1. This was one nail-in-in article! I’d like to see nuclear organizations such as ANS and NEI prominently take up your mantel to debunk Arnie before he incurs any more unchallenged damage. It’s hard to believe he has more media-pull and access and regard than such professional organizations who’d dutifully correct his harmful accusations! It’s bad enough he and others of his ilk and most green groups take zero responsibility for exacerbating evacuation response panic and misery with their blatant falsehoods. There’s usually a penalty for shouting fire in a theater. I also believe there should be some kind of urgency prompting via international humane groups to get Fukushima residents back home and to kill these persistent malicious news reports that regions of Fukushima will be forever as untouchable as the radioactive “Forbidden Zone” from Planet of the Apes.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. Who is funding the anti-nuke people like this one? Another one is Joseph J. Mangano who criss crosses the US giving scare speeches about nuclear power.

      How work was labeled “junk science” by Popular Mechanics. Another one of these salesmen is David Lochbaum, former NRC board person. He is selling many books, also traveling the US. I don’t know if book sales are enough to support his campaign against nuclear.

      Only the fossil fuel industry is at risk from losing business when a reactor is built. There is a dire need for a good investigative journalist to dig into the wide spread anti-nuclear campaign.

  2. Well, to give Arnie a little bit of credit it would seem he did stumble on to the cause (at least partially) of the SG degradation at San Onofre, but then it was pure luck has he listed all probable (as well as unprobable) causes for the tube degradation and then concluded that they all contributed to the failure.

    Wish somebody would pay me to write reports like that, too bad I have integrity, work ethics and morals!?

    Nice going as usual Rod!

    1. What is ethical about promoting a faulty design that have had an accident? My guess is that you think all thees mark1 reactors are good and safe? Then not to speak about that people are left to virtually fend for them self’s?

      Rod you go there to farm and live. I would like to see you living next door to the girl who is loosing her teeth. I am sure she is lying too, right.

      To build something like a nuclear power plant and not know the average height of a tsunami is reckless. You probably want this to continue, reckless business I mean.

      What do you think of Einsteins thought, “Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water.”

      Nice Rod. How much do you fetch from the industry? Is it good business?

      1. Bosse, I’m a private citizen and live near a nuclear reactor – Diablo Canyon run by PG&E.

        I love this reactor that clears my air of smoke, soot and puts no earth-killing CO2 into the atmosphere. Its been operating safely and flawlessly for almost 30 years pumping out cheap electricity to 3 million citizens, 24/7.

        What mystifies me is the protesters who chant against nuclear that has harmed almost no one, including at Fukushmia and Chernobly, yet these same folks are just fine with the Millions killed and injured by breathing smoke and soot. See the studies done by many agencies on this including the WHO.

        The truth is nuclear reactors save thousands of lives when they replace a fossil fuel power plant. Forbes had a story (6/10/12) on the “Deathprint” of types of electrical energy generation. Coal was worst by killing 170,000 human beings for every trillion Kwhr electricity generated and nuclear was by far the best at 90 deaths per trillion, including Fukushima and Chernobyl.

        There is something very misguided about the anti-nuke campaign that seems to have some $$ behind it. The NYTimes had an editorial last Sunday about the Kochs funding anti-solar power ads. I wonder……

    2. It makes you wonder how he knew as much as he did when they would not show him information about the workings of the generators, I think he has whistle blowers feeding him because they know he will never reveal them. He has alluded to that in the past. That’s why I believe him, he seems to know to many detail or second guess what is going on because he has had good experience dealing with owners that take risk in safety for dollars. I see this big time in this industry because of cost over runs are to frequent.

  3. Hi Rod:

    Like you I criticize Gundersen for lying about the science of health physics, nuclear engineering, etc. Unlike you, I criticize when the pro-nuclear people do it too. I tried to post this (this version is edited) on the ANS Cafe but it was deleted (wonder why?):
    Dear ANS Governance:

    I did not attend the recent ANS meeting, but learned about an alarming aspect over the internet. The President’s Special Session topic was “Low Level Radiation and It’s Implication For Fukushima”. It was co-chaired by the President Eric Loewen and Ted Rockwell.

    Based on a description of the event it appears that the speakers were all against the science of health physics and its LNT theory, which applies not only to radiation but to other genotoxic substances. It appears that the speakers were “cherry-picked” based on political ideology rather than the science of health physics.

    I submit that this practice has violated ANS’s Code Of Ethics Fundamental Principle:

    “ANS members as professionals are dedicated to improving the understanding of nuclear science and technology, appropriate applications, and potential consequences of their use.

    To that end, ANS members uphold and advance the integrity and honor of their professions by using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment; being honest and impartial; serving with fidelity the public, their employers, and their clients; and striving to continuously improve the competence and prestige of their various professions. ”

    It is ironic that when the New York Academy Of Sciences published a “cherry-picked” report on the radiation effects of Chernobyl, Mr. Rockwell was instrumental in raising attention to the matter. However, as late as 2011, Mr. Rockwell has shown his own bias and has denounced (erroneously) the scientific consensus. As a member (former?) of the American Parapsychological Association, he clearly shows a propensity for pseudo-science.

    Dr. Loewen is associated with the George C. Marshall Institute, the same organization which propagandized against the carcinogenicity of tobacco and is currently waging a propaganda war against the science of climatology and climate change.

    This session did not represent the state of the science of radiation health effects, nor did it adhere to the ethics of the ANS.

    Can the ANS learn from the tobacco industry?

    I look forward to your response describing what actions you will take to remedy this situation.

    “The best answer to free speech that happens to be incorrect is more speech that exposes truth and science to show just (how) wrong other interpretations might be.”

    Rod Adams 9/13/10

    1. Wow, could Bob here get any more pathetic and desperate in his attempts to spread nonsense?!

      Way to go Bob! I’m sure the ANS will gladly jump on your bandwagon now that you’ve accused its outgoing President of being a tobacco lobbyist.

      Did you know that the incoming ANS President was associated with Sandia National Lab? And we all know that Sandia has worked on nuclear weapons. Thus, the incoming ANS President is practically Dr. Strangelove!

      Now that we have that tidbit of information, we can dismiss any and all Special Sessions that he will organize as being the product of a psychotic warmonger out to kill us all. At least, this is how the logic works in Bob’s World.

      Bob, are you even a member of the ANS? Are you a member of the HPS? Have you ever read the position statements on the risks of low-level exposure to radiation that have been published by these professional societies?

      If the best argument that you can make is to accuse others of being psychics and tobacco company cronies, then you have already lost the debate. But then again, I don’t expect much more from somebody who doesn’t even know what a review article is.

      Please, Bob, crawl back under that rock. Please tuck tail and return to your pathetic blog, which nobody reads.

    2. There seems a large, nationwide movement or campaign afoot to spread false scary information about nuclear power. Fossil fuel kills millions yearly by smoke and soot, not to mention the earth-killing CO2. I suspect this campaign is organized and secretly funded.

      A NYTimes editorial last Sunday revealed a Koch brothers campaign attacking production of solar power. If Kochs go after poor little solar, it is easy to imagine them going after nuclear power – their only REAL competition.

      We need an investigation by government or journalists.

      1. @William P Gloege

        There seems a large, nationwide movement or campaign afoot to spread false scary information about nuclear power.

        So I’ve noticed. That campaign is not new; it has been in progress with varying levels of intensity since 1970 or so.

        I’m not actually a journalist in the sense of having gone to journalism school, but I have been publishing investigative articles about energy for about 20 years. If you search this site using the term “smoking gun” you will find some articles about the way that people who have interests in other sources of energy support the antinuclear movement in several different ways.

  4. I’d like to respond to Mr. Applebaum’s comments about the LNT model. I’ll start off by saying I don’t know much about that topic, but what I found interesting about his post is that he seemed to me to have the analogy a little backwards in his mind. He compared this issue to the tobacco industry, and tried to make those who are refuting the LNT model equate to the tobacco industry. I think there’s a fallacy in that logic.
    The tobacco industry was entrenched in the idea that tobacco is not harmful because if it was harmful there would be a huge impact on sales and jobs.
    The RP industry is firmly entrenched in the idea that low doses of radiation are harmful because if we accept the idea that it is NOT harmful then thousands of RP/HP professionals will not be needed.
    The tobacco industry ignored any evidence of harmfulness, just as the RP industry ignores any research against the LNT model.
    The tobacco industry stared smear campaigns against those researching the harmful effects of tobacco, just as the RP industry starts smear campaigns against those who refute the LNT model.
    Again, I don’t know much about the scientific investigations, but it seems to me that there is a level of common sense that could be thrown in. If low levels of radiation are as harmful as the industry says they are, why does the government allow us to receive, on average, 600 mrem/year? You’d think they’d be protecting us from the exposure we get EVERY DAY? No RP professional has ever been able to adequately explained this logical fallacy to me.
    Think about how much better off the nuclear industry would be if the public could believe that low levels of radiation are actually safe? The fear and stress could be all but eliminated.

