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[Chernobyl] In Soviet Russia....

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Regardless, people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation shouldn't be treated like modern lepers - though they should still be isolated for their own protection as they are immunocompromised. Essentially, the visitor is more of a risk than the patient.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
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    MonwynMonwyn Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime. A little bit of everything, all of the time.Registered User regular
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    The radioactive fallout is internal, in the lungs, where the absence of a protective skin barrier results in continuous damage from ionizing radiation within the body. However, the body acts as its own radiation shield, dampening the emitted radiation from inhaled specks of dust to inconsequential levels to those adjacent to them - once they've been externally cleaned. The issue is inhaling the actual particles not well embedded inside a person in a place close to your vital organs.

    It is far more likely that the wife got contaminated from another source, like going outside. The panic is authentic, the science is not.

    Not necessarily the case - different isotopes have different elimination pathways and can cause (generally mild) contamination even if externally cleaned. Also, gamma radiation is not shielded fully by the human body

    Generally, I agree it’s mostly inconsequential. But I’m also not positive what kind of uptake these firefighters had

    I mean, that's true, but unless the firefighter was literally melting or named Boris Bannerovich it seems unlikely he'd be throwing off hard gammas

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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    edited June 2019
    Monwyn wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    The radioactive fallout is internal, in the lungs, where the absence of a protective skin barrier results in continuous damage from ionizing radiation within the body. However, the body acts as its own radiation shield, dampening the emitted radiation from inhaled specks of dust to inconsequential levels to those adjacent to them - once they've been externally cleaned. The issue is inhaling the actual particles not well embedded inside a person in a place close to your vital organs.

    It is far more likely that the wife got contaminated from another source, like going outside. The panic is authentic, the science is not.

    Not necessarily the case - different isotopes have different elimination pathways and can cause (generally mild) contamination even if externally cleaned. Also, gamma radiation is not shielded fully by the human body

    Generally, I agree it’s mostly inconsequential. But I’m also not positive what kind of uptake these firefighters had

    I mean, that's true, but unless the firefighter was literally melting or named Boris Bannerovich it seems unlikely he'd be throwing off hard gammas

    Cs-137, a common fission product and one of the big Chernobyl contaminants, is a gamma emitter though (eventually) and relatively high energy

    y2jake215 on
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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    But yeah, the amount to be a real health risk to others would be deadly af

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Russia is making their own Chernobyl series in response to the one made in the west
    Part of this crusade is a Russia-produced series from the country’s NTV channel. Directed by filmmaker Alexei Muradov, their project will focus not on the aftermath of the explosion, but instead on what Shepelin calls a “conspiracy theory” that inserts American spies into the narrative.

    Of his story, Muradov says, “One theory holds that Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and many historians do not deny that, on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station.” The heroes, then, will not be the scientists, soldiers, and civilians who helped prevent a further spread of radiation, but rather the KGB officers trying to thwart these CIA operatives
    .

    Russia and the Soviet Union before used to be all about whataboutism. "Yeah, you say this ethnic group might not be getting treated well, but what about your own civil rights issues? Your police are turning fire hoses and dogs on unarmed peaceful protesters!" Sure, deflection doesn't actually answer claims, but it usually worked well enough for them because there's always a log in the other person's eye so there's always a sting. There's plenty to whatabout, like Flint.

    I find this turn towards conspiracy theories in Russia to be disturbing. It's like they've become so poisoned by spewing propaganda at the rest of the world (they've been fueling anti-vaxxers for instance by funding and bots) that its warping their own minds.

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    VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Russia is making their own Chernobyl series in response to the one made in the west
    Part of this crusade is a Russia-produced series from the country’s NTV channel. Directed by filmmaker Alexei Muradov, their project will focus not on the aftermath of the explosion, but instead on what Shepelin calls a “conspiracy theory” that inserts American spies into the narrative.

    Of his story, Muradov says, “One theory holds that Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and many historians do not deny that, on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station.” The heroes, then, will not be the scientists, soldiers, and civilians who helped prevent a further spread of radiation, but rather the KGB officers trying to thwart these CIA operatives
    .

