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Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Forbes Health Physics Journal

Here's a contributor to that lofty, peer-reviewed science journal Forbes trying to counter Fukushima fear-mongering with stupidity (by using banana equivalents).  He can't even get the headline right, the Fukushima leak isn't equivalent to 76 million bananas, it's equivalent to 76 million bananas PER HOUR FOR 2 YEARS!

Of course, Bq's (the rate of decay) are just one facet of the risk.  It depends on what is decaying, what is emitted during the decay, bioconcentration, etc.

A better approach would have been to compare the 40E12 Bq of H-3 to the amount of naturally produced H-3 in the Pacific Ocean, which is about 4E17 Bq.

In other words, the new concentration is 4.0004E17 Bq.  An increase, but a RELATIVELY small one.

For some reason I'm reminded of this:


  1. And anyway, tritium is harmless in practice because of its dilution into the whole hydrogen pool of the biosphere. Once it reaches the open ocean, it has essentially disappeared, biologically speaking.

    No chemical filters are able to extract it from water; chemistry doesn't do isotope separation. This is a feature as well as a bug: no organism or food chain can do so either. Most folks see only the bug and miss the feature.

  2. BTW I wonder why anybody would actually pay for Forbes, as their anti-science mendacity is across the board. One James Taylor, a lawyer type from Heartburn, is their resident climate liar. Guess Einstein was right and human stupidity is indeed infinite.