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rmartinho/rad.md

Last active Jul 28, 2016
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Randall Munroe's Radiation Dose Chart

(presented in units of time of exposure to background radiation)

Description Dose
Sleeping next to someone 7m
Living within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant for a year 13m
Eating one banana 15m
Living within 50 miles of a coal power plant for a year 45m
Arm x-ray 2h30m
Using a CRT monitor for a year 2h30m
Extra dose for spending one day in an area with higher-than-average background radiation 3h
Dental x-ray 12h
Background radiation received by one person over one normal day 1d
Chest x-ray 2d
EPA yearly release target for a nuclear power plant 3d
Airplane flight from New York to LA 4d
Extra dose to Tokyo in weeks following Fukushima accident 4d
Living in a stone, brick, or concrete building for a year 7d
Average total dose from the Three Mile Island accident to someone living within 10 miles 8d
Approximate total dose received at Fukushima town hall over two weeks following accident 10d
EPA yearly release limit for a nuclear power plant 25d
Yearly dose from natural potassium in the body 6w
Mammogram 6w
Maximum external dose from Three Mile Island accident 14w
Typical dose over two weeks in Fukushima Exclusion Zone 14w
EPA yearly limit on radiation exposure to a single member of the public 100d
Head CT scan 7mo
Normal yearly background dose 1y
Dose from spending an hour on the grounds at the Chernobyl plant in 2010 20mo
Chest CT scan 2y
Approximate total dose at one station at the northwest edge of the Fukushima Exclusion Zone 11y
Maximum yearly dose permitted for US radiation workers 14y
Lowest one-year dose clearly linked to increased cancer risk 28y
EPA dose limit for emergency workers protecting valuable property 28y
Dose received by two Fukushima plant workers 50y
EPA dose limit for emergency workers in lifesaving operations 70y
Dose causing symptoms of radiation poisoning if received in a short time 100y
Severe radiation poisoning, in some cases fatal 500y
Usually fatal radiation poisoning; survival occasionally possible with prompt treatment 1000y
Fatal dose, even with treatment 2000y
Ten minutes next to Chernobyl reactor core after explosion and meltdown 12000y

(This table is meant to make gauging the severity of different events easy; in that spirit, presentation and simplicity beat accuracy)

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