Scary Indy Headlines – Nuclear Edition

Soviet nuclear submarine emitting radiation ‘100,000 times normal level’ into sea, scientists find!

It’s actually quite an interesting story – Soviet nuclear sub wreck found, actual images, cold war secrecy etc. here.

But that deliberately scary headline, wow. 100,000 times!! It might lead the reader to conclude a nuclear explosion is imminent under the Barents Sea.

Except it is 100k times normal seawater. That is 100k times sod all.

It’s a vent on the sub occasionally wafting out puffs of more radioactive water.

Put it in perspective, an Olympic sized swimming pool has 350k litres of water in it. If all the radiation from that pool were concentrated down into just 1 litre of water how scary would that be? Not very?  But it’s got radiation 350,000 times normal!   That is still sod all mind, but fun maths eh?

Especially as this is 1 mile underwater.

If you are still scared by the headline, here is a handy radiation guide for you from the excellent XKCD.com.  Going for a dip in the sea doesn’t even get a mention.

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Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Olympic pools are 50m x 25m x 2m, so that’s 2,500 m³ or 2,500,000 litres.