1. What gets me is how the industry proponents say things like:
    “What he fails to mention is that the radiation and radioactive material that has escaped from Fukushima has not made anyone sick.”

    This follows you quoting the ongoing and not immediate effects.

    And then you talk about non-fatal.

    There have been off-site fatalities from this accident – but this is the minor problem with your argument.

    Not all damage is due to immediate deaths – to try to reduce everything to immediate death is a sign of some sort of emotion deficiency.

    People are suffering – people will suffer and many may die slowly from this event.

    Do you not understand people suffering? Do you really think death is the only bad thing that happens to people?

    Nuclear proponents consistently apply this thoughtless, and heartless spin to avoid the real risks. I don’t care what your qualifications are – this is a Fail on the humanity front.

    Your immediate effect comeback at Gunderson over his long term effect statement shows either a logic failure on your part or deliberate attempts to mislead.

    Your arguments are why the Nuclear industry is in the mess that it is. Shoot the messenger rather than leave nuclear kindergarten.

    1. Please enlighten me about the “off-site fatalities”.

      People are suffering – some of them are suffering needlessly from worry and from being forced out of perfectly good homes due to overreaction to radioactive material releases.

      Stress is a big health risk – adding to people’s stress by careless statements about the health effects of the radiation to which they might be exposed is irresponsible. There are few things that have been more carefully studied in the past 50 years than radiation. We have a very good understanding of when it is dangerous and when it is not.

      The detailed studies of the long term effects after the Chernobyl accident reveal that excessive stress, worry and a feeling of victimization caused far more negative health effects than the radiation.

      “As noted in the Chernobyl Forum report on Health, “the mental health impact of Chernobyl is the largest public health problem unleashed by the accident to date.”
      Psychological distress arising from the accident and its aftermath has had a profound impact on individual and community behaviour. Populations in the affected areas exhibit strongly negative attitudes in self-assessments of health and well- being and a strong sense of lack of control over their own lives. Associated with these perceptions is an exaggerated sense of the dangers to health of exposure to radiation. The affected populations exhibit a widespread belief that exposed people are in some way condemned to a shorter life expectancy. Such fatalism is also linked to a loss of initiative to solve the problems of sustaining an income and to dependency on assistance from the state.
      Anxiety over the effects of radiation on health shows no sign of diminishing. Indeed, it may even be spreading beyond the affected areas into a wide section of the population. Parents may be transferring their anxiety to their children through example and excessively protective care.”


      The nuclear industry is in a bit of a mess – some of it self inflicted by very poor communications. However, nuclear technology can enable almost magical improvements in our energy supply picture. In my opinion, the very disruptive nature of the technology is also partly responsible for attracting so many foes – it can upset a whole lot of assumptions and change wealth distribution rather dramatically.

    2. Yes, many of those people are suffering, not only from Fukushima but from the earthquake and tsunami that were the initiating events. Many are suffering from a lack of civil planning that had nothing to do with Fukushima.

      So why is so much focus being put on Fukushima? Why isn’t Mr. Gundersen using his time before the cameras to discuss ALL the people who are homeless; all the people living in shelters that have nothing to do with Fukushima? What about the people who have lost relatives that were swept out to sea because of the tsunami? What about those that lost their lives when the dam failed, or those that lost their lives due to lack of civil planning for a tsunami?

      Why is Mr. Gundersen increasing the stress levels of those people whose stress is already at an extreme high? What does Mr. Gundersen gain from his interviews and press releases? What is Mr. Gundersen’s motivation for whipping up more fear and doubt and dread in front of the CNN cameras?

      Engineers are supposed to hold themselves to a high ethical standard not unlike doctors. From the ASME engineering ethical guide:

      “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.”


      “Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner and shall avoid any conduct which brings discredit upon the profession”

      Constantly stirring up fear using half-truths in those that are already suffering calls Mr. Gundersen’s engineering ethics into question in my viewpoint. He is potentially decreasing the health and welfare of those very same Japanese citizens every time he is on camera discussing his next theory about how bad Fukushima will become. Citizens who are already suffering enough. They need to hear solutions, not more unverifiable prognostications from someone living 7000 miles away who appears to be drumming up business for his consulting firm.

      Then as if Japan is not enough, he is trying to stir up fear on the West Coast, specifically in Seattle.

      If fuel fleas have made it over to the West Coast then Mr. Gundersen needs to show his proof instead of whipping up fear in an undocumented comment on a John King/CNN report. The UW Physics Department, who have been actively monitoring the Seattle area since Fukushima started, are reporting NOTHING.

      Fuel fleas are something that is very well defined at the BWR plants, a very significant concern, and most importantly for this discussion, are NOT something that can hide. I personally experienced this phenomenon at a BWR plant. Hot particles are found rather quickly with standard radiation monitoring equipment despite their microscopic size since they emit a strong radiological signal.

      If everyone man, woman, child, dog , cat, etc in the Seattle-Tacoma area were ingesting 5 hot particles per day then the radiological monitors at the SeaTac airport should be alarming constantly as should the monitors at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma as well as every hospital that uses radioactive sources for cancer treatments. It would have been reported in the local news. This is not something that can be hidden or covered up by some supposed government conspiracy.

      And if people up and down the West Coast are experiencing a metallic taste in their mouths directly attributable to radiation exposure as Mr. Gundersen proclaims, then the radiological monitoring system on the entire West Coast should be alarming. The only time radiation causes metallic tastes in someone’s mouth is when they have received a significant dose such as during cancer treatments.

      However, there is nothing about these hot particles or people experiencing metallic tastes except on Mr. Gundersen’s website and websites that are linking to Fairewinds. Why is that? Is there some conspiracy between the thousands of doctors, military personnel, environmental engineers, state health professionals, physicists at the various labs on the entire West Coast to keep everyone in the dark? No there is not. So what does that say about Mr. Gundersen’s “facts” and his ethics?

      In different times and with different issues to deal with, this type of person was called a war profiteer.

      1. Bill – thank you. I could not have said it better myself. As the son of an engineer and as someone who works with engineers every day, I am careful not to claim that title for myself. I served as an Engineer Officer in the Navy, but I did not earn an ABET accredited degree and I never sat for the Professional Engineer’s exam or even the Engineer in Training.

        I deeply respect the profession and its ethical standards – that is one of the reasons why I think it is important to call some attention to those people who routinely violate those standards but still claim the title.

  2. Hi Rod, I appreciate both your up-front approach and your varied experience (military and civilian). If I can take the position of someone ‘sitting on the fence’ for a moment, the problem seems to be that those with limited knowledge of the physics, engineering, safety regs etc take the position that nuclear is potentially dangerous, and their fate is totally in someone elses hands.

    If I may paint a small metaphor; it’s as if your next door neighbour was an explosives expert, and was mixing and storing explosives in his back yard shed. No amount of platitudes about his expertise, the small amounts of explosives involved, or the safety precautions he was taking would be enough to convince you that your children were safe to play in your own backyard again. Your concern would be understable.

    Thus I believe each side must show the other respect, and work to find some common ground. The standard ‘shut up we know what we’re doing’ just won’t cut it anymore, in my opinion.

    1. Steven – nearly all of us live next door to someone storing dangerous explosive materials in their garage and probably on their deck or in their backyard. None of us worry much about gasoline cans or propane tanks.

      Concerns are always understandable. However, I expect thinking people to ask questions and then listen to the answers. I expect them to question sources of information and to recognize when someone is selling them something. Why is it that people seem to be so skeptical about the information that professionals provide, yet take the information from professional critics without the same level of questioning?

      My point is to try to help people understand that there are really good and knowledgeable people whose opinions should count at least as much as the opinion of someone with strong motivation for painting as negative a picture as possible.

      1. I suppose the key factor I should have stressed was choice; people certainly choose not to concern themselves over many issues, including the cans of gasoline in their neighbour’s shed.

        The ‘Russian roulette’ nature of the radioactive threat (as small as it may be, this qualification I leave for others) after an incident such as Chernobyl or Fukushima along with the compulsory nature of participation in the ‘game’, leaves those in fear of their lives, their children’s lives and the integrity of their genetic code in a state of helpless and frustrated distress. Remember that their fears are real and they did not give their consent.

        I recognise also the very real but lesser concerns of nuclear industry workers whose livelihoods might be at risk. History shows us however that those with the most commitment generally triumph in any conflict, so that any pro-nuclear argument should probably be carefully considerate rather than antagonistic due to the likelihood of ultimate defeat unless conflict can be avoided with the issues being resolved through informed discussion and education of and by both sides.

      2. Steven – I understand the concerns about the compulsory nature of being exposed to someone else’s discharges. How do you think I feel about having raised children in an area where more than 60% of the electricity was produced by burning coal in plants that always are discharging their waste through smokestacks that are designed to pump it into our shared air. At least nuclear plants keep their waste products contained nearly all the time.

        Fears may be real, but I strongly believe that they have been driven by a well funded and long term campaign to encourage them. In my experience in raising children and in working with large numbers of young people (I’ve been a youth sports coach, teacher, and company officer at USNA) , you have to work awfully hard to train people to be afraid. Repetitive messaging in the advertiser supported media has been aimed against nuclear energy for many decades.

        A portion has been driven by the logical concerns over the bomb, but the portion that has been directed against power stations has no basis in actual experience. Lots of scary stories abound about events like Three Mile Island, Browns Ferry, and Windscale – none of them caused any measurable health effects so opponents have resorted to making stuff up about long term effects and claiming cover ups.

        I am personally convinced that a great deal of this effort is funded and encouraged by the establishment that is highly dependent on our current fossil fuel based industrial economy. Clean, cheap, abundant nuclear energy completely disrupts their source of wealth and power.

        Fossil fuel companies know a great deal about marketing, psychology, and advertising. Heck, they are the folks that convinced people to trust gasoline from brands like Gulf, Shell, Exxon, and Mobil to do magical things inside their internal combustion engines and to distrust companies selling the same products with less brand recognition.

        They have now convinced people to trust “clean natural gas” despite its litany of fatal explosions and fires that – in just 2010 and in just the US – include 7 deaths at Middletown, 29 deaths at Upper Big Branch, 11 deaths at Macondo, and 8 deaths in San Bruno. Those folks in San Bruno were not even industry workers – they were killed when a pipeline exploded in their neighborhood.

        They had no knowledge of the pipe’s existence, and no choice in the matter either.

        1. Nuclear plants DO NOT “keep their waste products contained nearly all the time.”

          Seventy-five percent of nuclear plants in the U.S. are leaking, mainly tritium. Also, it only takes one nuclear accident to upset a whole nation – with either perceived or real dangers. The real dangers, as we know, are large numbers of birth defects and permanent genetic damage that gets passed up generations. We can’t afford even a single reactor accident, and now we have about 9 or 10 that are in trouble around the world, including Chernobyl.

          And, if they are so lovely and safe, why is there now a media blackout on Fukushima, Fort Calhoun and Los Alamos? Plenty of news on Rupert Murdoch, but why nothing about Fort Calhoun? Los Alamos?

          Perhaps their excrutiating safety is a state secret?

      3. I think it has something to do with the fact that “professionals” as you call them have an inherent conflict of interest ie, no nukes, no work. That and we’ve been lied to by “professionals” far too many times before. They’re simply not believable any longer. Don’t blame us that you have a credibility problem, especially one of your own making…

        1. In more than 30 years of being associated with nuclear trained people (mostly Navy nukes), I only know a handful who have ever spent a significant amount of time without work. Many of the nuclear trained people I know have moved into other lines of work; the nuclear industry has not been the most friendly or exciting place to work for a very long time.

          Believe it or not, there are plenty of jobs available for people who have a high level of technical training, good skills and demonstrated work ethics.

        2. Well, Steve in huston. I think you will find that in the nuclear debate everybody “lies” or bend the truth.

          Unfortunatley the professionals I talk about get gagged and risk their jobs for telling the truth or informed opinion, this is in my country (western Europe) not sure about the US or anywhere else.

          However, considering the length of time in operation you will find Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth type organisations have lied and bent the truth for longer and further than the nuclear industry ever has.

          As to A. Gundersson he is very good at bending the truth (just read his CV). He had a license to run a lightbulb for pitty sake! WOW!

          And his experiment with Zircalloy and an oxyacetylene torch floating around on youtube is supposed to be what, educational? Show that metals can burn in an oxy-acetylene flame? Who would have thought, what a marvel! Hang on, isn’t that how you cut large chunks of metal in the industry…

          Credibility is easy to attain when you stick to facts you can proove, the rest is politics or hogwash.

  3. The latest estimate from the Ukraine on Chernobyl’s effects are that within 20 years of the disaster it had caused 1 million excess deaths due to cancer. That’s published in a widely publicized book of over 500 slavic language scientific articles for all the world to see now.
    Post Chernobyl there was a massive drop in the Californian live birth rate. Again, published in a book for all to see. The US govt has adjusted births after each major nuclear release upwards. Years when there is no major release they don’t. After Chernobyl the US Govt adjusted the raw births in Californian data up by 45k for the year so the stats didn’t look so bad.
    Already Fox news has reported a 25% reduction in the live birth rate in California. Those figures include a fair bit of time before the disaster, so no doubt its worse than that.
    After Chernobyl still births in the US spiked upwards, as did deaths of the elderly.
    9 Months after Chernobyl there was another spike in still births.
    Fukushima is blowing its poison directly to the USA on the jet stream. that is serious, and people should take that into account in what they eat and drink, rather than pretending there is no evidence of a problem.
    Think about those figures. 10’s of thousands of babies dying in California due to either miscarriage, still birth, or weakness soon after birth. How evil is that? Come on, get real.

    1. “That’s published in a widely publicized book of over 500 slavic language scientific articles for all the world to see now.”

      Anyone can publish articles or write a report to claim just about anything. Not everyone can publish them in journals that require claims to stand up to the scrutiny of their peers. I find your claims quite extraordinary. Care to provide links to sources where the content has been reviewed by qualified professionals prior to publication?

      1. The 2006 Chernobyl accident Greenpeace report said that, because of the April 26. 1986 nuclear accident, 6 million more fatal cancer cases would have occured in the following decades in the contaminated countries (practically all of Europe).
        None of this happened; the most pessimistic reports prepared by UN agencies (WHO, UNSCEAR, IAEA and others), speak of 60 confirmed deaths and other 4000 “alleged” (which is not possible to directly associate to the disaster) for cancer and leukemia. The Greenpeace estimates were based on the well-known theory LNT (Linear No Threshold Theory) which has been widely refuted by eminent scientists:
        1) LB Cohen http://www.fusione.altervista.org/calcolo_rischio_nucleare.htm
        2) M Pollycove http://www.up.ac.za/saapmb38/pollycove1/pollycove1.htm
        Just to name a few.
        This Greenpeace terrorist propaganda was amplified by media around the world. The number of abortions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarusonly in the first year after the Chernobyl accident increase of 200,000 cases; abortions done by women “terrified” by the anti-nuclear propaganda, these were the real victims of the Chernobyl accident.

    2. Wide publicity does not provide evidence that a source is based on truth. Fictional works get massive publicity all the time. Works that are designed from the ground up to support an agenda are also frequently publicized by the people and groups pushing that agenda. In this case, the book was published with the express support of Greenpeace, an organization that has been collecting tens of millions per year for its efforts to fight nuclear energy for several decades.


    3. To describe to book you reference as “methodologically flawed” would be being kind. Let’s note that it attributes deaths from conditions with no relationship whatsoever to radiation exposure – for example, cirrhosis of the liver.

      As to claims like “Post Chernobyl there was a massive drop in the Californian live birth rate” are simply not true – I’ve been diggin and can find no evidence of that whatsoever, at the level of California, individual counties, or the US nationally.

      Similarly, “Already Fox news has reported a 25% reduction in the live birth rate in California”. A google check on produces absolutely nothing to support that claim – in fact, there’s so little relevant material that your comment on this thread is the second item produced!

      Similarly the “still births” claim.

      In short, a list of fabrications.

  4. Don’t take my word for it, read the book and see the stats for yourselves.

    Note that a US professor studying bird populations across the US noticed a massive die off of baby birds in areas where there was rainfall after Chernobyl. Some time later he figured out it was radioactive iodine that appeared to be the cause. Here is an interview with the guy. The guy makes a compelling case that is easy to check up on and absolutely chilling.


    Finally , here is the latest information on Chernobyl’s effects drawing upon all research to date…
    The authors estimate 1million deaths by cancer over 20 years. that ignores the many other effects. Chernobyl heart, stomach, lung, kidney, birth defects etc.

    1. Don’t take the word of authors with agendas either. The health effects of the Chernobyl accident have been widely studied by well qualified researchers for the past 25 years. You can find a summary of the results of those studies and links to excruciating details at http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html

      George Monbiot (http://www.monbiot.com/) has also written a number of very interesting articles about his experience in researching this fictional work that is touted as having been produced by the New York Academy of Science. His research was stimulated by a debate with Helen Caldicott, a famous antinuclear activist who not only points to this reference, but ups the ante by claiming that it really proves that TWO million people have died. One of my favorite in the series is at http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/evidence-meltdown/

      1. Rod Adams: “Don’t take the word of authors with agendas either.”

        With all due respect, sir, you are an author with an agenda.

        1. Nicholas…
          Rod may have an agenda, but he has always been open about it. He also does not expect us readers to take his word on anything. He provides supporting evidence that we can read for ourselves and judge its reliability. In the years I have read his blog, he has been consistently fair and truthful.
          The others that were being referred to as having agendas such as Gundersen, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, have time and time again provided evidence that is skewed and inaccurate. After a while, I can no longer read what these groups say without a voice in my head warning me that they are trying to mislead me.
          Integrity is hard won and easily lost.

  5. Your comments are neither interesting or compelling. The nit you pick re: spent fuel pool #4 is expert analysis from a grainy video. Maybe he got it wrong or maybe he got it right, but if you look at the timeline and quality of the analysis he’s made based on remote obsevation vs the timeline and contradiction of the information officially released by TEPCO you realize he’s credible regardless of your opinion of his pedigree. I’m thankful he’s out there studying this disaster in real time instead of belatedly admitting the issues were worse than they thought. Do you care to revisit the original TEPCO core damage estimate?

    1. And when a real engineer or scientist gets it wrong because they relied on ‘grainy video’ which are shown to be wrong by subsequent ‘non-grainy video’ and actual feet on the ground, then they retract their earlier statement. Mr. Gundersen hasn’t retracted his earlier incorrect statement even though there is now proof his belief was wrong. His not admitting his mistake say far more about his motives and integrity than his pedigree.

      1. @ddpalmer,

        If Gundersen acknowledged his mistakes or errors as any engineer with scruples and ethics should then he might lose his A-lister status as a go-to guy for the MSM when they need that anti-nuclear sound bit.

        Who would John King at CNN turn to for the latest status about how the world will end due to Fukushima if Gundersen actually admitted he might have been wrong about the fuel pools?

    2. Well, first, I’d hardly call it “grainy video” – the samples I’ve seen are of impressive quality.

      And the signs of there having been a fire, or thermal damage to the fuel would be extremely obvious – discolouration, distortion of the fuel assemblies, damage to the pool structure. The quality of the video is more than good enough to demonstrate the absence of all of those. Plus, of course, the fact that the rate of water loss from the pool is entirely consistent with loss to evaporation driven by the calculated heat production from the rods.

      And that’s not the only reason to conclude there’s no gross damage to the fuel – the levels of contamination, and the isotope mix is NOT consistent with fuel damage. It is, however, consistent with contamination from the venting into the reactor hall in the early stages of the accident.

      Gundersen’s tactics are simple – make lots of claims, backed up by no evidence (or even, sound analysis), in the hope that some will stick, then to ignore the ones that prove to be false. It’s routine behaviour, and one that many fall for.

      Recall Gundersen arguing that the cores would have fallen en-mass through the RPV floors? Well, the worst estimate of damage to R1, based on the flowrates of water is that the total area through which water is being lost is equivalent to about a 7cm hole – something far more likely to be as a result of seal failures, or pipework damage. By contrast, the professionals of the NRC were arguing that there was ongoing water loss from the RPVs due to seal failures in the recirculation pumps – which still looks far and away the most credible scenario.

      1. Gundersen spent almost a whole video on those seals.

        He hasn’t been wrong on anything yet.

        Keep trying if you must, while we bio-accumulate this “low-level” stuff, now also bio-magnifying through the food chain that you think Gundersen did not predict.

        Hard to believe, we’re in a verified global nuclear disaster with measured fallout at levels none of which are safe, and you try to switch the game to Gundersen. Good try.

        We have many more other sources than Gundersen, all saying the same. There are many children in the Ukraine and Belarus who’ll back him up.

  6. I am glad people are disputing you. People are suffering and all you can do is be overjoyed in the fallible works of man’s hands.

  7. You are a complete dumb censored if you think Arnie is wrong because nobody has died yet? I suggest you take some science classes.

    1. There’s the obvious point that had Arnie Gundersen’s more lurid speculations come to pass, there’d have been radiation doses to individuals in the plant on a similar scale to those at Chernobyl.

      For example, Arnie Gundersen “confirmed” that what’s now known to be a hydrogen explosion on R3 was the Spent Fuel pond exploding as a result of a criticality incident. (as an aside, I’ve never quite understood why he’s hung up on “prompt” criticality – I think he’s trying to cause confusion with fast criticality. The delay fraction in LWR fuel is well under 1%).

      There’s video of the R3 fuel pond. There’s an awful lot of crap fallen in, but no signs of explosion damage, or the sort of massive damage to the fuel that would follow the explosion he described.

      And that explosion would have involved mortality in days, not months or years. So yes, the absence of deaths disproves at least that part of his speculations.

  8. Not to mention your story hinges on the Japs, who have covered up everything, to all of a sudden lie that things are worse than they are? LMAO go toke another bowl moron.

    1. “Japs”?

      They’re not only crackpots, but they’re racist crackpots as well.

      This doesn’t do anything to dispel my impression of anti-nuclear crusaders as a bunch of bigoted a-holes.

      Good job, Jack!

      1. That is one expletive of an assumption to assume I am anti nuclear. I really don’t give a rat’s censored. I was a biochem major and you guys are pretty stupid.

        1. @Jack – please do not use expletives here that you would not use in conversing with your mother, assuming that you respect your mother.

          Did you manage to graduate or were you like many of the professional antinuclear folks who claim to have been educated without actually completing a course of study?

          I also would refrain from calling anyone who is commenting here “stupid”. I know from long experience with Atomic Insights commenters that many have professional experience and degrees that are proof that they are not stupid. They might vehemently disagree with me, or with you, but that does not reduce the fact that they have repeatedly proven their intelligence. For example, I have never implied that Mr. Gundersen is stupid (he did earn his MS in Nuclear Engineering from a very respectable school), but I have indicated that he has a strong personal grudge and financial motive for being devious and deceptive about nuclear energy.

  9. Steven,

    I would agree with you here, if the other side was interested in being honest brokers in an intellectual discussion. While yes, facts trump everything, but there is a place for a certain degree of ad hominem.

    One such case is pointing out embellishment of credentials of an individual if such individual uses those credentials to create an aura of credibility. If I start calling myself an economist (I have no formal training other than reading popularized works) and start critiquing plans for the economy, I would expect someone to call me on it. While I can have an opinion, my opinion is not a qualified one and should not be treated by the media as such.

    The second has to do with motive. While I understand no one is truly an objective participant in any discussion, we can all agree that people may have ulterior motives that can color views, leading people to point out certain facts and disregard those that are inconvenient to one’s position. This is important when the motive has not been openly disclosed. Rod has been pretty forthright in his motives and I know that his opinions might be biased a bit on the pro-nuclear side: this is okay, so long as people are aware and can make an intelligent assessment as to whether to accept this person as an unbiased authority.

    1. My error, on re-reading my post I see that it could be taken as a criticism on Rod’s assessment of Arnold Gunderson’s qualifications. That was not my intention. If someone wants to respond to that critcism with facts then all well and good.

      My point was merely that for any meaningful discussion between people with these two opposing views, the considerable and understandable apprehension for something clearly dangerous over large chunks of time and space which cannot be easily detected or understood should be a consideration.

  10. Wow, Rod! What did you link to?

    You apparently have hit the motherload of crackpots, who are being directed to your site via some connection in this article.

    1. @Brian

      You cannot just label people “crackpots” if they have a different view to you. If someone intentionally lies without correction that is a different story.



      1. Anyone can call anyone a crackpot – as you mention in a later comment – it’s “free speech”.

        In this case, Brian’s labeling of certain commentators as crackpots is quite deserved as we have lots of folks who can’t be described as anything but “uninformed laymen” popping up on this blog and making completely baseless and uninformed comments about the reactor accident, like a “nuclear disaster could kill everyone on the planet”…give me a f’g BREAK!

  11. Hi Rod,

    I made a video as a message to nuclear engineers. Make of it what you will but I am entitled to free speech. Nothing less. Nothing more.


    Now my channel which I only started a month ago and yes I make some mistakes along the way in my videos which I do date is just my journey of how I see things. My June 7 video for example has a very misleading mistake but I correct that in a follow up video. Go hard on me if you will but I only work in IT and its just a youtube blog.


    And look if I’m proven wrong and nobody gets sick well I’ll take the videos down. I dont want to see anyone get sick by the way so just keep that in mind. Also I have been following Arnie because the mainstream media at least in Australia does not discuss this. Even a guy from ARPANSA spoke out and said the whole sitation is absurd. I dont have the link but its a guy from Melbourne talking about ARPANSA detecting xenon-133 amongst over things in Darwin. I should add he works for ARPANSA.



    1. Luke – just a correction on your claim to be “entitled to free speech”. I agree that citizens are entitled to speak and write freely, but I will also remind you that protections against censorship only protect you from the government. If you misbehave on my site and in my comment stream, your comments will be deleted because I have a free speech right to protect the way that search engines rank my site. I will remove profanity and I will delete or ban comments that are completely off topic.

    2. @Luke,

      I watched your video and therefore ask that you read my comment here. Please consider this a friendly response to your video.

      First as a degreed mechanical engineer with an Engineer in Training Certificate and now studying for my Professional License with 18+ years in the power engineering field, I can honestly say that I will not be moving over to the anti-nuclear side ever for many reasons.
      I firmly believe in a nuclear powered future. As more evidence comes out about how far we are down the road of depleting our world-wide fossil fuel inventory, I continue to commit myself to furthering nuclear power in whatever small way I can.

      As it appears you are confused by someone such as myself making the career choice I did, let me provide you a brief glimpse into my history and decision making process.

