Wow, didn't know that such an accident had already happened (at least once). 
 Which year was that?

That quote from Brian Gagnon I think came from the calculation of a single 
lethal dose multiplied by the total number of human population on earth, which 
results in less than a pound.  I've read that info somewhere before.  Of course 
when the accident happened over NZ, the Pu-238 was not disperse perfectly, or 
evenly delivered to everyone in NZ, let alone everyone on the planet.  I agree 
his quote could have been better phrased to be more scientifically accurate.

On the other hand, the total "background" level of all kinds of radioisotopes 
involved in human activity such as nuclear bombs and nuclear power plant 
accidents, have increased since WWII era.  The NASA accident over NZ you 
mentioned must have elevated the Pu-238 level that much higher over your 


Fw: Re: Tell NASA to stop plutonium enabled space mission
Re: Tell NASA to stop plutonium enabled space mission
Fri Jul 01 2011 21:13:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
"Robert Mann" <[log in to unmask]>
Maggie Zhou wrote:
NASA's next Mars rover, "Curiosity", will be fueled by 4.8 kilograms (10.56 
pounds) of plutonium dioxide, and launched in Nov.  See more info at bottom.

Just imagine an accident upon launch that releases those highly toxic Pu as 

        At least one of these Pu-238 thermionic generators has burned up on 
re-entry into the atmosphere  -  over my country, as it happens.  A diagram of 
the Pu-238 fallout 'footprint' has been pubd (I can't lay my hands on it just 
now).  Would you believe no epidemiology was initiated to look for any harm?  
Could you also stretch your imagination to believe that the USA cronies in our 
Govt Health Dept then stated, deadpan, that no harm had resulted??
        But as for the statement attributed (below) to one Brian Gagnon,
It would only take one pound of plutonium-238 released as dust in the atmosphere 
to give everyone on the Earth a lethal dose of the toxic fuel
                the fact that not everyone on NZ, let alone the whole world, was 
killed by that burnup over NZ refutes his alarmist rave, and calls gravely in 
question Gagnon's credibility.

        There would be slightly less injustice in such mishaps if they occurred 
as Maggie envisages, soon after launch so as to dump the stuff on the nation 
that had tried to launch it.