  5. “Why does the government allow us to recieve…”

    In the area of carcinogens, the government regulates companies, not people. If you want to smoke 36 cigarettes / day, go ahead. That is just the way our democratic system has implemented it. If you want to change it, vote for whoever will do so.

    Is that adequate?

    1. What if I want to smoke 36 joints a day?

      Do you think that the DEA would mind?

  6. I’m no fan of Gundersen, and I think his claims about Fukushima’s radioactivity releases are wrong. But the issue of his lying isn’t quite so clear-cut.

    There are other estimates of Fukushima radioactivity release that are much larger than the ones Nature cited. For example, Stohl et al in the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Nov. 2011 (www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/28319/2011/
    doi:10.5194/acpd-11-28319-2011) estimated that the cesium-137 released at Fukushima was 36 PBq, about 42 % of the amount released at Chernobyl. When it comes to total radioactivity, which is dominated by radioactive noble gases, Stohl et al estimated a Fukushima release of 16.7 Exobecquerel, which is a smidge larger than Nature’s total Chernobyl figure of 14 EBq. (it’s also larger than the total radioactive noble gas inventory that they estimate for all the stricken Fukushima reactors, about 12 EBq, so go figure!) Anyway, Gundersen could point to the Stohl paper to defend his statement against charges of lying.

    It’s hard for me to sort out the various estimates of Fukushima radioactivity release at this point. I’m waiting for the UNSCEAR report on Fukushima, due next year, for an authoritative figure.

  7. Bob Applebaum is a stanch supporter of the status quo in matters of radiation protection and claims that his position is backed by science and endlessly berates those that continue to analyze the issue if their finding does not support this view. Now, apparently he is demanding that it never be questioned even by those like the American Nuclear Society who’s membership are certainly qualified to examine the subject, and who it can be assumed can weigh all evidence before coming to a conclusion. He then astonishingly claims that their temerity is even suggesting that the issue of the impacts of low dose radiation should continue to be reviewed is a violation of that organization’s code of ethics.

    One is forced to wonder if Applebaum is as sure of his own position as he claims to be.

    One would think that if LNT was as firmly established as he asserts it is, then it should be able to withstand the sort of criticisms that were raised in the ANS Special Session without needing calls for the topic to be placed off limits by this organization by fiat. The fact that he has done nothing except attack the panel’s members and demands that the issue be suppressed speaks to an obvious lack of confidence in the model he supports.

  8. Mr. Adams bias is well known in his effort to sale small nukes. Does he think telling lies about Mr. Gunderson will help him in his goal to sale the small nuke idea? This article is very low in ethics and I do not believe will help him with his goal.

    1. @Gene Stone

      You are right that my “biases” in favor of nuclear energy and the use of smaller nuclear plants where appropriate are well known. They should be, I remind people of that fact on a regular basis. I also frequently explain exactly how I came to my conclusions about the benefits of nuclear fission energy when compared to all other available forms of energy.

      I realize that telling the truth about someone else’s lies is sometimes considered to be playing dirty, but there is nothing unethical about telling the truth. If you take a look at my resume, which is available via a link in my author blurb on every post I publish, you might notice that I once taught ethics at the college level. The specifics of the research I did to prepare for that teaching assignment are starting to blur for me, but I remember well enough to know that every ethical framework we covered included strong approval for integrity, even if it caused discomfort to people who had less integrity.

      1. Rod wrote: “There is a vast gap between a prediction of “very few, close to no deaths” and “we’re going to see about a million cancers.””

        Well yes there is a vast gap. Arnie said “about a million cancers”, and you’ve tried to debunk that by quoting “very few close to no deaths”. Arnie didn’t say “a million deaths”, he said “a million CANCERS”.

        Arnie might be wrong in his claim of a million cancers, but you haven’t succesfully proved that he lied. Maybe if you found somebody saying that Fukushima will cause “very few close to no CANCERS” you might have a point.

        1. @jimmy

          I would prefer to use a scientific paper link to respond, but the results sections of those are often couched in language that seems almost purposely designed to confuse most of the rest of us. Instead, please read the following news report and notice some of the sections where the journalist reports what experts have said about the cancer causing nature of the radiation dose rates that have been measured as a result of Fukushima.


          Here’s an example:

          “Some of the dozen experts the AP interviewed said they believe radiation doses most Japanese people have gotten fall in a “low-dose” range, where the effect on cancer remains unclear.
          The cancer risk may be absent, or just too small to detect, said Dr. Fred Mettler, a radiologist who led an international study of health effects from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.”

          And another one:

          “And a preliminary survey of 3,373 evacuees from the 10 towns closest to the plant this summer showed their estimated internal exposure doses over the next several decades would be far below levels officials deem harmful.”

          Even the nuclear opponent interviewed for balance talked about the possibility of “thousands” not a million cancers.

          Finally, if experts are saying few, if any deaths, do you really believe it is possible for a million cancers to be caused without a rather substantial number of the cases resulting in early deaths?

        2. The OMS and the UNSCEAR are stating “very few close to no CANCERS” in their resports about the state in Fukushima, here’s their report in the major scientific publication “Nature” :
          “Experts agree that there is unlikely to be a detectable rise in thyroid cancer or leukaemia, the two cancers most likely to result from the accident”
          “The risk to the roughly 140,000 civilians who had been living within a few tens of kilometres of the plant seems even lower”

          This article also reports that only 0.1% of the most exposed 110,000 Chernobyl workers developed leukaemia.

  9. Rod

    This post made me think about why I usually don’t call people “a liar.” I had a vague understanding of the legal action business, but my real reason is whether I think they are lying or merely not telling the truth. To me, “Lying” means you KNOW something is not true, but you say it anyway. That could be as simple as “my husband isn’t home right now” when actually he’s working and doesn’t want to be disturbed. Or it could be much worse. Either way, it’s a lie if the person knows he is saying something that is not true.

    I think a lot of what the opponents say isn’t a lie by that definition. They believe what they are saying. It isn’t true, but they have heard it repeated (maybe by themselves) and maybe they have just reached the point of believing their own lies, but anyhow..there it is. They are saying what they believe to be true.

    On the other hand, the words “he lied” are very powerful and the opponents use them on all occasions. “Entergy lied under oath” (no, they didn’t, and they have been cleared by about three investigations). “I am sick of the lies of the nuclear industry.” SIgn on the road near a public meeting “Entergy lies ahead.” “The NRC has to stop lying to us.” , Etc.

    Nobody sues the nuclear opponents. Nobody even notices

    Does Gundersen know he is not telling the truth? Frankly, I am not sure. When I debated him, he seemed pretty darn convinced of everything he said, even the stuff I could completely refute within thirty seconds. Anyhow, something for me to think about.

    Thank you for the post.

    1. Does Gundersen know he is not telling the truth? Frankly, I am not sure.

      Liar or idiot? At the end of the day, does it really matter?

    2. I dunno Meredith. When anti-nukes were running around getting in the faces of Fukushima evacuees and shouting “you’re going to die!” I’d be pretty hard pressed not to call them liars in light all the evidence, as also most their off-the-wall vaporware fear tales which reason and logic doesn’t need any proving. In the streets if you sling shots about someone and coyly don’t cough up the dough (of proof), that you’re a liar is the least of terms you’d be labeled. I’ve yet seen Arnie or Helen cough up the dough. That’s what vexes me about pro organizations like ANS and NEI shying from taking on these two media darlings toe-to-toe and publicly trashing their poisonous rants and assertions. I mean, they’re only out to scare and sway whole populations to shut down the bases of nuclear livelihoods and professions.

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

    3. If Gundersen is lying, how come much of what he warns about comes to be? In the first days of Fukushima, he was calling the accident worse then TMI. Industry publicly disagreed with him. It was only months later that national media reported that the severity level of the Daiichi accident was upgraded. Time and again we see Gundersen being attacked on issues of credibility and time and again his positions are vindicated.

      I don’t take Rod seriously enough to really direct a response towards him, but as for you Meredith, I sat in that audience when you debated Gundersen and listened to what sounded like you comparing a nuclear reactor to a banana. As you said “‘Lying’ means you KNOW something is not true, but you say it anyway,” and since I don’t think you are a liar, I’m forced to think that you either don’t eat bananas OR don’t mind licking spent fuel…

  10. @Gene Stone – If you believe that there have been lies told here about Gunderson, make an effort to correct them with references and other proof. Taking drive-by shots at the author does nothing to make you credible or helps Gunderson’s position.

  11. I’m hopeful over the last few years Mr. Adams, ANS, NEI and others are responding to false and unjustified claims from the global anti-nuclear lobby spread of FUD Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt in media.
    I feel AGW, anti-nuclear, overpopulation control groups and the politics they espouse fit an agenda of self-limiting strategies to limit human advancement & aspirations. Oddly enough they tend to go contrary to reproducible investigative science in service of anti-human goals.

