SV: [ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen

Olsson Mattias :MSO mso at
Tue May 6 04:28:38 CDT 2008

The interesting post below reminded me about an old incident I've been told about with radiation alarms being set off by the smoke from a Danish coal fired power plant. The detector was placed at the Barsebäck NPP site in Sweden, apparently in the plume. Burning stuff that has been dug up from the ground seems like a nice way to spread uranium. Or did, before modern filter technology anyway.

Mattias Olsson
Östhammar, Sweden

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] För Dan W McCarn
Ämne: RE: [ RadSafe ] Re: uranium smoke is a teratogen
Since everyone on the planet has been exposed to natural concentrations of uranyl ions, constantly, day after day after day for their entire lives, how exactly is this so different from a brief, downwind exposure to smoke? And at what distance? Since the smoke should follow the behavior of a Gauss "puff", as opposed to a "plume", after a kilometer or so of diffusion the concentration is very low. Once the dust settles, infiltration of rainwater will move it deeper into the soil column along with all the other nicely-behaving, natural uranyl complexes.  Then we can consider it part of the English Garden calculation.

The point is that smoke: 
   1) is not persistent, 
   2) exposure times are brief, 
   3) concentrations are low and 
   4) natural sources of uranyl complexes dominate exposure in the long run.

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
Houston & Albuquerque (but soon to be Paris!)

More information about the RadSafe mailing list