Radiation: The Facts

I highly recommend a terrific brochure titled “Radiation: The Facts”.

Opening eyes to the facts about radiation

Opening Eyes to the Facts

The document concentrates accurate information about radiation into a a tri-fold that can be read and understood in just a few minutes. It is a valuable presentation handout, would be a useful addition to the material offered in doctor’s offices, and should be a part of any classroom discussion about radiation.

Robert Hargraves, who has lived a life of achievement including writing a well received book titled Thorium: Energy Cheaper than Coal, founding a business, serving as Chief Information Officer for Boston Scientific, serving as an assistant professor and associate director of the computation center at Dartmouth College, publishing numerous peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics and earning a PhD in Physics from Brown University, researched and produced “Radiation: The Facts” as a “labor of love”.

Hargraves tapped a deep pool of expertise by requesting reviews and comments from his extensive contact list that includes radiation biologists, health physics professionals, and nuclear engineers. Though space on a brochure is obviously limited, Robert has provided the references supporting the statements on the brochure on his web site and given creative commons license for others to republish his work.

Please, take the time to read and understand the brochure. Then do whatever you can to spread the word and get the information in front of as many people as possible. To endorse Robert’s work, feel free to add a comment, especially if you can include a summary of your own experience and credentials.

For more information about radiation and Radiation: The Facts, please visit http://radiation-safety-limits.info.

About Rod Adams

48 Responses to “Radiation: The Facts”

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  1. Robert Hargraves says:

    Great timing. I’m seeing Senator Ayotte’s staff tomorrow.

  2. Brian Mays says:

    A tri-fold on the tri-foil, eh?

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Brian:

      Good one. That is a play on words that might cause a few to scratch their heads.

      I didn’t get it at first, but Google helped me to understand that “tri-foil” is the proper name for the famous three bladed radiation symbol that people of a certain age remember as the marker for entry to a bomb shelter. Of course, it is also used to mark radiation areas and containers holding radioactive material.

    • Engineer-Poet says:

      I thought the word was trefoil, but what do I know?

      • Rod Adams says:

        Apparently, what you know is how to spell trefoil. Now the dilemma is whether or not I should go back and edit the misspellings in the previous comments or just leave them be.

      • Brian Mays says:

        US government agencies — EPA, Department of Health & Human Services, etc. — use “tri-foil” and “trefoil” interchangeably.

        And besides, “tri-foil” is closer to “tri-fold.” I would have thought that you, of all people, would have appreciated the artistic considerations that went into my deliberate choice of word.

  3. Meredith Angwin says:

    I am very glad to see Bob’s hard work being acknowledged! I met Hargraves when I signed up for his “rethinking nuclear energy” course at ILEAD. From that day to this, he has been a strong, effective, knowledgable voice for sanity about nuclear power of all kinds.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Meredith:

      I agree about Robert’s efforts and the value of his presentations. I just wish he had not decided to begin the title of his excellent book with a single word that will dissuade many people who should read it. The book is far more about atomic fission and its potential to produce energy cheaper than coal than about any particular material or way to convert heat from fission into useful energy.

  4. Jeff Walther says:

    I emailed the link to the brochure to my son’s (6th grade) science teacher. According to my son, she has said some positive things about nuclear electricity generation, or at least, debunked some negative myths. Perhaps she will find it useful in introducing kids to the facts about radiation. The segment about the types and penetration of radiation would be especially useful.

    While I was at it, I pointed her to bravenewclimate.com (more of an academic site, than here) and, of course, a link here.

    I suggest that if you know educators who you have any reason to think would be amenable, you provide them with links to these information sources. We keep hearing stories about anti-nuclear and/or pro-unreliable indoctrination. Let’s give the educators who know better, easy access to materials they can use to support the factual viewpoint.

    • EL says:

      @Jeff Walther

      Would you consider forwarding a copy of my rebuttal as well (and let scientifically informed discussion and debate in the classroom prevail)?

      • Rod Adams says:

        @EL

        Please review your own resume. You are not a scientist, an engineer, a biologist, a radiologist or even a technologist. How can you be the source of “scientifically informed discussion?”

      • Jeff Walther says:

        All your rebuttal does is raise minor quibbles designed to confuse the issue without adding any actual information or verifiable facts. About what I’ve come to expect from you over the years.

