Why was DOE’s Low Dose Radiation Research program defunded in 2011?

I’ve had a burning question for many months – “Why was DOE’s Low Dose Radiation Research program defunded?” For a variety of reasons, I was unable to set aside the time required to find the documentation I needed to be able to intelligently pose that question to Atomic Insights readers, a population that includes several people who have decision making authority inside the Department of Energy.

Here is what I found in digging through historical budget documents for the Department of Energy Office of Science.

In 2009 budget documents, the term “low dose” occurs 21 times. There is a description of the role of the Chief Scientist of the Low Dose Radiation Research program. Here is a quote from page 192.

“At the crossroads of the physical and biological sciences is the promise of remarkable technology for tomorrow’s medicine. Developments in imaging technology, including radiochemistry, have the potential to revolutionize all of medical imaging with increases in resolution and sensitivity, ease of use, and patient comfort. Furthermore, understanding the biological effects of low doses of radiation will lead to the development of science-based health risk policy to better protect
workers and citizens.”

Here’s a quote from page 196 under heading of FY2007 accomplishments:

Evidence for Non-Linear Dose Responses: New research from the Low Dose Radiation Program has demonstrated that following exposures to low doses of radiation there are unique dose-dependent changes in gene and protein expression which differ from those seen after high dose exposures. Low dose activation of such mechanisms supports the existence of non-linear dose-response relationships for low-LET (linear energy transfer) radiation. Identification of these genes is providing a scientific basis for defining metabolic pathways activated by radiation and determining mechanisms of action. The magnitude of the response for these phenomena has been shown to be dependent on the genetic background of the cells, tissues and organisms in which they are being measured.

The Low Dose Radiation Research has its own budget line with the following profile:
FY2007 – $17.4
FY2008 – $17.6
FY2009 – $20.6

Here is the description of the program:

The goal of the Low Dose Radiation Research activity is to support research that will help determine health risks from exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation; information critical to adequately and appropriately protecting individuals, and to making more effective use of our national resources. Information developed in this program will provide a better scientific basis for making decisions with regard to remediating contaminated DOE sites and for determining acceptable levels of human health protection, both for cleanup workers and the public, in the most cost-effective manner. Some research in this program is jointly funded with NASA’s Office of Biological and Physical Research.

It remains a substantial challenge to resolve the scientific uncertainty surrounding the current use of the linear no-threshold (LNT) model for developing radiation protection standards at low doses of radiation.

In FY 2009, the program is emphasizing the use of genome-based technologies to learn how cells communicate with each other in tissues in response to radiation, what causes cells and tissue to undergo different biological responses to radiation at different times, and what causes some individuals to be more sensitive to radiation than others. Comparative genomics will afford new opportunities for identification of specific genetic markers within affected cell populations.

University scientists, competing for funds in response to requests for applications, conduct a substantial fraction of the research in this activity.

In FY2010 budget documents, the term “low dose” appears just 8 times. The Low Dose Radiation Research program has disappeared as an individual item. The tasks are included within the Radiobiology funding line, which has the following profile:
FY2008 – $24.9 M
FY2009 – $28.0 M
FY2010 – $26.0 M

Here is the description of the Radiobiology program for FY2010:

The Radiobiology activity supports research that will help determine health risks from exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation, information critical to adequately and appropriately protect radiation workers and the general public. Research investigations include a number of critical biological phenomena induced by low dose exposure including adaptive responses, bystander effects, genomic nstability, and genetic susceptibility. This activity includes support for development of systems genetic strategies, including the role of epigenetics in integrated gene function and response of biological systems to environmental conditions.

This activity will provide a scientific basis for informed decisions regarding remediation of contaminated DOE sites and for determining acceptable levels of human health protection, both for cleanup workers and the public in the most cost-effective manner.

In FY 2010, funds will support the development of models that integrate responses to low dose radiation at the tissue or whole organism level with available epidemiological data to contribute to developing safe and appropriate radiation protection standards and the development of systems genetic strategies for integrated gene function and response to the environment. Funds are decreased to reflect the full transfer of mouse stocks at the Laboratory of Comparative and Functional Genomics (the Mouse House) to the University of North Carolina. Research on the low dose radiation response in individual cell types is decreased in FY 2010.

In FY2011 budget documents, “low dose” appears 11 times. Tasks remain included in the Radiobiology budget line. There is an explanatory statement on page 172, “The FY 2009 funding of $20,667,000 and $5,937,000 was in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Health Effects, respectively, within the Biological Research subprogram.”

On page 175, there is an important statement: “Research on DNA damage from low dose radiation exposure is completed in FY 2011 and requires no FY 2011 funding.” The line associated with that statement indicates the removal of $2 million in funding.

In 2012 budget documents “low dose” appears just two times, once in a description of capabilities of PNNL. On page 188, there is an important statement: “Funding is reduced for studies on bystander effects and adaptive immune function, and completed for research on genome instability and DNA damage in single cells in response to low dose radiation exposure.” The line associated with that statement indicates the removal of $11.6 million in funding.

In 2013 budget documents “low dose” appears just two times. There is a statement on page 143: “Funding is completed in FY 2012 for studies of DNA damage and repair in response to low dose radiation of specific gene targets in single cell culture models and for studies informing the exposure risks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Research will be completed for the development of a limited number of systems genetic reference mouse populations. Priority research begins to address integration of mechanism-based models that incorporate both radiobiology and epidemiology.” The radiobiology funding line shows the following numbers
FY2011 – $23.5 M
FY2012 – $15.5 M
FY2013 – $10.6 M

If the research is complete, I’d like to read the final reports that summarize the findings. If the research is not complete enough to have resulted in final reports, I would like to know who made the decisions to remove the funds and why they made those decisions. The total number of dollars is decimal dust in the DOE budget; but the answers that the research could provide could be worth many billions of dollars in avoided excess clean up costs, avoided excess regulatory costs, and avoided excess stress from unscientific worries about the hazards of low doses of radiation.

In FY2014 budget documents, the Radiobiology budget line has been combined into a line now titled Radiological Sciences. That combined budget line is reduced by another $15.6 M over FY2012. Here is the new description of the program:

Radionuclide imaging research for real-time visualization of dynamic biological processes in energy and environmentally-relevant contexts continues, while concluding training activities in nuclear medicine research. Further decreases in radiobiology reflect a shift towards bioenergy and environmental research within the Biological Systems Science portfolio. Ongoing efforts in radiobiology emphasize a systems biology approach to understanding the subtle effects of low dose radiation on cell processes and epidemiological studies to evaluate statistically significant effects of low dose radiation exposure in large populations.

Here is my translation of that bureaucratic history – as detailed research on the actual health effects started to demonstrate that the current artifice of regulations based on the linear, no threshold dose assumption (LNT) could not be supported by measurements and observations, subtle and skilled pressure was brought to bear. The program was slowly, but steadily, defunded and tasks were distributed into less focused programs that are heavily influenced by epidemiologists.

The funding profile has purposely eliminated an opportunity to learn how cells and multicellular organisms actually function and respond to the influences of radiation and to develop rational regulations based on that knowledge. Instead, we are left with large, very long term studies of human populations that have been accidentally exposed to somewhat higher than normal background radiation. That research will provide no answers and will ensure that current regulations cannot be challenged.

It’s not a happy way to start a day.

Additional Reading

(Added on January 7, 2014) Discovered while reading Radium in Humans.

From before WWI through September 30, 1993 the US national laboratory system conducted a long running program to extract useful information about the health effects of internal emitters using the population of people who had been exposed to radium as a result of the radium dial industry, radium water consumption, or radium injections. The work indicate a threshold dose at approximately 1000 cGy (10 Gy) of internal alpha emitters required to cause human malignancies. Before all planned work products and summary reports could be completed, the program was defunded at the direction of the Secretary of Energy (James Watkins). Here are the final paragraphs of the document.

In September 1992 a letter from Dr. Terry Thomas, Director of Health Communication and Coordination, ESH, was sent to Robert Thomas, directing that the project be terminated on September 30, 1993, and that no copying of medical records or radiographs take place. In December 1992 a meeting was called by Mr. William LeFurgy, now manager of the Internal Emitter Program in the Office of Epidemiology and Health Surveillance, to direct that all medical records be digitally copied and that the radiographs be copied next if time and funds permitted. In March 1993 this order was rescinded by letter from Goldsmith to Dr. Christopher Reilly, Director of Argonne’s ER Division.

As this volume goes to press, the Argonne program has been terminated, but no decision has been made about the disposition of the individual case records.

There is something wrong when political appointees order the destruction of science records.

About Rod Adams

148 Responses to “Why was DOE’s Low Dose Radiation Research program defunded in 2011?”

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  1. Robert Hargraves says:

    A cynical view is that further research into low-dose radiation would remove the fear factor from the public’s perception of nuclear power. The current US government and the fossil fuel industry oppose nuclear power.

    This page links to clear PowerPoint presentations of research conducted in earlier years. Some not only invalidate LNT but also demonstrate hormesis.

    • Bas says:

      These presentations are nice and simple, but also rather outdated.

      Few problems:
      It seems that the 20-50years latency effects which occur with low level radiation as shown in the latest LSS report no.14 and other (medical) studies (and with smoking, etc), are not serious considered.

      The presentations show that there is no understanding of the processes going on. E.g. in some cases the bystander effect may work beneficial, but in other cases the opposite. We simply do not know (yet).
      I think productive progress in this research line is only possible with either some real breakthrough / invention, or a major upgrade of computer capacities (~1000times faster processing and bigger fast storage is needed; which we may get in 20years).

      Until that time research seems more like stumbling around in the dark. Gathering many different small facts, which may contradict each other, without real explanations / good models.
      So until real verifiable models show up, we have to rely on expensive epidemic / ecological studies to gather knowledge.

      • John Tucker says:

        I still have issues with the Atomic bomb data depending on what study I have most recently read and or forgotten.

        Specifically mortality and diagnoses agreement, dose as well as the accuracy of control data and differing medical/detection technologies as well as record keeping practice.

        Huge errors have been found on more than one occasion in these studies. I dont think the corrections always were the best either with respect to current understandings of cancer. Im not making that up for argument’s sake. ( http://www3.cancer.gov/intra/dce-old/pdfs/adcad.pdf )

        And no im not talking about the large dose cancer relationship. Im talking exclusively about the most sensitive data at the lowest end. (lol that sounds funny)

        There is still no hard evidence for a general low dose cancer relationship and there is plenty of evidence against it. The scale tips decidedly away from LNT once you take your fingers off it.

        • Bas says:

          I suppose that USA, USSR, UK, France were not happy to spill money when they decided to stop with atmospheric bomb tests, knowing underground testing would cost them billions more.

          Regarding your link. Death cause inaccuracies are from all times.
          It is in line with expectancy that those happen more with people that die outside the hospital, are older, etc

          I do not see what that has to do with any of the studies I referenced.
          As this study concludes:

          Since the aim of most RERF studies is to evaluate the effects of radiation exposure, the finding that cause of death accuracy was not affected by radiation dose is of paramount importance because it suggests that dose
          effect estimates are not biased by death certificate

          it seems to me that it confirms the results of the LSS.

          In Germany, Angela reached a preliminary agreement with the socialists.
          Energiewende targets will be increased. In 2030, 55-60% renewable (was 50%). Altmaier, the responsible minister, already made a remark about increasing the 2020 renewable share from 35% towards 40%. Good news for the climate!

