[ RadSafe ] Total amount of plutonium dispersed in atomic bomb explosions etc An article on the "deadly" plutonium

parthasarathy k s ksparth at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Mar 19 11:19:04 CDT 2009

Dear Dr. Cedervall,

I recall that Prof Bernard Cohen has quantitatively eatimated the risk due to inhalation and ingestion of plutonium in one of his books.
Since there were many queries on plutonium, I wrote a brief article on the "deadly" plutonium in the Science & Technology section of the Hindu, a multi-edition English language daily in India.(Plutonium is going to play a big role in the three stage nuclear power programme in India

the URL of the article is

In this article I wrote thus:
"According to the 1982 report of the United Nations Scientific Committee
on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), between 1945 and 1980,
nuclear explosions dispersed about 2.8 tons of Pu-239 globally. “Still
life exists” Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski, a scientist who once chaired
UNSCEAR, reminded the readers (IHT December, 24 1996)."

Your thought is almost the same.

With warm regards

From: Bjorn Cedervall <bcradsafers at hotmail.com>
To: Dutch Radsafers <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Thursday, 19 March, 2009 19:38:25
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Total amount of plutonium dispersed in atomic bomb explosions etc

Dear All,

I see that an old argument against nuclear power is coming back - that one millionth of a gram plutonium can kill you/give you a deadly cancer etc. There is of course the difference between ingestion and inhalation etc but my view angle is different:

The total amounts globally in the form of weapons and in particular the question of total amount (order of magnitude - thousands of kilos??) dispearsed from atomic bomb tests.

If Pu was so deadly - wouldn't we all have died from it already then?

What I am after is also any reasoning or numbers relating to the relevance of these comparisons (I doubt that we will inhale nuclear waste dumps like vaccuum cleaners making every Pu atom pass our bodies...). Please help with numbers - we hear for instance in the Swedish public debate that it is this and that much of Pu in our nuclear reactors and this in turn is equivalent to a number of atomic bombs etc, etc.

My personal questions only,

Bjorn Cedervall    bcradsafers at hotmail.com

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