      My career choice and decision to work towards a nuclear powered future was actually decided upon about the time of Three Mile Island. There are many others in my generation that made the same decision for some of the same personal reasons. I was decent in math and science, from a small town and was not sure what to do with my future. So after some college I joined the Navy, specifically in the nuclear power side. That was the best career choice and personal decision I could have made. That experience confirmed I liked working with and around big machinery including nuclear reactors as well as figuring out ways to use that technology to help others lead better lives. That experience is something I continue to look back on as motivation for my current work challenges.

      I then had the opportunity to reexamine my career choices as I was finishing my engineering degree after leaving the Navy. During that time I did an article on Chernobyl for a class assignment where I learned many additional details on what went wrong and how.

      So I am not just in this career to make money. Which of course is THE joke about all engineers. If this were about money then I and every other engineer definitely made the wrong career choice. I recommend viewing the Dilbert clip about The Knack. That video clip describes many of us in the engineering field, nuclear or not. We want to design, build and operate equipment or systems to make people’s lives better. That is what we do. That is who we are.

      Yes, sometimes things do not work out as intended and sadly people are harmed or die. That fact alone can drive me to have sleepless nights sometimes. Will my designs inadvertently harm others? All design or operations engineers who take their craft seriously ask themselves the same question and will have some sleepless nights. It comes with the territory.

      Locomotives, skyscrapers, bridges, automobiles, jet liners, etc all had their time where people died using them due to the newness of their designs and the systems they are used within. When that happens a root cause analysis is undertaken to determine the whys and wherefores. Changes to the rules, regulations and designs were required. We engineers make the changes that are needed on our side and hopefully we can influence the political and management changes that are needed as well.

      So where you may see a failure of nuclear engineering, nuclear reactor technology or just a failure of engineers in general, I see a failure of Japanese politics and business practices. I see more non-technical failures then technical issues that lead up to Fukushima. Ultimately everyone will have to deal with 20,000+ people that perished due to the earthquake and tsunami. Those events will permantly eclipse any health issues from Fukushima.

      These issues and facts will ensure more people stay in nuclear, mechanical, civil or electrical engineering fields working with nuclear power then leave. We see challenges both technical and non-technical that will ultimately end up being resolved thereby furthering the world’s path to a nuclear powered future.

      It is those challenges that motivate people within the field. Some become disheartened as Mr. Gundersen’s personal history proves but many, including myself, stay within the field. We believe, based on our years of training and work experience, that ultimately the benefits of nuclear power will outweigh the negatives when the realities of generating power for our industrial world are factored properly into the various technical, financial, economical and political calculations.

      As a closer, I recommend reading Dr. Henry Petroski’s latest book: “The Essential Engineer – Why Science Alone Will Not Solve The World’s Problems”. Or for that matter any of Dr. Petroski’s books as they are a window into the world of design engineering written for the layperson.

      1. @Bill Rodgers

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. My job, family and making videos which I barely have time for means I have to keep my response short!.

        I guess what I found from my video is I have about as much chance of making you anti-nuclear as you do of making me pro-nuclear. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

        In ten years if you still feel the way you do and please this is not any personal attack but just a hypothetical fly over to Japan and talk to the evacuated residents who will never return home. Many of them were Pro-Nuke as those plants are sort of built around communities. Maybe they will be bias after having to leave their homes but I doubt they will agree with what your saying even if they once did.

        I’m not against Nuclear Technology but I dont think it can be used on Earth. There may be some use in space oneday. What I find upsetting is in principle nuclear sounds great but with that being said I am one voice amongst millions who want it gone.

        I do respect your intelligence and dont deny you know more about nuclear energy then me. But it is becoming obvious to some at least nuclear will struggle to continue. I doubt I’ll see the end of it in my lifetime but it will be phased out.



  12. I hope my comment clears moderation. I only censor swearing on my youtube channel. I do let others who are pro-nuke basically do as they please if they conform to that one rule. Educated discussion and not personal attacks either. I was reading another author on this site was unhappy about being censored. The problem is that nobody should be censoring each other. And as a disclaimer never in my blog do I say I’m an expert.

  13. OK I can see if it contains a link it sits in moderation. Thats fair enough. Still hope I’m not censored.

  14. What Rod Adams is trying to pound into people over and over with his articles on Arnie is that the title of licensed reactor operator is a very specific title with very specific requirements and a very specific meaning in the law and job duties.

    What Arnie is, is not a licensed reactor operator, nor ever was by the standards of the NRC. He did have access to a small amount of radioactive material at a university.

    Someone who has spent as much time around nuclear reactors as Arnie has should know exactly what a licensed reactor operator is. If he does not know, then the depth of his experience in the industry comes into question.

    If he does know, then he is either lying to us, or unethically ignoring the fact that other people are giving him the wrong title.

    1. Perhaps this might clear things up a little (direct quote from Fairewinds site). I’m not sure about the validity of the reactor operator issue, but it is mentioned here:

      “Arnie is an energy advisor with 39-years of nuclear power engineering experience. A former nuclear industry senior vice president, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in nuclear engineering, holds a nuclear safety patent, and was a licensed reactor operator. During his nuclear industry career, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants around the country. He currently speaks on television, radio, and at public meetings on the need for a new paradigm in energy production. An independent nuclear engineering and safety expert, Arnie provides testimony on nuclear operations, reliability, safety, and radiation issues to the NRC, Congressional and State Legislatures, and Government Agencies and Officials throughout the US, Canada, and internationally. In 2008, he was appointed by the Vermont Senate President to be the first Chair of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Oversight Panel. He has testified in numerous cases and before many different legislative bodies including the Czech Republic Senate. Using knowledge from his Masters Thesis on Cooling Towers, Arnie analyzed and predicted problems with Vermont Yankee’s cooling towers three years prior to their 2007 collapse. His Environmental Court testimony concerned available and economically viable alternatives to cooling towers in order to reduce consumptive water use and the ecological damage caused by cooling tower drift and heated effluents. As the former vice president in an engineering organization, Arnie led the team of engineers who developed the plans for decommissioning Shippingport, the first major nuclear power plant in the US to be fully dismantled. He was also an invited author on the first DOE Decommissioning Handbook. Source term reconstruction is a method of forensic engineering used to calculate radiation releases from various nuclear facilities after nuclear incidents or accidents. Arnie is frequently called upon by public officials, attorneys, and intervenors, to perform source term reconstructions. His source term reconstruction efforts vary. Arnie has calculated exposures to oil workers, who received radiation exposure while working on wells. He has also calculated radiation releases to children with health concerns, who live near a nuclear facility, like the one that carted radioactive sewage off-site and spread it on farmers’ fields. Finally, he has performed an accurate source term construction of the radiation releases from the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Also involved in his local community, Arnie has been a part-time math professor at Community College of Vermont (CCV) since 2007. He also taught high school physics and mathematics for 13 years and was an instructor at RPI’s college reactor lab.”

      1. Steven – thank you for posting exactly what Arnie himself claims about his experience. I am pretty sure that he has approved whatever gets posted on that site, so he should be willing to have the claims stand up to external scrutiny and deconstruction.

        He does not mention that the only reactor he was licensed to operate was a 100 W critical assembly in college. I would love to hear the response if he was to make that claim in front of a group of licensed nuclear power plant operators. I work with some of those – they are quite proud of their status. Arnie’s claim is about analogous to an Army medic fresh out of training claiming to be a licensed surgeon.

        The fact that he provides testimony for hire and the fact that he is frequently called on by public officials, attorneys and intervenors simply means that he provides the services they want – in this case, he builds a seemingly credible case against nuclear energy for any and all comers.

  15. Hey, Ann. Thanks for posting the link to that study. I’ve been meaning to read it to see what methods were used to determine that 1 million figure.

  16. Hi Rod,

    Thanks for clearing my links. Yes Arnie is a massive hit in the blogosphere. Actually nearly every youtuber like me even quotes him at times. For the average person besides what he is saying and also Michio Kaku we dont have much to go on except Chernobyl studies and current radiation measurements in Japan. I do hear all this info that Arnie has trumped up his resume etc. I wont lie I’m a fan of the guy but to make things more balanced maybe some other experts need to make a youtube account?. I personally want things in Japan to be good but I’m no fortune teller and all I have is some high readings even in parts of Tokyo and historical references to the effects on Chernobyl children.

    1. Luke – I suggest a questioning attitude and investigating sources beyond Youtube. I linked to several good ones in my blog post.

      Here is a link to a discussion I had on Blogging heads soon after the accident. I am pleased to report that my predictions have been pretty darned accurate.


      1. Thanks Rod. I have been looking beyond just youtube but I will look at those links as well.

  17. I actualy readed just the first 1/3 of your post.Its enougf. U try and you try very hard to discret mr anderson. I readed from you that this hot particles from fukushima is in so tiny ammount in usa that is redicilous? Ok, lets say LETS SAY u are right. Its funy,just Japanese, probably ONE MILION or mutch more gona die in next 10 years.Well very goood,thats not a problem isnt it…
    Ok, and the second and the last thing … There is no posibility for an eq magnitude 9 in usa,there is no posibility for tornado direct hit on nuclear plant in usa,there is no posibility of flooding nuclear plant in the usa,there is no posibility of some comet hiting earth making power blackout .. You are a dangerous mind who just stands up for yourself and yours selfish interests. See you in hell.

    1. there is no posibility for tornado direct hit on nuclear plant in usa

      It’s not only possible, it has already happened. In the summer of 1998, the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station took a direct hit from a tornado with wind speeds of 113 to 157 miles per hour. The tornado did extensive damage to the switchyard and cut off-site power, but the reactor and its safety systems functioned as designed.

      Nuclear reactors are not trailer parks.

      Solar panels would not have survived this event, and most wind turbines are not designed to survive it either.

  18. One can hope that the hyperbole of the anti-nuclear zealots will catch up with them at some point, although I suppose there is no guarantee.

    ‘Oh my God, there might be a MELTDOWN and millions will die.’

    There were meltdowns and no one died. Won’t this sink in eventually?

    As new technologies are developed there will always be irrational fear. But for the sake of humanity I hope we get over the irrational fear of nuclear power. Human populations exploded and standards of living skyrocketed all because of cheap energy (fossil fuels). Fossil fuels have always produced negative health effects (almost infinitely worse than nuclear), but now we are using them up and the potential effects on the climate can no longer be ignored.

    If we are going to continue to provide a good standard of living for our children and lift a large portion of humanity out of dire poverty, we need nuclear power.

  19. No meltdown, yes meltdown. No melt through , yes melt through. Low radiation , very high spikng levels. People like you will kill many. Must work for TEPCO same propaganda in the face of lies. Common sense is needed in the face of obvious. All must be weighed and considered from all sources. The right conclusion will be reached.

    1. Who ever said there was no meltdown? I have said from the very beginning that the cores would be damaged if they lose cooling and that if they lose cooling for very long they would melt. I have also stated that a melted core does not mean a large release of most of the fission products.

      The vast majority of the radioactive material in the nuclear cores at Fukushima remains inside the reactor pressure vessel. Nearly all of the material that has been found outside of those pressure vessels is either gaseous or water soluble – I-131, Cs-134, or Cs-137.

      You are correct that the right conclusion will be reached – using nuclear fission is better than the alternatives, even when you include the consequences of improbable (but certainly n not impossible) disasters like the one that occurred at Fukushima.

      1. They found Strontium 90 in the Sierra Nevadas. Plutonium is in the soil all around the reactor site. You would be more credible if you knew what you were talking about.

      2. Jack Orf
        June 19, 2011 | 3:56 PM

        “They found Strontium 90 in the Sierra Nevadas. Plutonium is in the soil all around the reactor site. You would be more credible if you knew what you were talking about.”

        What proof do you have that Sr 90 in the Sierra Nevada’s and plutonium around Fukushima were not remnants of all the nuclear weapons testing over the years? Or the deposits from the 2 near by nuclear bomb detonations?

        Note Sr 90 has a half life of 28.8yrs and some plutonium has a 24,000ish half life. So, it is possible for these material to still be around, 60 years later.

      3. Jack,

        I assume, as a “biochem major” you’re familiar with Avogadro’s constant?

        You can work out how much plutonium was found in a few – by no means all – of soil samples at the Fukushima site. I’ll give you all the data you need. The half-life of Pu 238 (the significant isotope found) is 88 years.

        I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.

      4. Hahaha good luck calculating soil contamination using just a half life and Avogadros constant. I would be more interested in what YOU come up with.

      5. Oh, dear – Jack, you really must learn not to offer such obvious hostages to fortune.

        You see, that’s not a complex, degree level calculation. It’s the sort of thing that, here in the UK, is part of the syllabus taken by students studying physics in our pre university examination, typically taken at 17 or 18 years old. Anyone expecting to enter a degree course with any significant physics content at all would be expected to pass this examination.

        You can read up on the method here:

        You’ll note I’ve already quoted the bequerel/kg figure abd the Pu 238 half-life on this thread – indeed, you’ve replied to the posts in which I stated them. Basically, you use the half-life to derive the decay constant (the proportion of atoms in a sample undergoing decay per second. Divide the bequerel figure by the decay constant, to derive the number of atoms in the sample. Then, use Avogadro’s number and the atomic mass to derive the physical massSo, not hard, is it?

        I’ve mailed my calculation separately to Rod, who can publish it after we’ve seen your estimate.

        What I’m more struck by is the fact that apparently, your “biochem major” was rather less rigorous than a UK “A” level. It certainly doesn’t give me a great deal of confidence that you’ve an intellectual command of these issues.

    2. I’m afraid I went rather further than that, Jack. Wheras, it’s looking rather as though you didn’t. I’m guessing you didn’t quite make it into the Ivy League for your degree course?

  20. Rod – This piece about Gundersen and all comments only show that there is an urgent need for someone to counter him in exactly the same way – on video, day after day, and on the media whenever the accident is discussed. I would like to see a think-tank of relevant people convened about how to achieve this and decide who would be best to do this work. Of course this assumes that the media are capable of switching from their current bias to present another commentator than Gundersen. He has succeeded in his mission to denigrate nuclear energy. Similarly, the Sherman and Mangano team have succeeded in their mission. Their work is all over the world on thousands of websites now, stirring up fear and alarm about babies dying…Concern is one thing but doing shoddy work is another. It needs instant countering and public examination. Someone with great appeal needs to be found who has the time and the expertise to do this work. The bloggers and people like ANS are doing fantastic work but it needs to go as far as Gundersen has gone. It needs to hit the airwaves in a much more substantial way than to date.

  21. I see the Arnie Gundersen Astroturf team got a whiff of criticism of the boss and showed up to lay down some ‘spontaneous’ objections to the post. I’m sorry I’ve come to the party late and missed most of the fun.

  22. That Wiki list of industrial disasters is not very complete. It leaves out the natural gas explosion on 11/19/1984 in Mexico City that literally incinerated hundreds of people to ashes and destroyed an entire town as well as the industrial facility. Ironic in the extreme since people advocating shutting down nuclear plantst know full well that this will result in a massive increase in the use of natural gas, along with, based on hard data available in the public record, thousands of fatal injuries to the public. Here is the Wiki description of that disaster:

    “The town of San Juan Ixhuatepec surrounded the facility and consisted of 40,000 residents, with an additional 60,000 more living in the hills. The explosions demolished houses and propelled twisted metal fragments (some measuring 30 tons) over distances ranging from a few meters to up to 1200 m. Much of the town was destroyed by the explosions and ensuing fire, with the current statistics indicating 500 to 600 deaths, and 5,000–7,000 severe injuries. Radiant heat generated by the inferno incinerated most corpses to ashes, with only 2% of the recovered remains left in recognizable condition.”

    So why isn’t Gundersen and the rest of the anti-nooks going after the natural gas industry? This one disaster alone far eclipses the effects of Chornobil.

    1. And how about all of the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) that they are pushing into automobiles?

      The Baltimore tunnel restricts propane tanks and there is not much difference between LPG and CNG. Lots of good disasters concerning tunnels and LPG/CNG tanks. Google them.

      How big will the tanks be on trucks, busses, etc.?

      As you ponder the pictures of the water around Fort Calhoun, look to the north. There is the massive Cargill ethanol plant, and a little farther are several million gallon anhydrous nitrogen tanks. Do either of these plants have a disaster plan even 1/100th as rigorous as Fort Calhoun? Do you see any flood control around them? Do you see the EPA (or whatever) making them “protect the public?” How many people would assuredly die if these facilities developed a leak or the tanks were washed away because of the flood?

      You do not need to wory about a comercial nuclear power plant killing you – there are to many other things that will do you in first.

    2. So why isn’t Gundersen and the rest of the anti-nooks going after the natural gas industry?

      Simple. Nobody is paying them to.

      1. Or maybe becouse in accident in that industry the worst case scenario cant be human extincion on planet earth ?

      2. angel,

        There isn’t enough radioactivity in an operating nuclear reactor, even if, somehow it was aerosolized and dispersed over the planet. Think about the number of above ground nuclear tests done over the years — humanity is still here. Certainly there are legitimate concerns regarding nuclear energy; however, anyone who lists human extinction as one of them is engaging in hyperbole.

      3. Actually, if you believe the theories proposed by the climate change lobby, use of natural gas in large quantities can result in the extinction of the human species. Advocating large-scale use of things like wind and solar builds in a structural requirement to burn more fossil fuels (primarily natural gas) for the times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind isn’t blowing. Methane (natural gas) is a terrible, horrific greenhouse gas, much more harmful to the ozone layer and people than things like sulfur dioxide and CO2, even PAHs. So if you go all-in on solar, wind, and natural gas, you could very well bring about the end of humankind through climate change (if you accept those theories).

        So, two can play the hyperbole game.

      4. Brian,

        You’re a little smarter than that, and I’m sure Arnie might smile at your error.

        You may have thought of the possibility that natural gas is not Gundersen’s specialty: he specializes in nuclear power plants.

        I’m also sure he doesn’t like being put in this position. Just an ex-Eagle Scout with an M.A. who innocently pointed out safety violations at a nuclear plant and was blackballed because of it. He became a so-called “whistleblower” after that and had to fight a multi-million dollar lawsuit because of it.

        We need not pick on Arnie, there are many others. Take Michael Friedlander for instance:


  23. That’s where you can’t see the forest for the trees. It takes getting out of school for a few years to actually distill everything and know how the world works, so I can’t blame you. In theory, nukes are great. Well theory is all they teach in school. What about reality? I would have been in favor of using the stimulus to build latest generation reactors, but as it stands now you are a MORON if you think these flawed 40 year old plants in flawed locations are not destined to fail eventually. Unless you train in accident spill cleanup I would pick a new career before you get in too much debt.

    1. @Jack – practical minded people who operate nuclear power stations know they will not last forever. They also have a very keen understanding of the limitations of materials and a recognition of the incredible scale of the liability that would come from a single major release. I am confident than neither the plant owners nor the federal regulators will allow a plant to operate past the time when it is safe to do so.

      Doing otherwise would be incredibly costly.

      Daniel – do not listen to people who do not know what they are talking about. You have picked a challenging profession, but it is one in which you should never lack for opportunity if you study hard and do your job with integrity.

      1. Rod,

        They are doing precisely this: licensing reactors past their shelf-life.

        [I am confident than neither the plant owners nor the federal regulators will allow a plant to operate past the time when it is safe to do so].

        They are usually good for about 40 years. Some are being relicensed for a further 20 years.

        Will try get links. (Ran into this yesterday).

    2. @Jack

      Actually it was my time after school that confirmed my decision concerning my career. My technical education which included political science, economics and business classes also allowed me to make rational, factual based opinions about what motivates varioius NGO’s and anti-nuclear professionals.

      And as far as my school debt level, I had mine paid off quicker then my humanities counterparts. Something about businesses wanting to hire technically trained individuals at good wages for their ability to assess informaton and arrive at an informed opinion. Something businesses struggle with when they hire those with strict humanities degrees and no technical experience.

      Everything must follow the rules of entropy. So everything whether it is a car, plane boat, nuclear reactor, windmill or solar panel will ultimately degrade to the point that it is no longer operable.

      The question is if that 40 year limit was political in nature or technical in nature. Many of us know, unlike yourself, that the 40 year designation for relicensing was more about politics then technical concerns.

    3. I spent four years in college, five years in graduate school, and 32 years practical experience in industry, government, private consulting, and academia, and you know what all that taught me? That nuclear energy is the safest and most reliable way to generate large amounts of electrical energy. So, schooling and practical experience led me to the same conclusions, and no “MORONS” need apply.

    4. The 40-year license limit was established at the time the first commerical nuclear plants were being licensed because back then that was the amortization schedule for conventional power plants. It is not based on any technical limitations, which in themselves would indicate a much longer operating lifetime. This has been borne out by experience gained by the industry since then. I have analyzed the samples from at least a dozen surveillance capsules pulled from operating plants and in every case the rate of embrittlement as a function of neutron fluence is slower than that assumed, even without remedial measures, which many plants have implemented in anticipation of plant lifetime extension. Other parts of the plant are more likely to be the limiting factors in operating lifetime, not pressure vessel integrity.

  24. Rod – After blogging for so many years into the quiet and rational wilderness of nuclear engineers, licensed operators, and navy nukes, now the left tail of the intellectual bell-curve has finally discovered you! Welcome to the internet circus of braindead youtubers and posthuffers.


  25. Daniel – thanks for pointing that out.

    The 700-1000 megawatt reactor plants I have been licensed to operate or supervise since 1983 have produced more reliable, emission-free energy while I was in the head than Arnie’s did during his whole license period.

    Why isn’t the media beating down my door for a factual soundbite? Maybe because that’s not what glues the eyeballs to the idiotbox.

  26. I’d like to see the nuclear industry present their own long overdue articulate “Carl Sagan” to challenge Mr. Gundersen on a live YouTube debate before his suave poison catches on. You would make an able and literate opponent for him, Mr. Adams, with Will Davis of Atomic Power Review as a twin runnersup. I’m sure YouTube would be delighted to set this up.

    James Greenidge

  27. Not to defend Gundersen (he doesn’t deserve it), but I would argue that even a petty 100 Wth research reactor – or a reasonably good computer simulator – could teach even the village idiot the fundamentals as to how reactors – even commercial power reactors – work. A commercial reactor operates on the same basic principles as one of those 100 Wth reactors scaled up by, oh, 7 or 8 orders of magnitude (effectively less as even a 100 Wth critical assembly does require a critical quantity of fissiles to start with).

    It would teach you about the basics of reactors: neutron population, neutron leakage, delayed and prompt neutrons (dollars and cents), xenon and samarium preclusion, effective multiplication factor, delta k, etc.

    Of course, commercial reactors don’t operate in a relatively static pool of water and one then has to worry about things like critical power ratios, coolant boron content, the effect of partially steam voided channels on core reactivity, critical power ratios, and linear heat generation rates. But a kiddie reactor will likely teach you the basics.

    1. The main thing a research reactor lacks is anything related to balance-of-plant. Often, managing BoP characteristics and effects consumes a significant portion of operator effort. The safety systems of non-power reactors are also considerably simpler than a power reactor. Just compare the annunciator panels.

      I’m not impressed with Gundersen. His credentials are not that strong. The media and anti-nuclear activist groups have always had the edge in paying for hired critics. Lining one’s pockets by denigrating an entire industry whose product is environmentally benign does not impress me.

    2. Well, I was approved to operate my University’s research reactor (we have a somewhat different system in the UK), and to oversee undergraduate experiments on it – it was a 300KW device.


      I’d not regard that as rendering me competent to run a commercial scale plant – and that was about 3,000 times the power of the device Mr Gundersen ran.

  28. Arnie Gundersen has been making money by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about nuclear energy for more than a decade.


    (And as a side note: Where is the pro nuclear opposite of Arnie Gundersen?)

    1. He gets paid to testify in court as an ‘expert’ witness.

      And that is just one example.

  29. Dear Rod,

    it’s funny how you write about his credentials but fail to answer the very legitimate concern raised by Gundersen: 1) what are your qualification to say that ” If the hot particles are so tiny and dispersed that they cannot be detected, they are nothing to worry about”?

    It’s really fine for Gundersen to have is own agenda. People who read between the lines know this.

    What’s your agenda?

    When the pro-nuclear gang starts to be as irrational as the anti-nuclear gang, you have a problem.

    I Watch the story unfolds, I watched your interviews, saw your comments on Fukushima, and by the own info released by Tepco three months after, many of your “expert” statements were wrong.

    Have you been in Fukushima? Are you working on site? Do you have more reliable information on the accident than we do that enables you to speak about it with authority?

    NILU among others stopped releasing publicly its forecast of the atmospheric dispersal of radionucleides from Fukushima, so understandably some people are concerned that some form of cover up do occur. As you don’t want to give way to conspiracy theorists, it would be wiser to address why this is rather than dissing a former nuclear engineer that appear to have his 15 minutes of fame in the wake of a terrible event.

    Again what is your own agenda? Think about it.

    You don’t appear to be a reliable and unbiased source at all. But that’s ok, because you don’t pretend to.
    Yet, your article is not scientific, your facts are not checked.

    Everyone understands, that basically you try to protect your own industry, but you do so in a very questionable way.

    Why defend the indefensible? If you are in a position to do so, why not address real, legitimate questions from the concerned public instead of dissing a former nuclear worker like yourself? They are so many.

    Low doses of radiation can be very dangerous and are a major health concern.
    Saying that the tsunami killed more people than the Fukushima NPP or that oil, coal etc. are worse do NOT answer anything. As if we didn’t know that. It’s basically an off topic, rather unscientific answer to people rightfully concerned by this catastrophic event (which by the way is still unfolding).

    Do you have a background as a healthcare specialist to pretend that fallout from Fukushima is “nothing to worry about”N

    This article does not make you look like a very credible person either. Failing to assess the human aspects of this terrible crisis is really lame. The nuclear industry has many many questions to answer and, in the wake of Fukushima, common sense indicates that things clearly are out of control, regardless of what Gundersen’s credentials are and regardless of you (“@atomicrod” lol) being pro nuclear.

    In fact your article just basically gave free publicity to Mr Gundersen (who looks like someone scared to death and probably has some issues dealing with his nuclear past), so that’s not very smart and not helping your own agenda at all, I am afraid. Is this what you want?

    Thank you for your attention, I’ll be looking forward to reading your blog.

    1. I think that we might have a winner here for the lamest comment published on this website.

      what are your qualification to say that “If the hot particles are so tiny and dispersed that they cannot be detected, they are nothing to worry about”?

      The “qualification” should be having taken and passed a decent high-school-level physics class, which is something that, I suspect, you have not done.

