Why did gullible reporters promote a student paper about nuclear facility security?

There was a flurry of attention in the press last week when a political science professor held a press conference to tell the world that one of his students had written a paper concluding that all of the nuclear power plants in the United States were vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

For unpublished reasons, a number of reporters accepted the scare story at face value and published articles stoking fear, uncertainty and doubt. Editors at outlets as varied as Fox News, CNN, Reuters, and National Journal ran headlines like the following:

Fox News – Security at nation’s nuclear facilities vulnerable to terrorist attack, report says

CNN – Report: U.S. nuclear plants remain vulnerable to terrorists

Reuters – U.S. nuclear power plants vulnerable to 9/11-style attacks: report

National Journal – Pentagon-Sponsored Report: Civilian Nuclear Reactors at Risk of Attack

Here is an example of the kind of breathless reporting that makes nuclear energy professionals so frustrated with the ad supported media.

One of the email groups to which I subscribe included the following response from Jerry Paul. I obtained his permission to publish his observations.

It is a stretch to even call this document a “report”, much less research. It is political propaganda. It is not authored or sourced by anyone with technical or scientific credentials nor is there any peer review (for obvious reasons). The faculty author, whose experience is in political science, asserts that the “research” was “primarily by his [student] assistant”. Little can be found to indicate any subject matter expertise upon which he or his student might rely for his conclusions which depend on technical and complex aspects of nuclear science, nuclear materials and nuclear engineering. Rather, his bio boasts of his background as an activist for Greenpeace which is a political, not a scientific, organization. Few references are given in the paper other than quotes from individuals at other anti-nuclear activist organizations.

Most of the paper reads like a science fair project, simply providing a catalogue of nuclear facilities coupled with only publicly-available generalizations about security at such places. The reader quickly concludes that neither of the authors have ever seen inside one of the nuclear facilities about which they perform an autopsy. The authors then make a Grand-Canyon size leap into conclusions about the way multiple agencies assess the DBT (Design Basis Threat). They essentially repeat the tired theory that the security posture of all facilities should be assessed identically.

They ignore differences and distinctions that nuclear security experts understandably build into differing vulnerability assessments tailored to different scenarios, facility types, and nuclear asset types. The author’s errors emanate from multiple underlying shortcomings, not the least of which is an absence of detailed understanding of the way that intelligence is gathered and analyzed by the governmental agencies involved with the process. This is understandable, of course, in that the authors, who apparently do not have a security clearance, admittedly rely solely on un-classified information for conclusions that require classified intelligence. (The tone and style of their discussion about intelligence indicates a depth a sophistication that is in parity with a chamber of commerce brochure)

I do not think any of us should refer to this as a “DOD report”. The author claims his study was prepared as part of a “larger inter-disciplinary study” (which could mean anything) at the University of Texas “for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which provided financial support for the research”. I suspect the SecDef knows nothing of this “report” nor a request for it. It is likely that the “larger study” is so remote from the subject matter of this fiction novel so as to effectively have no connection to it. It is quite doubtful that the “Office of the Secretary of Defense” would request this type of study from a Greenpeace activist or any other person who has no credentials or experience with the subject matter. Nor would the SecDef likely “provide financial support” for this effort … at least not knowingly. (Perhaps some investigative journalism should be directed toward this latter point.)

James Conca says it well in his Forbes column on this titled Anyone Can Write A Story About Nuclear Terrorism
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/08/17/anyone-can-write-a-story-about-nuclear-terrorism/

There are good people at the University of Texas who are capable of credible research on topics of nuclear security. They apparently were not consulted by the public affairs or political department. It is unfortunate, but U.T. should indeed be embarrassed to have let their good name be exploited for the dissemination of this piece.

Jerry Paul is a nuclear engineer and attorney who formerly served as the Principal Deputy Administrator of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration and served as the U.S. NNSA Deputy Administrator for Nonproliferation. He also formerly served as the Distinguished Fellow for Energy Policy at the University of Tennessee Howard Baker Center for Public Policy.

Here are some questions for reader discussion.

  • Why did the reporters write scary stories about a document that is clearly marked as a “working paper” and includes a clear disclaimer on the front page indicating that most of the work was done by a graduate student assistant?
  • Why did editors from so many different news outlets go with the story and accept scary, inflammatory headlines without asking hard questions about the source of the “report”.
  • Why didn’t more people take the simple step of entering the professor’s name into a search engine to find out that he is an activist who often writes scary stuff about nuclear energy and advocates starting a war with Iran to halt its nuclear energy program?

Update: The Nuclear Energy Institute has posted additional information about the NPPP “report” and the tenuous claim that the authors made to link that report to the Department of Defense. Defense Department Did Not Request or Validate Nuclear Plant Security Report

About Rod Adams

168 Responses to “Why did gullible reporters promote a student paper about nuclear facility security?”

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  1. Daniel says:

    As James Conca pointed out in his article, Dale Klein is at Texas U. He was also the NRC Chairman that was ousted by Dr J. That guy was available to review this ‘garbage’.

    He said that no bozos should be allowed at the NRC.

    We do not hear of him when Bradford from Vermont U says ‘odd’ things nor do we hear from him once in a while.

    Would he elevate the nuclear debate or was he an anti nuclear ? That I do not know.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Daniel

      I’ve heard through my grapevine that Dr. Klein has been working damage control for a week since Kupperman’s press release. It will be interesting to keep track of the fallout.

  2. George Carty says:

    Aren’t those who want war with Iran usually motivated not by hostility to nuclear energy, but by determination to preserve the Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons in the Middle East?

    • FermiAged says:

      Yes. But that is not allowed to be discussed or even considered.

    • FermiAged says:

      Checking on Kuperman I see that he used to work for Sen. Chuckie Schumer. I believe that good senator’s concerns regarding nuclear proliferation are strangely silent regarding Israel.

  3. Daniel says:

    The bigger sinner in all this is Alan Kuperman. It is not said clearly. He has an anti nuclear agenda and leverages the number 2 most used lie in civil nuclear energy after the waste issue, which of course is a political facade only in the US. Europe and Japan are dealing fine with the waste issue.

    The number 2 lie is of course to link civile nuclear applications to military use. Terrorists of all breeds know that your local Wall Mart is a much better source of material to create bombs. Your local civil nuclear plant is not a low hanging fruit.

    • Daniel says:

      Regarding the civil nuclear waste, William ‘Bill’ Tucker relentlessly states that Russia understands the energetic value contained in the civil wastes and would be more than happy to take this burden off the shoulders of the US.

      Why don’t Putin play the game, make an offer to buy the stuff and show idiotic we have all become across the pond.

      • Atomikrabbit says:

        If I were Putin’s advisor, I would tell him, “the stupid Americans would probably pay us billions just to take it off their hands. Then we will reprocess it and burn it in our new BN series of fast reactors, making more billions!”

        Diabolical laughter ensues, and we pound down shots of Stolichnaya.

  4. cpragman says:

    Funny. The report starts out all serious-looking. But then blows it with that graphic on the top of the first page.
    Listening to the recording, it jumps the shark at about the 5:00 minute mark, when he says that DBT approach leaves nuclear reactors vulnerable to “theft of bomb grade material”. There’s NO bomb grade material in a nuclear power plant.

    • Michael Mann says:

      Actually that is not entirely true, there is about 0.1 grams of “bomb grade” uranium oxide in some incore neutron flux detector fission chambers (TIPs) … just to be accurate, it would however take significantly more than the plants 60 – 80 year lifetime supply to gather a significant fraction of enough for use as a weapon…

  5. Daniel says:

    OK. So terrorist break in a civil nuclear plant.

    Then what? They have lunch? Play chess? Take a few weeks to suck the wrong and useless isotopes of Plutonium out the rods that are in the core ?

    OK.. Plan B.. But I guess terrorists know what I am talking about.

  6. EL says:

    Why didn’t more people take the simple step of entering the professor’s name into a search engine to find out that he is an activist who often writes scary stuff about nuclear energy and advocates starting a war with Iran to halt its nuclear energy program?

    Author clearly suggests “military action could backfire in various ways,” and raises the question of effectiveness of “precision attacks, aimed only at nuclear facilities, to remind Iran of the many other valuable sites that could be bombed if it were foolish enough to retaliate.”

    You’re reading quite a bit into this article (perhaps for your own ideological aims and purposes). How do you get “advocates starting a war with Iran” from any of the options and historical circumstances mentioned in the piece.

    And I wonder if you feel the same way about Matthew Bunn, who was also consulted on working draft (at least to some level to warrant mention in the acknowledgements)?

    I agree working paper lacks heft and substance, which is why it was given title “working” (and presumably offered for further discussion and as a work in progress). Not sure why they scheduled a press release on this basis (with journalists driving the narrative). Sounds like they are paying a heavy price for doing so. Certainly doesn’t reflect very well on standing and stature of Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at UT Austin (not because of folks involved, as I see it, but poor manner in which information and study was managed and handled).

    • JohnC says:

      Backfire? It’s a fake argument. Straw man. It’s a false dualism.

      It won’t ever backfire, because terrorists don’t have the equipment or expertise to manage hot or spent fuel. It’s a ruse for the innocent and a vehicle for the wilful ignorant.

    • Bill Rodgers says:

      @EL,

      How, after reading the following statements from the NYT article Rod linked, are we reading too much into Prof. Kuperman’s ideology?

      Iran’s atomic sites might need to be bombed more than once to persuade Tehran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

      Or his conclusion:

      We have reached the point where air strikes are the only plausible option with any prospect of preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Postponing military action merely provides Iran a window to expand, disperse and harden its nuclear facilities against attack. The sooner the United States takes action, the better.</I.

      That pretty clearly indicates to me Prof. Kuperman is advocating war against Iran.

      The two of us have gone several rounds but this time I am asking an honest question. I come to the conclusion after quickly reviewing Prof. Kuperman's background that a) he does not have the requisite skill sets to back up the claims his grad student developed (note the lack of publically available NRC security info in the grad student's report) and b) was, at least in 2009, an advocate of unilateral U.S. action against Iran. So how could you come to a different conclusion?

      As far as Prof. Bunn, I respect his work regarding non-prolieration issues and if he is speaking then I will pay attention. In my veiwpoint he has been more balanced then others in the field of non-proliferation. However as with many non-proliferation people, his lens of nuclear issues is through the concerns of securing plutonium, HEU and other weapons grade material from terrorists. His specailty is on security of international nuclear material not the security of US based commercial power reactors.

      It is unclear after skimming the report how much Prof. Bunn had on the development. There is one reference to an email exchange but the emails themselves are not attached nor are the actual comments Prof Bunn may have supplied. Additionally the comment he supplied could have been supplied by any number of people with knowledge of spent fuel pool issues so his comment is not unique itself due to his specific expertise. I am referring to pg 9, reference #48.

      I am more left with the impression that the grad student had access to Prof Bunn and his body of work through the connections of the NPPP (note the sheer number of Bunn documents used for this report). Then the grad student sought to use that connection as a jumping off point for her main point of discussion that US commercial reactors are not secure which was based on either a mistaken belief of hers or a topic selected by Prof Kuperman.

      The question is now if Prof Bunn will support the conclusions or if, now that he has seen the final product, has reservations on the primary point of the thesis.

      I also noted that the student first makes a statement about NRC data from 2010 then uses documents from Prof Bunn dated 2006 to refute or cast doubt on that data point. (pg 17) If Prof Bunn agreed to this approach then I would question how much of involvement he had or, alternately, if he was seriously engaged in reviewing the paper then I might have to change my opinion of him.

      • Bill Rodgers says:

        Missed a keystroke on the italics HTML tag. Was only trying to capture the article’s conclusion in italics, not my entire comment. Apologize.

      • EL says:

        That pretty clearly indicates to me Prof. Kuperman is advocating war against Iran.

        @Bill Rogers

        Did you miss the part where he wrote about precision attacks, sending a message, and warning against prolonged engagements? This is not advocating war in my book. How about yours? This conclusion seems plain as day to me.

        In “skimming” the article, as you put it, you appear to have also missed the acknowledgements section, where Prof. Matthew Bunn is thanked for “helpful comments on an earlier draft.” Typically, one doesn’t append an extensive commentary of reviewer notes, particularly if comments were addressed in subsequent versions. And in this case, the don’t appear to have been offered anonymously. This appears to be a great deal more than simply accessing his work, as you suggest, which was also done (as indicated by the footnotes).

