4 Jan 2008

Personal Radiation Dose

In-Class Activity

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College
Topics Covered: 
I mostly use this exercise as a "see, most of your radiation does is NOT from nuclear plants."  I have used this in both General Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry when doing a nuclear chemistry or energy production unit.
Microsoft Office document icon Personal Radiation Dose29.5 KB
Equipment needs: 
Implementation Notes: 

Helps if you have some sense of the elevation you live at, and/or the elevation of places that your students came from.

Time Required: 
10 minutes
Evaluation Methods: 

None.<br />

Evaluation Results: 

Students love this exercise. They are quite surpised at the difference of living near a coal vs. a nuclear plant.

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


Of course, some of your radiation DOES come from nuclear power plants. This has hit home recently after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that severely affected the Fukushima power plants.   This graph does a good job of showing the relative doses from a variety of sources. So does this one.

The original author states "I waive all copyright to this chart and place it in the public domain, so you are free to reuse it anywhere with no permission necessary. (However, keep in mind that I am not a radiation expert, and this chart is intended for general public informational use only.)"

In the graphic, it is a bit more explicit:  "If you're basing radiation safety procedures on an internet PNG image and things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself."

However, it is a good graphic that shows natural and unnatural sources of radiation.


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