Umm, no Guardian, no

Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline, though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said.

Significant?

The levels the group detected are extremely low. For example, swimming in the Vancouver Island water every day for a year would provide a dose of radiation less than a thousand times smaller than a single dental X-ray, Woods Hole said.

Too low to pose any would be closer.

Look out for the wave of idiots screaming about the earth being poisoned any moment now….

17 thoughts on “Umm, no Guardian, no”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Too low to pose any would be closer.

    Too low to pose any health benefit either. Low doses probably do provide a health benefit.

    A dental x-ray could be as much as 0.005 mSv. A chest x-ray could give you on the order of 0.03 mSv. A trans-Atlantic flight from London to New York could give you something like 0.08. A transpolar flight from New York to Shanghai could be as much as 0.1 mSv. A CT of the chest could be as much as 8.

    So they are talking about less than a thousandth of the dose you would get if you lived in Cornwall for a year – about 0.008 mSv.

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    I may be calculating it incorrectly, but I just ate a banana. The poor people of Vancouver have been exposed to what would be on the order of one five hundredth of one banana?

  3. @bilbaoboy,

    That’ll be various isotopes that were detected. There’s some you just don’t see in the wild unless the inside of a nukular reactor leaks to the outside of a nukular reactor or a nukular bomb goes off.

  4. Of course, this insignificant, almost immeasurable “contamination” doesn’t stop the Graun calling it “the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.”

    Which, for me, at any rate, has the opposite effect to the fear and distrust the paper is hoping to engender.

  5. Here’s a new game: find the website that SMFS rephrased his little nugget of wisdom from. You can play it in almost every thread!

  6. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “Here’s a new game: find the website that SMFS rephrased his little nugget of wisdom from. You can play it in almost every thread!”

    Wow. Now you are dealing with your butthurt in a healthy way. I approve of this approach. Off you go. There’s a good boy. Let me know what you find.

  7. SMFS,

    Spot on, I do like the banana rule as well.

    It is time Tim learns the banana rule for radioactive substances as well, that will make this type topic when blogging much more interesting.

  8. So Much for Subtlety

    thejollygreenman – “It is time Tim learns the banana rule for radioactive substances as well, that will make this type topic when blogging much more interesting.”

    TW has used the banana before. I think the banana ought to be the official blog measurement for everything. I am not sure how we would measure deforestation in terms of bananas (how many bananas in a Belgium?) or coal output (how many bananas in a London bus?) but I feel it is worth the effort.

  9. So Much for Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “I wonder what catastrophes would result if the anti-scientific idiots in the media were sent cosmic ray detectors?”

    I think they have had too much lead in their homes as it is. But it is, of course, different. Cosmic rays are, like, natural. The Fukushima stuff is artificial. Hence evil.

    See the Organic Society’s approach to pesticides.

  10. Butthurt would require SMFS to deploy something other than his entirely flaccid so-called arguments.

  11. Bloke in Costa RIca

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: journos don’t grok orders of magnitude or Fermi approximations, ergo they have broken bullshit detectors. If the radiation doses you are discussing are nSv or μSv then you are being a silly billy and needlessly fretting over nothing. If the doses are mSv then depending on how many mSv there might be cause for concern (if I got a prompt dose of 100 mSv then I would not be happy). If you are talking Sv then you are in big trouble. That’s a range of 7 or 8 orders of magnitude. Failure to appreciate this is asinine.

  12. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in Costa RIca – “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: journos don’t grok orders of magnitude or Fermi approximations, ergo they have broken bullshit detectors.”

    I think they would have to be particularly thick not to notice that 1. dental x-rays are fairly safe and 2. this is a thousand times smaller. This being swimming in the sea every day for an entire year.

    I suspect they got all excited when they heard that someone detected it – and even though they knew it was bullsh!t, published anyway. Because, you know, nuclear. Clickbait but in a deadwood medium.

    Bloke in Germany – “Butthurt would require SMFS to deploy something other than his entirely flaccid so-called arguments.”

    Dare to dream, boyo. Although that particular fantasy does make your stalking weirder. I guess your googling did not work out?

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