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A Handy Radiation Dose Chart From XKCD

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the is-there-anything-xkcd-can't-do? dept.

Japan 392

An anonymous reader points out Randall Munroe's latest contribution to public health awareness, a "chart of how much ionizing radiation a person can absorb from various sources, compared visually. 1 Sievert will make you sick, many more will kill you, however, even small doses cumulatively increase cancer risk." It's a good way to think about the difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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IODINE TABLETS (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550160)

DELICIOUS.

Re:IODINE TABLETS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550318)

I prefer hyronalin myself. Iodine is such an old school treatment... http://www.startrek.com/database_article/hyronalin [startrek.com]

Re:IODINE TABLETS (2)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550548)

I prefer hyronalin myself. Iodine is such an old school treatment...

Yeah, whoosh and all - but Iodine is not a treatment, its prophylactic.

Anti-nuclear clowns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550178)

Interesting info. Perhaps some of the anti-nuclear hysterics like this clown [slashdot.org] should read it... instead of watching the news.

Re:Anti-nuclear clowns (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550238)

Meh, at least he/she is not rude about his/her viewpoints. They are at least better at debate then the rest of the ACs

Re:Anti-nuclear clowns (2, Informative)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550344)

Uh, not rude? I'm pretty sure calling your opponent a fuckwit [slashdot.org] qualifies as rude. To say nothing of the rest of the comment.

Being rude doesn't matter from a standpoint of factual correctness, but a person can have the facts of their side and still come off looking like a raving lunatic when they write an entire paragraph where every third word is "cock".

Bananas (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550182)

Fascinating, the mention of bananas was smart, since there's something known as Banana Equivalent Dose [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bananas (5, Funny)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550248)

So, eating a banana is as radioactive as a threesome?

Re:Bananas (5, Funny)

Nimloth (704789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550294)

I believe the threesome would be higher because most of them involve at least a little of banana eating.

Re:Bananas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550490)

That sounds like the bad kind of threesome to be honest :(

Re:Bananas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550310)

Sadly, your average Slashdot reader will instead have to settle for the bananas.

Re:Bananas (2)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550448)

Frozen bananas work better. Regular bananas just mash up.

...Not that I'd know from personal experience or anything.

Re:Bananas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550472)

Inform the news: 1 girl + 2 bananas = radioactive disaster!

Re:Bananas (3, Interesting)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550612)

So, eating a banana is as radioactive as a threesome?

Only if you three like to cuddle, or are really horny - it says sleeping next to someone (presumably for 8 hours or so). Make it a gangbang.

Re:Bananas (4, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550392)

Wait, if God made bananas easy for humans to eat [youtube.com] and bananas are radioactive does that mean God's trying to kill us ?

Re:Bananas (3, Funny)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550454)

Wait, if God made bananas easy for humans to eat [youtube.com] and bananas are radioactive does that mean God's trying to kill us ?

No, it means that radiation is God's pure love. In order to get closer to Him, all the truly religious should get as close as possible to the hottest source they can find.

WALK INTO THE LIGHT.

(note : I am joking - I don't really want the faithful to die of radiation damage. I'm not Dawkins, ffs.)

Re:Bananas (2)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550876)

Strangely, that's one of the fundamental precepts under the rather interesting SF book "The Karma Affair" by Arsen Darnay (that has to be a pseudonym). In it there was a rather intriguing way to handle nuclear waste involving the use of a dedicated priesthood, with some rather unusual side effects.

Re:Bananas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550466)

Wait, if God made bananas easy for humans to eat [youtube.com] and bananas are radioactive does that mean God's trying to kill us ?

God has a 100% success rate in killing us. (But he has a very good excuse [goodreads.com] for that.)

additional (4, Informative)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550184)

An additional useful chart can be found here, in a slightly more readable and intelligible format:
http://eq.wide.ad.jp/files_en/110315houshasen_mext_en.pdf [wide.ad.jp]

Not as all-inclusive as Randall's work, but still good.

Re:additional (2)

borrrden (2014802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550270)

And yet another, which goes somewhat higher than that chart

http://twitpic.com/49mm4l [twitpic.com]

Re:additional (1)

tortovroddle (1969948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550642)

A chart in japanese with a brazilian flag?

