Former NRC Member: US nuclear renaissance is imploding — Fukushima should not be wished away

Published: December 29th, 2011 at 8:26 am ET


Experts: Nuclear initiative waning, Times Free Press, December 29th, 2011:

A former nuclear regulator, an economic analyst and a congressional think-tank adviser say 2011 marked the fall of the so-called U.S. nuclear renaissance, despite regulators’ approval last week of a new reactor design. […]

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Member Peter Bradford

  • “The renaissance is imploding”
  • “The collapse was well under way before the accident of Fukushima, and Fukushima should not be wished away or prophesied away (by nuclear proponents)”

Economic Analyst Mark Cooper with Vermont Law School

  • Even before the Japan meltdowns […] markets and financiers had seen nuclear industry investment — with $18.5 billion in congressional-backed loan guarantees — as “a bubble with air rapidly leaking out of it”
  • Thousands of Japanese not being able to return to their homes and businesses for years “reminds financial markets that nuclear power is uninsurable”
Published: December 29th, 2011 at 8:26 am ET


Related Posts

  1. LA Times: US ‘nuclear renaissance’ short-circuited by Fukushima, study finds — “Clear that we are witnessing not a revival but a collapse” says legal expert December 28, 2011
  2. Analyst: Florida nuclear plant will likely be closed — Gundersen: “The dominoes are starting to fall” (AUDIO) January 14, 2013
  3. Fairewinds: Website is under verified DDS attack — Another nuclear expert’s site had similar problems — Both involved with San Onofre issue — “What is the nuke industry hiding?” February 1, 2013
  4. Senators demand congressional investigation into safety at US nuke plants — Public concerns heightened after recent news reports June 26, 2011
  5. Gundersen: The dominoes are starting to fall in U.S. — I think we’ll see quite a few nuclear plants shutting down permanently (VIDEO) December 4, 2012

72 comments to Former NRC Member: US nuclear renaissance is imploding — Fukushima should not be wished away

  • or-well

    Check out the article for the rabid, gung-ho, pro-nuke, anti-alternative Senator from Tennessee !

    Bought & paid for –
    In their pocket !
    What an eightball bottlerocket !
    Up in the clouds
    Of techno-salvation,
    Shot up with nuke-think
    Like a junkie.
    Just a pro-nuke mouthpiece flunkie
    That aids and abets life ruination.

  • ion jean ion jean

    Since the Clinton admin declassified a lot of atomic info and human radiation experiments, the nuke industry sunk its diseased claws into the Republican party even deeper than the holes started by the M-I-complex in the Reagan Star Wars era.

    Every once in a while we are graced by an honest soul with half a conscience to serve in the NRC.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Wow!! This is GREAT!
    They Don’t Care About Us:Michael Jackson PV (Prison Ver.) 日本語訳付き #mj #nuclear #fukushima
    6 minutes ago

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Oh god. Look at the dumbnut comments under that article. There’s a lot of education to be done before things really can take a turn for the better.

  • lam335 lam335

    It’s good to see knowledgeable people saying the “renaissance” won’t happen.

    However, this sentence annoys me:

    “A longtime critic of other sources of renewable energy, including wind and solar, Alexander said he doesn’t see “any substitute” for “pollution-free electricity.”

    First, nuclear is NOT pollution free. Second, the phrase “other sources of renewable energy” seems to imply that nuclear is a “renewable” source of energy, but it is not RENEWABLE either.

    It’s NOT clean (emission-free), green, or renewable. Yet somehow people keep repeating this nonsense.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Good catch, lam335.

      Detecting the lies, half-truths, and so on is really important. Without that step, we inadvertently accept a bunch of nonsense from the industry and we wind up debating only the points they want us to debate.

    • midwestern midwestern

      Well, he’s repeating the nonsense because he’s having his pockets stuffed with nuclear cash:
      “…Federal Election Commission records show a political action committee representing Areva Inc., a French nuclear power conglomerate contracted by TVA for about $1 billion in work on the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant near Hollywood, Ala., gave Alexander a $1,500 campaign contribution on March 14, three days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster.

