There’s No Such Thing as Safe Radiation

Japan Nuclear Explosions
Image by ssoosay via Flickr

I just read a good article over at Gizmodo about radiation. As with everything, people make important decisions in their life by taking calculated risks. The same thing applies with radiation.

The following article talks about why it’s OK to be exposed to radiation if you are the one making the calculated choices. Things like CT Scans, MRIs, X-Rays, Dental X-Rays. But, to be exposed to potentially unsafe levels of radiation because some company decides that it is a risk THEY are willing to take for you, is not so good.

There’s No Such Thing as Safe Radiation.

What are your thoughts on the big Japanese nuclear mess?


4 Replies to “There’s No Such Thing as Safe Radiation”

  1. Well said, with so many viable alternatives, it is an abomination that just a few people are allowed to burden so many with the risks of nuclear power while profiting from it on their own.

    I am dumb founded that the pro-nuclear lobby persists in comparing radioactive PARTICLE exposure with medical imaging doses of radioactive ENERGY (which is administered when there is already something wrong with you, or there is significant risk that there is, in order to study and treat it). Indeed, radiation exposure is considered in the decision to order most imaging and hence it remains the responsibility of doctors. However, you simply DO NOT walk away from a chest x-ray with radioactive particles lodged in your lung tissue. You are exposed to the energy and then it stops, making the comparison a good filter for identifying people who either don’t know what they’re talking about or who are involved in something more insidious. Radioactive particles which are internalized, increase radiation exposure by a factor of a trillion. For example, plutonium is relatively harmless outside the body, once ingested it becomes one of the most toxic substances on Earth.

    1. Good point!

      I feel the same about the government nuclear bomb tests in the USA and Russia. It really freaked me out that the nuclear scientists at the time of the first nuclear explosion thought that there was a small possibility that it would kill all life on earth…

  2. Check out ‘Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie’.

    The nuclear power industry was born with the arms race and the cold war, hence it is inextricably meshed with the military industrial complex and ‘regulated’ by the same agency that deals with Nukes! (The IAEA – note, though it reports to the EPA, it is considered autonomous).

    Revealing the true risks of nuclear power would involve the agency undermining it’s business model – if it is seen publicly as dangerous, the industry will shrink as would the agency, once again in inverted commas, ‘regulating’ it. They’ve been around over half a century and we’re talking about billions of $ to set just one of them up – I think there is a powerful conflict of interests.

    People back in the day were terrified of imminent nuclear war and saw any advantage in technology as greater protection from the commies or the capitalists depending on what side you were on. In those fearful times, the public had a minimal understanding of the technology and it’s consequences and were in a highly motivated state to accept risk anyway. (Duck and cover)

    Great movie though – spectacular stuff. Evil, but very spectacular.

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