Radiation Kits
& Instruments

Supplies Main
1-Water Drums
2-Food Rations
3-Sanitation Kits
4-Medical Kits
5-Radiation Kits
and Instruments
Ventilation Kits

Radiation Kits
CD V-777 Kit
CD V-777A Kit
CD V-777-1 Kit
CD V-777-2 Kit
CD V-777-4 Kit
CD V-755
High School Kit

Radiation Instruments
CD V-700
CD V-700

CD V-710
CD V-711
CD V-715
CD V-717
CD V-718
CD V-720
CD V-750 and Dosimeters

Other Sets
CD V-781
Aerial Set

CD V-757
Barrier Set

CD V-457
Class Set

Commercially Sold Radiation Meters

Low Range
High Range

Two State

Civil Defense Museum Main
Cold War Era Civil Defense Museum

Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Radiation Kits and Instruments

Civil Defense Radiological Instruments
Click on the instrument in the above picture to go to the page for that instrument.

Still have to finish some of the individual pages in this section.


(Taken from FEMA Publication CPG 3-1)

      Even before President Truman signed the legislative act that created our modern civil defense program (January 12, 1951), the national need for special radiological instruments for civil defense had been recognized. In December 1950, letters signed by James J. Wadsworth, an official in the Executive Office of the President, had been sent to State Governors encouraging them to obtain such instruments. The Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) offered to pool the State orders to obtain more favorable prices through procurement in quantity. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) had agreed to make tests to ensure the quality and correct calibration of the instruments purchased. All procurement costs were to be the responsibility of the States. Testing and calibration costs would be borne by the NBS.

      North Korea had invaded South Korea the previous June, and U.S. combat forces were actively engaged in battle on the Korean peninsula. Further, our relations with the Soviet Union, which was known to possess nuclear weapons, were strained. Nevertheless, the States were not responsive, and no procurement was undertaken.

     As a next step, the FCDA worked out an arrangement with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) whereby AEC instruments and small radioactive sources were loaned to the States for training. While many of the States took advantage of this program, they recognized its deficiencies. After the initial training, the instruments had to be returned, leaving no capability for refresher training or for radiological monitoring in the event of an emergency. This was somewhat like training soldiers with wooden guns but never providing the real ones. Subsequently, the augment the AEC supplies, FCDA purchased some low-range Geiger counters (later known as the CDV-700s).

     Certain States, notably New York and California, initiated limited procurement actions to obtain operational instruments. But by and large, the need for such equipment went unmet. Finally, it was recognized that the policy of depending on the States to provide their own radiological monitoring equipment simply would not work. The FCDA and Congress accepted that the Federal Government must assume responsibility for the radiological instrument program including design, engineering, procurement, and maintenance and calibration.

     In December, 1960, the Office of Civil Defense Mobilization (OCDM) issued an advisory bulletin announcing to the States the availability, on a grant basis, of radiological monitoring instruments for operational purposes. OCDM recommended establishment of a nationwide network of 100,000 (later increased to 150,000) monitoring stations to provide radiological information for survival and recovery actions at the State and local levels. Each monitoring station that met the specified requirements was to be granted a set of instruments consisting of:
•A CDV-700 Low-Range Radiological Survey Meter, Geiger Counter, probe type, beta-gamma discriminating, 0-0.5, 0-5, and 0-50 mR/hr.

•A CDV-710 High-Range Radiological Survey Meter, gamma only, 0-0.a5, 0-a5, and 0-a50 R/hr. (In later procurements, the CDV-710 survey meter was replaced by a CDV-715 Radiological Survey Meter, gamma only, with an additional range of 0-500 R/hr.)

• A CDV-715 High-Range Radiological Survey meter, beta-gamma discriminating, with a range of 0-5, 0-50, and 0-500 R/hr.

• A CDV-730 Radiological Dosimeter, Self-Reading gamma only, 0-20 R.

• A CDV-740 Radiological Dosimeter, Self-Reading, gamma only, 0-100 R. (In later procurements, the CDV-730 and -740 dosimeters were replaced by a CDV-742 Dosimeter, self-reading, gamma only, 0-200 R.)

