Nuclear Technology & Us & Us JUS 394 Arizona State University Science, Technology & InEquality Professor: Merlyna Lim
What IS Nuclear Technology
Images of our world
Anti Nuclear Protests
Media bring nuclear technology to our attention
How to sort out the issues from the noise?
for easy introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjgdgAhOzXQ
ENERGY -- the driving force of change
ENERGY -- heart of nuclear technology; radioactivity, nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion (reactions) are also driven by energy
Energy plays an important part And it’s used in all this work; Energy, yest energy with power so great, A kind that cannot shirk. If the farmer had not this energy, He would be at a loss, But it’s sad to think, this energy Belongs to a little brown horse. A school verse by Richard Feynman a Nobel laureate for physics
Energy forms -- transfer and conversion (recalling your high-school physics class!!)
Part of nuclear technology -- for the conversion of nuclear energy into heat and electric energy; its development is related to the development of other technologies
The Sun is a nuclear fusion reactor -- nuclear technology imitates the energy producing process of the Sun
A process by which a heavy nuclide splits into two of more pieces -- became the top secret in Germany, England, the former USSR and the United States
Transuranium: Fermi (1901-1954) in Rome, F. Joliot (1990-1958) and I. Curie in Paris, and Otto Hahn....
Uranium isotopes -- 235 U
How much energy is released per fission reaction? How can the amount be estimated or calculated? What are the applications of fission energy in war and peace?
235 U to give two nuclides --> 117 Sn 50 , and 118 Sn 50 , their masses being 116.902956 and 117.901609 amu respectively. The mass of 235 U 92 is 235.043924 amu. The difference in mass: 235.043924 - (116.902956 + 117.901609) = 0.2394 amu ( 931.5 MeV / 1 amu ) = 223 MeV.
E = m c 2
Are these images represent “the truth” behind nuclear technology?
We should understand our own biases
Nuclear weapons: Can any rational person make a case for their continued existence?
Nuclear reactors: if they are very dangerous, can we afford to use them?
Nuclear Technology & MEDIA Representation MEDIA Representation MEDIA Representation
Radiation As constructed in the Media in the Media in the Media
Do I have to worry about radiation on airplanes?
Is flying like working in a nuclear power plant?
Does that mean nuclear plants are safe or flying is hazardous?
Other Nuclear News
Radon Media Stories
What is it
Should I get my house tested?
Is it related to nuclear power?
Why didn’t someone tell me about it earlier?
“ It’s gonna blow!!!”
“ We’re all gonna die!”
“ It’s not natural!”
“ They’re all liars. We know mutant bugs will take over the earth and enslave us.”
Too little we know on ‘what it is’
Dominant perception (mainstream political stories, media representation) reflect only partial truth
Preconceived notions can hinder clear thinking and fruitful discussions
Don’t we need to understand the basis of the technology to be able to come to ‘better’ decision?
Doesn’t public deserve more information?
Doesn’t public (us) need to be better informed?
It’s been around forever
First was noticed ~ 1895
A lot was learned since then:
doctors & radiation could cure cancer
quacks & radiation could kill people
the Military & radiation could kill a LOT of people
Basic limits set in the 1950s still hold
Radiation & radionuclides older than the Earth
Natural part of our environment
Radiation field varies by geology, elevation, season, living conditions
“ Artificial” Radiation
Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Quanties & Units
Becquerel (Bq) dis/s
Curie (Ci) 3.7 x 10 10 dis/s
gray (Gy) 1 J/kg
rad, 0.01 Gy
rem, 0.01 Sv
Exposure (roentgen, R)
Range of Doses
General public - 360 mrem/y natural
Radon: 200 mrem
Other natural: 97 mrem
Remainder ~ 15 % medical, 3% products, 1% other
Medical procedures (per procedure)
CT head and body: 110 mrem
Chest X-ray: 8 mrem
Abdominal X-ray: 56 mrem
%Contribution to Dose
Contribution of various radiation sources to total average dose equivalent to persons in the United States (NCRP, 1987).