Galen Winsor asks – Who owns the plutonium? How much is it worth?

Galen Winsor was a hands-on nuclear expert in the fullest sense of the phrase. Before irrational radiation protection rules were imposed, he and his colleagues directly handled used fuel. Since they needed to touch radioactive materials to accomplish their mission, they could not maximize distance or use shielding. Instead they limited their exposure time and depended on just one out of three of the triple protection means learned by all radiation professionals – “time, distance and shielding”.

According to his story, Winsor and his colleagues knew enough about the material that they were handling to prevent most skin burns, but they had a job to do and did not allow a desire to lower doses below the level of immediate risk to impede their successful accomplishment.

During his more than 30 years of professional involvement in handling nuclear materials, Winsor stubbornly refused to change his habits. He considered the used fuel pool at the Morris, IL recycling plant to be his personal “warm swimming hole”, he gave talks during which he licked uranium dioxide off of the palm of his hand and he once filled a two liter bottle from a used fuel pool and kept that water on his office desk for a daily drink.

If you pay close attention, you should come away with the impression that Winsor was not foolhardy; he was well aware of the real behavior of the materials that he measured. In Winsor’s opinion, imposition of unreasonably tight rules associated with radiation protection has been a cost-increasing strategy akin to the “feather bedding” practices of railroad engineers.

Winsor passed away a few years ago. He was in his 80s and his death was apparently from the normal kinds of natural causes that afflict people of a certain age.

Throughout Winsor’s talk, he points out the physical value of the irradiated material that some people insist on calling high level waste. He asks the final important questions – “Who owns the plutonium?” and “How much is it worth?” He recognizes that using it beneficially threatens a number of powerful interests.

Unfortunately, Winsor’s message did not receive widespread attention in the 1980s when he gave his talks. He did not live in the internet era and did not have access to tools like blogs and YouTube. Fortunately for us, someone saved video tapes of his talks and converted them to a digital format. A couple of days ago, an Atomic Insights reader sent me a link to a longer, 1.5 hour compilation video hosted by Liberty in Our Time. That video has been on the web for a year and has been seen by just 25,000 people; that number needs to grow rapidly.

I would be remise if I did not discuss the idea that Winsor’s message might have gained some detractors from its overly conspiratorial tone. As a Naval Academy graduate and retired Commander, I’m a card carrying member of “The Establishment”. I can testify based on a three decade-long career that there is no need to assume that some kind of secretive agreement must exist in order to encourage people with aligned interests to successfully work without any coordination to discredit a common enemy.

There are plenty of people that have long recognized that atomic energy directly threatens their interests by offering a superior product that can permanently capture profitable customers. Their interest in slowing nuclear energy development has been matched by those who have recognized that it is easier to build enormous infrastructures and obtain valuable contracts when people are confused, fearful or purposely kept ignorant through secrecy.

Unnecessarily stringent radiation protection regulations leads to huge contracts for what we used to call “digging and filling” on the military bases where I worked for several decades. Both construction contractors and hydrocarbon suppliers continue to be aided by media interests that carry their advertising messages, by financial institutions that make money by lending to gargantuan projects, by transportation industries that carry their massive quantities of daily deliveries, and by politicians that accept political contributions (sometimes bordering on bribes), employee votes and post government employment.

The gradual imposition of ever tighter regulations enforced by the kinds of employment threats that Winsor describes in the above video helped to increase profits and also reinforced the public fear factor by building an ever growing body of compliant workers taught to have a questioning attitude that defaulted to extreme conservatism while blindly following stringent rules, even without any physical evidence of harm.

A large and growing body of documents, personal testimony and anecdotal stories has convinced me that the world has wrongly accepted incorrect information about the relative hazard of atomic radiation compared to many other casually accepted materials and influences. Watching Winsor’s talk reminded me of a practically-minded senior chief petty officer named Tess who once demonstrated to me how he would simply wipe his hands on his pants if he found a little contamination. It reminded me of numerous occasions when Ted Rockwell repeated that money spent on radiation protection did not disappear into a rat hole, it disappeared into some rats’ pockets.

It also reminded me of my conversations with Ray Haroldsen, the electrical technician who told Atomic Show listeners stories (The Atomic Show #068 – Ray Haroldsen, Atomic Tinkerer who has tested the limits and The Atomic Show #069 – Ray Haroldsen, Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 stories) of picking up the pieces from the BORAX destructive test. When I spoke with Ray just two years ago, he was still in good health, even though he was an adult nuclear energy professional in 1951, more than 60 years ago. The risk from moderate doses of radiation or ingestion of radioactive material has been highly exaggerated for very logical, but greed driven reasons.

It is long past time to aggressively fight back and challenge the status quo. My burning desire for more widely distributed prosperity and my need to strive to help reduce the risk of dramatic climate change demands that I promote the truth. Please join me in the effort to tell the world that atomic fission is a great way to boil water to provide useful power to an ever growing number of happy and healthy customers.

On a related note, Jerry Cuttler highly recommended that I share a link to Wade Allison’s paper about the Goiania accident and what it should teach us about the minuscule health hazards from the materials released at Fukushima and any future, probably less severe accident. Here is a sample quote:

In the 25 years since 1987 there has been no case of cancer due to radiation among those contaminated – none at all. This observation is compared with measurements from Fukushima and elsewhere in the Table below. As shown in the third column the lowest measured internal radioactivity for any casualty at Goiania was far more than 1000 times greater than the largest internal radioactivity measurement for any resident in a large survey of those affected in Japan [9]. For children this ratio was even larger. At Goiania one woman, already four months pregnant, got a significant dose and gave birth normally; and another who had received one of the highest internal doses gave birth to a healthy child four years on.

(Emphasis added.)

Please go now and read Allison’s footnoted paper. Your comments are always welcome.

About Rod Adams

94 Responses to “Galen Winsor asks – Who owns the plutonium? How much is it worth?”

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  1. Daniel says:

    Who owns the Plutonium ?

    That question can also be translated into: Who wants to be the Saudi Arabia of Gen IV nuclear plants!

    William Tucker has repeatedly said that if the US wanted to get rid of all its nuclear waste in 3 days, all they had to do was called Russia. No fee and they take ownership.

    They would take it in the fastest US-Russia military joint mission ever.

    Now, you would think that Nevada would be a taker. Alas.

    How much it is worth ? Well make a simple arithmetic gallon of oil equivalent dummy, is what Bill Clinton would say.

    But I digress.

    • Engineer-Poet says:

      If Russia takes the SNF, it eliminates the waste-disposal argument against nuclear power.  The PTB can’t have that.

      • Daniel says:

        Please expand what SNF and PTB mean in this context. It is 34 degrees but my lemonade ain’t cutting it !

        • Daniel says:

          SBF = Spent Nuclear Fuel … OK should have got this one …

          What does PTB mean ?

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Powers That Be.

            (I could have used the acronym tag, but typing in a heap of HTML for a TLA is a PITA.)

          • Reese says:

            Definitely gotta love the TLAs. I used to say (as I’m saying now) that I used to be an ELT on a CGN often doing PMS on the APD in the CRC (above the D2G’s RC).

            We were taught at the RTC, NPS and NPTU to NOT use TLAs and other acronyms for fear of being misunderstood leading to a FUBAR SNAFU.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Now it’s my turn to ask for translation to Civilian.

          • Reese says:

            Definitely [must] love the [three-letter acronyms]. I used to say (as I’m saying now) that I used to be an [engineering laboratory technician] on a [cruiser, guided missile, nuclear powered] often doing [preventive maintenance system] on the [airborne particulate sensor or system] in the [core removal compartment (above the [General Electric’s second generation "destroyer" designed reactor] [reactor compartment]).

            We were taught at the [Recruit Training Command], [Nuclear Power School] and [Nuclear Power Training Unit or "prototype"] to NOT use TLAs and other acronyms for fear of being misunderstood leading to a [{fouled} up beyond all repair] [situation normal: all {fouled} up].