        I am minded of Rod’s (was it Rod?) parachute analogy about the mind. There’s really no point in keeping my mind open to your rebuttals. I’ve given you a chance for months or perhaps more than a year, and you’ve never managed to do anything but waste my time on obfuscation and easily disproved arguments.

        It’s one thing to keep an open mind. It’s another to continue wasting our time, rebutting the same old arguments over and over and over, because people like you are too closed minded to listen to even one of the repeated rebuttals with which you’ve been patiently provided.

        I am not going to waste the time of a busy educator on your drivel.

        It would probably lower my stature in her eyes anyway. It turns out, she’s a former navy reactor plant operator. I’m sure she would see your arguments for the time wasting distraction they are as well.

        • EL says:

          Please review your own resume … How can you be the source of “scientifically informed discussion?”

          If there is anything incorrect (or misinformed) in what I have said, please provide better information. You guys are starting to sound really touchy and defensive.

          I am not going to waste the time of a busy educator on your drivel.

          @Jeff Walther

          Case in point!

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            It’s been brought to my attention that you have been displaying many of the typical indicators of being a compensated troll with the purposeful intent of hijacking discussion threads and taking them far away from the initial topic of the post. I just checked; you have contributed well over 600 comments, many longer than the original post on which you were commenting.

            I know how much time I spend on this blog; I know why and how I am compensated for that activity. Your activity is getting more and more suspicious.

          • EL says:

            I know how much time I spend on this blog; I know why and how I am compensated for that activity. Your activity is getting more and more suspicious.

            @Rod Adams.

            Your suspicions are unfounded.

            Does this have something to do with “banning” me (as previously mentioned)?

            Are you sleuthing for a reason, or just asking out of general interest. I believe I have already answered your question.

            If you still have questions, you have my personal contact information. Please contact me offsite if you have any additional concerns.

  5. Dave says:

    Excellent brochure. Well done, Robert!

  6. EL says:

    @Robert Hargraves

    There is a great deal that is wrong (or misleading) in this tri-fold.

    It generates no CO2. The fuel is cheap and inexhaustible.

    Not with respect to lifecycle emissions, and “cheap” is not synonymous with “inexhaustible” in any straightforward or technically informative sense.

    Cheap energy can help developing nations escape poverty and let industrialized nations improve economic growth.

    We talk a great deal about the costs of nuclear energy on the site, and challenges to expanding nuclear in developing regions (with low levels of industrial, regulatory, and technological capacity). The brochure doesn’t reference any of these issues.

    The primary obstacle to nuclear power is misunderstanding of radiation safety.

    I think this is far from the case. Only if you think fringe organizations such as “Greenpeace” or “Physicians for Social Responsibility” are the “primary obstacle” to nuclear power.

    Misunderstanding … Radiation effects are cumulative.

    Cumulative doses are scientifically valid in a particular dose range (and should reflect current understanding and statements by HPS, and other organizations).

    Spread over a lifetime it is harmless. Why? At low dose rates cells have time to recover. Cancer is not observed at dose rates below 100 mSv/y.

    This is unsupported. Calabrese and others others note: “This assessment should be reserved for a subsequent evaluation of the biological and ecological context of the response” (here). Or stated in another way: “Many of the arguments emphasise animal or in vitro experiments, whose greater precision at low doses compared with epidemiological data is offset by the formidable difficulties of deciding whether the end points analysed are appropriate surrogates for in vivo human cancer” (here).

    Linear no threshold theory (LNT) says the chance is proportionate just to radiation dose, even at low dose rates over long times. It’s wrong.

    There is some uncertainty here, it doesn’t appear to be incorrect in a consistent way in low dose range. Again: “… although the existence of departure from linearity may be seen in certain instances, as both upwardly and downwardly curving slopes are possible (Figure 1), the net effect may be best described by a linear curve” (here).

    MIT researchers observed

    It is worth highlighting the limitations of this research.

    Taiwan apartment buildings … Cancer incidence was sharply down, not up 30% as LNT predicted.

    It’s worth highlighting the limitations of this research as well.

    Chernobyl … Relying on LNT theory, the report projected up to 4,000 future fatal cancers might occur, but these have not been observed among the 100,000 fatal cancers normally expected.

