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Evaluating the Hazards of Radiation and its Sources


Recommendations for Integration:

Most introductory chemistry courses examine radioactivity at some level. One of the objectives is to improve critical thinking about the dangers of radiation exposure and the risks of nuclear power. In courses that relate science to society, informed debate about the pros and cons of alternative energy sources is an important component. This RWLO on radiation exposure is intended to be used as part of a study of radioactivity and nuclear power. It is would best be employed after students have become familiar with the concepts of natural radioactivity and nuclear fission. Familiarity with ionizing radiation would also be beneficial.

Extension of the RWLO to an analysis of the real and perceived risks of nuclear power could depend on the type of course the RWLO is being used in.


Printed forms of the radiation exposure counter could be prepared beforehand in case there was no access to the. internet. The exercise could then be carried out as a class activity rather than an individual activity if the data were provided to the students in some form - like a handout.

Definitions of radiation units and conversions could also be supplied as a handout in case of lack of internet access.