Demo #33 – What is your radiation dosage?

Calculate Your Personal Radiation Exposure

Useful in Units: Nuclear

Background and Uses

While discussing Solution Equilibrium in class, I try to make a point of describing Global Warming and how the CO2 dissolved in the oceans may play a role.  We then discuss how we can reduce the amount of carbon from fossil fuels that is being put into the atmosphere as CO2.  My feeling is that the electric car is the future – but how do we make more electricity without using more fossil fuels.  Nuclear power plants seem to be the answer.  They do not create any air or water pollution (on good days and almost all days are good days) and seem to be sustainable if the recycling of the waste is as possible as is currently being stated.

Later in the year, during my Nuclear Unit, I show the “Back to Chernobyl” and “Chernobyl Heart” videos to my students.  They see the immediate effect of a meltdown and the effects that are still occurring in Russia.  We discuss Global Warming again and whether the students still feel as strongly about Nuclear Power being the answer.  It is a tough call for many of them.

As part of that class I pass out the “Estimate Your Personal Radiation Dosage” from the American Nuclear Society that can be found on the next page.  The students always seem to like to find out if they receive a high dosage and where their dosage comes from.

Alterations to try and pitfalls to avoid for this demo:

  1. You might be surprised by students who have had large doses.  I once had a student that had to have many X-Rays in one year due to kidney problems.  Her dosage for the year was far above normal.

Concepts the Demo Illustrates:


Where I found this demonstration:

The American Nuclear Society offers guides for teachers.  This is a worksheet that was enclosed in one of these guides and is used with permission from the American Nuclear Society.

Link to worksheet:

American Nuclear Society: Annual Radiation Dosage Worksheet


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