    Russia and the Soviet Union before used to be all about whataboutism. "Yeah, you say this ethnic group might not be getting treated well, but what about your own civil rights issues? Your police are turning fire hoses and dogs on unarmed peaceful protesters!" Sure, deflection doesn't actually answer claims, but it usually worked well enough for them because there's always a log in the other person's eye so there's always a sting. There's plenty to whatabout, like Flint.

    I find this turn towards conspiracy theories in Russia to be disturbing. It's like they've become so poisoned by spewing propaganda at the rest of the world (they've been fueling anti-vaxxers for instance by funding and bots) that its warping their own minds.

    In Russia? The rest of the world is right there with them.

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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Radiation effects rapidly splitting cells way more than normal ones. So a fetus wouldn't "absorb" it but would be much more susceptible to the effects.

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    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    Radiation effects rapidly splitting cells way more than normal ones. So a fetus wouldn't "absorb" it but would be much more susceptible to the effects.

    yeah both mother and fetus absorbed the same levels of radiation but the child was far more vulnerable.
    Now the line does sound like the sort of old wive's tale that would have been said at the time, but the person saying it should have known better than that, which just adds to the problem of making one character a gestalt of every person who becomes both an expert in everything and is also an off the street rando who doesn't know anything at the same time.

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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    If a person is themselves radioactive depends completely on the specifics of their exposure. If they were exposed to gamma, beta or alpha only; they would get a dose but would not be radioactive.

    If however they have actual radioactive nucleotides inside them they may well be. The human body would shield against beta and alpha but gamma would still be emitted.

    I havent watched this show yet so i can't comment on the thing that sparked this conversation.

    As an example though, there was an American test reactor in the 50s or 60s that had a criticality accident. Its the one where a rod was ejected at high speed and literally impaled someone on the ceiling, killing them. Three? People died. Their corpses were very radioactive.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    This particular firefighter was exposed to gamma radioactive materials, but the only likely method of internal contamination was ingestion or inhalation of particulates

    Note that alpha and beta radiation are actual particles and gamma radiation is just energy

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    This particular firefighter was exposed to gamma radioactive materials, but the only likely method of internal contamination was ingestion or inhalation of particulates

    Note that alpha and beta radiation are actual particles and gamma radiation is just energy

    actually... 😁 photons are particles. The distinction you are describing is Fermions and Bosons, or you want to use the word 'massive'.

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
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    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    Radiation effects rapidly splitting cells way more than normal ones. So a fetus wouldn't "absorb" it but would be much more susceptible to the effects.

    Alternatively: If the mother's abdomen recieved localized exposure to a close source, their equivalent doses (a Sv is measured as joules absorbed/body mass) could be very different. One unaware of this might glance at her chart and see the baby received three times as many Sv and conclude that it leeched them out of the mother.

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    was surprised that the water valve guys survived. I guess water is a pretty effective radiation shield and all.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    This particular firefighter was exposed to gamma radioactive materials, but the only likely method of internal contamination was ingestion or inhalation of particulates

    Note that alpha and beta radiation are actual particles and gamma radiation is just energy

    actually... 😁 photons are particles. The distinction you are describing is Fermions and Bosons, or you want to use the word 'massive'.

    Bleeehhhh

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    This mini series seems to be getting a lot of flak for being a dramatization. Like, we get it, it didn't portray with 100% accuracy the goings on of the Chernobyl disaster. Again: dramatization.

    The same goes for any other work of art that seeks to communicate a political message by dramatizing a real life event, or otherwise inventing a scenario that occurs during a real, historic period in time. A documentary this was not. Stop conflating it with one.

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    AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    It was also a pretty faithful one as these things go so if you're tired of only getting wildly inaccurate "loosely based on a true story maybe" shows then maybe temper some of the criticism.

    I've seen comments like "why even make it if it's not true to facts" and like, come on guys...

