Mystery of nuclear expert's high radiation levels
Mystery surrounds sky-high
radiation levels recorded in Gravesham by a retired nuclear
David Strudwick, who has 30 years’
experience in the industry, has been left "flabbergasted" by the
readings in his Vigo garden.
The 75-year-old was carrying out a
routine test with one of his Geiger counters, which detect
radiation, when the dial "went crazy" and rocketed to the highest
He claims to have taken a number of
readings at up to 40 milli-Sieverts. The Government has set the
public dose at one milli-Sievert over a year.
The Environment Agency does not
dispute Mr Strudwick’s readings – but claims they were caused by a
radon washout, which it describes as a "well-known natural
However, Mr Strudwick claims this
is not possible and believes he recorded some sort of nuclear
fallout, which the agency denies.
Mr Strudwick, who has lived with
his wife in The Coach Drive for 32 years, has suffered what he
believes are radiation burns on his hands, arm and ankle – which he
claims could only have been caused by radioactive material.
He said: "The levels I recorded
absolutely flabbergasted me. In all my years, I never thought I
would see radiation of this kind outside a nuclear reactor.
"If radiation of this sort was
recorded inside a nuclear establishment, all the sirens would be
going and the building evacuated."
Environment Agency radiation officers
visited Mr Strudwick to discuss his findings, concluding he had
experienced a localised natural event.
They said the Radiation Incident
Monitoring Network system, set up after the Chernobyl nuclear
disaster, did not pick up anything other than normal background
radiation at monitoring stations in Gravesend or elsewhere.
A spokesman said it is satisfied
there was "no widespread source of man-made radiation attributable
to any event at a civil or military nuclear establishment in the UK
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