          Preliminary, as the agreement has to be approved via a referendum among all members of the socialist party (SDP), which takes some weeks. Continued uncertainty as the SPD members did reject in the past…

          The members of the SPD may find that the 55-60% in 2030 is not enough, as the SPD target for 2030 is 75% renewable. If they reject then Merkel has to talk with the greens and those want to speed up much more.

          • John Tucker says:

            How do you see that it confirms LSS? That and proximity errors, combined with newer research suggest incompetence and a agenda to me.

            So you seem to suggest you represent a German consensus in fear of low dose radiation I am interested to know the German plans for the exploration and colonization of space. How is the German space program going?

            It seems France had a respectable space program before they joined the German dominated EU.

          • Bas says:

            How do you see that it confirms LSS?
            Because the results of this study exclude another, though minor, possible confounding factor in the LSS studies.

            The LSS studies use death certificates which state the death cause.
            They use those regarding the bomb survivors and the reference / control group that got no radiation. These certificates show cancer more often as death cause in the bomb survivor group, than in the control group.

            It is well known that physicians make mistakes regarding the death cause which they write on the death certificate (e.g. in a hurry and he/she is dead anyway, so what).
            Physicians may know that a dead man was a bomb survivor hence part of the LSS research. So the physician may be more accurate to diagnose (spending more time, etc) the cause of bomb survivor deaths. Which may imply less frequently missing cancer as the real death cause, than in the control group.

            Than the LSS research would conclude that the bomb survivors die more often through cancer, while it is not true (a false positive).
            a.o. the study in your link showed that such is not the case!

            Physicians make such mistakes (e.g. missing cancer as the death cause) in the bomb survivor group just as frequently as in the control group.

    • GaryN says:

      Albert Stevens was a pretty good test case I’d say, as an indicator of tolerable levels of radiation. I’d agree that the study was stopped as it might lessen the fear of radiation, or even encourage some folk to try out hormesis for relief of various ailments. I’ve heard that Virginia Beach was recommended as a health spa partly because of its radioactive sands, but those levels are way below those that Albert Stevens seemed to have no problems with.

    • Bas says:

      If those presentation encompass the major studies, I have another issue.

      As theory, supported by studies after Chernobyl (sensitivities to levels below 0.5mSv/yr) show, the heredity effects of radiation are worse than e.g. cancer generating effects.

      Yet no presentation regarding any heredity effect study.
      Did they study it?

      • Joris van Dorp says:

        “As theory, supported by studies after Chernobyl (sensitivities to levels below 0.5mSv/yr) show, the heredity effects of radiation are worse than e.g. cancer generating effects.”

        Radiation level differences between different regions that are below 0,5 mSv/year have no link with any health effects. Otherwise health effects in Denver Colorado would be far worse than health effects in countries with low background radiation. They are not. Colorado is one of the healthiest places on earth, despite its high radiation level.

        Bas Gresnigt, your repetition of fear-mongering lies disgust me. I hold you and your kind personally responsible for:

        1 million death/year due to fossil fuel burning linked air pollution
        3 million death/year due to lack of access to modern (nuclear) energy
        5,5 billion lives at risk as a result of the combined threat of climate change and of mounting energy scarcity, both of which threats can only be credibly addressed by massive deployment of nuclear energy.

        I hope you and your kind pay for your anti-human activities some day, even though the cost of the damage you cause far exceeds your capability to pay.

        • Bas says:

          health effects in Denver … would be far worse than health effects in countries with low background radiation … , despite its high radiation level.
          Denver would have ~3mSv/a more radiation than other US areas. Which may shorten life expectancy with some months or so.

          Denver is in an open area at ~1600m, not very busy. Those deliver significant health benefits which may (over)compensate the extra harm the higher background radiation deliver.

          Especially the lower air density, which implies less micro particles in the air.
          Important as e.g. those shortened life expectancy with ~2years in busy streets in The Hague city center.
          Hence EU regulations which bans building houses near busy highways, as those surroundings have to much micro-particles in the air. Those regulations also require cities to take actions such as banning cars, allowing only up-to-date cars (German cities), boost biking, etc. in order to decrease the level of micro-particles.

          If you have a real quality monitor, you can even see the difference with google street view. Compare clearness of the pictures of Denver streets with those of Los Angeles (weather also has influence, so in some streetviews it may be otherwise).

          When you are in autumn at ~3500meter altitude at the edge of the alps and look into the lowlands, you see in what dirty soap/air we live. Below 1000m air transparency is off.

          That implies more cell irritation/damage/repair. And after xx times the cell repair mechanism gets exhausted, so more faults, more cancer. This is my personal philosophy, which imply no threshold and explains also the long latency with low level pollution/asbestos/smoking/radiation/etc before illness strikes. As well as experience of my climbing friend with skin cancer at his wrist, exactly the spot that got sun burn ~30years earlier, because he forgot to cover in the mountains.

          Comparing the frequency of Down syndrome etc. babies with those in low level radiation areas with similar air & living circumstances may deliver results. But you still need a lot of birth’s before you can make any significant statement. So population administration must have administered all those rather accurate. Do not know whether Denver does that.

          …Colorado is one of the healthiest places on earth…
          Do you have a link with good figures at city level, incl Denver? I once tried, but no result. Only figures at country level (UN HDR reports, CIA fact books). USA doesn’t score great in those (e.g. life expectancy ~5years less than the leading countries).

          death/year due to fossil … lack of access to modern (nuclear) energy
          We now have newer technologies available with far less health risks for citizens. The combination of those technologies deliver cheaper, more robust/reliable electricity than new nuclear.

          • Smiling Joe Fission says:

            Bas, your trolling is outstanding. Bravo.

            Is there any evidence that could be presented that would change your mind on low dose radiation and LNT’s inapplicability? Or are you so blinded by your obsession with wind mills and solar panels that nothing will get through to you that could makes waves in your minds pseudo reality?

          • jmdesp says:

            So you admit that air pollution in busy streets in The Hague city center has a stronger effect than nuclear radiation.

            Where is your program to stop as fast as possible anything that contributes to that, including the cheap German coal plants that are causing the more expensive, but much less polluting gas one in Nederland to close more and more often ?

            Please take into account in the program that in the two last year those gas plants have been closing at an accelerated space, which means the current state of things is totally inadequate.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            I have to commend you on your ability to keep muddling the issues Bas.

            If I understand you correctly, you expect people to believe that minute doses of radiation are very likely dangerous but that we just can’t measure this danger because it is swamped by the overwhelming damage due to fossil fuel air pollution! And your recommendation is that we should therefore NOT use nuclear energy, which effectively means we will have to learn to live with the damage due to fossil air pollution.

            That is just wonderful.

            It’s like telling people they should drink beer rather than plain water, because the water is likely to be contaminated, although we will never know whether the slight contamination is in fact dangerous due to the confounding health effects of rampant alcohol abuse!

            Bravo indeed. How obtuse can one get.

            I note that you continue to deny that nuclear power is cheap, clean, robust and reliable. That denial goes squarely against every credible analysis of this technology performed by all major independent research institutes. Which means you still are completely out of line. I therefore maintain my hope that you will one day pay for your lies, and I hope to see that day.

          • Bas says:

            … any evidence that could … change your mind on low dose radiation and LNT’s inapplicability?
            Yes, if shown that those real life study results, including the medical ones, are wrong.
            We don’t know how accurate LNT predicts at low level. In line with BEIR VII report I think that LNT is the best approximation.

            The US National Academy of Sciences published in 2003 an overview of the knowledge. I join that with additions partly based on publications after 2003.

            Real live studies showed major (factor ~100) differences regarding the sensitivity for radiation between elderly and children. Similar between children and fetuses. Roughly in line with the theory that DNA/RNA/protein/cell damage at the moment of cell division is difficult to repair (fetuses have by far the highest cell division rate, etc).

            Assume we agree that 1% extra chance on cancer, or other serious damage, is low level.
            Than less than ~1Sv/a may be low level for a 70year old; less than ~100mSv/a for a 40year old; less than ~4mSv/a for a teenager; less than ~1mSv/a for children and less than ~0.1mSv/a for fetuses (Down, congenital malformation such as spina bifida, stillbirth).

          • Bas says:

            Where is your program to stop as fast as possible anything that contributes to that, including the cheap German coal plants
            The program to stop that is running (with some difficulties, as it is not cheap):
            – Cars are now forbidden in some of these (main polluting) streets
            – Car access is made more difficult in other streets
            Now I bike more to The Hague center (a distance of ~10km).

            Almost all pollution comes from cars, as those do not have such advanced filters.
            The new German coal plants contribute near nothing, due to the technology used as well as the filters. And the over-capacity they created has contributed to the decommissioning of the old (more polluting) coal plants. However also the gas plants which is less nice.

          • Bas says:

            … learn to live with the damage due to fossil air pollution.
            Fossil is older than nuclear. I wrote newer technologies (than nuclear)… The combination of those… So wind+solar+storage.

            deny that nuclear power is cheap, clean, robust and reliable.
            I wrote that new nuclear is more expensive.
            Just compare Hinckley Point. That runs from 2023-2058 with inflation corrected strike prices (despite major subsidies of ~€1billion/a). Compare situation in 2030.
            Then strike price will be €155/MWh (2% inflation). Wind and Solar now produce for €120/MWh. Cost prices going down with ~8%/a for solar and ~4%/a for wind.
            A correct calculation delivers that the electricity from new nuclear cost at least twice that of renewable.

            With renewable no huge exclusion zones. No worry about radiation. No million low level radiation deaths. No uranium mines around which we have war.

            NPP’s (any big PP) are vulnerable for terrorists attack. Take a few out and …
            Distributed generation far less. And that is what solar+wind deliver.

            When wind+solar became significant in Germany the electricity supply to customers got a factor 2 more reliable! Now total outage for customers in Germany is ~15min/a. In NL no significant renewable, still ~30min/a. France, high share of nuclear: outage ~60min/a.
            So renewable clearly lead to more reliable electricity supply for customers. Not strange as grid management will start with better prediction models for demand, wind, etc.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “I wrote that new nuclear is more expensive.
            Just compare Hinckley Point. That runs from 2023-2058 with inflation corrected strike prices (despite major subsidies of ~€1billion/a). Compare situation in 2030.
            Then strike price will be €155/MWh (2% inflation). Wind and Solar now produce for €120/MWh. Cost prices going down with ~8%/a for solar and ~4%/a for wind.
            A correct calculation delivers that the electricity from new nuclear cost at least twice that of renewable.”

            Nonsense comparison. EPR’s built in 2030 will be far cheaper than EPR’s built today. Europe must build 600 nuclear power plants before 2050 to have any hope of stopping climate change. After the first ten plants, all the others will be far cheaper. History demonstrates this in nuclear countries.

            Additionally, new Russian, Korean and Chinese are far cheaper than EPR.

            Nuclear power delivers cheap, co2-free energy, while wind and solar energy are based completely on the principle of fossil fuel backup. Thus, solar and wind power can never compete and will never end co2 emissions.

            You are still cherry picking and using obtuse reasoning, which makes clear you are either stupid or a liar. I remain convinced you are a liar. Your anti-nuclear propaganda causes human suffering and supports dangerous climate change.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Joris van Dorp

            Here is some backup information to support your assertion that Chinese reactors are coming on line for a much lower cost than those in the western world.