      Alexander also received at least two $1,000 contributions from the Nuclear Energy Institute Federal PAC in the run-up to his re-election in 2008…”

    • midwestern midwestern

      And he doesn’t seem to be concerned about the safety conditions of his operational nuke plants or the financial messes being created by those in construction either:

      “…He pushed for a fresh, nationwide nuclear initiative despite financial concerns and safety questions. Those include recent “red” and “white” NRC findings at all three of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s operating nuclear plants. “White” is the NRC’s lowest safety finding. “Red” is the final step before a nuclear plant is shut down, something the NRC has never done…”

      “…TVA presently has the only new nuclear reactor under construction in the U.S., Unit Two at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tenn. The $2.5 billion reactor is over budget and behind schedule, officials have conceded.

      On Tuesday, spokesman Ray Golden said the federal utility is not ready to say how far behind and how much over budget.”

  • Will The Nuclear Power Industry Regain Public Trust?
    Call it the Fukushima effect or a political mishap, mass protests have stalled the Jaitapur plant in Maharashtra, and now Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu
    by John B Ritch | Dec 29, 2011

    India is experiencing, for the first time, what many other countries have experienced for years — a demonstration of how easy it is for anti-nuclear activists to rouse public opinion to fever pitch by playing on the mysteries of the atom and the nature of radiation. Nothing has actually occurred in India to justify such public concern. But Fukushima has created just enough confusion for agitators to persuade people in at least this one locality [Kudankulam] that nuclear power poses a unique and enormous threat to their health and environment. This kind of misperception is wholly out of proportion to reality, and must be challenged because those who are propagating it are actually undermining the public interest.

    The only answer is education. Nuclear professionals know the benefits of nuclear technology and how strictly it is regulated, and they need to bear the burden of translating their …

  • stopnp stopnp

    Good! I hope it collapses on itself!

  • DiogenesNJ

    For any of you with some scientific background and even partially open minds, I would like to point out the most recent research (within the last year) on the health effects of radiation. Most posters here fear it with little understanding.

    High doses of radiation in a short time are known to increase the risk of cancer. The data from the survivors of the atomic bombs in Japan are well understood. The problem comes from extrapolating that data to low doses over long periods of time, the so-called “Linear No Threshold” (LNT) hypothesis.

    The large numbers of cancer deaths claimed by anti-nuclear activists like Greenpeace are derived by applying LNT to a tiny dose of radiation (much lower than annual natural background) over a huge population. There has never been statistically confirmed evidence for LNT at very lose doses. Even for Chernobyl, the only statistically detectable “excess” cancers were for thyroid cancer, which has a very low natural background rate. The maximum absolute risk of thyroid cancer for the four oblasts (equivalent to counties) closest to Chernobyl occurred 15 years later, for men who were adolescents at the time. That risk was 1 in 9000 (11 cases per 100,000 population).

    Coincidentally, the annual risk of death in an auto accident in the US is also about 1 in 9000 (40,000 deaths, 360 million people).

    But thyroid cancer is 98-99% curable. Very few people died from it. The estimated death toll from Cherobyl-induced thyroid cancer is about 15 people.

    There is much epidemiological evidence against LNT. At least two statistically robust studies contradict it. In 1995, physicist Bernard Cohen of the Univ. of Pittsburgh published this:

    He studied lung-cancer rates vs. radon concentrations in nearly two thousand counties across the US. The risk of cancer went *down* with increasing radon, from zero to about 4 picocuries/liter (the EPA action level).

    • Bobby1

      Testicular cancer is also curable. You go into surgery and have your balls cut off. No problem.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Please see this website’s section:

      FORUM: Effects of low level radiation

      I studied biology at a prestigious university. Please do not talk down to the people on this website who have Ph.D’s (including me) and scientific backgrounds(including me). Happy talk and happy smiles won’t save all the people who are now in the world exposed to huge amounts of both low dose radiation and high dose radiation.

