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    Re: Radium illumination
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2010 Sep 6, 11:04 -0700

    Since I used to assemble nuclear weapons I still have my dosimeters that measure the amount of radiation absorbed. I decided to see how much radiation was coming out of the A-7. I placed three different dosimeters with ranges of 0 to 200 milliroentgens, 0 to 1 roentgen and 0 to 200 roentgens, since I didn't know what level of radiation to expect, into the box with the A-7. Twelve hours later the most sensitive dosimeter registered 70 milliroentgens which was confirmed by the second dosimeter showing something less than a tenth of a roentgen and the least sensitive dosimeter registered no change.This means that the rate is about 6 milliroentgens per hour which would result in an exposure of about 50 roentgens per year, about 250 times the normal background exposure! Any exposure below 25 rems (approximately the same as a roentgen) produces no detectable clinical effects on humans so one could spend six months inside the sextant box without harm.

    But, of course, the dose rate is governed by the inverse square law meaning that the rate drops off based on the square of the distance. My dosimeters are about one inch from the bubble chamber but my TV watching couch is 15 feet (180 inches) away from the bookcase where I keep the sextant. 180 ^2 = 32,400 so the rate of radiation I receive from the sextant while sitting on my couch is only 0.185 microroentgens per hour, 1.6 milliroentgens per year above the normal background dose of about 200 milliroentgens per year. I guess that I won't loose a lot of sleep worrying about this.

    gl
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