The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dangerous radiation?

Interesting article about Manhattan Project scientists contaminated by Plutonium.

The Scientists Who Pee Plutonium

Government conducted live-long study of the 26 contaminated people. Results, quote: "the mortality rate for the group is about 50 per cent lower than the national average."

It appears that up to a certain level of radiation, its effects don't seem to be harmful and it is possible (though not proven) that it may even be beneficial. See also the other posts on the subject.

More quotes:

It may be a surprise to learn that the members of the UPPU club have all done well, especially when compared to national averages. “They’ve fared pretty well as a group,” George Volez and expert on plutonium exposure told Los Alamos Science in 1995. “Of the original 26, only seven have died, and the last death was in 1990.


Peter said...

Stan, I'm a great fan of a hormetic dose. Dropping out of full time work has markedly limited my Xray exposure... But I'd prefer not to be somewhere at 100 or 1000 times the hormetic dose rate. It's nice to see that systemic exposure appears to be OK. The Taiwan study looked primarily at gamma rays rather than particulate exposure.

It's pretty clear that there were a number of deaths after Fukushima which were evacuation related. One just has to groan at how many people died as a result of the Chernobyl evacuation. I'm just hoping the Homer Simpsons running Sizewell B avoid any melt down(s) as I wouldn't be able to avoid the enforced evacuation and pauperisation which would follow a serious accident a few miles away...


Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Peter,

That study was a bit of a surprise. I used to think that a hormetic properties of radiation apply to gamma radiation only, where as "everybody knows" that alpha emitters like Plutonium ingested into one's body are always supposed to be harmful. Not so! I should have known better. As for the optimum hormetic dose - about 10-100 times the natural average background seems to be the optimum, while a 1000 times is too much, see for example this Low dose radiation is healthy! and this graph.

Re: enforced evacuation

I am very suspicious of enforced anything. Chernobyl evacuation turned also to be somewhat unnecessary or excessive especially since the stats showed that the cancer risk among the surrounding population that were not evacuated decreased by 5%, while among the emergency workers decreased by 15-30%.

People need to be shaken out of their group-think stupor and encouraged to think critically and be skeptical about everything.

Best regards,