          • Reese says:

            Definitely [must] love the [three-letter acronyms]. I used to say (as I’m saying now) that I used to be an [engineering laboratory technician] on a [cruiser, guided missile, nuclear powered] often doing [preventive maintenance system] on the [airborne particulate detector] in the [core removal compartment] (above the [General Electric’s second generation "destroyer" designed reactor] [reactor compartment]).

            We were taught at the [Recruit Training Command], [Nuclear Power School] and [Nuclear Power Training Unit or "prototype"] to NOT use TLAs and other acronyms for fear of being misunderstood leading to a [{fouled} up beyond all repair] [situation normal: all {fouled} up].

  2. Michael Mann says:

    Rod,
    Proof reading, I think “They limiting their exposure time and depended on just one of the “time, distance and shielding” trifecta of radiation protection” needs to be tweeked.

  3. Daniel says:

    Gina McCarthy, the new EPA nomination, is also busy at raising the radiation threshold requirements for evacuation in case of a US civil nuclear incident. Those currently in place in the US are ridiculous.

    James Conca wrote a good article on that topic a little while ago. The US administration does not want to have to finance the lives of hundreds of thousands of evacuees like in Fukushima.

    The US administration knows that the radiation limits set forth in Japan are ridiculous and do not want to be stuck with a similar situation.

    And, as Conca points out, the second amendment would play and he is not sure that citizens of the US would leave behind their homes from the low radiations emissions that can be expected from a civil nuclear incident.

    • Robert Hargraves says:

      The IAEA recommends evacuation from contaminated areas only if radiation exceeds 200 mSv/year — two orders of magnitude higher than Japan’s resettlement number. Read their recent document http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/EPR-NPP_PPA_web.pdf and especially page 59.

      • Atomikrabbit says:

        Radiophobic insanity on the part of the Japanese authorities that led to hundreds of real – not hypothetical – deaths.

        • Daniel says:

          The internet is not cutting thru in Japan.

          It is a sad turn of event. Abe should elect office in Fukushima or set up a major ministry there. Now would be perfect timing.

      • Bas says:

        @Robert
        I read that they use 20mSv/year as the threshold for return of the inhabitants.
        And that most relocated people refuse as they think that level is to high.

        The IAEA standards:
        “Any situation that resulted in a dose of greater than 100 mSv
        being incurred acutely or in one year would be considered unacceptable”
        Furthermore:
        “For public exposure, the dose limits are: (a) An effective dose of 1 mSv in a year; ”
        And:
        Projected/b> dose that exceeds 100mSv/a:… temporary relocation”
        (bold by me)

        With the wrong wind a radiation level of 20mSv/a at a place could become 10 fold in a short time, same if a further escalation happened at the NPP (e.g. spent fuel from spent fuel pool into the air)
        So the Japanese probably decided to relocate in line with the IAEA standards, as at the time of that decision it was not clear how much more fall-out would follow.

        The IAEA standards:
        http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/p1531interim_web.pdf

        Btw
        I think that 20mSv/a is not to high if you are old.
        But if you want to get children I agree, as with 20mSv/a the chance on stillbirth rises with a factor 6 (roughly same for Down, congenital malformation, etc).

  4. Bas says:

    In the paper about the Goiania accident, Allison excludes any proof that lower level radiation delivers serious health effects (somewhat similar as IAEA/WHO)!
    And without such proof he assumes that it is harmless!

    He states:”…whether radiation from internal radioactivity is in fact more harmful, should be answered with evidence — strong evidence, simply understood and without the use of complicated statistics.”

    Assume 100mSv implies that ~1% to die prematurely.
    Or that 1mSv (CS137) implies ~30% more stillbirth as shown in Germany and Finland after Chernobyl; results with p<0.001 (20years, while they only got small extra amounts), and the atomic bomb survivor studies (Life Span Study report number 14) that the harmful effects of low level radiation occur after >20years.

    With the condition that Allison (and in part IAEA/WHO) applies, it is impossible to proof that:
    – smoking causes heart attacks & cancer (as those occur after >20years).
    – same regarding asbestos if asbestos would not generate a specific cancer, but a general cancers as radiation does.
    – same regarding micro particles in the air (that shorten the life of people living near busy highways and in busy city centers).
    – etc.

    *) Regression models used. Confounding factors such as population density, physician density, and income considered.
    Inferential statistical procedures based on year-to-year or month-to-month (random) variation in stillbirth proportions or congenital malformations.
    To investigate whether there are significant changes in the trend functions, linear logistic regression method is applied (the most appealing method for treating binomial variables).

    **) the Goiania accident involved only a few people. So even a 30% extra chance on premature death will not deliver any statistical proof. Not even with p<0.1 (=10% chance that it is coincidence; so that the conclusion is wrong)

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Bas

      Assume 100mSv implies that ~1% to die prematurely.

      Why do you start off with that assumption?

      Large doses of smoking contributes to the risk of heart attacks and cancer. Small doses are far less certain to cause problems.

      Anecdotal warning – My grandfather was a moderate tobacco user for almost his entire life; he started chewing tobacco in his early teens and started smoking occasional cigarettes and cigars soon after that. He died of old age at 88.

      My father, his son, learned to smoke cigarettes in bootcamp when he joined the Navy at 17. He was the kind of guy that did not do things halfway. By the time he was 19 he was smoking 2.5 packs per day. He did that for about 25 years before his doctor told him that it was killing him. He quit cold turkey and lived another 20 years before he died of cancer at 61, less than 24 hours after his own father passed away.

      • Bas says:

        @Rod
        …Large doses of smoking contributes to the risk of heart attacks and cancer. Small doses are far less certain to cause problems…
        That is true for the individual.

        As politician (and the scientist that advises) you have to look at the population level.
        So a raised chance on death of only 0.01%/year with a population of 80million, implies that you can be held responsible for 8,000 death each year.
        Imagine the headlines if you, being responsible, accept that risk only for another form of electricity generation…

        Yes, Individual cases can be quite different.
        My grandfather smoked all his life until he died 94years old (got a serious cold and then heart failure).
        My father died at 66years with lung cancer. It was so ugly to see him fight for breath during the last weeks, that my brother stopped smoking.

        • jmdesp says:

          The difference Bas is that there is a very large numbers of study showing beyond any doubt the effect smoking has on cancer (I saw recently a study estimating that 50% of smokers will die from a disease related to it, not only cancer, tobacco has many effects on respiratory and cardiac diseases also).

          Meanwhile for radiation, below a threshold around 100 mSv it’s very difficult to be really sure you’ve statically found any effect related to it, a few studies have claimed to have found one, but at least as many have found none.

          Also it’s foremost important to keep in mind the order of height of things before comparing them.
          Yes the analysis of Goiania is very rough, but there’s a group of 20 people who have received an irradiation of 4000 times the radiation of Fukushima, so must have 4000 time the effect if we trust the LNT. And none was affected.
          In proportion to the dose received seeing no effect in those 20 people is like seing no effect in 80 000 people in Fukushima.
          So if it’d be normal and expected to see no effect in those 20 people, then it also be normal and expected to see no effect in a population of 80 000 in Fukushima, which is actually roundly the population of the area where the exposure to radiation was above the average level in the world.

          The results of the LSS studies are not really usable to determine the risk at low dose. The error margin is so large at low dose that it includes the lack of any effect. The calculated effect from measurements is about flat below 500 mSv. It seems also that there’s a systemic error in the LSS which is that it doesn’t include the effect of fallouts, some people which have counted as having received a small dose might actually have been much more significantly contaminated by the fallout (which was several kilograms of uranium 235 in Hiroshima, plutonium 239 in Nagasaki, and several fission product in both, that rain brought back to the ground instead of it being dispersed in high atmosphere).

          But even including all that, the scientific conclusion is that the most exposed group in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ( that is *not* those that received a low radiation) had less effect than from heavy smoking or severe obesity, in the range of passive smoking and atmospheric pollution, see http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/7/49

          • Bas says:

            @jmdesp
            …analysis of Goiania is very rough, but there’s a group of 20 people who have received an irradiation of 4000 times the radiation of Fukushima, so must have 4000 time the effect if we trust the LNT. And none was affected.

            The issue is that we simply do not know that none was affected!

