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How the ocean became a dumping ground for radioactive waste

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3 years 11 months ago #5238 by Simomax
Very eye opening article about radioactive dumping at sea. For the size of the UK, it has dumped a frightening amount of nuclear waste at sea.

How the ocean became a dumping ground for radioactive waste
https://nuclear-news.net/2020/03/13/fukushima-how-the-ocean-became-a-dumping-ground-for-radioactive-waste/

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3 years 11 months ago #5359 by Radslug
“A single becquerel that gets into our body is enough to damage a cell that will eventually become a cancer cell,”

That's the difference between say, a gamma ray hitting you and a bit of radioisotope comprising millions of atoms getting inside your body. If a sample measures above baseline, it has such bits in it and it is to some level, dangerous. Sometimes it's locked in glass or metal and only emits a, b or g particles. But when the sample is water, air or dirt? Usually not good news.

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #5363 by Simomax
Or paint, just look at 'The Radium Girls'. Any radioisotope can be 1000's of times more deadly when ingested or inhaled. Also with an external source we get the chance to move it away, or move away from it so the exposure is only so long. Other factors such as skin and the moisture in our body can slow down the particles, decrease their energy as they bounce from one atom to another so not every particle will hit and damage cells in our body.

But on the inside, well its just there, decaying away every last atom and because it is surrounded by our body, every single decay will shoot off into us. There is more energy as there is no air gap, clothes or skin to slow down the particles. We would be subject to orders of magnitude greater numbers of decays inside the body than outside. Not every one will damage a cell, and is probably pro rata to an external source on the amount that will damage a cell, but every one is gonna start inside of us, and it will continue until fully decayed.

So ya, don't eat radioactive sources, or drink contaminated or irradiated water. ;)

And remember! Always wash your hands after handling radioactive sources, or wear gloves, every time. :)
Last edit: 3 years 11 months ago by Simomax.

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