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Watch Out!!

Old 15th Jun 2018, 22:55
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Fareastdriver wrote:
Oh Dear! All that time I spent in front of luminous cockpit instruments and wearing a luminous watch: I should have been dead years ago.

Ditto. I wonder if I'm dead but unaware of that trifling fact?
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 09:34
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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When I was much younger we went on a school visit to a nuclear power station. They had a Geiger counter in the operations room they they used to demonstrate how non-radiationy the environment was.

They did all the usual bits, plus pointing it at various kids watches and things, but when the chap pointed it at a piece of Cornish granite the thing went absolutely wild.

We used to go to Cornwall every year on holiday and go up at least one granite tor while we were there. Might explain a lot...
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 10:37
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Another example of lazy and sloppy reporting, trying to impart fear and panic for no reason other than to get a headline.

Radon itself has a relative short half life, and mostly emits alpha and beta particles which are only a hazard to people if you get too close. Radon particles attaching themselves to dust particles and then being inhaled are the biggest risk to humans.

Having a level "134 times greater than the UK’s recommended “safe” level" is meaningless as difference between the "safe" level and the "dangerous" level is many orders of magnitude, so being 134 times over the safe limit is probably less exposure than you would get walking down Union Street in Aberdeen.

I once visited Doureay visitor centre, a very interesting trip and as it was mid week there was three of us on the tour, and one of them was the guide. She would give us the standard spiel and then we would have a chat about various things fr five minutes before moving to the next location. Dounreay was at the time the storage facility for rock core samples from all over the UK, and on one occasion all the radiation alarms went off which would normally signify a major breach but in this case it was a granite core sample from Cornwall arriving at the stores.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 11:20
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I was involved with the redevelopment of an ex-RAF base some years ago. As part of the site contamination study they found a very high level of radioactivity on a tennis court on the base. They couldn't figure out why, until they realised that luminous paint had been used on the court markings so they could be used at night.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 12:21
  #25 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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Presumably those using court also had luminous balls as a consequence?
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 12:42
  #26 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Presumably there would have to be a luminous net ...

Last edited by Danny42C; 16th Jun 2018 at 12:44. Reason: Restructure.
 
Old 16th Jun 2018, 13:08
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I can remember seeing a special ventilation procedure to be adopted in the event of a beta light in a Jaguar cockpit being broken by the pilot's foot. Another source of radioactivity on aircraft are jet engine casings of a certain vintage. The cases were toughened by the use of Thorium during manufacture. Accident investigators were advised to minimise contact with smashed casings.

EAP
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 09:30
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting, but to the uniformed, the figures quoted would seem scary. Coincidentally, I've just left a wartime pocket watch in for repair will an old-tume jeweller and watchmaker. He has found a new glass (actually an early plastic) and replaced a missing second hand.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 13:44
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Just checked my collection of watches & they range from 0.27 /Usv/hr for a Russian DeepSea Divers Watch to 0.14 /Usv/hr for a black Seiko (SR71) watch.
The Radiation levels are:
0.01 - 0.1 Normal Background
0.1 - 1.0 Medium Level
Greater than 5 High Level
Greater than 50 Very High Level - LEAVE AREA!!
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 16:32
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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The asbestos in WW2 gas masks is probably a bigger threat.....
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 19:49
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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My Mum worked for the Kelvin company (later, Smiths) in the early war years, and would tell the story about the women "pointing" the brushes with their tongues.

And before anyone starts in with the "that explains a lot" jokes, she was a supervisor, having been to high school.
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Old 17th Jun 2018, 23:27
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
As mention, instruments also have radium paint and many aircraft instruments find their way into private hands. The BBMF hangar used to have a cordoned area for old instruments.

Aircrew watches of the 60s and 70s used to have a T on the face denoting Tritium.
I have a 1969 Omega. I oft wondered what the little T was for on either side of the maker's name at the bottom of the dial.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 08:02
  #33 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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Interesting, but to the uniformed, the figures quoted would seem scary.
Would that be all uniformed personnel or just the military?
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 08:22
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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For a particular role of the VC10K3, it was necessary to do a background radiation check, which included the flight deck. All clicking away normally, until the boffin moved the detector to the nav's instrument panel, when it squealed like a stuck pig.... The detector, that is.

It seems that the DF indicator, which had previously done time in the Victor (and probably in a Neptune or something before then), had luminous markings which were still quite active...
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 08:29
  #35 (permalink)  
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Always puzzled me in the V-Force in early 60s. Ground crew, armourers and ATC all wore those radiation film tags but aircrew didn't. Mmmm.
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Old 18th Jun 2018, 13:43
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RedhillPhil View Post
I have a 1969 Omega. I oft wondered what the little T was for on either side of the maker's name at the bottom of the dial.
RedhillPhil My Omega read 0.2 /Usv/hr so you will have much more coming out of the ground at Penzance.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 11:11
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I had a radon test done on my old granite house in Cornwall about 30 years ago. Apparently the levels are around twice the permitted level and the recommendation was to install a couple of sumps with associated extraction pumps etc. You can imagine what that would cost in a house with stone floors and 3' thick walls so I decided a better plan was to leave the windows open (when it was warm enough), So far, so good.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 20:28
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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The first company I worked for manufactured the wonderful Mk III liquid prismatic compass in deepest (glow in the dark) Kent, the dial & needle of which were coated in radium. I believe the company still exists.
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