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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Radiation Knowledge for Dummies -- W(r) Multiplier for Danger

Every isotope has a W(r) rating, that estimates the physiological damage done to humans.

They used to call it a "quality".   LOL, right from the get go the nukists were calling killing ability "quality".

These W(r)'s have quite a bit of science behind them, although ultimately they are not perfect.    There is both testing and calculation done.

For instance Plutonium has been estimated by some to have a W(r) of 112,000

Run of the mill Beta emitters are assigned a value of 1 external

When they become internal, there is wide range of W(r)'s from 5 to hundreds, to the Pu example above.

For simplicity, "they" choose to say that when the isotope gets inside your body it is 20 time more dangerous.   But in reality it is a wide range.   Nevertheless it is useful to have a simple "gut feeling" on how much more dangerous it is.

I'll add more to this as time allows.

Nukists play fast and loose with "facts", you need knowledge to filter the truth, EXAMPLE

Prof. Neutron
It is true that not all isotopes are equally damaging, biologically. Regarding "natural" versus "manmade" radioisotopes, let's consider potassium-40 and cesium-134 and cesium-137. Potassium-40 produces a 1.3 MeV beta 89% of the time. Betas are simply electrons, and biologically they are absorbed readily by tissue, causing genetic and other damage. Cesium-137 produces betas with 0.5 MeV energy. Less energy means less damage per radioactive decay. Cesium-134 produces an even lower-energy beta at 0.14 MeV, plus two gamma rays of higher energy, which tend to escape the body but can be absorbed, causing biological damage.
The bottom line is that radioactive potassium, found naturally in seawater and in the human body is no safer than the radioactive cesium isotopes of cesium from Fukushima. Your body typically has about 5000 Bq of potassium 40.
Please note:I am not a shill, I do not work in the nuclear power industry, and no one is paying me to write this. I am just trying to help the readers of ENENews put stories like this in proper perspective.

Thats pretty shill like to me.
The decay of CS137 on the first step of the decay chain is .51Mev 95% of the time but 5% of the time it goes straight to Ba137 releasing 1.17MeV
In the primary case 95% of the time when CS137 convert to Ba(M) intermediate product, which the Ba(m) has a half life of 2.5minutes, so it then does a rapid one two punch from the same particle and with a more damaging gamma blast for a total energy drop of 1.17MeV.
Failing to express it like that indicates a propensity to mislead.
Cesium is far worse than natural potassium K40, cesium concentrates in muscles including the heart
Potassium is regulated by the body to a constant level.


  1. Potassium is regulated chemically. However the more than 1 MeV gamma photon it emits still interacts with our cells. A 1 MeV photon is a qusnta of energy. Once it's emitted and on its merry way to its target, it doesn't care where it came from. This notion that a 1 MeV photon from potassium is somehow different than any other 1 Mev photon is absurd. The difference between isotopes is both energy and intensity (particles/sec).

    1. Incorrect, potassium is well spread out, that make all the difference in the opposed to cesium which will concentrate in muscles, like the heart, or strontium which goes to the bones and teeth, or plutonium which goes to the liver and bones.

      The disaster in genetic is when you have a double double strand break that recombines wrong….this occurs when a cell suffers repeated attacks from radiation, i.e. from when a bunch of radioactive isotopes congregate in one place.

      That doesn’t happen with K40, it is well spread out.


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