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Re: I found the food numbers!

KellySt@aol.com writes:
 > >> Would stored food need no protection against radiation? I'm not sure how
 > much  and if the food would become radioactive. But if it does, it may need
 > shielding too.  <<
 > No. Food would only become radioactive if radioactive particals were mixed in
 > with it.  Xrays and stuff would cause no perminent change.  Thou it would
 > keep longer.  Its actually been tested as a food preservative, and works.

The real answer depends on what kind and what level of radiation the
food is exposed to.

Alpha particles (helium nuclei) and beta particles (electrons) are
unlikely to do any damage to the food, as they will be stopped by the

Energetic ultraviolet and X-rays may ionize atoms in the stored food and
produce undesirable chemical changes with high exposure, but won't make
the food radioactive.

Neutrons or gamma rays could make the food radioactive by interacting
with the nuclei of atoms in the food; neutrons can be captured by nuclei
to produce radioactive isotopes or transmutation, and gamma rays can
induce fission of nuclei.  Both types of radiation are likely products
of fusion or antimatter reactions.  Neutron shielding in fusion reactors
is actually a pretty significant problem, as the shielding itself tends
to become radioactive.

Any high quantity of radiation of the latter two classes is likely to
cause degradation of the food over time.