It's incorrect (2)

fullback (968784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550320)

I'm sorry, but the link above on the equivalent yearly radiation in Tokyo would only be correct if you were outdoors 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Re:additional (4, Interesting)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550464)

Average doses in the world due to fallout: 0.11mSv

Average doses in Japan due to fallout: 0.012mSv

Isn't it ironic how the only country that was attacked with nuclear weapons actually has less fallout than the rest of the world?

Re:additional (4, Informative)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550636)

As far as I know Japan wasn't the only country hit by nukes. Several countries did nuclear tests above ground. The US and USSR for example were both hit by nukes two hundred times, Japan only twice: http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/atest00.html [johnstonsarchive.net]

Re:additional (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550702)

the only country that was attacked with nuclear weapons

Re:additional (2, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550658)

No. They absorb that shit and transform it into Hello Kitty and hentai.

Re:additional (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551022)

Average doses in the world due to fallout: 0.11mSv

Average doses in Japan due to fallout: 0.012mSv

Isn't it ironic how the only country that was attacked with nuclear weapons actually has less fallout than the rest of the world?

It might be if these two events happened a few decades more recently.

Semantics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550188)

xkcd, not XKCD.

Re:Semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550216)

xkcd, not XKCD.

What's that got to do with semantics?

Re:Semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550484)

Your mum

Re:Semantics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550550)

NNNNNNUGGGHHHHHHHHHHH RANDALL'S COCK PUSHING ME INSIDE OUT AND SPURTING ON MY CRAZY FAT NECKBEARD

All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'
All caps is considered to be 'shouting'

"*unless it's a bananaphone." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550232)

i heart that little reference.

Research (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550296)

So what you are saying is that XKCD did more research and analysis for a web-comic than the 24 hour news networks do for a story?

You find that surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550366)

Do you really believe that the news channels do anything other than bloviate?

Re:Research (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550588)

We are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!

Re:Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550600)

Would this be surprising? The new networks go for the sensationalist stories, with facts second on the list of priorities.

Not too hard (3, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550982)

Seeing the wild claim I have seen on various network, and web news aggregator, I would say anybody researching *a bit* did more research than news networks...

Updated info? (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550332)

Any link to the updated levels of radiation on Fukushima?

So, xkcd reports better than our "journalists" do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550364)

Gee, why the fuck doesn't that surprise me?

Units (4, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550370)

There are so many radiation units out there and people keep using them without regard to what they really mean. It's nice that you've got your Sieverts covered. Now you'll have to learn about Grays, Curies, Becquerels, Rads, Rems, and Roentgens. Here's a handy conversion chart. [stevequayle.com]

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550598)

Why the fuck are there so many different units of measurement. Seems like an exercise in confusing the fuck out of everyone.

Re:Units (1)

dietdew7 (1171613) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550618)

Any idea why there are so many different units of measure for radiation?

Re:Units (3, Insightful)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550842)

Because there is no such thing as "radiation". A bit like there is no such thing as "cancer". It is a whole bunch of phenomena all packed together because of historical reasons.

When unstable isotopes decay, they can emit protons, neutrons, neutrinos, photons, antineutrinos, etc., etc. The stuff emitted, depending on its nature, its speed, its energy, interacts (or not) with the environment in very different ways. Since a measure is a measure of an interaction, there are necessarily many units.

And then you have those units used to have an idea of the health effects. And again, this is an amazingly complicated issue: damage from "radiation" will come from cells dying or genetic material being altered and not repaired. Killing cells is easy to understand, but DNA damage is much more complicated.

It may have no consequence at all.
It may have beneficial consequences.
It may trigger a chain of events which will eventually lead to illness.
It may start a cancer right away.

Re:Units (4, Informative)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550858)

Any idea why there are so many different units of measure for radiation?

Some are historical and SI unit conversions (Rem/RAD and Gray/Sievert); others deal with how does effects what absorbs it. The Roentgen is a measure of gamma energy, the RAD is the measure of energy transferred and is an acronym for Radiation absorbed Dose, which them must be adjusted for a quality factor do to the difference in energy transfer, which generally is referred to as REM - Roentgen Equivalent Man which corrupts for different quality factors so that 1 REM is the same no matter the source of the dose. For practical purposes, Roentgen RAD and REM are equivalent since gamma is generally the radiation of concern.

