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View Diary: Losing the Pacific Ocean (162 comments)

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  •  But won't radioactive contamination ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Joieau, greenearth

    show up as both alpha- and beta-radiation. I'm assuming that fish don't selectively eat alpha-emitters.

    •  you can sort it out as you sample (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Lujane, greenearth

      you get an overall reading, A+B+G=x
      then sample for B+G=Y,  

      then Sample for G=Z

      it's serious work but it's simple enough

    •  The isotopes are the isotopes. (7+ / 0-)

      Many of the worst of 'em emit all three forms of radiation in their decay, and some of their decay chains include very short-lived isotopes that in turn release their energy in some combination of gamma, beta and (to a lesser extent) alpha. If there is radiation present, it helps to be able to discern relative concentrations so you can best protect yourself.

      As long as you have some serviceable air filtration and are very careful with food and food prep/consumption habits, you can protect yourself significantly from alpha and beta particles. Gamma's just electromagnetic energy, it's going to penetrate and go on through you ionizing atoms here and there along the way.

      Beta is generally 10-20 times worse as far as factoring biological damage than gamma, if it gets inside your body. Outside your body the worst it will do is give you a 'sunburn'. Alpha is 20-100 times as damaging, depending on its energy level, because it emits all its energy the moment it comes into contact with something. Like the one-celled lining of your digestive system or lungs...

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