    • jec jec

      Thyroid cancer is bad! Everyone gives the big smile, 98% curable, and so on. First its CANCER-it can spread. Second you remove the gland via surgey (cut open neck, one side to the other). If the surgeon is skillful, the patient may not have issues with swollowing, eating, talking, and as long as the parathyroid is not too damaged by surgery, the patient is able to control the levels of calcium in their systems. Calcium issues cause shaking, twitching, seizures, loss of bone density and so on. If the cancer is not in the lymph glands, good-otherwise those have to be discected out as well. Voice and such may not be normal due to nerve damage from surgery. This is step one. Step two-radiation to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Step three daily medication, bimonthly bloodtests to check thyroid levels. By the way it takes months to get a level of thyriod hormone increased or decreased-its not an easy process. Should you change the BRAND of thyroid meds, you have to go thru a whole new series of tests and levels because each drug acts differently. By the way, when your thyroid level is low, you feel sick, have skin issues, women have issues with heavy bleeding, hair falls out, you are tired all the time, body swells up as all organs in the body depend on the thryoid.
      The radiation scan/treatment is repeated..every few years (3), as the cancer can come back..and if a woman wants to have a baby..its get PG and then carry the baby to term. Baby can be affected by the mothers hormone levels. Weight gain is normal, up to 50 or more lbs. So if delay in treatment discovery, and patient gains weight prior..its almost impossible to lose, and easy to gain more. So..curable..easy cancer to have..says YOU. Lets see you say the same think after you are treated for a cancer. Simile!

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Chernobyl Cancer Death Toll Estimate More Than Six Times Higher Than the 4,000 Frequently Cited, According to a New UCS Analysis

      “The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident is next Tuesday, April 26. Experts in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently revisited one of the nagging questions about Chernobyl’s health impact. They estimate that the number of excess cancer deaths — deaths that would not have occurred under normal circumstances – attributable to the radiation released by the accident will be approximately 25,000. That conclusion is more than six times higher than a frequently cited figure from the U.N.-sponsored Chernobyl Forum, which estimated 4,000 excess cancer deaths. The UCS analysis, released earlier this week, also estimates there will be some 50,000 excess cancers due to the accident.

      “Both UCS estimates exclude thyroid cancers. The U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has estimated the incidence of thyroid cancers from Chernobyl. It found that, as of 2005, some 6,000 thyroid cancers and 15 thyroid cancer deaths are attributable to the accident. That number will grow over time, although the number of deaths is expected to be low because thyroid cancer is readily curable.

      “Why was the Chernobyl Forum’s estimate of 4,000 excess cancer deaths so low? The estimate only pertains to a much smaller subgroup of people who experienced the greatest exposure to released radiation, and therefore significantly underestimates the total number of cancers and cancer deaths that will be attributable to Chernobyl. The effects of the radiation were not limited to the highly contaminated areas in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia – they were felt in less-contaminated areas in those countries as well as in Europe and beyond.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Please don’t insult our intelligence with material from Bernard Cohen.

  • DiogenesNJ

    (continued from previous comment)

    The second study with excellent statistical power was the Nuclear Shipyard Workers Study:

    Matanowski, G. M. “Health effects of low-level radiation in shipyard workers, Final report, June 1991”. DOE DE-AC02-79 EV10095, 1991

    It showed a lower all-cause mortality for workers exposed to low levels of radiation than for unexposed workers. Furthermore, the result appears to show a dose-response relationship. Slightly more exposed workers had lower mortality than less exposed ones.

    Now, just within the past year, new science in cell biology has directly demonstrated non-linearity with dose in human cells in vivo:

    They showed that cellular repair mechanisms were clearly more effective at low doses (and low rates). A doctoral dissertation was written by one of the group (Teresa Neumaier) and may be found here. All you need to read is in the abstract:

    Those of you who have spent years in opposition to nuclear power, without understanding the risks relative to other power generation technologies (certainly fossil fuels regardless of CO2) need to re-think your opinions. 15 years from now, the excess cancers from Fukushima will be so few as to be statistically undetectable. In any normal medical study, we require statistical significance to prove an effect. The cancer rates in Japan will be no different than if Fukushima had never happened.

    • Oh, for pity’s sake! Just the contamination of vast tracts of once fertile farmland for at least 300 years is enough of a reason to shut ’em down. All your spurious claims of “radiation’s GOOD for you!”, correlation=causation absurdities and technical double-speak won’t stop the backlash. Nuclear is done.

      Sigh. I know they pay the PR flunkies to try, but honestly. This is not one of the more accepting websites on the intertoobs for this sort of thing. Y’all should have figured that out long ago… or do they pay extra for sites like this?

