Background radiation definition

Published by a LexisPSL Energy expert

What does Background radiation mean?

This is radiation which comes from cosmic and geological sources and from nuclear weapons testing and to which we are all exposed. Typical examples include naturally-occurring radioactive materials (e.g. radon which is associated with the decay of uranium and/or as an induced fission product of thorium both of which naturally exist in small quantities in granite) and global fallout which exists in our environment as a result of nuclear weapon testing. Radiation which comes from sources, byproduct, or special nuclear materials subject to regulation by the ONR would not come under this definition. The typically quoted average individual exposure from background radiation is 360 millirems per year / 3,600 micros.

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