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Fallout Radiation Meter


KFM Radiation Meter Kit

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."

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 Nuclear War Survival Skills 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! (Science teachers, be sure to see/read 'The KFM Story' below!)

This KFM kit is based on the plans in the Nuclear War Survival Skills book, Appendix C - A Homemade Fallout Meter, the KFM - How to Make and Use It (The KFM kit also comes with these same plans as a 12 page tabloid style newspaper.) These plans were originally and specifically developed to be published in every newspaper in this country on the eve of serious nuclear saber rattling possibly leading up to WW III, so that every family in America would be able to construct their own fallout meter right at home!

The KFM kit has MOST all of the critical construction steps completed for you and can be operational within an hour! And, all the detailed (and essential) construction and operating instructions are always there with the KFM kit where they'll be needed. Including how to estimate the dangers from different radiation doses and how to use the KFM to reduce them.

Endorsements for the above KFM kit...

"This kit will save many lives"
-Cresson Kearny

"This [KFM kit] is very good."
-Dr. Edward Teller

"Every American should have two of these kits."
-Art Robinson, Oregon Institue of Science and Medicine

"It isnt pretty and won't win awards for sophistication, but under primitive conditions you'll also discover there is little to go wrong"
-American Survival Guide, pg 12, 4/94

"We believe you have something [the KFM kit] to offer that turely could save many lives."
-letter from Doctor for Disaster Preparedness, 10-13-96

"It is always refreshing and exciting to find a product [the KFM kit] that represents exceptional value."
-Preparedness Journal, May/June, 1995, pg 22

"Makes a great Science experiment"
-American College of Nuclear Physicians, in a flyer to its members telling them how to order KFM kits, 5-5-95

"[the KFM kit] is put together well."
Marily DeWall, Associate Executive Director National Science Teacher Association , in an interoffice memo

"every Science teacher should have one of these kits"
-Professor Gary Sandquist, head of Nuclear Engineering School at University of Utah

This KFM kit has also been sold by the Boston Museum of Science.

Civil Defense Consultant, Retired


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.


Cresson H. Kearny [Signiture in his handwritting]
Cresson H. Kearny [February 1999]