What’s a Sievert? (Damn! We’re in a Tight Spot!)

by Liam Scheff

Hot Damn! Did you know that there are funny people running round who think that radiation is safe and harmless? Yes, even the nuclear kind. No, really!

So, let’s look at data and questions that arise when examining the field of nuclear fission:

  • How many millisieverts per hour can a human being tolerate without cooking?
  • How many are being delivered at Fukushima?
  • How much cesium is being found in fish?
  • How has the number changed?
  • Where are the nuclear cores at Fukushima?
  • What is the protocol for digging out a red-hot nuclear core from the earth?
  • Is there a protocol?
  • What has the response of the nuclear industry traditionally been to accidents and incidents?
  • Why is enriched uranium and plutonium dangerous, from a technical perspective?
  • What is a decay particle?
  • What is Cesium, Strontium, Tritium, Barium?
  • What are Alpha, Beta, Gamma particles?


These are data-gathering questions, not cult of personality wishful responses (any Galen “let’s eat uranium” Winsor fun-fans in the crowd? (Let’s stick with the data, not to be a drag, but to understand what’s happening.)

How many millisieverts per hour can a human being tolerate? And how does anyone know this? Let’s look.

Here’s an answer, not from Galen the uranium-eater. Gee, it’s kind of technical and requires reading and thinking. Hang in there, Ann Coulter:

“Radiation today is mainly released in abrupt exposures, so researchers mostly know about the effects of absorbing a given quantity in a very short time frame. At about 0.5 sievert to 1 sievert, the effects of radiation sickness can be felt. A portion of the red blood cells are temporarily wiped out, and sperm in the testes are deprived of their ability to fertilize an egg until they are recreated. Mild headache and loss of focus temporarily occur.

In exposures ranging from about 1 to 2 sieverts, permanent effects begin. Most people experience mild nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, which lasts for about a day. A feeling of general illness persists for a week or two.

For levels of radiation more intense than this, bad things happen. For every additional sievert past 1, the chance of death within 30 days increases by about 15%, adding to a base rate of around 10%. This means that about 25% of all people die within 30 days of exposure to 2 sieverts, around 40% of people die after exposure to 3 sieverts, and about 55% of people die after exposure to 4 sieverts. At 6 sieverts, the death rate is 90%, which increases quickly to 100%. The primary causes of death are internal bleeding or immune system failure that rapidly gives way to lethal infection. Hair is lost, people are rendered sterile, bone marrow is destroyed, and recovery can take years and may never be complete.” LINK

Summary: .5 to 1 sievert ‘wipes out’ some red blood cells and sperm. 1 to 2 sieverts vomiting, illness, some ‘permanent effects’ begin. More intense past 1: chance of death within 30 days increases by 10%. 40% of people exposed to 3 sieverts die, 55% exposed to 4, and so on.

So, what is a sievert compared to a millisievert? Let’s look!

Okay. Wow, this IS complicated. Here goes:


Frequently used SI multiples are the millisievert (1 mSv = 0.001 Sv) and microsievert (1 micro Sv = 0.000001 Sv). The conventional units for its time derivative is mSv/h. Regulatory limits and chronic doses are often given in units of mSv/a or Sv/a, where they are understood to represent an average over the entire year. In many occupational scenarios, the hourly dose rate might fluctuate to levels thousands of times higher for a brief period of time, without infringing on the annual limits. The conversion from hours to years varies because of leap years and exposure schedules, but approximate conversions are:

1 mSv/h = 8.766 Sv/a
114.1 micro Sv/h = 1 Sv/a

Conversion from hourly rates to annual rates is further complicated by seasonal fluctuations in natural radiation, decay of artificial sources, and intermittent proximity between humans and sources. The ICRP once adopted fixed conversion for occupational exposure, although these have not appeared in recent documents:[4]

8 h = 1 day
40 h = 1 week
50 weeks = 1 year

Therefore, for occupation exposures of that time period,

1 mSv/h = 2 Sv/a
500 µSv/h = 1 Sv/a  LINK

How complicated. Complex. I doubt Ann Coulter is keeping up.

Let’s have a go.

A millisievert is a very small portion of a sievert – a thousandth (.001). One Thousandth. 1,000 millisieverts per 1 sievert, in that case. Which sounds great – because.. you don’t want to accumulate Sieverts.

On the other hand – these do accumulate per day and per year.

More confusion! A day for radiation people isn’t “A DAY.” It’s EIGHT hours. How bizarre.

So, 1 human day, for radiation people is actually “THREE Days!” Weird. Nice how they get around reality with that one…Okay, let’s do their math:

ONE millisievert per HOUR equals… TWO SIEVERTS per year. (Or…8.766, depending on which line you’re reading!)

Ah-ha, now we’re in danger level. Two sieverts. Hmm. Based on one tiny millisievert per hour. And what is leaking at Fukushima?

Ah, 1,800 millisieverts per hour.

Which is almost 2 sieverts, I think. Per Hour! Which.. yes, will kill most people within a FEW hours of exposure.

Damn! Shi..oot!

That makes CLEAN UP of the unsafe plutonium and uranium OXIDE fuel laying around the plant… SHIT. VERY DANGEROUS.

How will they do it?

How will they do it?!!

Have a song, why don’t you?

Liam Scheff is author of “Official Stories,” because official stories exist to protect officials. Tune into The Energy Show to learn more about the end of the world as we know it!


One Comment

  1. “Hot Damn! Did you know that there are funny people running round who think that radiation is safe and harmless? Yes, even the nuclear kind. No, really!”

    It’s so absurd, it’s actually funny.

    The idea that Ann Coulter is taking WHATEVER political agenda she has SO FAR that she’s saying “radiation is good for you”, is hilarious. Ok…maybe just funny.

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