Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:25:00 PM EST
RDTN.org: Radiation Detection Hardware Network in Japan
RDTN.org is a website whose purpose is to provide an aggregate feed of nuclear radiation data from governmental, non-governmental and citizen-scientist sources. That data will be made available to everyone, including scientists and nuclear experts who can provide context for lay people. In the weeks following launch, it has become evident that there is a need for additional radiation reporting from the ground in Japan. This Kickstarter project will help us purchase up to 600 Geiger Counter devices that will be deployed to Japan. (The project minimum will fund 100 devices).
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They've raised $13,104 of their $33,000 goal from 128 backers and have 14 days left to fund their project.
Back in the early 1990s, I started a video project on citizens' radiation monitoring projects around the country. The first was around the now decommissioned Maine Yankee plant. There was another around Pilgrim Station in Plymouth, MA, spearheaded by David Quaid, a very interesting fellow. He was a cameraman with Merrill's Marauders in Burma, an inventive cinematographer with a number of film credits to his name, the producer of the first "Be all you can be" commercials for the US Army, and, when I knew him, was writing a handbook on the color temperatures of the different fluorescent lights then available. He got involved because he lived near Plymouth, went to a public meeting about the nuclear power plant, and was shocked at the lack of information and preparedness for an accident. That was not how he knew the US Army in Germany was preparing for nuclear incidents.
Unfortunately, I never finished that project (the video footage is available for anyone who is interested) but there at least two groups that are still monitoring radiation around nuclear power plants:
Seabrook, NH monitoring group: http://www.C-10.org/monitoring.html#airborne
Three Mile Island monitoring group: http://www.tmi-cmn.org/
There is also a national monitoring map sponsored by Mineralab, LLC, a small company in Prescott, AZ
My understanding is that there was no long-term, officially sanctioned and funded study of the effects of either TMI or Chernobyl, unlike the work that went on with the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be good if we actually knew and studied the consequences of our industrial actions and accidents. Transparent citizens' monitoring projects seem to be one open-source way to do so.
[editor's note, by Migeru]