      It’s basic logic. Here, I’ll explain it to you in simple terms, since your cognitive skills appear to be lacking:

      If a particle is so “hot” that it is emitting significant amounts of radiation, then this radiation will be detected. If the radiation emitted by the particle is too small to be detected, then it is not so “hot” as to be a problem. This stuff is governed by the laws of physics, not by magic.

      What’s your agenda?

      Apparently, it is debunking the nonsense put out by paid charlatans.

      1. Jacques sounds a lot more articulate speaking a foreign language than you do in your native tongue, Brian.

    2. “1) what are your qualification to say that ” If the hot particles are so tiny and dispersed that they cannot be detected, they are nothing to worry about”?”

      The “hot particle” theory has been pretty much debunked by the hard data available in the public domain concerning the Los Alamos plutonium workers. In the 1940s, 25 Los Alamos employees inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust. Based on the predictions of the “hot particle” theory, in this group of 25, they each should have a 99.5% chance of developing lung cancer by now. To date, none of them have shown any symptoms of lung cancer. To date, there has not been a single human fatality anywhere in the world that has been proven, either by direct or epidemiological evidence, to be a result of the toxic effects of plutonium ingestion.

      As far as “qualifications”, how about personal experience? About five years ago I had a heart scan/stress test that used about 30 millicuries of Mo-Tc as the imaging agent. Quite a few trillion “tiny particles” were injected into yours truly. As far as I can tell, I am still here.

    3. @Jaques,

      It is Mr. Gundersen’s facts that are not checked.

      Mr. Gundersen is the only person claiming 5-10 hot particles (fuel fleas) are being ingested per person per day. And he has been saying that unchallenged for weeks now.

      For those of us who have actually worked on a refuel floor of a operating nuclear reactor that figure boggles the mind. The effects of ingesting that much radiological material would literally be making thousands of people sick right now.

      No experts in radiation safety issues, no EPA spokesperson, no State of Calfornia, Oregon, Washington (name your state) health professional is claiming 5-10 hot particles are being ingested. No physicist from the various national or university labs on the West Coast are saying anything about 5-10 particles being ingested every day.

      Only Mr. Gundersen. And with NO proof.

      So the one and only person who needs to prove his point is Mr. Arnie Gundersen with hard, reliable data that has been reviewed by people trained in radiological control issues.

      1. You sound like you probably believe the federal reserve had no idea sub prime could happen either.

      2. I believe you on this. I heard from an operating engineer that if you ingest such a “hot particule” you would be in real trouble and there would be little you could do as opposed to having a radioactive dust come in contact with your skin…
        So if this is true this is indeed a very serious claim and it is questionable that only a few people are making this claim, which does not appear to be backed up by any evidence of people falling sick. So what you are saying is that you can measure the fall out say on the US Westcoast or in Norway or in France (quite far away from the accident) but that has no actual impact on health and is likely to have zero incidence in those countries, is this correct?

        Now, let’s look at a worse case scenario – and looking at the past management of the crisis by Tepco and the fact that this accident is so to say a world premiere, this could happen – if the melted core can not be contained, the water table affected, more radioactive material dispersed into the sea, air and soil (which is likely going to happen for a long time to come and has been assessed by Tepco)…what would be the impact?

        Is this even possible to predict at this point? I assume it could be predicted, given that the total amont of fuel is known, but many experts are saying that this is unknown territory – not just Mr Gundersen and therefore this is not particularly reassuring.

        1. @Jacques – did your operating engineer source tell you what might happen with a hot particle that could not be detected?

      3. No Mr Adams, he told me that if such a particule was breathed one would likely get sick and there would be little doctors could do to help – but he didn’t tell me that could go undetected at all, of course. He said that “fuel flea” would be detected at the gates of a plant and washed off (not unusual apparently, and the entrance of a NPP are equipped with showers / decontamination area) but would pose a severe threat in case it was inhaled or ingested.
        I guess the effect of such a poisoning would be somehow similar to the guy who was poisoned by polonium in London in that mysterious Russian spionage story, do you remember that?

    4. @Jacques – I have several years worth of practical experience in radiation health effects. I served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Officer on one submarine and as the Engineer Officer with a collateral duty as the radiation health officer on another. In addition, I have some good friends and mentors who have made a career studying radiation and its effect on human health.

      If you do a search on this blog using the term “health effects” you will find dozens of articles that I have written on the topic. Many of them are heavily referenced.

      1. That’s nice. I’ll spend time and read them. I am sorry that I didn’t take the time to read those articles before though.

    5. Jaques,

      You really need to understand just how phenomenally sensitive radiation detection equipment is – capable of detecting radioactive particles way, way below any threshold for harm.

      There’s a rather good example already in the public domain as a result of Fukushima. you’ll recall some fuss was made about detection of plutonium contamination in some soil samples from the Fukushima site?

      Well, the amount found was 0.19 Bequerels/Kg – in a sample of a gramme or so. So, actually the amount detected was 0.00019 Bq (a Bq is a disintegration per second).

      So, a rather sentitive detetor, you’ll agree.

      Let’s see how significant that is. If you were to inhale that whole gramme of soil, you’d be exposed to one decay event eevery 1 1/2 hours or so.

      Over the same time, each of your lungs (assuming it weighs about 1kg) would be subject to about 330,000 events from the decay of the naturally radioactive potassium in you body.

      1. Thank you for this reply. What caused some people – me included I confess – is why the monitoring of air stopped in different countries at about the same time. The cause (the public was told) was that the amount of fallout from Fukushima became so low that it was imperceptible.

        My understanding however is that detectors are operating at all time, monitoring different areas – in case of any nuclear event – and that authorities decided that it was no longer necessary to have the release public since the level were so low. I might be wrong of course, assuming operating those detectors at all time must cost a lot of money but it would make sense for any country to keep the air, food and soil “on check” so to say.

      2. The network of sensors you are referring to were put in place to detect unauthorized nuclear weapons testing as part of the enforcement of various test ban treaties. As a consequence they are exquisitely sensitive, and really do not tell us anything about fallout or radioactive discharges from an event such as the one in Japan.

        On the contrary because it is so sensitive, this network is causing more concern than is warranted.

  30. @Brian Mays My cognitive skills enable me to understand you are another paid nuclear advocate 🙂

    So the fall out from Fukushima is nothing to worry about, go tell this to people who evacuated their land, their home, their ancestors soil because it is poisoned forever.

    Go tell them they lack the cognitive skills because they are not pro nuclear who passed a high-school-level physics 🙂

    Let’s talk about it when the effects of this disaster show effects a few years from now.

    Radiation is still leaking, likely for months if not years to come, it will only accumulates, so yes, it is a concern whether you like it or not. Saying I am basically stupid makes you look cheap and not respectful. I do have common sense. I question whether you do.

    PS: beside I know a few people who passed a decent high-school-level physics class and who are stupid as f*.
    I know a nuclear engineer who is barely able to change a lightbulb. No kidding. And I know one who has no emotional intelligence and no social skills. So having passed a decent high-school-level physics class does not necessarily amount to anything by my book.

    1. Saying I am basically stupid makes you look cheap and not respectful.

      Based on what you have written here, you do not deserve any respect. You show up here full of accusations, slinging insults, and questioning people’s “qualifications.” Then you demand respect? You must be kidding me!

      Your attitude would be bad enough, except that your comments also indicate that you haven’t the first clue of what you’re talking about. Know-it-alls who know nothing get no respect from me.

      it only makes you look INSECURE.

      And how do you look when, instead of being able to counter anything that I have said, your first response is to accuse me, without any evidence, of being a paid spokesman?

      FWIW, I have never been a paid advocate for anything in my life.

      Radiation is still leaking, likely for months if not years to come, it will only accumulates,

      See … this is where the physics class would have come in handy. A knowledgeable person would say that radioactive material is still leaking, not “radiation.” A sensible person would quantify these leaks. Are they large enough to matter? And anyone who understands how radioactive decay works would know that the amount of radioactive material and its activity decrease with time, as unstable atoms decay into stable ones.

      An English writing class also might help.

      I know a nuclear engineer who is barely able to change a lightbulb. No kidding.

      Ah … a worthy peer of Mr. Gundersen, perhaps? How well does he tell lies? Is he as good as Mr. Gundersen? Does he also lack any scruples?

      And I know one who has no emotional intelligence and no social skills.

      You two must get along well, being so similar and all.

      So having passed a decent high-school-level physics class does not necessarily amount to anything by my book.

      You don’t need to tell me that. Your contempt for knowledge is quite apparent from everything else you have written here.

    2. @Jaques,

      What does emotional intelligence or social skills have to do with understanding how nuclear energy works or passing a basic physics class?

      Some of the best technical analysts around, whether they work in nuclear energy or not, aren’t people who go to cocktail parties and chat about the latest celebrity fiasco or Hollywood crisis or reality TV show.

      They are people who are actually trying to make the world a better place. They are people that instead of reading the latest US or People magazine gossip are instead finding ways to make themselves better at thier chosen craft and profession.

      That means having a critical mind that asks questions and does not take things as fact when spewed out by those that believe their morals are better then anyone else’s.

      Now I realize I am generalizing as not all engineers and technical professionals fall into this catagory but for the most part we are always trying to challenge ourselves to be better at our chosen field.

      1. Look Bill,

        I understand that. I am not here to insult anyone, and am not an anti-nuclear zealot. But in the wake of Fukushima, three melt through, as part of the concerned public, I believe I have a right to ask a few question to “experts”. And to date, those questions are not answered. What I said basically is that what happen is not good, have not been foreseen properly by engineers and I also question how a nuclear engineer can make statements about health effects of radiation on mankind (this was a question for Mr Adams, triggered by reading his article). By the way this question should also be asked to Mr Gundersen. And I also know some pretty good and intelligent engineers, they have a high opinion about their job, duty, high morale and ethics.
        And they do not tell people, you are just stupid and illiterate because you don’t understand nuclear physic.
        Not at all, they are calm, explain the facts, rationally and make their point across. If they express themselves on a public platform, such as the web or engage in a conversation about an article, even if “challenged” they do respond in a civilized way. I fail to see how Mr Mays can say I was rude for asking Mr Adams his qualification to speak about health, really.
        And I believe this article above, and most of the comments are free publicity for Gundersen, which I believe is counter-productive to Mr Adams’ own agenda (as a proud pro nuclear advocate). Thank you.

      2. @Jaques,

        One reason you may not have all the answers you believe you should have is that the information is still being gathered on what has happened to the facilities, what is going right now and what will happen in the future. There are a million and one questions that have been asked by everyone but it takes time to gather the data to adequately report the events.

        There are many of us who are not happy with the quality of the information TEPCO or the Japanese goverment is issuing. However we also understand that Fukushima is only one part of the crisis management that is going. That is where this situation is much, much different then TMI or Chernobyl. There are multiple crisis to resolve, any one of them by itself would challenge civil defense and emergency management teams.

        This is a slowly evolving accident where the conditions at Fukushima were in flux for over a month and now it will take months if not years to fully clean up. TMI took several years for the data to be fully complied and even then various researchers continued on for even more years studying the events, materials, etc.

        So for someone like Gundersen or various TV physicists to come on and state unequivocally that they KNOW exactly what is going on and what will happen is just wrong.

        And then to state things that are later to be shown untruthful and were suspect to begin with – hot particles are being ingested at a rate of 5 per day by everyone in Seattle which is a danger- without taking that video off his website is something to question him about. Especially since it is contributing to a climate of fear with people who are not knowledgeable on nuclear issues.

        As to Brian’s comments I will leave that to him to answer.

    3. “So the fall out from Fukushima is nothing to worry about, go tell this to people who evacuated their land, their home, their ancestors soil because it is poisoned forever.”

      Did you know that before the Fukishima plants were even built there were detectable levels of plutonium in the local soil from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Do you even care?

      And please define ‘poisoned forever’.

      The land around Chernobyl is ‘poisoned forever’, yet plant and animal life are flourishing. Much of the land could be re-opened for people but there are two political reason it isn’t. As long as they can keep pointing to the ‘contaminated zone’ the Ukrainian government gets a lot of foriegn aid and the political fall out from the anti-nuclear NGOs would be politically unacceptable. Scientifically much of the land, with possibly a few restrictions on types of crops, is just as safe as other parts of the world with above average radiation levels.

      1. @ddpalmer

        Did you know that before the Fukishima plants were even built there were detectable levels of plutonium in the local soil from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Do you even care?

        I care, believe me.

        And please define ‘poisoned forever’.

        More than an average human lifetime would be “forever” in most people perception.

        I know Ukraine…some place around Chernobyl are quite fine. Others are deadly poisonous and you wouldn’t want to set a foot in those. Let’s be serious.

      2. @Jacques

        “And please define ‘poisoned forever’.

        More than an average human lifetime would be “forever” in most people perception.”

        Well isn’t that a cute and silly answer. It is what I would expect from my 8 year old.

        I didn’t ask for a definition of ‘forever’, and I really doubt that most people would agree with your definition anyways, and in this case there is a lot of crying about children and grand children so obviously many people are thinking well beyond their lifetime.

        So do you care to answer the question that was asked?

      3. “I know Ukraine…some place around Chernobyl are quite fine. Others are deadly poisonous and you wouldn’t want to set a foot in those. Let’s be serious”

        I’d take some convincing of that.

        A schoolfriend of mine worked on the EU funded remediation project at the site for several years. His general view was that there were a few hotspots – but the accent is on the “few” – and they’re readily detectable. Were the political will there, they’re readily remidiated.

        For example, in Pripyat – close to the reactor itself, and one of the hotter areas – background across the town is about 1 microsievert/hour – so, about 8.5 milliseiverts/year. By comparison, our most populare holiday area, here in the UK – a county called Cornwall – has an average background of 7.5mSv. Certain areas (“Dartmoor” can run up to 6-7 times that; and because a significant proportion of the exposure is from radon, many older houses will see concentrations giving up to an order of magnitude more.

        And Cornwall has (age and income adjusted), about the lowest level of cancer in the UK.

        I’m not sure we’re about to evacuate Cornwall….

        Oh, and as the overwhelming majority of the exposure is from deposited caesium, with a 30 year half-life – the levels in Pripyat will be below those of Cornwall in a decade or so. 40 years after the accident.

        I’ve lived longer than that already.

      4. well the land around Chernobyl is not going to be populated anytime soon. You’ll have to go with my first answer – and if it comes from an 8 years old in your view so be it. 8 years old are the future, you should respect them as they will outlive you 🙂

      5. @Jacques, OK I see have to lower my estimate to 6 years old. And the trying to be cute, especially will making unfounded assertions, doesn’t work. It just makes you look even more foolish.

        8 years old don’t deserve respect for their opinions because whether they will outlive me or not they don’t have the knowledge or experience in most areas to form reasonable opinions.

        I will pointed out to you that much of the land around Chernobyl has been repopulated, both legally and illegally. Most of the land that hasn’t been opened for repopulation is more for political than scientific reasons and almost all those areas that have scientific reasons for continued exclusion are really an economic issue rather than scientific. They could be returned to pre-accident conditions if there was an good reason to.

        If I have to go with your first answer it just shows your lack of knowledge, and even worse, your inability or refusal to learn new things and face the truth. Living in a fantasy land where you are always right is a delusion that can usually be fixed with proper medication.

    4. Just a little warning Jacques – I highly recommend not attempting to engage in an intellectual battle with Brian. Like many of the modest people who comment on Atomic Insights, he rarely signs his name with his earned title of Dr.

      1. Thank you for the warning. When someone respond in such a fashion, whether he is a doctor, or a garbage man makes no difference.

  31. And you know Brian, insulting people, instead of explaining things in a rational, intelligent way, for those who might be less informed than you are or possibly – but in my case I doubt it – less intelligent than you are, does not make you appear intelligent, it only makes you look INSECURE.

    1. @Jacques – Si vous voulez des réponses à vos questions faire la recherche vous-même, ne viennent pas ici et d’attaquer les qualifications les autres

      1. @DV82XL Merci. C’est, en plus poli, le même genre de réponse que donne Eric Besson, ministre de l’énergie français, quand on l’interroge sur la sécurité des centrales nucléaires. Parce que ça le “fait chier” il “se casse”. Mais au contraire, je vient ici poser moi même certaines questions, de manière indépendante et respectueuses aux experts et notamment à Mr Adams qui a pourvu son article d’un droit de réponse. Demander à quelqu’un comme Monsieur Adams quelles sont ses qualifications pour parler de la santé, précisément des effets des retombées de Fukushima sur la santé du public – alors qu’il ne fait pas partie du corps médical – ne correspond absolument pas à une attaque sous quelque forme que ce soit.

  32. Jacques;

    Respectfully, if you’re not a troll, then you make this sound like it’s a pitched battle between good and evil and right and wrong. If you are of the implaccable philosophy that nuclear energy is inherently evil because of the “unnaturally” cruel and evil way it was used to wipe out two Japanese cities (which some back then swore would remain mutant-infested radioactive deserts forever) then no science or facts are ever going to shift your assumptions. What “battle” there is is between being led on unchallenged faith and being enlightened by facts and “what is.” People in the nuclear industry are not strokers of the devil and they have their own families to be concerned with over others which redoubles their dedication to do things right. Yes, accidents happen, yet ever since Madame Curie I dare say, outside the intentional exposures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you could probably pack the amount of lethally irradiated humans from reactor and other minor nuclear accidents on a cruise liner if that. A majority of industries wish they’d just get near having total mortalities like that in their existence, yet there are no or very very little protests placed at their doorstep. Yet here we have people rallying in stark fear of a technology which has a record of being far more malign most others not just in normal operation but even during extreme rare accidents, but is ironically being blasted as the most virulent menace that stalked the earth.

    There’s no free lunch to having an advanced civilization, even with solar and wind power. You don’t cut and run if something goes wrong; you find out what’s wrong and fix it or start heading back for caves. I admit, during the very first Earth Days I was swept up in the campus “green camp” until I applied a little logic and research than hang my frets and self-preservation on the words of those with piously virtuous agendas to punish and banish the atom for what it did to Hiroshima. I realized if we took as truth of how perniciously lethal radioactive substances released into the environment were since the 1940s we all should’ve been extinct or born malformed long ago. Greenpeace back then touted that the Bikini Atolls would be sterile monuments to the Atomic Age forever, but someone forgot to tell that to the fish and sea veggies and corals growing there for sport divers. I took Greenpeace’s word that it was so but it was a lie cloaked in “could be’s” and “will be’s”. I asked them and Friends of the Earth for “the numbers” and all they coughed up were coy guesses and speculation. Because of their predecessors, cowed politicians buckled and killed highly successful atomic space drive research in Nevada that could’ve changed the entire complexion of the space project with month-long round trips to Mars, just because they were protesting what Might go wrong launching, not on the project’s track record. They even wanted to kill Viking and Galileo and Cassini based such fears. It dawned me that these groups were more on an moral crusade than a safety concern. The atom, just as well, is the spawn of the devil and so must be exorcised everywhere, no compromise or understanding.

    It didn’t make sense to me to keep cutting truly advantageous technologies and projects to humankind off at the knees because of extreme Doomsday frets. I learned to question the hawker, demand his facts be backed up. If their view stands up to “what is” then there’s no contest because fact is reality. If he says the Japanese will Never return to their homes or are slow poisoned to early deaths, then show me the numbers and record and studies, not guesses or spectulation. I can eat it when I’m wrong, but as far as I know Gundersen hides behind a human shield of unquestioning fans and P.R. people from direct challenges of his spiel. The proof of the pudding is if his arguments stand up to fact and record, and not as easy rootless speculations or guesses or even maybe perverted hope.

    James Greenidge

    1. Correction”

      Meant “has a record of being far more benign” not malign. What you get for texting and working the same time! Sorry.

      James Greenidge

    2. Dear James Greenidge,

      thank you for taking the time to answer – and no I am not a troll. I am very shocked by the Fukushima accident and feel concerned. I think it poses questions and those questions are not answered yet in a neutral, rational way.

      I understand that accidents happen. I don’t think you could honestly say that this one happened in the name of science though…

      Your assessment of Mr Gundersen’s work is possibly right.

      However I think from the nuclear industry and the nuclear advocates, paid or unpaid, the only way to go would have been to explain, right away, to people what happened and what a big fuck up it was, what the danger would be – all based on a worst case scenario – this is called taking responsibilities.

      As I am sure you followed the news, this is not what happen.

      I am an ordinary person, but I know what a nuclear power plant should look like, outside and inside, and looking at the aerial photos taken after the three first blasts it was clear those reactors were very seriously damaged…

      It does not play in favor of all the experts that were saying “all is fine and contained” back in March, you know…

      Mr Gundersen (who I am not even trying to defend) made assessments that were closer to what actually happened and what Tepco itself actually came clear about three months later (including that a meltdown started even before the tsunami actually hit the plant, by the way).

      So the media, understandably from the Japanese side, were trying to avoid a panic. Other were too sensationalists. Fear mongering. Soon some people began talking conspiracy nonsense.

      Gundersen may have ties to Greenpeace, he keeps composure but he has an agenda, of course! but why are you so mad at him when you yourself have another agenda, that just happen to be the opposite?

      You can only fight this on a rational playground and this – I sense – is where hard core pro nuclear advocates are beginning to fail: they become irrationals, just like the anti nuclear usually are in fact.

      For people like me, we look for credible answers and we are being told: “you don’t know anything, you are stupid, you can’t understand physics, you don’t deserve respect (sic)” but isn’t that what we have been told for 30 years by the same people who said that a nuclear accident was virtually impossible?

      And by the way I can understand physics – you know, you can explain it to me.

  33. @Jacques
    Your statement: So the fall out from Fukushima is nothing to worry about, go tell this to people who evacuated their land, their home, their ancestors soil because it is poisoned forever.

    Indeed Jacques, Japanese citizens have been evaluated May 15 because radiations levels are at 20 millisieverts per year in certain towns …

    Meanwhile in Ramsar, Iran, naturally high background radiation delivers a hefty dose of 260 millisieverts per year to local residents, a hundred times higher than 2.7 mSv/yr experienced by the average UK citizen, and also ten times higher than doses normally permitted to workers in nuclear power stations. However, there is no observed increase in cancer in this or any other area where levels of background radiation are up to two orders of magnitude higher than normally observed.

    In Guarapari, Brazil, a city of 80 000 inhabitants built on the seaside, peak measurements made by EFN on the thorium-rich beach were as high as 40 microSv/hour (about 200 times higher than the average natural background radiation in other areas of the world). This part of the world shows no outliers cases for cancer.

    Join the nuclear cause and travel safely all around the globe.

  34. @Jacques
    Your statement: Low doses of radiation can be very dangerous and are a major health concern.

    So you’ll never take the plane, take a dental/chest Xray or take a walk in the sun again ? What about hormosis, have you heard ?

    1. So, dental / chest ray, I don’t do that, no. Sun, not too much.
      Planes, I love them. I may take some exposure to that. Fine by me.
      Now, during a nuclear accident with release of radioactive material (gases, cesium 137, iodine 131, radioactive particulates etc…)

      How does these types of radiation exposure compare?

      Do you inhale radioactive material when you take a plane?

      Where is the data with such comparisons? so that I can forge my opinion on this.

      1. gases – mostly very short lived – and beta/gamma emitters. Just like radon, which is the biggest source in most areas. Which, of course, is inhaled into the lungs, and can pass into the blood (as does oxygen).

        particulates – try areas like Kerala in India (again, a low cancer mortality spot). Monazite sands, i.e. particulate uranium and thorium (alpha emittters).

        On a plane – cosmic ray exposure. Like gamma rays, just more energetic.

        Or are you now about to tell us that it’s somehow different to be hit with a beta, gamma or alpha particle – internal or external – that’s “natural”?

      2. Yeah, but incidence of cancer increase a little for frequent flyers, so it’s not like a zero risk. When you go and take x-rays, people around are protected by shields of lead – this is not without reason, else than reducing potential body /organs damage caused by repetitive exposure. My (common sense) assumption is that these Fukushima fallout will likely increase cancer risk for people in a (large?) perimeter around the plant.
        I can not say to which extend and no one else probably can, as the parameters for such a calculation would be so variable and complex.
        I understand that it is not ok for Mr Gunderson to make those claims about “fuel fleas” on the US West coast – but at the same time this is no laughing matter either. People in Japan were and are still exposed to potentially harmful doses – especially the children so I see no use in trying to minify the effects or making comparison with natural background radiation. I think it would be far more effective for the nuclear industry to be much more transparent and come clear about the catastrophe unfolding in Japan, explaining everything to people, reassuring when there is a potential for panic is not the same thing as lying to people or information retention. The Japanese are a developped nation, with a very high rate of instruction, you know…
        Everyone understood that Tepco tried to save their assets and trust towards Tepco and the Japanese governement unfortunately is very low as a result of this lack of transparency.

        When you inform people responsibly, not assuming that people are “illiterate and dumb” by nature, knowing that they are busy with many other stuff going on in their lives but able to understand everything that you yourself know in any expertise field; and given the proper information, in time of crisis, not only will you avoid panic and irrational theories to develop, but you’ll help people so they can take better decision for themselves and as a group.

        Of course desinformation and edutainment work better but this is not what people want ultimately when it comes to their health and live choices…

      3. Well, maybe something that points to data about the higher cancer rate for frequent flyers might be helpful – ideally, some sort of peer-reviewed item would help. Everything that I can find suggests that the only cancer that airlines pilots are significantly more likely to get is melanoma, compared to the general population – and that’s more likely to be recreational exposure during stopovers. The only onther effect that’s been noted is increased protrate cancer amongst older pilots – and you see the same pattern amongst other workers subject to disrupted circadian rythims due to shift work.

        As to the “common sense” point – two comments. One even on the very conservative “Linear No threshold” model, Fukushima is at most going to shorten a few hundred lives – but even then, there’s good reason to think that won’t happen.

        To three times as many Cornish die of lung, or other cancers, than other Brits of similar lifestyle, propensity income etc? Lungs are the part of the body most exposed to beta dose from radiation.

        No, they don’t. In fact rather less. Even more strikingly, there’s no correlation whatsoever with radon concentration (and hence dose).

        No-one has yet demosntrated any statistically reliable relationship of cancer incidence below 100mSv of acute exposure – that is, a lot of radiation in a short time.

        The evacuation zone for Fukushima is defined by a dose of 20mSv in the first year after the accident – in fact, that will already have dropped to 1-10mSv as the Iodine 131 has decayed.

        as to ” I think it would be far more effective for the nuclear industry to be much more transparent and come clear about the catastrophe”…give me strength. Japan’s seen 26,000 dead as a result of the Tsunami. If it sees any dead at all from Fukushima, the number will be a tiny proportion of that.

        the only people who aren’t “coming clean” about this “catastrophe” are the scaremongers and liars who’ve attached that word to it in the first place.

