Rain Water & Rain Swab Testing Reports for 2015


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Station location http://sccc.org.au/monitoring/Australian-Map.jpg


This short animation of Northern, and Southern Hemisphere air circulation, shows why we can get detections so far south.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh011eAYjAA



Roof down pipe filter design for rainwater testing, http://sccc.org.au/down-pipe-filter-design


December 2015 down pipe rain water filter test

The December 2015 down pipe rain water filter test shows the usual Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7. December 2015 rainfall was 54mm. This is less than the rainfall for November 2015 76mm, but there was more Pb-210 detected in December.






Southern Hemisphere November 2015 Rain Water Test Report.

 

Considering the rain fall for October (77mm) and November (76mm) were very similar, the amount of Pb-210 detected for November 2015 was significantly greater than October. This suggests there was a lot more Radon-222 in the air here during November.




Caloundra Early November 2015 Rain Water Test Report - At the beginning of November and again on the 14th November, elevated backgrounds levels were detected at my location on the East Coast of Australia, near Brisbane. Tests were conducted to try an establish the source of the elevated background.




There were evening storms on the 14th, during one of these elevated background events, so a car rain swab was collected on the morning of the 15th November. The rain had been sitting on the car overnight. A scintillator test of it was started on the afternoon of the15th. It was tested for ~24 hours.

Radon is formed in the normal radioactive decay of Thorium which produces Radon-220, and Uranium which produces Radon-222. Both of these different Radon isotopes decay slowly into lead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoron

In the test chart you will see isotope maker peaks for Lead Pb-212 and an X-ray at 77 keV. These are decay daughters of Radon-220. This suggests that Thorium-232 was the source. There are also traces of Lead Pb-210, and Potassium-40. Lead Pb-210 is the decay daughter of Radon-222. This means there was also some Radon-222 in the air at the time.

The test detected trace amounts of Th-232 decay daughters, so the rain swab test chart only shows the tops of the main Th-232 decay daughter and X-ray peaks. A Thorium gas mantle test shows the main Thorium Th-232 decay daughter peaks. I have provided it as a reference. As you can see from the gas mantel test, the equipment here can separate the combined X-ray daughter peak around 89/90 keV, from the main 77 KeV peak.


November 15th Rain Swab Chart.



Thorium Mantel Chart for Comparison



Where is the Thorium-232 coming from?


If it was from Fukushima, I would expect to see other Fukushima isotope markers present. Sources of atmospheric releases of Radon-220 could be the recent Indonesian, New Zealand or South American volcanic eruptions, or a mining operation somewhere? There is a lot of volcanic activity in the Southern Hemisphere at present.

On the Emergency and Disaster Information Service map, you can see the locations of erupting volcanoes in South America, New Zealand and Indonesia. http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php

Because the elevated detections where detected along the entire Eastern Coast of Australia, by numerous private monitoring stations, I am leaning towards volcanic activity, rather than a mining operation.



Southern Hemisphere October 2015 Rain Water Test Report.


Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7 were again the main isotopes detected in the rainwater filter. Rainfall for October was 77 mm.



 

Southern Hemisphere September 2015 Rain Water Test Report.

 

The test equipment has had an upgrade. For testing until now, a Gamma Spectacular GS-1100A sound card spectrometry driver was plugged into the mic input of a laptop. This laptop mic input could only sample the test signal up to 96K 16 bit.  A external Xonar USB sound card is now being used instead of the standard laptop microphone input. This means the test signal can now be sampled at 192k 24 Bit. This has resulted in a significant improvement in sensitivity, particularly at low keV energies.

 

A paper towel rain filter design was used again this month, rather than the polyester filter used previously. This paper towel filter was sun dried for a longer period than last months filter, so it had less moisture content when tested.

 

As usual, Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7 were the main isotopes detected in the rainwater filter. Rainfall for September was
59 mm.