            Allison says “no case of cancer due to radiation“.
            But he accepts only that a cancer is due to radiation if all these criteria are met: “ strong evidence, simply understood and without the use of complicated statistics“.
            No one will/can meet all these criteria, so he will always state:”no case of cancer due to radiation”!
            Even if all are now dead, his criteria are still not met!

            Even if we know everything what happened to the 20 subjects until now, there is a big chance that we will still are unable to draw any conclusion.

            We cannot draw any conclusion, even if the chance to get cancer within 25years is raised by 30% through the accident. The sample size is simply to small.

            The problem is that no physician (or another) can tell what caused the cancer: Genetics, or micro-particles, or stress, or to little movement, or age, or the background radiation, or the extra radiation due to the accident, the mercury that came from the amalgam in his teeth, etc.

            Btw.
            – I did not see any info regarding how many of those 20 got cancer or are dead by now. All? None?

            – If 15 out of the 20 are dead now, then you still cannot draw a significant conclusion! You have to compare with similar group that got no extra radiation, and compensate for confounding factors (age, smoking, alcohol, CT-scans, marital status, education, work, etc). So start a full scale scientific project.

            Even then, if you are a bad mathematician/statistician like Allison, you will draw the wrong conclusion. E.g. that that extra radiation does no harm (while in reality it brings e.g. 30% more chance on cancer).

            – a complicating factor (if you want to involve all 58); For those that got a low level dose the real harm is just about to start now (the >20years delay which a.o. LSS showed, same as with smoking).

          • Brian Mays says:

            We cannot draw any conclusion, even if the chance to get cancer within 25years is raised by 30% through the accident. The sample size is simply to small.

            Bas – Please stop lying.

            That is all you do here. You lie, and you lie, and you lie, and you repeat the same nonsense over and over again.

            I have thoroughly debunked this idiotic claim through simple statistics. Please stop spamming this site with lies.

          • Bas says:

            @jmdsp
            Regarding you criticism on LSS, I advice that you read first their last report no.14. Then you see that your remarks are not right.

            Around the classification of the victims regarding the radiation / fall-out; there was a re-classification after ~10years (do not remember exact date) in order to meet all relevant criticism (incl. your fall-out remarks).

            Your last remark
            Yes there are people who choose to take extra risk to die early (I was one of them as an extreme mountain climber).
            But they get a reward for that, and do it out of free will!

            The NPP (accident) radiation risk is imposed on me.
            No escape. Unless I take the burden to sell my house (after a NPP accident against a much lower price), move far away and start a new life there.
            And that only because nuclear engineers/companies want NPP’s and persuade government to grant lots of (liability) subsidies (my money).

            Btw.
            The most radiation exposed groups in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, died before LSS started in 1948/1950.

          • jmdesp says:

            I was talking about the most exposed group in the LSS study, which obviously doesn’t include those who died shortly after the explosion.
            And I was taking about order of magnitude, once again you muddle things in the way that suits you.
            The one for which the effect was compared with than smoking/obesity were the most affected in a nuclear explosion, people who received 500 mSv or more, not the one who received a level of irradiation in the range below 100 mSv, the range you could receive after a nuclear accident.

            Those below 100 mSv suffer an effect that’s lower than the one of passive smoking (I was looking for the study with the estimate of a 50% mortality rate resulting from smoking, I didn’t find it, but I found another study that estimates in 2002 in France the number of death from passive smoking to have been around 1000) or the one of atmospheric pollution (again many thousand deaths a year in all serious studies).
            And that’s comparing to two things that happens with absolute certitude every year, the random case of failing to stop release of radioactive materials after a core melting accident, where the obvious lesson from Fukushima is that if you are well prepared to handle it in advance, should not happen.

            It would be a lot more constructive to talk about what can be done additionally to ensure another Fukushima accident never happens again by making sure every country is ready, nobody is allowed to be as unprepared as Japan was, this knowing that the problem was only partly technical and mostly cultural. Really, seeing how Tepco delayed on sending a truck to Fukushima loaded with batteries because they didn’t have the right paperwork demonstrates how much the cultural aspect weighted.

        • GaryN says:

          …Large doses of smoking contributes to the risk of heart attacks and cancer.

          I have been informed by someone who lives in Japan that lung cancer is almost unheard of, even though many working class men smoke 3 packs a day. Cancer rates overall are very much lower than most of the world, but apparently some such as stomach cancer have increased in the last 15 years, which corresponds to the introduction of Pizza, and other western processed foods.

    • Brian Mays says:

      Assume 100mSv implies that ~1% to die prematurely.

      SuperTroll – Totally wrong. The BEIR VII model assumes that an exposure to 100 mSv will result in a lifetime increase of risk of 1% for being diagnosed with cancer. The cancer mortality statistics are lower.

      Or that 1mSv (CS137) implies ~30% more stillbirth as shown in Germany and Finland after Chernobyl

      You’re still clinging on to that severely flawed paper aren’t you? Sorry, but junk science does not constitute “proof.”

      With the condition that Allison (and in part IAEA/WHO) applies, it is impossible to proof that: … smoking causes heart attacks & cancer (as those occur after >20years).

      The relative risks for smoking are on the order of 20. The relative risks that you cite above for radiation are on the order of 1.01. Apples … oranges.

      same regarding asbestos … same regarding micro particles …

      It’s clear that you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

      the Goiania accident involved only a few people. So even a 30% extra chance on premature death will not deliver any statistical proof. Not even with p<0.1 (=10% chance that it is coincidence; so that the conclusion is wrong)

      The National Safety Council gives the lifetime odds for the US of dying from cancer as “1 in 7.” If an extra 30% chance is added on to this, that gives a 19% chance of dying from cancer.

      Using these risk factors, the probability of nobody in the population of 58 people who were exposed to dose of 0.65-650 mGy/month dying of cancer is 6 ×10-6. Even if we consider the smaller population of only 20 individuals who received a dose rate of 65-650 mGy/month, the probably of a zero cancer mortality is 0.016. Using your hypothesis, this would be a statistically significant result.

      Once again, it’s clear that you simply have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Bas says:

        @Brian
        …100 mSv will result in a lifetime increase of risk of 1% for being diagnosed with cancer…
        As with nicotine and micro-particles, there are more deadly diseases (e.g. heart attack) due to radiation.
        I assume all those together deliver a chance ~ equal to the cancer survival.
        In the past (I believe in the fifties), the decision was made to look only towards cancer in order to make it easier (probably also because that looks better).

        Smoking, micro-particles…
        I do not see any argument, except that the relative risk with smoking would be bigger. That is not relevant as you need also to use the same complex statistical methods (that Allison defies) in order to show that it (not) harms.
        Especially as regarding smoking the confounder factors are much bigger.

        Note that it took decades of fight about these very same statistics before it was generally accepted that smoking is harmful.
        Even longer before it was accepted that being in same room with smoking people is harmful.
        Same with micro-particles. Although that went faster as industry was less involved.

        Goiana
        You should look at the raised numbers of people that died prematurely.
        So compare with others in similar condition that did not get extra radiation.

        The radiation doses varies factor 100. So that should also taken into account.
        Furthermore the time lapse that occurs at low level radiation.

        I do not see what the relevance is of chance on a zero cancer mortality is 0.016 in the 20 individuals, to show a possible raised level.

        Sorry. But may be you can take a good course on statistics.

        • Brian Mays says:

          As with nicotine and micro-particles, there are more deadly diseases (e.g. heart attack) due to radiation.

          SuperTroll – Are you seriously suggesting that the risk of a heart attack from radiation is greater than the risk of contracting cancer?!!

          I’m sorry, but the rest of what you have written is so incomprehensible that I cannot make anything out of it. Were you smoking pot when you wrote it? I realize that English is not your native language, but you must do better if you want anyone to understand what you have written. We native-English-speakers have a reputation for being very tolerant when someone butchers our language, but even we have limits.

          Language issues aside, I’m not sure that what you have written would be comprehensible in any language. I’ve searched for an underlying message, but came up short.

          Whether or not you decide to try to improve your English writing skills, however, I was able to pull out a couple of nuggets of clear stupidity from what you scrawled, which I can address.

          Furthermore the time lapse that occurs at low level radiation.

