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Background radiation.

  1. I ran across an interesting video in the video section of Google, this is the link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3626298989248030643&q=genre:educational+nuclear
    It caught my eye because it was from Hippie News Network.

    It seemed that the interviewee was hyping the how much we are affected by weapons testing (and to some degree power plants) so I looked up how much weapons added to background radiation exposure, and according to the following paper, the maximum average was 5%. (http://ej.iop.org/links/r8NRKgE1R/ikwqBZFo2xGDvod0av5vpA/jr3102.pdf)
    But, that is an average, it seems to me that a maximum for someone near the testing sites would be higher. Is that information recorded?

    Interesting lady, as well. I sort of get the feeling she does not have too strong of a background in the nuclear sciences though. A lot of the results from a quick Google were about her talking about DU and Wikipedia said she never published anything in a peer reviewed journal. Near the end of the video she is talking about Pu and U from nuclear weapons, I expected if one is discussing fallout, the fission products would be more important.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Morbius

    Morbius 1,160
    Science Advisor

    Candyman,

    Here is a better indication of how much or little one is affected by fallout from past
    nuclear tests and the operation of nuclear reactors.

    Courtesy of the Health Physics Society chapter at the University of Michigan:

    http://www.umich.edu/~radinfo/introduction/radrus.htm

    http://www.umich.edu/~radinfo/introduction/popdose.htm

    You can see for yourself the percentages that the "Nuclear Fuel Cycle" [ Reactors ] and
    "Fallout" [ Nuclear Tests ] have added to the background radiation.

    You get much more radiation from flying in an airliner. From the table, in an entire
    year you get <1 mrem of radiation from either nuclear power or fallout from nuclear
    tests.

    If you travel one way from "coast to coast" [e.g. Los Angeles to Washinton DC ], you
    get about 10 mrem of radiation. Additionally you will receive that 10 mrem in the
    course of 5 hours. The 1 mrem from fallout is distributed over an entire YEAR.

    The damage that radiation does is correlated not only with how much you get; but at
    the RATE that you get that radiation dose. So in the airliner, not only do you get
    10X the radiation dose, but you get that dose at a higher rate.

    Are these nuclear scare mongers telling you not to fly in airliners?

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
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