            Cost of four CPR-1000 reactors – 4 GWe capacity with the ability to reach at least 80% capacity factor – was $8.2 billion.

          • jmdesp says:

            @Bas : Cost is not going down at 4% a year for Wind, it’s obvious when you have access to actual long term data, which is however very rarely published. UCS has published recently an article about wind price in the US that contains this graph :

            So there’s the talk, and then there’s the actual data that we see here.
            PPA in the west of the US have always being going up since more than 10 years. The average PPA has had up and downs, it was going up until 2009, and then going down since.
            But the slightly below $40, the 2012 PPA price is almost the same as the slightly above $40 price of 1996, and is higher than the one of 2000.
            Those values might not be inflation corrected, but then inflation is not at 4% a year in the US.

            Why was there much progress since 2009 ?
            - Part of the answer is that a large demand for turbine had increased the price, and we are significantly at risk of any return of that large demand increasing prices again. The trouble is that in order for wind to weight in the world energy production, there need to be a very large demand.
            - Another large part of the answer is that today higher towers using larger blades are built with smaller turbines. The load factor is better, and therefore also the economics. The problem is this can’t be increased forever, and we’re not so far from the limit where the cost of higher tower is higher than the gain.
            Larger blades also means you can’t put as many turbines on the same area, and they will be more visible, obnoxious, likely generating more opposition.

          • Bas says:

            Cost is not going down at 4% a year for Wind
            That 4% was a wrong estimation by me. Sorry.
            I checked the German Feed-in-Tariff’s for Onshore wind, as those are calculated cost-prices plus a return for the owner of ~6-7%.

            From 2009 – 2012 the decrease was 1%/a, since 2012 it is 1,5%/a.
            German onshore wind Feed-in-Tariff is now €88/MWh for first 5 years and €48/MWh for the years thereafter.

            Offshore is hardly interesting as the volume is so low, and Germany decided that part of the projected Offshore volume should be filled with less expensive solar in the coming years (they get some worry about the costs of all).

            Agree that we are more near the end of development with wind than with solar.
            10MW wind turbines are the max offered now on the market.
            The EU did a study regarding the biggest wind turbines that are feasible with present technology. Their conclusion was that 20MW is about the max.

            Here locals often have the opportunity to invest in Wind turbines as well (we have a legal form for it, the ‘cooperation’). Then people see those with different eyes (far less opposition).

            You can also see the FiT’s of other renewable such as solar, etc. at the site I linked here.

          • jmdesp says:

            @Bas : As I documented, in 2009 turbine prices had increased quite strongly and have been going down since then. The value of the FIT over a longer period would be much more significant.

          • Enor Mouse says:

            Bas, I would not doubt that ionising radiation causes cell mutation, so that any exposure has the potential to cause damage. How do we put this risk in perspective?

            From what I have found, the average body, containing about 37 trillion cells, creates some 300 billion new ones a day. The probability of creating exact new copies is not actually that high, but the body has a proof reading system for checking and correcting these. I have not been able to find an exact figure, but let us assume that following this step 99% of them are acceptable copies. This still means that the body has to handle something like 3 billion mutant cells a day.

            If you were to ingest 1mg of U-235, which few people would consider a low level contamination, this would result in some 5 million alpha decays a day. Alpha particles are potentially the most dangerous form of ionising radiation, yet the easiest to defend against. Never the less their ingestion is a real cause for concern.

            If every single alpha emission cause a cell mutation, then this would add 5 million potentially mutant cells in the body, or a 0.16% increase in the workload of the body’s defense systems.

            I am not saying that this is a good thing, but there is a huge difference between radiation causing cell mutation and claiming that such cell mutation will inevitably lead to problems.

    • Martin Bensky says:

      I am in no way an expert in health physics or epidemiology, but it is apparent to me that no epidemiological study of human populations can provide irrefutable conclusions about the minuscule impacts of low-dose radiation. The most meaningful evidence I have seen of a clear, pretty high threshold, below which there is no indication of harm, appears in the beagle studies conducted by Dr. Raabe at UC-Davis. Similar Data reported by Dr. Cuttler, et.al. reinforce Dr. Raabe’s conclusions. In those studies, the likelihood of confounding factors is far less than in any study of human populations.

      • Bas says:

        There are some problems which make converting low level radiation results with animals towards humans, very difficult/unreliable.
        Just one of them; your animals have a much shorter life span.

        We know that low level radiation generates cancer, etc after a latency period of 20-60years. Just as smoking, asbestos, micro particles in the air, etc.
        Your animals live shorter than that latency period…

        • Joris van Dorp says:

          “We know that low level radiation generates cancer, etc after a latency period of 20-60years.”

          No. You *assert* that it does. There is no evidence or reasoning which supports your *assertion*. On the contrary. All actual *evidence* demonstrates that low-dose/low-dose-rate radiation is harmless and possibly beneficial.

  2. Daniel says:

    Whether it is the DOE or not that perform these studies, the scientific facts are getting out.

    The US does not want to be faced with a Fukushima like liability and we know that Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, is already starting to reduce by half the tolerance thresholds regarding radiation exposures in the US.

    So I guess the Obama administration is paying attention. I am sure that with current technology, research the world over will provide plenty of evidence in the pipeline.

  3. James Greenidge says:

    It’s been asked for many times and needed for nuclear’s image for time immemorial: a health impact equivalence comparison scale of radiation’s health effect with more common layperson-familiar causes. Is exposure to a millirem equivalent to a breathe-in of second-hand cigarette smoke or a city bus’s fumes passing you by or a whiff of bleach in your house or what? The public is going to continue to be fearful of radiation (and reactors) via the intimidatingly arcane scales and measures used for it unless it’s broken down into Joe Public comprehensible every day equivalence. It behooves the nuclear community to take the Darth Vader mystique out of radiation terms and measures and effects!! (or just more crickets for antis to gobble up?…)

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  4. John Tucker says:

    Just as it becomes vital to the space program too. Atomic energy is not the only thing out there that requires we get this right, or at least closer tot he truth.

  5. Daniel says:

    If I remember correctly, Howard Hugues had a multi billion dollar private medecine fundation that is still a going concern today. They do a lot of basic and applied medical research.

    Gates too is involved is some multi billion dollar undertakings to better mankind.

    These guys should jump on the potential of these DOE result paths and re invent medecine as we know it.

    • Daniel says:

      Of course the pharmaceuticals won’t like that avenue as no medicine is at the primary front of the cure.

      But maybe low radiation with certain drugs can be better than radiation alone.

      If only the pharmaceuticals could smell the opportunity here.

  6. Bob Applebaum says:

    The program was originally only intended to last for 10 years, having started in 1998. The philosophy was to use new micro-biology tools to understand what happens at doses below human epidemiological statistical levels.

    What we do know is that after more than 10 years and more than $100,000,000 they could not find any evidence to refute LNT.

    LNT remains the best explanation for radiation induced carcinogenesis.

    The program was probably defunded in the 2013 sequestration.

    • jmdesp says:

      As this useful Dose Range chart that they have emitted shows :
      they also have not found any evidence to demonstrate it, referencing that 100 mSv is the dose from which some small increase effect has been found for acute exposure, and 200 mSv for chronic exposure.

      A theory for which I can not design an experiment that will settle whether it’s true or not is not a scientific theory, according to Popper’s criterion. LNT at low dose is not science.

      • Bas says:

        So you conclude that there is no evidence that demonstrate LNT, and also no evidence that it is not true. So not sure what…

        Being health responsible authority in such a situation, would you than also not choose for following the precautionary principle?
        Avoiding the risk that after xx years it may show that xxxx people are harmed because you set standards that allowed to much radiation.

        In NL following the precautionary principle regarding asbestos would have prevented at least 20,000 (terrible, as that cancer is lot of suffer) death. But the responsible authority was 20years careless, just believing the asbestos industry.

    • John Chatelle says:

      LOL. You simply do not understand the implications of “not finding evidence”.

      If you have evidence that LNT holds for low doses, then please present it.

      • Martin Vermeer says:

        There are craters on the front side of the Moon -> there are also craters on the back side. Unless somebody shows the opposite. Occam’s razor

        • Rod Adams says:


          That’s not a valid analogy.

          Craters are not caused by anything that changes from one “side” of the moon to another. Evidence of injury and a trend line developed at high doses accumulated at a high dose rate does not provide any useful information about the probability of injury at low doses or at doses that accumulate over a period long enough to allow adaptive responses or immune responses to take place.

    • ddpalmer says:

      So the study didn’t find evidence that disproves LNT, while you can’t find evidence that supports LNT. So you illogically state that this means that LNT is correct. What a joke. I assume you will be appearing in a comedy club near me soon?

    • Bas says:

      @jmdesp, John, ddpalmer
      Your arguments are the same as the one’s used by:

      The tobacco industry: A few cigarettes a day no harm; smoking people become 100yrs old; it cures people with Ulcerative Colitis (which is true as long as they continue to smoke), it makes nervous people more quiet, so it saves lives.

      The asbestos industry: low level asbestos fibers in the air do not harm, so careful use is a good thing as its unique (insulation & fire resistant) properties save a lot of money and peoples live in case of fire.


      • Rod Adams says:


        Surprisingly, I sort of agree with you. Tobacco is not inherently dangerous; humans have been using that natural product without harm for thousands of years. It was only with the advent of mass production and additives designed to encourage addictive over dosing that significant negative health effects became apparent. Here’s another anecdotal story.

        My grandfather and his son (my dad) were both tobacco users. Grandpa chewed on tobacco leaves (not the packaged stuff) and occasionally smoked a hand rolled cigar. Grandpa started using while a young teenager and never quit. Dad was taught to smoke in boot camp during WWII and ended up a two and a half pack a day man for 25 years.

        Dad quit cold turkey when he was 42 years old. Dad passed away from a smoking related cancer at age 61, less than 24 hours after his dad died of old age at 89.

        Asbestos is similarly a natural substance with some excellent characteristics as one of the very best insulation substances known, especially at high temperatures. However, in poorly controlled industrial environments, airborne fibers can cause terrible health problems. When sealed on pipes and not disturbed, it poses no danger to people. However, there was a lot of money to be made in spreading fear so that contractors could be hired to abate it with money from governments, insurance companies and deep-pocketed industrial firms.

        • Bas says:

          The story with my dad and grandfather is somewhat similar.
          My grandfather became 96 while he smoked a cigar at Sunday, and chewed some tobacco during the week.
          My father smoked ~4 packs a week until 65years. Then he heard from the physician he had lung cancer and stopped immediately. But that didn’t help much. He died nine month later.

          Regarding asbestos, we got a total ban since 2000 (many restrictions since ~1990).
          Three years ago (2010) a study estimated still ~1,300 asbestos death per year in NL (6% of all death), and another 20,000 asbestos death coming.
          Due to the 20-50years latency and still asbestos fibers in the air.

          The nice thing with asbestos is that it causes very specific illnesses, so the death numbers caused by asbestos is a relative easy count.

          Sickening about this is, that all relevant info was known before 1960 already.
          But our small industry (no mines) had a good public relation campaign, so politicians postponed total ban for years which imply they allowed ~1,300 extra asbestos death per year delay.
          It seems that Canada even now allow its asbestos mines to continue and exports to underdeveloped countries…

      • John Tucker says:

        Nonsense. Thats a pure political response.