          Like 25 years, right? You know … the time period since the exposure occurred in this case. Yes, we’re looking at long-term effects.

          Sorry. But may be you can take a good course on statistics.

          Um … Why? I took the hypothesis that you put forward and applied appropriate statistical analysis to it to arrive at a quantitative result. What did you do?

          It appears to me that you were talking off the cuff, and I caught you in the act. Based on the voluminous record of imbecile postings that you have deposited on this blog, it is clear to me that you don’t even understand the most basic and trivial fundamentals of statistical analysis, which is why you just make up stuff and then complain when someone calls you on it.

          If you’re going to lecture someone on the need to learn statistics, I suggest that you start by introducing some real statistical numbers of your own into what you write, instead of fake numbers that you have just made up. Every time you fail to do so, you just undermine what little credibility you have left.

          • Bas says:

            @Brian,

            ..Are you seriously suggesting that the risk of a heart attack from radiation is greater than the risk of contracting cancer?..
            No.
            We agree that the risk of being diagnosed (getting) cancer is ~1% per 100mSv. Roughly 40% survive the cancer.
            So with 100mSv the chance to die because of radiation induced cancer is ~0.6%.

            The risk that radiation induces other serious disease (e.g. heart attack) is also ~1%. I assume the chance to die from that other serious disease is ~40%.
            So with 100mSv the chance to die because of other radiation induced other disease is ~0.4%.

            So all together, with 100mSv the chance to die because of radiation induced cancer or other disease is about: 0.6% + 0.4% = 1%.
            So I write 100mSv deliver ~1% chance on premature death.

            the risk model
            Other than with e.g. nicotine, you find only numbers regarding the chance to get cancer when the effect of radiation is involved.

            That is because ~50years ago, nuclear people (IAEA/WHO/UNSCEAR?) decided to consider only the number of cancers (and deaths due to that cancers) induced by nuclear radiation. That made estimations a lot easier and it delivers more favorable outcomes (less deaths).

            That decision (to only consider only induced cancers) contributes to the controversy between IAEA/WHO and many other scientist groups regarding the human damage created by Chernobyl…

            It implies e.g. that the raised numbers of extra stillbirths (and congenital malformation and Down and …) due to Chernobyl do not exist in IAEA/WHO reports! Even while the study is rock-solid and published in a respectable scientific journal. Same with many other studies.

            Goiana
            Following your statistics:lifetime odds for the US of dying from cancer as “1 in 7.” and using your sample size of 58, delivers that an average of 8.3 persons develop cancer.
            A 30% raised chance implies that on average 10.7 persons develop cancer.
            Check your binomial distribution tables for the significance of that difference.

          • Brian Mays says:

            That is because ~50years ago, nuclear people (IAEA/WHO/UNSCEAR?) decided to consider only the number of cancers (and deaths due to that cancers) induced by nuclear radiation.

            That’s simply not true. Other effects, such as heart disease, have been considered and continue to be considered. For example, BEIR VII, the most recent attempt by the US National Academy of Sciences to revisit this issue, considered these other health effects and concluded the following:

            “The committee maintains that other health effects (such as heart disease and stroke) occur at high radiation doses, but additional data must be gathered before an assessment can be made of any possible connection between low doses of radiation and noncancer health effects.”

            (BEIR VII, p. 10)

            I don’t pretend to know whether you are willfully ignorant of this or you are a corrupt liar or you are a simple fool. In any case, you are incorrect and all of these projections of deaths that you describe matter only in your own warped little mind.

            Check your binomial distribution tables for the significance of that difference.

            So you can multiply a probability by a number to arrive at an expected value. Am I supposed to be impressed?

            Check my binomial distribution tables? Seriously?! Where do you think I got the probability figures that I posted? Once again, you demonstrate that you don’t have the first clue.

            I suppose that you were trying to say that a sample of only 58 has low statistical power, and I agree. When trying to find an effect, such a small sample is rather unlikely to detect something. Nevertheless, one shouldn’t make the naive mistake of claiming that a statistically significant result that refutes a hypothesis is invalid, simply because of poor statistical power. That would be just plain stupid.

          • Bas says:

            @Brian

            … sample of only 58 has low statistical power, and I agree. … such a small sample is rather unlikely to detect something…
            So even if in reality those 58 have a 30% enhanced chance dying prematurely (or develop cancer), it will not show up. There is no instrument that can measure it due to the small sample size!

            … naive mistake of claiming that a statistically significant result that refutes a hypothesis is invalid, simply because of poor statistical power…
            The hypothesis that that radiation is harmless cannot be confirmed either, due to the same lack of statistical power. As even if that radiation delivers 30% more chance on cancer, then it will not deliver significant results.

            So regarding the damaging effect of Goiana no conclusions are possible, as there are no better, more sensitive measurement tools (even more advanced statistics do not deliver those).

            ehr bethe radiationcan be

          • Brian Mays says:

            So even if in reality those 58 have a 30% enhanced chance dying prematurely (or develop cancer), it will not show up. There is no instrument that can measure it due to the small sample size!

            No. Your understanding of statistical analysis and hypothesis testing is abysmally poor. A sample size of 58 would be insufficient, in general, to detect very small risks, but something as large as 30% above an already large risk (such as cancer) would be fairly easy to detect. A sample of 58 would generally be considered sufficient for the job.

            Just looking at the 28 most affected individuals, their combined dose is well over 42 person-Sv. With that level of dose, LNT predicts that at least 4 of these individuals should have contracted cancer. Taking into account the dose ranges for subgroups of this population, I calculate that the probability of none of these people contracting cancer attributable to radiation is 1 in 160. Since I used the low values for dose estimates, the odds of this result are even more remote. Statistically, this is a highly significant result.

            So regarding the damaging effect of Goiana no conclusions are possible …

            Not at all! Very clear, very significant results can be drawn from the aftermath of this event. What the flawed radiation health effect models predicted didn’t happen, and it is highly unlikely that such a result is due to chance.

  5. Bob Applebaum says:

    Hi Rod:

    I see you’re still at it! Censor if you so choose or not, it’s up to you:

    http://ribjoint.blogspot.com/2013/07/atomic-ideologies-promotes-galen-winsor.html

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Bob

      I am happy to engage. I rarely censor except when people make repeated unfounded assertions or when they attempt to spread lies about friends. I got quite angry with your comments regarding Ted Rockwell, a well qualified engineer who was actively engaged in sharing his deep pool of knowledge about nuclear energy and radiation health effects almost to the very last day that he walked on Earth – more than 90 years after his birth.

    • Joel Riddle says:

      Bob,

      Would I be correct to assume that you have Google alerts set up to let you know instantly any time that the names Wade Allison or Jerry Cuttler are published anywhere on the world wide web?

  6. Bas says:

    Sorry, my previous post meshed. So consider this to be the real one:

    In the paper about the Goiania accident, Allison excludes any proof that lower level radiation delivers serious health effects (somewhat similar as IAEA/WHO)!
    And without such proof he assumes that it is harmless!

    He states:”…whether radiation from internal radioactivity is in fact more harmful, should be answered with evidence — strong evidence, simply understood and without the use of complicated statistics.

    Note that Allison uses two conditions:
    – simply to understand; and
    – no complicated statistics

    Statistics showed in the sixties that medical radiation workers got extra cancers after ~20years. So now they all take precautions.
    So, according to Allison that is nonsense.

    The atomic bomb survivor studies (e.g. Life Span Study report 14“) also show that the harmful effects of low level radiation occur after >20years, by using complex statistics.
    Nonsense according to Allison.

    After Chernobyl it was shown that 1mSv (CS137) implies ~30% more stillbirth in Germany and Finland.
    Those too are impossible to proof without ‘complicated’ statistics.*)

    His conditions imply that only direct harm, shortly after the accident, can be considered.
    But almost all harmful substances create serious harm after a long time (typical >20years) if applied at low levels!

    With the conditions that Allison (and in part IAEA/WHO) applies, it is impossible to proof that:
    – smoking causes heart attacks & cancer (occur after 20years);
    – same regarding asbestos, if asbestos would not generate a specific cancer, but a general cancers as radiation does;
    – same regarding micro particles in the air (shortens life of people near busy highways and in busy city centers);
    – etc.

