Radiation Near Non-Nuclear Sausalito

A high school teacher wrote this treatise:

Obtaining and Investigating Unconventional Sources of Radioactivity,” David R. Lapp [Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, CA], The Physics Teacher, vol. 48, February 2010, pp. 90-92. The author writes:

Sausalito, California, the city bordering the one I teach in, has a ‘Nuclear Free Zone’ sign (Fig. 1). I often wonder how many readers of the sign actually believe it’s possible to live in such a place. I know the intent is to protest nuclear power or weapons, but I have a feeling that many of the promoters and readers of those signs feel as though it is possible to find a spot somewhere where they could actually be free of nuclear radiation. Physics teachers know that barring nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants from a community doesn’t come close to removing sources of nuclear radiation. In fact, we know that, although generally small in activity, radiation is pervasive…. When introducing nuclear radiation, I have students gather closely around a large lab table containing, unbeknownst to them, a number of radioactive materials.”

  • JOE DANDA

    I do not understand why the editor of Improbable Research introduced this topic here. Nothing fun at all about the story.
    Scientifically, this topic reminds me of the “H-bomb accident” occurred in 1966 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_Palomares_B-52_crash
    Once such an incidence occurs, it is extremely difficult (sometimes not possible) to clean the area completely for long time. So I wonder if there might have been similar incidence in the area of Sausalito CA.
    It is also true that we are exposed to radiation from various sources in our daily lives. Even “Fire Alarm” commonly installed everywhere is considered to be a source of radiation. Some radiation comes even from walls of buildings in the city.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    I wonder how many want-to-be-nuclear-free people also eat bananas. Or enjoy sunlight.