  • DiogenesNJ

    The UCS “analysis” is not analysis, it is misapplying LNT to a dose range where it is grossly invalid.

    I never said nuclear power is “safe”. There is no safe large-scale energy conversion. I do claim that on a total life-cycle basis, including all raw materials, construction, mining fuel, emissions from normal operations, accidents and decommissioning, it is safer than all fossil fuel technology. We could justify replacing the 40% of US electric generation based on coal with nuclear simply on public-health grounds, without regard to CO2.

  • DiogenesNJ

    jec — Of course, any cancer is bad. But my point is that the worst-case absolute risk of developing it, for the most-exposed population in the worst nuclear accident in history, was roughly comparable to the annual risk of *dying* in a US auto accident, a risk most of us take every day without a second thought.

    Compare and contrast with the risk of respiratory and excess heart disease for those of us who have spent 50 years downwind of Midwestern coal plants, for example — a threat equally undetectable to unaided human senses. I am fine with renewables, but totally not fine with coal, not even with natural gas. I want to replace base-load capacity with nuclear. It is demonstrably safer.

    • The “baseload” myth…

      I am fine with renewables, but totally not fine with coal, not even with natural gas. I want to replace base-load capacity with nuclear. It is demonstrably safer.

      I don’t like coal one bit either – grew up in Eastern Kentucky. Or natural gas, beyond tapping (instead of burning or bleeding) from properly drilled petroleum wells. Not awfully fond of petroleum either, come to think of it. But we can do without any of it – and nuclear – if we wanted to. That is known, it’s policy and human habit standing in the way. Habits in something like this (toward white roofs, CFL/LED lighting, consumptive conservation, sustainable agriculture, other conservation measures plus residential, community, business and industrial site-generation) can be changed more easily than political policy can. The nuclear lobby is firmly entrenched in all applicable corners of the U.S. political establishment, but when the people just say ‘no’ and go with something else instead, policy will play catch-up. That’ll proceed bottom-up, not top-down.

  • DiogenesNJ

    JoyB — I am not paid for this, it’s missionary work. If I only proselytize to people who agree with me, nothing happens. If I change one mind here, that has value.

    Baseload is not a “myth”. You are probably referring to the Scientific American article discussing powering the planet with all renewables in 20 years.

    It sounds good, but it will not work. I ran the numbers in an argument with another true believer on a different blog. Building wind turbines on the scale he imagines would require us to have an industry with the material handling capacity of the entire current world auto industry, running right now.

    Just like hydro, wind has some optimal sites where it can work very well, but it is never efficient in material use or land consumption. The best capacity factor you can hope to get is around 35%. On a global scale, where that starts to matter is for obscure raw materials like the rare-earth metals required for the magnets in the generators, which also have a nonzero environmental footprint:

    In reality, we need ALL the available non-fossil technologies, plus conservation, to make a meaningful global reduction in carbon emission. Google Pecala and Socolow’s “wedges” model; one of the wedges is nuclear. Nuclear can’t do it all either, but having China build two new coal plants each week ain’t the way to go.

    • Bobby1


      What do you think about the recent study that 14,000 excess deaths of Americans occurred in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns?

    • Jebus Jebus


      We do not need nuclear whatsoever. We do not need Nuclear Weapons whatsoever. And it is getting to the point that we will not need coal whatsoever here in the USA.

      Renewables surpass nuclear
      Monday – October 3, 2011


      Washington DC – According to the most recent issue of the “Monthly Energy Review” by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), with data through June 30, 2011, renewable energy has passed another milestone as domestic production is now significantly greater than that of nuclear power and continues to close in on oil.

      During the first half of 2011, renewable energy sources (biomass & biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, wind) provided 4.687 quadrillion Btus of energy or 12.25% of U.S. energy production. By comparison, renewables accounted for 11.05% of domestic production during the first half of 2010 and 10.50% during the first half of 2009. (On the consumption side, which includes oil and other energy imports, renewable sources accounted for 9.45% of total U.S. energy use.)