    His conditions imply that the actions against smoking, micro particles in the air, etc. are nonsense.

    That is so much short of present scientific knowledge, that no serious scientist will consider his points of view.
    It will damage the nuclear case as scientists will consider it dangerous to assign that type of people any responsibility.

    *) For the stillbirth proof (p<0.001), linear logistic regression is applied. Confounding factors such as population density, physician density, and income considered.
    Inferential statistical procedures applied, based on a.o. month-to-month (random) variation in stillbirth proportions or congenital malformations.

    **) the Goiania accident involved only a few people. So even a 30% extra chance on premature death will not deliver any statistical proof.
    Not even with p<0.1 (=10% chance that it is coincidence; so that the conclusion is wrong)

    • Brian Mays says:

      Reposting the same crap over and over is considered spam. Rod would be well within his rights to ban you for that.

      By the way, the Goiania exposures occurred over 25 years ago.

      • Daniel says:

        Bob is back and DV82Xl is MIA. The opposite would be much cooler.

        • Brian Mays says:

          When you bend over backwards to cater to certain individuals, you should not be surprised when you discover who stays and who leaves. I agree that Rob Gauthier’s (DV82XL’s) departure has reduced the average IQ-level of the comments here by at least 10 points.

      • Bas says:

        I would be happy if he deleted my first post, and put your responses below this post of mine.

    • Twominds says:

      @ Bas
      You keep using smoking as an example in these posts. How do you see that as comparable to LOW level chronic exposure to radiation? Shouldn’t you compare that to HIGH level radiation exposure?

      • Bas says:

        That depends on the intensity of your smoking (just as with radiation).
        It is now accepted that non-smoking people in a room with a smoker, are also harmed. That is also not easy to prove.
        As everybody is confronted with smoking, there was a lot more research to proof the harmful effects (compared to nuclear radiation).

        To quantify the harmful effects of radiation caused by a leaking NPP, we had to wait until Chernobyl. Estimations based on:
        – the atomic bombs in Japan
        – medical radiation
        were often not accepted by pro-nuclear.
        Arguments:
        – those concern short heavy doses and nuclear is low level long term which would give the tissue the opportunity to recover;
        – the character of both (medical and the bombs) is different; both are mainly gamma radiation and nuclear radiation concerns often primarily alpha and beta radiation
        (this last argument is not often used).

        So the hypothesis was/is adhered that a dose of low level nuclear radiation harms xx times less than the same dose by atomic bombs and medical radiation.

        Now many low level radiation effect studies regarding Chernobyl’s radiation show that longer term low level radiation harms roughly the same (sometimes more, sometimes less) as the atomic bombs and medical radiation.

        One of the problems is that the IAEA just doesn’t consider those results.
        I do not know why. Only that those results may hamper the IAEA in its efforts to promote nuclear (its target).

        I saw arguments that:
        – they consider that any result involving radiation below 10mSv (or 100mSv) as fake. Because the assume those levels cannot harm
        – they use similar conditions as the two that Allison uses (stated elsewhere in this thread)
        – only consider the areas near Chernobyl (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus). That makes life easier for them, especially as authorities in those countries have an interest to show to their public that the damage is low.
        – etc.

  7. BobinPgh says:

    Didn’t they do a story like this on the TV show “Dark Matters”? It was about a Canadian scientist during the Manhattan project where he had a ball of plutonium and he put a dome over it and “tickled the dragons tail” and did not use spacers like he was supposed to and let out a big bolus of radiation. He and the others all ended up dying from radiation poisoning with internal bleeding. I don’t know if this is the same guy.

    • Sean McKinnon says:

      a criticality (fission event) accident in a government weapons lab has as much to do with handling spent nuclear fuel as an explosion at a refinery has to do with cooking oil. Lol!

      • BobinPgh says:

        Sean, I don’t really know, explain how what happened in Dark Matters was different from touching the material? Maybe it was less than a critical mass or less concentrated? It did not take long to irradiate the scientists and they were close to the source so maybe it would not be so bad if they were further away?

        • Sean McKinnon says:

          A criticality accident is an accident in which a critical mass of fissile material is arranged in a proper geometry to cause an uncontrolled fission event. The scientists in question were exposed to unshielded neutron flux and extreme amounts of radiation unprotected causes by the fissioning of the plutonium. The berrilyium (sp?) sphere that was “dropped” acted as a neutron reflector which caused the plutonium to reach a critical geometry so to speak.

          Exposure to a radioactive substance is not necessarily dangerous in the examples given by Mr. Windsor the short lived highly radio active fission products have had time to decay therefore making it possible to handle the spent fuel. Handling a sub critical amount of plutonium is not neccasarilly in and of itself dangerous.

          A criticality accident would be like taking the reactor head off of an operating reactor and leaning over for a look. Spent nuclear fuel is kept with pretty minimal shielding in natural convection cooling casks after >5 years.

  8. Daniel says:

    This Hank Campbell guy is vocal, pro nuclear and not very nice to the greens:

    http://www.science20.com/science_20/blog/global_warming_not_worlds_top_problem_energy-117173

    Climate change is not the world’s number 1 problem, energy is …. Euh ?

  9. Rasmus Kiehl says:

    I wanted to add a comment (not made above or in Rod’s blog text) on the implications of ownership of the Plutonium in spent fuel rods. Let’s say there was a court ruling (or a government decision) that the Plutonium belongs to the ratepayers, as Winsor argues in his talk. Then there would suddenly be a lot of people asking:
    “… so what can we do with this stuff? What, you say that it is potentially worth billions of dollars? Well then let’s build those Gen IV reactors already!”
    In other words, keeping ownership of Plutonium away from the public weakens the pro-Gen IV interests and pro-reprocessing interests substantially.

    • Bas says:

      @Rasmus
      Sharp remark from you. Two doubts:

      – I can imagine some people then want to make nice money out of that plutonium by selling it to any interested party.
      What if they sell it to a straw man that works for Iran or …

      – I belief shortage of plutonium is a non-issue for the development of Gen4 reactors (these would be a real step forward, though not as much as fusion).
      But money is!
      In two ways:
      * investment money in order to develop
      * the costs of gen4 are so high that they cannot compete, despite the liability subsidies (which will be lower as chance on disaster is less; only the storage subsidy stays ~same).
      You see that last situation already with the EPR. And that is only a gen 3+ reactor.
      In UK the utility (EDF) needs a price guarantee for its production of almost twice the whole sale market price of electricity. A really huge subsidy.

      • Rod Adams says:

        Introducing the “Iran card” is a distraction. The energy content in plutonium can replace a huge amount of fossil fuel. There is a reason that one of the most famous and successful campaigners against nuclear energy is an Arab-American; he comes from a region where most of the wealth and power is traceable to selling hydrocarbons.

      • ddpalmer says:

        Plutonium from spent fuel from a commercial reactor is not useful for weapons production. So why would Iran want it?

      • jmdesp says:

        Iran knows very well they can’t use the polonium from reactors because it’s contaminated well beyond any possible use by 240Pu, it wouldn’t explode whatever you do to it.

        That why they built centrifuge instead, and that’s why nobody is worried they’ll use Bushehr to build a bomb.

  10. Robert Hargraves says:

    Quoting the 100 mSv number improperly ignoring rates can deceiving. The BEIR VII study suggests a 1% cancer incidence arising from an ACUTE dose of 100 mSv. The IAEA and other organizations are comfortable that a low-level radiation dose rate of 100 mSv/year is safe.

    • Bas says:

      @Robert
      Interesting. Do you have links?

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Bas

        Not answering for Robert, but he provided a useful link in another part of the thread:

        http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/EPR-NPP_PPA_web.pdf

        According to the chart on page 58, 25 microSv per hour is “Safe for everyone” and even includes a picture of a pregnant lady and a crawling infant.

        If you multiply that rate by 8760 – the number of hours in a year – you see that it is an annual dose rate of 219 mSv per year.

