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on plutonium (part 2) - The year was 2081 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
matt

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on plutonium (part 2) [Jun. 29th, 2005|05:46 pm]
matt
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More investigation on the issue of plutonium production has yielded some fascinating material.

http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/

http://www.consolidationeis.doe.gov/PDFs/PlutoniumANLFactSheetOct2001.pdf

About ten metric tons of plutonium dust have been released into the atmosphere as a result of atmospheric nuclear testing, and about a hundred metric tons are sitting idle in various nuclear weapons around the US. The arms race has been tailing off most of my natural life, so it is reasonable to expect that the "natural disaster" from these events should be soon observable. Also, next April will be the twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. I wonder how it will be commemorated. I remember seeing Elena Filatova's pictures of her travels through the so-called "dead zone". Her website is KiddofSpeed. Imagine a world where there is no more (or very few) people, and yet nature continues. Indeed, how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb...

Plutonium toxicity was apparently way overstated by Ralph Nader in a dispute with Bernie Cohen, in which the latter offered to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader was willing to eat of caffeine. That's the kind of bet I'd probably make, and makes Dr Cohen one of my personal favorite people. Ralph Nader, on the other hand, has never been one of my favorite people. Clearly, given the choice between eating plutonium and electing Ralph Nader president...

also: I'm surprised to be the first to have as a LJ interest bernard cohen. norman borlaug has his fans, why not Bernie?

also: just released: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/29/AR2005062900825.html reports that the average person receives 3 millisievert of radiation annually from natural sources, and that 100 millisievert of radiation over a lifetime will cause one out of a hundred people to develop cancer or leukemia. Contrast that with the fact that one in five people, IIRC, will develop cancer or leukemia during their life. By my count, that means about one tenth of cancer and leukemia patients probably got it from "nature".
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