Fantastic Info: Radiation

Don't miss the awesomely informative graphic at http://xkcd.com/radiation/. Fun takeaways include:

  • Living within 50 miles of a coal-power plant for a year doses you with almost three times as much radiation as living within 50 miles of a nuclear-power plant for a year;
  • A single mammogram gives 24 times the average total dose someone living within 10 miles of Three Mile Island received;
  • Cell phones emit no ionizing radiation (I knew this, but it's great to see it included); and
  • The worst known one-day dose from the Fukushima region in Japan is about 3.6% of the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to an increase of cancer risk.

So…Panic minus facts equals stupid, but facts plus colors equals pure awesome. I get it now! ;)

About puredoxyk

Word addict, kungfu/taiji nut and lifelong autohacker ... long-term Ubersleep, shoeless winters, medication-free anti-depressants, and as many hobbies as the world will let me pry into its piddly fourth dimension (it helps to have knocked out the fourth wall).
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2 Responses to Fantastic Info: Radiation

  1. Benjamin says:

    Hey there! :-)
    This graphic is based on some of the first numbers that were published. Since then, the statements from the government and the operating company have been oscillating between "completely harmless" and "highly worrying" with a very high frequency. This is not surprising as it reflects their conflicting interests: They want to avoid a panic and the formation of an anti-nuclear-power movement but they also don't want to risk legal prosecution for not having warned the population about health risks. I don't trust any of the numbers they publish until this situation is under control.
    Of course, there is a lot of panic right now. In Germany, where I live, they even turned off the seven oldest reactors. This is of course a little silly (though it doesn't seem to have any negative effects on the power supply). There is no higher risk of an accident today than last month. I think the thought pattern behind this like when you drive without a seat belt. You block out the consequences of a possible accident until someone you know dies in one. Now that people see the pictures of Fukushima, they realize that technology may fail and they panic.
    While I don't like the reasons for the German goverment's decisision to abandon nuclear power, I still think it is the right thing to do, at least in the long run. After decades with nuclear power plants, we still haven't found a secure location for storing the radioactive waste. And I also don't think that it is a good idea to use a technology that can make whole cities uninhabitable forever if the engineers made a mistake somewhere or one of the operators goes crazy.

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