  12. I spoke with Arnie by email and his wife wrote back because he was travelling. I mentioned hormesis and that perhaps they were doing a dis-service to the Japanese people by leaving out any knowledge of Radiation Hormesis.

    Apparently they believe in LNT … no wonder they are scaring people. the LNT hypothesis is widely believed apparently without a scrap of science behind it. Arnie and Maggie said that LNT was the theory of choice and they did not believe in it. I wrote back with a lot of evidence to support radiation hormesis but they never wrote back.

    Ian Soutar
    Vancouver Island.

    1. Ian, they *do* *not* *believe* in LNT. They are constantly making wild claims that are totally unsupported by LNT, claiming a number of cancers that’s tens or hundreds of time more than LNT.

      The reason why LNT is hard to refute is that it predicts a *very* *low* number of cancer, that can not be distinguished from the normal number of cancers expected in the population.

  13. I think Mr Gunderson is getting the real truth about nucular power out to the public, It is just to dangerest. No safe storage for spent fuel. Dead zones all over the word for hundred of years. AND yes thousands of cancers…you would half to be a fool to think radiation is safe in any amount. I would love to see a debate between you and gunderson. Nucular power is not cleaner if you look at the total contaminants but I have to admitt it is greener in corporate pockets !!!!

    1. Well, now that we’ve heard from the teenage, illiterate portion of the Internet, I guess we should all “admitt” that we need to contemplate how “to dangerest” nuclear power is. We would “half to be a fool” not to do so.

      Personally, I would love to see “Randall” purchase an English dictionary and actually read it. That might eliminate many of the contaminants from his attempts to communicate using the English language.

      After he or she is finished with the dictionary, perhaps following up with a good science textbook would be time well spent before showing up to comment here again on “nucular” power.

      There a Gunderson fan for you. I guarantee that Gunderson’s target audience has a mean IQ below 80.

      1. Brian you obviously feel you are superior to Randall but I don’t think it is appropriate to get personal as you do and this demonstrates to me that you are not infact superior in any way. What Randall says is quite clear and he is entitled to his opinion just as you are, and to express it the best way he can. It is a classic and ineffective form of debate that when one’s opponent makes a statement that you cannot disprove with a logical argument there follows an attempt to discredit the opponent. But It doesn’t work unless you have an audience of buffoons who cannot see through this manoeuvre. In fact what Randall says is absolutely correct regardless of it’s limitations.

    2. @Randall

      You honestly believe there are “dead zones” all over the world? Do you ever read corporate financial reports? Can you honestly tell me that nuclear energy provides more “green” to corporations than selling coal, oil, or natural gas? (The revenues from selling various flavors of fossil fuel energy dwarf the nuclear industry by several orders of magnitude.)

  14. I think Arnie has jumped to conclusions but you have quoted old facts. From Tepco’s figures themselves Fukushima has released roughly 1/4 of Chernobyl (this is for air only in both figures).

    Also figures have shown that the land contamination isn’t as bad as Chernobyl at the moment(it can fluctuate). However these area’s are more densely populated.

    I think it’s safe to say Chernobyl up until now has caused roughly 1 million premature deaths. I don’t think you can scientifically say yet how many people the Fukushima accident will prematurely kill. But I think we should put safety first and if assumptions are needed, take the worst case scenario.

    1. @Gaffney

      You are wrong by more than five orders of magnitude. Chernobyl has caused about 65 deaths. The report that a former editor of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences printed as a favor to Greenpeace (an perhaps under pressure by a certain wealthy member of the board who has made billions as a Russian-American oil and gas oligarch) is a work of creative fiction. You can read all about the issue on Atomic Insights by doing a search for “NYAS”.

      For a more accurate understanding of the effects of the Chernobyl accident on the people who lived in the area, I highly recommend visiting the UNSCEAR site dedicated to the topic and following the links to detailed papers that paint a completely different picture from the one that Yablokov fabricated.


      If you want to gain a more accurate picture of the evacuated zone in Ukraine and Belarus you might want to read “Wormwood Forest” by Mary Mycio. There is another book that was just covered by NPR titled “Visit Sunny Chernobyl” that looks like it might also challenge the assertions about the long term effects of a serious reactor accident that released significant quantities of radioactive material by the professional opposition to the use of nuclear energy.

  15. Pertaining to the contaminant and pollution content…

    The contrast in waste products from nuclear and chemical reactions
    is equally as dramatic. The radioactive waste from nuclear plants
    is much more toxic than most by-products of coal production, but that
    toxicity must be weighed against the much smaller quantities of waste
    produced. If reprocessing is used to separate the unused uranium from
    the spent nuclear fuel, then the amount of highly radioactive waste
    remaining from the 1000-MW(e) nuclear plant amounts to substantially
    less than 10 tons per year. In contrast, 5% or more of the coal
    burned becomes ash that must be removed and stored in a landfill or
    elsewhere at the rate of more than five 100-ton-capacity railroad cars
    per day. Likewise it may be necessary to prevent nearly 100 tons of
    sulfur dioxide and lesser amounts of mercury, lead, and other impurities
    from being released to the environment. But the largest environmental
    impact from burning fossil fuels may well be the global
    warming caused by the thousands of tons of CO2 released to the
    atmosphere each day by a 1000-MW(e) coal-fired power plant.

    Fundamentals of nuclear reactor physics. (Lewis, 2008)

    The weight of danger associated against nuclear contaminants is still of measurable debate however against conventional fuels.
    Pertaining to news ramblings: People are much more interested in fear and
    panic than the truth, whatever the ‘truth’ may be. It’s all a political game unfortunately.
    The queries of the interviewer seemed to incite doubt in the viewers, especially when he asked about similar reactors in the US being near highly populated cities. I support the
    smaller Thorium reactor infrastructure as well.
    You all entertain me immeasurably on here.

  16. Well now, the way I see this as a past Operator of muti fuel boilers, recovering chemicals, making process steam for mutiple operations at mutiple pressures, steam was used from 900lb.to 50lb. before it was condensed. There was danger there too, but if I lost power the only problem was the mess of the crash. —–IF I LOST POWER OR EARTHQUAKE —— I NEED NO INCOMING POWER LINES, OR BACK-UP GENERATORS. I CAN BE DOWN FOR 1 DAY OR 10 YEARS, WITH OUT MELT DOWN. There are MUCH better ways to boil water, and use of Steam with more than a single process. Nuke as it is now should be discontinued, because of the total waste of heat and the giant pile of trash that is impossible to work on or around the older the system gets. As a past Health and Saftey Chairman , all I can say is good luck and please take me to anouther planet free from nuke bombs, bullits, and boilers. Arnie is just calling it as it is.

    1. @Bill Blasko

      I have visited a number of nuclear power plants and have never seen any “giant pile of trash.” You can perform the same exercise using Google Earth. In contrast, I HAVE visited several coal fired power plants that were right next to huge landfills where their ashes were piped. The facility that made the biggest impression on my memory was the Big Bend power station on the Tampa Bay. Since the terrain there is really flat, the growing mountain of ash spread over several dozen acres makes a huge visual impact.

      That plant also happened to have been the site of a hydrogen explosion that rocked the communities surrounding the Bay with a very loud bang and resulted in killing several operators as it blew the walls off of the turbine building.

      I’m also pretty certain that many of the highest tech fossil fuel plants have backup generators that are an absolute necessity to allow for a safe shutdown in the event of a loss of power. Coal dust makes for a rather delicate situation if you do not shut down huge boilers with some amount of care to ensure explosions do not happen. You might not need that backup power for very long, but you still need it.

      With regard to melted reactors, the real question is who was harmed? The crumple zones worked, only about 100 kg of long lived material was dispersed and there will be no long term health effects because the doses were well within the normal variations of background exposure to all but a tiny handful of site workers.

      1. Well, Rod the way that you see things they will always be clean, as they do nothing but boil water. What you forget about is the processes required to get your “fuel” . When you only get less than 5% of all total metel mined and the rest is considered as depleted and then spread that around the world calling it amunition there is a slight problem. Having been highly exposed my self working across street from Climax U Tailing pile running a foundry 40 years ago, then moving back to the reservation back in montana, i got a little sick, it has taken me 30 years, with the last 10 being Health and Safety Chairman within the Atomic and steel workers union , what ever it has now merged into, to find out what happened to me in the Colorado desert. Plus I have been trained by the same people in Wa. D.C. who wrote all of the CFR rules you or I must operate under. My ex father in law worked on Project Ruleson and Rio Blanko , and many of co-workers had worked on the Hanford clean up and many Navajo friends who were miners or in processing ore, they are not here any more. I feel lucky my res. Dr. figured it out , or I would be dirt napping whith my friends. Yes i’m a down winder ,and bomb tested, so I look at it differently than you , never being a true operator in a field sense, always seeing the good, but nothing inbetween. As far as a large coal or gas fired boiler, no there in no emergency generators, yes we have gen. systems, but only to restart systems , with out power all fuel stops when all valves are power to open , loss of power drops fuel so fast there is no time , it just gets quiet as all Id and Fd fans spin down, e/ power is only need ed for turning gear on grn sets and fans as they are so big and heavy they cannot just sit idle or they will bend. So my friend look a little more at the fossel side, the place i was for 20 years is gone, scrap.and the land around it is still useable, not so in your field . One other thing , if it is so good why are Drs. forbiden to tell you if you are exposed as a outsider, you should read “Killing Our Own” ..one of my daughters has a thyroid problem from the Tucson incident layed out in this document. This could go on forever so i will stop at this point, as I used to believe as you do, but cannot any mre as i educated my self . To say a man is lying, well do more research an you might see things different, I do have a simple ?…where and what is done with your “cont. blow down water & manual blow down water”?