    Nobody has suggested there aren’t limitations and uncertainties here as well. As described by Chernobyl Forum: “It is impossible to assess reliably, with any precision, numbers of fatal cancers caused by radiation exposure due to the Chernobyl accident” (here) Especially when health records and dose levels are difficult to obtain (as they are in former Soviet Republics). “An international expert group” provides a “rough estimate” and nothing more.

    US nuclear shipyard workers … The study compared 28,000 nuclear workers and 33,500 non-nuclear workers.

    I’m not sure the study here (since links are not included), Doses are very small in study, follow up very short (13 years), and you will need update your summary to suggest “no significant effect” (not “no effect”).

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1269/jrr.06082

    “The relative risk for all outcomes are higher in both nuclear workers at <5.0 mSv and non-nuclear workers than in the reference category of nuclear woekrs with doses of 5.0 to 10.0 mSv. In the dose dependent analysis with a lag of five years, the risk increases with increasing dose. This increase, even at the highest dose, is not significant" (p. 88 – 89).

    Or again:

    "The dose dependent data analyses suggest that doses of radiation of 10.0 mSv or more are associated with an increased risk of leukemia, LHC, lung cancer and mesothelioma compared to workers with doses of 5.0 to 10 mSv. For each cancer the risks appear to increase with increased dose but with few values except for LHC show significant differences" (p. 90).

    "The consistency of the finding of an increased risk with increasing dose for each cancer in the dose-dependent analysis is highly suggestive that radiation is associated with the risk of these cancers … These cancers show a significant and very high five to six fold excess risk in 50 mSv or more radiation-exposed workers compared to those in the low dose reference group" (p. 91).

    Follow-up beyond a mean of 13 years is needed to more fully account for these results.

    IAEA recommends > 220 mSv/y

    This appears to be unsupported. Presumably you are talking about this IAEA publication (May 2013). It appears that you may be quoting from a summary of IAEA statement on WNA website. I can find nothing consistent with WNA statement in the IAEA publication. Maybe you can help (since there appears to be a clear discrepancy here).

    “An effective dose above 100 mSv is not safe as it has exceeded the international safety standards that warrant a medical follow-up” (p. 82).

    Operation Intervention Levels 2 (OIL2) designates relocation within a week to a month 10 days after reactor shutdown at a dose rate (1 m above ground level) of 25 μSv/h (effective dose as low as 4.2 mSv after a week), p. 36.

    I’m not sure I understand the benefit of a pamphlet that has so many questions, limitations, and perhaps even major errors in it (especially regarding IAEA evacuation standards for general public in accident and emergency zones).

    Will you perhaps consider a revised edition?

    • Rod Adams says:

      @EL

      Just out of curiosity, is commenting here a significant portion of your full time employment? You sure put a lot of effort into your comments – not that I am complaining about active participation, but…

      • EL says:

        @Rod Adams.

        No. There’s no other interest here besides my own learning and becoming more knowledgeable about energy issues in general. I’ve done contract research on energy issues related to climate mitigation programs in my city (specifically social science research on public attitudes, program delivery, community outreach, etc.). But nothing specifically related to nuclear power.

        This doesn’t preclude become employed in this area in the future. As I’ve said, I have an interest in indigenous politics and energy development (in both Canada and the US). This is somewhat broadly related to an active academic research program in Canada on indigenous governance, historical treaties, and recent policy experiments in native-state relations.

        • John Tucker says:

          “Nuclear workers had lower mortality rates for leukemia and LHC than US white males but higher rates of lung cancer and a significant five-fold excess of mesothelioma.”

          Why would anyone even use this study as indicating anything except perhaps the dangers of particulate pollution and the relative safety of nuclear work? The elevated numbers published are relative to baseline risk which are small themselves.

          Is so silly the lengths you go to EL pushing nothing but vague doubt.

          • EL says:

            “Nuclear workers had lower mortality rates for leukemia and LHC than US white males but higher rates of lung cancer and a significant five-fold excess of mesothelioma.”

            @John Tucker

            Yes … this is typically referred to as a “healthy worker bias.” We want to report on studies that aren’t biased, don’t we?

