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Old 01-13-2013, 03:49 PM
hereticx hereticx is offline
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Default how long does 'fall out' last and how to 'clean' up afterwrds



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i pan to run my farm after shtf and if a power plant or bomb goes off the charts how long would fall out last? after it is ended i assume that scraping the top (how many inches) back woud minimize the risks so i can replant in the spring

any other ways to keep a farm running afterwards?
Old 01-13-2013, 05:26 PM
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Hick Industries Hick Industries is offline
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Originally Posted by hereticx View Post
i pan to run my farm after shtf and if a power plant or bomb goes off the charts how long would fall out last? after it is ended i assume that scraping the top (how many inches) back woud minimize the risks so i can replant in the spring

any other ways to keep a farm running afterwards?
Unstable isotopes come in many varieties and their half life can vary from weeks to thousands of years.

The scary ones are those that chemically mimic essential plant and animal nutrients. Those get absorbed by plants and absorbed by body tissue. Then they fry you from the inside.

Fortunately, they typically last a few weeks.

Cleaning the soil would require frequent rains to wash the fallout off the grass and trees and time. I would not replant or graze animals for at least a year.

They only common isotope I know to e worried about is iodine 131 (half life 8 days). That one gets taken up by dairy cows eating contaminated grass. They then produce contaminated milk and anyone drinking the milk will end up with high concentrations of I-131.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:18 PM
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As Hick Industries noted, a lot of the fallout won't last long. The very reason this stuff is emitting radiation is that it's unstable and trying to get beck to a normal state. Some isotopes will last for thousands of years, yes, and will be dangerous if absorbed and retained by the body. For the rest, look up the 7-10 rule, which basically says that 7 hours after peak radiation the levels will fall by 10% and continue at that rate until it fades away almost completely...
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:47 PM
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well if it rains then the radioactive material will go further into the ground having a Geiger counter would be helpful to be able to check the ground for dangerous fallout a green house would be ideal because if you are in a fallout zone it will not just hit the ground once and go away this could go on for some time
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:51 PM
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this sounds like a misleading thing to say fall out is dangerous I would still suggest one use a Geiger counter to measure the radioactivity so you know for sure and take measures to protect yourself and live stock from the immediate danger of fall out as well
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:57 PM
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again on the rain issue remember we are talking about heavy metals here that is what an atomic bomb or nuclear device is using to create a chain reaction so it seems to stand to reason that it would through off heavy metals this would be my concern but I still think that a Geiger counter would be an indispencable tool
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:02 PM
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I've heard in the past the rule of two's. That is 90% of the fallout's radiation will have decayed in 2 days, 99% in 2 weeks, and 99.9% in 2 years.

The reason for the difference in the delays is because a variety of different isotopes are created in a blast, and they all decay at different rates.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:38 PM
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Fallout lasts forever. It just becomes less dangerous over time. How long until you are safe is a nonsense question. A better question is how long until the radiation drops to a level that won't cause radiation sickness. Depending on how much fallout you get it could be immediately to several months. Buy a survey meter.

Scraping the top couple inches of soil off the ground is the recommended way to decontaminate farmland.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:59 PM
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First off, GOOD for you for inquiring.......


Many many million of folks have NO clue how radioactivity behave on a basic level. I am no expert (for sure) but have read enough that if an event happened I would not be one of the folks crashing the internet trying to "learn". So, from that point your many many light years ahead of the average folks out there.....

Alot depends upon where, when, what. You need to do some basic online research about it, then factor in your location, weather patterns, wind, water (rain etc...) Also, time of year would be important, many many factors go into accessing what YOUR "what if" would be. Some very basic things not mentioned directly in my research but inferred by my backround......if you build a shelter dont build it near a ditch or stream that would carry "HOT's" away. I had several options here on my property that included potential locations that had that AGAINST them. Radioactivity is not toxic, like say nerve gas etc,,....it would likely be granular and settle out, so filtration can be very simple......
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 PM
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There used to be some good civil defence books available. One was "The Effects Of Nuclear Weapons" and another is "Nuclear War Survival Skills". I think the author was Klearny; not sure. Too long ago. These still may be available on line somewhere. FEMA used to give these away with free shipping. Give them a call? Dunno today.

Practically speaking, USUALLY 21 days will cover 99.997% of all potential fallout amounts; unless you are directly downwind from a dirty nuke...then you may have to stay underground for a total 30 days. The shelter will need excellent filters and a very high protection factor. (how well it works against fallout)

Yep....get a survey meter. Different animal than a casual industrial radiological meter. You want one with several scales with the biggest measured in the 100's of REMS per hour. The old civil defence meters had this capability. Don't glow. HB of CJ (ex radiological officer, FD) (but too long ago) (I forget stuff today) (did I mention old?)
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:44 PM
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Last I heard the level of radiation exposure low enough to allow extended operations outside is around 1 rem (r) per day. The advice from the CD literature of the 60s is that 2 weeks in a shelter with a 100 protection factor (pf) will be good for all but the very worst areas of fallout, those within a couple hundred miles downwind of the great missile fields of the great plains. I noticed that in the 70s they dropped that to a pf of 40 and a duration of 10 days.

The rule of 7s is this: for every sevenfold increase in time the radiation intensity will drop by 90% If one hour after the bomb detonates (assuming the fallout has all landed) the radiation level is 100r/hr then 7 hours after detonation it will be 10r/hr and 49 hours it will be 1r/hr. After 2 weeks it will be about .1r/hr. At that point you could spend 10 hours a day outside the shelter for a total exposure of slightly over 1r/day.

