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Comment: Re:Need a lot more bananas (Score 2) 286

by ssam (#49078861) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

From wikipedia:
"The major natural source of radioactivity in plant tissue is potassium: 0.0117% of the naturally-occurring potassium is the unstable isotope potassium-40 (40K). This isotope decays with a half-life of about 1.25 billion years (4×1016 seconds), and therefore the radioactivity of natural potassium is about 31 Bq/g – meaning that, in one gram of the element, about 31 atoms will decay every second.[2][3] Plants naturally contain other radioactive isotopes, such as carbon-14 (14C), but their contribution to the total activity is much smaller.[citation needed] Since a typical banana contains about half a gram of potassium,[4] it will have an activity of roughly 15 Bq.[5] Although the amount in a single banana is small in environmental and medical terms, the radioactivity from a truckload of bananas is capable of causing a false alarm when passed through a Radiation Portal Monitor used to detect possible smuggling of nuclear material at U.S. ports."

Comment: Maybe the current regs are too strict (Score 1) 224

by ssam (#48959969) Attached to: Nuclear Safety Push To Be Softened After US Objections

Nuclear is currently the safest energy source (measure in deaths per KWh http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja... ). Even in the worst combination of things going wrong, the harm to people is small, while there are hundreds of fatal accidents in the fossil fuel industry each year (search for something like 'gas explosion' on google news).

Imagine if cars were held to the same standards as nuclear power plants. You'd need to get crash rates below 1 in 100 million user years. Make sure that even in the worst crash imaginable (e.g. car at max speed hitting a crowd of people) nobody (except maybe the driver) was exposed to a harmful level of force. All fuel would need to be transported in something that could survive being hit by a plane. All emissions would have to be captured and stored until they were safe. You could get road deaths down from the 1.2 million per year ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ) (not including deaths from pollution) but I think cars would not be cheap.

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