        • Bill Rodgers says:

          Did you miss the part where he wrote about precision attacks, sending a message, and warning against prolonged engagements? This is not advocating war in my book. How about yours? This conclusion seems plain as day to me.

          Wrong and wrong again.

          Context is 2009. Obama has just been elected. First African-American president. Pressure is on. World is looking to see what he will do. Iraq is a mess. Afganistan is a mess. US citizens are trying to forget about the war in both places except for the ones who are chanting “Don’t let Iraq be like Vietnam” opposing the ones who are calling for US troop removal. Iran had just ceased aiding Iraq but there were rumours they still were helping the Shi’ites and then the elections occurred in Iran.

          This lead to John McCain to go on a PR tour during the summer of 2009 claiming the US/Obama wasn’t doing enough to “help” democracy in Iran which was riling up the Muslim countries. They then started clamoring that the US was trying to interfere in their business on its way to becoming the next imperialistic country to try and rule the Middle East.

          John McCain playbook mid-2009:

          http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018640.php

          Now fast foward several months later after much national dicusson about our role in the Middle East, how many soliders had been lost already, how much money had been spent fighting two wars there and why was the Republican party so adamant about going after Iran with more military action which could lead to a third front in the Middle East. Limbaugh was working his microphone hard to push for taking out Ahmedinejad by any means necessary since he could be the next Hussien.

          And along comes a poly sci professor stating that we need to bomb Iran to stop them from having nuclear weapons using the widely read NYT opinion section to put forth his militaristic mindset right before Chirstmas of 2009. This of course just feeds into the desire of the extremists of the Republican to start a war with Iran. However instead of discussing it myself, the following link best describes why Kuperman’s “precision attacks” is basically a provacative action that would have lead to a third war in the Middle East.

          http://thinkprogress.org/security/2009/12/24/175813/more-bad-arguments-for-iran-strike-the-worst-might-not-happen/

          As to your other comment about Prof Bunn, well if he had significant time invested in it then I will lower my opinion of him since this was a poorly researched paper that was agenda driven not research or data oriented. I suspect there is discussions with Prof Bunn at several levels regarding his involvement with this paper since this may reflect poorly on him as well.

        • Rod Adams says:

          @EL

          Did you miss the part where he wrote about precision attacks, sending a message, and warning against prolonged engagements? This is not advocating war in my book. How about yours? This conclusion seems plain as day to me.

          Despite the actions taken by a number of US presidents in the past few decades, any armed attack against another nation is an act of war. Here is the definition from the US Code.

          http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2331

          “(4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of—
          (A) declared war;
          (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
          (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and”

          Any action that, if taken against us, would be considered to be an act of war should be understood to be seen in the same light from the other side. In other words, if you want to start firing missiles or dropping bombs, you need to realize that your target is likely to respond as if you had declared war.

          With each comment you post, you reveal yourself to be a not terribly “liberal” person. Are you sure you are not a Republican?

          • EL says:

            With each comment you post, you reveal yourself to be a not terribly “liberal” person. Are you sure you are not a Republican?

            @Rod Adams.

            We’re not talking about my own views, but those of Kuperman described in a NYT opinion article. Not sure why you are setting this in a personal context in yet another installation of dog and pony show of ad hominem (which seems to be becoming quite common in your lead articles).

            Objectively, he recommends a precision attack on a Iranian nuclear facility (that has not adhered to Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in his assessment), and specifically warns against escalation to prolonged engagements (or war against a nation). The post election context of 2009, egged on by Israel, further underscores this setting, and warns that prolonged engagements are to be minimized and avoided (and taken under serious consideration and advisement). Kuperman seems to be advocating for exhausting diplomatic solutions and stepping up enforcement actions against a rogue regime, and avoidance of war (with careful consideration of long term consequences).

            This is not to say he is correct in his assessment (or makes a well argued case). Only to suggest that “advocating for war” is not a position he takes in the article (but is the opposite of the position he takes in the article).

            We’ve managed to walk much the same line with plenty of other countries (many of which receive significant foreign aid and support from the US, have working embassies and positive if strained diplomatic relations, etc.): Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, etc. I’m all for an open and transparent public discussion of these policies and national interests (which it is the intent of the Kuperman piece to raise). Sadly, we didn’t get one in the last election. And so we’re stuck limping along with extemporized policies, tacit approval from Congress, and a low level of transparency and discipline about what is being done by our government, on our behalf, and in the name of US citizens.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            This is not to say he is correct in his assessment (or makes a well argued case). Only to suggest that “advocating for war” is not a position he takes in the article (but is the opposite of the position he takes in the article).

            My point, EL, is that I’m tired of armchair “political scientists” who advocate armed attack on other nations without understanding that any armed attack is an act of war whose consequences cannot be carefully managed. Despite the hype you hear from arms manufacturers, there is no such thing as a “precision” missile with a large payload. If leaders decide to attack, they had better be ready to engage in a war.

          • Bas says:

            Rod,
            Quit right!
            In addition: The world becomes a cruel mesh if
            any country can do ‘precision’ attacks on another country because it suspects that that other country perhaps brakes an international rule in the (near) future.

          • EL says:

            @Rod Adams.

            So you are changing your point then?

            Instead of writing an opinion piece “advocating for war” (your original claim), you seem to now be saying Kruperman is unskilled in these areas (and is unaware of the policy and geopolitical implications of his recommended course of action and specifically described warnings about prolonged military involvements in the region).

            It should be clear to most of us at this point that these are two completely different points, and both are inconsistent with your characterization of the opinion piece in the lead article?

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            No. Advocating an armed attack is advocating war. I could not care less if the person who makes the recommendation intends to start a war, or is just too inexperienced to understand international law. In Kuperman’s case, he has NO EXCUSE. After all, he has a PhD in political science!

  7. James Greenidge says:

    I say the reporters weren’t gullible, just coyly and willfully complicit. They and their editors sure get things down pat well enough in most other sensitive issues! They know that best value of seeding FUD is it doesn’t matter whether your “facts” are true or not, just as long as the stain of your silent intentions/beliefs is done. (“People of the jury — forget what this fraudulent eye-witness just espoused in this courtroom!”) Do you hear much of the NYTimes or Wash Post or Huff admonishing this little act of bad journalism and fact verification? Nooooo. Media, thy name is nameless (green/anti-nuke) agenda.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    • Smilin Joe Fission says:

      FUD sells, boring safe nuclear power doesn’t. Journalistic integrity is the exception, not the rule these days.

  8. Scott says:

    Where you write “flurry” of coverage, I believe that you meant “avalanche.” So far, there have been nearly 350 earned-media reports on the study to date, including NBC NIghtly News (a featured segment), NBC Today Show (the same), Fox News Channel (at least half a dozen airings), CNN, Headline News (HLN), the banner story on CBS.com, Bloomberg, Reuters, UPI, McClatchy News Service, scores of local TV and radio stories, etc., etc. Interestingly, when this same study was presented in June before utility and government officials, there was no backlash. It was not attacked as off base or outdated. It was only when it attracted widespread media coverage that the ad hominem attacks on the study authors started. The study does not say that nuclear reactor security measures are the same now as after 9/11. It does not say that the NRC and industry have done nothing. What it does say is that the industry and NRC have not responded to calls for action to thwart “credible threat” attack scenarios, including sea-borne assaults on eight major coastal reactors and attempted theft of bomb-grade materials at three research reactors, including one within two dozen miles from the White House. The fact that the media and public are concerned that calls for tighter security have still not been addressed is both prudent and entirely understandable. This is precisely why the smear attack on the report authors by NEI has fallen on deaf ears with the media. They want to hear a substantive response, not another tired industry trashing of anyone who has the temerity to oppose it on any issue. Why does the media not pick up on these “responses”? Because they are lame and ineffective personal attacks that skirt the issues. It is not the job of the news media to simply be an echo chamber for the NEI smear of the week.

    • James says:

      Hello Prof Kuperman,

      Luckily you do not have any clue about the credible threat or the actual security measures so you may not have caused any real damage with this report. The reason there was no backlash in June is because no one took the report seriously enough to comment. The press release you and the LBJ school released was irresponsible and misrepresented the scope of the work.

    • James says:

      Hello Prof Kuperman, (recognize your writing)

      Luckily you do not have any clue about the credible threat or the actual security measures so you may not have caused any real damage with this report. The reason there was no backlash in June is because no one took the report seriously enough to comment. The press release you and the LBJ school released was irresponsible. How are book sales going?

      JK

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Scott

      What it does say is that the industry and NRC have not responded to calls for action to thwart “credible threat” attack scenarios, including sea-borne assaults on eight major coastal reactors and attempted theft of bomb-grade materials at three research reactors, including one within two dozen miles from the White House.

      Scott – The industry, the NRC and a number of other security professionals (as opposed to political science professors) have evaluated and responded to “calls” for action to thwart incredible scenarios such as you describe.

      Their response was to determine that there was no reason to take any additional action.

      As mentioned during the opening remarks of the press conference, professionals know there is such a thing as too much action. If expenditures are made to take unnecessary action, that leaves fewer resources to protect more vulnerable facilities when inaction has far greater consequences.

      The SOARCA report issued by the NRC late last year indicates that there is essentially zero risk of negative public health effects in the event of a core melt, even if containment fails. IMHO that means we are already spending WAY TOO MUCH to protect nuclear power plants from attack.

      • EL says:

        Their response was to determine that there was no reason to take any additional action.

        Are you sure about that?

        http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/29/nuclear.plants.security/index.html

        A typical result, two breaches, and 23 deficiencies. You can plug the holes each year, but they keep springing up by these measures (since little appears to change in the result).

        • Rod Adams says:

          @EL

          Please read my full comment once again. I am not saying that our current security posture is absolutely, totally perfect and that there will never be any “holes” detected.

          The question is whether or not it is worth continuing to devote as many resources to protecting relatively invulnerable nuclear plants when there are so many other needs that are not being met.

    • Bill Rodgers says:

      What the study does not do is reference NRC security information when one of the legal obligations of the NRC under the Atomic Energy Act and the Energy Reorganization act is for the safety and security of commerical nuclear power plants That is an example of a poorly researched paper.

      Does not matter if the person agrees or disagrees with the NRC’s information. The fact that there are only 7 NRC references out of 136 references and of those 7 references, 4 are news releases plus a speech. The other three are about the DBT not about ongoing security measures.

      Even this easily accessbile link would at least added some value.

      http://www.nrc.gov/security.html

      Which has many links to other documents the grad student either didn’t know about; didn’t care about researching; or was writing an agenda driven paper so these references wouldn’t fit that agenda and therefore were excluded.

      Instead the list of references reads as a who’s who of non-proliferation and anti-nuclear power people. No where did I see someone who has actual day-to-day experience with commerical power plant security issues. Not even an interview with the NRC just reference a speech by Dr. Klien that is all.

      Not exactly a strong position to stand on especially during the traditionally slow news period of mid-August where something, anything to keep people’s eyes glued to the screen or paper is needed. And the implosion of Egypt is just not enough to keep an American audience’s attention.

    • Jeff Walther says:

      It’s this kind of thing which almost makes me ashamed to be an alum of the UT School of Law and extremely happy that I chose not to pursue the joint policy/law program at UT.

      The people who vandalize public information in an attempt to enrich themselves and enhance their positions at the expense of our absolutely best and necessary power source should be ashamed of themselves. They should be publicly ostracized as not fit for human company. Instead, they continue to be welcomed in the halls of power and public discourse.

      It’s a sad statement on our society, that do-nothing/know-nothing “policy” wonks have the public eye and ear, and engineers who actually make the foundations of civilization work, and provide a comfortable environment for those destructive wonks, are ignored.

      Kuperman, you should be ashamed of yourself. You’re a selfish, destructive vandal.

      • Joel Riddle says:

        Extremely well said, Jeff.

        This dichotomy almost makes me wish we could separate into 2 societies as a real-life experiment – those that publicly tout that wind and solar are our future utopia can utilize those as their source of power, while those of us that recognize math, science, etc. can utilize our knowledge of such to make our best use of nuclear power, etc.

