CD V-777 Kit
CD V-777A Kit
CD V-777-1 Kit
CD V-777-2 Kit
CD V-777-4 Kit
High School Kit
CD V-750 and Dosimeters
Commercially Sold Radiation Meters
Civil Defense Museum Main
Civil Defense Fallout Shelter Radiation Kits and Instruments
Still have to finish some of the individual pages in this section.
HISTORY OF THE RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE (RADEF) INSTRUMENT
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
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.
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 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.
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.