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Re: I found the food numbers!

stevev@efn.org (Steve VanDevender)
> KellySt@aol.com writes:
>  > >> Would stored food need no protection against radiation? I'm not sure
>  > much  and if the food would become radioactive. But if it does, it may
>  > 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
>  > keep longer.  Its actually been tested as a food preservative, and
> 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
> packaging.
> 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.

Unless of course the fusion fuel you specified doesn't produce neutrons.  Off
hand I can't think of a Gama source on the ship, unles we use antimater.  In
that case we have a very hard radiation problem in general.

We might have more problems with cosmic radiation, especially on fast ships.
 But given the tolerance of the food vs the human crew I don't, think, it
will be a problem.  Certainly less than with a farm where the food has to be
kept healthy to grow.