        I UNEQUIVOCALLY GUARANTEE WITH ZERO RESERVATION, the following – the society utilizing nuclear power and other advanced technology would normalize over the course of 100-120 years to have lifespans roughly double, if not more than double, those of the society powered only by the wind and sun (and “powered” by negawatts).

        Tell Amory Lovins to put that in his legal-in-Colorado pipe and smoke it!

  9. Alex Thrower says:

    There’s no need to resort to ad hominem attacks on either the authors of the paper, or on those who point out the analysis and conclusions are objectively and demonstrably wrong. The background of the authors is interesting if unsurprising, but they could have conducted a credible analysis. They didn’t. I’m reminded of something my security chief once told me when I was at DOE: “the greatest tragedy of 9/11, apart from the loss of life, has been the proliferation of security ‘experts.’”

    • Jeff Walther says:

      When people poison the pool of public information for their own personal profit, they deserve ad hominem attacks. This is either a cynical act of vandalism against public information, or a criminally negligent and lazy piece of “scholarly” work.

  10. Sean McKinnon says:

    Where is Mr. Witherspoon to tell us how these Journalists were correct in reporting on this “science fair project”

  11. Daniel says:

    German utilities are threatenimg to leave the country if they cannot fire back their profitable nuclear plants.

    Élection ? About time.

    • Bas says:

      @Daniel
      German utilities are loose market share to small new renewable utilities and turnover.
      They scramble to stay profitable. E.g. put pressure to get subsidy for their unprofitable power plants, which they got in a few instances as grid adaptation and storage do not go as fast as solar and wind.

      Regarding nuclear plants; they signed a treaty with Merkel regarding the phase-out scheme. The only discussion going on (also in the court rooms) concerns the compensation for closing the NPP’s. They want money.

      I am not sure, but have the impression that the costs of decommissioning and nuclear waste is also involved. Seems they want to shift more of those costs to the tax-payer…

      • David Andersen says:

        You can hardly blame them for wanting to recover some of the costs since they are being forced to shutdown an asset due to the political whims of those in power who supposedly represent those same tax payers.

        • Bas says:

          @Dave
          The phase-out of NPP’s is planned (in 2000) such that they all can run the 30year license period. The utilities were even allowed to exchange MWh’s between different NPP’s. So they could stop a less economic NPP earlier and run another longer.

          As their chances in the courtroom are slim, the utilities now create rumor in order to influence the election. Hoping some politicians feel forced to do some promises…

          Utilities also hope for better compensation regarding the refusal to close gas & coal power plants.

          To ensure 100% grid availability, utilities have to ask the grid authority one year ahead if they want to close a power plant. The grid authority gives only a license if the grid can afford that.

          But due to the enhanced production of wind and solar, whole sale prices became very low this year while many power plants have a load factor of ~20%. Hence many power plants make losses.
          So many closure requests now that the grid authority announced that it will refuse most of them…

  12. James Greenidge says:

    I implore all to take a few minutes and view a truly terrifying video via Steve Aplin’s Candaian Energy Issues:

    http://canadianenergyissues.com/2013/08/21/tsunamis-manufactured-and-real-the-difference-is-life-and-death/

    I couldn’t help repeatedly watching this because it’s not Hollywood or spectulated computed nightmares but a hrd cold REALITY that SO many need a reality check with over being frightened witless over a phantom disaster at Fukushima vs the real thing happening here before your eyes with real people and buildings under attack, crimbling and drowning and dying, and not by imagined nuke Doomsday nightmares. If Japan had any proirity to address, it ought be making their coasts and infrastructure more tsunami resistant. And anti-nukes and media need to see this and get some hard down-to-earth perspective over what’s a catastrophe and what’s not.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    • Bas says:

      James,
      Thanks for this amazing video!

      This was only a tsunami of ~9meter.
      When you realize that Japan also has tsunami’s of 30meter, once in a hundred year or so, you loose all faith in Japanese nuclear engineers / management.

      Irresponsible to build standard NPP’s at the coast and declare them save.
      Seems they only had an eye for the realization of their dream.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Bas

        Just curious – exactly what kind of facilities should one responsibly build in the coastal areas of a place subject to the possibility of 30m tsunamis?

        • Bas says:

          @Rod
          Yes. Such a wave destroys almost everything.

          Difference is that non-nuclear facilities (power plants, houes, etc) can simply be rebuilt.
          Chernobyl and Mayak show that an huge area will become deserted permanently (few hundred years or so). Together with nuclear radiation containment / clean up, that implies that a nuclear power plant creates a damage that is more than a factor 1000 higher than a conventional power plant.

          With your point of view regarding low level radiation, you may consider all that as a waste. However responsible authorities cannot follow your point of view because there is to much scientific evidence (also medical) about the harm of low radiation levels. Especially for the generations after us.

          Japanese government following ALARA now tries to put back the evacuees where the level after clean up is <20mSv/a (original discussed target; <1mSv/a above the previous background levels).

          Probably informed about the risks, almost all younger people (especially if they want children or are pregnant) refuse. Despite the fact that they loose the financial compensation.

          My estimation is that that will not change if good research regarding the longer term health effects for returned people, get published.
          With 20mSv/a you get 5-10 times more congenital malformation, stillbirth, Down, etc. Even with a rather small group of 100,000people for this type of measurement, that should deliver significant results.

          Japanese government will adverse that research (same as Belarus, Ukraine, Russia), unless it is sure the outcome is positive for government. They may succeed and then gradually (?20years?) those areas may become re-inhabited.

          Note that Japan has a rather tight culture.
          If you demonstrate against government policy (e.g. against the re-opening of NPP's) police will photograph you in order to find your identity. Then they will inform your employer and that employer will feel obliged to fire you immediately.

          It is in the peoples attitude. In Tokyo I saw young people (below 20) train for a demonstration weeks later, in order to do it all perfectly synchronized (no adult involved), for hours on a Sunday afternoon.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Chernobyl and Mayak show that an huge area will become deserted permanently (few hundred years or so).

            Bias, you know this is false.  The Chernobyl babushkas started moving back years ago and are showing no ill effects other than what’s normal at their ages.

            However responsible authorities cannot follow your point of view because there is to much scientific evidence (also medical) about the harm of low radiation levels. Especially for the generations after us.

            People have been living in Denver, CO and Ramsar, Iran for many generations.  Any place with Denver-equivalent radiation or less is obviously safe.

            Note that Japan has a rather tight culture.
            If you demonstrate against government policy (e.g. against the re-opening of NPP’s) police will photograph you in order to find your identity. Then they will inform your employer and that employer will feel obliged to fire you immediately.

            Yet some Japanese newspapers and entire political parties remain rabidly anti-nuclear, and these people still have jobs—even hold public office!  Should I believe you, or my lying eyes?

            Your paranoia would be better applied to “incorrect” racial attitudes in the USA, which really can get you fired the next day.  Ask Jason Richwine and John Derbyshire about that.

          • Bas says:

            @Engineer-Poet
            …People …living in Denver, …for many generations … obviously safe. ..
            Even if 20% of all newborn are stillbirth, people will live on (with more misery). So the statement has little significance, but made me curious about Denver.

            I found some info on the ISIS site. It states the ~12mSv/a of Denver creates 3% death by that radiation. Seems based on the BEIR V report; lifetime risk is 0.5% per mSv/a (footnote 3). So the 20mSv/a for Fukushima returnees imply 6% death due to radiation according to that info (I use 1% premature death per 100mSv/a for adults).

            I found no significant info regarding the levels of newborn misfits.

            …Chernobyl babushkas … moving back years ago …no ill effects…
            1200 moved back. Now only 230 women remain. Seems to me that the death rate was high… Probably the reason others did not follow.

            What radiation level classifies an area to belong to the exclusion zone?

            …Japanese newspapers … political parties remain rabidly anti-nuclear…
            Of course. Japan is a democratic society.
            The issue is that you must behave along the lines.
            And demonstrate against government policy is not (in their democratic rules)

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            I know I posted a response to Bias, where did it go?

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            Yes, I found it a minute later.

          • Bas says:

            @Engineer-Poet
            I had same experience. So now ~same post twice.
            Found your response some posts below.

            Just few additional remarks;
            Seems the figure of Denver should be ~6mSv/a (half!).
            More WEB-sites state that figure.
            That implies Denver is roughly in line with Ramsar.
            Note that Mark Lynas is wrong regarding Ramsar; he uses the value of an unpopulated place near Ramsar.

            I do not understand the high death rate that the BEIR V report page 172 seem to state.

            The lower cancer rate of Colorado is probably due to other more favorable factors that overcompensate; less micro particles in the air (thanks to the thinner air), etc.

            Still I miss the figures regarding the % stillbirth in Denver??

            Your link about radiation in the exclusion zone does not concern Chernobyl, but is an opinion story of Mark Lynas about the zone of Fukushima. .
            Other than in Japan, the Chernobyl exclusion zone is much more based on the radiation level. But which level?

            Furthermore he his factual statements are wrong regarding the radiation level is the zone. Japanese government decontaminates to 20mSv/a level and then declares the zone safe. That allows them to stop the financial compensation to evacuees as they should return (only elderly do).
            Note that the 20mSv/a level is ~3times more than the levels in Ramsar and Denver…

      • Sean McKinnon says:

        Your right Bas it is irresponsible to declare nuc plants “save” we should be putting these plants back into service instead of “saving” them for later disposition. So Bas you and I finally agree we should not be calling these SAFE plants “save” we should be calling them “operating”!

        • Bas says:

          @Sean,
          You saw my typo. Good reading!

        • Bas says:

          @Engineer-Poet
          …People …living in Denver …for many generations … obviously safe…
          If 20% of all newborn are stillbirth, people will live on (creating more pregnancies to compensate). So your statement says nothing.
          But it made me curious for the Denver radiation levels.

          I found this: http://isis-online.org/risk/tab7
          It states that the ~12mSv/a of Denver creates a 3% chance on death due to that radiation. It seems to be based on the BEIR V report, which says that lifetime risk is 0.5% per mSv/a (footnote 3).
          So the 20mSv/a for the Fukushima returnees imply 6% death due to radiation.

          Also; the 1% premature death per 100mSv/a rule, that I use for adults, may be too low.

          I found no significant info regarding the levels of newborn misfits.

          …Chernobyl babushkas … moving back years ago …no ill effects…
          1200 moved back, only elderly (>48year). Those are less vulnerable for radiation due to their low cell division rate. Now only 230 women live there.
          Seems to me that the death rate was high….
          Probably the reason that others did not follow.

          Do you know at what radiation level an area was classified to belong to the exclusion zone?

          …Japanese newspapers … political parties remain rabidly anti-nuclear…
          Of course. Japan is a democratic society.
          The issue is that you behave along the lines.
          And demonstrate against government policy is not (in the democratic rules).

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            It states that the ~12mSv/a of Denver creates a 3% chance on death due to that radiation.

            Using the inapplicable and discredited LNT hypothesis, which you have been repeatedly told is known to be faulty.  Colorado’s cancer rate was 5% lower than the US average in the 1990′s.

            the 1% premature death per 100mSv/a rule, that I use for adults, may be too low.

            You quote something which works out to about 24% for 100 mSv/a, then you say your own figure is 1%.  Which is it?  Of course, the threshold for ill effects is at about 100 mSv/a, so we’d expect to see nothing at 12.5… or even hormesis effects, which is consistent with the lower cancer rate in Colorado (the LNT theory is not consistent with the data).

            Look, Bias, we can see your innumeracy just as clearly as your prejudices.  You are a laughingstock.

            Do you know at what radiation level an area was classified to belong to the exclusion zone?

            It was set by a geographic radius, not by science.

            We know that “most of the several dozen [exclusion zone] readings come in at the 1 to 10 mSv/yr range“.  But we also know this:

            … as the Chernobyl Forum states, the mental health impact of Chernobyl was “the largest public health problem created by the accident” – a conclusion of great significance for Fukushima[ii]. In particular, this suggests that ideologically-motivated anti-nuclear campaign groups – some of which continue to stir up scientifically unwarranted fear of radiation in the affected Japanese population[iii] – may increase the trauma of the displaced people, and worsen their mental and physical health as a result. So far as I can tell, none of the campaign groups currently operating in the area, or those issuing wildly-inflated estimates of the likely eventual death toll, realise that their activities are likely to worsen the overall suffering of the Japanese people.