        1. Bill, you know what you’re talking about and you’re right on the money for sure. but Rod is trying to make money here so he can’t have people going round saying things like this…… It’s a tragedy that every mortal person will eventually have to bear the burden of the hidden (unadmitted) costs of the nuclear industry, from it’s mining to it’s waste. There’s none so blind as will not see, none so deaf as will not hear. I have read these posts and the Pro’s are filled with assumption after denial after assumption. It’s almost incredible that anyone is sufficiently capable of fooling themselves to the point where they try to fool others with these vapid arguments. “Just get pseudo technical and blind em with bs….” At some point sometime soon, I’m hoping these misleading representations will come home to roost just as they have for all those who have suffered because of this dumb insistence. IN the meantime I continue to reflect on those people who have experienced the suffering and loss that this industry has imposed upon them. I’d rather just turn the lights out, I really would. Rod, it really would be better for all mankind if you and your fellow nukes would find something more constructive to make money from.

          1. @seabird

            IN the meantime I continue to reflect on those people who have experienced the suffering and loss that this industry has imposed upon them. I’d rather just turn the lights out, I really would.

            Can you point to anyone who has suffered an actual injury that was not imposed by irrational reaction by government? Sure, there are many thousands of people who have been displaced in Fukushima prefecture, but nearly all of them could safely return home today and most could have been living in their homes by the end of April 2011.

            With regard to your last statement – have you ever suffered through life without electricity for any significant period of time? Do you have any idea how difficult it can be? (Sure, humans have done so, but the people who live that way today have an average life expectancy that is a couple of decades shorter than people living in places with reliable electricity.)

  17. Stop all nukes. Stop uranium mining. Kickstart renewable energies. Conserve where there’s a deficit.

    Nukes = Displacement and Death.

    1. I see. Shut down a power source that’s on U.N. record of barely killing anyone over in 60 years worldwide so you can be happy with ones known for generations to’ve killed and hospitalized literal millions with health aliments and inflicted tens of thousands in worker and local civilian deaths by accidents. Yea, you’re one real public health Brainniac alright. And “renewable” ain’t gonna cut it without a _real_ baseload power source backing it up if you want a vibrant high-powered economy, brains.

      James Greenidge

  18. Mr. Adams, you may not have a diagnosed cancer as yet… but I have personally known two nuclear engineers who worked for GE in California – both deceased in the past fifteen years from leukemia. I had a total thyroidectomy in the 1960s for papillary cancer caused by Xrays “to stimulate the thymus gland” as an infant. And I still have to deal with MDs who are not knowledgable about the long term effects of radiation on the immune system, blood pressure, genetics, etc. No unusual family medical histories, but first child severly autistic, second bi-polar/hearing loss and grandchild autistic. Amazing what a little excess radiation can do!

    1. @M Curie (nice pseudonym, by the way)

      Your anecdotes are not terribly convincing. I work around nuclear engineers ever day. None of my colleagues have any occupational exposure to radiation, so any leukemias that might develop would have nothing to do with radiation. I have not been diagnosed with cancer, but I can name at least a half dozen family members or very close friends who have died from the nasty disease. Not one of them had any radiation relation. It is a disease that ends up being responsible for about 20-40% of all deaths, depending on the country being studied.

      The autism and hearing loss in your children are personally tragic, but there is no evidence in any credible science reports of either one of those negative health consequences arising as a result of radiation exposure to a parent. I don’t know what kind of tripe you read or what kind of quacks provided your diagnosed cause of their issues, but you need to find more credible sources of information.

  19. In the last week or so Tepco has come forward revising data they now admit distorting for the least 2.5 years on levels of radiation released. Arne appears correct in his calculations now that Tepco is forced by the lost control of plant operations and recovery to hide the level if radiation facts further.

    1. Wow! Heap Big Nostradamus Arnie has again hit one o’clock on a clock once a day with his same tired fishing “predictions” — never mind he doesn’t state or “calculate” just HOW or WHERE or WHY the radiation leaks have occurred, only scoring home that (genius!) that it was a TEPCO cover-up! Gee, predicting that must’ve taken alotta guesspower! “Correct calculations” lost control of the plant? Gee, I gotta see how Armie calculated that one! Figures please? There’s no more “loss of control” of that plant than a pipe burst in your home means you “lost control” there! You’re hooked on scaring yourself royally, guy. Better stop fawning up the wrong tree!

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

      1. I don’t know if all these rumours about the consequences of the nuclear problems in Fukushima are true, i’m not a scientist. It’s just words from guys like you against guys like Arnie Gundersen. Maybe it’s all false and blown up. But maybe it’s true and our planet is facing an enormous disaster? Damn, I’m actually scared and wish that people would actually do something about it and reduce the risks, even if they aren’t sure about what is about to happen. So you wan’t to wait until you see some evidence, maybe till it’s too late? And tell me where did you get your facts that there’s no “loss of control” of that plant?

        1. @Michael D’Haeze

          Numerous international agencies have evaluated the health consequences of the Fukushima accident. Their assessment is that there have been zero radiation related injuries more serious than a mild sunburn and that the potential for long term health impacts is extremely low.

          Here are some factual and referenced posts about the current water issues that are getting so much play in the advertiser supported media:




          1. All links to the same website? your website? That didn’t really convince me. I’m not questioning if there are radiation related injuries, i’m pretty sure there are. A lot of different mainstream media have reported about the consequences. I was wondering just if it is as threatening as people like Arnie Gunderson say.

            Do you really think people are stupid enough to believe your denials about the dangers of nuclear power??? What enterprise pays you to spread this kind of crap?

            1. All of the links were to articles I have written, but each of the articles includes references and links. When I comment on my own blog, I often link to answers I have already provided. It reduces duplication and happens to be a lot easier for me.

              I do not deny that nuclear energy has its dangers. I celebrate its overall safety record and its benefits for mankind; in my opinion, the risks are worth the reward when you compare them to any other power source that can provide power that is as clean and reliable.

              Nobody pays me to spread information about nuclear energy. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was paid for engineering/analyst work related to building the procedure infrastructure required to design and license a small modular reactor. I determined that my real calling was to share what I have learned in more than 30 years worth of professional work and study related to energy technology, maintenance, operations, economics, politics, and perceptions. If people like what I write, I might earn some money. If not, I won’t. Here are more details about that decision.


          2. Michiel D’Haeze
            October 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM
            All links to the same website? your website? That didn’t really convince me. I’m not questioning if there are radiation related injuries, i’m pretty sure there are. A lot of different mainstream media have reported about the consequences.

            If the ardently anti-nuclear New York, Washington and even super lib L.A. Times haven’t coughed up or reported any radiation injuries you can believe it because they’d LOVE there to be such to coffin nail nuclear with. That goes for Fukushima fish too. Unlike fanatical green rags that don’t care, that these big guys aren’t willing to hang their reputations by endorsing or columnizing kooks like Gunderson should tell you something.

          3. @Mitch, I’m not American. I’m Belgian, and the newspaper here have reported about the consequences from the problems at fukushima. We’re talking about objective newspaper that aren’t explicit left or right, unlike media in the U.S. Although it’s not really frontpage news, more like in small articles. But the fact that the Japanese prime minister puts his pride aside and asks for foreign help must mean something right??

            @Rod Adams I agree that the risks of nuclear energy are small. But in case of unforseen circumstances like earthquakes the consequences can be dramatic. Don’t you agree too? Are you prepared to take that risk? I find the reportings about the radioactive water that is going in the ocean very frightening.

            You may call me a hippie for this but I think we fucked up our planet for too long now and it’s time we do something about it. Maybe my perception of things is influenced by the country I live in. I live in the northern part of Belgium, it has a density of 470 inhabitants per square kilometer. A horizon without any building on it is a very rare sight. There’s no wild nature over here, sometimes i feel claustrophobic, I feel like we fucked up nature, we lost our roots with our environment. And when I hear reports about nuclear disasters, with radioactive water leaking into the ocean, it makes me even more pessimistic. Do you get my point of view?

            1. @Michiel D’Haeze

              I get your point of view, but perhaps sharing my point of view can help you understand where I am coming from.

              1. I’ve spent a couple of years completely submerged in a sealed submarine powered by a nuclear reactor. I was never more than 200 feet away from that reactor. Its fuel mass was a little more than my body weight, but it powered a 9,000 ton ship with a crew of 150 people for 14 years. It operated so much of the year that it took two full crews to keep up with the operations.