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    The only reason I care about the radiation issue is that it might give a wrong idea about radiation. It's hard to balance because lack of knowledge - about radiation, whether the plans will work, what happened, who's going to die - is the scariest part of all this. We don't know what will happen when the dosimeter goes crazy or the lights short circuit or the boot gets cut. The more unknowable a foe the radiation is, the more formidable it is. However, this fear is a real life fear and affects our understanding of real life issues. Chernobyl handled it fine even when it was fictional, like when the helicopter crashed after flying into the cloud (it really happened six months later when the radiation was mostly contained). Despite the event being fictional, it was science fiction and likely could have happened. The fetus radiation issue, though, is not very likely and could lead people to misattribute cause if they ever get potentially exposed to radiation. It's powerful, but it teaches a myth likely to be believed as fact.

    A difficult task the show could have done was better demonstrate that everyone involved was gambling with their lives. Some lived and some died, but they were all dealing with grim and unknowable chances with prizes and punishments doled out in chaos. It betrays movie logic of absolute death flags - everyone had a potential death flag, and nothing they did could ensure its removal.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    This particular firefighter was exposed to gamma radioactive materials, but the only likely method of internal contamination was ingestion or inhalation of particulates

    Note that alpha and beta radiation are actual particles and gamma radiation is just energy

    Also important to note is just because you ingest or inhale particulates doesn’t mean they can’t be gamma emitters

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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    They said the baby “absorbed all the radiation” which doesn’t make any sense in that context

    Hm. I’m not sure if the science with regard to radionuclides, but I recall that a fetus can bioconcentrate toxins/drugs from the mother in some cases.

    I am aware that small molecule drugs are different in kind from isolated radionuclides.

    It can - but the (deconned) firefighter wouldn’t be exposing the mother or fetus to contamination, just radiation, which cant be “absorbed”. Like Paladin said, the most likely explanation is the mother absorbed a bunch of radioactive material just being in Pripyat, nothing to do with her husband

    Oh, I see. Yeah. Good point.

    The exposure levels of the people who went into the reactor to fight the fire was sufficient that they were themselves radioactive. They were not contaminated with fallout. They had direct slow neutron exposure which caused them to be radioactive themselves like, say, the graphite was. They don't build the core with radioactive graphite, the core activates it. Which is what happened here to those firefighters and some other responders.

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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    Okay so my husband and I have been talking about why would people themselves be radioactive after exposure

    It would have to be only in people that breathed in or otherwise ingested radioactive material, right? Dust inhaled, something in water or food?

    The light googling I've done tells me that their fluids could have radioactive particles still in them so touching could expose you. And that also if they have particles emitting gamma rays within their body, being close to the body would potentially expose you.

    A fetus is particularly susceptible to radiation damage because all the cells are dividing quickly, amplifying any dna damage.

    "The fetus absorbed the radiation" is maybe an imprecise term meant to signify that radioactive particles in the moms body ended up in the fetus because it's sucking up nutrients/blood? Doesn't really make sense though.

    So It Goes on
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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    They said the baby “absorbed all the radiation” which doesn’t make any sense in that context

    Hm. I’m not sure if the science with regard to radionuclides, but I recall that a fetus can bioconcentrate toxins/drugs from the mother in some cases.

    I am aware that small molecule drugs are different in kind from isolated radionuclides.

    It can - but the (deconned) firefighter wouldn’t be exposing the mother or fetus to contamination, just radiation, which cant be “absorbed”. Like Paladin said, the most likely explanation is the mother absorbed a bunch of radioactive material just being in Pripyat, nothing to do with her husband

    Oh, I see. Yeah. Good point.

    The exposure levels of the people who went into the reactor to fight the fire was sufficient that they were themselves radioactive. They were not contaminated with fallout. They had direct slow neutron exposure which caused them to be radioactive themselves like, say, the graphite was. They don't build the core with radioactive graphite, the core activates it. Which is what happened here to those firefighters and some other responders.

