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View Diary: Radiation, Cancer, and the Linear No-Threshold Model (143 comments)

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  •  This is the difference between (1+ / 0-)
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    between grays and sieverts, or the difference between absorbed doses and dose equivalents.  

    Depending on the type of radiation, how it is encountered (inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin), and which organs are affected, the biological effect of absorbed radiation, and hence the equivalent dose, changes.

    I'll frankly say that these calculations are beyond my ability to perform.  

    The counters at the site are measuring the decay products of radioactive materials, and then transforming these numbers into equivalent doses, or the authorities are performing the transformation by hand later based on the readings from the counters.  

    The numbers on site I imagine are being adjusted to take into account only radiation absorbed through the skin (I assume the workers are all using oxygen supplies and aren't really eating anything on site).

    Whether or not these numbers will be different for the civilian population depends on what isotopes have been released and how they are distributed - this has been one of the extremely frustrating things in following the coverage.

    I will agree that without this information, determining what dose the population has been exposed to is impossible.

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