        As to “fuel fleas” – the nuclear site that saw three incidents of detection at the stations gate in five years would be struggling to retain it’s licence.

        finally – “When you inform people responsibly…”

        Apparently, not in your case. You’ve been given multiple exaples, been shown patient reasoning, and – most crucially – given the statitics and numbers. And still you drivel on about “catastrophies”.

      4. Dear Andy,

        first I’d like to thank you for being so patient, and for giving considerate answer to my merely stupid questions. I believe from your perspective – as painstaking as it must be, this is an helpful and civil gesture, anavoidable if you are to educate people like myself (which is why I also kept posting, by the way). It serves a noble cause and I learned some basic facts that indeed shifted some of my previous opinions.

        While not coming from a scientific background I love science, verified facts, reliable data, and (sound) technology and am rational enough to assess my own mistakes or shortcomings when it come to my own judgement.

        There is no denying that emotion, stress and anger in the wake of a multiple nuclear accident such as the one unfolding in Fukushima weighted on my opinion.

        But while I agree with you on the rational and scientific data about radiation exposure, which tends to tell a different story than sensationalists headlines – and that’s a relief, I still think that what happened to the plant is a massive disaster. If you say to me that you see more human, and management mistakes than flaws inherent in the technology itself in this accident (as Mr Rogers says) I’ll also agree with you.

        What I am saying however is that doesn’t make it less a disaster. I understand all you have said on facts, radiation exposure and I understand that other energy are more harmful (coal, oil mainly) or more deadly. But that (maybe also a language issue here as I am not as articulate in English as I would like to be) that, was not my point. My point is what happened in Fukushima – dispite many warnings to Tepco etc. – is terrible. For the Japanese locals, for the hundred thousand people moved against their will: terrible. I sure hope there will be no more casualities from the accident itself, but this is unlikely. People around the plan were exposed, some still are. For them it is a disaster, no question. For the nuclear workers who tried unsuccessfully to cool the reactor cores in the plant: rough time! Also terrible beyond belief. For the shareholders – who today almost succeded in voting a moting to force Tepco out of nuclear energy, this accident for them is so shameful, and also a terrible disaster, financially. For Japan economy, its commerce (ban on food, check for radiation poisoning on imports), the loss of confidence from other countries, and on an on, all of this because of Fukushima nuclear plant melting through. So you see, these are also facts, not babblings from an 8 or 6 years old, these are facts affecting human life, only a few of them will affect deeply Japanese society as a whole for a long time to come.
        I like your answers, I changed my mind on the radiation exposure issue (this is to say I understand it more rationally, and it is indeed less “terrible” than I previously thought) but it is a disaster man, there is no denying that. This accident also shows that nuclear technology, in the hand of faillible raise (too?) many questions. There are just a lot of dangers and human facts that makes it hard to defend its use. Not to mention a single event like this taught a lot to would be terrorists.
        As much as I truly admire the science, engineering work behind a nuclear power plant, I know that if there is the slightest possibility of a man made accident, or the possibility that a natural disaster will be made worse by man intervention, or that some fool will decide to fuck things up, this is likely to happen. Unlikely, unpredicted things happen. Let’s not forget to mention that in this case it was not even unpredicted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genpatsu-shinsai

  35. Mr Adams

    Thanks for all the good unpaid work you do here exposing charlatans like Gunderson. It’s a shame that knowledgeable people like you aren’t called on by journalists when they are looking for filler material in their articles about nuclear power.

    Since you are into this kind of thing, you should have a look at the latest “investigation” from the AP. I pasted the link in the URL section. Enjoy.

  36. Can anyone find the source for the TEPCO recalculation he is taking about when it declares double the radiation previously reported was released? Is this a new calculation or is he talking about an older calculation?

    1. I think I found it

      I’m not entirely sure where they got the figure of 7.7^17 Bq (770000 TBq) that is being brandied about but I imagine if you add together the total column in Table 5 the result would be approximately that (removing Xexon).

      My understanding is that this is a theoretical calculation using simulation software. I am amazed that a more reliable estimate could not be obtained from real world data from radiation monitors during the accident itself, world wide radiation monitors and an extrapolation from that data. This would seem to me to be a pretty crude estimate as all the various parameters could not possibly be accurate.

      What do others more knowledgeable than myself think of these numbers in particular are they solely airborne releases or do they also take into account water releases? It is also over quite a short time frame ~100hrs.

  37. This is a link from sixty minutes Australia. I am just a Network Engineer but this does not look good. 60 minutes did play this down 3 months ago. I was surprised they released this:


    Also a friend of mine has been taking readings around playgrounds in Tokyo. The 1kg bags are at the lab now so I should have those results to come as well as some footage to go with it in Tokyo. I can guarantee they will find fission elements such as Strontium-90 and Cesium-137. The air in parts of Tokyo I have seen from official stations is 0.33 ~ 0.35 microsieverts per hour and not dropping. Keep in mind the baseline before March 21 was 0.10 or lower. The assumption is based on people in some of these “hot spots” is it came down with the rain. The readings were initially 0.72 microsieverts per hours(Air 1m above ground) and ground readings between 1 and 8 microsieverts mainly around drains and in parks. The 0.72 dropped and what I suspect is that the shorter lived fission elements decayed and we are now left with the longer lived fission elements.

    Some people will still consider that safe as there are some unusually high level in various places around the world. But I’m told that Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 is the problem here.



    1. Careful Luke,

      If you spend to much time here you might actually begin to understand why we support nuclear power.

      At the very least you might end up in the George Monbiot and Mark Lynas camp where you grudgingly acknowledge the duplicity of people like Helen Caldicott and begin to discuss the positive aspects of nuclear power in combating GHG especially considering the BBC has the following article:


      Then you might begin to understand why many of us consider Mr. Gundersen’s constant campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt, more commonly known as FUD, far worse for our collective future then a Fukushima event.

      Either way keep learning about how energy is produced, generated, transmitted, bought, sold, paid for and taxed. The more knowledge everyone has on this subject the better.

    2. Luke,

      We may have to take you up on the original ‘pepsi challenge’ of the 1970’s. Ralph Nader then tried to alarm America by stating that Plutonium was the most toxic element on earth and a small amount could kill millions.

      Dr Cohen then challenged Nader on public TV that he would drink as much Plutonium as Nader would ingest coffee. Nader never stepped up to the plate. Still, we live in ignorance.

      Google it !

      1. To clarify, I was thinking that the challenge was plutonium vs. pure caffeine, rather than coffee.

        I know that I personally drink about 4-5 “cups” of coffee every day, and that is no major health risk.

  38. @Luke
    In 1962, atmospheric nuclear tests by both Russians and Americans released into the atmosphere radiation equivalent to two Chornobyls every week for a whole year. It was soon possible to find trace amounts of a strontium isotope in the bones of pretty well everyone in the world -and yet human lifespans across the globe have continued to increase.

    1. I remember that well. It really hit the fan when someone showed trace of strontium-90 in human breast-milk. You can imagine the rest.

  39. @Luke
    The 60 minutes report is meant to sell hype.

    Remember this other nuclear incident as well in 1957:

    In 1957 the Windscale military reactor in the United Kingdom caught fire and released what the secretive British would later call “significant amounts” of radioactivity into the atmosphere. No one was told about the accident, and the British issued no warnings. Nevertheless, epidemiological studies afterwards could find no unusual deaths and no increases in cancer rates after the accident. It seemed to have no real consequences.

  40. @Luke

    Funny how the 60 minutes reporter shows up both in Chernobyl and Fukushima without a mask.

    Plus about 30 IAEA employees are on site at Fukushima. You think the UN would sent a single employee in a dangerous zone?


  41. I will reply to the above here. I would do this Pepsi Challenge.

    I’m only learning so wont pretend to know a whole lot on Plutonium. I do know cesium-137 is bad.

    So who on here will take me up in drinking coffee vs cesium-137?.

    Who would fair better?.

    I’d have to get an independent scientist to make sure the other competitor is drinking the right stuff but it may be feasible.

    Maybe we can get 60 minutes in on it?.



    1. You are no fun. Everybody knows that the antidote to Cesium is ‘bleu de Prusse’ …

      Google it !

  42. I’ll just have my cup of Coffee in Australia and I’ll take your friends word for it when they tell me you cannot reply!. No please don’t drink it as I wouldn’t be part of seeing someone get sick.

      1. The message is simple. Science has evolved and is still evolving. We must master the atom for this planet to survive. Civil nuclear applications are NOT nuclear military weapons. (Chernobyl was a disguised military plant by the way)

        Very little harm will ever come from a nuclear civil application to generate electricity. We know how nuclear works, we know the benefits and let the kids in Japan have grand kids of their own by stopping the fear of radiation and nuclear energy.

      2. Luke,

        Read Daniel’s comment to Jacques above about relative dose rates around the world.

        The Japanese kids are experiencing a lower dose rate then kids in Ramsar, Iran or kids living in Guarapari, Brazil.

        Here is another link from actual health physics professionals who make it their living studying radiological issues.


        BTW Caldicott and Gundersen know this about this information but choose not to talk about it, in fact Caldicott tries to deny the work of the HPS even exists. You should ask yourself why.

  43. @Daniel

    You are right because looking at Fukushima a lot of harm has been caused. So very little harm can never happen as its been exceeded.


    That argument is very common but misleading as you cannot compare those areas with places that have cesium-137 and Strontium-90 in the concerntrations found in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    @All So who is correct about the teaspoon vs teaspoon issue. Cesium-137 vs Coffee. I just want somebody to at least address that question if not for a little bit of fun. I’m not 100 percent serious all the time!. Us Aussies are known to have a joke once in a while!. I like this site. Nobody has made any personal attacks so I dont mind being here. After 21 videos that I have made and seeing results of Fukushima and Chernobyl if one of you can convert me to nuclear power I will buy you a slab of Beer and get it sent over to the USA. I may even come over and drink it with you all!.

    1. @Luke,

      Actually I believe I can make those comparasions. Background radiation is background radiation. Eating or drinking contaminated products is a different mechanism as it may cause slightly higher dose rates if the initial concentrations are very, very high but background radiation is background radiation.

      From the NHK website with a June 21st date stamp:

      The highest level recorded was 2.45 microsieverts per hour at 1 meter above the ground in the houses’ backyards.

      So this was the HIGHEST background level recorded and that high reading is much below the background levels already discussed by Daniel above.

      However a general disclaimer, this discussion is beginning to quickly go into areas outside my experience and specialty so if I am wrong then I am wrong. With that in mind, the following commentary is pulled together from the HPS and other sources. I then will leave it to others to correct me where I am wrong if they want to jump in.

      From an HPS write up from their site:

      Q: What is the difference between a physical and biological half-life of a radioisotope?

      A: Any radioisotope ingested has a biological half-life, which differs from its physical half-life depending on how quickly the body eliminates it. Although the physical half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years, its biological half-life can be measured in weeks.

      So with that in mind, turning to the strontium contamination around Fukushima. From what I saw on the NHK website strontium 90 contamination is listed as 480 becquerels/kg of soil with a June 1st date stamp. They also have a 2,800 bequerels/kg of soil for Sr89. But Sr89 has a decay rate measured in days not years so I will not consider it for this discussion for ease of reading.

      Putting the legal limit issue aside for now since 240 times the legal limit is meaningless. Let’s look at the number 480 bequerels/kg itself. The question is what does the number mean?

      First, even those of us in the nuclear business, have problems with radiation units at times. This has been an ongoing discussion within various parts of the nuclear community. If we have trouble with the various types of unit systems then how can we expect to effectively communicate the issues to public?

      But getting back to the number that has many people concerned.

      From the CDC website:

      Different units of measure are used depending on what aspect of radiation is being measured. For example, the amount of radiation being given off, or emitted, by a radioactive material is measured using the conventional unit curie (Ci), named for the famed scientist Marie Curie, or the SI unit becquerel (Bq).

      And the following:

      The radiation dose absorbed by a person (that is, the amount of energy deposited in human tissue by radiation) is measured using the conventional unit rad or the SI unit gray (Gy). The biological risk of exposure to radiation is measured using the conventional unit rem or the SI unit sievert (Sv)


      So the number: 480 bequerels/kg is not the amount of dose received by a person. Instead it is a measure of the emitted radiation or energy. In other words it is the amount of disintegrations per second of alpha, beta, or gamma. So that number now becomes 480 disintegrations per second per kilogram. That still doesn’t help though to fully understand the significance from a biological standpoint.
      To be able to discuss the biological damage that might occur, we need to know the equivalent dose that could be legitimately received by a person. That biological risk is measured, not in bequerels, but in seiverts. So how does one get from 480 bequerels/kg to seiverts? And how does one estimate the amount of contaminated material that would or could be ingested since SR90 must be ingested to cause problems?

      I honestly do not know. I do know that Cheryl Rofer has spent more time on this issue in her blog then I and states: Becquerels do not translate simply into the dose units of Sieverts, which I’ve mentioned in several previous posts. Sieverts measure biological effect, and alphas, betas, and gammas have different effects.



      So I see a figure of 480 bequerels/kg or 240 times the legal limit and I am not going to say one way or another this is bad until a health physics person can provide an equivalent biological dose.

      I do know that if someone is automatically stating 480 bequerels/kg will cause an increase in cancers or bone diseases, I want to know their basis and rationale. I also want to see their calculations. I also know that there are experts out there saying Strontium 90 can have health benefits.

      Bottom line, there still many, many radiological questions that need to be answered. Spreading fear does not provide answers. It just makes people panic and then they are not in a position to hear the truth or listen to facts.

    2. Luke – the challenge would not be coffee versus Cs-137, but caffein versus Cs-137. I would be happy to engage in the challenge if I can dilute my Cs-137 down to the same concentration as caffein is in a cup of coffee.

      Based on study results from the areas around Chernobyl, here is what one my friends told me about the health effects of cesium. (My friend is becoming a well known media personality because she actually knows a little bit about nuclear energy and nuclear engineering.)

      “Cesium is more difficult, but, oddly enough, relatively benign. After talking with an assistant professor of radiology at GWU on Tuesday, I learned that cesium has a “biologic” half life of only 70 days. When combined with its long term physical half-life, it tends to pass through the body with relatively little impact. Studies at Chernobyl (according to this professor) have not found a conclusive statistical link of any kind to increased cancer risk and Cesium exposure.”

    3. @Luke

      No one has died from radiation exposure as the result of the ‘industrial’ accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant. No one.

      We know how to measure and cope with radioactivity. Protection, shielding and distance are the basics responses. If you come exposed to anything harmful, an antidote is generally available and you just take one of the three steps outlined above to stay safe. (If basic safety measures had been taken at Chernobyl, we would not have witnesses 56 deaths)

      But the first indirect victims may occur 500 miles away and very soon when failure to re open safe nuclear reactors will cause elderlies to die from a heatstroke (no air conditionning).

  44. I like to tackle the subject and not the person. Tellurium was detected March 12th so I verbally attacked NISA and the Japanese government for withholding that. It was the type of Tellurium that gets detected when nuclear fuel melts.

    But from what I have read I think some of you agree lies were told so that is a waste of a debate. I do go hard on Japanese authorities in some of my videos like this one I made last night:


    1. Why do you consider tellurium of particular note, Luke?

      It has no biological pathway – that is, it’s not micked up and concentrated in either the food chain, or the human body.

      And no, tellurium isn’t particular associated with melting fuel. That is, it’s entrapped in fuel and when fuel cans are damaged – as every single professional I know has been assuming since day one. Indeed, TEPCO was estimating that 50% to 70% of fuel rods were damaged (depending on which reactor) from a few days in – that was obvious, given that iodine and caesium was released. And given that it was always assumed that a large length of the fuel rods was exposed, it was probable – and often discussed as such on forums like this one – that the fuel cans had suffered significant failure, dropping individual fuel pellets to the RPV floor.

      In a way, you’ve provided an unwitting example of how the media (and the Gundersens of this world) sensationalise stories like this. British nuclear professionals would characterise the a story of the presence of trace amounts of tellurium alongside iodine and caesium as a “statement of the bleedin’ obvious” – since it’s released by the same mechanism. It’s obviously been presented to you as something uniquely sinister and meaningful – probably because it’s got a scary and unfamiliar name.

      1. Sorry, typos galore in there.

        “that is, it’s not micked up” should read “picked up”.

        “And no, tellurium isn’t particular associated with melting fuel. That is, it’s entrapped in fuel and when fuel cans are damaged – as every single professional I know has been assuming since day one”

        should read

        “And no, tellurium isn’t particular associated with melting fuel. That is, it’s normally entrapped in fuel and when fuel cans are damaged – as every single professional I know has been assuming since day one – it escapes in gaseous form” It’s classed as one of the volatile fission products.

    2. Just curious – do you think that NISA and the Japanese government are operated by robots who are not people? You say you attack ideas, not people and then in the next sentence you talk about how you have gone after those two organizations.

      Why have so many people accepted the propaganda message that “government” and “corporations” are anything other than groups of people trying to do a job as well as they can?

    3. @Luke

      One of the most common attacks people make against nuclear power is that humans make mistakes. Because they believe nuclear can only exist with zero mistakes, they say it must not exist because of that.

      My question to you is. If humans makes mistakes, how do you know that Prof. Toshiso Kosako was not wrong in his choice to retire because of the limit raise?

      Surely, you have not decided that he is correct because his decision matches your view.

      You also need to realize that this is a raise in the limit. This does not mean that people are suddenly getting 20msv/y dose. This number is not the actual does actual people are getting in the real world. It is the limit set that if you are measured to pass they say you need to evacuate.

      Depending upon where at around the reactor you are living your actual dose can be much lower or much higher than 20msv/y.

      You also need to be careful that you are not picking the largest measurements in a city then applying those doses across the entire population of said city. This is very bad statistical analysis when there are 10 to 20 other data points within a city that are below this maximum.

      I don’t know what kind of analysis you have done so far or what measurements you are using. I just want to warn you that using min/max levels and averaging across populations is a very poor method to use. To get more realistic numbers you need to be integrating over the various changes in dose, area, pop density, age, radiation type emitted, time, amount of time indoors/outdoors, etc…

      In other words using 1 number from a press release and spending 15 min on wiki getting data means that the error bars on your results are probably larger than the results produced.

      I will applaud you for taking the time to attempt to “run the numbers” instead of copy and pasting propaganda. You must realize that the extent of your work done in this last video, June 20th is back of the napkin at best.

      To claim a government is committing genocide using back of the napkin calculations is slanderous.

  45. @Luke
    I’m not against Nuclear Technology but I dont think it can be used on Earth

    We all live on a nuclear reactor.

    The earth’s core is a burning Thorium and Uranium at more than 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the surface of the sun.

    Where do you think geothermal energy comes from ?

  46. This is my latest video. And it is shocking:




    PS: I will come back to this site in a few months and answer the questions above. I like this site. I’m anti-nuclear but I will keep educating myself. When my life slows down a bit I’ll come back on here and follow up. As long as you are happy to discuss with me I am happy to discuss with you. Even though I’m anti-nuclear I still have pro-nuclear friends. Its just one topic I have to agree to disagree on. Take Care and I’ll be back!.

    1. the production values aren’t the best, but “shocking” is a bit harsh.

      Frankly, I’m rather mystified by Prof Kosako’s decision – because I know of no direct evidence that suggests that 20msv/yr is associated with any detectable increase in ill health.

      Let’s be clear – The lowest dose that has been shown to have any statistical association with an increase in cancer rates is around 100mSv – and that’s when administered rapidly – the evidence for harm from lower doses, and particularly lower dose rates is simply not there (more strictly, some studies show an effect at the margin of detectability, larger numbers others show nothing, and a few claim to show mild beneficial effects – much the pattern you’d expect when dealing with an effect that’s non existent, in fact).

      Being perhaps a tad callous, one side effect of Fukushima will be a large scale population study at low dose rates in an advanced country with decent medical statistical services (the Chernobyl data has reliability problems, being coincident with the collapse of the USSR). We’re highly unlikely to see anything like the early spike in thryoid cancers that occurred post-Chernobyl, due to the issuing of iodine tablets, etc. Beyond that, any increase in leukaemia should start to show within five years or so, and hard cancers within ten.

      For what little it’s worth, I’d be willing to bet that in ten years or so, there’ll be a furious argument going on between one group claiming that Fukushima has caused cancers based on application of the LNT model, and another pointing to the actual mortality statistics, saying “where’s the evidence of a rise”.

      For what it’s worth, the annual cancer mortality rate for Japan is about 320 per 100,000 population for men, 200 for women. Assuming an 80 year life expectancy, that translates roughly to a 26% chance of dying from cancer for men, and 16% for women. At ten years of 20mSv, LNT would suggest that those should rise by one percentage point. Certainly detectable for women, probably so for men. We’ll get a clear answer one way or another.

      1. Being perhaps a tad callous, one side effect of Fukushima will be a large scale population study at low dose rates in an advanced country with decent medical statistical services …

        It’s better than just the good medical statistical services that are available.

        If we had to choose a population to study under these conditions (ethical questions aside), Japan would be the first choice, since most of what we know about the risks of cancer from radiation is based on epidemiological studies of the 75,000 atomic bomb survivors in Japan. This simplifies comparing any new data with what we already have, since adjustments will not have to be made to account for differences in the population.

        We’re highly unlikely to see anything like the early spike in thyroid cancers that occurred post-Chernobyl, due to the issuing of iodine tablets, etc.

        On the contrary, I expect that we’ll see an even greater spike in thyroid cancers, as the screening of the local population — which is sure to be put into effect by the Japanese government — detects occult and microscopic cancers that would have otherwise gone undetected. Japan has a very high incidence of occult thyroid cancer, 28%, as compared to 9.3% in Belarus, which received much of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident.

        Thus, expect to see reports if increased rates of thyroid cancer beginning next year. Of course, anyone who knows anything about thyroid cancer will know this is nonsense, since thyroid tumors typically appear only after a latency period of about 10-20 years. Therefore, a one or two year lag time between exposure to radiation (in this case from I-131) and the occurrence of thyroid cancer is not credible. Nevertheless, that won’t stop sensationalist journalists and anti-nuclear groups from exploiting this spurious increase.

      2. @Andy

        Let’s not forget nuclear medecine and the cases where patients receiving a course of radiotherapy usually get a dose of more than 20,000 mSv to vital healthy tissue close to the treated tumour. This tissue survives only because the treatment is spread over many days giving healthy cells time for repair or replacement.

        People worry about radiation because they cannot feel it. However, nature has a solution – in recent years it has been found that living cells replace and mend themselves in various ways to recover from a dose of radiation.

    2. Luke, something else has just dawned on me.

      Have you noted that the much criticised 20mSV/yr exposure limit isn’t for long term exposures – it’s for the dose the poplation would be exposed to IN THE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT?

      That’s very significant – because it means it’s not based on the dose from caesium deposition alone, rather that in total from all isotopes, including the early exposures from the fast-decaying iodine 131.

      I’ve built a crude model in which you can plug an initial ratio for exposures from I131 and CS 134/7 – and which then works out how much is contributed by each.

      That’s important – it differentiates between the risk in the longer run, from the longer lived caesium exposures, and those from the iodines. The reason that matters is, if you’re going to apply the “Linear No threshold” concept – which says that you can take the aggregate exposure to a population over time, and estimate the additional mortality – you need to understand the longer term net exposure (in fact, the exposure over life), and to use that in the mortality calculation.

      If we assume (as I recall was the case), in the days immediately after the accident, Iodine releases (in Bq) were of the order of 1000 times those of Caesium, it yields an interesting answer.

      Of the 20mSv that population is exposed to in the first year, all except 0.2mSv is from Iodine. In the longer run (i.e after that first year), the incremental exposure will be around that 0.2mSv figure. For comparison, the background exposure – mostly via beta emitters, the same form of radiation as arises from caesium – in Cornwall, in the UK is about 7.5 mSv.

      It also yields an answer as to what total number of extra deaths we can expect.

      You quoted an exposed population of 200,000. The LNT estimate of risk in an exposed population is about an extra 0.5% chance of a fatal cancer per 100mSv of exposure over life.

      For what it’s worth, the annual cancer mortality rate for Japan is about 320 per 100,000 population for men, 200 for women. Assuming an 80 year life expectancy, that translates roughly to a 26% chance of dying from cancer for men, and 16% for women. Assuming an 80 year life, including the period of the accident, those exposed will have have their risk of contracting cancer by 0.18%.

      That contrasts with the 1% incremental risk I’d suggested when I thought the 20mSv incremental risk would be sustained over 10 years.

      In fact, this is going to be utterly undetectable within normal statistical variation. However, if we assume it’s real, it means that we could expect about 350 to die earlier than they otherwise would have, as a result- amongst 42,000 who will die of cancer.

      And it means, Fukushima would have caused about 1.3% of the casualties of the earthquake and tsunami.

      1. Andy,

        You and Rod may need to collaborate on some postings here related to these calculations.

      2. Joel,

        We’ve had a few discussions, but tbh, this is “stream of consciousness” in the sense of testing ideas as they emerge.

        I’m very happy to collaborate with anyone, though. I’m getting a feeling there are important truths here, that aren’t being communicated.

      3. Oh, and I should add. Only if I can get you chaps to spell “Caesium” properly…:-)

  47. Valid points all – although, I’d expect the Japanese national statistical service to be well capable of filtering for occultation. You’re right in that it won’t stop the Helen Caldicotts of this world, though.

    Not so sure about the thyroid latency argument though – that’d argue that the post Chernobyl spike was almost entirely a detection artefact, as it mainly appeared pre ’96. I’ve sufficient confidence in UNSCEAR’s statistical savvy to have accounted for that.

  48. Rod Adams and Brian Mays going international, nice title heh ?

    Here are some links for you guys,feel free to coment, i guess you two are good payed for that 🙂



    “Why have alarms not been sounded about radiation exposure in the US?
    Nuclear operator Exelon Corporation has been among Barack Obama’s biggest campaign donors, and is one of the largest employers in Illinois where Obama was senator. Exelon has donated more than $269,000 to his political campaigns, thus far. Obama also appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.”

    Now we know who writes the checks too,dont wee 🙂

  49. Guys,

    LNT is out in case you had not noticed.

    It’s been repudiated since the 70’s, starting with Dr Cohen.

    Is accepting LNT honest science? Not according to the Health Physics Society Position Paper of January 1996 where it is concluded that the science does not exist for supporting LNT in the low dose region.