        • Bas says:

          @Rod
          Sorry I have a few questions & remarks:

          What I do not understand:
          – Sv is the dose that the body gets
          – the table at page 59 is about a dose 1m above ground.
          That seems to me a misuse of the Sv.
          What is the relation / relevance regarding the dose that the body gets?

          At page 61 same table, only the dose rate at 10cm from the bare skin.
          In that table/graph the max safe dose is 25 times less.
          Just 1microSv/hr which is <9mSv/year.
          10 cm from the bare skin seems to me already more relevant.

          So when I extrapolate that, using the same 25x factor, to the dose in/below the skin the result is that <0.36mSv/year is safe.
          So then we arrive near the values of the German/Bayern study!

          The table at page 67 also applies for babies (and even fetuses).
          In this table the safe value (200Bq/kg) is much higher (more tolerant) than the Japanese standard: <10Bq/kg in drinking water, <50Bq/kg in food and milk…

          Hence the IAEA (main target promoting nuclear) is a factor 4 more tolerant.
          So the extrapolation should be corrected with that factor 4.
          That deliver <0.1mSv/year for unborn and babies.
          That is an acceptable figure in the light of the studies done regarding the influence of low level radiation. Especially those regarding radiation from Chernobyl in Finland, Sweden, Germany.

          Note that the Japanese standard applies for all 137Cs and is not restricted to LWR & RMBK. I do not see, why these table in the IAEA publication restrict to LWR & RMBK (and exclude PWR, etc)?

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            I am getting tired of trying to educate you and pointing you to reliable sources rather than sources that reinforce your incorrectly developed notions.

            It is standard practice to talk about measurements at one meter in elevation when talking about whole body, general area radiation doses. Most of us do not spend 24 hours per day crawling on the ground; even babies are often carried. One meter is a convenient elevation because it is about half of the height of a human being so it provides a good indication of the average dose rate to a whole body. In fact, it is conservative since most of the more sensitive areas are above that height – extremities like legs are less susceptible to radiation and have higher dose limits.

            The IAEA is not a sales organization, no matter what Helen Caldicott and her minions think. It is an international body of experts who take their responsibilities for conservatively controlling the beneficial use of nuclear energy seriously. If they publish a standard, it is already more conservative (lower) than the safe level; it is absurd to reduce it by a factor of four. The Japanese politicians are the ones that are stupid here, not the international technical experts.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            I do not see, why these table in the IAEA publication restrict to LWR & RMBK (and exclude PWR, etc)?

            Once again you expose your ignorance in the field. A PWR – pressurized water reactor – is a light water reactor (LWR).

            The table is restricted to LWR and RBMK, which together cover about 90% of all reactors in operation, because the isotopes of concern from a liquid metal cooled reactor or a heavy water reactor are different than the ones that are of highest concern for LWR and RBMK.

          • Sean McKinnon says:

            BWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAHHAAAAA!!!!!

            This guy doesn’t know that a pressurized water reactor IS a light water reactor but feels that *HE* *KNOWS* *BETTER* than ALL of the professionals here who have dedicated their lives to studying and helping to make safer nuclear power!

            Sorry for the ad hom attack but I mean *COME* *ON* enough is enough with this fool!

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            This guy doesn’t know that a pressurized water reactor IS a light water reactor

            To be honest, the CANDU is a pressurized HEAVY water reactor, but they are little-used outside of Canada.

          • Sean McKinnom says:

            Engineerpoet, I know the Candu reactor is a heavy water moderated reactor. I was responding to Rod’s post saying that a PWR is a LWR

          • Brian Mays says:

            Engineer-Poet – The humor centers around the following question by Bas:

            I do not see, why these table in the IAEA publication restrict to LWR & RMBK (and exclude PWR, etc)?

            Yes, it’s a bit of cheap humor focused on making fun of the village idiot.

            Nevertheless, it does serve as a potent reminder to everyone here that Bas simply doesn’t understand even the basic fundamentals of what he is trying to discuss. (In this case, a PWR is a type of LWR.) These mindless Greenpeace drones never do.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Do you mean that Bas is not even comic relief, since he is always wrong but not in a comic way?  I agree.

  11. Bas says:

    The misleading/wrong statements in Alison’s PDF

    Allison sets two faulty conditions before he accepts that cancer is radiation induced. The proof has to be:
    – simply to understand; and
    – involve no complicated statistics

    As shown in this thread, these conditions make it impossible to proof that cancers are induced by lower level radiation. Same regarding cancers induced by micro-particles, etc.
    No scientific body will accept these conditions.

    After making it impossible to proof harm by low level radiation, he uses the wrong assumption: “If not proofed to be harmful, it is harmless”.

    If food authorities would accept this rule, anybody can bring new food to the market without proof that it is harmless!
    The general scientific rule is: “If it is not proofed that it is harmless, we do not know (and it may harm)”.

    His conditions together with his assumption, turn his statements into nonsense.

    Some examples:
    Goiana
    He states:”In the 25 years since 1987 there has been no case of cancer due to radiation among those contaminated.
    This statement is easily misread as: “no case of cancer”. At the end of Brian’s post of July 27 10:18AM, he even calculated the chance on no cancer for the 58 people.
    But Allison added “…due to radiation..“.

    The 58 subjects are to few to deliver any (statistical) proof. Neither that it is harmful nor that it is not harmful. Yet he simply says it is not harmful. Pure fantasy.

    Fukushima
    He states: “In the two years since Fukushima no death from radiation … has been reported…”
    Cancer induced by radiation does not differ from cancer due to smoking, etc.
    So if a rescue worker gets cancer a year after his rescue activities at the NPP, nobody can tell the cause. It may be natural or it may be caused by the nuclear radiation he got during his rescue activities. There is no measurement instrument to detect the cause!

    Yes his statement is literally correct.
    However he suggests that nobody died from Fukushima radiation, and nobody will die. And that is wrong as:
    – there is no research regarding that yet (cancers/death come after >20years as LSS and medical radiation studies showed);
    – there is clear research that shows that even low level radiation of e.g. 20mSv harms the unborn and babies.

    • Engineer-Poet says:

      How many times have you re-posted this same cut-and-paste drivel?

      Time to bring down the ban-hammer.

      • Brian Mays says:

        Time to bring down the ban-hammer.

        I realize that this is not a democracy, but were I to have a vote, this would be it.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Bas

      If food authorities would accept this rule, anybody can bring new food to the market without proof that it is harmless!
      The general scientific rule is: “If it is not proofed that it is harmless, we do not know (and it may harm)”.

      What is so wrong with bringing new food into the market as long as there is no proof it is harmful? Humans did that for tens of thousands of years.

      All of the food that entered into the market before the acceptance of the precautionary principle was apparently grandfathered in and few tests have been conducted to determine if it could pass current statistical muster.

      If ALL food had to be tested and PROVED harmless, most of us would have starved by now.

      IMHO – The application of the precautionary principle to only “new” foods or new energy sources demonstrates that it is more about protecting markets for established suppliers than about protecting the public from potential harm.

      • Bas says:

        @Rod
        What is so wrong with bringing new food into the market as long as there is no proof it is harmful?
        So I find a new fungus (via genetic manipulation) and just bring it to the market.
        Then, after a year, it shows that it prevents women to become pregnant, or that their monthly bleeding becomes excessive and some die because of that.

        It seems to me that good testing beforehand is a good thing.

        …The application of the precautionary principle to only “new” foods or new energy sources demonstrates that it is more about protecting markets for established suppliers …
        It took an exceptional long time (>5years, created a lot of agony) before Stevia (the natural sweetener) was accepted in the EU, while it was used without any signs of health damage in Brazil for ages.
        It is also true that some sweeteners will not pass, the tests if they are to be introduced now (as they may contribute to illnesses and even cancer).
        So they should become forbidden but that is not done, because existing food is exempted from testing…
        So yes, it is an important factor. Unfortunately.

        Still I believe testing new food is better, especially since producers try to introduce so many artificial foods. And to me, the risk eating food that deliver some chance that it harms my health after some time, is unacceptable.
        Problem is also that I can get that harmful food unknowingly in a restaurant as they don’t tell you all ingredients.

        Actually I remember only medicines that were tested, brought to the market and retreated due to harmful effects.