      More significantly, energy production from renewable energy sources in 2011 was 17.91% more than that from nuclear power, which provided 3.975 quadrillion Btus and has been declining in recent years. Energy from renewable sources is now equal to 79.83% of that from domestic crude oil production, with the gap closing rapidly.

      Do your homework better, get a clue, come back and talk to us here at enenews…

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        Yea!..and from my understanding, the only sector that is experiencing reducing costs to generate.. as we use the technology it gets improved.. perhaps DiegenesNJ fails to consider that, among other things like suppression of the data by the wicked agreements between WHO and the IAEA.. sorry diegenesnj, your data lacks important data..

        and what about Hanford? ..and all the other leaky plants..

        ..and this is not just typical low dose.. this is plutonium.. if my fuscias were deformed, in Spokane Washington, I guarantee there will be genetic fall out elsewhere. This crap got into peoples eyes and noses..

        I hardly think a study on low dose ship yard workers is an adequate comparison to what is going on at fukushima..

        remember.. Chernobyl.. did not have mox.. and only one reactor..
        diegenesnj..have a watch of the series, Nuclear Controversies most folks on this site are well informed.. but good try 🙂

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Folks, as DiogenesNJ tells us openly, he is proselytizing.

    Don’t waste your time. He’s using the same old tired tricks: false dichotomies, selective reporting, disregarding severity of outcomes in favour of (short) history of success, “science” done by a man whose website says he is “Evangelizing Nuclear Advocacy”, talking down to his audience, and on and on and on.

    The Diogenes of Greek legend was looking for an honest man. He was not “proselytizing”.

    Begone, DiogenesNJ, and take your phony science with you.

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      LOL!~ I thought he was being more obvious die genes know, what happens when we ingest radiation..

  • DiogenesNJ

    Bobby1: “What do you think about the recent study that 14,000 excess deaths of Americans occurred in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdowns?”

    To borrow a phrase from JoyB: “correlation=causation absurdities”. There is no possible biological mechanism for this. The risk from radiation comes in two forms. Acute radiation poisoning doesn’t start to appear until a short-term dose of around 1 Sv. 4-5 Sv will kill half the people exposed.

    The long-term risk is cancer, which takes many years to develop. So a claim that deaths occurred in the US due to doses 8 or 10 orders of magnitude lower than 1 Sv is prima facie nonsense.

    Jebus: Yes, but you have to remember that 85% of the “renewables” counted by the EIA are hydroelectric and biomass/biofuels.

    Hydroelectric is fully built out in this country, and capacity is actually declining slightly as (a) the big dams silt up and (b) available water is declining (less snow, less snowmelt; higher upstream water demand).

    Hydro isn’t completely safe, either. The worst hydro disaster in history occurred in China in 1975, when a typhoon dumped a meter of water in a day and the huge Banqiao dam broke. Casualties were comparable to Hiroshima: about 170,000 deaths (26,000 immediate drownings, about the same as the Fukushima tsunami, plus 145,000 within months from starvation and disease).

    A bit more than half of the renewable energy comes from biomass, roughly evenly split between wood/waste burning and the ethanol in gasoline mandated by law.

    Wood burning is not so wonderful on the carcinogen front:

    and most of the ethanol used in gasoline comes from corn. The diversion of food to fuel has raised world food prices and caused riots and famine in the poorest parts of the world. Starvation, cancer — dead is dead, right? Of course, when it’s somebody far away dying, not we environmentally correct folks in rich countries,…

    • or-well

      Chef DiogenesNJ – you’ve been CHOPPED!

      The judges found your appetizer course…


      I’ll leave the details to those who can stomach your arguments.

    • Bobby1


      Since you think that low-level radiation is good for you, the death rate would have gone down in the US after Fukushima. Do some research… radionuclides cause all sorts of problems other than cancer. Heart disease, respiratory problems, susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections, blindness… they cause the same kind of illnesses other toxic chemicals do, and more.

      The myth that radiation only causes cancer was promoted by the ICRP, which has been exposed as scientific fraud.

    • Diogenes, this is simply inaccurate:

      “There is no possible biological mechanism for this. The risk from radiation comes in two forms. Acute radiation poisoning doesn’t start to appear until a short-term dose of around 1 Sv. 4-5 Sv will kill half the people exposed.”