            Regarding higher rates of cancer in general population:

            “As suggested, a probable explanation for these findings is that selection of workers for the radiation program may introduce a bias that is reflected in inherently low risks of cancer in nuclear versus non-nuclear workers at comparable ages. This phenomenon, which might be termed an ‘enhanced healthy worker effect’, results from a two step selection process for nuclear workers. They must be selected to work in shipyards at time of hire (the usual ‘healthy worker effect’) and then they are selected again to become nuclear workers based on health and work performance while employed. Therefore, the analyses of nuclear workers by dose are the most reliable assessment of the potential risks from low dose radiation in this population” (90).

            This study is specifically designed to exclude confounding factors such as the selection bias of a “healthy worker effect.”

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            It is an absurd assumption to believe that there are special health screenings that look for cancer susceptibility as a disqualifying characteristic for nuclear workers. I’ve been through the screenings as an individual, but I have also participated in large scale efforts to recruit and select people for nuclear training. We look for work ethic, integrity, academic performance, ability to perform under pressure, etc. No one has any interest or even the capability of performing medical screenings to pick people who have a low risk of later contracting cancer.

            Your studies exhibit confirmation bias at its finest.

          • John Tucker says:

            Yea 40 years after claims of low dose dangers you and the anti nukes are still pulling these extremity vague preliminary “studies.” At some point this needs to end. Its absurd.

            EL – Hows this for risk in energy:

            Nearly 6,000 Gas Leaks Discovered In Washington, D.C. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/researchers-find-nearly-6000-natural-gas-leaks-in-districts-aging-pipe-system/2014/01/15/f6ee2204-7dff-11e3-9556-4a4bf7bcbd84_story.html )

          • EL says:

            At some point this needs to end. Its absurd.

            A neighbor trespasses on my property and spills some cesium in my yard (and has no regulatory permits for doing so). You don’t think I should have recourse to any legal remedies to address the disturbance and incursion onto my land (especially in cases where the health risk is higher for my kids and wife than the general public, and is well supported and generally accepted above a lifetime collective dose of 100 mSv).

            I’m not sure who you are attempting to protect. It doesn’t seem to be that much of a challenge to maintain a generally broad, accepted, and scientifically supported safety and precautionary standard for exposure doses for nuclear workers inside of power plants (even during extraordinary circumstances). But when it comes to the general public during an emergency or accident context (involving an uncontrolled release of fission products), you want to re-write all the rules and all bets are off.

            What’s wrong with nuclear engineers (I have to ask). Can they keep their fission products inside of reactor containments, or not? You don’t think regular and run of the mill liability is a factor in gas leaks (particularly when aging infrastructure and violations of code are concerned)? What is so exceptional about nuclear (I’m not seeing it)?

            Absurdity seems to clearly be in the eyes of the beholder.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            Do you expect gas, coal and oil suppliers to keep 100% of their carcinogens bottled up in a containment? If not, why do you want to apply that standard to radioactive materials?

            You keep appealing to this mythical “well supported and generally accepted”, but that is not the case among people with deep technical and professional knowledge who question the efficacy of the status quo.

          • John Tucker says:

            I think you need to be more worried about your neighbors lined up to continue dumping under your yard, in your yard and in your air now than that neighbor with a history of being very careful accidentally spilling something in the future.

          • EL says:

            Do you expect gas, coal and oil suppliers to keep 100% of their carcinogens bottled up in a containment?

            @Rod Adams.

            You’re talking permitted releases, yes (not accidental pollution)? There’s due diligence for such stuff (and public hearings to get it approved). You seem to be recommending some “other” process (emissions by fiat or nuclear industry friendliness) for getting this stuff approved (or not).

            … that is not the case among people with deep technical and professional knowledge …

            You mean those focused on prospective animal and in vitro studies (and ruling out the bulk of epidemiology in this area)?

          • EL says:

            It is an absurd assumption to believe that there are special health screenings that look for cancer susceptibility …

            @Rod Adams

            So you are disregarding a concept that is of general and broad acceptance in epidemiology. On what basis. It’s not a specific screening process, but merely folks applying for a job in a power plant are likely to be of general better health than a broader segment of the general population.

            Health care actuaries understand these things pretty well. Why shouldn’t epidemiologist too?

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            The context for this particular discussion is an assumption by certain researchers that there is an extra special healthy worker effect for nuclear workers when compared against other workers doing essentially the same job but without any radiation exposure. The nuclear shipyard worker study is one example of such a matched study in which detractors try to discredit the results by claiming an extra special nuclear healthy worker effect.