 

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Down-pipe-September-paper-filter-131015-TV67-20c-84600-B.png




Southern Hemisphere August Rain Water Test Report


I used part of a paper towel roll for the rain water filter this month,instead of the usual polyester wool filter. The theory is that it may capture more soluble material than the polyester wool. A test result similar to the polyester filter was observed, only very small traces of Lead-210 and Beryllium-7 were captured.  The exception being that the cellulose and water content of the paper appeared to be filtering out very low energy X-rays.


A bit more rain fell this month compared to last month,  159mm for August.


This clean paper towel filter was tested in the lead shielded test chamber for 24 hours, and that test result was then used for background subtraction from the used filter test result.

Here is the test chart minus that background.

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Down-pipe-August-paper-filter-030915-TV67-20c-84600-B-text.png


Southern Hemisphere July Rain Water Test Report

 

32.5 mm of rain fell in July, and the chart shows very small traces of the usual Pb-210 and Be-7. In this chart I have CPS on the Y axis to show activity, and have turned off Y log to show linear scaling. This is only a test chart of the polyester part of the rain water filter system design.

 

Chart is minus Background

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Down-pipe-July-polyester-filter-020815-TV67-18c-87206-B.jpg



Southern Hemisphere June 2015 Rain Water Test Report.

 

There was a lot of very fine organic material captured in the down pipe rain water filter in June. There was also a lot less Lead Pb-210 than Beryllium Be-7 in June's rainwater filter test. In summer we tend to see much more Pb-210 detected in the rain water tests here, when the air masses tend to come from a northerly direction.

 

There was also a possible trace detection of Cesium-137. It was a very small detection, less than one Cesium-137 gamma ray detection every ~100 seconds. There was no corresponding Cesium-137 32 X-ray detection to help confirm that it was Cesium-137.  At these low detection levels, the amount of low energy 32 keV Cesium-137 X-ray present, may be too small to be detected, so there is a degree of uncertainty to it being a definitive Cesium-137 detection.

 

Rainfall for June was 78.2 mm. Less Pb-210 in the filter means less Radon-222 was in the air. This was also reflected in the local live Radon monitor.

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Down-pipe-June-polyester-filter-dried-test-120715-TV67-18c-84612-B-text.png





Southern Hemisphere May 2015 Rain Water Test Report.


The May rainfall test chart shows the rainwater filter captured a lot less Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7.

Rainfall for May was 103.2 mm.

Background level saw a decrease this month, and this is reflected in the fact that less Lead Pb-210 and Beryllium Be-7 were detected in the filter.

Less Pb-210 in the filter means less Radon-222 was in the air. This was also reflected in the local live Radon monitor.

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Down-pipe-May-polyester-filter-dried-test-020615-TV67-20c-84600-B.png

In the warmer months I will try a new filter design. I don't think the polyester and carbon filters are very efficient at capturing water soluble salts.


Southern Hemisphere Rain Water Report For April 2015.

 

Tritium Detection?

I delayed publishing the April 2015 rain water report because of ongoing technical discussion regarding the possible detection of Tritium, in this months water filter test.

 

There are very small amounts of naturally occurring Tritium in the atmosphere. It can be created in trace amounts by spallation in the upper atmosphere, by cosmic rays or from releases from a nuclear power plant or nuclear accident.

 

It is only conjecture at this point that it is Tritium, and has not been confirmed. It could equally be another isotope, or a technical issue with the equipment at these very low energy keV detection levels.

 

Both Iodine I-129, and Beryllium Be-7, which were detected in this months water filter test can also be created by spallation in the upper atmosphere, by cosmic rays or from releases from a nuclear power plant or nuclear accident.

 

There was a lot of solar storm activity last month, and it takes around two weeks for spallation products to reach the surface of the planet.