        Radiation can cause cancer. I am arguing scientific evidence now does not support linearity in dose and risk.

        The world is in trouble because it listens to arguments like yours.

        • Bas says:

          I am arguing scientific evidence now does not support linearity in dose and risk.
          Cells are vulnerable at the moment of cell division. From the moment of conception there is an exceptional high rate of cell division, which goes down during life.
          This implies that fetuses are more vulnerable than babies, and those more than children, etc. and that elderly are least vulnerable (LNT risks should be quantified depending on age).

          Study results support this:
          I already showed that for fetuses in the uterus an extra level of 0.5mSv/a deliver an extra risk of roughly 50% more stillbirth, malformations, Down, etc. per mSv/a.

          This study shows that for children increased cancer risk is ~2.7%/mSv (based on 10 year lag period. LSS showed that a longer period delivers substantial more cancers), with younger children getting more risk (P<0.001).
          That is roughly a factor 50-200 (depending on age) less than fetuses.

          LNT predicts a cancer risk of ~1% per 100mSv, which is again a factor 100-300 less. That risk has been shown by LSS (check report no 14) and other studies.
          So you are right that simple LNT linearity does not show the risks right.
          They are orders of magnitude bigger, the younger people are.

          Where very young people have no threshold, there is no reason to assume that older people do have them. Their tissue is not fundamentally different only the rate of cell division is less..
          And that is reflected by epidemiological study results.

          Some more study results. e.g.:
          Early infant mortality showed significant rises after Chernobyl in Germany in more contaminated areas (~0.5mSv/a).
          Significant increase of perinatal mortality.
          Similar regarding href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1881651/?page=1″>neonatal mortality.

          Even in UK href=”http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/chernobyl-disaster-linked-to-higher-rate-of-infant-mortality-in-britain-471028.html”>raised death levels>/a> due to Chernobyl.

          This href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867971/”>3 page overview shows the discrepancy between UNSCEAR / IAEA / WHO figures and the epidemiological study results. As the precautionary principle should be followed, the real life study results should be considered for official radiation protection standards (following that principle would have prevented the Dutch asbestos disaster).

          • John Tucker says:

            And humans are simple unicellular organisms?

            There is no link between infant mortality and low dose radiation. None.

            That is nonsense. Fraud.

          • John Tucker says:

            BTW th Mathews study didnt specify the conditions for the scans in most cases or the procedure used for follow up diagnosis

            I would have actually expected a higher rate of cancer in the study group as they were under increased scrutiny.

            EVERYONE knows this Bas along with the bogus German stillbirth and Downs studies.

            Even when done correctly statistical cancer studies that involve more/focused/different screening of subjects are problematic at best.

            Overdiagnosis in Cancer ( http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/9/605.short )

            Especially when experimental data does not seem to corroborate the results. As here.

          • Rich Lentz says:


            How did they get those numbers for dose limits for infant mortality? How did they run those test? I thought Mengele went to Argentina or Brazil? If you study the records you will find that around TMI there were infant mortality problems. The VAST majority outside the area of any possible exposure to any type, form or exposure to any radiation whatsoever. (check it out.) However, they were bombarded daily with media hype, fear mongering and horror stories as to the dire consequences of being so close to the potential nuclear bomb that was going to wipe Harrisburg off of the map. I worked their, I know. I had friends from as far away as Pittsburg call me for advice as to what they should do. I spent an hour on the phone one night with the grandfather (who lived in Johnstown PA) of my neighbor (who lived in Camp Hill PA) assuring him all was OK. Though he was suffering no previous medical problems, his grandfather died the night the Governor issued the non mandatory evacuation order. There is no way you can claim that was “radiation” caused. There is also no way you can convince me that he did not die early due to the stress of the event. WAKE UP Fear mongering kills more people than radiation. Stress causes more cancer than radiation. Read up on it.

          • Bas says:

            How did they get those numbers for dose limits for infant mortality? How did they run those test?
            That depend on the study. I do not know to which study you refer.
            But one of the most significant was the one in Germany, Bavaria.

            Chernobyl fallout was delivered in some districts in Bavaria and in other nearby districts not (local rain out of the radio-active cloud). And the Germans had already since ~1980 a accurate birth administration at district level which also registered all stillbirth, Down syndromes, spina bifida and other neural tube defects, etc.

            So researches simply checked and compared these administrations of the different districts (assume all computerized) and took the fall-out levels in each district (assume others had done that already for precaution reasons).

            Then they found that there was a jump upwards regarding stillbirth (~15%), congenital malformations (~30%), etc. in the months/years after Chernobyl districts with fall-out of ~0.5mSv/a. And no such jump upwards in districts without fallout.
            In line with expectation, as the fallout is mainly Cs137 with half-life of ~30years, the higher level stayed in the years after 1986, going down only slightly.

            The unique situation regarding the local fallout (nearby districts with and without), as well as the time series from 1980 through 1992, implied that confounding is rather impossible.

          • Bas says:

            @ Rich (2)
            If fear mongering played a role, than the rise in birth defects would also have been in nearby districts that got no fallout (nobody knew at that time the distribution of the fallout).
            But that did not occur!
            Here a summary of another study.

        • Bas says:

          Sorry I put a sign wrong. Please read the last 3 paragraphs below:

          Some more study results. e.g.:
          Early infant mortality showed significant rises after Chernobyl in Germany in more contaminated areas (~0.5mSv/a).
          Significant increase of perinatal mortality.
          Similar regarding href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1881651/?page=1″>neonatal mortality.

          Even in UK href=”http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/chernobyl-disaster-linked-to-higher-rate-of-infant-mortality-in-britain-471028.html”>raised death levels due to Chernobyl.

          This href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867971/”>3 page overview shows the discrepancy between UNSCEAR / IAEA / WHO figures and the epidemiological study results. As the precautionary principle should be followed, the real life study results should be considered for official radiation protection standards (following that principle would have prevented the Dutch asbestos disaster).

          • John Tucker says:

            German low dose radiation studies are about as notable as their space program. All that was effectively refuted long ago Bas.

          • jmdesp says:

            For further context, have a look at other neonatal study in Germany, like this one :
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1731625/ “Neonatal and postneonatal mortality in Germany since unification”

            As we see here, neonatal/postneonatal mortality vary frequently when you look on a short scale, for reason that have nothing to see with radiation, but very clearly have a link with the level of care that is brought to kids, and disorganization can make it vary strongly. Most of those deaths are actually linked with premature delivery and the level of care for those fragile kids will make a lot of difference. Desperately trying to link it with radiations is non-sense.

      • ddpalmer says:

        “@jmdesp, John, ddpalmer
        Your arguments are the same as the one’s used by:”

        No they are not. But I can see how just dismissing your detractors seems like a good stategy. Hint: it isn’t.

        • Bas says:


          Asbestos industry stated many years (even now) that below a fiber level / threshold there was no negative health effect anymore as the body/lung load then became so low that it will repair any real damage and develop enough resistance.

          Just replace the words Asbestos with Nuclear, and fiber with radiation in the sentence above.

          In addition, tobacco industry argue(d) that below a certain level of nicotine(smoking) it may even be beneficial, as it helps e.g. patients with serious diseases such as ulcerative colitis, which is true.

          Regarding radiation nuclear does the same.
          And it helps cancer patients.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “Asbestos industry stated many years (even now) that below a fiber level / threshold there was no negative health effect anymore as the body/lung load then became so low that it will repair any real damage and develop enough resistance.”

            This is true. Every human lung contains asbestos fibres, because such fibres are present in in the air and in the earth. If people would entertain your irrational fear of minute amounts of asbestos then:

            - They would not let their children play in a sand box
            - They would not let their children outside on a windy day
            - They would force their children to wear face masks
            - They would fit their houses with overpressure filtered mechanical ventilation systems
            - They would not experience any health benefits from doing this.

            Note that I am not advocating the usage of asbestos or the relaxation of asbestos usage laws. I am trying to explain to you that misunderstanding the difference between small doses and large doses of asbestos, radiation or anything puts people on the road to mental illness and social isolation. The health effects of that are *far worse* than any perceived threat from small doses of anything.

            You probably don’t suffer from such mental illness. That is because you don’t actually believe the lies that you preach. You preach those lies in order to promote your anti-human agenda. The mental suffering you cause in other people is just collateral damage for you. You don’t care about those people. You care only about you own selfish, criminal ego.

          • ddpalmer says:

            Where have I claimed that radiation is beneficial? I merely claim that LNT is false, a claim you have done absolutely ZERO to disprove. Although in your response you admit that radiation and tobacco ARE beneficial in appropriate doses.

            So sorry, but my arguments are not the same. And you proceed to shoot yourself in the foot by claiming that radiation is beneficial and that at least one of your analogies is also beneficial. Now you could partially redeem your last analogy by proving that there is no threshold for asbestos.

          • Bas says:

            Surprised to read this from you:
            “…you don’t actually believe the lies that you preach. You preach those lies in order to promote your anti-human agenda. The mental suffering you cause in other people is just collateral damage for you. You don’t care about those people. You care only about you own selfish, criminal ego.”

            What make you so angry??

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            What make you so angry??

            Watching you lie so shamelessly, even after you are shown that your positions are erroneous at best.

          • Bas says:

            I refer to research results which show negative effects with enhanced radiation levels of less than 1mSv/a. Especially for fetuses, babies and children.

            Taking those results into account I suggest that we should follow the precautionary principle with standards?

            That was not done in NL regarding asbestos. Here authorities waited until evidence of the deadly harm became very clear in NL. Due to the latency effect of 20-50years with low level contamination, it took roughly 30years before the health effect became really visible.
            So that delivered at least 30K unnecessary deaths in my country with only 16mln inhabitants. In addition unnecessary costs of some billions to remove all the asbestos in a safe way.

            Where is/are the lies?

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “What make you so angry??”

            It’s your stinking lies Bas.

            You don’t really believe that 1 mSv/y is dangerous to anyone. You are not that stupid. If 1 mSv/y had any health effect, then there would be no controversy over the danger of 50 mS/v, let alone 100 mS/v. Yet there is. For very good reason. You ignore all that conveniently.

            You cite one single study to support your contention. That single study flies in the face of every other study on the subject. It flies in the face of common logic as well. Yet you keep bringing it up and supporting it. Again and again. Ad nauseum.

            This – in my view – is about as low as you can go as a human being. It is worse than being a street thug or a thief IMO. Intelligent people who abuse their gifts in order to sow confusion and cause harm to other people – especially the poor – can count on my disdain and worst wishes at all times. People who knowingly hinder the development of nuclear energy by spreading fear and citing questionable science – which is what you are doing – are the worst kind of person imaginable, in my humble opinion.

          • Bas says:

            your stinking lies
            I like and adhere truth and reality, more than anything else.
            As I sincerely believe that only those can help mankind further into the future.

            So if somebody show clearly that reality is different I adapt my opinion.
            Did that here already a few times.

            So please give concrete evidence which claims, facts, etc. that I stated are wrong and show that those are wrong.
            I will then correct (excuse for my mistake).

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            I like and adhere truth and reality, more than anything else.

            Either you are (a) lying about this as well, (b) delusional, or (c) so downright dogmatic and/or stupid that you will not or cannot recognize the falsity of your positions even when the facts and reasoning are put before you repeatedly.