          • EL says:

            The context for this particular discussion is an assumption by certain researchers that there is an extra special healthy worker effect for nuclear workers when compared against other workers doing essentially the same job but without any radiation exposure.

            @Rod Adams.

            No. I have clearly indicated above the context for this particular discussion:

            “As suggested, a probable explanation for these findings is that selection of workers for the radiation program may introduce a bias that is reflected in inherently low risks of cancer in nuclear versus non-nuclear workers at comparable ages.”

            The effort to compare worker against worker with respect to dose ranges is one method to attempt to minimize and control for this bias, and “the most reliable one” according to the study authors (here).

          • Brian Mays says:

            The effort to compare worker against worker with respect to dose ranges is one method to attempt to minimize and control for this bias, …

            EL – When you don’t control for other confounders, such as asbestos exposure, then such an effort is not “reliable” at all.

            The only statistically significant result in the worker-against-worker analysis that you describe was a marginally significant increase in lymphopoietic cancers, a condition that is also associated with asbestos exposure.

            Since a full quarter of the nuclear workers were either machinists or pipe fitters, its not unreasonable to suppose that radiation dose is heavily correlated with the amount of work done, which is heavily correlated with the amount of asbestos the workers were exposed to. Thus, this marginally “significant” result could very well be a measure of the effects of asbestos, not radiation.

            In any case, your latest “healthy work effect” arguments are pure BS. Rod is correct. The onus is on you to demonstrate that there existed some sort of separate screening process that resulted in the nuclear workers being somehow more healthy and less prone to cancer than the non-nuclear workers. Certainly, the authors of the study couldn’t come up with anything more than blind supposition.

          • EL says:

            The onus is on you to demonstrate that there existed some sort of separate screening process that resulted in the nuclear workers being somehow more healthy and less prone to cancer than the non-nuclear workers.

            @Brian Mays

            From the study itself: “The workers also must complete a physical exam, radiation training and certification prior to being allowed to work in the potentially exposed areas. Thus, selection bias may explain the overall lower SMR of these cancers in nuclear versus non-nuclear workers since healthier and more efficient workers may be selected for radiation training and certification” (p. 90)

            Since a full quarter of the nuclear workers were either machinists or pipe fitters, its not unreasonable to suppose that radiation dose is heavily correlated with the amount of work done, which is heavily correlated with the amount of asbestos the workers were exposed to.

            I’d say a “heavy correlection” is extremely far fetched, and would likely result in “overfitting the study” (you have suggested elsewhere) for no apparent reason and to arrive at a predetermined result of no significance (particularly when there is no reason for doing so, and the sample size is already limited by short period of follow-up).

            National Cancer Institute: “In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, some studies have suggested an association between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder. However, the evidence is inconclusive” (here).

            Do you have a source that suggests a “heavy correlation” of asbestos and LHC cancers (HL, NHL, leukemias, multiple myeloma, etc.). This is your claim. The onus is on you to substantiate it.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            National Cancer Institute: “In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, some studies have suggested an association between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder. However, the evidence is inconclusive” (here).

            Reading that particular quote sent shivers down my spine. My father spend 1945-1946 in San Francisco decommissioning ships. He had received technical training and enlisted for a 4 year “hitch”, so he was not immediately demobilized. He had fond memories of liberty in San Francisco, but also talked about the thick layers of caked on piping insulation that he had to wash off every night before hitting the town.

            He passed away at too young of an age from a combination of several of the cancers you listed. His illness might also have been exacerbated by the fact that the Navy taught him how to smoke in boot camp. He got really good at it by the end of the war, leveling out at 2.5 packs per day for the next 20 years.

          • Brian Mays says:

            I’d say a “heavy correlection [sic]” is extremely far fetched …

            EL – We have a population being studied that has a wide range of employment histories. Their length of employment as a nuclear worker varies from one year (the low-end cutoff for the study) to a decade or more. Obviously, a pipefitter who worked at the job for only one year is going to have less exposure to radiation and asbestos than someone who was at the job for ten years.

            Are you really tying to telling me that these three factors, length of employment, radiation exposure, and asbestos exposure, are so independent that any relationship between them can be ignored?!

            This isn’t even statistics. It’s just plain common sense.