      You obviously have NOT looked at the scientific literature.

      I spent weeks examining the Science Direct data base of scientific studies on the effects of low levels of ionizing radiation, trying to understand this debate.

      Mechanisms such as the bystander effect have been clearly established.

      Furthermore, low-level ionizing radiation impacts NK cells and, through this mechanism, reduces immune function.

      There are many, many studies that establish robust, significant correlations between exposure to ionizing radiation at “low” levels and cell damage and death.

      Please educate yourself before posting here…

  • DiogenesNJ

    Bobby1: “Since you think that low-level radiation is good for you, the death rate would have gone down in the US after Fukushima.”

    No it wouldn’t. The exposure in the US is so small that there will never be observable effects.

    Hormesis, if it is correct, also won’t show up in the short term. The NSWS study only had significance after 20+ years. The interesting part of that was that the benefit was not for cancer, it was for “all-cause” mortality. The mechanism is not known, but the magnitude of the apparent effect certainly warrants further research.

    That’s only one study, but it had two significant advantages. It was quite large (about 80,000 total, nearly 30,000 each in the low-exposed vs. non-exposed cohorts and a lesser number in the higher dose ranges). The actual exposures were also carefully measured and recorded for the workers’ entire careers, in contrast to the studies of Chernobyl outside the immediate area, where the doses are mostly handwaving estimates.

    With respect to ICRP being “exposed as scientific fraud”, you need to keep your aluminum-foil hat and lead jockstrap strapped on tight, and cue up the Twilight Zone theme.

    • Bobby1


      Your pro-nuke pseudoscience and personal attack techniques won’t take you very far here.

    • @DiogenesNJ:

      Leukemia and other effects show up in about 5 years.

      The ECRR (European Committee on Radiation Risk)would be interested in your erudite opinions. I suppose next you’re going to argue that trees are not green, birds don’t fly, and pigs are really purple with yellow stripes.

      Limitations of the ICRP Recommendations
      for Worker and Public Protection

      from Ionizing Radiation
      by Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., GNSH
      International Institute of Concern for Public Health

      SIX weeks ago, when I first heard about the reactor damage at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, I knew the prognosis: If any of the containment vessels or fuel pools exploded, it would mean millions of new cases of cancer in the Northern Hemisphere.

      … if anyone knows better, it’s doctors like me. There’s great debate about the number of fatalities following Chernobyl; the International Atomic Energy Agency has predicted that there will be only about 4,000 deaths from cancer, but a 2009 report published by the New York Academy of Sciences says that almost one million people have already perished from cancer and other diseases. The high doses of radiation caused so many miscarriages that we will never know the number of genetically damaged fetuses that did not come to term. (And both Belarus and Ukraine have group homes full of deformed children.)

      As we know from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it takes years to get cancer. Leukemia takes only 5 to 10 years to emerge, but solid cancers take 15 to 60. Furthermore, most radiation-induced mutations are recessive; it can take many generations for two recessive genes to combine to form a child with a particular disease, like my specialty, cystic fibrosis. We can’t possibly imagine how many cancers and other diseases will be caused in the far future by the radioactive isotopes emitted by Chernobyl and Fukushima.

      • Last bit of that quote is from Helen Caldicott, a doctor:

        As we know from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it takes years to get cancer. Leukemia takes only 5 to 10 years to emerge, but solid cancers take 15 to 60. Furthermore, most radiation-induced mutations are recessive; it can take many generations for two recessive genes to combine to form a child with a particular disease, like my specialty, cystic fibrosis. We can’t possibly imagine how many cancers and other diseases will be caused in the far future by the radioactive isotopes emitted by Chernobyl and Fukushima.

        Doctors understand these dangers. We work hard to try to save the life of a child dying of leukemia. We work hard to try to save the life of a woman dying of metastatic breast cancer. And yet the medical dictum says that for incurable diseases, the only recourse is prevention. There’s no group better prepared than doctors to stand up to the physicists of the nuclear industry.

        Still, physicists talk convincingly about “permissible doses” of radiation. They consistently ignore internal emitters — radioactive elements from nuclear power plants or weapons tests that are ingested or inhaled into the body, giving very high doses to small volumes of cells. They focus instead on generally less harmful external radiation from sources outside the body, whether from isotopes emitted from nuclear power plants, medical X-rays, cosmic radiation or background radiation that is naturally present in our environment.

