Innovation Action Alert # 1--Reliable Radiation Monitoring for California and other western states
There is increasing public concern over radiation from Fukushima arriving on the west coast. However, the average citizen cannot easily determine whether reports such as the following are accurate or exaggerated.
The Indiegogo Campaign has an opportunity to encourage Governor Brown to implement a practical course of action that will simultaneously protect and educate the public about the risks, while accelerating innovations in this critical space.
An Immediately Available System
We urge Governor Brown immediately to install a comprehensive program of state wide radiation monitoring. At present this program does not exist. All the key elements are available from pioneering companies like International Medcom. A comprehensive program would include the following:
* A Cloud-based Real time Monitoring System with Public Access to Data (airborne radiation). One sensor detects gamma radiation only and outputs data in mR/hr or uSv/hr. The other sensor detects beta and gamma and outputs data in CPM. Each station is also equipped with meteorological sensors, a data logger, and an ethernet interface to bring data to a central data collection point and to a public website, where data is displayed as color coded icons on a map of the state. Color of the icons will change with radiation levels, with interpretive data accessible through the User Interface on the website.
* Hand Held Instruments for Marine Debris Monitoring-- These are special geiger counters with good sensitivity to alpha and beta radiation. The primary purpose of these instruments is to assure the public that radioactive debris from Fukushima is removed properly from public beaches and detected. A secondary purpose is to monitor seaweed and marine life for gross contamination.
* Mobile Public Screening and Educational Laboratory-- These mobile units will test samples of fish, shell fish, seaweed, starfish, marine mammals and other biological media. It will serve as a smart educational exchange to reassure the public that the State of California is vigilant on this issue.
* Testing & Analysis Laboratory-- The proposed mobile lab will test ocean water for Tritium, Cesium 134, Cesium 137 and Strontium 90, the predominant radio-nuclides from Fukushima. The lab will also test samples of fish, shell fish, seaweed, starfish, marine mammals and other biological media.
Collaborative Innovation Enabled by an Explorers’ Wheel
If reports such as the above turn out to be accurate, there will be sudden and urgent need for innovations that improve the above system. This challenge is an ideal candidate for a frontier educational initiative organized as public/private partnership between the State of California and private companies. The goal would be to tap the imaginative talent of Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs, integrating frontier technologies of social media, crowd intelligence, advanced search, smart publishing, 3-D printing, 3-D visualization, and other relevant platforms. Such a program will go a long way to reducing fear and misunderstanding about nuclear energy in general, while building public trust in the Governor Brown’s commitment to protecting the public.