            This makes you not just a total waste of Rod’s hosting fees, but oxygen.

          • Bas says:

            No evidence of lies??

          • John Tucker says:

            d). all of the above.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            How about your repeated assertion that Chernobyl radiation caused a spike in stillbirths, against the evidence of
            (a) Colorado, at ~11 mSv/yr, and
            (b) Ramsar, Iran at nearly 20 times that
            neither of which have elevated rates of stillbirth as a consequence.

            Stress and alcohol consumption (which people sometimes use in response to stress) both increase stillbirths.  So in fact, it’s not radiation but fear-mongering about radiation which is the strongest causal link between Chernobyl and any increase in stillbirths.  YOU could be responsible for stillbirths through your fear-mongering.  Isn’t it time to stop?

          • Bas says:

            … assertion that Chernobyl radiation caused a spike in stillbirths …
            That is not my assertion, but the result of epidemiologic/ecologic studies.
            Some other results in addition to the Scherb etal study linked at the end of this post:

            Increased Down syndrome levels across Europe after Chernobyl.

            Enhanced cancer risks of more than 2% per mSv in children (based on 10 year lag period. LSS showed that a longer period will deliver substantial more cancers).

            …Colorado, at ~11 mSv/yr, and … Ramsar, Iran at nearly 20 times that
            neither of which have elevated rates of stillbirth…

            This statement raises three questions:
            - Can you show that significant populations live at 11mSv/a as my info regarding Denver city is ~5-6mSv/a?
            - Can you show the same regarding Ramsar, as El here showed that the major population in Ramsar live in ~6mSv/a?

            - Can you show any study regarding those areas, sensitive enough to show that the W-European Chernobyl results are not correct?

            All studies I saw have not enough testees to show any real harm. Similar as trying to estimate traffic noise using a deaf person, and then conclude there is no noise (=false negative).

            Though El posted studies that show harm to the DNA/genes of Ramsak inhabitants (those incur more frequent per mSv and do not have latency, hence can be shown with small numbers of testees). These studies imply at least heredity damage in enhanced background radiation areas.

            Stress and alcohol consumption … both increase stillbirths … it’s not radiation but fear-mongering about radiation which is the strongest causal link between Chernobyl and any increase in stillbirths…
            Yes, stress and alcohol also increase congenital malformations, etc.

            If fear-mongering would be the cause, then there would be no difference in the frequency of stillbirth, etc. between nearby districts that got radio-active fall-out versus districts without such fallout. As those fallout details and their effects became only known years thereafter.

            But there was an highly significant jump upwards (p<0.001) only in the districts with fallout.
            More strongly, the jump upwards was bigger the more fall-out in that district.

            So I see no other explanation than that the fall-out (CS-137) radiation of ~0.5mSv/a was the cause.

          • John Tucker says:

            Yes Bas half rate unchallenged German antinuclear authors strike again. (look at their history) Its fraud. Europe would do better leaving the EU and German fascism lite.

          • John Tucker says:

            Lol they are even big into the low dose radiation sex ratio thing. What a bunch of total crap.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Enhanced cancer risks of more than 2% per mSv in children (based on 10 year lag period.

            ISIS says 11.8 mSv/yr for Denver, mostly due to radon.  Ramsar residents get 250 mSv/yr.

            Per your claim, Denver’s children should have cancer rates elevated close to 20%, and Ramsar’s children should have their cancer risk boosted nearly 5 times normal.  No such effect is observed.

            But you stick with the dogma pushed by proven liars.  No seeker of truth could ignore what you refuse to accept.  Your dogma is your be-all and end-all.

          • John Tucker says:

            Incidentally anti EU sentiment used to come mostly from the far right in Europe. I don’t think that is the case so much more; In today’s Guardian:

            Shock four-country poll reveals widening gulf between Britain and EU

            Opinium found that just 26% of British voters regard the EU as, overall, a “good thing” compared with 42% who say it is a “bad thing”. In Poland 62% say it is a good thing and 13% bad; in Germany 55% good and 17% bad, and in France 36% good and 34% bad.

            UK voters feel an affinity with the US than with their European neighbours, whereas our EU partners tend to choose other EU nations. When asked who they would generally support on occasions when there was a disagreement between the US and EU countries, 37% of UK respondent said they would tend to support America; just 10% would generally side with Europe. ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/30/shock-poll-reveals-gulf-britain-eu-france-germany-poland-hostile )

          • Rich Lentz says:

            Why is there NOT a much higher incidence of lung cancer in the areas around the asbestos mines? For many years, before the thought/knew it was harmful, the workers would have worn their clothes home. Their spouse would have washed these clothes. their kids would have sat on their laps, hugged them, etc. Where are the numbers? The mines would have had ventilation systems blowing this dust out into the surrounding air or the open pit mines would have allowed the dust to be blown around like any other open pit mine of the era. Where are the numbers. A relative who lived within sight of the mine near Eden VT her whole life lived to over 100. Surely she would have exceeded the government approved dose limit.

            Again, a problem that is more hype and money grubbing lawyers than actual consequences.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “So I see no other explanation than that the fall-out (CS-137) radiation of ~0.5mSv/a was the cause.”

            That is because you *want* to see that as the cause! Even though you have been repeatedly explained why this particular study is a fraud and cannot possibly be true!

            To see you write on this blog that you “adhere to truth and reality” is an absolute joke! You are sick Bas Gresnigt, very sick, or you are a paid liar. Either way, you are headed for disaster. I hope you don’t drag anybody down with you. And IMO you deserve everything you are going to get.

          • Bas says:

            … the low dose radiation sex ratio thing …bunch of total crap.
            That was what I thought, until I studied literature about it.
            Those changes indicate damage to the genes, which in general imply more vulnerable and e.g. less intelligent next generations. Which is bad legacy to our grand-children.

            … Europe would do better leaving the EU …
            Looking at the success of Switzerland, which by referendum decided to not join the EU as the EU is rather non-democratic (more prosperity grow, more life expectancy grow, despite erosion of their bank secrecy), I also think that it may be better to leave present undemocratic EU.

            Btw: Swiss also decided by referendum to stop with nuclear.

            Widening gulf between …(citizens)… and EU
            The autocrats in Brussels do everything to widen the gap.
            A few days ago they decided an import tax for PV-panel glass of 42%! The EU bureaucrats are a tool in the hands of our big industries against the interest of citizens. Which hampers new development and progress. Not strange as the EU is highly undemocratic.

        • Bas says:

          ISIS says 11.8 mSv/yr for Denver, mostly due to radon.
          I read at ISIS; 10.4 for Radon + 1.4 back-ground + 0.6 medical = 12.4 total.
          So I do not understand your 11.8 mSv/a??
          Also read that 3.3% die during a lifetime of 70years because of that radiation.
          Note further that these figures are based on tables in the 1990 BEIR V report in which:
          – Only cancer mortality is considered (radiation causes ~40% other deaths too)
          – Risks below 5years are not counted. Baby’s have factor ~10 higher risks as their cell division rate is so much higher than at 5years old.
          – risks in the report in table 4-3 page 175 are ~30% bigger.

          For children sensitivity is factor ~10 higher depending on age (my post above and the links). Correcting also for the one time effects of CT (1,5 according to BEIR VII) an estimation of ~1%/mSv would be very conservative.

          In this easy to read PTT about the BEIR VII report lifetime death risk of 5%/Sv wich is (av. age 80yrs): ~4% at 10mSv/a.

          Another issue is that Denver allows such a backward situation of 10mSv/a radon.
          It implies that you reduce chance dying premature (cancer) by ~3% if your house is of wood.
          Why not obliged extractor fans as we have here, and requirements regarding radon in building materials? It saves thousands of painful (cancer) premature deaths in Denver.

          We had discussion regarding Ramsak before. El showed that levels were ~10mSv/a (world nuclear suggestion is wrong; your suggested high levels are in un- or sparsely inhabited areas). Also that people in Ramsak have gene (heredity) damage. The population administration, numbers involved, confounding factors, imply that a sensible study regarding health damage is not possible (would costs many millions).

          This overview concludes: ”convincing evidence of an association between long-term protracted radiation exposures in the general population and disease incidence.“ and
          “individuals who live in homes with more than 10.2 mSv/y had incomplete repair.”

          • Brian Mays says:

            Why not obliged extractor fans as we have here, and requirements regarding radon in building materials? It saves thousands of painful (cancer) premature deaths in Denver.

            It would be cheaper to spend the money on an ad campaign discouraging smoking, since smoking is strongly correlated with cancer risk from exposure to radon.

          • jmdesp says:

            @Bas : The Cohen study about Radon as only been criticized in so far as for Radon being the causative factor for the lower rate of cancer that he measured.

            But everyone has accepted his basic result was correct and that there was less lung cancer death in the high radon areas than the other parts of America, it’s just the reason for it that was disputed.
            So, the extra death that you’re talking about here just don’t exist !

        • Bas says:

          I know nothing about cancer risks around asbestos mines. May be only few people live there.

          But I do know the asbestos cancers around our main asbestos processing facility (estimate it closed ~1990).
          And those are rather terrible. Most workers there got it, as well as family (washing their clothes), neighbors, etc.

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – Asbestos is a red herring and your logical fallacy.

            By the way, you don’t have to tell us what you don’t know, thanks. It is glaringly obvious.

        • Bas says:


          So I see no other explanation than that the fall-out (CS-137) radiation of ~0.5mSv/a was the cause.
          …this particular study is a fraud and cannot possibly be true!

          So you cannot find another plausible explanation either and escape into unfunded fraud accusation.
          There are similar results from quite different research from other countries.
          This presentation offers an overview at sheet 12. Note that this overview missed our famous study, so it is not complete.

          This implies that fraud is unlikely.
          Also since Scherb etal are ensured of their position/career as German civil servants at this major German research institute. Why would they risk their stable position by falsifying data which may be detected as other researches use the same Bavarian detailed population database?

          Either way, you are headed for disaster.
          Please can you explain which disaster, so I can prepare?

          • Brian Mays says:

            So you cannot find another plausible explanation either and escape into unfunded fraud accusation.

            Ah ha! And now we finally get to the heart of the matter!

            Freudian slip or simple typo … you be the judge.

          • Bas says:

            English is my third language.
            I thought/think that ‘unfunded accusation’ means an accusation without any ground for it. Similar as a ‘false accusation’ or a ‘fantasy’.

            How do you understand that?

          • Rod Adams says:


            In your third language “unfunded” means something that is not paid for. (Synonym for “fund” is “pay for”.)

            I think you might be trying to say “unfounded” meaning without basis.

            When someone is a native speaker, such a confusion in similar sounding terms is often known as a Malapropism.

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – In case you don’t fully understand Rod’s explanation. It was a joke based on a humorously incorrect word.

          • Bas says:

            Rod, Brian,
            Thank you for the explanation! Somehow I couldn’t find out myself.

          • jmdesp says:

            Bas, in the answer we never said that the data was falsified, just that the result is unproven. The authors of the studies are, opposite to you, very careful and there’s no risk that their carrier be destroyed if the result is wrong, because they were careful enough to clearly say that it was very possible it was wrong.

