Data for March and April 2013, showing rise at the time of refueling

On 3/10/13 at home for 3d, 17h:

Average High Low Total
16 32 4 86K

For 3/8 and 3/9 the wind was coming out of the north.   This is the highest average that I have recorded at my home, and it corresponds to the time that Vernon is down for refueling.  A photo taken 5 days later shows that neither the cooling tower nor the water discharge is being used.   This is consistent with the hypothesis that at times of refueling there is release of radioactive gas release, which will be carried by the wind.   The releases are within “normal range.”

At Vernon on 3/13 for a vigil, walking from town hall to front of plant

Average High Low Total
13 37 5 2301

On 3/15 at home for 4d, 19h

Average High Low Total
13 30 5 91K

On 3/15 drove to Hinsdale with Geiger counter in moon roof for 1h 24m

Average High Low Total
12 21 4 1043

Walking at Hinsdale to the dam south of VY for 1h 2m.  Ice breaking up in the foreground, no water from the outflow, and no activity from the cooling towers.    VY shut down, 3/15/13

Average High Low Total
13 3 850

Driving to Vernon town hall for 34 m

Average High Low Total
13 19 8

At Vernon with moon roof open for 7 min

Average High Low Total
15 22 11

Driving home with moon roof closed for 49 m

Average High Low Total
12 19 5 591

On 3/27/13 at home for 11d,19 h

Average High Low Total
14 32 3 242K

I took another trip on an unknown date. I fixed up the car so that the Geiger counter in the moon roof feed information directly into the computer using GeigerGraph so that I could have minute by minute data rather than averages over time. I drove to Hinsdale, collected data, and pushed a button for the roof. The Geiger counter has a jack that feeds to the computer; the jack was broken off, and the Geiger counter stopped displaying.

I called Vince Mazur, the manufacturer, and told him the problem. The 1 year warranty had expired. He told me that he would fix it for free! I noted on their Web site that they were now making a pancake style Geiger counter, which was 3 times more sensitive and could be used for screening of food. He offered it for a $100 discount for the second purchase of his product. I was so happy they would fix the first for free that I decided to buy a second.

I now have two different Mazur models, end plate model 8000 and pancake style model 9000. I will refer to them as Geiger Counter A, GCA, and Geiger Counter B, GCB.

On 4/7/13 for 3d, 16h with GCB

Average High Low Total
33 58 12 191K

On 4/11/13 I drove to Hinsdale with both Geiger counters in the closed moon roof:

for GCA for 1h 35m

Average High Low Total
13 22 4

For the GCB

Average High Low Total
30 44 19 3292

With the moon roof open at Hindsdale, there being a 8 mph north wind,

for the GCA for 13 m

Average High Low Total
11 19 8 159

For the GCB for 12 m

Average High Low Total
34 45 25 464

With the moon roof closed, driving to Vernon town hall

for the GCA for 22 m

Average High Low Total
11 22 5 263

For the GCB for 22 m

Average High Low Total
33 43 26 826

At the Vernon town hall, with the wind blowing south toward the school

for GCA for 12 m

Average High Low Total
12 23 7 179

For GCB for 12 m

Average High Low Total
29 39 22 450

At the Vernon public school, with the Geiger counters on the ground, now down wind

for GCAfor 14 m

Average High Low Total
15 22 10 214

For GCB for 14 m

Average High Low Total
35 44 22 544

On the drive home for 52 minutes, with the roof of the moon roof closed:

For GCA

Average High Low Total
12 19 4 644

For GCB

Average High Low Total
31 40 20 1779

Perhaps the most significant finding was the high average of 16 for three days in early March, at a time when VY was being shut down. I was not keeping track of the wind at that time. Subsequently, I looked at the data from the WeatherUnderground, and found that there was a light wind directly from the north during the days of the sampling.   Another notable finding was that the highest counts of all were at the school when the wind was blowing from the north toward the school, when the plant was up and running again.

The results with the moon roof closed remain slightly lower than when open. I will do a study with the two Geiger counters in both situations.

I did find a slight increase in the radioactive counts during the time there was refueling.   The increase was small, but the sample size was large.   I would have liked to have data collected closer to the nuclear reactor at Vernon.   This would be possible if there were more sampling sites.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s