            You are part of the group working to increase the overall suffering.  Yes, you.

            The best thing you can do to improve the world right now is to quit spreading fear and lies.

            Of course. Japan is a democratic society.

            Democracy cannot function correctly when people are fed a steady diet of lies.  It’s time for you to stop.

  13. Irregular Commentator says:

    Who would want to launch an attack on a facility anyway. Considering that there is an effective special weapons and tactics team available to repel such an attack.

    http://spotc.doe.gov/

    Those protesters that snuck into Oak Ridge should count their blessings they were apprehended by skilled security officers that could assess the threat and refrain from using lethal force.

    • Daniel says:

      I hope the 3 perpetrators get a sentence in line with the US law. In France, Hollande is sick and tired of Greenpeace breaking into the perimeter of nuclear plants when protesting. The penalties are not severe enough.

      France and other countries are planning to hike up the costs of such offences.

      • Bas says:

        @Daniel
        So you want a move towards a totalitarian state because of nuclear.
        That adds an huge amount of money to the costs of NPP’s!

        While these cowboys didn’t do any real harm!
        While they are a great help, as they show clear holes in the security!

        • Jason C says:

          I don’t think Daniel is saying anything close to what you are suggesting. I believe Green Peace should lose their corporate non-profit status because of concerted and repeated planned illegal activities. Felony vandalism, trespassing, and endangerment are just a few of their offenses. Non profit corporations which knowingly plan and coordinate illegal activity ought to be fined, prosecuted should just have their license to do business revoked.

          • Daniel says:

            @ Jason,

            Like James says below:

            Don’t feed the drooling baiting troll…

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

    • Bas says:

      @Irregular
      Who would want to launch an attack on a facility …effective special … team…

      Since 2000 the US became good in creating personal enemies.
      E.g. People in north-Pakistan & Afghanistan revenge if you kill their family, even if that takes 30years and take their own life (honor is more important).

      So they may have started training to become airline pilot. Over 10years those may fly also above the US. When someone has the experience to become a 747 (freight) pilot, he may decide time is right to cripple the US in such a way it has no longer the financial means to harm his family. E.g. at the moment the load of the plane is special steal and the wind is right towards a big city…

      Especially if that pilot works alone (killing his unaware co-pilot before the attack is rather easy), I do not see what your special team can do…

      • Daniel says:

        @ BAS,

        People who fly planes and know the law of physics and the results upon crashing a 747 into a 20 feet thick reinforced cement wall, would rather do, well, something smarter.

        As for the nuclear plant structure, it will not be affected at all.

        • James Greenidge says:

          Don’t feed the drooling baiting troll…

          James Greenidge
          Queens NY

        • Bas says:

          @Daniel
          The EPR even has improved safety with a double hull.
          Despite that it can only resist an F16 (without bombs of course)….

          • Atomikrabbit says:

            @Bas – this is just for you. Enjoy:
            http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nuclear-power-in-a-warming-world.pdf

            Unfortunately for your argument, even UCS nuclear experts (ahem) Lochbaum and Lyman say, “Of all new reactor designs under consideration
            in the United States, at this time only one—the Evolutionary Power Reactor, which was designed to comply with more stringent European requirements—appears to have the potential to be significantly safer and more secure against attack than today’s reactors.” (p. 7)

          • Bas says:

            @Atomikrabbit
            Thanks.
            Btw.
            That EPR can resist only an F16 is not my conclusion. Got it from an official site (believe Finnish / Arriva), the statement was made with some kind of proud (can even withstand an F16)…

            If a double hull can only withstand that….

            @Daniel
            Suggest you check how thick the wall of e.g. Oyster Creek are.
            Probably only 10% of your 20 feet and at some places (near the top) much less.

          • Atomikrabbit says:

            OK Bas, against my better judgement, but because you remain polite (and I will say, persistent) I will engage you on this. Besides, you serve as a useful foil, and rhetorical knife- sharpener.

            You meant the Areva EPR going up at Olkiluoto, Finland. If you can provide a link it would be helpful. A compact, maneuverable, fast aircraft like an F-16 offers nearly a worst case scenario for containment penetration. Although it carries relatively little fuel, it’s engine offers a small but concentrated area of metal oriented directly along the axis of momentum. Perhaps counter-intuitively, it’s a bigger concern than a slower, clumsier, more diffuse machine like a jumbo jet.

            As I have mentioned elsewhere, even if the containment wall or dome is penetrated, there are still a number of extremely robust structures between the shredded remainder of the aircraft and the nuclear fuel. A meltdown is not ensured. And fuel damage does not necessarily result in offsite releases. And offsite releases do not result in many, if any, casualties, especially in LWRs. Perhaps that is why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an intelligent psychopath, told his operatives to bypass Indian Point, and head for the WTC.

            I will leave it to you to speculate on how a highly trained terrorist will get his hands on a military combat jet (in this you excel!). In time of war, using entire squadrons of aircraft with bunker-buster bombs, all bets as to the survivability of above-ground structures are off. Bridges, dams, cities – everyone is screwed. The bombed nuke plant will be a problem, but will result in few if any prompt deaths, especially compared to the carnage and devastation taking place elsewhere. (It WILL result in BIG news coverage)

            There are 10,001 things you will die from – if you are at all rational, emminations from a nuclear power plant should be pretty near the bottom of the list.

          • Bas says:

            @Atimikrabbit
            The F16 resistance of EPR seems to be stated by EDF in a leaked French document. I found
            this critical review
            .

            Agree that an F16 is somewhat else as a jumbo-jet regarding stiffness.
            But p=mv and E=.5mv2 do a lot. Compare the impact of a 0.5ton racing-car versus a 20ton truck. Which has the greater effect?
            Add to that the huge fuel fire of the jumbo.

            Anyway if there is even discussion about this regarding EPR, it is sure the dome of Borssele (NL) and Oyster Creek will crack completely.

            There is no need to damage the reactor itself. The crash should only stop all cooling (as in Fukushima). The (kerosene) fire ensures all electricity and pumps end.

            If flown in at the right place, the internal spent fuel pool will become dry (leak all water). In the first hours the fire will prevent workers efforts to restore cooling.
            Within those hours the over-heated spent fuel rods will spread so much radiation that fire workers & technicians cannot come near to restore reactor cooling.
            Then the reactor will start to spread radio-active material within few days…

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – Ah … so Greenpeace is your source.

            Happy fantasizing.

      • Irregular Commentator says:

        I prefer to read Tom Clancy than Bas.

      • Wayne SW says:

        You’re slipping, Basmataz. You didn’t pick on Oyster Creek. That is your signature, favorite whipping boy, isn’t it? Better be careful, they are going to start to feel neglected, you are not uselessly hammering them with the usual nonsense.

        • Bas says:

          @Wayne
          Thanks.
          I just corrected that in my post above.

          • Wayne SW says:

            Ah, there you go. Gotta whip that dead horse some more. Thanks. I needed a laugh. You’re such a laughable loser, it really is funny (and a shame).

  14. cpragman says:

    Better PR machine, perhaps.
    Note the “Dear Allison” e-mail….
    http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber='ML13226A545

    • Daniel says:

      And if any of you want to be infuriated, look at page 2.

      A very nice causality drawing that shows civil nuclear plants being in the development cycle of military nuclear bombs.

      This has got to stop. Freeking about the waste issue is one thing that we can blame on fear and ignorance. But stretching civil nuclear plants to bomb material is no smarter than linking electricity to chair or vaseline to napalm.

      • James Greenidge says:

        Great points! If only the media heed heeded such logic and accuracy!

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

    • Atomikrabbit says:

      It’s all very cozy.

      People seem to have forgotten about Mary Woolen:
      http://www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/william-tucker-chairman-macfarlane-goes-to-the-bullpen/

      • Atomikrabbit says:

        Excuse me, “Woollen”. She was picked by “Dear Allison” early in her first term to be NRC Director for External Engagement:
        http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/organization/commission/macfarlane.html

        This is the organization Woollen headed for nearly 11 years:
        http://kynf.org/
        One of its primary objectives was to see that no more Pu238 (Curiosity Mars Rover fuel) was made at INL. Special guest column by none other than Karl Grossman.

        Actually, not “everyone” forgot:
        http://atomicinsights.com/nrc-must-hear-from-all-sides-not-just-antinuclear-activists/

        It’s good to remind ourselves that the camel already has her nose in the tent, and has been sniffing around carefully to see if anyone has noticed.

        • Irregular Commentator says:

          As someone familiar with governmental hearings, it comes down to exposure to the hosts. If someone is consistently in touch with the respective government department or committee and markets themselves as a body that should be consulted based on their viewpoint then they will be called on to make a testimony.

          If the persons asked to testify are from a grassroots or independent (non-corporate) group then their probability to be picked increases. Corporate bodies are assumed that they get their fair share because they are a corporate body and deemed to have more power than the average citizen.

          The more pro-nuclear grass roots organisations that spring up the more these hearings will be balanced. Look at the effect the Yes Vermont Yankee campaign had.

          Just my 2 cents.

  15. gmax137 says:

    The report and a cover email to Commissioner McFarlane is on the NRC website (ADAMS accession number ML13226A545).

  16. gmax137 says:

    wow, cpragman beat me to it!

    • James says:

      As regards to the “Dear Allison” email, Kuperman misrepresents the facts. He was not tasked by the Pentagon to co-author a report that assessed the DBT, and potential alternatives, for assuring protection of nuclear facilities across three agencies…” If that was true, he would have been paid under such a contract which he was not. He was an advisor to a grad student conducting an academic exercise into rare event evaluations.

  17. KitemanSA says:

    Why did gullible reporters… well, because I would venture to guess that none were “reporters” but were “journalists” who found something that fit their prejudices. “Reporters” quote with fact check. “Journalists” quote and opine.

    • BobinPgh says:

      Oh, I know the answer…

      Just recently our local TV news did a story about the Point State Park Fountain. They showed the inside of the pumping station which has several new electric pumps inside for part of the fountain. One reporter said “It almost made me want to be an engineer when I saw all that, for about a minute. Then I know why we are journalists — math”.

      Could it be if reporters had more advance math and science classes they might not be so gullible?

      • James Greenidge says:

        Once upon a time, basically in the pre mid-70′s, TV network stations actually had REAL “Science Editors” who really knew their stuff, not cute faces attracting techies to features like ballerinas hosting military columns in the NYTimes. Here in NYC we had Earl Ubell on WCBS who was a crackerjack guy. He even featured fellowfeeling “Mr. Wizard” on his segments. SE’s were around mostly because of Project Apollo and they broke down to the public how the missions went and their value to mankind, so when the space program wound down after 1973 they didn’t just fade but were retitled as “Science & Health Editors” then after a while as the general science I.Q. dumbing-down started they became “Health & Science Editors” and by the time the late ’70′s rolled around they became just “Health Editors” and today zit. I THINK had SE’s been as prominent during TMI as they were in the ’60s and early ’70s much of the resultant FUD could’ve been allievated. I think that SEs served a general curiousity of science in the public back then — call it a lingering 1950′s sense of “science wonder” that’s been long extinct since. I feel sad for kids today who don’t have this perspective of science and tech today, just a consumer mindset that the world was always this way at your beck and call; You flip the light switch and nameless magic from a cloud lights your lamp, not wires and a power plant miles away (a sad varient of that old joke of asking an urban kid where milk comes from and they answer “from the store”. That’s why I wish ALL school kids participated in Outward Bound for a week or two instead of wasting time on zoo and museum trips because that’d REALLY show them that they take city conveiences and and bathrooms and iPhones for granted!

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

  18. Les Corrice says:

    Why? Because it was SCARY and the student’s credentials LOOK impressive. Makes me want to chew my foot off…

  19. gallopingcamel says:

    Flying a large fully fueled aircraft into a NPP may disable it if you got really lucky and hit the containment structure at exactly the right point. I doubt that a significant amount of radioactive material would be released.

    I have only visited one NPP in the USA, namely Duke Power’s plant at Seneca, South Carolina. After spending a week there I can tell you that it would take a brigade scale military assault to capture the facility.

