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.”

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