Kearny Fallout Meter (KFM)

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Kearny Fallout Meter (KFM)

The Kearny Fallout Meter (KFM) has everything needed to make and use a radiation measuring device. Accurately measures dose rates from 30 mR/hr (0.03 R/hr) up to 43 R/hr. The KFM has undergone rigorous scientific testing in several laboratories where its accuracy and dependability were confirmed. Including Oak Ridge National Laboratory where it was developed by Cresson H. Kearny, author of Nuclear War Survival Skills. Designed to be assembled by a junior high age student, thousands of KFM's have been built worldwide. This same KFM kit has been endorsed by and listed as the sole source in the latest NWSS edition. It also comes with very detailed construction, operating and testing instructions. Also includes a free (non-working) smoke detector to use as a safe radioactive testing source along with color indicating silica gel. And, it does not require a battery. Great science project, too!

From Oakridge National Labs Nuclear War Survival Skills, Chapter 10 Fallout Radiation Meters...

"A survivor in a shelter that does not have a dependable meter to measure fallout radiation or that has one but lacks someone who knows how to use it will face a prolonged nightmare of uncertainties. Human beings cannot feel, smell, taste, hear, or see fallout radiation."

 "Which parts of the shelter give the best protection? How large is the radiation dose being received by each person? When is it safe to leave the shelter for a few minutes? When can one leave for an hour's walk to get desperately needed water? As the fallout continues to decay, how long can one safely work each day outside the shelter? When can the shelter be left for good? Only an accurate, dependable fallout meter will enable survivors to answer these life-or-death questions."

 "With a reliable dose rate meter you can quite quickly determine how great the radiation dangers are in different places, and then promptly act to reduce your exposure to these unseen, unfelt dangers. For example, if you go outside an excellent fallout shelter and learn by reading your dose rate meter that you are being exposed to 30 R/hr, you know that if you stay there for one hour you will receive a dose of 30 R. But if you go back inside your excellent shelter after 2 minutes, then while outside you will have received a dose of only 1 R."

As Chapter 10 - Fallout Radiation Meters also explains...

A KFM combines the provably practical radiation measuring functions of an electroscope and of an ionization chamber having a specified volume.  No radiation source is needed either to initially calibrate a KFM or subsequently to check its accuracy. (Calibrations for accuracy were completed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and are the basis of the KFM's attached table.)

 KFM-Calibration Testing

KI4U, Inc., a licensed radiological laboratory, testing the KFM in their Cesium Calibrator.

A KFM is more accurate than most civil defense instruments, and its accuracy is permanently established by the laws of physics applicable to the specified dimensions and other characteristics of its parts, and to their positioning relative to each other- provided that it is made and maintained according to the instructions. Unlike all factory-made radiation measuring civil defense instruments that are reliable and available today, a KFM is charged electrostatically. No battery is needed.

Oh, and yes, it will do radon gas, too! Instructions included. But, it is not specifically certified by the EPA for this application.



Civil Defense Consultant, Retired

Endorsement: A LETTER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM CRESSON KEARNY, INVENTOR OF THE KFM Dear reader, At the time I developed the Kearny Fallout Meter with help from U.S. Department of Energy scientists and engineers, we did not address the issue of nuclear terrorism. We were so concerned back then in the 1970's with the danger of all-out nuclear war that we neglected to instruct users of the KFM of its advantages in a terrorist attack with few and smaller nuclear weapons. Fear of life-threatening fallout from massive Soviet attacks carried over to exaggerated fears of all radiation, including that from terrorists' few weapons. In Oak Ridge National Laboratory publications to be read by the public we did not even mention hormesis, for to have done so at that time probably would have prevented my most influential book, "Nuclear War Survival Skills," from being purchased and used by government agencies to instruct civil defense professionals. When Hitler first bombed London the panic the bombs caused did far more damage than the bombs themselves. After the citizens of London lost their exaggerated fears of the bombings, life went on much as normal. And so it would be with a nuclear terrorist attack on the U.S. One nuclear bomb exploded in a U.S. city would likely be very small. And though it could do catastrophic damage in a small area, its relative impact on the physical infrastructure of the whole United States would be extremely small. However, because of the irrational, universal fear people have of any radioactivity, the panic that would ensue from such an attack would do far more damage than the attack itself. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union we should have stressed in the KFM instructions that small doses of radioactivity are hormetic, healthful because they stimulate the immune system. This was proven in laboratories as far back as the 1920's. With the advent of the A-bomb almost all the hormetic research stopped. And only in the last decade has it resumed on a serious scale. In the KFM instructions it was assumed that no medical help would be available during and after a nuclear war. The doses that an individual can take under those circumstances without being injured are lower than what that individual can withstand if he has medical assistance such as antibiotics, etc. In a nuclear terrorist attack medical aid would still be available to the majority of American citizens; therefore they could withstand somewhat larger radiation doses. This would enable them to carry on with the daily necessities of life in most areas. If we allow irrational fear and panic to shut down trucking, communications, and vital services, the disaster will be far greater than it needs to be. Assembling a KFM and learning to use it before you need it will help you lose irrational fear of radioactivity. You will not be paralyzed by panic in an emergency. You will know how to conduct yourself in a manner that may not only save your life but also the lives of many of those around you as well. I urge you to study the KFM instructions now and make an instrument. You should realize that under terrorist attack conditions the radiation doses you can receive without being incapacitated are higher than under nuclear wartime conditions. So you can go to work, drive your truck or car, or assist others. Sincerely, Cresson H. Kearny [Signature in his handwriting] Cresson H. Kearny [February 1999]


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