Who on Earth is exposed to the most ionizing radiation?
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I’m filming a documentary for TV about how Uranium and radioactivity have shaped the modern world. It will be broadcast in mid-2015, details to come. The filming took me to the most radioactive places on Earth (and some places, which surprisingly aren’t as radioactive as you’d think). Chernobyl and Fukushima were incredible to see as they present post-apocalyptic landscapes. I also visited nuclear power plants, research reactors, Marie Curie’s institute, Einstein’s apartment, nuclear medicine areas of hospitals, uranium mines, nuclear bomb sites, and interviewed numerous experts.
Notes about measuring radiation:
Sieverts are a measure of ‘effective dose’ – that means they measure the biological impact of the energy transferred to tissues from radiation.
Obviously I owe a debt to the fantastic chart made by xkcd, which inspired my visual approach to this video.
DOSES MAY VARY
The level of radiation varies widely around the world depending mainly on altitude and geology (excluding nuclear accidents).
Estimates of particular doses also vary. All numbers reported in this video should be taken as order of magnitude only.
The most contentious claim may be that smokers receive the highest dose of ionizing radiation. This is not a whole body dose, but a dose to the lungs as specified in the video. References are here:
Special thanks to:
Physics Girl: https://www.youtube.com/physicswoman
Natalie Tran: https://www.youtube.com/communitychannel
Nigel and Helen for feedback on earlier drafts of this video.
Music is “Stale Mate”