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Peterson Kendall R.; Shapiro, Charles S.
Health Physics: January 1992
Papers: PDF Only

The PATHWAY model results were used, in conjunction with a hypothetical major nuclear attack on the U.S., to arrive at the ratio of internal to external dose for humans from early (48 h) fallout. Considered were the four nuclides (137Cs, 89Sr, 90Sr, 131I) that account for most of the reconstructed whole-body committed equivalent dose from internal radiation in people who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site during atmospheric tests. Effects of climate perturbations (the “nuclear winter” effect) on food crops were considered. These could increase internal dose estimates, depending on the severity of the climate perturbations. Internal and external doses to humans for 10 locations within the U.S. have been calculated, with varying local conditions and varying assumption about their shelters. The estimated 50-y internal dose commitment ranged from 0.0–0.17 Sv, the 48-h external dose from 0.15–4.6 Sv. The resultant ratios of internal to external committed dose received in the first months (until food transport was restored) varied from less than 0.01 to about 0.2. In all cases examined, the total dose from early fallout was found to be dominated by the external dose.

©1992Health Physics Society