It's not that different than the measurements - foot meter; slug kilo; punned newton, with the added medical impact measurement.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550864)

Well, there are 3 types of measurements for radiation. One is for how much you have. Another is for how much is emitted (usually in per unit time and distance, may also provide you with different numbers based on the medium - x meters in air, y meters in water for example). The last is what's on the chart, how much you're exposed to.

Re:Units (1)

toopok4k3 (809683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550886)

Ain't that obvious? All those scientists wanted to name an unit after their own name!

No (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550376)

It's a good way to think about the difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima.

No. It is not a good way to do that. It would have been if it had included measures like "Ten minutes next to the reactor core of Fukushima after partial meltdown" or "Dose from spending an hour on the grounds at the Fukushima plant in 2036". I'm not saying Fukushima is anywhere near as bad as Chernobyl, but if you want to compare them this chart is not what you need.

Re:No (2)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550440)

It would have been if it had included measures like "Ten minutes next to the reactor core of Fukushima after partial meltdown" or "Dose from spending an hour on the grounds at the Fukushima plant in 2036".

It tried; it includes "Extra dose from one day in an average town near the Fukushima plant". Not the same as 10 minutes next to the core, but I guess Randall was using what he'd got.

Re:No (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550486)

Good point.
My 2 cents: The radiation at the plant gates was about 12 mSv/hour (~one orange square per hour) after explosion at reactor n2 according to (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/16/world/asia/20110316-japan-quake-radiation.html), apparently the highest level detected. It's still not the same measurement as that given for Chernobyl (radiation next to the core), but we get closer. Would be cool to check more info, if anyone has links.

Re:No (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550670)

12mSv/h is slightly more than one red square, no where near an orange one. This makes the highest level of radiation detected, in the cloud of vented gas from inside the containment vessel about 30,000 times less than those at chyernobyl, and only for a very very brief period involving very short half life elements.

The radiation level has since fallen back way down, especially since managing to resubmurge the spent fuel. The reaction has also slowed to about 1/2000th of it's original rates in the reactors, making a melt down extremely unlikely at this point.

Re:No (3, Informative)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550750)

That was a peak reading. It must have lasted in the order of a second. And then decreased exponentially. Chernobyl, on the other hand sustained its rate for hours, days, years...

There is a good graph of the readings on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_I_nuclear_accidents [wikipedia.org]

Re:No (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550494)

"Ten minutes next to the reactor core of Fukushima after partial meltdown" or "Dose from spending an hour on the grounds at the Fukushima plant in 2036"

I really don't see how you can come up with those figures, considering that 1. no one is standing next to the reactor core and 2. you can't predict the future.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550626)

Exactly!

But that's not the fault of the chart, and I'm not criticizing it. But the summary is misrepresenting it as something it's not.

It will be years until we know the outcome of this.

Media sensationalism no doubt (3, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550386)

I found one source that said firefighters had radiation levels of 27 mSV after a 13 hour operation (presumably to cool down the reactor). Which doesn't seem to me to be a severe healthrisk after looking at the chart provided. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm vastly annoyed with the media, given how they talk you'd think people were losing their hair and growing skin lesions.

Re:Media sensationalism no doubt (5, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550928)

>>Maybe I'm wrong but I'm vastly annoyed with the media, given how they talk you'd think people were losing their hair and growing skin lesions.

You're absolutely right to be annoyed at the media for getting it so wrong.

But even the Slashdot summary is disingenuous:
"1 Sievert will make you sick, many more will kill you, however, even small doses cumulatively increase cancer risk."

There's no evidence for the LNT (linear no threshold) model for radiation exposure, other than people doing math and plotting a line down into the low-exposure ranges. All the epidemiological studies have shown much lower cancer incidence rates than the LNT would predict, indicating that there is a thresholding effect at work at low doses.

This actually makes a *huge* difference when it comes to cleanup of radioactive material. Something like $200 billion worth of difference.

