Airline Crew Radiation Exposure

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Image Courtesy of NASA
Image Courtesy of NASA

I get questions periodically from pilots and flight attendants about occupational radiation exposure.   It has been known for some time that the exposures received by some flight personnel would require monitoring with dosimeters if they were working in the medical or nuclear industries.

The challenges to determining dose to a person in flight is complex in different ways than dosimetry on the surface of the planet.   High altitude radiation includes particles and rays from distant star … Continue Reading →

Dr. Ken Buesseler: Fukushima Cesium Approaching California

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The good news is that is extremely diluted.  The bad news is that it is still being released at the source at Fukushima Daiichi.   Dr. Buesseler is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on radioactivity in the world’s oceans.  He shared the results of his findings today in a group conversation on Reddit, and there was a lively discussion that will undoubtedly continue.… Continue Reading →

Nuclear Arms Race Continues

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The top US General in South Korea claims that North Korea is now capable of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead and putting it on an ICBM.  See the NY Times story here.

Stars and Stripes Magazine reports on China’s growing nuclear weapons programs that bring a full triad of land, air and sea delivery capabilities here.

Foreign Policy says Putin has deployed nuclear weapons in Crimea, and may have violated the INF Treaty here.

NY Times covers the major renewal … Continue Reading →

Fukushima Daiichi Shadow Reveals Light in Quests for Safety and Transparency

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The National Academies of Sciences report on Fukushima, mandated by the US Congress, was released recently.  The focus of this report is on lessons learned that can improve safety at U.S. nuclear power plants. Among many recommendations  is one that the NRC and the U.S. nuclear industry must continuously monitor and maintain a strong safety culture and should examine opportunities to increase the transparency of and communication about their efforts to assess and improve nuclear safety.

Also addressed was the … Continue Reading →

Safecast Reports on Beach Radioactivity in Half Moon Bay

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Nonprofit Safecast is reporting that some beaches in California (and other places in the world) have natural sources of radiation from Thorium 232, Radium 226 and other NORM (Naturally Occurring Radiation Materials) sources.  See their report here.

Reports linking elevated radiation readings on a beach near Half Moon Bay have gone viral and frightened many people.  Analysis of the sand here.Continue Reading →

U.S. Involvement in Fukushima Daiichi Cleanup?

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U.S. Department of Energy Director Ernest Moniz toured Fukushima Daiichi on Nov. 1.  Secretary Moniz has extended an offer of U.S. help in the cleanup effort, especially with regard to water contamination issues.   A Bilateral Commission has been created to strengthen “strategic and practical engagement on civil nuclear R&D, Fukushima cleanup, emergency response, nuclear safety regulatory matters, and nuclear security and nonproliferation” and will meet next week in Washington, D.C.  Read Secretary Monizʻ statement at the Department of Energy website.Continue Reading →