Fukushima FUD exposed

Headlines about the Japanese nuclear power plant that was overrun with the tsunami and earthquake a while back still show up with regularity in a manner that implies doom and gloom – i.e. FUD mongering. Matthew Rave describes his view Radioactive water from Fukushima: don’t worry about it. Of course, his explanation has numbers and measures and other attributes of the real world rather than hyperbole, generalizations, logical fallacies and such things that FUD mongering depends upon so do be careful.

“Ok.  Time out.  We need a reality check.  First of all, what’s “radioactive water”?  If I take a Geiger-Müller tube and wave it over any seawater, I will detect radioactivity.  I will also detect radioactivity in any banana (from 40K), and in my dog Banjo (from 14C).”

“Here’s a summary of what I’m saying.  Fukushima was a disaster, sure.  But no one in America should worry in the slightest.  You get way, way, way more radiation exposure from the person you’re sleeping next to, than you do from some water in the western Pacific.”

Like a lot of things that deal with the margins between human bodies and the ‘world out there’ the matter is one of dose. Too much DHMO and it will kill you. Too little and you die. People live in a sea of radiation and sometimes the basement can be dangerous. When it comes to radiation, it is easily measured and there is a lot of good data about just what risk any particular dose over a given period of time has. That doesn’t stop the FUD mongerers, though, as reality never does.

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