            … and would likely result in “overfitting the study” …

            Huh?! Do you even know how statistical models are done? Intelligently commenting on studies such as this involves more than just repeating buzz words and phrases that you don’t understand. That’s what babbling idiots do.

            Do you have a source that suggests a “heavy correlation” of asbestos and LHC cancers [sic] (HL, NHL, leukemias, multiple myeloma, etc.). This is your claim. The onus is on you to substantiate it.

            EL – Please … in the future, if you’re going to try to quote me, at least have the decency to get your quotations correct. Otherwise, you just come off as a jerk.

            Nowhere did I say or even imply that there is a “heavy correlation” between asbestos and LHC. I said that lymphopoietic cancers are associated with asbestos exposure, but if you need a source, then please consider what the WHO has to say about this.

            In Supplement 7 of the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, the section on asbestos reads (PDF, see p. 108): “An excess of lymphopoietic and haematopoietic malignancies has been reported in plumbers, pipe-fitters, sheet-metal workers and others with asbestos exposure.” Four papers are cited to support this sentence.

          • EL says:

            Four papers are cited to support this sentence.

            @Brian Mays

            WOW (and I imply no understatement) – IARC is not doing very good work (at least in this monograph). Study one (17) isn’t about this. It talks about 16 cases of mesotheoloma, and some risk factors for stomach malignancies and renal cancer. Cites another study on LHC. Study two (54) is about sheet metal workers “who have only intermittent exposure to asbestos.” Discusses primarily lung, colon and rectum cancer. Study three (107) and four (108) are actually the same source (with incomplete author references), and is a letter to the editor of the Lancet.

            There doesn’t appear to be any basis to controlling for confounding by asbestos as it relates to LHC (unless it is to deliberately reduce the size of the sample).

            If you have a better study to cite (and it appears you need one), please provide it.

          • Brian Mays says:

            Study one (17) isn’t about this. It talks about 16 cases of mesotheoloma, and some risk factors for stomach malignancies and renal cancer.

            EL – Huh? According to the abstract (the article itself is behind a pay wall), the paper is a study of proportionate mortality ratios (PMR) for 7,121 plumbers and pipefitters. This abstract states that “PMRs for malignancies of the stomach, kidney, brain, and lymphopoietic system were also elevated, especially among plumbers.”

            Study two (54) is about sheet metal workers “who have only intermittent exposure to asbestos.”

            What’s wrong with investigating secondary exposure to asbestos? I guess I should point out that most of the nuclear workers in the shipyard study had only secondary exposure to asbestos. If even secondary exposure results in increased risk of LHC, then wouldn’t that be relevant when interpreting the results of the shipyard study?

            Study three (107) and four (108) are actually the same source (with incomplete author references), and is a letter to the editor of the Lancet.

            So it’s the opinion of a group of researchers. So what? Being just a poly-sci guy, I guess you don’t know how IARC monographs work. These monographs are largely based on the opinions of leading researchers in the field. Naturally these opinions need to be backed up by the best studies available. Did you check all of the references that the authors of the letter to The Lancet provided to support their opinion?

            An association between asbestos exposure and lymphopoietic cancers is widely accepted. For example, see here. This page cites not only IARC, but Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, which is the standard reference for professionals in occupational health and toxicology.

            If you want to continue to fight conventional wisdom, please go on … I enjoy watching you make a fool of yourself.

            There doesn’t appear to be any basis to controlling for confounding by asbestos as it relates to LHC (unless it is to deliberately reduce the size of the sample).

            So says the poly-sci guy — a world-renowned expert on epidemiology (/sarcasm). Whatever the basis is, there is no way to control for asbestos, because as far as I know, those data were not collected at the time. Besides, I never said that it should be controlled for. All I said was that, given the very weak evidence for excess risk for LHC (i.e., a marginally significant result), exposure to asbestos could very well explain the result. Even a weak association between asbestos and LHC would be enough to explain it. This explanation certainly has more behind it than your weak claim of a “healthy worker effect” between shipyard workers and other shipyard workers.

            In any case, this is becoming exasperatingly tedious. Once again, you have given up on contesting my main points and have chosen to nit-pick at the details, which you are not even equipped to understand. Your arguments have descended into the trivial and the annoying.

            So I’m done. Once again, I’ll give you what you want: the last word.