    • Brian Mays says:

      The 58 subjects are to few to deliver any (statistical) proof. Neither that it is harmful nor that it is not harmful. Yet he simply says it is not harmful. Pure fantasy.

      No. The only thing that is “pure fantasy” is the wishful thinking that you employ to dismiss a highly statistically significant result.

      If we were talking about very small dose exposures on the order of background radiation, then a population of 58 would be insufficient to detect any effect reliably. In this case, however, we’re talking about a population exposed to doses of 0.5 Gy or more. The effects of this exposure should be observable even in a population smaller than 58.

      • Bas says:

        @Brian
        I’m staggered.
        We just concluded (few hours ago) that 30% extra risk cannot be shown due to the low sample size…

        So how do you think you can observe that???

        • Brian Mays says:

          We just concluded (few hours ago) that 30% extra risk cannot be shown due to the low sample size …

          No, I wrote that, given your “30% extra risk” of death, zero deaths from cancer in a population of 58, or even 20, is a highly significant result.

          Sure, a population size of 58 has low statistical power when trying to observe very small effects, such as the increase risk due to low-dose and low-dose-rate exposure to radiation (on the order of 10 mGy), but here we’re talking about very high exposures, on the order of 1 Gy or more.

          • Bas says:

            Brian,
            Allison does not write that there are zero deaths in the group of 58…
            He writes “no case of cancer due to radiation

            That implies that there were cases of cancer, only that he consider them not to be induced by radiation (as that is not proofed).

            Zero death in the sample does only indicate something is wrong, as statistics tell that there should be some deaths even if they got no radiation at all.

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – When someone dies of cirrhosis of the liver, it is normal not to attribute that to radiation exposure.

            This is getting tiresome. I realize that you can keep repeating the same stupid nonsense over and over again — as you regularly demonstrate — because you apparently have no life. Having demonstrated that you don’t have the slightest understanding of statistical analysis, my work in this thread is done. I’ve got better things to do than to continue to argue with a brick wall.

  12. Sean McKinnon says:

    Regarding Bas’s fear of light water power reactor generated plutonium being sold to Iran for a weapons program our friend at depleted cranium once wrote a very good blog post on why reactor fuel does not work for atomic weapons

    http://depletedcranium.com/why-you-cant-build-a-bomb-from-spent-fuel/

  13. Bas says:

    @Rod
    I forgot to respond to the second issue in your remark:
    … application of the precautionary principle to only “new” foods or new energy sources demonstrates that it is more about protecting markets for established suppliers
    The “new energy sources” brings the issue whether nuclear is more or less dangerous than other sources. The most important: solar, wind, gas, coal.

    For coal I assume fluidized bed technology that comply to Dutch/German exhaust standards, so hardly any NOx, micro-particles, etc. but CO2.
    New ‘old technology’ coal plants do not get a license (despite cyclone filters, etc.), but the existing ones are more or less allowed to continue for some more years (there is political pressure to close them asap). Anyway, old coal plant will become uneconomic anyway as the miss flexibility (not fast up-/down regulation) and cannot burn biomass/waste.

    nuclear safety
    As far as I can see now, fusion will become fairly save with hardly any radio-active waste. So it may out-perform gas, as well as regarding cost-price. So that is my favorite.

    I cannot judge fission with thorium reactors well, but the experience with the molten salt reactor (~LFTR) at Oakridge does not make me optimistic. The problems at decommissioning were not easy, and that was only a small scale trial that had run only part time during a few years…. Such issues will escalate much faster with a 30year old 1GW, high energy density reactor. Let’s see.

    Regarding Gen4, I think those may do rather well compared to coal.

    Regarding Gen3+ (e.g. EPR). That makes a necessary step forwards. But probably not enough to outperform coal.
    The EPR can withstand an F-16 (it has a double hull)! But probably not a 200ton plane.

    Note that all fission reactors have the disadvantage that they create radio-active waste, which is a huge danger for generations after us, if they do not handle well.

    Regarding the old and present reactors the situation is simple. They are far more dangerous than even coal/lignite:
    – According to most radiation scientists Chernobyl will cause ~1million death.
    Mainly due to extra low level radiation. Of course not according the IAEA/WHO but that has the target to promote peaceful nuclear, and made itself a untrustworthy.
    – No study yet regarding Fukushima (it is even still not clear how much more will be released). Some experts made some extrapolations regarding possible death (incl stillbirth); ~30,000.
    – Around many NPP’s there is an enhanced level of radiation. Far more heavy contamination around Sellafield (UK). These may account for ~10,000

    So a good estimation for the old and present nuclear is ~1 million death, excl. radio-active waste. The real figure is unclear. Some estimate > 3million.

    Now; what is the best estimation regarding the number of death due to nuclear waste?
    I do not know. It can be speculated that somewhere in the future, e.g. after thousand years, people have forgotten about that waste (and the storage leaks) and that it then will kill 100/year during 100,000years (or 10 during a million years) delivering 10million death.
    That the storage will leak seems plausible considering the German experience.

    Note:
    The obscure situation regarding waste is one of the killing factors for nuclear. People do not want to leave a dangerous store to the generations after them. They want to transfer a positive inheritance…

    But let’s be very optimistic and put the death total for nuclear to 1million.
    Coal generates far more electricity than nuclear: 3 times more?
    So to be equal dangerous coal must generate 3 million deaths.

    Most of those death must be due to CO2, as the new plants hardly put micro-particles in the air, or NOx, etc.
    Whether those death numbers arise depends on the truth about climate change.
    But climate change may happen…

    Anyway, I do not want to leave a negative inheritance (neither climate change nor dangerous waste) and/or have extra radiation risk in order to have an electricity bill which is somewhat (e.g. 10%) cheaper.
    So I prefer the scenario that Germany and Denmark chose: 100% renewable.

    For people that belief that 100% renewable for electricity generation is not possible (so declare that Germany is crazy): just check Iceland.

    • ddpalmer says:

      So I prefer the scenario that Germany and Denmark chose: 100% renewable.

      German engineering giant Siemens has confirmed it is completely winding down its solar business. The involvement ended in a disaster, costing Siemens about one billion euros. Plans to sell off its solar business had come to nothing, Siemens admitted Monday in confirming a report in the German newspaper “Handelsblatt”. The involvement ended in a disaster, costing Siemens about one billion euros ($1.3 billion). –Deutsche Welle, 17 June 2013

      Germany’s rise in CO2 emissions is set to worsen for a second year, the first back-to-back increase since at least the 1980s, after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to shut nuclear plants led utilities to burn more coal. Utilities boosted hard coal imports 25 percent in the first quarter to 10 million metric tons. With elections due in September, the move is a blow to Merkel, a former environment minister who helped negotiate the 1997 Kyoto accord curbing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “The trend of rising German CO2 emissions is alarming,” said Claudia Kemfert, who heads the energy unit at the Berlin-based DIW. “Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said on June 10. –Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg, 29 July 2013

      Yeah, lets follow Germany’s example, burn more coal and produce more CO2 while companies lose billions of dollars gamblimg on solar power (Yes that is billions with a B).

    • robjoh says:

      I know that I am late to the show but the following bellow is just dreams:

      “So I prefer the scenario that Germany and Denmark chose: 100% renewable.”

      Yeah Denmark may say that they want to go 100% renewable, they can say that because when the wind is not blowing it is Sweden and Norway that has to power Denmark. Sweden could not export that amount of Energy if it was not for Nuclear power.

      More than that, Denmark is the perfect example why 100% “renewable” energy in the form of wind power does not work. They are consuming around 3500-4500 MW of Electricity per hour. The total installed wind power is 4500 MW which only delivers around 30% of their electrical need.

      Even funnier their plan for efficiency means that they produce electricity and heat from their coal plants which means that if Denmark want to close any coal plants they need not only to invent some kind of storage and at least double to tipple their installed wind power systems. They need to find a new way to heat houses and water.

  14. ddpalmer says:

    “According to most radiation scientists Chernobyl will cause ~1million death.”

    Complete and total BS. Most radiation scientists believe no such thing.