    You are not going to take it with a platoon, no matter how well armed. Contrary to what the video at the head of this post says tther is no need to wait for a SWAT team to show up, given the level of armed personnel on site 24/7. Even if terrorists capture an NPP, the most they can achieve is a core meltdown with no radiation release.
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/electric-power-in-florida/

    Another scary threat is “Hacking” the control systems. That might be quite difficult given the fact that I could not access the Internet during the week that I spent at the Oconee NPP. Nobody else could either.

    A really sophisticated adversary could engineer something like the “Stuxnet” worm to cause a control malfunction. Shame on the New York Times for explaining that idea to our enemies.

    NPPs are hard targets that terrorists will avoid. We have plenty of high value soft targets with minimal security such as natural gas power plants, chemical plants (remember Bhopal?) and oil refineries.

    While I am not an expert on NPPs, my opinion should have more weight than that of a political science professor or one of his students.

    • Wayne SW says:

      I have often challenged those who say it is easy to break into a nuclear plant and take it over to try it themselves sometime. I mean, if they really think it is all that easy, and surely they are smarter than a bunch of garden-variety terrorists, then they should be able to do it with minimal risk to themselves. So far, no takers.

      Before sometime jumps on me for inciting illegal actions, let me assure you that it is a rhetorical challenge only.

      • John Chatelle says:

        Of course the only danger that ever existed for VT Yankee were manipulative political machinations; RPGs were never a substantial threat. You can’t get them close enough to showboat an explosion near the reactor.

        Meridith Angwin showed the way in properly reacting to the hazardous-to-human-life, pro-gas political machinations that *are* a threat to Nuclear Power operations, and all of our well-being. I thank her for her tireless but interesting work.

        Perhaps if my neighbors gas bills double this winter over last winter, even more of us will see the light.

    • Bas says:

      @gallopingcamel
      …NPPs are hard targets that terrorists will avoid … plenty of high value soft targets with minimal security such as natural gas power plants …

      The problem is that those soft targets will not cripple an whole country area for a long time by making an huge area, incl. “nearby” major cities (if the attack is done with the right wind), uninhabitable for a hundred years or so.

      So the soft targets are far less attractive for smart well educated terrorists.
      They are ambitious, even prepared to sacrifice their life for their ambition.

      Especially for terrorists that want to become more famous than Bin Laden.
      And that is possible by succeeding in permanently emptying NYC and/or Washington or LA or …

      • John Chatelle says:

        The problem is that those soft targets will not cripple an whole country area for a long time by making an huge area, incl. “nearby” major cities (if the attack is done with the right wind), uninhabitable for a hundred years or so.

        What you don’t get is that neither will an attack on an Nuclear Power Plant, which has been explained to you patiently and ad nauseum. Your refusal to either read or understand, and your constant repeating the same foolish wishful thinking will not make it true. NPPs are pretty clearly over fortified, not under fortified as you wish to have us believe.

        • Bas says:

          @John
          Simply stating that a NPP can withstand a plane attack is not convincing. You need evidence. Especially since available evidence shows different.
          I just name a few:

          1 – The EU stress test was delayed for many months because of the fight which plane with what speed would be included. In the end it was decided to consider only a light sport plane flying at cruise speed… and to remove all reference to the type of plane considered.

          2 – EDF calculated that the EPR, the new gen.3+ design, with enhanced safety could withstand a fighter plane F16 (without bombs of course). This EPR has double reinforced concrete walls around the reactor and is assumed to be x times stronger than all existing plants.

          EDF just assumed that this reactor would also withstand a jumbo (as far as I know they never made a remark about the bigger A380 which if flying around here),
          The worrying is that they didn’t calculate it (doesn’t cost much, especially after the F16 calculation) and that they don’t guarantee that it can withstand a jumbo.

          Furthermore, if it was clear that it can withstand such attacks they would publish the whole calculation and be open about it (they keep/kept it secret).
          That would really demoralize terrorists.

          Present NPP’s are clearly x times more vulnerable than the EPR (no double hull, etc)…

          3 – US reports that state, most in careful words such as “it cannot be excluded some radio activity may be released”, also that NPP’s are vulnerable for plane attacks.

          • ddpalmer says:

            @Bas

            John didn’t simply state that a NPP can withstand a plane attack. In fact no where in his comment does the word plane even appear.

            So that would make your response to him a strawman and the rest of your comment as unresponsive to his comment.

      • Wayne SW says:

        “The problem is that those soft targets will not cripple an whole country area for a long time by making an huge area, incl. “nearby” major cities (if the attack is done with the right wind), uninhabitable for a hundred years or so.”

        You don’t need to attack a nuclear plant to achieve that aim. In fact, often, you don’t need to attack anything. The area around Love Canal in NY state is uninhabited because of chemical pollution. The entire town of Centralia, PA, was rendered extinct because of an underground coal mine fire that has been burning for over a half century. In my state the town of Cheshire was bought out and the people relocated because of airborne pollution from the pollution “controls” of a coal-burning power plant. Why don’t you hammer those with the same vigor that you hammer poor old Oyster Creek, a facility that has harmed absolutely no one since it started operating in 1969, and never will.

        • Bas says:

          @Wayne
          …You don’t need to attack a nuclear plant to achieve that aim…
          I agree that it would be possible to reach a similar, though smaller, effect through a well designed attack at a chemical plant. E.g. the Linden/Bayway chemical complex of Exxon.

          The problem is that it offers no clear target and is so huge that you would need many planes to have a good chance for the release of so many chemical hazards that it could depopulate NYC (and then still only for few weeks/months).

          So, while it is easier to harm the plant, the effect is insecure. It will probably not lead to the depopulation of NYC (and our intelligent terrorists want to surpass Bin Laden in order to make real history).

          • Wayne SW says:

            Blowing up Bayway might not do it, but other, non-nuclear, easier things could. The key would be to have the media and people like yourself whip up the FUD to sufficient levels. For example, a terrorist or two could rent some crop dusters and load them up with G-series or V-series nerve agents and simply salt all of the potable water reservoirs serving NYC (they aren’t defended). Then people like you can go on the news and make statements like “One molecule of this stuff can kill you!!!!!” You can’t see it or feel it or taste it!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!” See how fast and for how long you can depopulate NYC.

            Now, that leaves out poor old Oyster Creek from your horror litany and I’m sure they’ll feel neglected, but such is the price an ultra-hard facility like OCNGS pays compared to soft targets like drinking water reservoirs.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        “permanently emptying NYC and/or Washington or LA or …”

        Simply not possible, no matter what you do to a NPP. The exclusion of people from the surroundings of Fukushima was the result of nuclear ignorance and hysteria. Take a look at what is going on in the woods around Chernobyl:
        http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/nuclear_power/2013/01/chernobyl_wildlife_the_radioactive_fallout_zone_is_a_wildlife_refuge_photos.html

        Even detonating a nuclear weapon in a city does not render it “permanently empty” as can be appreciated from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

        • Bas says:

          @gallopingcamel
          …The exclusion of people from the surroundings of Fukushima was the result of nuclear ignorance and hysteria…
          You and others may consider that.
          My estimation is that US authorities and media will react at least the same.

          Taking into account the proven effects of low level Chernobyl radiation for reproduction (~30%-60% more misfits per extra mSv), I think evacuation is fully justified. At least for people that still may get children.

          It shows that even the servant Japanese do not return after authorities declare an area safe (if level becomes less than 20mSv/a) and recommend to return (even while they loose the financial compensation).
          So I assume that the less servant US citizens won’t either.

          Btw.
          Nobody ever said life was impossible in the exclusion zone. Only that the risks to die premature and the reproduction risks (misfits, lower intelligence, etc) are unacceptable high (and authorities in those countries are less careful regarding their population than in the west).

          The story with the 1200 elderly that returned seems to confirm the greatly enhanced risk to die prematurity.
          Of course the photographer didn’t see misfit animals as those die in infancy.

          • ddpalmer says:

            “The story with the 1200 elderly that returned seems to confirm the greatly enhanced risk to die prematurity.”

            You care to explain the logic behind this claim?

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            My estimation is that US authorities and media will react at least the same.

            You’re obviously a foreigner and have no understanding of the way Americans would react if some bureaucrats told them to leave their homes because they were “contaminated” with a substance that they cannot see, smell, taste or sense in any manner and that does not give them any measurable symptoms because it MIGHT slightly increase their already existing possibility of contracting cancer sometime in the distant future.

            We are not sheep here.

          • Brian Mays says:

            You care to explain the logic behind this claim?

            I think that’s the first time anyone ever accused Bas of using logic.

          • Bas says:

            @ddpalmer
            “…You care to explain the logic behind this claim?..”

            1. Of the 1200 returned (48+years old), now only 230 women remain.
            That seems to me a pretty bad survival rate.

            2. There is no indication that authorities prevented people to return by force.
            You can read in the article that the returnees even get medical care.
            So if the returnees stayed healthy, others (incl engineers to restore utilities) would have followed out of free will.
            Live is better in your old surroundings.
            But no one did…

          • Bas says:

            Btw. Is there nobody who knows the level of radiation that caused an area to be included into the exclusion zone of Chernobyl???

            Then we know at least about what we talk, and have some base to judge how “ridiculous” the (Ukraine, Belarus, Russian) authorities behaved. Or not.
            Now we are just speculated not knowing basic facts.

          • ddpalmer says:

            “1. Of the 1200 returned (48+years old), now only 230 women remain. That seems to me a pretty bad survival rate.”

            Sorry Bas but I don’t see ANY survival rate. What was their life expectancy when they returned? What medical iises did they have? What did those that have died actually die from?

            “2. There is no indication that authorities prevented people to return by force.”

            Completely and totally irrelevant.

            “So if the returnees stayed healthy, others (incl engineers to restore utilities) would have followed out of free will.”

            What hole did you pull this ‘logic’ out of? There are less than 2000 people. What utilities are there to restore and who is paying to restore these utilities? Workers won’t return if there aren’t jobs now will they?

            “Live is better in your old surroundings.”

            Another amazing leap of ‘logic’. If that were true why did early humans ever leave Africa? Why did Europeans settle in North and South America?

            And by the time restrictions were lifted allowing limited return it had been over a decade. You think maybe most people had built a new life with a new home and a new job?

      • northcoast says:

        With closure of the Shoreham plant we were left with no NPP’s sited close to crowded urban areas if I’m reading the map correctly. That would seem to reduce the attractiveness of NPP’s to your aspiring terrorist.

        Below you bring up the fuel load of a wide body aircraft in a possible attack on an NPP. The aircraft impacting the WTC towers had their wings breaking through the peripheral columns, and most of the contained fuel burned inside the towers. What chance would there be that an aircraft wing, even impacting at 500 mph, could penetrate a reinforced concrete containment shell?

        • northcoast says:

          That was in reply to the Bas comment above. His aircraft scenario is farther above.

        • Bas says:

          @northcoast
          “…With closure of the Shoreham plant we were left with no NPP’s sited close to crowded urban areas if I’m reading the map correctly. …”

          That is a good thing. In NL we placed the NPP also not near our big cities (~70km from Rotterdam).
          But experience shows that even 100km is not enough if the wind is wrong…

  20. Daniel says:

    Alert.

    Why is the Japanese NRA declaring a level 3 alert on Fukushima mildly radioactive water leakages and the IAEA is silent on that ?

    Brian, Rod , James, AR, EP ?

  21. gallopingcamel says:

    Dr. Sakamoto lives in Sendai province. He delivers massive doses of radiation to his patients with proven benefits. Just in case you missed his testimonny that was linked on this website, here it is again:
    http://atomicinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/Sakamoto-2012_ANSconf-June23.pdf

    Sakamoto was right. Radiation release from the Fukushima disaster did not justify delaying Fukushima residents from returning to their homes.

    • Bas says:

      @gallopingcamel
      Very interesting presentation of Sakamoto.
      It confirms that low dose radiation has similar immune activating and (hence) healing effects as other somewhat poisonous substances, such as arsenic.

      In Germany (additional) cancer therapy with the mistletoe (Viscum album) is quite popular and has shown to have similar effects.

      Those therapies activate the immune response, so help the body to combat cancer.
      That may plea for chronic application.

      However it is generally assumed (I do not know studies?) that on the long run (25year?), the beneficial effects will turn around and become adverse.
      The reasoning is that continued stimulation of the immune system will exhaust it, so in the end it works against your health.

