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Environmental Radioactivity

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:50 pm
by Richard Hull
The is a great reference on the environment in 1963, once the test ban treaty was signed.

Environmental Radioactivity , Merril Eisenbud, 1963

I was in my first year of college then. The atmosphere and lands of the planet were as evenly loaded with nuclear ash as they would be due to atmospheric nuclear bomb testing. Most of the short lived nuclides were decayed. The long lived materials abounded. This tome is loaded with charts, fact, figures and diagrams from sources all over the world. It is a good scholarly work with many references. Much of the work is of current or modern research. The various food and vegetable absorption rates are in large tables. Attention is also given to nuclear power radioactive materials that might wind up in the environment.

My young growing body absorbed a fair amount of fallout in the 40's 50' and early 60's. I drank plenty of milk with all meals, even at school (Sr90, Co60 & Cs137). Virtually all fallout from bomb testing is now a mere shadow of its former intensity and much what little left of it is deep into the soil now due to rains and runoff. The book also discusses this and notes the various tens of billions of curies of ash blanketing the earth.

The book also notes that hots spots on earth are solely around actual test sites or are of natural origin. (South America, Africa)

A good look back at the huge loading of the planet due to the hundreds of nuclear atmospheric bomb tests from 1 kiloton to 20 megatons and more.

Richard Hull