The Homemade Fallout Meter – KFM Model (Kearny Fallout Meter) was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is understandable, easily repairable, and as accurate as most civil defense fallout meters. In the United States in 1976 a commercially available ion chamber fallout meter that has as high a range as a KFM for gamma radiation dose-rate measurements retailed for $600.
Before a nuclear attack occurs is the best time to build, test and learn how to use a KFM. However, this instrument is so simple that it could be made even after fallout arrives provided that all the materials and tools needed (see lists given in Sections V, VI, and VII) and a copy of these instructions have been carried into the shelter.
Before building a KFM, persons expecting a nuclear attack within a few hours or days and already in the place where they intend to await attack should work with the following priorities: (1) build or improve a high-protection-factor shelter (if possible, a shelter covered with 2 or 3 feet of earth and separate from flammable buildings); (2) make and install a KAP (a homemade shelter-ventilating pump) — if instructions and materials are available; (3) store at least 15 gallons of water for each shelter occupant — if containers are available; (4) assemble all materials for one or two KFM’s; and (5) make and store the drying agent (by heating wallboard gypsum, as later described) for both the KFM and its dry-bucket.
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