    “No study yet regarding Fukushima”

    More BS. There are numerous ongoing studies. Of course since except for high acute doses the effects of radiation exposure have delay times of 5 or more years, it is not surprising that not much has been published yet.

    “Some experts made some extrapolations regarding possible death (incl stillbirth); ~30,000.”

    What “experts” would these be?

    “Around many NPP’s there is an enhanced level of radiation. Far more heavy contamination around Sellafield (UK). These may account for ~10,000″

    Really? First, Sellafield was a fuel reprocessing facility not a NPP. Second, where does the proof of this claim for enhanced levels around many NPP’s come from and just how “enhanced” are these levels, do the approach the natural levels in Ramsar or even Denver? And lastly, what hole did you pull this ~10,000 number from?

    “and that it then will kill 100/year during 100,000years (or 10 during a million years) delivering 10million death.”

    Ah. Bas waves his hands and numbers appear. Tell me Bas, how many deaths do you attribute to Oklo?

    “People do not want to leave a dangerous store to the generations after them.”

    You mean like the huge piles of coal ash that will never decay, unlike radioactive waste? Or the piles of waste from mining the rare earth elements needed for wind turbines? Or the trash dumps that contaminate watersheds on a regular basis? Yeah people go to extremes to not leave dangerous store to future generations.

    “For people that belief that 100% renewable for electricity generation is not possible (so declare that Germany is crazy): just check Iceland.”

    LOL! Really, Bas are you serious?

    Iceland is an active volcanic island. They are the perfect location for geothermal power. While most of the world doesn’t have ready access to the heat of the Earth’s core.

    Tell me Bas, how much power do Germany and Denmark generate from geothermal?

    • Bas says:

      @ddpalmer
      …proof …enhanced levels around many NPP’s … etc… etc…?
      Here a short summary of about 20 scientific publications (there are more) that shows the serious under-estimations of the IAEA:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867971/
      Just read and note that even UNSCEAR reported that doses <1mSv may harm fetuses.

      These studies show a relation between nearness of residence to NPPs and leukemia in:
      Germany: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696975/
      France: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22223329
      If all NPP's keep their releases below the official stated max., I believe that nothing would be found. But at least for Germany there are clues that at least one NPP did not.
      Just a remark: Due to the relative small sample sizes (NPP's here away from cities), studies can only find something if the risk is really enhanced.

      …100% renewable electricity generation in Iceland…
      I remembered a repeated question to name a country or a place with 100% renewable electricity (questioner assumed that such a place cannot be). So I posted Iceland.
      If you find Iceland not good enough because of its volcanic nature, there is a substantial island more near the equator (not volcanic) in the Atlantic that has also 100% renewable electricity (wind, solar, storage). Sorry that I forgot the name.
      Actually there are a number of countries that have 100% renewable electricity.

      Sorry it took some time to answer.
      I’m very busy these days and coming weeks.

      • ddpalmer says:

        Well Bas, your first link has nothing to do with enhanced levels around NPP’s.

        Your second link also has nothing to do with enhanced levels around NPP’s and it has this to say:

        Based on the available information about radiation emissions from German nuclear power plants, a direct relation to radiation seems implausible.

        In none of the three NPP studies could confounders be taken into account. In the incidence studies, only the type of community was considered as potential influencing factor.

        In both study types (incidence studies, case-control study), only the residential address at the time of diagnosis was used to determine distance; previous addresses were disregarded. Moreover, no information is available as to whether or for how long the children actually resided at that address before the onset of illness (extended visits to grandparents, time spent in crèches, with child minders, in kindergarten, on holiday, etc.). However accurate the individual distance determination, it may therefore not reflect the true “exposure” to the NPP.

        And the third link also makes no claim of enhanced levels around NPP’s and it has this to say:

        The absence of any association with the DBGZ may indicate that the association is not explained by NPP gaseous discharges.

        So no quantifying of any enhanced levels around NPP’s and no evidence of NPP’s being causation of any illness. In baseball that would be three stikes and you would be out.

        If you find Iceland not good enough because of its volcanic nature

        I find Iceland quite good enough and enjoy my many visits there. But as an example of 100% renewable to be held up for other countries to follow it is not good enough because it is a unique situation that is not applicable to anywhere else. The “fogotten island” is just to laughable to even consider. And if there are “a number of countries that have 100% renewable electricity”, and their example is applicable to an industrialized society, THEN NAME THEM.

        • Brian Mays says:

          Well Bas, your first link has nothing to do with enhanced levels around NPP’s.

          But it is an interesting, eclectic collection of pseudo-scientific turds put together by a life-long anti-nuke campaigner who is actually stupid enough to believe that TORCH is a credible report.

          What a resource! It’s like a connoisseur’s guide to far-out conspiracy-theory crackpot nuttery. A better, more accurate title for this piece would be “Who’s Who in Radiation Junk Science.”

          It’s no wonder that Bas thinks highly of it.

          • Bas says:

            @Brian
            And the amazing thing is that it is only a small sample of the studies published in scientific journals!
            As IAEA simply ignores those studies, you can imagine that lots of experts have opinions that do not fit with those of the IAEA.

          • Bas says:

            @ddpalmer
            If you consider the small sample sizes, which imply that small enhanced risks will not deliver significant results, I find these results rather amazing.

          • Brian Mays says:

            And the amazing thing is that it is only a small sample of the studies published in scientific journals!

            Bas – I agree that it is just a small sample of the unbelievable amount of bulls–t that is out there, but your are wrong to claim that these “studies” have been published in (real) scientific journals.

            The TORCH report is not a scientific journal, it’s a politicized piece of crap that was commissioned by one of the European “Green” parties and which couldn’t survive even the most superficial scientific review.

            The homepage of “CERRIE” is not a scientific journal. It’s just a conspiracy-theorist’s website published by a bunch of crackpots and cranks from the lunatic fringe of the scientific world. Nobody with any sense takes them seriously.

            Editorials and opinion pieces that occasionally end up being published in scientific journals are not scientific studies and should not be treated as such. They’re just some random jerk’s opinion.

            Anything published by the European Committee on Radiation Risk, the German Society for Radiation Protection, or the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War can be ignored out of hand, because these organizations, despite their official-sounding names, are nothing more than a collection of nutjobs who are out to push an agenda and who have no interest in real scientific research whatsoever.

            As IAEA simply ignores those studies, you can imagine that lots of experts have opinions that do not fit with those of the IAEA.

            The IAEA ignores these so-called “experts” and their “studies” because they are crackpots who publish junk science. It’s as simple as that.

        • Bas says:

          @ddpalmer
          As you may expect the US NPP’s score similar as those from France and Germany:
          http://enenews.com/u-s-university-study-23-higher-incidence-of-childhood-leukemia-within-16-km-of-nuclear-facilities-more/comment-page-1

          This meta-study summarizes and combines 17 studies:
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17587361

        • Bas says:

          @ddpalmer

          If you consider the small sample sizes, which imply that small enhanced risks will not deliver significant results, I find these results rather amazing.

          • ddpalmer says:

            If you consider the small sample sizes, which imply that small enhanced risks will not deliver significant results, I find these results rather amazing.

            Well I don’t know what you consider amazing, but it obviously must not match reality.

            The meta-analysis was able to show an increase in childhood leukaemia near nuclear facilities, but does not support a hypothesis to explain the excess.

            Gee, amazing. No explanaition for causation.

            Further, dose-response studies do not support excess rates found near nuclear facilities. However, it cannot be ignored that the majority of studies have found elevated rates, although not usually statistically significant.

            Gee, amazing. Studies do not support excess rates near NPP’s. And the elevated rates that have been found are not usually significant.

            Still not a single study supporting your claim of enhanced radiation levels near NPP’s.

            Still no explaination of the numbers you made up.

            Don’t you ever get tired of looking like a fool? Maybe you should stick to your FUD websites where no one will questions your baseless claims. Because everytime you make one here, people with actual knowledge rip your BS to shreds.

  15. andeem says:

    Apparently there’s no such thing as lead poisoning either, according to Winsor. That one’s a tougher sell. And it does his credibility no good.

  16. Kroll says:

    well, gues that answears my question from February… (http://atomicinsights.com/romance-of-radium/)