Nuclear Power/Follow up


Hello Steve- I wrote to you a while back on my concerns regarding the Fukushima radiation.  I just read this article this morning which says that there is much more radiation on the west coast than originally thought.  Do you still feel like the US is in serious danger?

here is the article:

Would appreciate your feedback.  Thanks again for your help

I do not "still feel like" the US is in serious danger, because I never felt that way in the first place.  The article is erroneously representing radioactivity from the headline on down.  Just look at it, right next to the 134Cs radioactivity level, smack in the middle of the article, is a number 4 times as high (which does not change at all) of activity from 137Cs.  Ignoring the fact that this obliterates the title by meaning that the level of radioactivity is only 12% higher, these numbers are absolutely TINY.  Your own body only weighs (assuming you're my size) at most about 100 kg.  Your own body, assuming you have human levels of potassium and are not a silicon-based alien, would be about 8000 Bq of radioactive material between the 40K and 14C in your own body.  The sea water radioactivity they mention is, therefore, at most 0.01% as radioactive as you are.  That's right, 1% OF 1%.  Is that measurable with scientific instruments that can measure each radioactive decay individually?  Absolutely.  Is that harmful to you?  No, even if it was 10,000 times as strong, since it would not match the activity of your own body until then.

Bottom line: don't eat anything, everything you eat is 10,000 times more radioactive than both levels of Cs in the sea water quoted, combined (yes, combined, and yes these numbers are correct).

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I was at a branch of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin for seven years working on an advanced nuclear reactor. Generation IV nuclear reactors. Radiation safety. Nuclear fusion. Since moved into government nuclear work.


Drew the laboratory design for a Generation IV nuclear research reactor Doctoral research on stellar nuclear fusion reactions if your question is on fusion power.

Ph.D. in physics (nuclear physics), Duke University. Taught physics, radiation safety, and nuclear engineering courses at UTPB for 7 years before moving into government work.

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