              2. I live in a small city in Virginia where I often travel through rural areas and where the view from my back deck is across scattered subdivisions up to distant mountains. https://atomicinsights.com/value-of-an-unspoiled-view/

              3. I’ve spent many months at sea, paying attention to its three dimensional nature. I recognize the vastness of oceans and the tiny quantities of radioactive material released from the Fukushima power plant. https://atomicinsights.com/how-much-i-131-and-cs-137-was-released-into-atmosphere-at-fukushima/

              4. I’ve visited dozens of power plants and know the differences between the various types of available fuel sources.

              5. I studied alternative energy systems under Chih Wu, a well respected energy researcher who wrote the book on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). I designed solar power systems and quickly recognized their severe limitations.

              6. I have sailed on the open ocean for several thousand miles (At least half a dozen roundings of the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia peninsula, three trips to Bermuda, one to Halifax, one from Annapolis to New York), giving me first hand, memorable experience with the unreliable nature of the wind.

              Believe it or not, I was once considered a bit of a hippy myself. When I interviewed for a nomination to the Naval Academy, I had the longest hair out of the group of more than 200 applicants. I was the only male in the group not wearing a tie. (My interest in the Naval Academy stemmed from my already keen interest in nuclear energy and the fact that the school was extremely affordable.)

        1. I’m sure that you can find seventy-some thousand people who “believe” in Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster too. Some “proof.”

          As if the Secretary-General of the UN is going to take the urging of a burnt-out stoner and seventy-some thousand nitwits over the advice of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Hilarious!

          1. So only scientists, experts and politicians should have their opinion about these matters? And a nitwit like me, who’s no scientist, expert or politicians, should shut the fuck up and swallow everything “the elite” says? I live on this planet too, I breath the air you breath, drink the water you drink, and I’m concerned. Freightened actually. You find that hilarious? You think your opinion is better than others?

            1. @Michiel D’Haeze

              Brian is sometimes hard to deal with. That is true of many scientists and engineers that do not have much empathy for people who do not live their lives based on mathematics.

              I understand that you are frightened, so I want to work with you to help you understand that you might be frightened of the wrong things. I also want you to start questioning who taught you to be fearful of atomic energy and radiation. It did not come naturally; ask any three year old who is just learning about the world around them if they are afraid of radiation.

              The world’s fossil fuel companies sell about 5-6 trillion dollars per year worth of product to the rest of us. Those sales numbers would drop rather dramatically if more energy was being produced in nuclear reactors. Not only would they lose sales in competition with nuclear energy, but the market prices of all fuel sources would drop due to the increase in overall supply.

              Fear is something that can be taught; there are plenty of people who have been well motivated to teach people to be afraid of nuclear energy.

          2. Re: Michiel D’Haeze “Oonly scientists, experts and politicians should have their opinion about these matters? And a nitwit like me, who’s no scientist, expert or politicians, should shut the fuck up and swallow everything “the elite” says? I live on this planet too, I breath the air you breath, drink the water you drink, and I’m concerned. Freightened actually. You find that hilarious? You think your opinion is better than others?”

            You and too many Greens have one uppity attitude to think you all have a monopoly on caring about our kids and families and the environment and having the smarts to deal with it. Maybe you should take a long visit to your local hospital’s respiratory and burn wards and witness the health effects of fossil energy use even in normal operations, forget accidents. Note there’re no nuke accident hospital wards ANYWHERE. Someone’s royally barking up the wrong hazard tree! Why don’t you all sic after proven killers with a long far deadlier track record if you’re so concerned of public health and safety? Really, I gotta give the devil his due to the antis in that they did one great job on the heads of lots of frightened clueless people whose fear and concern priorities are all F’ed up, and their hypocrisy is glaring when an “if” worry triumphs stark painful reality and proven records. Why don’t you just say you really want to punish and banish the atom for the special evil it did at Hiroshima instead of beating around the bush with reactor ding hatchets pulled from under rocks? If you believe in Arnie and Helen and other “credible” anti-nuke honchos so much then email them to sit in debate round-tables with the pro likes of Rod and Will and Meredith! They haven’t and WON’T! THINK WHY! Hint; It’s called the Emperor has no clothes.

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

          3. @ James Greenidge, if you hadn’t started your reply with “you and too many greens” I’d take your reply more serious. I don’t consider myself a “green” just because I care about my health and my environment. Anyway, you just prove my point that I’d better shut my mouth and leave the discussion to “people who know” didn’t you?

            Just one more question, out of curiosity : What do you think about the things that are going on at Fukushima? That they are harmless? that there’s no danger involved? That no one’s health is threatened? And also why? Or can you give me a good book (or other media) with objective facts that I should read? I’d appreciate a serious answer, I don’t know many facts I just hear opinions from both sides, I’d love to learn more. And I don’t wan’t to be freightened if it isn’t true.

            1. @Michiel D’Haeze

              Before you leave, please consider the fact that there are many people in this conversation besides aggressive responders like James and Brian.

              I recommend reading George Monbiot’s column on why Fukushima turned him from being strongly opposed to the use of nuclear energy to being a somewhat reluctant supporter.


              Another thing that you might be interested in reviewing is his debate with Helen Caldicott, a woman who has made a career out of teaching people to be afraid of nuclear energy.


              Monbiot followed that debate up with a series of articles. Here is a link to one of them.


          4. Just one more question, out of curiosity : What do you think about the things that are going on at Fukushima? That they are harmless? that there’s no danger involved? That no one’s health is threatened? And also why?

            Unlike the “nuclear news” sources you tap, I don’t think the Red Cross and other internationally renown and regarded health and biomed institutes and agencies have any axe to grind with things nuclear. and reported that they aren’t all that worked up about the effects of Fukushima on its immediate neighborhood and waters. Really, check their web sites. Those groups and media that are upset simply because they, when it’s boiled down for ideological reasons, just want to abolish nuclear energy to assuage their frets and souls, pure and simple, so much for their colored “objectivity”.

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

  20. ALARA, as low as resonably achievable. No radiation is good radiation. Remember that? First lesson for all radiologic technologists.

  21. Well I guess you might want to retract your statements at this point. This is a horrible ploy at pro nuclear propaganda.

  22. Also since Germany has solar plants producing 20gigs now it makes your career choice appear to be starting it extinction. Yet sadly many people in America are not aware of that type of information. I come from a family of people who regrettably worked in the nuclear power industry as plant operators, testers, and engineering designers. My father has felt so much guilt for what he calls “The arrogance of his youth” as a pro-nuclear spokesperson during the 70’s and 80’s. Once he visited Chernobyl in the 80’s he walked away from it all. He feels guilt for thinking that we as a species were responsible enough to use this form of power. Ive only ever seen him cry 3 times and the Fukushima disaster was one of those times. We live in Florida and luckily our readings have not gone up very often as far as background. But food and drinks have been slowly increasing in this past year to scary levels. Once the disaster happened he had a plan of action that shouldve been implemented immediately. But alas here we are with nothing there to stop this monster as it douses the Northwest and trickles bit by bit accumulating in the remaining Northern Hemisphere.
    I understand your need for survival, but there comes a time to put ones arrogance on the back burner and try to make amends for the damage caused. No one is taking responsibility and the cover up of this issue iis inspiring the tin foil hat wearing individuals to ask questions. And these past two years even I have to admit that they have started to gain credibility with the admittance of the dangers of fluoride in the drinking water (as you and I already were aware) and the chemtrail thing. So are we to continue to listen to TEPCO and our govt after they have consistently been caught in such lies? We wouldnt listen to a co-worker who lied to us constantly, and we sure wouldnt trust them. So why are we doing it with these corrupt groups in politics?

    1. Germany has solar plants producing 20gigs now

      20 gigawatt-hours is not a lot of energy for a country the size of Germany. For example, in 2009 Germany consumed almost 25,000 times that much electricity.

      … cover up of this issue iis [sic] inspiring the tin foil hat wearing individuals to ask questions.

      It’s so rare of people like you to admit that they actually wear the hats. But for some reason, apparently none of them can spell. (Useful Tip: It’s an easy way to spot them when you can’t see them or when they’re not wearing their hats.)

      1. I appreciate the vague insult. But the ability to be a “grammar nazi” is void in the case of a typo. But nevertheless it was an amazing response that proves you are the type of person that does not listen, but rather waits to speak. Your only response to anything I typed was the childish so I assume you agree with everything else?

        Overall my message was that there is an option of having cleaner, safer electricity production. And it will happen in time. But that requires evolution….something that people like you seem to fear for it will require adaptation.

        I researched deeper and found out that Germany produced 18 TWh during 2011. It could’ve produced more but it routed electricity to neighboring countries during that time. So it actually produced just under 5% of its nationwide needs on an annual basis. Imagine if they were a country that had the environment that the US has and could set up plants in the areas that get over 90% clear sunny skies on an annual basis, such as the Southwest.