            For example if we take this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10656857 here’s what they say
            - “we are dealing with highly aggregated data, other causes or artifacts may explain the observed effects.
            - “the findings should be interpreted with caution, and further independent evidence should be sought”

            Also this study has a major problem, it say the average exposition was around 0,1 to 0,2 mSv. This is much lower than the natural variation between different areas of Europe or Germany. If this has any influence, then we should be able to see a clear effect of variations in natural radioactivity on the amount of perinatal mortality.

            Let’s also say that the exact data used here is the fact perinatal death
            proportion in Germany was 0.007982 in 1986, 0.007830 in 1987, and 0.007026 in 1988. In other word, the trend in mortality reduction has been very slightly slower than expected in 1987. However the trend in neonatal mortality reduction is not a physics law, that year was not the only one where it’s not exactly in the trend, it can be influenced by a very large number of different factors, many having no relation whatsoever with Tchernobyl, but they actually could also include economical and stress fallout from Tchernobyl (they are many story of a large number of abortions in Germany after Tchernobyl).

            We could be seeing here something that actually happened, but that was just the result of nocebo effect of radiation fears. So finding the same effect linked to the effect of natural radioactivity or to the atmospheric nuclear weapon testing would be much more convincing. Showing the effect is indeed proportional to the amount of radioactivity would also be more convincing. I don’t have time now, but there’s some regional variation data that could be used here.

  7. John Tucker says:

    What we do know is that after more than 10 years and more than $100,000,000 they could not find any evidence to refute LNT.

    yes as all the research coming out of it definitively proves even though no one can cite a single specific study while those proving the contrary are common.

    Lets see what it come up with.

    • Bob Applebaum says:

      I don’t know what your comment means…LNT is a scientific theory, like the Big Bang theory or the theory of evolutionary biology. No theory can be proven true, they are the best explanations based on the evidence.

      Since theories can’t be proven true, they are under constant attack by ideologues, who typically employ logical fallacies to convince others of their viewpoint.

      • Brian Mays says:

        LNT is not a “theory.” It is an extremely simple dose response model that does not have much scientific evidence to support it below 50 to 100 mSv of exposure.

        Only an idiot would refer to it as a “theory.” Speaking of fallacies, however, …

        LNT is a scientific theory, like the Big Bang theory or the theory of evolutionary biology.

        That is a perfect example of an association fallacy. Thanks, Bob.

        • John Chatelle says:

          I had to have started as a convention. If some people want to hold it as a hypothesis, they should discern an experiment to test it at low doses. If they don’t want to do that, they it is a useless hypothesis, much less a “theory”.

    • John Tucker says:

      There is a need for a more complete view of the relationships that exist between low dose radiation exposure and the cancer process. Without a complete systems approach it will
      not be possible to apply the current research to radiation protection
      p 113 ( http://lowdose.energy.gov/pdf/albRoughDraft/doeHistoryComplete09262012.pdf )

      • Bob Applebaum says:

        Again, I don’t know what your comment means. Dr. Brooks is saying that the process of carcinogenesis is so complex, that by looking at it in bits and pieces isn’t providing any insights on dose response.

        Not only are there genetic changes, there are epigenetic changes, changes in mitochondrial DNA, etc. etc.

        P.S. I pointed out numerous errors in Dr. Brooks’ paper, which he graciously accepted.

        • John Tucker says:

          There is little question that the LNT should be used for
          setting radiation standards and provides a useful tool to regulating and limiting radiation exposure.
          However, when the LNT is applied in the low dose region and combined with collective dose measurements, it predicts outcomes that may not be scientifically based

          Now in 2013 we are to the point where emergency situations and space science require a scientifically based approximation of risk and appropriate mitigation steps.

          • Bas says:

            …when the LNT is applied in the low dose region and combined with collective dose measurements, it predicts outcomes that may not be scientifically…

            Realize that the Bavarian study predicts nothing, it just finds the raised levels of ~15% stillbirth at ~0.5mSv/a; and ~30% congenital malformations, Down, etc at that same ~0.5mSv/a levels.
            You only have to extrapolate upwards to find the risks at 1 mSv/a, etc.

            But may be connection between harm and radiation dose is supralinear.
            Then the risk at 50mSv/a is not 100times more but may be only 25times more.
            That also implies that a risk of 1% at 100mSv/a is 0.4% at 10mSv/a, etc.

  8. Tom Clegg says:

    I know this is off the subject but! I was in the doctors office yesterday I saw a copy of Rolling Stone from Sept.. There was an article titled GLOBAL WARMING: CASE CLOSED. It was about the U.N. report on global warming. Needless to say that it sided with the fact that there is global warming and rebutted the anti global warming critics. I turn the page and at the bottom is like a time line but it is a line called with us against us. In the with us side is VY Closing They just don’t get it. They want to stop Global Warming but the also like when Nuclear Power plants close down. Please have your people write to Rolling Stone. They need help!

    • Bas says:

      At the Rolling Stone they have similar priorities as the Germans, I guess.

      • Tom Clegg says:

        Yes just like you B as s they have no clue. Let me guess the rest of the world is wrong Germany is wright. Just like when Hitler was in power the rest of the world was wrong Germany was wright?

        • Tom Clegg says:

          BTW. Thanks for giving us all those Jewish scientist that gave us nuclear power plants! THANK YOU GERMANY!

        • Daniel says:

          Godwin’s law … Gotta love it …

          • Tom Clegg says:

            Daniel I guess you also think the Civil War was about state’s rights not slavery. So if I made an argument comparing the confederacy and slavery. You would use the Jefferson Davis theory. BTW ask Jewish blogger’s if they believe in Godwin’s Law. Thanks for trying to defending the Anti-Nuke -B as&s. maybe next time you can let him defend himself!

          • Tom Clegg says:

            Daniel I am a field worker not a desk sitter like you. I may not know technically as much as you. But I do know how to fight the anti-nukes. I do not go by the same rules as you! From your desk the world may not appear so different. Take my word for it, IT IS! When you have spent hours in a full face respirator,full pc’s,and plastics to change packing in a charging pump. How about doing a power entry in double pc’s and full face BTW hot temperatures changing out a control rod drive fan motor(hanging over the missal shield) (that sits on top of the reactor). Work in the Ion valve gallery changing out a diaphragm on a 5 rem/hr field. When more than once you had to sign to have your yearly limit extended from 4rem to 5 rem because you would go over your limit. So when you defend anti-nuke pieces of cr*p with chips on their shoulder like -B as&s. Think about the pro-nuke your are chastising! BTW would it of been better if I used Kaiser Wilhelm II?

        • Bas says:

          Let me guess the rest of the world is wrong Germany is wright.
          If that would be the situation, I would think twice, and again, again…

          Many others are ahead of Germany. E.g.

          Denmark (~6million people)
          Now ~35% of electricity generated by wind, in 2020 50% by wind!
          In 2040 100% of electricity generated by renewable.
          In 2050 all energy consumption 100% renewable! So now new houses are only allowed if they are energy neutral (Denmark is rather cold in winter)!

          El Hiero
          All electricity generated by solar and wind only! To ensure reliable supply a pumped storage facility is used.

          Portugal, ~10million people.
          More than 60% renewable; Hydro ~37%, Wind ~27%, Solar ~1%,
          They run the world’s first commercial wave farm (2MW).


          I prefer to refer to Germany (~80million people) because:
          – it is one of the biggest industry economies in the world;
          – they decided in 2000 to follow a scenario to reach 80% renewable for electricity generation in 2050. An unique long term decision.
          – my German reading & speaking is excellent (much better than English), I come there few times a year. So I get more info than only English published, which is often rater biased (I cannot read Danish papers).

          • Tom Clegg says:

            -B as&s I have heard the Denmark argument from anti-nukes just because they have the capability of producing 35% of their electricity from wind. Does not mean they do. Denmark is about the size of Massachusetts and a half they have a 6 million population in that small area they have 5,500 windmills that produce less than 25%. They even have windmills out in the ocean where supposedly blows all the time. What is never mentioned is the backup fossil fuel burning power plants and Sweden witch has lots of hydro power. So how come in the middle eastern countries with all the sun they have all the rich kings. princes,and rulers don’t have solar panels on the mansions maybe because it doesn’t work as well as you claim. -B as&s again just because you read slanted articles does NOT make you right!

          • Bas says:

            Sorry, your figure lags behind as renewable develop fast.
            Yearly global wind capacity grow is ~45GW, Solar also ~45GW.

            windmills that produce less than 25% … windmills out in the ocean
            In 2012 the share of wind in domestic electricity supply was 35.3% (assume now ~37%).
            They have some wind power at sea (primarily the Baltic sea), but none at the ocean.

            Here you can see (updated every minute) that windmills often produce more than the power plants and sometimes even more than Denmark consumes.
            This publication gives you more insight around the actual situation.

          • Tom Clegg says:

            http://docs.wind-watch.org/sharman-winddenmark.pdf Bas here is an article that proves you wrong about Denmark. So unless they tore up all the old windmills and installed a whole new system. BTW according to the article Denmark wind power produces less than 16% of their electric power.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Great link there, Tom.  That, and the World Bank ranking which shows Denmark’s per-capita CO2 emissions far above nuke-heavy France’s, ought to kill the “renewable technological society” zombie.

            Sadly, most people would rather believe pleasing lies.

          • Bas says:

            Please, read the date of your article; May 2005.
            Now the installed Wind turbine capacity is more than twice that of 2005.
            Just check the links in my previous post.

            You can see actual production figures incl. in- and export to Germany, Norway, Sweden (and in the future also Netherlands as we implement a sea-cable to Denmark).

          • Bas says:

            Denmark’s per-capita CO2 emissions far above nuke-heavy France’s

            This has more connection with the climate.
            France, nice climate, electricity ~75% (nuclear+renewable): 5.6
            Denmark, cold climate, electricity ~45% renewable: 8.3
            Norway, colder climate, electricity ~95% renewable (hydro+some wind): 11.7

          • Rod Adams says:


            It is “climate” that enables France to have low emission rail transportation and low emission heating when it is needed?

            BTW, I am not a dyed in the wool fan of France’s nuclear program. The bureaucrats made a big mistake when they believed in “economy of scale” and stopped building their reliable 900 MWe units just as they were getting skilled at the process in order to build larger machines. They also should have been working to expand their markets well before they ran out of need in their rather limited home country so that they could keep on building instead of going through a destructive period in which capital and skilled people did not have enough market to serve with new construction.

          • Bas says:

            ..“climate” that enables France to have low emission rail transportation and low emission heating when it is needed?
            Rail transportation in Norway is less CO2 as near all electricity is renewable.
            But heating far more CO2 as electric heating is extremely expensive in Norway due to the long harsh winters.
            Electric heating implies low investment for the citizen but extremely expensive use. Also if the electricity is from NPP’s.
            The mild climate in France allows it, makes it cheapest, as people need only some heating some days a year.
            Assume France electricity become 100% nuclear.
            And Fukushima like accident happens to this reactor type.
            Then government (public opinion) may have to close all those reactors, just as in Japan…

            So from a care taking government point of view, it is good policy to arrange electricity generation from different (competing) sources / technologies (less vulnerable).
            It may have been an argument in France when Hollande decided to reduce the share of nuclear towards 50%.

          • Rod Adams says:


            I completely reject your assumption that Fukushima type accidents are inevitable in France. When was the last tsunami there? How many French power stations are 1970s vintage BWR’s? How many have their backup power supplies in the basement? How many different power systems are there in France (The 50 cycle and 60 cycle systems in Japan contributed to the accident consequences.)