    Ok I need more science on why this is, because it's fascinating and terrifying

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    SealSeal Registered User regular
    Atomic nuclei absorb free neutrons and become unstable isotopes, releasing the excess energy at a later time in various forms of ionizing radiation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_activation

    If I have one half-hearted knock on this show is they never got to explaining how complicated and unintuitive "radiation" is. I think we see a glimpse of it in the helicopter when Legasov is asked by Boris Shcherbina to explain nuclear power to him and for a moment Legasov is silent as he contemplates where to even start. We use radiation as a catchall term like we use "cancer" as a catchall term for a huge variety of genetic malfunctions across many tissue types that lead to cells replicating uncontrolled in the body. Alpha and beta particles, neutrons, x-rays, gamma rays, some are completely different things, others are higher energy versions of themselves, but they all fall under the same vague term and we use metaphors for them like "bullets" but they behave in ways that are outside of the context of our everyday lives. You can call it a bullet, but a bullet won't emerge out of a wall a week later as two pieces of shrapnel and a laser beam.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    tbloxham wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    They said the baby “absorbed all the radiation” which doesn’t make any sense in that context

    Hm. I’m not sure if the science with regard to radionuclides, but I recall that a fetus can bioconcentrate toxins/drugs from the mother in some cases.

    I am aware that small molecule drugs are different in kind from isolated radionuclides.

    It can - but the (deconned) firefighter wouldn’t be exposing the mother or fetus to contamination, just radiation, which cant be “absorbed”. Like Paladin said, the most likely explanation is the mother absorbed a bunch of radioactive material just being in Pripyat, nothing to do with her husband

    Oh, I see. Yeah. Good point.

    The exposure levels of the people who went into the reactor to fight the fire was sufficient that they were themselves radioactive. They were not contaminated with fallout. They had direct slow neutron exposure which caused them to be radioactive themselves like, say, the graphite was. They don't build the core with radioactive graphite, the core activates it. Which is what happened here to those firefighters and some other responders.

    I don't think this is correct because in the case of a meltdown, fission has largely stopped. Criticality is over, there is no more chain reaction, and there are no more slow neutrons because the moderator apparatus has been blown into a million pieces. You need an intact, enclosed moderator adjacent to the fissile compound to propagate a fission reaction. No moderation, and fission doesn't happen anymore, unless you force the fission in all the material through a strategically shaped explosion, which is an atomic bomb. Only through that method and by being next to an active fission reactor can you get a high dose of neutron radiation. The moment chernobyl exploded, the fission reaction was over, and along with it the preponderance of neutron radiation. Without neutrons to propagate the process, the predominant radiation of U235 decay by a huge margin would be alpha, beta, and to a lesser extent gamma radiation, which do not have the potential to turn people radioactive. Sure, a few neutrons would be released, but not much in any way comparable to when the reactor was intact.

    Paladin on
    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    Also, the graphite is in contact with a heavy neutron flux for far, far longer than any person was

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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    They said the baby “absorbed all the radiation” which doesn’t make any sense in that context

    Hm. I’m not sure if the science with regard to radionuclides, but I recall that a fetus can bioconcentrate toxins/drugs from the mother in some cases.

    I am aware that small molecule drugs are different in kind from isolated radionuclides.

    It can - but the (deconned) firefighter wouldn’t be exposing the mother or fetus to contamination, just radiation, which cant be “absorbed”. Like Paladin said, the most likely explanation is the mother absorbed a bunch of radioactive material just being in Pripyat, nothing to do with her husband

    Oh, I see. Yeah. Good point.

    The exposure levels of the people who went into the reactor to fight the fire was sufficient that they were themselves radioactive. They were not contaminated with fallout. They had direct slow neutron exposure which caused them to be radioactive themselves like, say, the graphite was. They don't build the core with radioactive graphite, the core activates it. Which is what happened here to those firefighters and some other responders.

