A geiger counter is not an effective tool for monitoring radioactive contamination of food. Until now, effective radiation screening tools for food and water have been too costly for consumers, farmers or those that sell and serve food. Considering that the Japanese government is only reluctantly getting around to radiation monitoring, and the US government has chosen to neglect it altogether, it is a very good thing that affordable tools for radiation screening are coming on the market soon – possibly even by October, 2011. The use of this plastic in scintillators, a type of radiation screening device, may reduce the cost of scintillators by as much as 90%.
From the Wall St. Journal:
By Judy Lam
Talk about a timely invention.
Scintirex emits fluorescent light in varying degrees based on the level of radiation it detects.
Behold – the radiation detector made from the same plastic used in PET bottles, at a tenth of the cost of existing radiation detection machinery.
What’s more, the product, to be known as “Scintirex”, is made in Japan.
Close to four months on from the March 11 disasters and ensuing nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi, with authorities now seeking to provide tens of thousands of radiation monitors for concerned parents and children, Scintirex could hardly be more topical.
The first Scintirex detectors could be available as soon as this fall, but the invention didn’t come about overnight. Dr. Hidehito Nakamura, an assistant professor at Kyoto University’s nuclear reactor research institute, said it has taken him five years to develop the material, which is designed to emit fluorescent light in varying degrees based on the level of radiation it detects.