            Why would the generally independent thinking French act like lemmings – as the Japanese did – even in the exceedingly unlikely case of a minor release of radioactive material from their power stations?

            If it were not for your moderately useful role as a voluntary foil, I would get quite tired of your repetitive postings.

          • Bas says:

            TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima all have quite different causes.

            I expect the next one will again have a more or less unexpected cause:
            – Terrorist (France NPP’s are less well / not protected against such attack)?
            – Plane (EPR shows what is needed to withstand that)?

            But probably one about which we do not think now.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas – and all three together resulted in just 28 measurable casualties spread over a 35 year period in an industry that produces the energy equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil per day without any greenhouse gas emissions.

            That’s a pretty good risk versus reward equation by my way of accounting.

          • James Greenidge says:

            Re: RodAdams
            December 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM
            “…If it were not for your moderately useful role as a voluntary foil, I would get quite tired of your repetitive postings…”

            What’s worst and most sobering here is that this is the implacable look-under-every-rock-for-any-flaws fear-soaked mindset that must be faced and overcome if hundreds of millions are to receive the clean safe reliable energy they rightfully deserve to prosper in health. The antis have zero responsibility to provide, but zealously deny power to others. This a top two issue for the nuclear community if it’s to survive.

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

          • Bas says:

            all three together resulted in just 28 measurable casualties
            Yes, if you restrict your measurement definition strong enough.

            Roughly a million if you use scientific knowledge about low level radiation.
            Incl. also the many extra Down syndrome, serious Neural Tube Defects, Congenital malformations, stillbirth, neonatal death.
            And the damage of two huge exclusion zones as well as damage control to the concerned NPP’s, all to be paid by tax-payers.

            …fear-soaked mindset … must be faced and overcome if hundreds of millions are to receive the clean safe reliable energy..
            I think no discussion that solar+wind is clean safe energy.
            Germany show that it’s distributed generation allow for more reliable energy supply than a structure with big power plants.

            When solar+wind started to produce a significant share, the total annual outage time for the average customer reduced from 30minutes/yr to 15min/yr.
            Compare similar, but nuclear, countries UK and France. Reliability there is 4 times worse (60min/a out).

            Not strange as big power plants can stop to deliver 1GW within a second (e.g. if the turbine fails), which imply a difficult task for grid management with lots of spare capacity. Solar+wind, being very distributed, will never do that*.
            Production of those is very predictable.

            And solar+wind have no risks for the citizen/tax-payer or his grand-grand-children, that he has to pay in case of disaster (even the $26billion fund in US is by far not enough as Fukushima shows; a trillion is needed).
            *) The max for a sudden outage is ~10MW if a big wind turbine suddenly fails or a whole solar plant has a short cut.
            Note that Germany now has excluded solar plants >10MW from the nice Feed-in-Tariff scheme. So those won’t be built anymore, which enhances reliability more.

          • David says:

            @ Bas,

            “Roughly a million if you use scientific knowledge about low level radiation.
            Incl. also the many extra Down syndrome, serious Neural Tube Defects, Congenital malformations, stillbirth, neonatal death.
            And the damage of two huge exclusion zones as well as damage control to the concerned NPP’s, all to be paid by tax-payers.”

            You see, you are willing to use the term scientific in a way that rejects, totally rejects, the findings of 5 different UN teams. How can we agree when you are not willing to listen? You refuse – which is a moral stance not an intellectual one – to agree to basic terms about this discussion.

            You want to find birth defects. You cling to one study as evidence even though there is NO other supporting study that birth defects are caused by low level radiation. (Please don’t link the same studies you have in every post you give)

            Let’s say that low level radiation does cause some increase in birth defects – the rate of increase is infinitesimal – as confessed by you when you point out that it is nearly impossible to study this area because you need SO MANY people for the study. If the actual effect is small, the right question to ask is if there is a net benefit.

            You want to quote a large exclusion zone but ignore evidence that the exclusion zone is excessively large and could easily be reduced in size since radiation is so easy to detect and contamination so easy to avoid. A few feet will do the job. You don’t need miles.

            You are very good at ignoring any evidence that contradicts your settled opinion that Nuclear power and Radiation are intrinsically evil / harmful.

            I live and work in South East Asia. I was was in Cambodia last week driving down roads that were greatly improved but still the dust hung in the air because of construction on these roads. Food was hanging openly in the markets with the dust settling on the dried fish. Some of the rice I ate was pretty gritty. So while you are willing to find millions of people dying from Chernobyl, (by blaming every human sickness on Radiation) I can see people whose life expectancy is pretty short – about 60 to 62 years from very difficult living conditions.

            Inexpensive power does a great deal to help reduce poverty.
            1. Washing machines help women have time for other work and help their children be able to go to school.
            2. Refrigerators keep food preserved and clean.
            3. Combines harvest crops quickly, while separating the various materials for use.
            I could go on and on and on.

            At the same time expensive power makes poor people poorer and destroys the environment. When the price of Natural Gas and Propane raises to 28 dollars for 15 KG poor people will choose to burn charcoal made from trees rather than spend 1/2 of their total monthly income to simply cook their food. They are going to cook their food. I watched this process in 2008, when the price of fuel began to sky rocket. Friends of mine quit buying propane and began to use charcoal to cook with. Forests and jungles began to disappear rapidly. I watched it happen in 2008 and it continues today.

            Right now the Japanese decision to NOT use their safe nuclear power means that folks throughout asia are paying much higher prices for cooking gas. They are burning their trees instead.

            You say that Nuclear is expensive power.
            In the USA Nuclear power is produced for 1.8 cents / kWh. This is very very inexpensive. Why do you only quote the British strike price when debating prices? Why not quote the Chinese? Why not quote the USA? Why not quote France? This is a moral issue. Your refusal to balance your arguments with realistic numbers is a moral problem. You have an agenda that you wish to propagate. You don’t wish to discuss. I do pray you will change your mind.

            Wind and Solar cannot run factories. Factories bring greatly needed jobs that poor people can do. Wind and Solar sell fossil fuels. (Germany illustrates this well). I like fossil fuels and I would like for some of them to be around for my great grand children. I don’t think it is good stewardship to use them up in the next 100 years.

          • Brian Mays says:

            You want to find birth defects. You cling to one study as evidence even though there is NO other supporting study that birth defects are caused by low level radiation. (Please don’t link the same studies you have in every post you give)

            I suggest that if Bas posts one more link to that stupid flawed study, his comments should be considered spam, and he should be banned from commenting here further. If there’s a policy not to allow repetitive links to dubious sources of where to buy Viagra, repetitive links to dubious studies also should not be allowed. It’s all spam.

            My children still believe in Santa Claus. Now we see what fairy tales Bas believes in (“roughly a million” deaths from Chernobyl). My children’s excuse is that they are both in pre-school. Bas is, presumably, an adult. I guess some people never grow up.

          • Bas says:

            Interesting. I still have the plan to bike along the Mekong river.

            … scientific in a way that rejects … findings of 5 different UN teams …
            UN IAEA/WHO/UNSCEAR made themselves unreliable regarding the effects of low level radiation and Chernobyl. Their conclusions do not fit with many research results (I showed a part), and not with the BEIR VII report.
            In this area, these organizations are highly politicized.
            The target of IAEA (promote nuclear) and the 1959 agreement with WHO (enforced by the atomic powers that wanted to continue atmospheric bomb testing) contribute. Check sheet 10 of this presentation.
            Their latest report excl. all research outside Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, while research inside is under political pressure to show desirable results. Belarus imprisoned a critical scientist/professor.
            The unjustified conclusions in IAEA/WHO reports generated alternatives such as this one.

            You cling to one study as evidence
            I stated other studies too, e.g. in this post, which show similar results. You find more in the first link of this post.

            … the right question to ask is if there is a net benefit.
            Agree. How can you justify (new) nuclear, while that is clearly more expensive than renewable and brings health risk and financial (damage) burden for the citizen?
            Financial burden; citizen has to carry the damage in case of disaster as atomic law restricts liability to ridiculous amount and insurance companies exclude such accidents.
            Also the burden for grand-grandchildren who have to take care of the radio-active waste.
            Health risk for the citizen, his offspring and future generations as his genes become damaged as shown by research. E.g. regarding people in Ramsak (damage at ~10mSv/a).

            USA Nuclear power is produced for 1.8 cents / kWh.
            Only by old, depreciated unsafe NPP’s. Unsafe implying that they parasite on the citizens as those have to carry the extra risk. Staff of NPP’s is sometimes even prepared to conceal dangerous situations as shown with the Ohio Davis-Besse NPP.

            Wind and Solar cannot run factories.
            The experts in industrial Germany think solar+wind+some storage can. So who knows better? Until now all predictions in the English spoken world (black-outs after closing 8 NPP’s after Fukushima, etc. etc.) showed to be wrong.

            Wind and Solar sell fossil fuels
            You confuse a temporary phenomenon for a permanent development. Installing ~5GW/a new solar+wind imply inevitable less production by other methods.
            Solar+wind imply also times with cheap electricity which allow for power-to-gas/fuel conversions. That is the direction of German developments.

            NL university developed cheap stoves to cook, heated by mirrors. I believe our development assistance distributes those in Africa (also know how, so they can produce locally).

          • Rod Adams says:


            The experts in industrial Germany think solar+wind+some storage can. So who knows better? Until now all predictions in the English spoken world (black-outs after closing 8 NPP’s after Fukushima, etc. etc.) showed to be wrong.

            Show me one factory anywhere in the world that operates with only wind and solar power.

            No serious observer of power systems predicted “blackouts” after closing 8 nuclear power plants in a country that has plenty of grid connections to its neighbors, plenty of spare fossil fuel capacity and plenty of industrial capacity to build more fossil fuel plants.

            The industrialized world had reliable power before we discovered the self sustaining fission chain reaction. Rich countries can choose to do without nuclear today. However, the effects of rapidly depleting fossil fuel supplies and continued CO2 build up in our shared atmosphere makes it important to take advantage of the capabilities that fission provides. Besides, life is simply better for more people if we have more available supplies of reliable energy.

            I firmly reject your characterization of currently operating nuclear power stations as being unsafe. They have an impressive safety and operational reliability record.

            I will, however, gently correct David’s cost figure. According to current data, the average operating and maintenance cost for the US nuclear fleet in 2012 was 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour ($24 per MW hour). That is just 0.1 cents more than the production tax credit paid to wind generators. When the DOE stops collecting fees for services that it has no plan for providing, the total cost of operating a nuclear plant will be equal to the amount of money that taxpayers provide to subsidize the operations of wind generation.


          • Bas says:

            Show me one factory … that operates with only wind and solar …
            All factories in the ~100% renewable countries use of course 100% renewable electricity.

            Apart from that, small wind-powered factories are long time around. E.g:

            A modern variant; the production of solar cells, etc.
            Though I do not believe this one can run well without the grid, despite the overcapacity of the wind turbine.

            In principle a factory operates during the day, so (over-capacity) solar-panels should be nearly enough. So you find a tea factory that comes close.

            Your famous Boeing has a new factory that does it in a practical way, buying additional renewable certificates (I believe from the utility that brought SONGS down), if their rooftop solar does not deliver enough.