• A CDV-750 Radiological Dosimeter Charger.

      In the early 1960's, the Department of Defense's Office of Civil Defense (OCD) embarked on a program to locate and stock naturally occurring fallout protective space in existing buildings. Included in these stocks were radiological instruments. In May 1964, OCD announced the availability of shelter instruments. For shelters meeting the specified criteria, assembled "Shelter Radiation Kits" were provided. Each kit contained one CDV-700, one CDV-715, two CDV-742s, and one CDV-750.

      Other specified requirements were identified, and appropriate instruments were designed and procured. These instruments included the CDV-700M for radioiodine measurements, the CDV-717 for remote readings, the CDV-138 for training, the CDV-781 for aerial surveys, and the CDV-711 for external readings from a hardened site such as an emergency operating center (EOC). A chronological account of radiological instrument procurement is shown in Figure 5. It does not include procurement of radioactive source sets used in training.

Figure 5

Radiological Defense Instrument Procurement
(Includes Spare Parts)
Fiscal Year
Funds Obligated
Items Procured

Procurement through FY 64 provided sufficient instruments for:

• One set of monitoring instruments for each of 150,000 stations.

• A second set of monitoring instruments for each of 50,000 stations.

• One kit of monitoring instruments for 200,000 shelters.

• 2.4 million dosimeters for emergency workers.

• 1,500 training sets (150,000 instruments).

• 14,510 high school monitoring kits (160,000 instruments).

• 1,250 aerial survey meters.

• 200 remote blast-resistant survey meters for EOCs.

The above information was taken from FEMA publication CPG-3-1 published in 1986.
The FEMA CPG 3-1 has a interesting list of how many of each type of instrument was originally procured. Below I have put together a version of list with the most common instruments.

Distribution of selected RADEF Equipment (As of January 1985)
CD V-138 Training Dosimeter
CD V-457 Demonstration Unit
CD V-700 Low-Range Survey Meter
CD V-705 Speaker for CD V-700
CD V-710 Medium-Range Survey Meter
CD V-711 Remote Sensor Meter (for EOCs)
CD V-715 High-Range Survey Meter
CD V-717 Remote Reading version of CDV-715
CD V-720 High-Range Survey Meter (Beta Sensing)
CD V-730 Dosimeter (0-20 Roentgen Range)
CD V-736 Dosimeter (0-2 Roentgen Range)
CD V-740 Dosimeter (0-100 Roentgen Range)
CD V-742 Dosimeter (0-200 Roentgen Range)
CD V-746 Dosimeter (0-600 Roentgen Range)
CD V-750 Dosimeter Charger
CD V-757 Barrier Shielding Demonstrator
CD V-781 Aerial Survey Meter
Total original procurement for these types

The "V" In "CD V"
Over the years there has been speculation among collectors about what the V in CD V stands for. The Oak Ridge University site states that the V is the Roman Numeral V for 5. The site states that the 5 refers to the chapter in the FCDA manual that had the details about the matching funds that the Federal government provided the States for the purchase of radiological equipment for civil defense. I don't know if this is correct because I have found many cases of supplies in Civil Defense Packaged Disaster Hospitals with the CD V numbers on them. Everything from urinals to patient litters have the CD V numbers on the cases. The V numbers are all over these things so it looks like the V means something other than a chapter in the FCDA manual with details about instrument funding. I haven't seen the V on any other Civil Defense items than radiological instruments and PDH items. Who knows what the story on the V is. Maybe it's just one of those long lost bits of Civil Defense history.

Here are some examples of various types of V numbers on PDH cases.

Click any photo to see larger version.

NS-7 CD V-46 with the "CD V-" like on the CD radiation instruments

A case of urinals with Stock No.
NS-7 CDV-397

Sterilizer with a Federal Stock No.
NS-7CD (FCDA-V-414)

Operating Table With A Federal Stock No.
6530-709-8155 (V-320)
CD V-700 Page CD V-710 Page CD V-715 Page CD V-717 Page CD V-720 Page CD V-750 and Dosimeters Page CD V-757 Page CD V-711 Page CD V-718 Page CD V-781 Page CD V-457 Page