    I don't think this is correct because in the case of a meltdown, fission has largely stopped. Criticality is over, there is no more chain reaction, and there are no more slow neutrons because the moderator apparatus has been blown into a million pieces. You need an intact, enclosed moderator adjacent to the fissile compound to propagate a fission reaction. No moderation, and fission doesn't happen anymore, unless you force the fission in all the material through a strategically shaped explosion, which is an atomic bomb. Only through that method and by being next to an active fission reactor can you get a high dose of neutron radiation. The moment chernobyl exploded, the fission reaction was over, and along with it the preponderance of neutron radiation. Without neutrons to propagate the process, the predominant radiation of U235 decay by a huge margin would be alpha, beta, and to a lesser extent gamma radiation, which do not have the potential to turn people radioactive. Sure, a few neutrons would be released, but not much in any way comparable to when the reactor was intact.

    If the radiation level was higher just putting U-235 in a pile (and I suspect it was), induced fission was still occurring. Just in uncontrolled splurts.

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    VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    Also, the graphite is in contact with a heavy neutron flux for far, far longer than any person was

    And even then I’m not sure that 12C to 14C is the major problem. Absorption of fission byproducts into the carbon matrix and activation of trace impurities in the graphite are much larger contributors to the radioactivity of nuclear graphite.

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited June 2019
    Draaaaaafts
    So It Goes wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    People dying of radiation sickness aren't themselves radioactive after they take a shower, so being pregnant around them will not irradiate the fetus.

    pretty sure they are. They weren't just exposed to ionizing radiation they absorbed a lot of radioactive particles which are really difficult to get out of the body.

    They said the baby “absorbed all the radiation” which doesn’t make any sense in that context

    Hm. I’m not sure if the science with regard to radionuclides, but I recall that a fetus can bioconcentrate toxins/drugs from the mother in some cases.

    I am aware that small molecule drugs are different in kind from isolated radionuclides.

    It can - but the (deconned) firefighter wouldn’t be exposing the mother or fetus to contamination, just radiation, which cant be “absorbed”. Like Paladin said, the most likely explanation is the mother absorbed a bunch of radioactive material just being in Pripyat, nothing to do with her husband

    Oh, I see. Yeah. Good point.

    The exposure levels of the people who went into the reactor to fight the fire was sufficient that they were themselves radioactive. They were not contaminated with fallout. They had direct slow neutron exposure which caused them to be radioactive themselves like, say, the graphite was. They don't build the core with radioactive graphite, the core activates it. Which is what happened here to those firefighters and some other responders.

    Ok I need more science on why this is, because it's fascinating and terrifying

    Neutron activation is where a material (like graphite) has absorbed so much neutron radiation that it, itself, has become radioactive. Think about the law of conservation of mass - those neutrons went somewhere, and if they don't stay trapped in that material then they'll be emitted in the form of neutron radiation.

    Any substance capable of absorbing neutrons can, potentially, with enough exposure, become activated, including water and carbon.

    That said, I'm not certain that the neutron activation of the constituents of the human body after acute radiation exposure is enough to make human tissue radioactive enough to be a threat to other people. Maybe with a scenario as extreme as Chernobyl, perhaps. But I can tell you that it was not an issue with Fukushima nor is it enough of an issue to be a concern in usual decontamination protocols.

    Where secondary exposure to bystanders is concerned, the usual issue is surface contamination: particles of radioactive on your clothes, hair, and skin. That is dealt with by taking a long thorough shower with soap and a fresh set of clothes.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    They went into direct line of sight of the core, where the moderated reaction absolutely had not stopped. That's why they had to put the silicon and boron on it, because they are neutron absorbers which prevent the cascade from happening. Some of the graphite moderators were thrown out, not all of them. All of the control rods were thrown out. The reactor was 100% live and at far higher than full power and open. Neutrons were pouring out in a deadly bath, activating nitrogen and carbon in their bodies, alongside other elements.

    They were perhaps 1 millionth as radioactive as the control rods, given that they were exposed to direct neutron flux from an active reactor. Which is why they died over like a week, rather than immediately catching on fire.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    They went into direct line of sight of the core, where the moderated reaction absolutely had not stopped. That's why they had to put the silicon and boron on it, because they are neutron absorbers which prevent the cascade from happening. Some of the graphite moderators were thrown out, not all of them. All of the control rods were thrown out. The reactor was 100% live and at far higher than full power and open. Neutrons were pouring out in a deadly bath, activating nitrogen and carbon in their bodies, alongside other elements.