    1. Yes and no, daniel.

      do I think the evidential base for LNT at low doses is sound (bearing in mind I’m no epidemiologist) – no, not really. I think the Congessional GAO summary was rather good – a few studies suggesting a borderline detectable effect, rather more saying no effect, and a smaller number saying there’s a net beneficial impact….

      Which overall sounds like a good argument for a heavyweight metadata study, by someone with impeccable statistical credentials. But, to the layman looks very close to what you’d get when people are torturing the statistics to extract a signal where none exists.

      That’s not quite the same thing as saying LNT isn’t a good conservative approach for setting design standards. But doesn’t say that using it to infer mortality after a release is sound.

      The problem is, that’s awfully nuanced to try to get across to the general public.

      1. The issue I have with LNT is that it is being used to baseline the safety standards for the design of nuclear plants. It’s killing the economics and the business case.

        Eating a banana exposes you to .01 millirem and living next to a nuclear plant for a year gets you .009 millirem. The safety thresholds derived from LNT is causing overdesign and unjustified costs.

      2. It’s an argument, Daniel, that’s strictly correct.

        But, given the appalling levels of numeracy and rationality that both our countries produce in the general public (you can tell I assume this is a low-circulation channel), is it one we’re going to win?

        I think not.

        I have a simple test I apply for public/political arguments. If it wasn’t me making the case, could someone persuade my mother of it? Obviously, as her pride and joy if it was me, it’d be a shining example of perception, logic and rationality, and totally convincing. If it wasn’t, it’d probably be complicated and “smart-a*se” and “too clever by half”.

        On the other hand, there’d be less of a probing questioning of the rate of return arguments.

        We need to learn to “go with the flow” in terms of public perception. That’s not about being passive. Our opponents offer lots of hostages to fortune which could, used properly, let us trash their credibility (and I’d love the chance to do it). But there’s no point relying on arguments most of the audience can’t, or aren’t willing to make the effort to follow.

        (by the way, contrary to the impression this might have created, I’m still quite fond, and respectful of, of my mother…..)

  50. @Andy Dawson – You are making the ‘public is stupid and can’t be reasoned with’ argument based on nothing more than your own prejudicial point of view.

    The fact is the overwhelming bulk of the public has never seen or heard both sides of the LNT issue or been shown just how silly it is. The media only tells them the party line that low does radiation represents a risk, and never tells the other side of the story.

    Rather than take an intellectually ascendant position, and dismissing the general public as dummies, maybe we should work to get the truth out in the open. They might surprise you if they were given all the facts.

    1. I’m not so much making the argument that the public is stupid, as disinterested and not inclined to make a great deal of effort.

      And, you have to admit, the empirical evidence so far probably favours my position!

      1. Andy – First, we are not going to make any headway with with that sort of arrogance.

        Second, most people don’t have the resources or the time to do in-depth research on every factor that affects their lives. Most are working hard to keep their end of the board up, and deal with keeping their own heads above water. While it may not be the wisest course of action to let the media tell you what position to take on a subject, if both sides of the story aren’t being told, you can hardly blame them for indifference.

        If we on the pronuclear side want to change public opinion, we are going to have to lose the attitude that we are better because we have had the opportunity to to look into this subject in depth. What we have to do is find ways to communicate what we have found to others by reaching out, not down to them.

      2. I simply think it’s an issue of realism – take for example the sterling work done by Wade Allison, around his book “Radiation and Reason”.

        I’ve got a copy – it’s well written, accessible and sets out his case with magnificent clarity and logic.

        And it’s sold a couple of thousand copies – ranking at a heady 230,000 on the Amazon best sellers list.

      3. Well if it is more important to you to feel superior to the masses than work to enlighten them them there is nothing more for us to discuss. But know that by holding that attitude you are now part of the problem, not the solution.

      4. It’s not a matter of superiority – simply being realistic about the degree of engagement that’s attainable.

        Allison’s done a superb job, doing precisely what you argue for – engaging with the public and media, setting out his case with calmness, reason and clarity. He’s a figure who carries tremendous authority, and interviews well.

        And he’s been almost totally ignored by that same public and media. I doubt one in 100,000 would recognise his name, or know the first thing about the arguments he makes.

      5. Then you are of no use in this fight – you have given up before you have started. Frankly it sounds like an excuse for inaction.

      6. Far from it – instead, save the energy for arguments that can be won.

        For example, use the LNT model to work out what the probably mortalility from Fukushima is – then compare it with the casualty numbers from the tsunami. It’s about 1%.

        That sort of thing is going to be easier to put across than arguments about curve fitting, or conservatism in methodologies, surely?

  51. The problem with shooting the archer is that the arrows will never stop. There are thousands of archers armed with legimate criticism and questions. You’d do better to deal with the arrows. If Arnie Gundersen were to go away, you still haven’t gotten any closer to winning the arguements.

    1. @Scott P

      I think you might be overestimating the depth of the bench of people who have any kind of legitimate claim to credentials that fight against nuclear energy. They are so widely known because they are so rare. I would guess that there are more than 10 thousand people in the United States with a master of science in nuclear engineering. As far as I can tell, exactly one of them is actively working to promote the nonsense that Gundersen is circulating so widely. Because of that long ago earned degree, he is seen by some in the media as an expert on all topics associated with nuclear energy – including the health effects of radioactive particles so tiny that you cannot even measure them, but that are certain to cause bad effects if you happen to breathe just one. (A patent absurdity when it comes to radioactive particles, by the way.)

      If legitimate press sources can be shown that he is a disgruntled ex-employee with an agenda and a financial motive, they might stop calling him – which could relegate him back into obscurity. We might even be able to convince a few judges that his pumped up resume should disqualify him as an expert witness – not that he does not have some credentials, but that he is not a reliable source of information, even under oath.

      1. What, the industry doesn’t have an agenda and finacial motive? Using you’re logic they couldn’t qualify in court either.

        Did you tell Vermont courtrooms and legislators that Arnie can’t be trusted and the industry can?

        THey’d laugh you right out of town. Get real.

      2. Scott,

        I think all that’s being suggested is that it’s recognised that Gundersen is no less “party pris” than indistry commentators – as opposed to an objective party.

  52. Go Arnie! YAY! If they are criticizing you then your doing your job.
    May the tents of pro nuclear be filled with misquitos. And may the misquitos win.

  53. @Andy

    According to this the people in the USA started spelling Caesium as Cesium:



    Spelling of the Element
    Caesium spelt as Cesium in the USA

    Definition of the Cesium Element
    A soft, silvery-white ductile metal, liquid at room temperature, the most electropositive and alkaline of the elements, used in photoelectric cells and to catalyze hydrogenation of some organic compounds.

    Origin / Meaning of the name Cesium
    The word Caesium originates from the Latin word ‘caesius’ which means “sky blue” from the bright blue lines in its spectrum.

    End Extract

    PS:I could debunk every post you have written so far but as I stated I will be back once I’m finished exposing this mess. I couldn’t resist this reply. You may of found my “achilles heel”.

    1. “I could debunk every post you have written so far”

      feel free to try, Luke. I’m not sure your grasp of the underlying physics and statistics is up to that.

    2. I love the lack of last names used by so many of the Gunderson fans that have posted here.

      Also, you stating that you can debunk each of Andy’s posts without actually debunking a single post is highly unimpressive, Luke.

  54. @Joel

    I just debunked the Cesium vs Caesium. See you guys are flat-lining and the law of diminishing returns has kicked in. I on the other hand always had some knowledge but only started to look at the technical aspect in March and April before starting to make videos in May. So I’m working my way up the learning curve. I read all your arguments in my email even though for the moment I am holding off on the debate. Rod has my last name via email so ask him if you really desire to know it. Maybe you know someone in Australia or feel like the flight yourself and want to come and burn my house down?. Seems strange to require last names when I’m not claiming to be an expert. The fact that there is radiation in playgrounds in Tokyo Metro and that doesn’t bother you actually concerns me to be honest. Luckily your kids are not playing in those areas or you may feel different.

    1. @Luke

      If the situation was any dangerous in Tokyo, Greenpeace would be all over it by now.

      If the situation was not manageable on the Fukushima nuclear site, the IAEA would not have sent 30 of their employees down there to help and participate.

      The only ripple effect of Fukushima will be to hesitate in starting the reactors that were shut down and have weak people die from heatstroke due to the lack of comfort that clean electricity can bring. That’s the tragedy.

    2. No, Luke, what you did was fail to spot a bit of reasonably gentle humour from a Brit mildly “winding up” the majority of American posters on these boards – the irony of the sole Brit here, and American run board suggesting to the majority of posters – Americans, of course suggesting that they correct their spelling obviously passed you by. It’s a little play on national stereotypes.

      And, of course, in reacting as you did, you’ve reinforced another one. Any guesses what it is?

      Now, since you mention kids,I’ll share a little more personal material than I’d usually in a board like this.

      But first, let me give you a hint.

      The majority of people in roles like reactor operator or station engineer are married, with kids. It’s the sort of role that’s good for people who value the stability that family life brings.

      And of course, those jobs entail you being on call, or working shifts. That means most people will live within a few miles of their place of work.

      So, the people you’re suggesting don’t care because exposures in Japan happen to other people’s children will have their families living close to the nuclear facilities they work at – and, following your logic, are therefore at risk from radiation should there be an accident.

      Rod, I know is a Father, and (I think?) a Grandfather. I’d not accuse him of being callous about other people’s children, if I were you.

      Personally, I’ve a little girl – Madeleine – who is, to understate it, the centre of my universe. It’s her 8th birthday on Sunday.

      In a few weeks time, I’m taking her, my wife and in-laws to the Lake District for a week. We’ll be staying a couple of miles away from Sellafield – you may have heard of Sellafield – in an area that got a huge dump of caesium, strontium and polonium in the Windscale fire of 1956.

      It concerns me not a jot – not least because I grew up only about 30 miles from there. And I’ve worked and been taught by people who were on the plant at the time. And amongst whom, there’s not the slightest sign of excess mortality.

      In August, Maddie will be going, with my Mother, to spend a couple of weeks with friends in Cornwall. I can only get down at weekends, unfortunately. She’ll be staying in an area that’s got about the same level of beta and gamma exposure as most of the Fukushima evacuation zone. And they’ll be living in an old farmhouse, which will tend to concentrate radon (which comes from Cornish bedrock) by perhaps a factor of five. The house is even built of the local stone.

      It worries me not a jot – because Cornwall is one of the healthiest places the cancer that radon would induce, if it actually had much in the UK, including for diseases like lung cancer.

      Then, in October, I’m due in Kerala, India for two weeks for a course (I work for an Indian company) Kerala is one of the most radioactive places on the planet, due to high levels of uranium and thorium in the monazite rocks. Alpha emitters, as well as beta and gamma, note.Background radiation is about 150mSv/year over most of the state. I’m trying to arrange it, at the moment, so my wife and child can stay with me for at lest part of the time, so she can see a little of India. Not only will she be staying somewhere that gives a greater doserate than almost all workers at the Fukushima plant will get this year, but she’ll get as much radiation again on the flights.

      It worries me not a jot – not least because Kerala has one of the lowest cancer mortality rates and the highest life expectancy in India.

      So, next time you want to try moralising with me or others on this thread – give it a miss. Take your “high moral tone” and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine.

      1. Andy,

        You have obviously been brainwashed and have NO understanding of the danger you are in.

        That background radiation and hot particles you have ingested have affected your brain cells to the point where you can not make rational decisions for yourself. You do not even understand that you are in danger of having at least one cell in your body become cancerous due to the reality of LNT and that cancer to spread within you sucking the very life out of you and then jumping like a virus to others sucking away their lives as well.

        You are putting your very family at risk due to your inability to make rational decisions because of all that radiation posioning from years of living in a cosmic bath of horrible, horrible, immoral radiation.

        We all need people like Arnie Gundersen and his acolytes such as angel, Luke and others to show us the path of redemption and save us from ourselves. They are manifestations of good that are walking amoung us nuclear cheerleaders showing us the errors of our ways.

        If we were only to follow the Path of Gundersen back to reality then we can wash our unclean bodies and minds of our radiation obsessions.

        Because we all know the fight against manmade radiation is a fight against the devil itself!!!!!

        (Cue the Amens and Halleluiahs with a few prostrations and hand waves as the organ reaches its crescendo)

        Okay that is about all sarcasm I can put into this message.

      2. Bill, the only substance that’s posing a risk to my cognitive abilities in the short or long term isn’t an alpha, beta or gamma emitter – it’s gin.

        Now, if Fukushima were leaking that…..it’s probably kill more, but I’ll bet there’d be lots of volunteers for the clean up. I for one would be happy to provide filtration and remediation to water.

      3. Oh, and can we avoid references to “organs reaching a crescendo”? Luke will get all over-excited.

      4. Good point on the organs. I, of course, was referring to the musical variety but can see how that my comment may be misinterpreted within the context of this discussion.

        And I agree with your points on the gin or other alcohol of one’s choosing. If that were the “deadly” substance in question this discussion would be moot.

      5. … it’s gin. Now, if Fukushima were leaking that … I for one would be happy to provide filtration and remediation to water.

        I’ll bring the vermouth.

    3. Sorry, Luke. I cannot award you a point for C(a)esium.

      Why would someone want to burn your house down? That seems like a complete absurd assumption.

      I hope that your grandchildren (and mine if I have some someday) can live in a world where affordable energy supplies still exist and where gender equality remains as feasible as it has become thanks to labor-saving electric appliances. I hope that they can live in a world that isn’t utterly fraught with wars faught over extremely scarce energy resources, where the disparity between rich and poor has elevated well above current levels.

      I have no desire to burn down your house or irradiate any of your relatives. I simply recognize the scope of the issue regarding world-wide energy supplies with highly populous nations making major headway towards greater prosperity.

      I recognize that fossil fuel supplies will peak at some future time to the point where extracting them is no longer economically viable for anything but the most high-value uses. I also recognize that the raw material requirements and intermittency of 2 politically-favored “renewable” energy sources, wind and solar, places a limit on how much weight they can pull.

      I recognize that civilian nuclear energy devices (power plants) are still essentially in their first product cycle, so many improvements can be made both in terms of safety and in resource utilization. Think of a Ford Model T in comparison to brand new vehicles today, but increase those improvements by about an order of magnitude.

      Thus, I recognize a need for major expansion of nuclear energy.

      That is where I am coming from. I am not an inhumane sicko that hopes anyone gets cancer.

  55. @Luke

    You didn’t ‘debunk’ anything. In much of the world the element name is spelled caesium. Just because it is spelled cesium in some places doesn’t make caesium incorrect.

    And what next will you debunk the spelling of colour and honour?

    Does the fact that there has been radiation in Tokyo playgrounds since before nuclear power existed bother you? Does the fact that there is radiation in every playground in Australia bother you?

    The problem isn’t the existence of radiation in playgrounds; it is whether the radiation levels in the playgrounds are high enough to constitute a hazard.

  56. Ok all,

    I’ve listened to this anti-nuke stuff as long as I can STOMACH. The best that I can say about – some of it – is that it is misguided. Some of it is regurgitated agit-prop.

    Some of it is simple verbal diarrhea, and to you (you know who you are), I can tell you up front: I am going to IGNORE YOU. You have no business here – it’s a wonder that Rod has tolerated your presence so long.

    To the rest of you, I offer the following:

    1. that the very imaginary dangers that you attribute to nuclear power are VERY real for coal. Look at the following graph:


    The squares represent DEATHS. The COAL square is 4000 times bigger than the nuke one. You are inadvertently trying your BEST to force us to spend trillions of dollars replacing the SMALL square with the BIG one. You are indirectly hurting my and my family’s lungs by this misguided effort. Please stop.

    2. You are – unintentionally – doing your VERY best to accelerate global warming. We HAD the global warming problem licked in the 70s, until this irrational panic washed over us:


    We had 250 reactors planned in this country, never got built. We could have broken the back of the coal and natural gas industry. We could have been well on the road to being energy independent. Our emissions NOW could have been back to where they were in *1970*. Millions of lives would have been saved. The irrationality that YOU espouse caused all that.

    IF – and I mean IF – the worst that global warming has to offer comes to pass, and there are gigadeaths on this planet and civilization breaks its back, I want you to remember THAT when you think of the state of you and your family. That you – in your own tiny little way, were responsible.

    I’m sorry, but I take it personally guys. You are endangering me, you are endangering yourself, you are endangering your and my family, your community, your planet. All due to misunderstanding of the facts, of the concept of risk, by plain-out buying of your own bull****, and by abusing and warping reason to the point where it winces in pain.

    Please – for the love of god – STOP. If we can’t think straight about this stuff, we are royally screwed.

    1. @Edward Peschko:

      I hope you will try to understand the source of my patience with the anti-nuclear commenters. Remember the old adage – “tis better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth (or click your keyboard) and remove all doubt.”

      If I stop the comments, I have no way to allow the more adamant to expose themselves for what they are.

      1. @Jacques

        The guy has an opinion on everything from Linux to hydrogen. He is surely not even aware that hydrogen is not a source of energy since it has to be produced first, preferably by a nuclear plant. ( If it were generated by a coal plant, it would not be that green, would it?)

        He is wrong and ignorant on the waste issue and on the real dangers of Plutonium to mankind (Again look for the Plutonium gambit that Dr Cohen offered Ralph Nader in the 1970’s or the experiments on man from the Manhattan project). If you ever come within a foot of a ton of Plutonium, a single sheet of paper or your skin would be more than enough protection to protect you from harm.

        Finally, on the Uranium supply side we have so much of it on earth that you have to wonder why we are afraid of it. Oceans, for one source, contain more than 25,000 years of supply and we have not yet started to tap this source. Inferred ressources from the mining industry are also quite sufficient. If a demand/supply imbalance occurs, the market will fix it. The cost of Uranium is a small factor in operating a nuclear plant as opposed to the costs of coal or oil or gas in the more traditional plants.

        As for water that is used as coolant, I would worry more about CO2 killing our oceans than ‘warmer’ water being reintroduced into the ecosystem.

      2. The statements he makes about Yucca Mountain are over the top. After more than 25 years of scientific studies by the NRC, it has been determined that the site was safe and this guy offers an apocalyptic view on the geological stability of Yucca Mountain.

        Jaczko will surely look for him as a new scientific advisor.

  57. Regarding the Uranium supply, Dr Cohen estimated that seawater contains 3.3×10^(-9) (3.3 parts per billion) of uranium, so the 1.4×10^18 tonne of seawater contains 4.6×10^9 tonne of uranium.

    All the world’s electricity usage, 650GWe could therefore be supplied by the uranium in seawater for 7 million years. I erred previously when I said that oceans could provide energy for 25,000 years.

    With all other sources of Uranium on earth, Cohen estimates supplies lasting 5 billion years, i.e. longer than the sun will support life on earth. Maybe Uranium should to be considered a renewable resource after all.

    I think we can discard the statement made in that video. No Uranium shortage anytime soon.

  58. Jacques,

    Sure, I can give you a somewhat well-informed opinion of what he talks about in that video: it’s out-and-out crap. Whether its driven by an ulterior motive or its driven by unwilling ignorance is unimportant; what IS important is to rectify the information contained.

    First problem – his analysis somehow takes as an assumption that nuclear is inherently expensive. It’s not. We used to build reactors in this country far more effectively and cheaply than we do now:


    THIS is what you get when you have an overzealous regulator combined with vested interests that are determined to kill nuclear dead: a royal gumming of the works, vandals at the gears gleefully tossing whatever they can find find into the system – anything to protect their livelihood.

    So, no, I’m not shocked in the west that we have nuke capital costs sky high.

    But thankfully, not all governments are western and hence one can get a true idea of where nuclear costs can get to by looking at them: in particular, the South Koreans and the Chinese are building nuclear at ~1400-1500/KW, about 1/3 of the cost of the west. Source:


    so – lets take his figures. Right now, 15% of the electricity in the world today is being produced by nuclear – we’d have to have 6 times as much to get to 100%. Very roughly, that’s:

    443 * 6 == 2500 reactors

    The cost right now is 1.5 billion/1 GW reactor, the chinese think they can get down to about 1 billion. Round up for experience, and that’s about 3.5 trillion dollars. Say we triple our use, and we start using it for transport, say quadrupling it. That comes to 12 trillion dollars.

    Over the next 50 years, that comes to an average of 240 billion dollars per year to get us onto a nuclear standard that would generate enough power for every man, woman and child on this planet.

    That’s PEANUTS. It’s less than the US defense budget. Its also far less than the average spending on power that currently goes on in various nations.

    And that’s with current technology, not the 4th generation technologies out there. My favorite, as its lots of those who study it, is the MSR or LFTR – it can run on uranium or thorium, can burn current nuclear waste as fuel, and has plusses too numerous to mention – operates at standard pressure, no meltdowns, higher temperature and hence better efficiency, better use of fuel (by a factor of 300), load following (and hence could replace nat gas peaking plants), easy to start, totally inherently safe (when it overheats, it shuts itself off through a mechanism called a drain tank) proliferation resistant, can be easily modularized and built small, burns up all the fuel and hence byproducts are safe after 300 years (not 10000), produces valuable byproducts in its ‘waste’ that can be used in other places, can be used to directly substitute for the fossil fuel burners in coal plants (see http://www.coal2nuclear.com), can be used in other contexts (like ships and trains), has been built already at ORNL, was supported and promoted by Eugene Wigner and Alvin Weinberg (who himself invented the light water reactor), does not need water as coolant or moderator and hence can be sited anywhere, is lightweight and factory producible, and so on and so on and so on.

    Oh yeah, and China is working on them right now whilst we in the west have our thumbs up our collective a***es.

    My contention is that anybody who goes on like that guy is – who disses nuclear power out of ignorance, is fooling themselves. They have a preconception that they are unwilling to shake – even though that marvel of marvels, the search engine, could easily set them straight with a quick 5 minute search and an open mind.


    (oh yeah, the other thing.. what was it? waste. Total BS – you can either burn nuclear ‘waste’ as fuel, or notice that in such places as Gabon africa, where an ancient nuclear reactor ran (back then U235 was 3% of all Uranium, like modern fuel) and where after 1.7 *billion* years, the by products of the nuclear reactions moved a total of – get this – a couple centimeters.

    Nuclear waste does not have wings. Its a solid, an inert, and mostly insoluble solid – I might be being just a little bit sarcastic here, but don’t eat it and you’ll be fine.

  59. Rod:

    Caught your interview with Will Davis. Very good encounter. Don’t have to say more are due!

    I was going to cut-paste segments from Andy and Luke and Daniel and others here debunking the fear-mongers but I’d run out of space. All I can say is that it’s EXTREMELY vexing to have all these golden nuggets of professional and person experiences with nuclear energy all bottled up in blogs while anti-nukers have the ear and horn of most mainstream mefia and news services who are hand and foot trying to help the fearful confirm their frets than assuaging them with truth. Were much of what is said on this blog alone disseminated to the general public it would certainly banish a legion of bogeymen and groundless jitters and wild perceptions and baldface lies out there! Really, the responses on this blog are such that you could probably sell ice to Eskimos and convince Fukushima citizens to allow their plants to reopen. Show them proof and numbers over fear and wild speculation and maybe this anti-nuclear surge can profoundly turn, but we most need is a good pop-star preacher to do for nuclear energy as Carl Sagan did for astronomy. Unfortunately there also doesn’t seem to be any nexus of command and coordination and public education in the nuclear camp, much to our detriment. What would it take to grab am interview with a main media honcho and put them on the grill about the blatant unevenness of fair and dispassionate views on this issue? How can the words of the calm and factual experiences here break out of the web and into the larger world and start turning minds from the anti-nuke Pied Pipers out there?

    James Greenidge

    1. Lacking a Carl Sagan, an alternative would be for each of us to try to do a little outreach. One morning my clock radio alarm went off and there was an interview with a local anti-nuke talking about how terrible TMI was (it was the 10th anniversary). I noted the reporter’s name and the staion ID. I called him up, explained who I was, and offered to present a “different side of the story”. He did the interview with me. They put it on. It was very fair and provided balance to the earlier story.

      When my state was proposing rules for addressing the Below Regulatory Concern issue of radionuclide release (they were going to ratchet up the regulations like a factor of five or so to “counter” the BRC proposal, which was totally unnecessary), I talked to my state representatives and Senators about testifying for the respective committees assigned to the legislation. I presented my credentials and got on the testimony list. I showed up with my bananas, salt substitutes, and samples of granite rock (which our Statehouse is made from). After putting the hazards in perspective, the bill was literally laughed out of the legislative process.

      Now, I am one person, an ordinary schmuck, with nothing more than four years of college, five years of grad school, and going on 32 years of experience in the field. How many more of us are out there who could put in a little effort now and then? A lot of us are, I know, but a good number are not. This is our future we are talking about, not just our own individually, but the energy security of the country as a whole, and perhaps mankind overall. If we destroy this world by overuse of fossil fuels, or excessive dependence on unreliable and impractical “renewable” energy sources, where does that leave us? Not in a good position is my guess.

      1. Good for you Wayne, that is what it is going to take – all of us doing a bit, it may not have instant results, but it gets the ball rolling.

  60. If Arnie is wrong (I don’t thinke he’s right with every call he makes), Please explain the poolium falls (not corium from RPV) on northern side of R4 occuring, if the pool never dried up? There are hardly any more in air shots (leaked drone shots etc) and definately no ground camera angles or stopping of inspection vehicles anywhere near this part of the building for some reason.


    1:21 in the video onwards, right hand side R4. Looks a lot like poolium to me. Or perhaps we can call it tepconium? Big hot melted crap. Looks like melted fuel to me… there are fuel pools on each end.

    Either way it’s going to be really nice breathing it in and eating it over the next few years. Thanks nuclear industry. You still havn’t developed a solution for 2500 degree centigrade plus corium containment. Hot potato but someone’s gotta answer it. Tip; 12″ RPVs and other ‘modern rehashed designs’ just buys you more time when human error is involved with everything.

    Huge earthquake wins every time…

    But the solution is pretty simple; everything around us is made of a ridiculous amount of energy. Tesla was onto it. Too bad without paying for power/energy there is no control structure; that’s the real barrier for such technology.

    1. “Poolium”?

      It must be great fun being a conspitacy nutter – yu get to make up words as you go along.

      The most immediate comment is that it appears not to be a liquid, rather some form of vapour – which is not quite the form you’d reasonably anticipate a liquid eutectic mixture of uranium and plutonium (density 20 tonnes/cubic metre) and zirconium (density 6 tonnes/cubic metre) would take.