        Also, I don’t consider myself one to wear this hat. But those that do have exposed many truths that now are accepted fact. Of course many of their ideas, and theories seem insane. Then again look at how many people thought that fluoride was healthy to be consumed in the water system just because they were told it was the truth. Or the ideal of chemtrails , that was denied and considered to be conspiracy because so few knew the difference between contrails and chemtrails. You, I am sure, were one of those people and probably refused to acknowledge the facts that we were lied to over and over again in these matters.

        i eegerly awaitt you’re responce….

        1. @MattKozak

          Then again look at how many people thought that fluoride was healthy to be consumed in the water system just because they were told it was the truth.

          I have personally benefited from having grown up with fluoridated water; I’m in my mid 50s and have only had 3 tooth cavities in my entire life. It takes a special kind of person to disbelieve everything you are told because you believe others are always lying.

          1. This may be true. I for one have never had a cavity in my life but come from a family of those that do. Mind you I grew up on bottled (with a lower ppm than tap) and reverse osmosis water and my parents/close family members grew up on fluoridated water. So accounting a person to person bias is non-scientific.

            Before I get into the details of the different types of fluoride based compounds, I’m just going to ask you to research this amongst information released this current year. Specifically sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, stannous fluoride, and fluorosilicic acid, and then compare it to calcium fluoride: the natural occurring fluoride found in water that is untreated (although still toxic but the least toxic of the group and its not added to our water systems).

            If you do not want to research fluoride and its different types and uses I can detail them for you but I’m no authority on the subject. I’m just moderately educated on the matter via the knowledge of the subject.

            In fact there was a great book written called “The Fluoride Deception” written by a guy (Whose name I currently can not remember, But he is not a tin foil hatter, but rather an accredited journalist throughout Europe.) It goes into detail of the the countless research done on how it became introduced to us as a nation, and to the world. And then back to being removed from water supplies around most of Europe due to its harmful effects, as well as non-conclusive effects of tooth decay/cavity growth.

            Or you can just go eat a tube of crest and have a medical team do some research for you. (OKAY THIS IS A JOKE. DO NOT EAT A TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE UNLESS YOU NEVER WANT TO RESPOND TO ANY COMMENT EVER AGAIN Just thought I’d try to lighten the mood a little in my own twisted way.)

      2. If you are trying to convince people that have a different opinion maybe you should drop the nitwit, hippie, “people like you” labels and I might just listen to what you have to say? If you actually have any content to share, that is.

  23. “I can name at least a half dozen family members or very close friends who have died from the nasty disease. Not one of them had any radiation relation.” Unless they died before the 1960’s, I’m not sure how you can say that.

    Because of the radiation in the environment due to fallout from atomic bomb testing, many people received radiation doses unawares. A person didn’t need to be anywhere near the test site to get a significant dose of radiation. It is certain that your relatives (unless they died before the 1960s) were exposed to radiation from the fallout of atomic testing; we all have been.

    Rod, I looked for a good article about this (atomic bomb fallout effects on health), just for you. I hope that you will actually read the article I post a link to. Actually read it, from start to finish, and look at the figures and illustrations. It is from a reputable, non-sensationalist source. It is factual and clear. It’s not about nuclear energy, either. It is about the effects of radiation form atomic bomb testing. Here is the article, from the American Scientist. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes/i131/Fallout-PDF

    I am sorry for your loss, but you cannot go around saying their cancers were unrelated to radiation! You cannot possibly know that!

    1. @S G Sterrett

      Thank you for the link. It was quite informative, even though the authors have based their calculations about the impact of fallout on the Linear, No Threshold dose response assumption as supported by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Life Span Studies. As has been discussed numerous times on this blog, there are many reasons for questioning the validity of that assumed dose response model, not the least of which is the fact that the doses given by atomic bombs are almost instantaneous; they do not have the same impact on human health as the same total dose administered over months to years of chronic exposure.

      However, even if you assume that the LNT assumption is valid, the probability that the cancers I mentioned among relatives and close friends were caused by radiation is vanishingly small – close enough to zero for that to be a good engineering approximation. I can make that statement because:
      1. None of the cases I am referring to were leukemia or thyroid cancer.
      2. “About 22,000 radiation-related cancers, half of them fatal, might eventually result from external exposure from NTS and global fallout, compared to the current lifetime cancer rate of 42 percent (corresponding to about 60 million of the 1952 population).” (Pg 56 from your link.) 22,000/60,000,000 = 0.0003, which is a small enough number that it can be safely ignored in a statement like my original statement.
      3. The people I am referring to spent their lives on the east coast of the US, so their doses from fallout would be on the low end of the estimations and well below the limitations at which the LSS dose response estimates are backed up by anything other than drawing a straight line down to the zero, zero point on a graph. There is no data that backs up any assertion of negative health impact below about 100 mSv.

  24. Well what there appear to be here conspicuous by their absence, are concrete facts; instead what we have are two businessmen out to make as much money as possible… and who cares who gets burned? Well, on balance I think erring on the side of caution would be about right; I would rather breathe CO2 in the atmosphere than Caesium, Uranium, or any other radioactive isotope – sorry about that. And in the final reckoning, time will tell won’t it, if common sense doesn’t prevail first and we wake up to the fact that nuclear energy creates waste that remains extremely dangerous on a geological time scale, for which we have no remedy. It appears quite clear that the clean up is going to cost more money than was ever made by this form of power generation, and who pays it? Certainly not the owners of the plant, most probably the government. Nice way of deferring expenses mr Business man. Really bright. And Arnie is absolutely correct about one thing – it is absolutely obvious that TEPCO are not doing what needs to be done, and eventually this will become everyone’s problem.

    1. @seabird

      You have made some interesting, if invalid, assertions. I’ll pick just one for my first challenge:

      And in the final reckoning, time will tell won’t it, if common sense doesn’t prevail first and we wake up to the fact that nuclear energy creates waste that remains extremely dangerous on a geological time scale, for which we have no remedy.

      Can you name me a single instance anywhere in the world where a person has been harmed by exposure to the dangerous waste produced by a nuclear energy facility? If not properly handled or shielding, used nuclear fuel can harm or kill someone; the answer to that is the same answer that allows us to use thousands of hazardous substances in everyday life – handle the material properly and use appropriate containers to shield humans from its harmful rays.

      It is really quite simple to protect people from harmful quantities of radiation.

    2. Seabird, the cost on the Japanese economy of importing fossil fuel for the 2 and half year after Fuksuhima is estimated to reach at end of this year about 93 billions dollars :

      This is not all what the shutdown has cost, scientist James Hansen has estimated that nuclear was saving around 7000 life every year in Japan by reducing the pollution of fossils fuel : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es3051197
      So if all that is replaced by fossil, that’s so many death more every year.

      The side of caution is very clear, keep the nuclear plants because it’s the fossil ones that send us all very bad things to breath constantly.

      And I myself am not making any profit from nuclear, just hoping my government won’t rise my electricity bills by making stupid decision, and also won’t keep the very few coal plants left in the country open longer by slowing down nuclear in favor of inefficient wind and solar, that end up requiring those fossil plants as a frequently used back up.

  25. Its a little later in the year and Fukushima is in fact spilling out strontium 90 and cesium 137. I am not for or against nuclear energy but I am pretty sure the Fukushima problem is going to get way worse before it gets better. This article is obviously from someone who had drank the kool aid and is spending way too many words on if someone lied or not, they are marginalizing the problem and it seems the main concern is saying someone is lying, instead of using their knowledge to address the problem. This premise of this article is childish, and we need adult thinking when dealing with nuclear problems, not name calling. Fukushima is a big, big problem, and I think intelligent people know it.

    1. @Paulie777

      How much strontium 90 and cesium 137 is being spilled.

      How does the risk of health effects from those isotopes compare to the many millions of tons of additional CO2 and other fossil fuel combustion waste products that are being continuously dumped as a result of excessive fear of radiation? Partially due to the promotional efforts of Mr. Gundersen, Japan has 50 operational nuclear power plants that are not running. It has burned approximately $100 billion worth of additional LNG, plus more diesel fuel and coal in the 2.5 years since a nuclear power station was damaged by a huge tsunami.

      You call my effort to expose Mr. Gundersen’s lies as childish, but are you aware of the lengthy campaign aimed with exactly the same kind of aim that was run against Entergy in Vermont? In that case, the claim that the company lied (even thought it was actually a misunderstanding of a technical term) was used to cause a great deal of distrust. The additional costs imposed as a result of that campaign contributed to Entergy’s decision to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant when it has used up its current fuel load.

      We need adult decision making in dealing with energy supply problems. A special focus on the mote in the eye of nuclear technologies distracts people from the planks in the eyes of the competitive power sources like coal, oil and natural gas.

      Fukushima, despite all of the negative words written about it by the advertiser-supported commercial media has not hurt anyone. When was the last time you read anything about Deepwater Horizon, the San Bruno natural gas explosion, or the Richmond refinery accident? Have any of those events received any continuing coverage or attention by activists?