Absolute total worst case scenario. Some areas immediately (say 15-50 miles) downwind of a Minuteman missile field might have one hour rates as high as 50,000 r/hr. You want very very much to keep the first three days exposure below 100r total to avoid significant radiation sickness. Without bothering you with the math that calls for a shelter with a pf of around 1500. But don't expect to leave any time soon. Two weeks later (using rule of 7s) the outdoor level is still around 50r/hr. Eight hours to lethality. 14 weeks later you are still at 5 r/hr. At that rate you'll still be terminally ill in 4 days (though it might take you a while to discover this). If you are within a hundred miles downwind of a missile field when the balloon goes up, survival is unlikely unless you are ready to wait several months and then only leave the shelter for a few hours a day.

Regardless of what levels you receive, even when it is "safe" to go outside you don't spend any more time in the direct radiation field than you have to. Safe is a relative term. Levels of radiation that don't cause radiation sickness are still not good for you. They add to the chances of cancer decades down the line. They increase the chance of birth defects. They weaken the immune system.

When the job is over, you go thru a decontamination routine to keep from tracking low level radiation into the shelter area. When levels have dropped below 1r/day you don't have to stay in a hole in the ground any more but you do want to stay indoors or in outdoor areas that have been thoroughly decontaminated as much as possible. Using a highly sheltered area to sleep in - like that hole in the ground or a basement or the core of a large building - is still highly advisable.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yashua View Post
again on the rain issue remember we are talking about heavy metals here that is what an atomic bomb or nuclear device is using to create a chain reaction so it seems to stand to reason that it would through off heavy metals this would be my concern but I still think that a Geiger counter would be an indispencable tool
heavy metals arent a concern from a nuke. yes they use heavy metals, but the radiologic danger is about a million times more than the chemical danger.
Old 01-19-2013, 09:10 PM
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The book Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton Ph.D
is a good book to read. It's Free now in PDF Format.
It dispels a lot of the myths created by Hollywood and Media.

http://www.modernsurvivalonline.com/Files/civil%20defense/articles/Life.after.Doomsday.pdf
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:19 AM
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Nuclear war survival skills by 'Kearney is availale here;http://www.oism.org/nwss/index.htm
I'd also recommend stoipping by webpal.org, this is the ARK 2 site, there is extensive information here on reconstruction in the aftermath of a nuclear war including a fema download for construction a wood gasifier to run tractors/farm equipment. good luck and i hope this helps.
Old 01-20-2013, 06:02 AM
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My navy training was that the radiation is decreased by 50% every 7 hours.

Yes there are a few particles that have very long life spans but there are very few of these that come from nuclear weapons and most are burned up in the fireball..
(9.999% of the radiation from a weapons blast is ground materiel sucked up into the fireball and those materials lose there radioactive quickly.

the big thing to worry about would be a high yield "fission" weapons going off at a very low yield..

This is why the US and likely Russia use very low yield nuclear primers ( Robin primary fission bombs) to fire there high yield hydrogen weapons(thermonuclear weapons)
Fusion reactions do not create fission products, so that the smaller the primer the less long lived radioactive particles.

North Korean weapons are very likely to be very dirty as they likely do not have the skill to get the maximum yield from there weapons yet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_design
Old 01-20-2013, 07:37 PM
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Depends on what type of bomb blew. How many kilotons etc. Clean up may be beyond the average persons capability. I would get this info from NBC Defense FMs.
Old 01-20-2013, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hereticx View Post
i pan to run my farm after shtf and if a power plant or bomb goes off the charts how long would fall out last? after it is ended i assume that scraping the top (how many inches) back woud minimize the risks so i can replant in the spring

any other ways to keep a farm running afterwards?
the better question would be how long will the radiation last from the incoming GSW. and how to prepare.
Old 01-20-2013, 09:17 PM
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Well, they're still trying to keep folks from moving back to Chernobyl, and that was a power plant. Some people never moved out, or moved back in since, or lived under the fallout, and are suffering horrendous cancer rates. That happened in what, 1986?
Old 01-20-2013, 10:39 PM
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Define horrendous?

WHO information on the long term effects indicate modest increases, mostly among those directly involved in the clean up. Given that the total exposure over 20 years roughly doubled the normal background radiation dose for those still living in the more contaminated areas, I'd say massive increases in cancer are unlikely. Tho I wouldn't choose to live, say, 50 miles downwind of Chernobyl, it certainly wouldn't be a high risk choice.

Most of the people who didn't move out survived very well and the area's wildlife is thriving.
Old 01-20-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Depends on which isotope of which element.

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i pan to run my farm after shtf and if a power plant or bomb goes off the charts how long would fall out last? after it is ended i assume that scraping the top (how many inches) back woud minimize the risks so i can replant in the spring

any other ways to keep a farm running afterwards?
Let me see if I can remember my Cold War era training. We were taught about the half lives of the various fissile elements used in nuclear weapons. The Half-Life of a radioactive isotope is the time taken for half of it to decay to other, safer elements. We were especially warned about the fissile isotopes of Plutonium which were very long lasting. Pu-238 has a half life of 88 years and is an Alpha emitter (Helium neucleus) which are low energy particles and are easily stopped by clothing although they are carcinogenic if ingested. Pu-239 is both longer lived (24,000 year Half-Life) and emits more powerful radiation (Gamma). I don't know enough of modern Thermo-nuclear weapons to know if Plutonium is still used although Plutonium can also be made by bombarding U-238? with neutrons (I'm working from memory here folks!) which is what happens during a nuclear blast. So, my best guess is if there is any of the radioactive isotopes of Plutonium present, you won't be farming anytime soon.
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