      That may also be the reason that low level; radiation, asbestos, nicotine, etc. show their adverse effects only after ~20-60years…

      Note that Sakamoto’s studies do not tell anything about long term cancer (and other diseases) generating effects of low level radiation. And we know (e.g. from LSS) that those effects occur after >20years. He did not do long term research.
      So his last conclusion is wild speculation.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Bas

        You’re grasping at straws. Your knowledge of physiology is also lacking; do you also believe that routine exercising will exhaust our bodies and “in the end work against our health?”

        • Bas says:

          @Rod
          Mankind is evolved out of apes that moved around regularly.
          We seem to operate optimal and live long with that type of exercise.

          @Brian
          Another examples of toxic that heals:
          Smoking (nicotine) cures people that have Ulcerative Colitis.
          However we all know that it also enhances the risk for premature death after ~20-60years (just as with low level radiation)…

      • Brian Mays says:

        The reasoning is that continued stimulation of the immune system will exhaust it, so in the end it works against your health.

        If only the idiotic nonsense spewing from the keyboard of Bas were similarly exhaustible, but he appears to be a perpetual source. And I thought his knowledge of physics and engineering was poor.

        • Bas says:

          @Brian

          Why do you think that the repair mechanism is inexhaustible, while other body / cell processes clearly are exhaustible?

          • Brian Mays says:

            Why do you think that the repair mechanism is inexhaustible, while other body / cell processes clearly are exhaustible?

            Bas – Er … common sense? Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

            Yes, people get old and die. We all know that happens, but it happens for different metabolic reasons than what you suggest. It certainly doesn’t mean that it is caused by our immune system playing out from over use.

            Are you really stupid enough to believe such nonsense?! Look, if the “exhaustion” of immune responses was a real problem, then we would expect that professionals who regularly have their immune systems challenged by exposure to sick people and their pathogens — e.g., health care workers such as doctors and nurses — should have a notable and easily recognizable reduction in life expectancy. Yet, we see no such effect. (Indeed, this would come as a shock to many owners of golf courses, particularly in places like Florida, who cater especially to old, retired doctors.)

            Sorry, Bas, but if you continue to sling excrement at the wall to see what will stick, then don’t be surprised if other people call you out for throwing excrement. At the end of the day, all you have accomplished is to toss a bunch of sh** around, and that is not doing anybody any good, least of all you.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        Bas,
        The LNT (Linear No Threshold) theory works well for high acute doses yet it fails completely when applied to low chronic doses. This topic has been discussed pretty thoroughly on Atomic Insights. Rather than repeat the arguments I recommend that you check these links:
        http://atomicinsights.com/evidence-shows-humans-can-tolerate-far-higher-radiation-doses-than-governments-allow/
        http://atomicinsights.com/empowering-victims-of-the-fukushima-frenzy-to-resist-radiation-fud/
        http://atomicinsights.com/dr-kiyohiko-sakamoto-low-dose-radiation-used-as-cancer-treatment/
        http://atomicinsights.com/spirited-debate-about-beir-vii-and-linear-no-threshold-lnt-dose-assumption/

        In spite of the beneficial nature of modest doses of ionizing radiation I am not advocating increasing human exposure. Mother Nature on the other hand has no such qualms. In parts of Iran you can accumulate 6 mSv/year (cf. the maximum recommended occupational dose of 50 mSv/year).

        I have no problem working under ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) guidelines even though its basis (LNT) is demonstrably false.

        • Bas says:

          @gallopingcamel
          These are well written opinion articles (Rod my compliments!), with many statements that are not in line with the major scientific evidence. Reacting to all would require to much time and space. So I choose a few important topics.

          First: The third link refers to Sakomoto. I posted in this thread about his unfounded speculation that low level radiation would be harmless (that is a pity as it takes him down as scientist).

          Radiation damage mechanisms
          Those can be generated at three levels:

          1 – DNA / RNA; at the moment DNA splits, the repair mechanism miss the reference of the other strand. So enhanced chance on faulty repair results. Cell-division with DNA-split occurs extremely often in fetuses, somewhat less in babies and children. So the unborn are extremely vulnerable.

          I miss statements, underpinned with investigation results, regarding this. And I consider them extremely important as (the health and intelligence of) our children are the most important regarding what we leave on this earth.

          I do know real life investigations after Chernobyl that show their high vulnerability. The most rock-solid one shows an enhanced chance on misfits (stillbirth, Down, etc) at levels of 0.5mSv/a of ~30%-60% per raised mSv/a!
          I have not seen any solid critique on this study!
          Others studies show some reduced intelligence at those levels, etc.

          2 – Protein level
          Somehow nobody in the nuclear community has any attention for the damage to protein that nuclear radiation causes….

          3 – Cell level
          Same regarding cell level damage.

          Note that recent research indicate that those three interact!

          So my conclusion (shared with one of my friends who is professor in this field at the dutch cancer research institute and Delft university) is that we still know little about the mechanisms.

          Hence:
          – I consider the speculations of Cuttler, etc as what they are:
          Wild speculations without solid grounds.

          – I have far more trust in real live research results involving humans.
          Such as the one referred above.

          Further, it should be noted that the hypothetical threshold went down during the last 50 years as measurement tools became more accurate (bigger study groups, more sophisticated statistical methods).

          That drove some, such as Wade Allison, to the strange conclusion that he can only accept that radiation is the cause of health damage if no sophisticated statistical tools are used. Excluding practical all measurements that may indicate radiation as the cause! Note that this places him outside the scientific community.

          In addition:
          The results of Caspari with fruit flies tell little regarding humans:
          – It seems those flies were selected on stable DNA, actually on little variation in next generations. That moves the relevance of the results further away.
          – I didn’t see any replication with same results, which is bad sign regarding the value of those results. Especially since it is not difficult to repeat that experiment.

          It was correct that Muller spent no attention to Caspari’s experiment during his Nobel prize speech. In science, the general accepted code is that a single result by one scientist is no result/fact until it is repeated, especially if that result differs from dozens of other study results. And Caspari’s experiment wasn’t even published at that time, and no repeat of his results showed up…

          • gallopingcamel says:

            Bas,
            You raise issues that are well above my pay grade as a mere physicist responsible for the “Personnel Protection” of thirty people. Even so I will attempt an answer.

            On page 8 of Sakamoto’s presentation you will see that he delivers whole or half body doses of 0.15 Gy of 6 MeV X-rays. The LD50 dose (50% of people affected will die) is ~ 5 Gy. Thus he delivers 33 times below the acute LD50 dose. Then he delivers local doses as high as 2 Gy repeated five times per week for six weeks for a total of 60 Gy (12 times the LD50) dose.

            I can’t agree with your statement that Sakamoto’s “……………..unfounded speculation that low level radiation would be harmless (that is a pity as it takes him down as scientist).”

            Sakamoto is delivering huge doses of radiation, yet he still has a licence to practice medicine. That speaks volumes about his testicular fortitude and his malpractice insurance.

            The Hagen Scherb and Eveline Weigelt paper shows (Fig. 12) a sharp increase in still births in Germany following the Chernobyl accident but the effect is tiny compared to the “Mega-deaths” that would have occured if the LNT theory had any validity.

            Given my training in radiation safety I have great respect for the lethal properties of gamma rays and neutrons. Much less respect for alpha particles (even though Q=50) and beta particles because they are harmless unless delivered by ingested materials.

            Owing to ethical considerations we can’t deliberately expose large numbers of people to high levels of ionizing radiation. Yet we have learned a great deal from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. More recently there have been several nuclear accidents that have affected large numbers of people. I would be interested to hear your comments on this one:
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

          • Bas says:

            I have to correct my last post (above) regarding the last statement in the last sentence of that post:
            … Caspari’s experiment wasn’t even published at that time, and no repeat of his results showed up…
            I decided to check that again and found that there are similar experiments with similar results as those of Caspari.
            So the “no repeat of his results showed up” is wrong. Sorry.

            This implies also that while this … I didn’t see any replication with same results, which is bad sign… statement of me was true, it generates the wrong impression.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            Thank you for having the honesty to admit that “I have not seen any evidence…” is absolutely different from “No evidence exists…”

            The first statement is a little like the monkey who covers his eyes.

  22. Bas says:

    @gallopingcamel
    …I can’t agree with your statement that Sakamoto’s …
    Those radiation doses help to cure cure cancer patients. But that says nothing regarding the long term health effects (as Sakamoto should know):

    - It is shown that the effects of those doses on healthy people show only after ~20-60 years. And Sakamoto did not do any longer term study! That makes his statement worthless.
    Read LSS report 14 regarding the atomic bomb survivors, or the PubMed summary.
    a.o. it shows that the extra risk (ERR) for cancer rises significant with the decades after the one time exposure. With my logic, I expect the opposite.
    But as; these findings are highly significant; in line with other (medical radiation) studies; and the LSS study group involves also scientists of Stanford and Cambridge (UK), I have to accept.

    Even a follow-up during 10 years of Sakamoto will find nothing as it takes at least 20years before the effects show. Just as with e.g. smoking. While it helps Ulcerative Colitis patients within weeks, the real health effects come after >20years.

    - Fukushima radiation concern alpha and bèta radiation as well. The issue is that inhabitants inhale also (radio-active) dust, eat food etc. So inhabitants do ingest that radio-active material (hence thyroid cancers).
    - Fukushima radiation is not administered in a number of doses within some months but all the time during the lifetime of (originally) healthy inhabitants.

    Consider these last two arguments as additional illustration.

    …Sakamoto is delivering huge doses of radiation, yet he still has a licence to practice medicine. That speaks volumes about his testicular fortitude and his malpractice insurance….
    Assuming he tells his patients about the risks and that it is experimental, a physician should be allowed to experiment with new methods. And he had 10years experience with mice. So I do not support your judgment.

    …but the effect is tiny compared to the “Mega-deaths” that would have occurred if the LNT theory had any validity …
    Please show some underpinned estimation to what you expect based on LNT, as I do not understand. Scientific estimations regarding Chernobyl are ~1mln death (some state even 4mln, some 40-80K).

    Note that the IAEA (Chernobyl forum) estimations are ridiculous. Based on the linked Scherb etal study, you have to conclude to far more deaths in Germany alone.

    That is not strange since IAEA target is the promotion of peaceful nuclear and the 1959 agreement transferred all responsibility regarding radiation from WHO to IAEA.
    That may be a reason that the Codex Alimentarius commission now has the authority regarding irradiation safety standards. Recently they took the standard ~10times lower, which was followed by Japan.

    Btw. It seems that the Chernobyl forum report itself does not contain estimations regarding the number of deaths. The IAEA controlled press release did, and that got in the press.

    I will write another response to your Cobalt60 question. It touches an interesting discussion.

  23. ddpalmer says:

    “That is not strange since IAEA target is the promotion of peaceful nuclear and the 1959 agreement transferred all responsibility regarding radiation from WHO to IAEA.”

    The agreement did no such thing. Why do you, and many of your cohorts, insist on repeating this lie?

    • Bas says:

      @ddpalmer
      If you have experience with negotiations about that type of agreement, I suggest to read the 1959 agreement. Otherwise:

      In the Ted Rockwell thread I explained the meaning and implications of only article 1 (there are some other articles, but article 1 shows it already clearly):
      http://atomicinsights.com/ted-rockwell-shared-knowledge-to-combat-fukushima-fears/#comment-61340

      • ddpalmer says:

        No you explained your tortutred reading of the agreement. The agreement is plain and simple and it mirrors agreements thw WHO has signed with other international agencies.

        It still doesn’t restrict the WHO in any way.

        And if your conspiracy theory of the WHO being forced into te agreement because the major nuclear powers provide the WHO’s major funding. Then even without teh agreement wouldn’t the WHO be forced to adjust their research findings by those same powers?

        See how simply your wacko theory turns around and just helps to prove you wrong.

        • Bas says:

          @ddpalmer
          … it mirrors agreements the WHO has signed with other international agencies…

          Quite interesting.
          So I assume you can show (link) the WHO agreements with other international agencies such as the UN linked “Codex Alimentarius” (which severed irradiation standards for food by a factor ~10x),
          and UN organizations such as the FAO.