      We’ll leave aside other points (how would any claimed criticality be maintained once water had been driven off – (answers on a postcard please to Kim Jong-Il, Pyongyang – you’ve no idea how much effort you could save him), the absence of massive gamma fluxes, or the small point that any such material would make it’s way straight down through the structure…..

      I do love it when the genuine moonbats call by

      1. Indeed, a genuine moonbat. And to erase any doubt, this person was kind enough to end with the “Tesla free energy” nonsense, the hallmark of a crank.

      2. One aspect I love about these chaps is, that to a man teir understanding of basic physical processes is so poor – viz. not quite grasping the basic idea of luminescence, like this one.

        Yet they feel able to assess whether something like “Tesla Energy” works in the context of a viable physical paradigm. And, it’s always a plot to keep it away from the people (never mind just how rich the first firm to bring a Tesla machine to market would become).

        Have you read either of “Amongst the Truthers” or “Voodoo Histories”? Both are very good on the psychology of conspiracy theorists.

    2. One other point….to be liquid, and hence able to flow, any melted fuel mixture have to be above it’s melting point. That of zirconium is 2100K, that of uranium oxide, 3100K

      I’m not sure of the precise behaviours for either of those, but for a metal like stainless steel which melts at a similar point to zirconium, this is what it looks like a couple of hundred degree below melting point.


      You might notice something – it’s glowing a bit.

      And melted


      Now, since you think you know what liquid “poolium” looks like, any suggestions as to the absence of such a glow?

  61. Ah, “abovetopsecret”. “Rense” will be making an appearance soon as wqell, I suspect.

    You, and Gundersen, share an issue – you can’t read a presentation which includes qualifiers like “may” and “might” and “in the event of”, without ignoring them completely. And completely losing the significance of lines like ” a small proportion of”

    Check the original Areva presentation….

    I think it goes back to an essential lack of numeracy.

    Oh, and you do know there’s now film from inside the pond? And even Jaczko, of the NRC – who said in public the pond had gone dry – incidentally, why no response to the question about how you get criticality in a dry pond – has allowed his agency to climb down. Without personally admitting he was wrong, of course.

    Now, will you please b*gger off back to a site where you can drivel on about HAARP and black helicopters to your heart’s content?

    1. And even Jaczko, of the NRC … has allowed his agency to climb down. Without personally admitting he was wrong, of course.

      Of course not! Could the dictator … er … chairman of the NRC ever admit that he was wrong?

  62. Hi Rod,

    I read every reply and one issue I had was comparing places in the world with naturally high radiation levels. I try to explain the difference in my video. Its not a fancy video but clear it at your discretion. It does address some of the comments made to me. I didn’t post my last video here but this one is a direct reply:


    1. So ‘natural’ radiation is less hazardous than ‘man-made’ radiation? Really? I mean you really believe that?

      Come on, this is some kind of joke right? There is a delayed punchline that you will reveal soon, right?

      Radiation is radiation. One Rem (or One Sievert if you prefer) of any type of radiation from any source will cause the same affect. That is inherent in the definition of Rem/Sievert.

      1. Rems and Sieverts are both valid unit of measures for radiation. However, Sieverts are more targeted to the impact on humans and this is the key unit of measure you want to do the threat analysis on humans.

      2. Rems and Sieverts are both targeted to the impact on humans. That is why 1Sv = 100Rem, they are measuring the exact same thing just in different size chunks, just like inches and centimeters are measuring the exact same thing but in difference size chunks.

    2. Did I hear an annoying, sanctimonious whining – ah yes, that’ll be Luke emitting his “higher moral tone” again.

      Well, I’ve half an hour free before I’m due to be off condemning a bunch of cute five year olds to a lingering painful death, so I’ll give a response. Mind you, I’m due to strangle a litter of cute little kittens, and then stamp on a fluffy bunny later this afternoon, so I can’t linger too long.

      I’ve not watched the video – two reasons, one I’m travelling, and the local cellphone networks are a bit on the slow side. Two is, that’s five minutes of my life I’d never get back.

      So, I’ll infer the content from Ddpalmer’s reply.

      Radiation is radiation, you silly b****r. What matters is energy deposition, and the rate of deposition. It doesn’t even work at the celluar level. A DNA strand hit by an alpha or beta particle doesn’t know or care whether that’s “natural” or artificial – any more than one of the pain receptors in your brain knows whether the atom of salicylic that’s blocking it is from stewed willow bark, or has been churned out by the tonne by Bayer.

      All that matters is the energy deposition. the DNA strand in a cell in a lung in Cornwall being irradiated by beta emissions from radon isn’t about to react differently from a DNA strand hit by a beta particle from caesium in muscle tissue.

      A strand hit by an alpha particle from naturally occurring radium in Ramscar doesn’t react differently from one that’s hit by an alpha particle from plutonium at Almogordo.

      Even people like the “low Level Radiation Campaign” over here indiretly acknowledge that – that’s why they concocted the ludicrous “second event” theory to try to make just the case that you’re probably, less articulately to make – it was unfortunate that the chief protagonist couldn’t even competently combine geometry with a probability distribution factor to fudge the local dosage numbers.


      Hope that clarifies matters – got to go, those kittens won’t asphyxiate themselves. Now, where’s that knotted chord…..

    1. “Since the start of the nuclear boom in the 1970s, Japan’s utilities have relied on temporary workers for maintenance and plant repair jobs, the experts said. They were often paid in cash with little training and no follow-up health screening.”

      Well I don’t know what you expect people to be paid in except cash. But the situation is basically the same at least in the US and Canada. Much of the maintenance and repairs are done when the reactor is shut down. A shut down reactor obviously isn’t making electricity and thus isn’t making money, so the utility companies try and minimize the amount of shut down time. Thus during an ‘outage’, as they are called, hundreds of temporary workers are brought in to do as much maintenance and repair as possible in as little time as possible. These workers are usually not utility company employees but subcontractor employees. They are given less training because they are only expected to do certain specific tasks and thus don’t require the same in-depth training as a full time employee. And their employer would be responsible for any follow-up health screening, just like a utility employee when quit and went to work somewhere else would no longer be recieving follow-up health screening from the utility.

      1. Read the Reuters article again. This is a darker picture really. Some workers are not even known by their name, not to mention the dubious recruitment process.

        Also this (mainstream Japanese media):

        This is not an industry that can minimize costs, dangers, and (in this case) dubious business practices at this time.

        And not only Tepco will be under higher scrutinity now – I believe this is a good thing, for the pro nuclear as well.

        Transparency is never bad in business, especially for those that affect everyone.

        Especially when things fuck up.

      2. You can slice and dice things as you wish, nuclear has the lower number of deaths per Terawatt/hour generated for the last 40 years. And by a landslide. Really. You want to talk about safety, get the facts.

        Compare those figures to wind, solar, coal or gas.

    2. @Jacques,

      You raise two issues with this article.

      The first is TEPCO’s corporate decisions on how they manage their employees as part of thier business of running nuclear reactors.

      The second issue is the appearance of condemning nuclear power in its entirety due to one or two bad companies.

      On the first point, you will not find me defending TEPCO’s actions. There is a long history of similar issues in our own past of running nuclear power plants that has now been corrected. It was boderline crimminal TEPCO did not have the basic dosimetry avialable to their workers as part of their normal operations as well as after once the situation had reached emergency stage.

      To hear they were sharing dosimetry was incredible as it implies the dose for one was recorded for both and averaged so no true history will be maintained. It also indicates a corporate philosophy stuck in the 1970’s. If however at some point later it time it is shown the tsunami destroyed radiological equipment then I will retract the “borderline crimminal” portion of my comment. Then my comment will be oriented towards their corporate philosophy on emergency response and management.

      As to the second comment, jumping from condemning TEPCO to condemning an entire industry is something you will not find me doing. That is analagous to condemning the entire fossil fuel industry because of the emergency in the Gulf or Exxon Valdez or any other of the numerous yet unreported tanker spills.

      Nuclear exceptionalism should never apply in the first place since fossil fuel exceptionalism has never been used or discussed about corporate entities such as BP for thier screw up in the Gulf.

  63. If there is anything to his “hot particles” data, if he isn’t just making it up, Gundersen is describing an air sample taken in Tokyo that had 10 of these and a sample in Seattle that had 5. His assumption is all the particles in each sample came from a point source that only recently started emitting, i.e. Fukushima.

    A scientist who studies the atmosphere could tell you that a trace contaminant introduced by a point source at Fukushima couldn’t cause a reading of 10 in Tokyo and 5 in Seattle unless so much of the material was being emitted for such a long time that it was in the process of becoming well mixed into the atmosphere.

    But Rod knows that atmospheric scientists don’t know how to measure the composition of the atmosphere. As far as Rod is concerned, scientists who study the atmosphere are so stupid they supported one of their own, the biggest fraud of all if you believe Rod, i.e. Sherwood Rowland, when he won the Nobel Prize for his work studying the trace gases that cause ozone depletion. see http://questioningattitude.blogspot.com/2010/06/it-is-probable-that-atmospheric.html (I mean if you believe what Rod thinks about ozone depletion, Rowland is the biggest fraud of all, not that Rod directly calls him that).

    My point is that Rod is as big a denier of science as Gundersen or Caldicott or any of their ilk.

    Rowland, when President of the AAAS, gave a speech contradicting what Rod believes, saying among other things that CFCs had been measured “in literally thousands of stratospheric air samples by dozens of research groups all over the world”. Rod doesn’t believe that samples were measured.

    Rod thinks many scientists just make up what they believe as opposed to studying reality and trying to interpret what they measure and observe. His idea of a “hero” type scientist is Dixy Lee Ray. See “Merchants of Doubt”, by Naomi Oreskes, pages 125 – 137, for a detailed study of the arguments Rod believes, that ozone depletion is not caused by trace gases emitted by civilization, that Rod got second hand from Dixi Lee Ray’s book.

    Anyway, enough of ozone depletion, Oreskes, Rowland, etc.

    Rod and Gundersen deserve each other. Rod denies what scientists discover whenever it suits him, as does Gundersen.

  64. Just so you know I have had some of my email accounts, facebook hacked. Photos of my kids posted around to other pages like some sort of sick message. I have recovered my accounts but I will not continue making videos as its a risk to my family. I have also had cryptic threats. So after 24 videos I am done and will go back to my life of asking no questions and staying under the radar. I’m not sure talking on a forum is so bad but I commend Arnie Gunderson for speaking out because even I have had threats so imagine how he must be feeling?. This is to big for me.

    1. Oh course you have, Luke…

      you decision to adopt a lower profile is nothing to do with having your uniformed, sanctimonious c**p exposed for what is is, every time you’ve raised your head.

  65. Rod if you get a moment I accidentially posted my email in the name. Can you please adjust it back to Luke.

  66. Joel,

    I’ll defer to Rod, but personally I don’t mind an emotionally charged swear-word to punctuate a point.

    The intelligence of the dialog is what matters, and it’s just when swearing takes the place of thought when it is problematic.

    I’ve seen screeds from lawyers that are linguistically immaculate; but they are so lacking of content that I’m surprised that the speaker’s head doesn’t implode from the void that exists between their ears.

    Likewise, there are very inciteful – but profanity-laden – pieces from comedians that probably couldn’t have been expressed any other way – so I’m hoping that Rod might loosen the policy just a tad, and take context into mind when dealing with profanity..

    1. I simply wasn’t sure if Andy had censored himself with the word crap. That was the only word I could think of that fit there.

      I find the difference in which words are more unacceptable, even within the English language, between Great Britain and America a bit humorous.

      Andy has become one of my favorite commenters here at Atomic Insights in the last few weeks.

      1. To be clear, that was self-censorship.

        And, for what it’s worth, I think in general Brits tend to use somewhat stronger language in daily discourse.

      2. And for total clarity.

        That’s not a word that I would normally think needs censoring. But, this is Rod’s site, and he’s made clear that he prefers to keep offensive language off the board.

        We’ve a saying, usually in the context of the idea that the landlord of a pub defines acceptable behaviour in it – “his gaffe (pub), his rules”.

        I’m simply respecting that this is Rod’s gaffe!

  67. Finally!

    Japan’s newly appointed minister in charge of the nuclear disaster says he hopes to shrink the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by mid-July.

    Goshi Hosono said in Tokyo on Tuesday that control over the facility has been improving little by little.

    The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has said it aims to complete by July 17th the first stage of its plan to put the facility under control.

    Hosono said that by then he hopes the reactor cooling system will have been stabilized and there will no longer be a risk of a hydrogen explosion. He said if that is confirmed, he wants to have some evacuees return home.

    1. “And worst, the nuclear industry just stands there like a mute dunce letting others smear and malign and blacken its name.”

      I have often wondered about this myself. Other energy sources produce positive advertising for their products, the petroleum industry, natural gas, coal. They all extoll the virtues and values of their products as they see them, and not just for intra-industry competition, but to plant a positive image in the public mind. The nuclear business should do likewise. Is the revenue stream so poor that the industry cannot afford to hire some decent publicity/advertising firm to sell itself to the public, to counter the negative image the well-funded activist groups and popular media contruct? Are we so buried in our engineering books and computer codes that we cannot look up and see what is happening out there?

      Times have changed. We can’t sit back and assume that the public will simply accept the industry as benign (even though it is) when there are opposition groups bombarding the public with negative images and messages. Just look at the latest series of hit pieces coming out of the AP. The media knows there is money to be made by trashing the nuclear industry. They’re going to keep doing it as long as they think they can make money. The industry has to stand up for itself and be proactive and go beyond professional groups and trade organizations and lobbying on Capitol Hill. It’s time to put a positive message on the street.

      1. Wayne, I think a big, big part of the problem with nuclear’s overall apparent lack of a PR campaign is the fact that there are so few “purely” nuclear companies that no entitity with adequate funding can easily see where they would have much of anything to gain from paying for an advertising/PR campaign extolling the virtues of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

        EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) firms in today’s day and age often design and build a considerably wider variety of things than just nuclear plants. As an example, Bechtel is currently working on the only nuclear plant in America that is “officially” under construction (Watts Bar Unit 2), but they also have a huge oil, gas, and chemicals division that has done work on LNG terminals and plenty of other things and Bechtel is a huge part of finishing the Ivanpah solar thermal plant that will be the largest solar generation plant in the US. Does anyone think Bechtel would put out advertisements extolling the virtues of nuclear that are superior to oil, gas, or solar?

        Uranium mining companies are essentially going to have a market for selling their uranium regardless of any level of advertising. Likewise for enrichment entities. Their sales of SWUs isn’t dependent on advertising and PR.

        Utility companies aren’t going to allow advertising to play any noticeable role in their decision-making for what type of new generating capacity to pursue.

        Reactor vendors (Westinghouse, B&W, GE, etc.) aren’t going to have their design certification licensing processes sped up any by advertising.

        So basically, there aren’t entitities in America that can easily see an adequate benefit for justifying the cost to produce positive nuclear advertising.

  68. Jacques:

    FDR said it best; “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.
    Unless we have an agenda or bias we can’t pick and choice the most evil energy source without tapping the score card of casualties because that’s the bogeyman hovering here. If you took that scorecard and accounted every known non-war death incurred by any energy source that you will find atomic energy near the bottom of that tall basket. If we applied the same rules of health exposure limits and hazards demanded of nuclear energy to other industries the oil and gas fields and Home Depot would be ghost towns, You’d ban all smoking with all those tiny bad ash particles and cleaning fluids and lubricants and detergents and autos and air conditioning due the use of mildly toxic chemical agents. We’ve long known of deaths and disfigurements caused by such but casually put up with them and give them a pass. We don’t raze whole neighborhoods that used lead paint long ago or shut down playgrounds whose soil was tilled with chem fertilizers and insecticides to go with layers if particulates from industrial fires or HIV needles, yet nuclear energy has yet coughed up a smoking gun of long term mass health anomalies as much of these agents have done. The biggest chance of proof of all was from Hiroshima and Nagasaki which has greatly disappointed anti-nukers since legions of mutants and freaks and mass spontaneous abortions haven’t overwhelmed those cities populations yet, whom likely get zapped harder by secondhand smoke than massive irradiation from sixty years ago. Where’re all the freaks?? It’s sure been long enough for them to’ve popped up, right? Ditto other nuclear accident sites since.

    The most ironic thing to me is, taking things half sarcastically, for all the nuclear accidents caused by blunders and bad design and incompetence and neglect and acts of God all over the world since its conception, busted nuclear power plants collectively likely outright killed less people than one “good” gas or oil or coal mine disaster that’s off the headlines after a week. I mean, this is the great untold unreal. The great muffed-up fact. With Fukushima we’ve practically had it as worst as it gets — and 3 times over no less — three counts of the ultimate accident — yet how many are killed or injured, present or future? (try that one with other industries or train wreaks!) Didn’t anti-nukers say even just partial meltdowns were half-Doomsdays? Yet even if atomic energy safety and operation standards were impeccable across the board, the fear and protests would persist. Why the inconsistency? Why the prejudice? Why the hypocritcy? Why the fear which would be more constructive focused somewhere else? Are you still smoking? Is nuclear energy by it nature evil because it’s so complicated and the domain of corporations? Is nuclear energy evil because it’s “unnatural”? Though I find that notion a little odd since nuclear energy is the very core and soul of “nature’ itself. There is no “pristine” and benign energy form. Energy by its potent virtue is always potentially harmful. Ask any victim of melanoma and other skin cancers and sunstroke whether solar energy is “safe”. Ask hurricane and tornado victims whether wind energy is “safe”, and even though these are raw unharnessed examples the point is the raw stuff is not Snow White, though unlike them there’s no “natural” persistent atomic energy effect impacting us outside the sun’s core and radon and uranium and radium ore effects which must be ultra-negilble since living things have happily coped being bathed by local irradiation for eons.

    So why all the overhyped over exaggerated fears over nuclear energy? Why is nuclear energy always the heavy? Perhaps it goes back that it was slandered dark from birth, making its debut to the world not in the form of a modest quiet Chicago reactor but as terribly massive explosions that evoked the uniquely horrible deaths of many many thousands in the second slander of war, and if that shocker wasn’t a stain enough, Hollywood moves in showing how outrageously mystically insidious glowing radiation can be creeping under doors and turning bunnies into city stomping bug-eyed monsters and next door neighbors into tumorous goons, not to talk about highbrow “Doomday message” movies where just a drop of an uranium pellet to the floor anywhere in the world marks the end of civilization. And worst, the nuclear industry just stands there like a mute dunce letting others smear and malign and blacken its name. It’s a wonder we’re using nuclear energy at all given that kind of dark character reference. One asks why didn’t oil get all the luck.

    James Greenidge

    1. Excellent, excellent exposition, James.

      I am going to say that a huge, huge part of this problem is one of the questions you asked, which is a huge part of what allows the other aspects of our current situation to exist.

      “Is nuclear energy by it nature evil because it’s so complicated ”

      Understanding nuclear energy and how it works is quite a few steps above the level of understanding that it takes to understand all these other steps.

      For combustion, anybody can light a match. Relatively young children are often at about this time of year allowed to play with sparklers (despite the intense heat given off by them).

      Anyone who goes outdoors at practically any frequency can understand wind or solar.

      It takes a serious investment of time to get a good grasp on nuclear energy and how it can be utilized for many, many useful purposes. Many people start off with a bias, and thus are extremely resistant to making the investment necessary to understand nuclear energy and how amazing it is. They dismiss it off-hand long, long before even considering the fact that its use is highly beneficial to a large portion of society in the regions of the world where it is available.

      Those people never make it around to understanding the importance of the following statement:

      Fossil Fuels are IMMENSELY more finite on the planet Earth than Fissile Fuels

      1. I beg to differ that nuclear power is “complicated.”

        A 30 minute conversation with someone, who has had high school chemistry and physics, at a billiard table gets you the vast majority of the way to understanding nuclear fission.

        After all the first sustained fission chain reaction was a pile of uranium and graphite bricks on a laboratory floor…

        Its only as complex as you want to make it. How many people do you know that can tell you what the energy density of gasoline is? Or what the air to fuel ratio in the engine is?

        But (almost) everybody knows that internal combustion engines work by burning gasoline(or other), and they get very hot when they do so.

      2. I agree that it could be rather easily understood if a person is willing to take a 30 minute investment, but compared to combusion, the sun, or wind that 30 minute time investment is almost 2 orders of magnitude higher than the 20-30 seconds that might be needed to explain those less complex sources of energy.

        Sadly, I dare say that Joe non-Engineer would have any more desire to know about how fission works than to know more about air-to-fuel ratios or what the energy density of gasoline is.

        He would actually be somewhat interested to know that ethanol has a much lower energy density than gasoline to the extent that he’d get considerably lower gas mileage using E85 than E10 (or less) in his flex fuel, American-made automobile.

      3. Steven Cowley delivers the goods on nuclear fusion in less than 10 minutes. The future will not bring energy from natural ressources but rather from knowledge. (You guys wanted a marketing one liner? I think that playing with energy-future-knowledge-unlimited has potential)

        From 03:40 til 05:50 of this video, he makes you dig the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission that will blow you away. In less than 3 minutes, you have a good feel of how things work. Listen to this great video.


  69. Typical pro-nuke rethoric.
    Since there had not been recorded cases of acute radiation poisoning in Fukushima (but, is that true or just the result of a mediatic covered-up as usual?), the problem doesn’t exist. What you cannot see and touch is unable to kill.
    And then, when cancer casualties in a few years will begin to take place, just try to silence the whole mess by saying that “there’s no scientific evidence to prop up such a theory”.
    However, a useful reading for the skeptics is the
    “WHO report on Chernobyl (2006)”, which hardly could be accused of being biased by any scientific prejudice.
    About Gundersen, he’s not the only whistlebower who had to suffer from the typical ban on those who dared to speak against nuclear industry. What makes you sick is that he has a loud voice now and can tell the world some truth about the murky business of nuke.
    Just consider the screen of deceptive and false infos provided by Tepco in the aftermath of the accident (withdrawn a few months later) and you’ll see what I mean…

    1. Marcus – I am not a typical pro-nuke. I am vain enough to consider that I am more aggressive than most in my support of the technology. Typical pro-nukes tend to be a little shy about active engagement in support of their favored energy source.

      There will be no measured increase in cancer or any other non stress related illness as a result of Fukushima. There have already been some nasty health effects caused by the overabundance of radiation phobia – I believe that dozens of forcibly relocated people from various assisted living facilities in the area passed away earlier than they otherwise would have due to the stress of the relocations.

      I expect that there will be other nasty side effects caused by the severe power shortages as a result of keeping safe nuclear power plants off line after their annual refueling shutdowns.

      Tepco did a reasonably good job of communicating considering the difficulty of the situation and their lack of measuring devices as a result of the loss of power. They were also hampered a bit by the insistence by some that a press release in Japanese does not count as transparency by some in the US who demand that everyone speak our language in order to be given credit for speaking at all.

      Gundersen was not actually a “whistleblower.” He was fired from his job after complaining to management about the way that other people in his company were handling radioactive materials. I have always found that story to have several questions begging to be asked – wasn’t Gundersen PART of management as a Vice President of the company? If there was a violation of storage rules, why didn’t he simply fix the situation and file a corrective action report? Here is the story as told to a reporter by Gundersen himself.


      My nuclear industry sources tell me that the real reason Gundersen was fired was that his sales were consistently not up to expectations. They say he cooked up the story to cover his own lack of sales success.

      The world of nuclear energy is not quite as “murky” as you might think when you happen to be an insider with lots of friends who have been around for a while.

  70. July 25, 2011 to pro nuclear:
    You are looking stupid now as Arnie is right it did get worse. My sister has a couple of friends in Japan and are way outside the no zone,they went to the doctor and found out booth of them have radiation in the lungs and are now taken medicine to help treat it. I have friends also and now are living in the heat without air conditioning and have to keep the windows closed, they say they cannot stand it and may have to open the windows anyway. You are just trying to discredit a man that has the best interest of man hind; we sure cannot trust the nuclear industry as they have not told the whole truth yet. Just tell the truth do not worry about the reaction from the people, we can run our own lives and make decisions if we can rely on truthful information.
    July 23, 2011 Greg G in Tokyo: I do not blame Japan; I blame the nuclear industry that leads us to believe that radiation levels were safe. When this melt down started the industry mouthed of as usual that 5 sv/hour was a safe limit of radiation so do not worry, they have made this claim for years. They did not tell us that this is exposure only and that in the environment eating and breathing it .000005 sv/hour is not safe for all life, maybe. Some scientist studies show no radiation is safe. The nuclear industry makes comparisons to back ground radiation and say you can handle much more, but back ground radiation is not ionized or hot like what is given off from these plants, so any radiation from these plants will greatly increase the chances of cancer and many other health problems. These plants should never been built and the nuclear industries greed has pushed it through lies. Below are some of the risks they have created.
    I live in Saskatchewan, Canada, Nuclear radiation as of July 18, 2011 first radiation level metered, was extreme hazard at 1.01 mc sv/hour in rain water. This will cumulate as long as Japans plant and rods spew out radiation; it may never stop, and how long before ground level will be 1.01 mc sv/hour or more without rain. How many people and animals will be affected before this ends? If I am very lucky no other plant will melt down. But with more plants being built will increase the probability of it happening again. With plant cost over runs, are they lacking on safety issues to keep the cost down, past performance sure makes it seem so. Also more plants increases the chances of earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, country revolt, volcanoes, tsunami’s, avalanche, sink holes, freezing weather, hurricanes, 1000’s of parts in the plant, extreme long term heat, asteroids, bad product, lighting strike, extreme down pour, military Coe, space debris, airplanes, terrorist attacks and most of all human error damaging a plant. How many Homer Simpsons are at work, we know at least two on the safety committees of one plant? Safety switches and protocol are a joke, I have refused to sign off on them and ten minutes later the production starts up. This happens because a safety device alerts a shut down only to find three times in a row a shutdown was in acted for no reasons found, but when it is a serious problem they will have automatically over ridden the auto shut down and then examine the problem, which is now is too late, if the problem should have shut down automatically, this is done time and time again. I believe I could put a nuclear power plant into melt down for about $10,000.00, a terrorist probably for less. Why in this world a country would centralize the power distribution is beyond my understanding of safety. Also solar, wind etc. will in create many needed jobs in your country, instead of buying nuclear products from other countries giving away many jobs. You should see what goes on in northern Saskatchewan’s nuclear mining it is crazy. I will tell one, they have at each site tailings that are washed into large ponds beside lakes (touching each other separated by an earth dam). They have to keep pumping water for ever into the pond so it will not dry up and cause radioactive dust to be spread around the province/world. The dams have broken several times and radioactive water has spelled into the lake before they could rebuild it and have dried up enough to wisp into the air. I have not added the loss of land from mining or ponds and hug craters that will not support life for many years. It would be nice if we could get rid of booth, and WOW we can, all we have to do is start the solar, and wind etc. and all is safe.

