Assuming I am alive 200 years after a nuclear war, fought with today's nuclear weapons. Is it plausible that while I can be outside and breath the air unharmed, diving under or drinking water will irradiate me to a much stronger degree?

Is this because water absorbing neutrons and thus slowing down fission as it does in nuclear plants?

(This question is obviously inspired by the game Fallout.)

  • $\begingroup$ It is very possible that a lot of radioactive material which is initially lofted into the atmosphere subsequently falls out over land and over the sea. Much of the material which falls out over the land may then get moved into the sea by the river system. That's not quite answering the question you asked, I realise: my point is that to understand where things end up you need to understand the transport systems over a couple of hundred years (and the transport systems in an environment which has suffered a significant insult). $\endgroup$ – tfb Jul 18 '17 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that after 200 years the short half life stuff has decayed and what is left is not that active. It's only been 31 years since Chernobyl and the area isn't that dangerous. After two hundred I'd expect things to only be slightly raised above background. People visit the Bikini Atoll all the time and that hasn't been that much longer than 30 years. $\endgroup$ – zeta-band Jul 18 '17 at 20:32

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