          Noting that the IAEA is only a UN related organization, it would be nice if you could also show similar agreements with other UN related organizations such as the WTO, etc.

          • Brian Mays says:

            So I assume you can show (link) the WHO agreements with other international agencies …

            http://apps.who.int/gb/bd/PDF/bd47/EN/agreements-with-other-inter-en.pdf

            That’s a link to agreements with 10 organizations: the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations (UN), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United NAtions, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and the Office International des Epizooties (OIDE).

            They’re all very similar, both in language and structure, and focus primarily on consultation and co-operation — mostly to share knowledge and avoid duplication of work. The only thing that really stands out in the agreement with the IAEA, when compared to the other agreements, is that it’s the only agreement that explicitly prohibits the other organization from interfering with health work done by the WHO, including all types of health-related research and that also means research into the health effects of radiation.

            The only thing that the WHO gives up to the IAEA in the agreement is “primary responsibility” for the “development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses.” Notice that the agreement doesn’t explicitly prohibit the WHO from R&D work in atomic energy — say designing a new type of nuclear reactor — rather it merely requires that the WHO allow the IAEA to have the first crack at it.

          • Bas says:

            @Brian,
            Thanks for this link!
            So now we can compare.
            And we do see that the IAEA-WHO agreement is one of most unbalanced in this list, putting WHO in a subordinate role to the IAEA.

            For a balanced agreement compare with the WHO-IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). Article 1:
            – WHO recognizes IFAD’s special role in ….
            – IFAD recognizes WHO’s special role in ….

            You also find agreements where WHO is in the leading role. However not as strong unbalanced as the IAEA-WHO agreement. The dominant role of IAEA in that agreement makes WHO a subordinate regarding radiation.

            So it is not strange that WHO did virtual nothing regarding health in cases of nuclear radiation (in stark contrast to the period before the signed agreement)! Even the Chernobyl forum of 2006 was an IAEA matter (initiated and chaired by IAEA who also had far more of its staff on it).

            There are accusations that WHO payed no visit to Chernobyl region in the first years after the disaster.
            There are even accusations that WHO kept the health consequences of Chernobyl discussed in the 1995 and 2001 conferences hidden, by not publishing the proceedings of these conferences.

            If those are true, the accusation about a big cover up by WHO (made by Helen Caldicott) have at least some validity..

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – When are you going to learn that repeating the same lies over and over again does not make them the truth? It only makes you sound foolish.

            The dominant role of IAEA in that agreement makes WHO a subordinate regarding radiation.

            No … a lie. Nothing in the agreement says that.

            So it is not strange that WHO did virtual nothing regarding health in cases of nuclear radiation (in stark contrast to the period before the signed agreement)! Even the Chernobyl forum of 2006 was an IAEA matter (initiated and chaired by IAEA who also had far more of its staff on it).

            Another lie. All of the health impacts reported the Chernobyl Forum report come from work done by the WHO — either reviews and evaluation of studies published in the scientific literature or studies performed by the WHO itself. The most prominent and most quoted statistics in the report come from studies published by Elisabeth Cardis, who used to run the Radiation Group at IARC. She has never, ever worked for the IAEA.

            If you would actually read the reports and the studies in the literature, instead of babbling ignorantly on about something you do not understand, you might know some of this.

            There are accusations … There are even accusations …

            Accusations? Accusations?!! From whom? I thought you said you weren’t talking about conspiracy theories, but here you clearly are.

            If all of your information on Chernobyl comes from Helen Caldicott then it’s know wonder you write such stupid stuff.

      • Brian Mays says:

        Bas – You ignorance is surpassed only by your shameless predilection for repeating the blatant lies and stupid nonsense that you’ve culled from the dregs of the most odious parts of Internet — the steaming cesspool of lies, propaganda, and urban myths put out by anti-nuclear blogs and organizations.

        Please listen for once, you ignorant twerp. My wife used to work for the WHO in their cancer research center (the International Agency Research for Research on Cancer — or IARC for short). She knows many of the people who work or used to work there, including people who worked in the radiation group. I’ve met some of these people myself. Furthermore, not that long ago, I used to hoist beers every month with the guy who ran IARC’s monograph program on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans.

        I can tell you, from first-hand experience, that there is no conspiracy by the IAEA to influence the WHO when it comes to anything related to public health, including nuclear power. This is nothing but conspiracy theory nonsense from a bunch of fringe crackpots, who put forward this craziness because they know that stupid, gullible people will believe them (and on that point, you have demonstrated that they are correct).

        Now, you can either continue to throw in with the crazies and the stupid people or you can come to your senses and admit that you were wrong. It’s your choice.

        • Bas says:

          @Brian
          I respect your wife and her colleagues! If I made the impression that I thought there was a conspiracy, I regret that as I never thought that.
          I only explained the significance & implications of Art.1 of the 1959 IAEA-WHO agreement.

          That it implies the transfer of all responsibility regarding radiation from the WHO towards the IAEA; and
          that the WHO has to coordinate all activities regarding nuclear radiation with IAEA, which is logical as WHO has no responsibility regarding radiation while the IAEA has that responsibility.
          It is simply stated in the agreement (in judicial phrases).

          So I do not understand your excitement?
          Are you angry because the WHO signed an agreement that is so detrimental for its own position regarding radiation?

          • ddpalmer says:

            Did I mention the WTO or the Codex Alimentarius or the FAO? Sorry Bas but I am not your trained monkey to jump to your bidding. Especially when you refuse to even address the questions I have asked you.

            You have an internet connection, try doing a little real research rather than lapping up conspiracy theories.

            “That it implies the transfer of all responsibility regarding radiation from the WHO towards the IAEA”

            Except it doesn’t.

            “that the WHO has to coordinate all activities regarding nuclear radiation with IAEA”

            Except the agreement doesn’t say that and they don’t have to.

            “the WHO signed an agreement that is so detrimental for its own position regarding radiation”

            Except it isn’t.

          • Brian Mays says:

            I respect your wife and her colleagues!

            Bas – Yet you continue to insult my intelligence. You don’t respect anything, least of all the truth. This is just another lie.

            That it implies the transfer of all responsibility regarding radiation from the WHO towards the IAEA; …

            No! Wrong!

            The text of the agreement reads, “… it is recognized by the World Health Organization that the International Atomic Energy Agency has the primary responsibility … without prejudice to the right of the World Health Organization to concern itself with promoting, developing, assisting, and co-ordinating international health work, including research, in all its aspects.”

            The “research, in all its aspects” includes research into the health effects of radiation, and “without prejudice to the right” means that the WHO has the right to do whatever health-related research it wants and the IAEA cannot interfere.

            … that the WHO has to coordinate all activities regarding nuclear radiation with IAEA, …

            No! Wrong again! The WHO merely has to “consult” with the IAEA (and vice versa). The idea is that the two organizations should work together to come to a mutual agreement for any adjustments that need to be made to the activities — primarily to avoid duplication of work –but there is nothing in the agreement that forces one organization to take orders from the other. As I point out above, the IAEA is explicitly prohibited from interfering with the right of the WHO to conduct whatever health-related research it wants.

            … WHO has no responsibility regarding radiation while the IAEA has that responsibility.

            Strike three! You’re out!

            The WHO is “responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.” This includes the health effects of radiation.

            Just last year, IARC published a monograph on radiation. It also published monographs on radiation in 2000 and 2001. In 2007, researchers from IARC published the results of a 15-country collaborative study of cancer risk among radiation workers in the nuclear industry. Claims that the “WHO has no responsibility regarding radiation” are just lies, pure and simple, and they’re not even good lies. They’re lies that only stupid people could accept.

            Please, Bas, stop parroting the lies.

        • James Greenidge says:

          Brian, the most sobering thing about this abused topic is when an anti-nuke as Bas is able to expertly hook sharp nuclear experts and pros into a specious neverending “debate,” so what chance does the clueless science-illiterate layman have but believe there’s true meat behind an anti’s voluminous “FUD-facts” and argument? Is it any wonder how antis have gotten over and nuclear plants are dropping off left and right — and I’m not talking “approval” polls. If the polls were CORRECT then every nuke in the nation safely shouldn’t be facing much opposition, something I’ll be sure to tell the good people of Shoreham and SONGS and now VY.

          James Greenidge
          Queens NY

          • Bas says:

            @James
            …“debate,” … “FUD-facts” and argument? …
            This is about correct reading the legal text of the 1959 IAEA-WHO agreement.

            I do not see the FUD?

  24. Bas says:

    @gallopingcamel

    It is remarkable that this in 2006 published study assumed: “…that the exposed population has the same age distribution as the population of Taiwan…”, while an earlier study (2004), that used the same assumption, was devalued as the population in the apartments was much (>15years) younger.

    Correcting that, this study reach the conclusion: “… results suggest that prolonged low dose-rate radiation exposure appear to increase risks of developing certain cancers…”.

    The av. total irradiation is only ~50mSv per inhabitant, which deliver ~0.5% premature death after 20 – 60 years (shown by e.g. LSS; same delay as low level asbestos & smoking). And these studies were executed already ~15years (~1983-1996) after the irradiation.
    So we have to wait.

    Btw. It seems your study used the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) dosage reconstruction. However a newer, more thorough study concluded that inhabitants got factors lower radiation levels…

    Nevertheless these Taiwan apartments delivered already some interesting study results, such as the
    decreased fertility (~25% less), roughly in line with the estimated 1 million missing children in Europe in the period until 2010 after Chernobyl.

    Also more chromosome / DNA aberrations, in line with Ramsar study results (El showed the links in another thread at this site).

    • ddpalmer says:

      Well your study links don’t work so kind of hard to respond.

      “Sorry, this study is not yet available on SCIENCE.naturalnews.com”

      “The requested article is not currently available on this site.”

      • Bas says:

        @ddpalmer
        I checked the source code of my post and found that the links do not work because the system inserted an extra ” at the end of the links…

        So I tried to upload a post with correct links visible (several times), but those uploads don’t appear here.
        Sorry!

        An option is to use the links via checking/inspecting the link source code.
        If you have FireFox put your mouse in the link, click the right mouse button and got to the option ‘inspect element’. Then you can copy the link without the ” and open a new window with that address.

  25. gallopingcamel says:

    Bas,
    Your problem is the same as that of CAGW alarmists. You can only see bad news and are blind to good news.

    Radiation safety professionals (e.g. this camel) understand the negative effects of ionizing radiation. Gamma rays, alpha particles, beta particles and neutrons kill living cells; if enough cells are damaged the entire organism dies. For acute radiation doses the LNT theory works well. It enables us to predict the number of fatalities following high acute doses.

    If the LNT theory was correct for chronic doses there would be no beneficial effects arising from radiation therapy (Sakamoto) or radiation accidents such as the Taiwan apartments.

    The evidence shows that Sakamoto’s irradiated patients survive significantly longer than the control group that received no radiation.

    Increased incidence of hard cancers and lukemia is a known consequence of exposure to high acute doses of radiation. Many of the occupants of the Taiwan apartments received cumulative doses of radiation many times the LD50 dose (50% of affected individuals will die) so under the LNT theory they should have died or have suffered a high incidence of diseases associated with ionizing radiation.

    In contrast, the data from the Taiwan apartments shows that not only do the irradiated individuals have a far lower incidence of hard cancers or lukemia than the general population but also the incidence falls over time. Ten years after the onset of exposure, the incidence of diseases that we associate with gamma rays was THIRTY TIMES lower than in the general population.

    Likewise with the Chernobyl accident which released about 1,000 GBq. The World Health Organization, using LNT theory, estimated that this would cause about 41,000 extra deaths from radiation related diseases. Thirty years later nobody has been able to find the dead bodies. Given what happened in Taiwan this should not be a surprise.

    • Engineer-Poet says:

      Not to be too picky, but I object to the term “CAGW alarmist”.  Just because the situation is slowly-developing does not mean that immediate policy action is not one of the most important things we can do.

      One of the consequences of that action would be to halt all closures of functional nuclear power plants.

      • Bas says:

        Engineer-Poet or gallopingcamel,
        Can you tell what a CAGW alarmist is?
        Thanks!

        • Engineer-Poet says:

          AGW is Anthropogenic Global Warming (more accurately, Anthropogenic Climate Change, ACC).  I’m not sure what the C is for; Catastrophic?

