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Monday, October 10, 2011

Reed nuke connection to psych building interests feds

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is considering whether to renew the license of the creaky old toy research reactor and social club at Reed College, posed an interesting question recently. The reactor is separated from the rest of the school's psychology building (originally its chemistry building) by just a single door. Can Reed prove that in case of a reactor accident, the folks in the psych department won't get irradiated?

Here's the response. There'd be some exposure, says the nuclear club. But it wouldn't be that bad.


Speaking of creaky old reactors that ought to be decommissioned, here are the 10 oldest in the United States. Bookmark the list to check back when there's another big earthquake. None of them are ready for one.

Comments (7)

How secure are the nuclear materials in the Reed reactor?

"To me it's not an alarming thing," said Michael Golay, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies risk at nuclear plants. "But if this trend were to continue, you'd certainly want to look into it."


OK, I feel better now...

Reed needa a nuclear reactor like a fish needs a bicycle.
(appologies to Gloria Steinham)

I suppose you passed on Reed's reactor tour offer as part of it's centennial celebration: http://centennial.reed.edu/celebration/

Pancake breakfast, bouncy house, Kid's run and reactor tour - fun for the whole family!

And how many US colleges and universities have particle accelators? (I don't know the answer but it's likely more than 5 since I can think of 3 without trying.)

This is interesting. I looked into the units they were using (mrem. The closest I could find was "REM", so I assume the "m" stand for mili-).

"An acute whole-body dose of under 50 rem is typically subclinical and will produce nothing other than blood changes. 50 to 200 rem may cause illness but will rarely be fatal. Doses of 200 to 1,000 rem will probably cause serious illness with poor outlook at the upper end of the range. Doses of more than 1,000 rems are almost invariably fatal."

So the 100 mREM they're talking about would be 1/500th of what would be a "typically subclinical dose". So it sounds reasonable as long as everyone is told that it happens.

Oops, forgot to give y'all a link:

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