Magic Numbers Update by Gloria Garfunkel

There are certain numbers that I need to keep repeating in my head at all times since Fukushima to prevent another nuclear disaster. Fukushima continues to melt down and was therefore worse than Chernobyl. There have been no new nuclear accidents since.
So far, my counting is working.
There are 450 nuclear power plants in thirty-one countries. There are 99 nuclear reactors in 30 U.S. states, with New York having two at Indian Point just north of Manhattan.
The U.S. and Russia each have about 6,800 nuclear warheads.
One Becquerel is one count of radiation per second on a Geiger counter. One Curie is 37 trillion Becquerels.
One rad is one rem and 10 Millisieverts. 10,000 Millisieverts can kill someone in minutes.
Workers at Fukushima got their annual dose of radiation, 620 Millirem, in 20 seconds, so robots have been used since.
It will take four decades with new robot technology to clean up Fukushima.
Daniel Ellsberg wrote “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” that is 420 pages long. I have not started to read it as I can barely remember the number of pages.
I have to be careful not to read too much about nuclear disasters so I don’t accumulate too many numbers to remember. The numbers are radioactive and very powerful.
But if I memorize just enough of them, like an inoculation, nothing bad will happen.
Nothing bad will happen.
Nothing bad will happen.
I do not want to be the cause of another nuclear meltdown.

About Gloria Garfunkel

Gloria Garfunkel has a Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University and was a psychotherapist for 35 years, listening to others' stories. She is now a writer of flash fiction and memoir, telling her own tales.
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