            This solar water heater factory seems to produce more solar electricity than it consumes.

            One of your most advanced companies, the biggest on the stock market (still?), is committed to migrate to 100% renewable. They reached 75% renewable in 2012.
            I guess some people never grow up.
            I always hated getting old, and still do.
            Thank you for the compliment :-).

          • Brian Mays says:

            The lesson being that if your “factory” is a commune of hippies that weave baskets or a third-world sweatshop, then perhaps you can make do.

            Or … if you believe the claims of a company that holds nothing but contempt for the intelligence of its customers and isn’t afraid to admit it (I could never bring myself to trust a company that thinks that its customers are too stupid to be able to deal with more than one button on their mouse), then perhaps you can convince yourself that all of these data centers are really running on wind and solar.

            Bas – Growing up and getting old are two completely different things. The former often results in wisdom, the latter senility.

  9. Cory Stansbury says:

    As you may remember, I had a low-dose ANS event in Pittsburgh almost exactly 1 year ago (Nov. 29th of last year). In that event, I had Dr. Sylvain Costes present his findings and videos of adaptive response. It was incredibly interesting, albeit slightly above my non-biologist head. Like any good host, I took him and Ron Mitchel for drinks after and we stayed up until 2 AM philosobitching.

    One of the biggest topic’s on Sylvain’s mind was the cutting of this funding. This impacted his lab financially, but moreso it just saddened him. He felt they (the group of funded members) were really close to having a great, scientifically justifiable position on the topic. He, like myself, Rod, and most everyone here is deeply worried about our planet’s health, the future of affordable energy, and the political motivations tied to non-sustainable energy sources. He urged me to write a letter to my congressman in support of refunding it. Alas, I have yet to do so. I only mentioned it briefly in another congressional letter (which, BTW, received nothing but a canned response from every one of my “representatives.”). I was going to send a letter pertaining to forcing the NRC to create an economical “mothballing” process, but perhaps I’ll write this one first.

  10. EL says:

    Are you sure program has been defunded. This 2012 presentation suggests there are still projects funded through program.


    - Three 5 year program projects in 4th year
    - 21 radiobiology projects in last year
    - National lab funded projects: LBNL, ORNL, PNNL

    2013 House Science Committee backgrounder talks about a National Academy of Sciences report commissioned “to undertake an assessment of the current status of low dose radiation research. Upon completion of the report, the Department must develop a research plan in response to the assessment” (Sec 105, p. 5).

    And sequester has had wide impacts on many Office of Science programs:


    “In the Biological and Environmental Research program, there are wide ranging impacts due to the current CR, spanning low dose radiation, biofuel feedstock, and carbon cycle research.”

  11. Daniel says:


    A while back I asked if there was an active civil nuclear reactor that was currently used to desalinate water.

    Well look no more. It is happening in China.

    From this article on new nuclear rectors coming online in te next few weeks:


    ”The site in northern Liaoning province incorporates a seawater desalination plant producing 10,080 cubic metres of potable water per day. It is about 420 kilometres from Beijing across the Bo Hai Sea.”

    • John Tucker says:

      Wow – around 2,500 cubic meters is one olympic sized swimming pool. Thank god they are not using fossil fuels to do that.

    • GaryN says:

      I see they will be using core catchers in the new designs, seems that should always have been a part of reactor construction.

      • Rod Adams says:


        I’m not a fan of core catchers or other unnecessary complications. Based on best available data, the cores at Fukushima were retained inside pressure vessels. We know for sure that melted TMI core only penetrated about 5/8 of inch into 7-9 inch thick pressure vessel. Core catcher would have been unnecessary redundancy.

        • Paul Wick says:

          It is looking increasingly probable that new fuel rod technology will result in much decreased fuel rod temperature, eliminating the danger of hydrogen formation in a severe accident situation, and as well, make the prospect of fuel melting down much more remote. The recent discussions of GE-Hitachi-Toshiba with the technology leaders behind silicon carbide clad and beryllium oxide-laced fuel rods is promising. As is the recent preliminary agreement of Lightbridge with Babcock & Wilcox for a pilot plant for their metallic fuel rods. Both of these technologies might consign “core catchers” to the museum of antiquities, where they probably belong. Of course, it would take a country like China to take the lead, as it seems that the regulatory ratchet of the NRC makes the rescinding of obsolete or harmful rules somewhat rare.

        • David Walters says:

          Rod, of course you are correct. This is the nuclear industry, most notable Areva, but others as well, that supported, endorsed and acquiesce to the European rules that require the useless “core catcher”. I wonder how much this increased the costs for the 3 EPRs planned or under construction there?


          • jmdesp says:

            My understanding is that Areva considered the core catcher less expensive than the technologies on the AP1000 to ensure passive cooling (or maybe more feasible for a larger core).

            I don’t know if there exist an English description of the modifications brought to the Fessenheim nuclear plant. Here’s the French version,

            You can at least see on the picture, that the new area for core spreading functions as poor man’s core catcher, which the ASN validated as bringing the security to a level similar to the more modern 1300MW units. The cost was a few tens of millions euro, so very much profitable when compared to just one year of operations.

        • mjd says:

          yup, i guess 3 already ain’t enough; the reactor pressure vessel, the steel primary containment vessel, and the concrete sub-structure (which “caught” the remains of the chernobyl core). so lets add yet another, just don’t use the design that melted fuel at Fermi 1.

        • John Englert says:

          Los Alamos is looking into using cosmic rays to image the cores at Fukushima. http://www.lanl.gov/newsroom/news-releases/2012/October/10.17-fukushimas-nuclear-scar.php

    • Daniel says:

      And the cost of all 4 units is CNY50 billion ($8.2 billion), but I digress.

      Can’t someone regulate this to death and get this up to $28 billion like it should be!

    • David Walters says:

      This is purely a proof-of-concept use. Its completely arbitrary how much water is built into the plant infrastructure. It will be a major way of load control/following to use energy from a reactor to make potable water when load is down at the bottom. The BN-350 fast reactor at Aktau, in Kazakhstan, successfully supplied up to 135 MWe of electric power while producing 80,000 m³/day of potable water for decades. This meant that 225MWs were used for desal. If we outputed an entire EPR for deals, 1600MWs, it would be a lot more than a swimming pool. The use of fast reactors and LFTRs will have desal capability available as an ancillary service.

      • Engineer-Poet says:

        Remember that low-grade steam is sufficient to drive multi-stage flash distillation, so the combination of electric generation and potable water isn’t mutually exclusive but two bites at the apple.

  12. Daniel says:

    Economic hegemony model of the future ? Look no furhter. It is happening with nuclear energy.

    China, Russia, Korea and Japan have tons of US dollars. It is a risk to their macro economic stability.

    The best way to edge their bets is to finance major energetic infrastructure projects world wide.

    Heck, China is even about to finance CANDU reactors to Romania. Why ? Well by doing so, they get rid of US currency, their biggest risk, and create 100 year receivables in the country in which they build a plan. Or like Russua does in Finland they take ownership in the utility that distribute the electricity.

    Boy. I can smell this model catching on quick. And the US is stuck. Because China, Russia and everybody else is managing the waste (god knows it has value and is not dangerous).

    Welcome to the new order.

    • Daniel says:

      And the Bradfords and Coopers from the Vermont School of Whatever don’t even see this on their radar.

      They participated in choking the best source of base load electricity in their own backyard while the rest of the world is forging ahead.

      I hope they will live long enough to carry this burden for many years. Intellectual fraud.

    • Paul Wick says:

      Nice post! As well, unlike the last nuclear reactor building boom in the 1970s, Big Oil is buying and financing. The Saudis may use their nuclear program to fashion alliances for investing on the world market, which would find a use for all those petrodollars. Perhaps with Areva? GE-H? Toshiba-Westinghouse? I also do not find it coincidental that on the heels of the announced deal with Iran to arrest their nuclear weapons’ program, which will increase Iranian oil exports and revenue, the Iranians and Russians announce intentions to build a fleet of reactors there.

      • Engineer-Poet says:

        Saudi Arabia can provide financing, but the near-complete lack of technical capability in the country means all the design, construction and operation expertise will be from others.  That’s where the real strengths are.

      • Steve Foster says:

        Assuming 1.7MWh of heat per barrel of oil, I estimate that 1 million barrels of oil per day is equivalent to roughly 25GWe (71GW heat). Since a great deal of oil and gas production in the Middle East is used for electricity generation and desalination, nuclear heat can be used to divert oil and gas away from domestic use so more can be exported.

        At $100/barrel, it makes a lot more sense to export it rather than burn it for the domestic economy. Nukes give them the ability to do just that. A 1 GW nuke plant permits additional exports of $4 million / day of oil. That makes nuke plant construction cost of a few billion seem like peanuts!

    • Robert Hargraves says:

      Daniel, this is an interesting idea that I don’t quite understand. You say China, Russia, Korea and Japan have tons of US dollars, but don’t they have not dollars but US dollar-denominated bonds? IOUs from the US? They would sell the US bonds and use the dollar cash to build power plants in countries where they would own and operate them, generating a nice cash stream? Would selling the US bonds depress the price? Or would spending the dollars generate economic activity so that didn’t happen? Ask an economist?

      Or maybe they have lots of US cash and don’t want to buy any more US bonds?

      • Daniel says:


        Euro US dollars is a very, very complex issue that quite honestly is not mastered by anyone. Many have tried.

        But China’s biggest macro economic risk is the US dollars they own. They want to get rid of it and since 2006 have taken steps toward this. Russia also wants to curb its appetite for US dollars and have passed laws towards attaining that goal.

        But he concept is pretty basic. Holding too much of a certain asset puts you at risk towards that asset’s value.

        Now, we know that China’s and Russia’s interests to build nukes will be done by spending US dollars. Step 1. Then they will setup a stream of receivables in the country’s denominated currency for a 100 year and will be able to influence trading in that country. This is how hegemony will be built.

        The US dollars (euro and petro) and its value is very complex to evaluate. One thing is sure, trust in the currency is the key.

        Basic monetary policy is to disclose the monetary aggregates M1, M2 and M3. The US has stopped publishing M3 as it knows that the numbers don’t look too good.

        Transparency and disclosure of the aggregates go hand in hand. Without transparency, trust in the monetary policy of the US has gone down and faith in the US dollars will erode.

  13. darryl siemer says:

    Have you changed your email address? I’ve just sent a note to rod_adams at atomicinsights.com via Hotmail which bounced.

    Please send the update(?) to my email address.

  14. Mikael Ros says:

    What to do?

    If DOE, NIH, etc. is unwilling to fund research in this field, we have to find other resources. Crowd funding would be an option, as many of us are willing to provide some money for this type of research. And if we are many that send, say, $100 or more, the total amount would be significant,

    Furthermore, I know private persons and companies that would send much more money.

    The key issue is to have a list of projects with sufficient quality and possibility of success. If three or five retired scientists can be called back to peer review duty it would be possible to get approval stamps for the good projects.

  15. Mark Miller says:

    IMHO, epidemiology not likely to provide answers. We MUST use the correct null hypothesis to avoid a logical fallacy! (The null hypothesis IS: “There is no effect of radiation exposure below 10 rem (0.1 Sv)”.) The burden of proof must be borne by whatever alternative hypothesis one chooses to test (e.g. LNT, hormesis, etc.).

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