That's why I'm interested in people actually, you know, testing this sort of stuff in the laboratory, like these guys: http://www.orionint.com/projects/ullre.cfm [orionint.com]

Re:Media sensationalism no doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35551030)

It is the fact that it was in such a short time span that makes it dangerous. Taken over the course of a year, it wouldn't even be worth mentioning. But in only 13 hours? That should raise some concerns. Are any of them going to die from it? No, but their risk factor for future cancer incidents goes up slightly. Even if that increase is not statistically relevent, it is cumulative. Staying there for many consecutive days would be unwise (in the same sense that getting xrays for no reason is unwise). So long as they have the man power to continue refreshing the work force every day or so, it is a smart move. If it came down to it, though, I doubt there would be any serious consequences if someone filled multiple shifts, especially non-consecutive shifts.

However, a common fallacy that pisses me off is that if ANYONE working at these sites develops cancer AT ANY POINT IN THEIR LIVES, then people will conclude that it MUST have been due to this small dose of radiation. Not so. Statistically speaking, they would have gotten cancer anyway.

Cute, but not accurate (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550400)

The Sievert is a measure of ACCUMULATED dose. Time is a factor. Therefore being exposed to 1 Sievert for a second (the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s, which is equivalent to Watts) is the same as being exposed to 1 milisievert for 1000 seconds, or 1 microsievert for 10^6 seconds.

This is also why many measurements are done on a "per hour" basis. 400 milisieverts per hour (near the pool between reactors 3-4) is not harmful to you if you are going to be there for 5 minutes. If you stay there for 2.5 hours, however, you could experience signs of acute radiation sickness.

I find it laughable, however, how the press a) fails to understand this and b) has obvious trouble converting between micro and mili.

Finally one must bear in mind that radionuclides will decay over time (Iodine-131 being the main culprit here, has a half life of 8 days). So in 5 half lives (40 days), most of it will be gone. And also that the chronic health risk of radiation is usually overestimated, especially for such small doses as currently seen in Japan. It's statistical roulette, just like smoking. It just takes one cigarette to unleash the chain of events that will eventually lead to cancer. However the odds of it being the cigarette you are currently smoking are quite small. But if you smoke all your life, you're likely to buy the winning ticket eventually. The same with radiation. There are still living survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and these people were exposed to far more (and more harmful) radiation - gamma rays vs. beta particles. And yet not that many of them have "grown a third arm". Yes, there have been cancer deaths, but considering the population exposed, it wasn't all that much.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550470)

The chart still looks accurate to me. Everything listed on there is either an event (in which case the dose should be the same no matter how long it takes you to do it, e.g., eating a banana) or it explicitly gives a time duration.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (3, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550480)

(the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s, which is equivalent to Watts) is the same as being exposed to 1 milisievert for 1000 seconds

True mathematically, but not medically [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cute, but not accurate (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550528)

Agreed. As a physician I am well aware that the body has compensation mechanisms for virtually everything, and they work fine so long as you don't overwhelm those mechanism (it usually always boils down to the rate of reaction of some enzyme or other). But was trying not to get too technical.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (3, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550536)

"However the odds of it being the cigarette you are currently smoking are quite small."

"(Radioactive) Po-210 is also present in cigarettes. The actual mechanism by which the polonium arises in tobacco leaves is still disputed. It can arise through the decay of radon gas in the air directly onto the tobacco leaves or directly from the uptake of radioactive decay products of uranium in the earth in the roots of the plant. As cigarette burn, the radioactive polonium on the surface volatilizes and enter the lungs through inhalation. It has been claimed that radioactive polonium-210 is responsible for more than 90% of all smoking related lung cancers "

http://www.nucleonica.net/wiki/index.php/Polonium_210 [nucleonica.net]

Re:Cute, but not accurate (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550572)

Yeah, forget about the other 200 or so carcinogens present in tobacco smoke. One article will not turn me into a believer. Especially since I think the dose of polonium could be considered homeopathic. I disagree until I see double blind clinically controlled trials that prove this. We never will, however, for ethical reasons.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550918)

Are we still not able to grow some cells in a dish, and at at least get a rough idea?

Re:Cute, but not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550640)

Read it again, moron. The chart is right, and you're an idiot.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550704)

Most of the chart measurements have times given in the description (through the year, in a day, in an hour, etc.). The accumulated dose is still an interesting metric and the comparisons are valid as they give you an idea of how small/large a Sv actually is. 0.03387 uSv/hour wouldn't have the same impact as 17 mSv in a year (pulled numbers out of my hat here, not valid calculations).

The measurements that do not have a time given are also very easy to determine (how long does it take for you to eat a banana?).