    1. You need to rethink your circular logic for trusting Gundersen – he’s the one claiming there’s a cover-up, then peddling his fear spiel.

      Your sister (along with her variable number of friends) has been conned, if she is taking medicine for “radiation in the lungs”. What kind of doctor was this? And your other friends had better hope for nuclear plant restarts to help out with their AC.

      Nobody has claimed that 5 Sv/hr is safe. Ever. Really. No-one.

      0.000005 Sv/hr, also known as 5 microSv/hr – I wouldn’t be worried about this level, but some would. Certainly it would be tough to identify any problems in an ecosystem due to this low-level radiation. Life would go on.

      “Some scientist studies show no radiation is safe” – wrong. That is an assumption, not a research result. The truth is that studies have not shown harm at low radiation levels.

      “extreme hazard at 1.01 mc sv/hour in rain water” – this is doubly false. 1 microSv/hr is not an extreme hazard, and it is has not been found in rainwater. I saw a video in which a guy repeatedly wiped down his windscreen, gathering the dust from a wide area into a single spot, and measured that accumulated dust at 1 microSv/hr – but that isn’t rainwater. And it isn’t a continuous dose that anyone is exposed to.

      That’s enough. I can’t be bothered with the rest of your splurge of random words and lists.

  71. And you have not bosted up your resume: To long for all. How good your industry must feel when at Calhoun plant they used a inertube to try and save the plant, real bright.
    Publisher: Rod Adams – Pro-nuclear advocate with extensive small nuclear plant operating experience. Former Engineer Officer, USS Von Steuben. Founder, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast.
    Follow atomicrod on Twitter.

    Beginning in April 1995, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. (AAE) began publishing Atomic Energy Insights as a series of monthly paper newsletters with the intention of being an alternative source of information for what we hoped would be a newly rejuvenated nuclear power industry. Rod Adams, the founder of AAE, did most of the writing, but there was a small team that did the editing and publishing. It soon became apparent that we were a bit early out of the box.

  72. Well, if Rod Adams does not think Arnie worthy enough to be a whistleblower, he might have to find another source, maybe Michio Kaku, Christopher Busby, or even Michael Friedlander:


    For a medical description of effects on babies he might try a pediatrician who is knowledgeable on radiation effects, and has to treat the results of this fallout (genetic abnormalities, childhood leukemia, cancer):

    (talk given before Fukushima disaster)

    You don’t have to be a whistleblower to accurately describe this disaster and its likely consequences. To start, leukemia and other diseases will be in the thousands, everyone knows that based on official and unofficial reports from Chernobyl (the un-official reports are always more believable – both the UN and the IAEA have agreed in writing to fib together). TEPCO, NRC, IAEA, U.N. and the EPA plus Health Canada, Environment Canada have become newsworthy due to obfuscation, false readings and over-mitigation of this disaster. This is why citizens have had to set up their own crowd-sourced monitoring systems (like Pachube).

    Radiation readings in the rain for Canada are ABOVE the Chernobyl evacuation limit of 0.57 µSv/hr.

    Edmonton 1.14 µSv/hr
    Lloydminster 0.97 µSv/hr
    Red Deer 1.02 µSv/hr
    Lake Louise 1.43 µSv/hr
    Chilliwack 1.13 µSv/hr

    Also, we have several simultaneous nuclear disasters, not just Fukushima:

    Fort Calhoun
    Los Alamos
    and others…

    75% of U.S. nuclear power plants are leaking tritium.

    Los Alamos might be worse than all of them put together (800 waste dumping sites all around the plant, with plutonium and more). Remember, the current fear at Chernobyl is forest fires aerosolizing buried nuclear waste.

    There is currently a news blackout on Fort Calhoun and Los Alamos, and rigid government control of readings and other information inside Japan. Noone can get close, and anyone who does gets arrested. (There was a citizen photographer arrested a few days ago at Fort Calhoun, but we have his pictures on YouTube).

    We also have massive contamination of the ocean over and above its ability to self-repair. Fish in the Pacific NorthWest are likely inedible now, but the full effect will arrive in the next 1 to 2 years. (Iodine 131 was detected at 400% of safe levels by an SFU professor here in British Columbia back in April).

    If it is not radioactive enough in the air and ocean, we have ingested radiation to look forward to which will bioaccumulate and biomagnify for the rest of our earthly lives (given the half life of hundreds of isotopes released – Cobalt-60, Strontium-89, Strontium-90, Plutonium, Uranium, Tellurium, Americium-244 and so on). And then, there is depleted uranium, which is not so depleted these days (they used pure and enriched uranium for weapons now).

    Munitions that contain low-grade uranium 235 – insufficient to trigger nuclear explosion – are chemical-radiological weapons. They contain other toxic-radioactive elements and have indiscriminate effects. They are illegal by virtue of international conventions, laws and customs of war. When used in populated areas or in the presence of numerous troops (enemy or friendly), they become weapons of delayed but mass destruction (WMD). Fatal consequences of depleted uranium (DU) armour-piercing ammunition emerged in veterans and civilians after wars in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans. While the victims remain neglected, hundreds of tons of uranium from weapons developed in recent years against hard and buried targets have polluted Afghanistan. Up-coming war scenarios involve larger chemical-radiological contamination potential.

    Much of the DU from the Iraq wars has blown all over Europe. This is not surprising. When I visisted France a few years ago, you could sometimes see a reddish dust on parked cars – that dust comes from Africa.

    So, perhaps Arnie’s sales figures were not up to scratch. He has therefore, according to Rod Adams, committed a grave error in not selling adequate numbers of Weapons of Mass Destruction to our fellow humans.

    Evidence to date indicates that this technology is too complex to control. Humans are smart. In fact, they’re too smart for their own good.

    They have to stop being smart, and learn how to be wise.

  73. Tjernobyl nuclear pollution…the oil spills pollution….plastic waste pollution suffocating the oceans…pestecides pollution…antibiotics and growhormones pollution..fertilizer pollution…industrial pollution….deforestation 95% …desertification…..biodiversity and the honeybees collapsing.Protected Monstrosities like Monsanto coming into existing. Climate chance thanks to pollution….today Fukushima nuclear pollution…etc….most of them not even under control yet.

    But they all cumulate on top of eachother creating ever more exponential damage on the many levels this beautiful life cradlle called earth operates at . Some siencetist say at this moment we/everything is existing in a chemical coctail of 80.000 manmade chemicals , most of them not tested for their influence on the genetical dynamics of life.

    No matter how grave the manmade disaster and the cumulative bills we ALL are paying with our health and lives, still materialistic oriented people will shamelessly downplay everything to prevent the boiling frog from waking up in time.

    Because that would ineviteble chance SOME of the current way’s capitalisme works and their corrupted mind simply refuses to cope with that possibility. The fact that they, by doing so, keep us all prisoners of a giant ratrace towards selfdestruction does not bother them, because they simply deny it.

    Somewhere/somehow there is a possibility for themselfes snatching one of them bonuses, or get filthy rich one way or the other.

    And thats all they need to have peace of dellusional mind when they sell the governments and its citizens and their own grandchild to the selfregulating responsibility of the industry , forever… The industry that has the long term vision and dynamics of bacteria in a petri dish , thanks to unlimited personal wealth possibility and what it does with
    the average human conscious.
    You can find those dr Strangelove troll’s and their sheeps everywhere, including here.

    For the world citizens who are only now gaining “see tru all this” capability, they find themselfes living in “selflearned helplesness” like the baby’s with heroin addicted parents. Your life, health, education, future possibilities and overall wellbeing depends on their love, vision and responsibility for you.
    Too bad, the junky’s capabillity of setting longtime future goals is reduced to visions of the next fix aka bonus aka bribe aka election.

    But there is no fairytale future, there is no unlimited resources, the planet does not grow with us and there is no planetary biomass that is miraculesly capable of neutralizing our out of control levels of irreversebly destruction capability and unlimited greed. The total biomass’s is as vulnerable as that of the smallest individual living things.
    Living Ecosystems are all about complexity and symbioses and we are the cancer. Unlimited providing for us ? Wishfull thinking much ?? :smackself: !

    LOGIC will smack us all silly with the consequences !

    Meanwhile, continue with the ratrace in the small petri dish folks. Its the only thing simply enough to be good at when you lack conscience. God forbid we would have to become creative about life’s priorities and make it non-materialistic .

    Hey look , every sign left and right say’s its a dead end street , wooow , so many of them, what does it means, its so intens, wooow ,dubbel signs all the way , wooow lets all close our eyes and go full throttle ahead ! If you don’t follow i manipulate your culture to brainwash you, then i murder you ! Because i want my FIX !!!

    quote Paul Mazer : “”We must shift America from a ‘needs’ to a ‘desires’ culture, people must be trained to desire, to want new things even before the old has been completely consumed . We must shape a new mentality in America, man’s desires must overshadow his needs.” – Paul Mazer, Lehman Brothers (circa 1930′s)”

    Oh, and to put the cherry on the cake, when we go as a logic result of not being capable to collectively and united sublimate our own amoebe instincts , no relief for the biomass nononeuuuuh.

    All reactors will melt+all waste and nuclear waepons will leak sterilizing the planet for hundreds of tousand’s, maybe millions years , in an extremely effectively way, but there is only so many billions years left before the sun dies……
    We should put a sign of shame on the moon with our evolution explained as a eternal warning.

  74. This is My Planet it’s where I live,, It’s Beautiful and I love it. The natural resources belong to everyone not just a few multinational corporations THINK!!! How can you clear up nuclear waste??? GE Can’t. How can you recreate a family, an ocean The Gulf of Mexico?? BP sure can’t, create a seed from nothing?? Monsanto Can’t.. The positive creative intelligent life force that created the string vibrations, neutrino the atom the outer universe and our inter universe, the super intelligent DNA makes the blue print of all thing seen and unseen The creative life force sure make Cameco, Areva, GE, Exelon, BP, Chevron, Exxon seem very small and not so intelligent just greedy little things using fear and force to take what they want. so, Just remember that you are standing on my beautiful living planet that is revolving at 900 miles per hour that’s orbiting at 90 miles per second. So it’s reckoned that the source of all our power the sun (not nuclear power plants built by GE, Areva or whoever) and you and I and all the stars that we can see are moving at a million miles a day. That’s figured out as moving at 42,000 miles an hour, in our galaxy called the Milky Way. Our Galaxy itself contains 100 billon stars. It’s 100,000 light years from side to side and 16,000 light years thick. We are 30,000 light year to our galactic center and go around that center every 200 million years. Our galaxy is one of million of billion in this amazing, expanding universe. The universe itself keeps expanding in all directions at the speed of light. It’s whizzing as fast as it can go, you know, 12 million miles a minute. So remember when we are felling very small and insecure, how amazing and unlikely is our birth, And pray that there is intelligent life somewhere up in space, Because we need all the help we can get down here on earth, we are going the wrong way. ( Fukushima TMI, Chernobyl disasters, but our sun has been there for billions of year and will be there for billion of years more a third grader student could tell GE where to get electricity from solar panels not 10 billion dollar nuclear power plants. HOW MUCH IS A KILOWAT HOUR OF ELECTRITY COSTING TEPCO NOW ?? ) What make those lyrics fascinating is that every statement is factual and verifiable it is the truth But the lyrics left out the most important part, Probably statistics overwhelmingly reveal that our universe contains at least a hundred million , and probably billion of Earth-like planets populated with conscious beings like you? and me. Millions of conscious civilizations exist that are million years more advanced than our newly born immature still mystically oriented civilization. Moreover the lyrics was praying for what Albert Einstein spent his professional life searching in vain for – the unifying controlling element of the universe human-like consciousness. Not stupidity!!and greed. Please THINK It’s Called Common Since (telling your children to wear long sleeve shirts to protect them from radiation does that make since) about what your doing to YOUR Home your CHILDREN,AND Planet- Earth It’s The only one we have THINK!!!

    1. Sigh … Yet another example of why it is a good idea to turn off your computer before you start shooting cocaine.

      1. Shooting cocaine? jeez you sound like a nark, carrying out orders from higher up…

  75. Rod

    You are quite justified in critiquing this guy’s resume. He trades on it himself and uses it as an ‘argument from authority’. His resume is essentially the main supporting evidence that he presents for his assertions therefore his resume must be scrutinized as any evidence must.

    Helen Caldicott does exactly the same thing and like Gundersen, she has gilded the lilly (according to my experienced consultant radiologist spouse who knows what a good medical cv should look like).

  76. Bruce Conway:

    For a medical description of effects on babies he might try a pediatrician who is knowledgeable on radiation effects, and has to treat the results of this fallout (genetic abnormalities, childhood leukemia, cancer):

    Sorry Bruce, but the reality is Caldicott does not treat the results of fallout. She hasn’t practised as a doctor for over 30 years and when she did it was only 6 years in junior positions. One job as a medical assistant is way too junior to be claiming to be an authority.

    Furthermore, I have to say that what my spouse tells me – and she is a consultant radiologist who actually works on patients as opposed to audiences – is that what Caldicott goes on about medically is basically a load of BS rhetoric.

  77. Joffan (July 30, 2011): Regarding the rain water radiation, I found this info and others; I find something strange after viewing this. A person from Vancouver did the same test with a truck that sat for what he said was at least six months, it had a lot of dust and the meter registered no increase in radiation. So we have one that had dust only, with no radiation, we have one with dust and water, with elevated rates of radiation. Something is wrong, what is wrong I do not know. I am looking further as this has peaked my interest, thanks for this lead. Notes: Connectingthedots1 at Louise was a small sample off the window only, was to dark to view the sample but read (1.6 microSv/hour).May have had soil but not likely. Kelowna sampling has so little dirt as the rain had washed the truck, I do not believe it would have made a difference in that reading. His meter jumped before he got to the sample when he got out of the truck reading (.60 microSv/hour).The Edmonton test (1.1 microSv/hour), he got carried away and sampled a large area of the truck, I still wonder as this is a small sample of soil, if you had a square meter 1/4 thick it would be over 2 cubic feet within 1 foot of your feet, how much radiation is this? It will mix with back ground and if continues will increase the already high safe level limit already due to bomb tests and Chernobyl. These amounts are OK as a spike but over time with more accidents will cause to high a level. If you have any thoughts on this please converse, I enjoy all views or else how can we learn the truth, some day we may get there. Regards Richard Perry

    Joffan’s response peviouse:
    “Extreme hazard at 1.01 mc sv/hour in rain water” – this is doubly false. 1 microSv/hr is not an extreme hazard and it is has not been found in rainwater. I saw a video in which a guy repeatedly wiped down his windscreen, gathering the dust from a wide area into a single spot, and measured that accumulated dust at 1 microSv/hr – but that isn’t rainwater. And it isn’t a continuous dose that anyone is exposed to.

    1. Radioactive Dust

      Did you know that the dust that’s in the air and settling all over your house (and CRT computer monitor/TV) is radioactive? It’s true, it contains radioactive decay products from naturally occuring Uranium and Thorium.
      As an experiment, I wiped some dust from the TV screen onto a tissue, and placed it in front of the radiation detector. The reading went from a background reading around 10 CPM to around 1300 CPM, or 130 times the reading!
      This is because natural Radon gas, coming out of the rocks and into the air, is constantly decaying into isotopes of Polonium, Lead, and Bismuth. (solids)

      Fresh rain also usually shows spikes of radiation due to this dust washing out of the air.

  78. It would seem that there are those that still truly believe that nuclear is a good idea and others that are employed by the industry and are spreading disinformation.

    In the last days in Japan it is clear that things have taken a turn for the worst, the highest readings so far outside the buildings, the increasing food contamination, new problems with the water filter system etc. It is glaringly obvious that any kind of “shutdown” by January is not possible. in fact it looks like a decade would be hopeful at best.

    So yes it looks like a lot of people are going to die, and not just in Japan. of course linking the cause will be hard to prove.

    May the internet serve to log every username and identify and keep a track of exactly who said what when they knowingly lied to the public. When the people in charge that we are supposed to trust or individuals in their employment tell us its all safe, well then it better be, the NRC, EPA, WHO, FDA all seem to be completely corrupted. When the truth comes out may the offending individuals be brought to justice for crimes against humanity.

    There is another great danger with Nuclear Power apart from radiation that seems to be mostly ignored.
    Whats going to happen if Japanese exports become overly contaminated? Cars, Cameras, Motorbikes, Computer components, Electronics etc. Japan is the 4th largest Economy in the world with 130 million people- Yet we are all worried about sleepy little fisherman country Greece- with a population of just 11 million…

    If this disaster had happened in the middle of the US or Europe do you think the people would have stayed as calm and trusting? It would be far more likely that chaos would have already ensued, the fabric of society for thousands of miles would have already broken down completely, probably collapsing the whole country as a consequence. the only reason it hasn’t happened (yet) in japan is because of their very different culture. (and of course because they have been kept in the dark)

    There is nothing safe about Nuclear Power, it is even more threatening to our species than all out nuclear war, and unfortunately will be for the rest of human history even with just the waste we have amounted so far.

    Obviously there is no procedure or even plan in place to deal with a nuclear disaster. The spent fuel is stored just meters away from the cores. There is no special Vehicle dock to transport the spent rods away from the buildings. no robots ever developed to do the dirty work. nothing at all. not even any Geiger counters that can read over 10 Sieverts.

    A lack of foresight in every way, including what to do about this mess for hundreds of thousands of years.

    1. So yes it looks like a lot of people are going to die, and not just in Japan. of course linking the cause will be hard to prove.

      “Joe” – Conspiracy theories are always hard to prove, which is very convenient for the crackpots (like you) who expound them. They are so “hard to prove” that evidence no longer is necessary, and the conspiracy theory takes on a life of its own fueled by fantasy and irrational belief.

      Your comment is no exception.

        1. Hey Brian, Which part was Conspiracy?

          Hey tin-foil-hat crackpot, let’s start with:

          … the NRC, EPA, WHO, FDA all seem to be completely corrupted. When the truth comes out may the offending individuals be brought to justice for crimes against humanity.

          Uhm … when someone claims that all relevant US government and intergovernmental agencies are “corrupted” and involved in “crimes against humanity,” that’s a conspiracy theory.

        2. When mentioning the NRC, EPA, WHO, FDA, my point was that they have been silent all along. the very agencies we are supposed to look to for our safety let us down.

          In fact radiation monitoring sites were closed down when they were the needed most.

          call it conspiracy if you like, i called it corrupted because any bad publicity would not be good for the industry. in the long run though it will probably prove even worse that denial was chosen over a concentrated international effort to deal with the problem. obviously we cannot trust anything we are told. and as a matter of fact the only reason i even ended up researching so much and posted on this board was because the disaster disappeared from the news completely. if you type fuku into the search box on the BBC website it wont even suggest fukushima, it did in the first week though. try it if you like top right corner http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

          anyway no point in talking to a bonehead you have your agenda and it is obvious you don,t place much importance on human lives, maybe one day it will even catch up with you too, and then maybe it will sink in. have you been drinking milk and eating meat? breathing and eating leafy veggies?

        3. When mentioning the NRC, EPA, WHO, FDA, my point was that they have been silent all along. the very agencies we are supposed to look to for our safety let us down.

          “Joe” – Let us down? By this, I assume that you are referring to the US, since you mention the NRC, EPA, and FDA.

          Look, I’ve personally run the numbers for every claim of exposure posed to the US by both official US government agencies and anti-nuclear groups. There is nothing to worry about. The most pessimistic estimate of increased risk of cancer is on the order of one in a couple hundred million.

          The organizations that you mention would have been derelict in their duty if they were to spread alarm and fear based on these numbers.

          obviously we cannot trust anything we are told. and as a matter of fact the only reason i even ended up researching so much and posted on this board was because the disaster disappeared from the news completely.

          The irrationality in your comment is a textbook case of paranoia. Please, for your own sake, seek professional help, or if you have already received some help, please go take your meds.

          have you been drinking milk and eating meat? breathing and eating leafy veggies?

          Yes, I am currently located on the West Coast, and I have been breathing the air and eating the local produce. Do you think that I’m worried?

    2. Rod – Following up on my earlier comment. This is the type of person who should generally be ignored rather than reasoned with. Nothing can help this poor bastard short of a trip to an insane asylum. Without proper medication prescribed by properly licensed psychiatric professional, there is no way that you are going to be able to convince this person to change his or her opinion. An exposition of scientific facts will not help, nor will carefully crafted rhetorical arguments.

      The hyperbole in this person’s comment speaks for itself. There’s no point in trying to confront this madness rationally. Ridicule is the only effective response left.

      1. It is a common ploy to discredit people by using the conspiracy or Religion card. Now you’ve thrown ridicule into the mix as well, nice one…

        I suppose really it is the other way around, i am not the one who needs my mind changing, it is the insane people trying to sell nuclear.

        oh wait, it just came out on the news, Japan seeks nuclear free future.. well a triple meltdown out of control is what it takes to change minds. Perhaps the Japanese and the Germans should be locked up in the insane asylum for deciding nuclear is a bad idea after all. Maybe as you say some “proper medication might sort them out.

        It doesn’t take an “expert” to see the truth, just spend a few months reading all the facts, and the history. all will become glaringly clear.

        Out of curiosity. What do you think is the long term solution for all the worlds spent fuel?

        1. Keep going, Joe. You “truthers” are all alike. The more you talk, the more you reveal how irrational your babble is.

          What do you think is the long term solution for all the worlds spent fuel?

          Funny you should ask, since this was just released.

    3. @Joe – if you have ever had anything to do with nuclear energy, you would NEVER make a silly, factually incorrect statement like the following:

      “Obviously there is no procedure or even plan in place to deal with a nuclear disaster.”

      If nothing else, the industry has been fully engaged in writing procedures and plans to deal with every conceivable situation since its earliest years. When it comes to investing in procedures, there is no industry that does it more than nuclear. (There might be some that come close, like commercial aviation.)

      I have been posting a lot of information on this site about the measured health effects of radiation. It is also widely understood within the scientific community, not just among nuclear professionals, that there is nothing that is easier to measure at extremely low concentrations than atomic radiation. There is a reason why doctors use tracers for medical procedures, why archeologists use isotope measurements for dating human created objects, and why geologists use radiation information to determine the age of geological features.

      If you have ever been employed in any of the agencies that you listed, you would laugh at the very idea that they could all be cooperating in some kind of hidden scheme to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Heck, you would chuckle at the very idea that they could all cooperate on figuring out where to have lunch if they were at a conference together.

      I do agree that you have raised at least one important point for conversation – because of the efforts of people like you to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about what we know to be true with regard to the actual danger of low levels of radiation (and that term includes some levels that others would call surprisingly high), there might be widespread panic in a country like the US where so many people get their information from such reputable sources as TV talking heads and radio shock jocks. It is a scary prospect; that is why I work so hard in my little corner of the internet to post more reliable information and to link to others who have studied the subject with intensity and dedication.

      It never fails to amaze me how people who would never ask a lawyer for medical advice continues to ask musicians, lawyers, pediatricians, journalists and dropouts for advice about a complex subject like nuclear energy or radiation health effects.

  79. Oh Brian you and your meds, i suppose you are on Prozac and that’s why your outlook is so positive.
    Speaking of which are you aware of the relationship between big pharmaceutical companies and the FDA?

    your use of “textbook” “professional help” and “medications” oh and the “shooting cocaine” give the impression that you have learned nothing from first hand experience, fully indoctrinated by the system, like one of those agents in the Matrix movies, actualy come to think of it your photo looks just like agent Smith:) god forbid you ever try some proper meds. the Red pill might be too much for you.

    anyway enough ridicule, I posted a bunch of articles showing exactly those relationships including an article from the NYtimes, and added to the group the IAEA, but my comment mysteriously disappeared.

    Hi Rob,

    As for no procedure for a disaster,,

    Well i suppose there must be a little booklet like you find on civil aircraft.
    But using a cement truck to shoot water over a wall does not instill much confidence, nor does having pools containing hundreds of tons of spent fuel sitting right next to an active core. I wonder why that glaring hazard never occurred to those writing up the safety guidelines…

    What exactly was the procedure or plan that was put in action at Fukushima? nobody but a stupid electricity utility company has been in charge of the world biggest industral disaster, until now everyone is at a complete loss as to what to do, and it seems that loosing face is part of the issue. the only rather successful ploy has been to keep quiet and pretend that it will all be shut down by January. of course that is not a solution and the wheels are starting to come off the wagon.

    It is not about spreading fear and panic, thats what happens when the masses are kept dumb and possibly exposed to danger, obviously if we were all educated on radiation over the last few months then there would be nothing for us to worry about.

    Its about constant lies about how safe this whole method of producing power is. its shocking and sick. thanks to the likes of Arnie Gunderson and Chris Busby some awareness is coming out.

    And when it come to credentials you dont need to be a rocket (or nuclear) scientist to see we have a serious problem here. not just this disaster but the entire industry. the world would be a better place without it.

    Anyway enough, im talking to a couple of highway patrol officers by the look of it.

    1. Oh, “Joe II” … the fact that you will not use your real name fills me with so much confidence in your convictions.

      Speaking of which are you aware of the relationship between big pharmaceutical companies and the FDA?

      Ah … yes … More conspiracy theories, more sinister government plots. Is that all that you have? Perhaps you should listen to Agent Scully more. Believe it or not, the world is not an X-Files episode.

      … like one of those agents in the Matrix movies, actualy [sic] come to think of it your photo looks just like agent Smith:) …

      Well, at least we now know where you get most of your ideas and information. Thanks for the entertainment. Have you ever tried learning from something that was not produced by Hollywood? A science textbook might be a good start.

      1. Groan… Brian you sound like a scratched record, i guess your toolbox against anyone who opposes your agenda really does consist of just conspiracy and ridicule. I planted that little comment on purpose and you took the bait. you responded solely to my personal remarks and completely ignored the more important subject matter.

        My first user name is blocked, hence the name change. perhaps i struck a nerve with the links i had provided to back up my statements. who i am is unimportant as i have not claimed to be a certified “expert” in nuclear physics, which also means my angle is not biased like it would be if i was. I am well studied and always look for all sides of a story before i jump to conclusions. i run on logic, i question everything and will spend a lot of time searching for answers. i could fix your computer, your washing machine or your car without a service manual. I made a guitar amp out of a tape recorder when i was 10 and I am self employed and live comfortably. The X-files did not arouse any interest in me whatsoever.