        • gallopingcamel says:

          I can help y’all with that. Here is a link to the Copenhagen Diagnosis:
          http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/

          A CAGW Alarmist predicts a global temperature rise of 2 to 7 Kelvin by 2100.

          • Engineer-Poet says:

            If you’re calling it “alarmism”, you’re implicitly asserting that it will not happen.  On what basis do you make this claim?

          • Bas says:

            Thanks!
            I cannot judge about those predictions. Feel that we are just starting to develop knowledge about the climate. Major items still unknown.

            Compare with the knowledge about radiation in the forties. Now ~70years later on, we still miss basic, essential knowledge about the way it exerts its influence on human health and heredity.

            Also; I’m not sure whether a rise of 2 degrees would be bad or good for the world population.
            Some areas become more desert or below sea level (I live 6meter below that), but other areas (e.g. Siberia) will become more fertile. Especially since in general rainfall will rise, as the warmer oceans and air will speed up evaporation.

            It may become not cold enough in winter for our dutch eleven city skating tour (~220km long). While some find that a major issue, I think it is a minor point.

    • Bas says:

      @gallopingcamel
      …If the LNT theory was correct for chronic doses there would be no beneficial effects arising from radiation therapy (Sakamoto) or radiation accidents such as the Taiwan apartments. ..

      Sakamoto does not apply chronic doses but short radiation treatments in order to help cure cancer. Similar as other additional cancer treatments that use poisonous stuff, such as mistletoe, etc.
      While it is clear that low level permanent doses are very unhealty…

      Btw. ‘Normal’ medicin use chemo therapy which brings extreme poisons into the body. That also does not make those poisons less harmful for healthy people, even in low doses. But with low doses people can build up resistance as is shown with e.g. low doses of arsenicum and nicotine. Still those low doses kill after ~20-60years as with low level radiation.

      Taiwan
      The study you referred to regarding the Taiwan appartments is a total aberration compared to other studies that show harmful effects to health and future generations of the inhabitants.

      If you look into your study then you see many mistakes. Just a few:
      – they used the wrong dose reconstruction of the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission), the real doses are factors lower (average ~50mSv total).
      - they wrongly used the assumption of “the same age distribution as the population of Taiwan”. An earlier Taiwan study was fully devalued because of this wrong assumption (the inhabitants were >15years younger, and younger people get xx times less diseases such as cancer).
      - etc.

      Chernobyl
      The ridiculous low IAEA/WHO estimates (which they reached by excluding all countries with reliable registration systems, etc.) are a different discussion.

      It should be enough that they neglected the most important damage: the degeneration of our off-spring due to the raised radiation levels!
      Many studies, incl. the rock-solid study of the official German responsible institute, showed how serious those effects are already at very low levels.

      Regarding hormesis I suggest you read the 4 page summary of the BEIR VII Phase 2 report by the National Academy of Sciences:
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11340&page=332

      • Brian Mays says:

        Bas – Regarding BEIR VII, I suggest that you read page 238:

        “Relatively few epidemiologic studies have been conducted to evaluate outcomes such as spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, neonatal mortality, stillbirths, and the sex ratio in relation to preconception radiation exposure, and there is no consistent evidence of an association of any such outcomes with exposure to environmental sources of radiation.”

        So much for your so-called “rock-solid study.” The US National Academy of Sciences — which undoubtedly considered your so-called “rock-solid study,” but decided it wasn’t even worth mentioning — disagrees with your take on this matter.

        Face it, Bas, you are on the lunatic fringe. The more that you criticize mainstream international research organizations, such as the World Health Organization and defer to fringe crackpots like the guy who published that seriously flawed paper you keep bringing up, the less credibility you have.

        Please stop drinking the kool-aid. You’re only embarrassing yourself.

        • Bas says:

          @Brian

          …which undoubtedly considered your so-called “rock-solid study,”…
          I checked the 35 page long list of studies that were seen and saw they missed that publication in Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2003, while the journal has an impact factor of ~2.
          Saw they missed more non-American scientific studies…

          Still the only critic I saw on this ‘rock-solid’ study of the German National Research Center for Environment and Health concern the regression analysis. Not that they are wrong or so, but there seem to be more advanced methods available now.
          Also missing likely hood ratios. To my opinion those are superfluous / less relevant as P-levels and confidence intervals are published (most journals require P-levels and confidence intervals).

          Those methodology aspects do not affect any of the conclusions.

          • Brian Mays says:

            I checked the 35 page long list of studies that were seen and saw they missed that publication in Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2003, while the journal has an impact factor of ~2.

            Saw they missed more non-American scientific studies

            Bas – What evidence do you have to back up your claim that the experts on the BEIR committee somehow “missed” that particular publication? It’s far more likely that the committee simply dismissed the “publication” as a weak ecological study focusing on a statistical fluke that was published in an obscure journal by a crackpot with an agenda. It wasn’t even worthy of mention. If they were to take the time to reference every such study — and many of these “non-American scientific studies” that you mention fall into this category — the 35-page-long list that you mention would carry on for a couple hundred pages.

            It’s not the job of the NAS to address every crackpot study out there. They are tasked with identifying the most relevant and most credible scientific work and drawing some general conclusions based on an assessment of this large body of real scientific evidence.

            A single, obscure paper that is highlighted only by nutjobs such as you on blogs such as this do not fall into the category of credible work, regardless of how “rock solid” your scientifically illiterate mind deems it to be.

          • Bas says:

            @Brian,
            This what you call ‘crackpot’ study from the official radiation German research institute, is supported by similar (less rock-solid) study results.

            These studies delivered a contribution to the decision of Merkel after Fukushima, to close Germany’s older NPP’s immediately and the rest before 2022!

            Fukushima and this study together with the fall of her popularity in the polls (in part also due to this study as it’s results were discussed in the press), made her an advocate of the 2000 renewable scenario that prescribes the closing of NPP’s, etc.
            An unique 180 degrees turn around.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            Lemmings follow others over cliffs. Americans are not lemmings.

          • Bas says:

            @Rod,
            German economy runs better than any other economy in the EU, incl. those of nuclear nations UK and France (almost zero budget deficit).

            The Germans attribute an important part of their low unemployment to the transition towards renewable, which creates many jobs.

            So I do not understand what cliff?

          • Rod Adams says:

            The German economy also functioned better throughout the 1930s than most other economies in Europe. It was still nothing to emulate.

          • Brian Mays says:

            Bas – In the scientific world, one study — regardless of where it comes from — means essentially nothing. Your own paper explains that the vast majority of the scientific literature (according to the two review articles it references) disagrees with the conclusions of the paper. It’s not supported by very much — it’s an outlier.

            I call it a crackpot study, because its primary author, based on this publication history, clearly harbors a strong bias against nuclear energy and radiation. His papers are an exhibition of statistical gymnastics that beat into submission a data set of dubious quality so that he can provide some sketchy results that support his predetermined conclusions. The authors even offer up a semi-apology at the end of their paper, in anticipation of criticism of their conclusions. Even they realize how sketchy it is.

          • George Carty says:

            Bas, the main reason Germany’s economy is running so well is because of its huge trade surplus, which until recently was even larger than China’s (in spite of China being a low-wage economy with about 16 times the population of Germany). The main way in which Germany has been able to achieve this is by locking itself in a common currency with a group of much weaker European economies.

            Incidentally, the high electricity prices in Germany resulting from its pro-renewables policy are charge only to households. Industrial users get the electricity at a considerably lower rate — I’ve wrote here before that I’m surprised the WTO doesn’t view this as an illegal export subsidy and come down on Germany like a ton of bricks…

          • Bas says:

            @George,
            …the high electricity prices in Germany resulting from its pro-renewables policy…
            German households pay 26.3cent/KWh.
            Netherlands has no such renewable policy and households here pay between ~22cent/KWh and ~25cent/KWh (depending on the utility the household choose and the contract).

            Those prices are high in both countries as both nations have a similar electricity energy tax in order to stimulate energy savings and raise the income of government.

            So the surcharge due to the Energiewende for households is 2-3cents/KWh, about 10%..

          • Bas says:

            @Brian
            … In the scientific world, one study … means essentially nothing…
            Nothing is exaggerated, but agree more studies are needed for strong evidence.

            The difficulty is that the Bavarian situation is rather unique:
            – similar districts got significant differences in fall-out (zero or ~0.5mSv/a)
            – there was already during >5years an accurate population registration system that registered also all problems around birth *).

            Nevertheless quite a number of studies were done in other western countries. This presentation gives a nice, easy to rea overview:
            http://www.suda.su.se/simsam/SIMSAM%20workshop%202012/Palme_2012.pdf

            *)
            The three countries that got most fall-out (Belarus, Ukraine, Russia) had no such accurate system. Worse the registration after Chernobyl was political directed. Not unusual in those countries. Friend of mine worked in Ukraine and told (corruption) stories that were worse that the ones I had when I worked in Hungary. As a physician in those countries you better take care that your statistics / registration / results are in line with the outcome authorities want (if you want to keep your job).

          • Brian Mays says:

            Friend of mine worked in Ukraine and told (corruption) stories …

            Thanks for more conspiracy theory nonsense. We hardly know your name, much less the name of your so-called “friend.”

            The amount of disinformation that you have pushed on this blog is quite impressive. One would wonder who is paying you to publish such crap, but you’re so bad at it, I would be genuinely surprised to discover that you were paid to do such a bad job. No, it’s clear that you’re just an anonymous idiot pushing junk science to feed your anti-nuclear hysteria, which is fed by the likes of Greenpeace and the various “Green” Parties of Europe.

          • ddpalmer says:

            @Bas

            The German economy has nothing to do with the lemmings and cliff comment, but nice diversion. Except it lets us talk about all the people that will get sick and die earlier because that economy now burns more coal. Or the fact that that economy now relies partly on a continual flow of natural gas from Russia. A supply that could dry up for any number of political or economic reasons. A counties whose energy supply depends on another country’s largese is a country with its head in a noose.

            I also like your diversion attempt with your screed about Netherlands electric price. Sorry but one other country with high rates and a claim of no renewable subsidies does absolutely nothing to refute the claim that Germany’s high rate is caused by renewable subsidies.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        When it comes to Chernobyl you claim that the absurd WHO estimates of 41,000 deaths are low!

        Are you someone who takes Helen Caldicott seriously?
        http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/helen-caldicott-chernobyl-the-biggest-cover-up-in-the-history-of-medicine/

        • Bas says:

          @gallopingcamel
          I read rumors about her. Thanks for the link.
          The video shows quite a women!

          Some statements of the video I do agree.
          E.g. the ones about the under-insurance by a factor 10 – 100.
          So the tax-payer will have to pay in case of disaster (a huge subsidy).

          Note the weak defense of the nuclear industry.
          If there is no chance for such a disaster then insurance syndicates (e.g. Loyds) would be happy to insure more realistic amounts (at least for $100billion) for a low premium.
          But nuclear industry do not want the insurance, as the premium would become very high due to the realistic risks estimates of insurance companies…

          Others I do not agree.
          E.g. She said Fukushima would costs hundreds of thousands of deaths.
          It will cost at least thousands of lives in the long run. But I consider her numbers wild speculation as ~97% of the radio-activity went towards the ocean (using the numbers of the German study it implies that the slightly enhanced levels at US west coast create also extra US stillbirth & birth defects).

          Her statement that Chernobyl created already more than a million death is exaggerated. After 27years most death due to Chernobyl still have to come (~20-60 years delay for low level radiation, nicotine, asbestos, etc).

          She did not state the extra numbers of new born misfits (Down, malformations, etc.), while I consider them more important (bigger numbers; and they show how heavy Chernobyl affects next generations).

          • gallopingcamel says:

            Bas,
            You come across as someone who is prepared to look at studies that challenge LNT dogma. That tells me your mind is still open even though you still remain in the “LNT Camp”.

            Let’s “Agree to Disagee”. Over time, events may incline you one way or the other. If radiation safety were a simple issue we would already have a much better theory than LNT.

            I am encouraged to believe that you are not a “Nuclear Hysteric” like Helen Caldicott or Eleanor Kinnaird, the North Carolina senator for district 23. You don’t believe that “Mega-Death” nonsense any more than I do.