Many news reports confuse the metrics, that's true. You shouldn't lump what you've obviously not even read throughout in the same category though.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550894)

the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s

This is actually completely wrong. The Sievert is based on the Gray, which is defined in terms of J/kg. For a fixed mass, it's J, energy. It makes no sense to say "exposed to 1 Sievert for 1 second". You would have to say "exposed to 1 Sievert per second for 1 second".

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

zigurat667 (1380959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550910)

The real unit behind sievert is not J/s but J/kg.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550940)

I think you are making a good point. There are two types of risks associated with radiation exposure. The first is what these charts address which is acute exposure leading to "radiation sickness". As the charts show, it take a relatively large dose of radiation to make you sick in the short term and most of the people in Japan (except the workers close to the plant) are receiving only small doses.

The second risk is the long term risk of cancers. These show up years later and due to this delay in time and the difficulty of measuring cumulative radiation exposure, it is hard to predict cancer risk. There have been numerous studies trying to quantify the risk and all of them show an increase in cancer with increasing radiation exposure. However, it is difficult to sort out how much exposure is "safe" and the answer is probably that any exposure to radiation (including "background" radiation) causes some increase in cancer.

Just a few data points. It is estimated that the Chernobyl disaster will cause 50,000 excess cases of thyroid cancer. CAT (CT) abdomen scans will cause one case of cancer for every 250 exams. Routine x-ray mammogram screenings are estimated to increase the risk of breast cancer by 10%.

For the Japan nuclear disaster, there are short term risks of radiation exposure (primarily people living near the reactor) and also long term risks from the nuclear isotopes which can travel long distances in the atmosphere or in the food chain. Iodine has a relatively short half life (7 days) but others are much longer (caesium-137, strontium-90, plutonium, americium)... tens to thousands of years. So they will continue to deliver radiation risk over a wide area for a long time.

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

rkww (675767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550972)

the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s, which is equivalent to Watts

No, it's a measure of energy absorbed - Joules per kilogram

http://www.sizes.com/units/sievert.htm [sizes.com]

Re:Cute, but not accurate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35551024)

You could try getting it straight yourself.

Dunbal quotes claiming Sievert is an accumulated dose:

  • The Sievert is a measure of ACCUMULATED dose.
  • This is also why many measurements are done on a "per hour" basis. 400 milisieverts per hour is not harmful to you if you are going to be there for 5 minutes

Dunbal quotes claiming Sievert is a rate:

  • the real unit behind the sievert is the J/s, which is equivalent to Watts
  • being exposed to 1 Sievert for a second is the same as being exposed to 1 milisievert for 1000 seconds, or 1 microsievert for 10^6 seconds.

Why 50km from Fukushima reactor? (2)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550404)

This is not an incredibly informative measurement, it would be more useful to learn of the radiation levels in the evacuated areas (10km & 20km, last I heard) as well as the cautioned areas (30km, stay indoors).

Re:Why 50km from Fukushima reactor? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550444)

it would be more useful to learn of the radiation levels in the evacuated areas

You can get more info here [iaea.org] .

Re:Why 50km from Fukushima reactor? (1)

hodagacz (948570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550524)

Maybe he didn't have access to that data?

Re:Why 50km from Fukushima reactor? (2)

geirlk (171706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550892)

I just want to known one thing: How many football fields or Boeng 747 is that?

Re:Why 50km from Fukushima reactor? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551032)

The peak announced radiation at the plant gate is about 10 milli Sieverts / hour, or 1 REM per hour. If that level were maintained, an exposed person would start to get radiation sickness in a day or two.

CenitSievert = Rem (1)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550422)

Anyone acquainted with any of the literature in radiation exposure up through the late-1990s (including classic and still standard works like The Effects of Nuclear Weapons by Glasstone and Dolan) will have encountered discussion of radiation exposure in terms of rems, not sieverts. It is useful to know that a centisievert (cSv) is essentially identical with a rem, so expressing doses in cSv terms allows direct comparisons with the large body of older but still relevant literature.

Re:CenitSievert = Rem (1)

jgardia (985157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550836)

I think that is only with gamma radiation. for other types of radiation you have to apply a conversion factor, since sievert doesn't really measure energy, but damage to tissues. For alphas for example, the factor is 20.

