for contamintaion. All kinds of Radiation is emitted, consistency can reach from powderous to glass solid cristall structure. High ammounts of radiation can emit, radon gas is allways present
last but not least sealed Checksources in form of Disks, Needles, Pheoles and all other varieteys … in different strenghts. Can variy in several activitys almost every combination of emitters is possible, consider the Activity and the Free allowed Activity for the certain componets of your source, to avoid confrontation of existing laws and rules for EVERY of your checksource!
much more stuff to follow ;)