  26. Nuclear reactors are a great mode of power, probably the best way, and they have done a great job in producing power. Radiation is inherently a good thing, many things radiate and it actually makes the world go round. But, for us folks, radiation is a lot like oxygen, a little is really good, but a lot will kill us.
    I believe you know the power of nuclear fuel as you stated you worked on a nuclear powered sub. A very little fuel did power the sub and I am sure you were aware of the walls and shielding between you and the fuel. In the Fukushima situation, there is a lot of fuel and no walls between us. Even as a regular guy this disturbs me and it further disturbs me they can’t find three cores and the other is in a precarious state.
    It is true fossil fuels trashed the planet in a little over 100 years. Fukushima out of control will finish the job in much less. Coal, oil, and even fracking companies are irresponsibly and irreparably harming the environment that is true.
    What bothers the average guy is nuclear fuel is so potent when things go wrong. If you poison the planet slowly with fossil fuels the pace isn’t on a human level so no one cares. A nuclear plant crisis is a little more urgent so it raises eyebrows. A nuclear bomb people react because we are a reactive species and with immediate reactions only on our radar. This to me is a severe fault of the human race, and in that context, nuclear power does have the high ground because it is the better fuel by far. It does not make sense at all to keep the other plants in Japan closed, and like you, nonsensical actions of people bother me.
    I guess the average guy has three choices, none of them good. Boil slowly with fossil fuels, fry quickly with nuclear power, or get obliterated instantly with nuclear bombs. I was hoping nuclear plants would be good but three mile, chernobyl, and fukushima show otherwise. Fukushima in the end will poison the pacific, and that will take care of the rest. Its a really bad ride for humanity the rest of the way in, no matter what way it is.

    1. @Paulie777

      Between TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima, only 31 people were killed as a direct result of the accident. At Chernobyl, long term follow up studies by numerous international bodies blame an additional 15 delayed fatalities.

      That is a pretty good record considering that is the extent of commercial nuclear power plant accidents during a 55 year operating history. Nuclear fission has been supplying the energy equivalent of about 12 million barrels of oil per day for the past couple of decades, so it is not a minor player in the world energy supply.

      By the way, some of us know exactly where the cores are – they are inside the pressure vessels where they were when they melted. Indications are that there was never any melt-through of the pressure vessels.


      In almost every sense other than my understanding of nuclear energy, I am a regular guy. I just happen to have been studying this particular topic for more than 30 years and am working hard to share what I learned, since most of my education was paid for by the taxpayers of the United States.

        1. @MStebbing

          Yablokov’s fiction has received devastatingly negative reviews for the poor quality of his methodology and sources. Here’s one example:


          The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation report after more than 20 years of intensive study concluded that the accident MIGHT cause UP TO 4,000 early cancer deaths — and as few as zero — in addition to the handful of unsuccessfully treated thyroid cancers.


    2. Paulie, the proof is in the pudding. Where are all these fearsome bogeyman nuclear energy is accused of hiding and nurturing? Where? One can either check the raw dispassionate ungreen-tinted record or emotionally cling to speculative “what if worsts” and “maybes” and “could-be” Doomsdays that had over fifty years to crawl out of the woodwork to prove anti-nukers right. We’ve seen what the current worst fossil fuel effects have on real-life non-speculative non-statistical live human beings for generations. Our hospitals are cropped the more afflicted victims of the hundreds of millions worldwide walking-afflicted whose respiratory and skin maladies are swept under the rug with a mundane shrug by public and media alike. “Hey Joe’s got respiratory disease, Jack. (Shrug of pity) Poor guy.” “Hey Jane’s found out her house radon count’s a little high. (alarm!) Omigod! Is she alright? How ’bout her family?? It just HAD to’ve leaked outta a nuke!” Why people are so radiophobic and anti-nuclear spans the ideological and philosophic gambit (just can’t smack nukes solely on safety and nil damage records!) , but to me much of it stems from Hirsoshima guilt from a public first made aware of nuclear energy in the form of vaporizing cute Japanese children instead of its birth being quiet and harmless under a stadium in Chicago four years before. Which does the media hype most? How deep the undeserved stain goes! And the media are infested with anti-war-type attitudes who believe it was somehow it was uniquely immoral to drop the bombs and part of their agenda is moving us to avenge and “atone” for all those horrible Japanese deaths by banishing nuclear energy. Yes, sounds wacky but my own experience found that partly at the core of anti-nuke sentiments, which are further fanned into wild exaggerations by monster movies and WWWIII scare flicks and a general illiteracy and ignorance of just what radiation is — and isn’t. You’d be surprised how many of the public think nuclear waste casks are crammed with a glowing green goo that can’t wait seep out and catch your kids in their bedrooms a’la Home Simpson. Much of this illiteracy was self-inflicted by a nuclear industry that is long criminally MIA in constantly challenging FUD and teaching the public about nuclear energy with the same regularity the gas and oil industry has to make the public feel cozy casually around a product that’s maimed and killed and devastated more property in a few months than nuclear energy in its existence. Don’t take my word for it. Check out industrial accident/regular operation mortality/property damage scores and be surprised and pissed how the media and Hollywood and fear-struck greens been jerking your fears and spineless wind-vane politicians around for their aims. It should tell you something that even with all the open air atomic bomb testing in the 1950s there are no mutant animals or fish or humans crawling out of the surf. That there are no radiation accident hospital wards around the world in contrary there being lots for fossil fuel aliments that grows daily from lung diseases and skin aliments from air pollution, and let’s not even get into how distaste the residues of fossil fuels leave the enivironment and we just shrug off the victim, but if a single guy in Fukudshma is slightly (or even if heavily) irradated on the job, it’s Oh my God, what a hero!! Why is the media suppressing the almost miraculously and envious sterling safety record nuclear energy’s acquired — even in its WORST accidents? Why does the media bask in innuendo that nuclear plants are budging balloons that just can’t wait to blow and every nuke WILL eventually have an accident? Why is the oh-so-on-your-side truthful media denying you the truth about nuclear power and leaving you quaking in needless fear??? Like the old lady at Wendys said, Where’s the beef? Where’s the truth about nuclear’s record, O crusader of truth and accuracy Mr. Media? From a personal family standpoint I leave you with this; there are hundreds of widows and headless families around the world that vehemently wish that their lost loved ones who worked in oil or gas or coal facilities had their jobs in an industry with accidents as “disastrous” and “terrible” as Fukushima.

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

  27. Well, the anti really have jumped the shark. Of course, there has been outrageous claims about Fukushima in the past, but this is just over the top.

    For you information, the exact same kind of operation is done frequently by Areva at La Hague when they need to move the used fuel from the transportation cask to the pool where they will reprocess it.
    Actually Areva boats that they are amongst the few to do this *without* keeping the used fuel constantly in water. It’s more delicate because of the gamma radiations, but as you see, totally feasible it you have the right expertise. I think it’s very likely that Tepco hired some Areva experts to help them prepare the removal operation of pool 4.

      1. Exactly, actually World Nuclear News has all the details about this, and how they now have installed the required equipment to do this properly :

        In fact, it will be easier to do that I thought. They have found a solution to not pull the used fuel out of the water, they will first put the transportation cask inside the reactor vessel, displace the fuel inside it while still under water, and then remove the cask without the surroundings receiving any radiation.

    1. @MStebbing

      I watched the photographic essay. It saddened me to see the photos of the deformed children and to hear about the girl who died of leukemia 9 years after having gone outside to play in what was described as “black rain” from Chernobyl.

      That said, I hope you realize that there is a measurable rate of children born with horrible birth defects throughout the world. Those kinds of defects have occurred throughout our existence and can be caused by many factors that are not radiation. In almost every country there are places where similar photos can be taken. Before attributing the specific issues to a specific cause, scientists must do a lot more than simply take photos of people and claim that the damage must have come from an event that took place at approximately the right time to have caused the damage.

      Leukemia and all other childhood cancers are tragic, but they also happen throughout the world and are caused by many things other than radiation.

      Black and white, carefully composed photos arranged with dark music and dramatic narration is art, not science. It tells a story, provides a point of view, and appeals to emotion, but it is not proof of cause and effect.

      1. Mark Twain talked about people finding five-legged frogs and two-headed turtles and snakes all the time. Where was the nearest nuclear plant to him?

  28. hahahaha…..nobody buys your bullshit. Arnie Gundersen is a man of impeccable integrity. May god help us if those fuel rods reach critical mass as Arnie and many many others have warned us. If Nuclear goes bad, it really goes bad. Not worth it.

  29. So i suppose then you won’t mind taking a little trip to Fukushima. Why dont you go there and hang out with the children, of whom, over 40 percent have thyroid cancer. spend a few months drinking the water and eating the fish. or better still why not move yourself and your family to the West coast of America. Your article reads like that of a madman.