        However, doctors know that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation, and that radiation is cumulative.

        • DiogenesNJ

          “Still, physicists talk convincingly about “permissible doses” of radiation. They consistently ignore internal emitters — radioactive elements from nuclear power plants or weapons tests that are ingested or inhaled into the body, giving very high doses to small volumes of cells.”

          No, they don’t. The Cohen work I cited previously focuses on radon exposure, which is *only* internal. It’s an alpha emitter.

          Open the link and look at Figure 1 on the 2nd page. The lung cancer risk decreases with radon exposure from 0 to about 8 pCi/l for males (corrected for smoking) 3-4 PCi/l for females. Above that, risk starts to rise with dose.

          • or-well

            Diogenes back!
            comes out swinging
            trilling and shilling
            and nuclear singing
            Oh True Believer
            upon claimed credentials
            grandly repose
            and still all resistance
            from those who oppose
            what suits you not
            disallow and dispose
            Oh True Believer
            dicing with Death
            huddled and warm
            ’round the nuclear hearth
            take a deep particle-laden breath
            go radiate elsewhere and
            give it a rest.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Bobby1’s tinfoil hate fits him just fine–thank you very much for your intellectual opinion to what is happening in the blood and bones world.

  • StillJill StillJill

    sorry, “hat” Freudian slip there!

  • DiogenesNJ

    majia: “Please educate yourself before posting here… ”

    Everybody here seems to say that.

    I hold 7 patents in radiation detection and measurement, and two national-level R&D awards. Care to tell us your scientific credentials in this field?

    You say “cell death” like it’s a bad thing. Apoptosis is one of the mechanisms which protects us if DNA damage cannot be repaired. Reactive radicals from ordinary oxygen metabolism cause DNA breaks all the time.

    In fact, the “bystander effect” is one of the proposed mechanisms for radiation hormesis:

    • or-well

      Chef DiogenesNJ is back!

      Cookin’ up a mess o’hormesis in Hells’ Kitchen !

    • StillJill StillJill

      “I hold 7 patents in radiation detection and measurement, and two national-level R&D awards”,….And a partridge in a pear treeeee!

      • He might be related to Joseph Oehmann, Phd from MIT.

        There was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity.

        Or, this guy:

        Telephone briefing from Sir John Beddington, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, and Hilary Walker, deputy director for emergency preparedness at the Department of Health.

        “Unequivocally, Tokyo will not be affected by the radiation fallout of explosions that have occurred or may occur at the Fukushima nuclear power stations.”


        • When you take the “UN” from the word unequivocally, what do you get?


          The most illustrious of the Cynic philosophers, Diogenes of Sinope (c. 404-323 B.C.E.) serves as the template for the Cynic sage in antiquity. An alleged student of Antisthenes, Diogenes maintains his teacher’s asceticism and emphasis on ethics, but brings to these philosophical positions a dynamism and sense of humor unrivaled in the history of philosophy.

          Says nothing about being an alleged student of plain idiocy, but does mention an emphasis on ETHICS.

        • DiogenesNJ

          Heh. Oehmann was clearly mistaken and spoke way too soon, but Beddington was correct and remains so.

          “ethics” to me in this context means rational debate based on peer-reviewed publications. I’ve tried to provide a few of those. Mostly what’s come back is random ad hominem assertions unsupported by much of anything.

  • StillJill StillJill

    Ohhh Yes DiogenesNJ,….serve me up some of that ‘good for you broken strand DNA’, please! ::-)

    • Maybe us non-patent-holders can re-educate him:
      [excuse the humor]

      Confessions Of A Nuclear Power Safety Expert

      I soon came to the conclusion that neither international cooperation nor technological advancements would guarantee human societies to build and safely run nuclear reactors in all possible conditions on Earth (earthquakes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, wars, terrorism, climate change, tsunamis, pandemics, etc.). I am sadly reminded of this turning point in my life as I listen to the news about the earthquake, tsunami and extremely worrying nuclear crisis in Japan.

