[ RadSafe ] 250K microSv

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Wed Jun 15 21:16:35 CDT 2011

June 15

	A June 14 article in the Wall Street Journal [1] displays a 
quasi-graph of radiation exposure in general, and exposure to the 
Fukushima workers.  The graph uses microsieverts for its units.

	A marker bar at 50,000 uSv notes that this is the "Normal annual 
exposure limit for radiation workers in Japan."  The next bar is at 
100,000 uSv.  At this level of exposure, the graph says, "the chances 
of getting cancer rise slightly.  Normally, exposure for Japanese 
radiation workers can't go above this level during a five-year period."

	Farther up the graph, we are told that "Plant operator Tepco says 
two workers may have logged exposure of 650,000 microsieverts."  The 
graph itself tops out at 250,000 uSv, "The new limit for Japanese 
workers dealing with a nuclear crisis like Fukushima Daiichi."

	What's with the use of such a small unit?  Has the WSJ's writer 
bought into the anti-nuke histrionics of using minute units?  On a 
deeper level, do the WSJ copy editors and the writer actually believe 
the readers are such ignoramuses or non-sophisticates they can't do a 
little mental arithmetic and easily express these extravagant 
exposure levels in reasonable amounts?

	What's really going on here?

Steven Dapra


1	Japanese Nuclear Cleanup Workers Detail Lax Safety Practices at 
Plant.  Phred Dvorak.  Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2011; pp. 1, 
continued on p. 12.

	The link is


	I have not tried the link.  I obtained it by doing a Google search 
using the title of the article and the words "Wall Street Journal."

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