Re:CenitSievert = Rem (1)

jgardia (985157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550852)

i was wrong, that's between Sivert and Gray units.

Missing data (1)

Alworx (885008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550504)

Would be useful if he gave some comparison with Sulawesi...

TSA airport security dosage (5, Interesting)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550506)

I would like to have seen the dosage given by using the backscatter machine at an airport listed.

Re:TSA airport security dosage (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550586)

0.09 Sv, slightly less than one banana.

Re:TSA airport security dosage (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550778)

I think you meant 0.09 uSv, unless your bananas grow inside nuclear reactor

Re:TSA airport security dosage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550962)

Actually that would be 900000 times as much as one banana.

What's missing (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550520)

Comparison between the exposure of an aid worker who flew from the US / EU to Japan and right back again, and what he would have accumulated in a week saving people 100 miles away from Fukushima.

Re:What's missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550860)

No it's not missing.

The input needed to figure it out are clearly present in the New York - LA flight which is half as long as LA- Tokyo.
So a return trip would be 160 microSv, the background radiation for an average person per day is around 10microSv/day.
The extra daily radiation 50 kms. from the plant was around 3,5microSv/day, at 100 mi. that would become negligible.

--
Teun

water supply contamination rising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550560)

The latest news is that the (so far very low) water supply radioactive contamination is increasing. It makes sense given all the water they're spraying around there, that it's going to leak into the drinking water supply. So far it's at a low enough level to not be a threat, but the situation is unstable and the doses are increasing on a daily basis.

Metric... (1)

Okonomiyaki (662220) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550568)

1 Sievert? What is that in feet?

Re:Metric... (1)

TarPitt (217247) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550714)

I think the appropriate units are volkswagens per library of congress

Re:Metric... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550726)

One bigfoot!

Re:Metric... (1)

jgardia (985157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550960)

Siever is a SI unit.

Re:Metric... (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550974)

It's 100 rems.

For extra credit, estimate it in Becquerels.

Shut down coal fired power stations (4, Insightful)

Alwinner (1576143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550624)

Coal fired powers stations emit more radioactivity than nuclear power stations and also release greenhouse gases and ash. We should be shutting all of these as soon as possible to protect the Earth and its people. The deaths due to coal mining annually exceed all deaths in over fifty years of nuclear power generation.

I don't think its correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550692)

It claims 10 microSievert to be the average dose per day and the EPA limit per year to be 1000 microSievert. This means the average dose for the public per year would be 3600 microSievert i.e. 3.6 times the limit. Somehting does not add up.

Re:I don't think its correct (1)

burne (686114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550902)

The EPA-dose pertains to exposure to manmade radiation. A third of your yearly exposure can be stuff like X-rays, but no more.

Not Straitforward (2)

BrendaEM (871664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550782)

A number line would have done so much more.
The thing that very few people are mentioning is:

The exposure occurring over the days and weeks.
Not everyone has an x-ray every day.

The Japanese ministry is suppressing both the radiation figures for Fukushima and the areal photos recently taken.

The atom is an amazing thing because it makes people lie so much?

Great chart (1)

Adayse (1983650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550916)

That was helpful. But after a 10 days of study I'm missing the information about the non-ionizing radiation that the water in those spent fuel pools was there to adsorb. The cancer link is also curious - the WHO report on Chernobyl states 4000 cases of thyroid cancer from milk in children with a 99% survival rate, just 9 deaths. I have cancer myself and visiting a reactor would probably be good for me because tumors hate radiation.

It is and it isn't (0)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550938)

This chart applies only to "prompt" doses. Most of the casualties from Chernobyl (4000 to 8000 fatalities and counting) were from Thyroid cancer caused by exposure of children to radioactive Iodine [iaea.org] . This is not just a dose effect, as the same dosage from another material, or of adults rather than children, won't cause these cancers. So, this chart is not appropriate for these long-term dangers.

Radioactive iodine has been found in milk and spinach near Fukushima [focustaiwan.tw] , ad it is very worrying that the Japanese government is only talking about "immediate effects" when the real danger is long term [americafree.tv] .

What's the conversion ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550944)

... to dead kittens?

Coal plant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35551052)

A coal plant would probably kill more people than a nuclear plant over the same period of time even with "catastrophic" accidents like this. The problem is that people don't go berserk because of 3~10 years reduced life expectancy.

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