Black and White Canon 20D Cork Ireland Photography Photos

Gamma Radiation Survey Meter

Gamma Radiation Survey Meter

A very specialized device sits in a cupboard in the lighthouse at Mizen Head, County Cork.

I have to wonder why a “Gamma Radiation Survey Meter” would be needed in a lighthouse at the southern tip of Ireland though. Not much call for radioactivity detectors in this country.

Nuclear powered lighthouse anybody?

PS. This is a slightly tinted b/w image. Many of the images in B/W Magazine seem to be tinted which was the inspiration for doing this.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/20s

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

3 replies on “Gamma Radiation Survey Meter”

I’d hazard a guess that the metrological station there are taking routine radiation measurements. Quite common nowadays especially after Chernobyl. Gamma radiation is typically released after a nuclear explosion or other nuclear disaster so it would make sense that they would check the gamma radiation levels (if any) that are present in that days prevailing wind.

There are lots of demands for radiation detectors here too Donncha, especially if you live in a high radon area.

They had to install it when I started my blog; it detects the dangerous levels of bullshit released whenever I publish.

Seriously though, I’d go with Robert’s comment, on the Chernobyl incident etc. There’s all kinds of stuff flying around the globe.

There were many Soviet lighthouses powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (though I doubt they were used anywhere else). Pics here:

The generators are sort of passive nuclear power sources, the same kind used in some satellites – not as dangerous as a fission generator, but you don’t want to be the guy who stripped it down for scrap metal.

If I had to guess, I’d wonder if some of the old light bulbs used in lighthouses used a mildly radioactive material.

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