I have always had an above average interest in radioactivity. It’s a subject with political, sociological and scientific aspects. I have been mostly interested in the scientific part, but I also closely follow any news and other developments. With the earthquake in Japan and the following nuclear disaster the discussion about nuclear energy has been fired up after being quite silent for years. In the Netherlands there was talk about building a new reactor next to the existing plant in Borssele. Well, I guess it will be a bit harder now to get support for this plan…
To be honest, watching the developments with the damaged reactors in Japan got me thinking again. Is nuclear energy a proper way of generating electricity? Sure, for the immediate surroundings it is very clean. There are virtually no CO2 emissions and with proper shielding and maintenance you’ll need some pretty advanced equipment to measure any radioactivity coming from a reactor. Still, uranium mining is not very nice for the environment and there is no clear solution for storage of waste. And, if a reactor malfunctions there is the possibility of widespread contamination as currently seen in Japan. So, while I am not against nuclear energy my support for it has weakened somewhat.
Anyway, enough rambling, how to monitor radiation with your computer!
Update 18/4: Guess I am not the only one doing some monitoring: http://radgoes.blogspot.com