  30. Shame on you Rod. Your clear industry propaganda is so weakly presented and through every statement that nuclear is safe you are showing your lack of credibility. Statistics dont lie….and the ones coming from fukushima are harrowing. You present your case as if press in the US is actually academic and transparent…when any AWAKe person will tell you we live in a age of corporatized propaganda. How disgusting that you could say 50 someodd people died from Chernobyl when that is a LIE and you know it sir….you need people like me to publically shame pseudoscientists like you….alas your kind are quite an epidemic these days. Radiation is unsafe in any amount and bioaccumulates over time. Step off your ridiculous high horse and open your eyes. Use your time to save your soul from spreading falsehoods and dishonoring a distinguished ambassador of the people…Dr. Gunderson.

    1. @starlight

      Though your comment contains no information and you have chosen to intrude into my forum to repeatedly demean my educational efforts, your comment has some utility in demonstrating the quality — or lack thereof — of the research and writing skills of some people who dismiss the value of nuclear fission energy.

      Statistics that have been honestly and carefully collected do not lie, I agree. The ones that have been gathered about the health effects of the Chernobyl accident by credible scientific bodies are readily available for discovery in detailed reports. You can start your reading at http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html

      I am not a “pseudoscientist”; I never claim to be any kind of scientist. I have served as the Engineer Officer on a nuclear powered submarine and I have worked as an engineer/analyst at a nuclear power plant design company. I met the educational and training requirements for each of those jobs and proved my skills to some pretty demanding employers. I also founded a company to design small atomic engines and did most of the engineering work. My undergraduate degree is a BS in English from the US Naval Academy and my graduate degree is an MS in Systems Technology. I suppose “technologist” is the most accurate single word description of my profession, not scientist.

      No one has ever been able to pay me to write or say something that I did not completely believe. I recently left my job as an engineer/analyst to become a professional writer and a publisher with my own business.

      By the way, your hero, Mr. Gundersen — despite his tendency to inflate his resume by implying to many that his qualification to operate a 100 WATT critical facility is somehow equivalent to a license to operate an actual nuclear power plant — has never claimed to have any kind of doctorate degree. His resume includes a BS and MS in Nuclear Engineering from RPI.

      You can use almost any non profane words you would like to describe me. However, do not attack others on this forum and look hard in the mirror before you cast shame on anyone else for not telling the truth and not doing their research.

    2. Ivan, John, Starlight. If even ultra anti-nuclear New York Times isn’t using your fear “facts” to hammer nails into nuclear energy, what kind of credibility does your bogus fear-fantasies have? You three can’t post real proof of what you rant here to save your life. As for Arnie Gundersen and his type, why don’t they ever accept invitations to debate real nuclear pros on roundtables here or on other nuclear blogs? The book-selling fee-speaker emperor has no clothes? Why is it always their clueless shills talking FUD for them?

    1. @Jules

      Your claim is ridiculous and comes from a dedicated, professional antinuclear activist. Makhijani provides no explanation for how it is even remotely possible for strontium to be present in concentrations that are 30 times those of cesium when both have similar fission yields, both have similar half lives, and cesium is far more soluble in water.

      Though it is not entirely pertinent to this discussion, IEERs 990s suggest that Makhijani is a Fukushima profiteer. His tiny 501(c)3 org collected about $200K more in 2011 than in 2010, and he decided to take most of that additional income home. His documented salary increased from about $150K to $277K from 2010 to 2011. See for yourself – https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2012_11_EO/52-1395376_990_201112.pdf

      1. Wow! Over a cool quarter million in one year, plus an additional $46 thousand for your wife, for a household income of $323 thousand.

        I clearly went into the wrong business. Lying pays well. Of course, the trade-off is that you have to become a lying scumbag, like Makhijani.

  31. People please watch Arnie’s videos, Fairewinds Energy Education to get a real education into the state of Nuclear Power.

    I have been watching them for a week or so, and yes, their is a lot to fear about nuclear power, not just because Arnie says so, but because accidents DO happen. TMI, Chernobyl, Fukushima Daichi, 5 meltdowns in the past 35 years, humans cannot safely control this technology.

    Arnie became a whistleblower of the nuclear regime and lost everything, for what, so he can start an online podcast and raise 25,000$ from his Indiegogo?

    In this age of titles, you might want to believe the opposite, so instead of Rods title, read it as Arnie Gundersen caught telling the truth about Fukushima.

    Nice try on taking down a man with way more nuclear knowledge than you Rod, maybe you should just stick with internet marketing.

    1. @Mike Jordan

      Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I hope you decide to stay around a little while and exchange ideas in a slightly more thoughtful manner. For example, you might want to learn a little more about both Mr. Gundersen and me before you decide that he has “way more nuclear knowledge” than I do.

      Here is a post with information about Mr. Gundersen’s education and experience with a link to a resume that he provided in order to become an expert witness.


      Here is a link to my resume – https://atomicinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/Rod-Adams-resume-Atomic-Insights-Oct-2013.pdf

      Mr. Gundersen earned an MS in Nuclear Engineering in 1972, but I served as the Engineer Officer of a nuclear powered submarine for 40 months ending in 1990. He obtained book knowledge at a credible institution of higher education; I proved to one of the more exacting organizations in the world that I knew enough about nuclear energy to be trusted with the responsibility of running one of their reactors on a ship at sea.

      Please ask people who have experience in the technology if one resume indicates “way more nuclear knowledge” than the other.

      Here is an offer. Why don’t you contact Mr. Gundersen and recommend that he challenge me to a moderated debate on nuclear technology and the health effects of low level radiation.

  32. So you had 40 months of Nuclear experience that ended in 1990 and Arnie has 40 years. Very good point you make Rod.

    I think it would be great if you were to debate Arnie, although I think his time still left on this earth would be better spent helping to bring resources together to clean up Fukushima.

    1. @Mike Jordan

      Arnie was asked to leave his last nuclear industry job in 1990. He taught math and science in private schools while he built up an antinuclear consulting practice.

      My nuclear experience is not limited to the 40 months I served as the Engineer Officer.

      1. Also Gundersen claims as part of his nuclear experience a period of time he spent optimizing the operation of a set of coals plants (that’s the part titled “Reliability Engineering Supervisor” in some version of his resume and that we can see here what it consisted of exactly http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0918/ML091800003.pdf , it could be interesting to do a blow by blow interpretation of what in all he described having done from 72 to 90 has given him experience in exactly ).

        And Gundersen complained too that he was harassed and ostracized by former co-workers, not just the management, after leaving the industry. Unfortunately that’s now 20 years ago so they probably really have other things to do by now, but it would interesting to hear their side of the story, about why they were so hostile to him.

  33. I’m surprised your still chewing on this bone. TEPCO began confirming Arnie’s suspicions, not long after you wrote this post.

    TEPCO has reported almost every problem that Arnie outlined and it’s now widely know that Atomic Energy Agency was either sadly misinformed or lying. As their charter clearly states that it is their primary job to promote nuclear power, either theory fits the facts.

    We know now that groundwater is flowing over two of the cores and the radiation releases are freely flowing into the sea.

    TEPCO has previously announced that the cores are no longer in reactor vessels and are in an unknown state, beyond being in a underground stream washing under the complex and bubbling up in the bay.

    It appears that you cant attack the message, so you’re going after the messenger.

    What’s your financial stake in this?

    1. @Jack Dingler

      You are flat out wrong. The vast majority of the core material is where it has always been – inside the reactor pressure vessels. A small quantity of gaseous or water soluble isotopes have made their way out through small leaks in those pressure vessels, but there is no mass of corium “in an underground stream.” If there was, the measured levels would be far higher and there would be a large number of isotopes besides Cs-134 and Cs-137 with a little bit of Sr-90. (Tritium is also present, but it is present even without any damage to reactor cores.)

      Yes, I aim at the archer when the archer keeps launching arrows in random directions with little basis in fact.

      Yes, I have a financial interest in the health of nuclear technology. I have substantial investments in a number of nuclear focused companies, I have been a nuclear energy professional for 33 years, and I write articles and publications about nuclear energy. I also have three delightful grand children. I am doing what I can to make the world a cleaner, more prosperous place to leave to them.

  34. Another example of the anti-nuclear false propaganda was the PBS “Nature” program titled “Radioactives Wolves of Chernobyl.” The program itself showed no radioactive wolves who were living in healthy harmony with a thriving wildlife population. None of the wildlife, including wolves exhibited any illnesses.

    But this program was followed up with a Utube video containing the Nature program. The Utube release was titled even more falsely, “Scary Mutations in Chernobyl Wolves.” Again, the PBS program showed no mutations. A photo of a man holding a large dead wolf was on the Utube title.

    This anti-nuclear campaign is not random, nor coincidental. Its source should be discovered immediately to expose this bogus attempt to frighten people away from building more reactors to fight global warming and shut down burning of fossil fuel. April 27, 2014 New York Times had an editorial about the Koch brothers launching a phony attack on solar panel production. With the anti-nuke campaign, the Kochs would be a good place to start.

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