    They were perhaps 1 millionth as radioactive as the control rods, given that they were exposed to direct neutron flux from an active reactor. Which is why they died over like a week, rather than immediately catching on fire.

    I think you are right in that the reactor fire was a residual fission reaction, but I doubt that the reactor was anywhere close to partly live as all of the light water was gone and most of the graphite was separated from the uranium. Moreover, neutrons reaching anybody not physically in the reactor are fast neutrons, which are exponentially more likely to wrecking ball through tissue than engage in neutron activation, which takes a really long time. The severity and lethality of acute radiation syndrome is not a marker of how radioactive you've become, since the damage is the result of energy particles/waves moving through tissue rather than becoming lodged in it. Therefore, standard decontamination will still reduce the threat of nuclear cross contamination to an additional risk that could probably be measured in bananas.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    y2jake215 wrote: »
    Also, the graphite is in contact with a heavy neutron flux for far, far longer than any person was

    And even then I’m not sure that 12C to 14C is the major problem. Absorption of fission byproducts into the carbon matrix and activation of trace impurities in the graphite are much larger contributors to the radioactivity of nuclear graphite.

    This. And these byproducts were being pumped into the air by the burning graphite and fuel elements. Neutron activation is quite unlikely to have been any major part of the fatal irradiation of the people that looked at the core. The gamma flux near that area was mind boggling intense. Iodine 131, Strontium 90, and Caesium 137 are all gamma emitters and also fission products.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I also just learned Lyudmilla Ignatenko was not able to come into physical contact with her husband in real life

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    GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    Her husband was still radioactive even when he died. That's the reason for the zinc coffins and concrete burials.

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    ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    On a related note regarding radiation: Marie Curie’s papers are still radioactive, are stored in lead containers, and people are required to wear protection while examining them. Even her cookbook is still highly radioactive.

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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    They went into direct line of sight of the core, where the moderated reaction absolutely had not stopped. That's why they had to put the silicon and boron on it, because they are neutron absorbers which prevent the cascade from happening. Some of the graphite moderators were thrown out, not all of them. All of the control rods were thrown out. The reactor was 100% live and at far higher than full power and open. Neutrons were pouring out in a deadly bath, activating nitrogen and carbon in their bodies, alongside other elements.

    They were perhaps 1 millionth as radioactive as the control rods, given that they were exposed to direct neutron flux from an active reactor. Which is why they died over like a week, rather than immediately catching on fire.

    I think you are right in that the reactor fire was a residual fission reaction, but I doubt that the reactor was anywhere close to partly live as all of the light water was gone and most of the graphite was separated from the uranium. Moreover, neutrons reaching anybody not physically in the reactor are fast neutrons, which are exponentially more likely to wrecking ball through tissue than engage in neutron activation, which takes a really long time. The severity and lethality of acute radiation syndrome is not a marker of how radioactive you've become, since the damage is the result of energy particles/waves moving through tissue rather than becoming lodged in it. Therefore, standard decontamination will still reduce the threat of nuclear cross contamination to an additional risk that could probably be measured in bananas.

    You are misunderstanding the balance of the reaction in the Soviet nuclear reactor. The removal of the water turned up the reactor power, it did not decrease it. The positive void coefficients highest multiplication factor is 'reactor completely empty'.

    In addition, even if we discount the nuetron radiation, they were breathing in, and getting lodged in their lungs, a wide variety of potent gamma emitters.

    You couldn't just wash them off. They were inside them.

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    Her husband was still radioactive even when he died. That's the reason for the zinc coffins and concrete burials.

    I looked it up, and hermetically sealed zinc coffins were actually common burials in the Soviet union outside of the Chernobyl incident. I can't get a verification that they were also encased in concrete; let me know if you do.

