System of Fear: A Dose of Radiation Reality

14 10 2013

In line with last week’s post, please see the below infographic, which paints radiation doses in the visual context of a sort of system of planets according to size (click to enlarge):


As is plainly evident, it’s shocking how much the public perception of radiation doses and negative health effects differs from reality.

(For example, in today’s perceptual climate, who would believe that a person could live within a mile of a nuclear powerplant for a thousand years before receiving the radiation dose from a single medical CT scan?)

If feedback to this is positive, I think I’ll make this the first in a series of similar infographics.  (Perhaps people would find it interesting/useful to next have illustrated the relative magnitudes of nuclear disasters?)


If anyone doubts the numbers in the above diagram, please feel free to investigate the references for yourselves!

International Atomic Energy Agency:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

U.S. National Council on Radiological Protection (via the Health Physics Society):

U.S. Department of Energy:



2 responses

15 10 2013

Reblogged this on robert's space and commented:
pls man i use rads.

27 10 2013
David S. F. Portree

Of course, if that nuclear plant does a Chernobyl/Fukishima, then all bets are off. I think the risk of accident, the long history of nuclear warfare threat, drives much fear. Not that you are incorrect, but worries have to be put in that context.


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