  • DiogenesNJ

    Ok, for those insisting that “no safe dose” and linear no-threshold (LNT) is the last word, here is a link to a current (published 2009) peer-reviewed full-text article contradicting it. These guys are not fringe, and not publishing in marginal journals. They are FDA and NIH scientists working in radiation oncology. They have a very strong interest in knowing the real tradeoff between benefit and harm for cancer treatment using radiation. They have no commercial ax to grind.

  • Kevin Kevin

    Plutonium From Fukushima Has Now Circled The Planet

    Sayer Ji,
    Activist Post
    January 7, 2012

    A recently published study in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity confirms that the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster reached Europe (Lithuania), and included plutonium, the most deadly manmade element (nanogram for nanogram) in existence.

    • DiogenesNJ

      Hey, a new voice! Hi, Kevin. Let’s do a little arithmetic.

      Here’s a link to the abstract of the original article:

      Pu from Fukushima was claimed to be detected in exactly one sample, at an activity of 44.5 nanoBq/cubic meter.

      One Becquerel (Bq) is one atomic decay per second. A nano-Bq is one decay every billion seconds, which is about 32 years. So the Pu activity in Vilnius is one decay every (32/44.5) = 0.72 years, or about one decay every eight and a half months in a cubic meter of air. (They drew lots of cubic meters of air through a filter for about 3 weeks to capture enough particles to measure.)

      The average radon activity in outdoor air in the US is about 0.4 picoCuries/liter (pCi/L):

      A picoCurie is 37 Bq, and a cubic meter is 1000 liters, so the average outdoor radon activity is (37000 times 0.4) = 14800 Bq/cubic meter. Every breath you take (about 1/2 liter) gets you (0.5 * 0.4 * 37) = about 7 atomic decays. All day, every day. Scared yet? It’s worse if you’re taking that hike in the Rockies. There’s a lot of uranium in them thar hills.

      So walking around in the great outdoors, you are breathing about
      300 billion times as much radioactivity from natural radon in the air as the good citizens of Vilnius are suffering from Fukushima plutonium. I don’t think they need to worry much.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Lithuania and the Baltic Sea have been already dosed by Chernobyl. As I posted earlier, the BS is one of the most radioactive waters worldwide – in fact, to find plutonium in sea birds is nothing new there.
        I think to find Fuku Pu there is indeed remarkable, as we’ve been told that Pu as a heavy element couldn’t even spread outside the Fuku premises….

      • or-well

        Dio, pro-nuke flack
        is back on attack
        ignore those suffering on Nuclears rack
        lets stretch and bend and reason
        the fact
        that nuclears harmless
        a glow in the darkness
        good nuclear mule
        in nuclear harness
        True Believer
        who thinks all those here
        are quite gormless*

        gormless = stupid.

        • DiogenesNJ

          Not stupid, ignorant (about the specific technical issues, not generally — no insult meant to anyone). The difference is that ignorance is repairable.

      • DiogenesNJ

        Whoops, sorry. I was wrong about the natural radon activity.

        1 pCi is 37 *milli*Bq, not 37 Bq.

        So the natural activity is 18.7 Bq/ cubic meter, and you breathe 0.007 atomic decays with each half-liter (about 1 decay per 100-150 breaths).

        So you’re only breathing 300 *million* times as much natural radiation as the population gets from Pu in Vilnius.

        There, don’t you feel all better now? 🙂

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    “The exposure in the US is so small that there will never be observable effects.”

    DNJ, time to slow down…way down, take 10 deep breaths and repeat after…no nukes are good nukes.

    Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain!

  • DiogenesNJ

    Tumrgrwr: but your pain is self-inflicted. The real risk is vanishingly small. Really.

    But the risk of stressing out about it is not. Fear has observable effects all by itself (depression, cardiovascular disease).

    Bye, folks. It was… interesting debating with you.

    • or-well

      bold nuclear soldier
      walks away
      from the cold shoulder
      the great patent holder
      no wiser, just older
      like a corpse
      in a flooded Dutch polder
      trying to float Nuclears folder –
      a concept that stinks more
      each day it grows older.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    @all, is this Diogenes guy a college boy upgrade? Those around for longer will catch my drift, eh! 🙂