 

Lead Pb-210 is the decay daughter of naturally occurring Radon decay. It can also be released from a nuclear power plant, or nuclear accident. At present there is no conclusive evidence that any of the latest isotope detections here at this location are from Fukushima.


http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Down-pipe-April-polyester-filter-dried-test-050515-TV67-22c-85006-B-text.jpg 

 

For those who are interested, more technical discussion about the possible Tritium detection can be found here,

 

http://www.gammaspectacular.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=45



March  2015 Rain Water Test Report

Summary:

Again this month we see trace detections of Beryllium Be-7 and Lead Pb-210, nothing that we could definitively qualify as Fukushima contamination. Beryllium Be-7 can be made by spallation in the upper atmosphere, during solar events, and takes around two weeks to reach the surface. Lead Pb-210 is a decay daughter of Radon Rn-222. Both these isotopes can also be released from a Nuclear accident. No were near as much water went through the rain water filter this month (68mm), as last month (426.6mm).

 
 

Rain Filter Test Chart (The chart is minus background.)

In this chart I have CPS on the Y axis to show activity, and have turned off Y log to show linear scaling. This is only a test chart of the polyester part of the rain water filter system design.

 

This test chart is minus background.


http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Down-pipe-March-polyester-filter-dried-test-060415-TV67-22c-84600-B-text.jpg

 


February 2015 Rain Water Test Report

 

Summary:

 

Again we see mainly Beryllium Be-7 and Lead Pb-210 detected. January rainfall was 426.6mm.

 

Beryllium Be-7 can be made by spallation in the upper atmosphere, during solar events, and takes around two weeks to reach the surface. Lead Pb-210 is a decay daughter of Radon Rn-222.  Both these isotopes can also be released from a Nuclear accident.


 

Rain Filter Test Chart (The chart is minus background.)

 

In this chart I have CPS on the Y axis to show activity, and have turned off Y log to show linear scaling. This is only a test chart of the polyester part of  the rain water filter system design. The Polyester filter actually captured more than the carbon filter.

 

Rain Filter Test Chart (The chart is minus background.)


http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Down-pipe-February-polyester-filter-test-030315-TV67-26c-86029-B-text.jpg




January 2015 Rain Water Test Report


Summary:

As you can see there was more Beryllium Be-7 detected than Lead Pb-210 this month. January rainfall was 149.2 mm.
I have provided two test charts, one is the normal minus background. The other uses a new SuperDeconvoluzione feature in Theremino 6.7 that provides results that are very similar to those obtained with the expensive high purity Germanium detectors.



Rain Filter Test Chart (The chart is minus background.)

In this chart I have CPS on the Y axis to show activity, and have turned off Y log to show linear scaling. This is only a test chart of the polyester part of the rain water filter system design.


Chart normal view minus Background

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Down-pipe-Caloundra-January-polyester-filter-test-030215-TV63-26c-84645-B-text.png


Chart using the new SuperDeconvoluzione feature


http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Down-pipe-Caloundra-January-polyester-filter-test-030215-TV63-26c-84645-B-DC.png



January 2015 Rain Swab Test Chart

Here is a test of a rain swab off a car collectedduring a rain event, that lasted a couple days. It was left for over 12 hours before testing, to let most of the radon washout decay.
Peak markers are at the top of the chart. The chart is minus background. I used the just released, latest version, of the free MCA software Theremino 6.7 for this test.
When you consider it is just a paper towel wipe off a car, significant amounts of Lead-210 and Beryllium-7 were detected.

Test Chart

http://sccc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Rain-swab-Caloundra-230115-TV67-26c-84956-B.png

Helpful Tools & Services
International Food Contamination
Reports "The Food Lab"
Local Background
Radiation Long Term Data
Free Geiger
Counter Use Guide
Free DIY food
testing lab guide
Local Live
Monitoring Stations

Disclaimer: This is an amateur volunteer run service. Human error can provide incorrect information, and equipment malfunction can produce false readings. Do not rely on, or take action upon information presented on this web site, without further research. Views expressed in the pages or images on the SCCC Inc., site maybe the personal opinions of the relevant writers, and are not necessarily representative of those of SCCC Inc.