  7. mjd says:

    This brochure is great info and reference for me in responding to non nuke questions about whole body dose (HBD) in general and more specifically the concerns about Fukushima relative to initial evacuations and now re-population discussions. I’m comfortable having that discussion feeling I’m informed enough to say honestly at reported HBD rates “If it were me or my family I’d (run, hide, or no concern).
    But the nature of recent questions has now changed; it’s more about risks of re-populating contaminated areas and ingesting concentrations in food, etc. From my nuke operator training I know the buzz words (MPC, body burden, critical organ, 50 year integrated dose, biological half life), but I really don’t know what all the means at an understanding level of whole body dose. And I know what we did… read the sign, wear the protection so I never got the internal dose. So I really can’t answer the “should they be worried” questions. I think it is a fact Japan will eventually be re-populating Fukushima contaminated areas.
    How about one of you experts in this area publish a brochure (cheat sheet) on this subject? It doesn’t necessarily have to start at zero knowledge, assume the user is nuke trained and just wants to be able to discuss this with some accuracy with non nukes. mjd.

  8. Eino says:

    Man – That green eyeball gave me the willies! What’s the first thing anyone is going to see when they look at that brochure? A giant radioactive big sister eyeball.

    Take a hint from the green folks and put some cows, blue skies and smiling kids on the cover. A rainbow always helps too.

    I’m not disputing anything you said on the brochure.

    Here’s my point. You guys want to change the rules. You want to make things easier on the nuke industry. You want to save money for the nuke industry. What’s in it for the rest of us? Are those savings going to trickle down and reduce my electric rates? I highly doubt it. Will my X-ray bills at the dentist be less? Again, I doubt it. There’s got to be something tangible for the public to get the boys in charge to change the rules. They will have no incentive to change the rules unless there is real push. Maybe, if you get this endorsed by the Surgeon General you may get what you want in 20 years.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Eino

      Here’s my point. You guys want to change the rules. You want to make things easier on the nuke industry. You want to save money for the nuke industry. What’s in it for the rest of us? Are those savings going to trickle down and reduce my electric rates?

      Robert Hargraves has nothing to do with the “nuclear industry”. I left my job in the industry and expect to make my living serving the information of the general public and perhaps doing some consulting and vision work for particular efforts within the industry.

      We want to reduce the cost to society, not the cost to industry. We want to enable expansion of technology that competes directly with technology that is less safe, less clean, and includes more fuel price risk.

      It may not reduce electricity prices today, but it should reduce future electricity prices compared to our current path. It should also reduce tax expenditures like the $2 billion per year currently being directed to cleaning up Hanford, along with the tens of billions spent cleaning up other facilities around the country.

  9. Engineer-Poet says:

    My only problem with the brochure is that Linux Document Viewer doesn’t have a clue about how to print it in the desired 3-fold format.  I bet I could do it in ODF in half an hour, though.

  10. Eino says:

    “It may not reduce electricity prices today, but it should reduce future electricity prices compared to our current path. It should also reduce tax expenditures like the $2 billion per year currently being directed to cleaning up Hanford, along with the tens of billions spent cleaning up other facilities around the country.”

    Again, what’s are the incentives to change the rules now? I’m a bit cynical of both government and business. A long term view is not taken. It’s great that there are idealists out there, but today’s America is driven by immediate profit. I think you’ve got a very tough road to track here. Standards seem to tighten up and never rachet back these days.

    I think they,ll be issuing the “death chips” at Hanford for a long time.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Eino

      I guess I am idealistic enough to believe that most people in America want to do the right thing. There is also a great deal of fatigue with the ever tighter ratcheting of regulations of all flavors and a desire to avoid the reduction in prosperity caused by attempting to adhere to unjustifiable restrictions.

      I don’t understand your “death chip” reference?

  11. Eino says:

    I don’t understand your “death chip” reference?

    I’m sorry. I thoought that was common slang. I worked at Hanford with a guy named Bob. They issued these odd TLDs with 5 chips. I asked Bob about them. Bob replied that these are your “death chips.” Bob explained that they would be used to find out what type of radiation killed you. I would expect the “death chips” would be updated to something else by now.

  12. Robert Hargraves says:

    If you want to print your own trifold brochures, here are the pdfs for outside and inside sides.

    http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety20131223Outside.pdf

    http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety20131223Inside.pdf

    And here is some trifold brochure paper

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RWCG58