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View Diary: Radioactivity, part 3: rads, rems, etc. (110 comments)

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  •  Yes please! (2+ / 0-)
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    Samer, Malachite

    Or you could write something on the matter as there are too many of us who are underprepared and underinformed including the press.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:23:37 PM PDT

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    •  Here is my perspective... (2+ / 0-)
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      sebastianguy99, Samer

      Nuclear power facilities have individuals trained in the measurement of air particulate and surface contamination. The group/department responsible is typically referred to as Health Physics.

      One can capture an air particulate sample by blowing air through a special filtering medium (imagine blowing air through a cotton sock to get an idea). This traps particulate matter in the air. By keeping the volume of air blown over the filter constant, and the surface area of the filter constant, one can take a reproducible/meaningful measure of radioactive particulate contamination. One would measure the "radiation" coming from the sample (in excess of background of course).

      I don't think anyone is doing this outside of the plant itself (if they are even bothering at the plant at this point). I could be wrong, but this is where I am trying to get traction and information. I'd like to hear more from the media along these lines.

      One can get a rough sense of contamination levels in neighboring cities by measuring radiation: the contaminated particles are after all "radiating" themselves. But this is still a kind of inferred measure. And it troubles me that we don't hear more about the danger of inhalation or ingestion of contaminated material. The skin for example is no longer useful as a layer of protection if the body has consumed matter that is radiating. So radiation that seemed innocuous before is suddenly not-so-innocuous. And it's inside the body, not easily scrubbed away.

      The man who moves a mountain begins by moving away small stones. -Confucius

      by Malachite on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 02:28:48 PM PDT

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