After a nuclear bomb is dropped and people suffer radiation poisoning, do the people carry the radiation and spread it? If one person took a train from the bomb site to a city miles away, would it spread to that city or on the train?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 06, 2020 03:56 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 06, 2020 03:56 PM

A person exposed to radioactive fallout could indeed spread it as they travel. However, if the radiation they were exposed to doesn’t make them too sick, too fast to get to the train, what little bit they spread through the car and that is them picked up by some passer by won’t do much harm at all.

Radiation isn’t magic death cooties. The mostly lethal radiation produced by a nuclear weapon is lethal specifically because it decays so fast. It’s gone within a few days, leaving less dangerous, longer lasting radiation which can increased cancer risk for decades. After that remains only extremely long-lived and therefore essentially harmless background radiation.

If that surprises you, it might also surprise you to know that unless you work in nuclear power or live through a nuclear war, about a third of the radiation you will be exposed to in your life will come from the potassium in your own bones—which emit about 5,000 photons per second of

Which can’t hurt you. Because you have trillions of cells, all on the lookout for that sort of thing.

In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even those with the worst cases of radiation sickness, if they survived the initial illness, went on to have only about a 15% increased lifetime risk of cancer. Not nothing, but not quite the lurking horror people believe.

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