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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    Concrete coffins is a common thing that people do out of fear of radiation, not necessarily logic

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    They went into direct line of sight of the core, where the moderated reaction absolutely had not stopped. That's why they had to put the silicon and boron on it, because they are neutron absorbers which prevent the cascade from happening. Some of the graphite moderators were thrown out, not all of them. All of the control rods were thrown out. The reactor was 100% live and at far higher than full power and open. Neutrons were pouring out in a deadly bath, activating nitrogen and carbon in their bodies, alongside other elements.

    They were perhaps 1 millionth as radioactive as the control rods, given that they were exposed to direct neutron flux from an active reactor. Which is why they died over like a week, rather than immediately catching on fire.

    I think you are right in that the reactor fire was a residual fission reaction, but I doubt that the reactor was anywhere close to partly live as all of the light water was gone and most of the graphite was separated from the uranium. Moreover, neutrons reaching anybody not physically in the reactor are fast neutrons, which are exponentially more likely to wrecking ball through tissue than engage in neutron activation, which takes a really long time. The severity and lethality of acute radiation syndrome is not a marker of how radioactive you've become, since the damage is the result of energy particles/waves moving through tissue rather than becoming lodged in it. Therefore, standard decontamination will still reduce the threat of nuclear cross contamination to an additional risk that could probably be measured in bananas.

    You are misunderstanding the balance of the reaction in the Soviet nuclear reactor. The removal of the water turned up the reactor power, it did not decrease it. The positive void coefficients highest multiplication factor is 'reactor completely empty'.

    In addition, even if we discount the nuetron radiation, they were breathing in, and getting lodged in their lungs, a wide variety of potent gamma emitters.

    You couldn't just wash them off. They were inside them.

    I must admit I thought light water moderated neutron emission as well as absorbed it, and while I still believe this to be the case, it is immaterial since by definition the reactor cannot be running at peak power after it has exploded. The explosion stops criticality, which is why no reactor explosion can be a nuclear explosion. There's not much point to figuring this out, though, since we don't have much of a reference for how much neutron flux can possibly make someone radioactive enough to threaten pregnant women, though I still suspect the answer to be a lot more over a much longer period of time.

    Yes, you can ingest or inhale potent gamma emitters in proximity to an exposed reactor, but we generally don't worry about gamma emissions coming from inside a person. This is because potent gamma emitters are generally unstable with short half lives, and non potent gamma emitters tend to release alpha or beta radiation much, much more frequently. The amount of radioactive dust you can possibly get stuck in your lungs or GI tract are tiny compared to the corium slag, and not enough to produce significant sustained gamma radiation.

    It hardly needs to be said, but part of the public misconception of acute radiation sickness is that the continual disintegration of a person's skin and other organs as they suffer slow death means that a poison must be actively rampant inside their bodies, such as a radioactive particle. Not so. A person theoretically completely cleaned of foreign radioactive materials would suffer just as much and end up just as dead as the broken molecular structure of the body slowly decomposes. Therefore, the threat of radioactive contamination is not proportionate with the suffering of the individual. This, at least, is the myth of radiation I want to dispel most.

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    DacDac Registered User regular
    Just thinking about the fact that the firefighters were standing there next to an exposed core while the immensely radioactive graphite was scattered all among them makes me shudder.

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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    I mean given their clothes are still radioactive the dust and stuff must have been long lasting

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    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    Paladin wrote: »
    Gvzbgul wrote: »
    Her husband was still radioactive even when he died. That's the reason for the zinc coffins and concrete burials.

    I looked it up, and hermetically sealed zinc coffins were actually common burials in the Soviet union outside of the Chernobyl incident. I can't get a verification that they were also encased in concrete; let me know if you do.

    Zinc coffins are commonly used to transport and bury soldiers by the Russians, it's just a government issued coffin, not sure that it had anything to do with blocking radiation, in fact the reason zinc is used is because the coffin can still be x-rayed at airports while sealed, what it does do is prevent contamination of ground water because it's hermetically sealed. The grave site in Moscow where they were buried is still radioactive to this day.

    Edit: although some reports say some liquidators were buried in lead coffins, I'm not sure about that.

    DanHibiki on
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