Caldicott taking her show on the radioactive roadLong-time anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott officially announced the schedule for her upcoming 12-city book tour today. The founder of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility will start promoting Nuclear Power is Not the Answer at an event in White Plains, New York -- just down the street from the Indian Point nuclear power plant -- on September 17.
I'm more than a little worried about Helen's safety on this tour. She'll be traveling up and down the East Coast, across the South, and out to California -- about 4,100 miles total, according to Mapquest. By barnstorming in support of her anti-nuclear book, she's going to be absorbing a helluva lot of radiation.
The Nuclear Energy Institute estimates that a person typically gets about 1 millirem of radiation for every thousand miles of jet travel. By that calculation, Dr. C. will pick up about 4 millirems on her book tour. (Even more if she has a layover someplace and spends time watching TV in the airport bar.)
The American Nuclear Society figures it out by hours in the air. ANS says she'll get about 0.5 millirems per hour in the air. Helen's flights should take at least 13 hours -- please don't keep her in a holding pattern -- so, by ANS's method, she's actually getting about 6.5 millirems.
ANS also adds another .002 millirems every time you go through airport security. Assuming that she's going to be flying in and out of eight or nine major cities, she'll pick up another .016 or so millirems.
And, when you consider the amount of time she spent in front of her computer terminal actually writing the book -- at least 1 or 2 more millirems worth -- it's clear that, in her quest to eradicate nuclear power, Helen Caldicott has become a selfless paragon of radiation absorption. (A few more books, and she'll be closing in on the 100-millirem-per-year limit the NRC puts on its licensees.)
If only Helen would retire to a nice neighborhood with a nuclear power plant, where her radiation exposure would fall to a much more reasonable .01 millirems per year...
Technorati tags: Helen Caldicott, Nuclear Energy, Energy Policy, Radiation, Nuclear Energy Institute, American Nuclear Society, NRC