        The NRC and the IAEA would not exist if there were no nuclear industry, so to say they are not intrinsically linked is absurd. if in some turn of wisdom those agencies decided nuclear was too risky and ordered them to shut down, they would all be out of the job. The IAEA has as part of its mandate the job of promoting nuclear energy, of course not blindly as it is indeed a risky business, but it sure was telling to see them roll up at Fukushima with their logo spray painted on their generic radiation suits, as if they weren’t quite prepared to ever be that close to the toxins they promote. of course it is not their job, there does not exist a special division that goes in and takes care of a meltdown. it was a publicity event and they gave the thumbs up to Tepco for doing a jolly good job.

        I don’t deny that it is impressive that we have not had many more major disasters throughout the short history of nuclear energy considering the extreme hazards involved (though a bit of research will reveal many more that just Chernobyl, Windscale and TMI,) but now that the industry is under closer scrutiny it is becoming apparent that small leaks are almost a daily occurrence. The Fact that a ‘problem’ at one plant can raise health concerns two continents away speaks volumes about whether this is a safe undertaking. Even the notion that a disaster like this -could- cause mass panic supports that view. It is people like you who are pulling the wool over our eyes. Raising the official permissible level of exposure is a way to fool the masses but the safety limits for nuclear workers is there for a reason. Or was. now we are all allowed to partake.

        Lets apply a little bit of logic here, there is only one clear outcome of the nuclear story that i can see:
        Leaks and accidents will happen, that’s just Murphys law, whether in war or peace, with ever more reactors and spent fuel lying around if something can possibly go wrong then sooner or later it will. The poisons will accumulate in our environment as they certainly wont be going away by themselves. Up to the point where we, being one of the longest living species will get sick, mutated and deformed and probably infertile, eventually guaranteeing every one of us a horrible death at the end and ultimately the whole house of cards will come crashing down. (yes meaning the collapse of our current civilization-it has happened before- only this time all the chips are on the table)

        Our only chance and epic gamble will be that we develop a technology that is capable of cleaning up the mess we made. That is not a very good strategy is it? why go down that road when there are other options?

        Energy conservation is as important as new green alternatives. Why we need endless lighting over intercity highways is ludicrous, that’s what headlights are for. without much change in lifestyle it would be feasible to save part of the 20% of power that nuclear provides in the US or the 2% in some other country and make up the rest with renewables right now with the budget slated for new reactors. How many billion was that?

        Perhaps thinking outside the box, other than the textbook approach is what is needed in this case. Don’t worry you guys will still have work for hundreds of thousands of years cleaning up the mess we already have.

        1. My first user name is blocked, hence the name change.

          Joe Blow II – And you couldn’t take that as a hint that the owner of this website doesn’t want stupid conspiracy theories posted on his blog? Man, you’re dense!

          … i have not claimed to be a certified “expert” in nuclear physics, which also means my angle is not biased like it would be if i was.

          Well, for the record, I have never questioned your lack of expertise, but you’re right about one thing. Having some actual knowledge of the subject about which one is discussing does tend to “bias” one away from silly conspiracy theories.

          You should try learning something for a change. You might find it changes your world view quite substantially. Then again you might find it rather dull, since speaking from ignorance leaves your imagination free to run wild. Your comments provide an apt example of what I mean.

          i could fix your computer, your washing machine or your car without a service manual. I made a guitar amp out of a tape recorder when i was 10 and I am self employed and live comfortably.

          Are you serious?! Is that why we should be forced to believe your nonsense? Because you can fix a washing machine? Look, just because I can unplug a toilet doesn’t mean that I expect everyone on the Internet to take me seriously. Believe it or not, some people have higher standards than that.

          The NRC and the IAEA would not exist if there were no nuclear industry …

          Wrong! The NRC also regulates radioactive materials used in medicine and other industries outside the “nuclear industry.” The IAEA would certainly still exist to perform its watchdog role of ensuring “that States comply with their commitments, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other non-proliferation agreements” (taken from the IAEA Mission Statement).

          The IAEA has as part of its mandate the job of promoting nuclear energy, …

          No, it doesn’t. Where in the IAEA Mission Statement does that appear? The only thing that IAEA is supposed to “promote” is safety standards and the protection of human health and the environment against ionizing radiation.

          Energy conservation is as important as new green alternatives. Why we need endless lighting over intercity highways is ludicrous, that’s what headlights are for. without much change in lifestyle it would be feasible to save part of the 20% of power that nuclear provides in the US or the 2% in some other country and make up the rest with renewables right now with the budget slated for new reactors. How many billion was that?

          You problem is that you have no sense of perspective. You refuse to think quantitatively.

          The Department of Energy has estimated that “outdoor stationary” lighting (“which incorporates lighting installations such as street lighting, airport runway systems, traffic signals, and billboard lighting” — i.e., all outdoor lighting that is not mobile, such as automobile headlights) constitutes just 8% of the US national energy use for lighting, the smallest of the four categories considered. Since lighting accounts for only about 22% of the total electricity generated in the US, that means that “outdoor stationary” lighting constitutes only 1.7% of the US electricity use.

          Meanwhile, even though their power use was “less than was expected,” data centers in the US recently consumed “between 1.7 percent and 2.2 percent” of the US’s total electricity use. This is just for the web servers, mind you. It doesn’t include the residential electricity consumed by the computers used to read what these servers provide.

          Thus, I think it’s reasonable to speculate that if we were to shut down every blog, website, and chat room that promotes “energy conservation” and “new green alternatives,” the US would save more electricity than if it turned off every streetlight in the country. Why we need endless dribble over conservation and “green alternatives” is ludicrous, not from a hyperbolic perspective (which you like to indulge in), but from a quantitative perspective. This dribble costs real kilowatt-hours.

          Perhaps thinking outside the box …

          Is that what you think you are doing?! Really? Your entire comment (except when you explained how you are qualified to be a Maytag repairman) has been a parroting of idiotic claims and statements made by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and other anti-scientific “environmental” organizations. What makes you think that what you have written here is new and something that I have not read before?

  80. Ok Brian, for a start my Alias was blocked only after posting the links, each were an example of Articles covering the subjects of discussion. and each were found on the first page of a google search just as a quick example. I could dig up a whole lot more from reputable sources.

    I have respected this board and not reposted them, though one has to wonder why they were any threat if they were merely conspiracy trash. and please don’t respond by saying its in the name of minimizing fear mongering and spreading unwarranted panic, as this would have been a perfect moment to dispel anything i said.

    I’m not going to get caught up in your name calling and other condescending gibberish. Again you focused on anything apart from the subject matter. except that from what i could make out that lighting was more or less consuming what nuclear provides in the US which is an interesting fact i had not researched but isn’t relevant to whether nuclear is safe or not. anyway redundant highway lighting was but an example. there are infinite areas where efficiency can be improved.

    One of my main points was that you dont have to be an expert in any particular field to see the obvious truth about the potential horrors of nuclear disasters, lots of which are now being experienced by people just like you and I right now and lots that soon will be whether it be health or displacement. The other being the dangers to entire economies on a broad scale and the lack of information and warnings given to the public.

    I will just leave it at that, anyone who questions anything discussed here can simply Google it and they will find a wealth of information out there, make up your own minds on what you beleieve.

    I agree to disagree but if you want to continue your ridicule crusade against me then i will gladly play along, but i am going to provide links to back up my words and i don’t care if i need 20 usernames to get the point across.

    1. Sorry, Joe Blow, it’s too late to try to gain the moral high ground here. It’s rather sad that Mr. “I-don’t-care-if-i-need-20” (anonymous) “usernames-to-get-the-point-across” is the same person who recently wanted “to log every username and identify and keep a track of exactly who said what when they knowingly lied the public.”

      So, you want to track and persecute everyone who doesn’t agree with your flawed reasoning and wild fantasies, but you’re willing to use 20 (or more) aliases to protect your identity?

      You’re pathetic. Please, in the future, keep your Gestapo fantasies to yourself.

      Meanwhile, I won’t mind if you tuck tail and run, leaving “Google” as your final flawed argument.

    2. @Joe Blog II

      If you want to play with the big boys, you need to have the ability to read and understand scientific, engineering and medical materials that might not be available via a simple search of the free web. Believe it or not, there is a wealth of knowledge about the world that still gets printed on dead trees by people who produce information for a living and who need to be compensated for sharing that information so that they can not only cover their costs, but so that they can actually eat a few meals now and again.

      It is not always necessary for someone to pay to review these materials; we have these large public buildings called “libraries” that often have subscriptions that they are allowed to share in limited circumstances – you might actually have to leave your keyboard and physically visit the building.

      Some of the best of these libraries are associated with institutions called “universities” where people like Brian spend years developing their knowledge by reading, doing home work, and attending lectures given by people who do not casually type in search terms to find out what pops up. They are people who do not simply believe whatever reinforces their prior system of faith while discarding anything that disagrees.

      I tend to like people who have taken the time to develop expertise in a field before they attempt to enter into serious conversations that just might influence actions in the real world.

      Finally – if you insist on posting useless links without context, I will delete them as the spam that they are. It is incumbent on me to try to keep the comment threads clean and safe from nefarious links that go some places that might be a danger to the systems of any user that clicks on them.

  81. Brian, with spam, identity theft and all sorts of other dangers on the web i rarely use my real name, whats the point? and whats your point? What difference would it make if i used my real name and added a photo?
    For a start my reason for posting here is out of concern for the Japanese and all of our futures, while yours is dictated by a personal and probably financial interest in your chosen industry.
    There is nothing wrong about holding people responsible for their actions if they have caused harm to others. That is what our justice systems are there for. I truly hope no warnings were necessary for the US, or Japan, or even for you being on the west coast for that matter, i wish the whole thing hadn’t happened. But as i said Europe had a warning and it is a lot further downwind.

    I finished my studies before the internet became commonplace, In Spain, India, the US and then the UK. Of each of those countries i would say from experience that the US was roughly 1-2 years behind on most subjects i studied (and about 10 on Geography) and i managed to jump up to junior or even senior classes from my sophomore year. I have lived in most European countries, and traveled extensively in Asia and parts of Africa. I speak 4 languages fluently, My world view is probably a lot more complete than either of you.
    Don’t assume that i am a handyman because i made a point of being technically minded. I currently reside in Spain, and believe it or not they have libraries and universities here too, which are free to everyone, also every library has plenty of computer terminals and Wi-Fi for some strange reason. I specialize in CAD design and plastic injection molding, I have invested years in learning very complex software and sculpting prototypes in various materials for testing, so if you would like to talk about tensile strengths, mass, melting points, elasticity, density/temperature relationships or the advantages/shortcomings of different 3d design software packages then great. Alongside I am also a certified sound engineer and studied Web design including PHP programming. I am Licensed to drive Trucks, Buses, Cars and Motorcycles, which by the way you need to study for in Europe. The difference is my chosen activities doesn’t concern you like yours does me.

    I have no interest in hanging with you “big boys?” learning useless facts about the internal workings of reactors. I am here out of concern for my health, the health of my children, the public’s health, and future generations, that’s it. Unfortunately have to share this dear little planet called home. The facts a citizen of this planet needs to know are: is it safe? what levels are safe? is the situation under control? Can this happen again? what levels are we being exposed to? It is easy to find and understand the answers to all but the last question. So what is it? Why have the stations been close down and why are there no figures being officially released if there is nothing to worry about?

    Is your blind obsession with nuclear Energy intelligent? lets have a look at wind power for a moment, i am no expert, but i doubt you are either so we may be on equal footing here at least.
    The US is second only to China in wind generation, but if you consider the EU as a whole it would be third, then if you break down to the country level and consider population then Denmark leads the way with 21% and Spain almost the same at 20% and the US -JUST 2.3 PERCENT-. China is currently investing 4 times more in wind generation than the US and studies show that wind farms could provide all of China’s needs by 2030. Even Spanish wind power companies are moving into the US and tiny little Denmark manufactures around half of the worlds wind turbines. Spain will also move away from nuclear when the current reactors expire and renewable are already providing over 30 percent of Spain’s energy needs. THAT IS A HUGE NUMBER. There are plenty of ways of storing energy during peak hours for later use, of the top of my head perhaps Flywheel Storage, pumping water to higher ground, compressed air, Or intelligent autonomous manufacturing that uses power when its more abundant and cheaper, I have never even looked any of this up but I’m sure this area could be full of opportunities for employment positions and profit. For Brian to dismiss websites and discussions devoted to development of green energy alternatives as a mere waste of server power consumption is absurd and actually shows how far you guys will go for the sake of your argument.

    Before you slate me for finding those figures online, yes that was gleaned from a 10 minute search on Wikipedia, A bunch of facts that are not particularly useful for me to study in more detail (and probably wont be up to date in any library textbooks BTW or even Wikipedia for that matter) but is something you bunch of cowboys should be concerned with on a nationalistic level, Its incredible to see the worlds once dominant superpower slide so quickly down the ladder. the US national debt is shocking, and apart from a few large software/computer/web and junk food/drink companies there is not much US innovation visible on this side of the Atlantic or any other place. The biggest planes, fastest trains, best cars, largest ships, largest and most advanced scientific experiments (including fusion reactors) and now substantial sustainable energy production are all non US endeavors. Consumerism is your contribution to the world. Homelessness and poverty and lack of healthcare are of a level you wont find anywhere in western Europe and resemble third world countries. maybe there’s a little management problem over there. A quick profit for the privileged today and not much long term strategy?

    So while many countries create a thriving new industry sector providing millions of jobs and getting ever closer to energy independence you guys can keep building and maintaining your dangerous legacy plants that suck up Billions in R&D potential and still need imported fuel, and then at the end of their life-cycle end up costing almost as much to decommission as building them in the first place while leaving a huge pile of residual poison, the burden of which goes to the taxpayer, not the company that made profits for all those years for some strange reason. and that is if things go according to plan and nothing blows, otherwise god help you.

    I understand you guys will fight for it, -you have yourself stated- you have too much vested interest in your industry, after all you have put in all those years of study. what else could you do? Maybe you are so close to the problem you cant even see it. Perhaps you could do something about the waste already lying around. that would be very noble cause. That is if there actually is anything that can be done about it. Sweep it under the carpet is the likely (cheapest) option (Under a mountain that is)

    The aggressive arguments and tactics used along with the downplaying of risks and severity of this disaster along with the complete non existence of any kind of international effort, or capability to deal with this situation, or coverage should be of great concern to anybody alive. And the more one reads into it the more it looks like a real bad step in the wrong direction. I cant quite see what you guys are seeing obviously. maybe it is the paycheck?

    And Rob, A question that you claimed to be knowledgeable about but didn’t answer: what are the procedures that are in place when a reactor melts down? We didn’t see (a standard) procedure at Chernobyl or Fukushima. what are those safety guidelines and how should they be executed in this case, and why weren’t they?

    Containing information is the priority rather than containing the radioactive fallout.

    And finally, if i promise only to post links to sites such as NYtimes, CNN, Forbes, Wikipedia, The Independent, etc, in other words reputable sites – may I?

    1. Joe – I think that you have officially graduated to the level of intolerable bore. Congratulations. Your rambling drivel is actually painful to read.

      For what it’s worth, Spain is currently on the verge of bankruptcy and its anyone’s guess whether they will need to be bailed out of their current financial woes (like Portugal) within the next year. So I wouldn’t go around bragging too loudly about what Spain is doing. The Spanish government is hardly the model of fiscal responsibility, and it is not difficult to see that the money that is has thrown down the rat-hole of “renewable energy” has contributed to its downfall.

  82. As usual, no continuation of the subject. As I said: Who I am is unimportant. I am not Spanish and don’t have any nationalistic preference. In fact the US is very dear to me and i have many great friends there. I don’t even care whose soccer team wins in the Euro finals. You can say whatever you want about Spain but it doesn’t have a $14 trillion national debt. Who you are Brian is also unimportant. You are but a pawn in someone else s game. But you are part of the problem that will probably be the cause of many of our deaths. CANCER.
    What is the standard procedure for a meltdown? Oh, change the subject cos there isn’t one. THERE IS NO STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR A MELTDOWN. The Russians did a pretty good job with Chernobyl but sacrificed many innocent unknowing souls. The Japanese are thinking of building a tent over one melted through reactor, what about the other 2 plus 3 spent fuel pools? one of which contains MOX fuel. THOUSANDS OF TONS OF WASTE (not 57 tons like Chernobyl) The problem is getting worse every day that goes by. Search the news and you will find.

    Watching the news with Fort Calhoun, Cooper, then Anna Nuclear plants it is clear that it is only a matter of time until the lid comes off one of them. The only pleasure for me will be that you bunch of criminals takes a hit. I will cry for the damage to the innocent and the ecosystems of the planet. You don’t fit with my vision of what humanity can accomplish at all.

    Anyway this thread is long dead. a bit like you, BTW Germany has generated 28 percent of its energy through renewable s since the beginning of 2011 as well as over 30% for Spain.

    The Only way Nuclear is competitive price per Kw is because it does not include:
    Decommissioning the plant: $1-3 billion (to the taxpayer)
    Long term storage(possibly hundreds of thousands of years- put a price on that if you can)
    And god forbid (but statistically certain) a Nuclear catastrophe costing trillions of dollars and countless lives.

    you people are completely insane however you look at it. I hope your leaders wake up in time…

    1. Who I am is unimportant.

      Joe – I already know who you are, because I have dealt with countless deluded simpletons just like you for years and years. Nothing you say, no matter how stupid, can surprise me. I’ve seen it all.

      You can say whatever you want about Spain but it doesn’t have a $14 trillion national debt.

      Spain is a smaller country. The per capita national debt of Spain is higher than that of the US. Furthermore, Spain’s credit ratings are substantially lower than the US, even after the recent downgrade of the US credit rating by Standard and Poor’s.

      But you are part of the problem that will probably be the cause of many of our deaths. CANCER.

      Our lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer is roughly 42%. Of course, a cancer diagnosis is not an absolute death sentence, so our chance of dying from cancer is less than that. I hardly see how I personally am increasing this risk, but then again, it is up to you to pick your own delusions.

      BTW Germany has generated 28 percent of its energy through renewables since the beginning of 2011 as well as over 30% for Spain.

      I find that claim to be rather dubious, since the IEA statistics from a couple of years ago indicate that both Spain and Germany generated only about 8% of their energy (TPES) from all renewables combined. To provide some context, Germany generated 24% of its energy from coal, while Spain generated a whopping 47% of its energy from oil (most of it imported, of course).

      Considering only electricity, Germany generated only 16% of its electricity from “renewables” (if you want to call burning trash “renewable” — it’s certainly not very clean), whereas 46%, almost half, came from coal. Spain did better than Germany, however, with 21% of its electricity coming from “renewables,” a little over half of what it gets from burning “clean” natural gas (39%).

      Not surprisingly, the amounts from the “boutique” renewables (wind and solar) are much less (11% for Spain and 7% for Germany). The statistics cited above for renewables include a substantial dose of hydroelectric and burning stuff, with all of the air pollution that this entails.

      I seriously doubt that these numbers have changed very much in a couple of years.

      The Only way Nuclear is competitive price per Kw is because it does not include: Decommissioning the plant …

      That is a blatant lie. (Hint: Google “nrc decommissioning fund”)

      Long term storage(possibly hundreds of thousands of years- put a price on that if you can)

      Another lie. (Hint: Google “nuclear waste policy act”)

      And god forbid (but statistically certain) a Nuclear catastrophe costing trillions of dollars and countless lives.

      Now you are off in fantasy land, but I guess that’s where trolls belong.

  83. Ok maybe i rushed in all guns blazing without proper data on Spain, I was shocked and angry yet again at the increasing fallout accumulating hundreds of kilometers over Japan and increasingly Tokyo. Though Spain is a very modern country now, back in the 80s it was quite literally third world compared to the US. It has come a long way very quickly.

    About Cancer, Its quite hard to find data on cancer rates pre 1945 (Nuclear war on Japan and subsequent nuclear testing for decades, and at least 6 major accidents). I am quite sure that cancer did not affect 42 percent of the population and reckon that all the Radiation now floating around our Biosphere has something to do with it (not all of course as there are plenty of other pollutants). I have tried researching this but its not easy to find much data at all pre 1945 which probably supports the theory.

    Wind power in Spain is now 16%, Solar 2.7%,

    21% Denmark, 18% Portugal, 14% in the Republic of Ireland, and 9% in Germany (4 provinces in Germany reaching 42-52% of demand) 2.6% United States (Wikipedia- I know- but im not writing a book)

    Ok the claim that decommissioning costs go to the taxpayer was also found on Wikipedia. I cant find it now but you may want to track that down and correct it if it is not true. Here is what i did come across in my search:

    Additional nuclear power costs (Wikipedia:Cost of electricity by source-Bottom of page)

    Nuclear power plants built recently, or in the process of being built, have incurred many cost overruns. Those being built now are expected to incur further cost overruns due to design changes after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.[24]

    Nuclear power has in the past been granted indemnity from the burden of carrying full third party insurance liabilities. Power companies in the UK currently carry insurance capped at £140 million, in accordance with the Paris convention on nuclear third-party liability, the Brussels supplementary convention, and the Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damage.[25]

    This is a tiny fraction, in the order of 1%, of the full cost of a major nuclear accident of the kind that occurred at Chernobyl or Fukushima. An April 2011 report by Versicherungsforen Leipzig, a Leipzig company that specialises in actuarial calculations shows that full insurance against nuclear disasters would increase the price of nuclear electricity by €0.14/kWh ($0.20/kWh) to a staggering €2.36/kWh ($3.40/kWh).[

    In any case storing waste under a mountain is hardly a solution, what if something went wrong like a quake, explosion, accident?

    Why does the US not reprocess spent fuel like France?

    Why no Fast Breeder, Thorium, reactors like you mentioned before?

    The situation is still deteriorating in Japan, and soon no human or robot intervention may even be possible. that would mean continued releases for decades (please correct me if i am wrong) What kind of economic Damage do you see in such a situation? merely billions?

    Brian in your professional view, why hasn’t the whole thing been sealed in concrete like Chernobyl? even if it did cost trillions and was funded by every country on Earth?
    Is it simply impossible?
    A mistaken attempt at saving cash?
    The Japanese Saving Face or,

    It would appear that the Chernobyl method is allready too late. Correct?

    A lot of questions i know… maybe being a pro you can shed some light on the subject.

    1. @Joe Blog II:
      The situation is still deteriorating in Japan, and soon no human or robot intervention may even be possible.

      What do you mean?

      1. Well there are a couple of areas with readings of over 10 Sieverts/hour OUTSIDE the containment buildings in the last week, enough to kill in minutes, and the spent fuel pool 1 has doubled its release over the past 2 months for example. robotic circuitry gets fried quickly in those conditions as well. As it is works shifts have to be extremely short already.

    2. About Cancer, Its quite hard to find data on cancer rates pre 1945 (Nuclear war on Japan and subsequent nuclear testing for decades, and at least 6 major accidents). I am quite sure that cancer did not affect 42 percent of the population …

      Er … that’s because much of the population back then didn’t live long enough to be diagnosed with cancer.

      A century ago, the number three cause of death in the US was “diarrhea,” just behind “tuberculosis” the number two cause of death.

      Now, I don’t know about you, but I have known people who have died because of cancer, but I have never met anyone who was killed by tuberculosis, and I call that progress.

      The “high” incidence of cancer (is it all that high?) has nothing to do with “nuclear war” or nuclear power. Rather, it is a consequence of the success of our advances in medical technology and public health campaigns.

      Believe it or not, we’re all going to die eventually. If bacterial or viral disease don’t claim us sooner then old-age diseases like cancer will claim us later. The important question is whether people are dying from diseases that affect the young or diseases that are mostly confined to the old.

      Rather than speaking from ignorance, perhaps you should research this for yourself.

      1. For one, cancer is not necessarily an old persons disease especially around Chernobyl, and second, i am not talking about the middle ages but pre 1945. plenty of people lived over 50. also as indeed our life expectancy increases due to improvements in medicine then all the more reason to be concerned over long term exposure to strontiom, plutonium etc. The longer the life the longer the exposure.

        Anyway no answers to the simple questions i asked. Obviously the answers are anything but simple.

        1. Joe – If there is one thing that is consistent on the Internet, it is that simpletons will show up looking for simple answers to stupid questions. I’m all too happy to disappoint them.

          Nobody is talking about the middle ages, but since you brought it up, plenty of people lived to be more than 50 years old even back then. Once more, you are dodging the issue, because your stupidity has been exposed, and you need to change the subject.

          Let’s not forget that you are the one who is claiming that “it’s quite hard to find data on cancer rates pre-1945”; nevertheless, in the same paragraph you are “quite sure that cancer did not affect 42 percent of the population.”

          Quite sure, why? On what do you base your faith? You’ve already admitted that you have no empirical data to back up your certainty. What makes you so sure?

          I wish that just once you would have something solid to back up your nonsense. Debunking BS that is simply made up on the spot (such as your Chernobyl reference) gets boring after a while.

          Now, please go away unless you have something substantial to contribute here. None of your comments thus far have met that criterion. As I have pointed out earlier, you are an intolerable bore. I don’t know whether you are stoned are just stupid, but nobody here (except me) is paying attention to you any more, and I’m about to kick that bad habit.

          Feel free to call that a victory if you want. You can brag about how you bored a web blog into submission with your stupid questions. Based on what you have written here, I’m willing to believe that you might actually be proud of such an accomplishment. Have fun with it.

  84. Actually it is you who is dodging the issue. Even though you have taken the time to respond in long drawn out replies you have not once responded to the concerns i have raised, not answered a single question i asked, not shed any light on any solutions to the problems that nuclear power has brought to the world. I don’t care, it was a test of what you guys are all about. I wasn’t expecting anything else.
    you are good at ridicule though, ill give you that- and sidestepping- and changing the subject- and name calling.

    I almost think you are simply ill informed over the true situation in Japan, but then of course you cant be that dumb in your line of work. which only leaves one explanation… Your livelihood depends on keeping this toxic industry going and you would probably sell your own mother to do it. A weak mind.

    I will bow out of this enlightening encounter and leave you with a quote that fits you people quite well. Thanks for educating me on your tactics, very interesting. I am a little less naive than when i first jumped in.

    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

    1. … which only leaves one explanation Your livelihood depends on keeping this toxic industry going and you would probably sell your own mother to do it. A weak mind.

      You dare to insult my entire profession and the thousands of hardworking professionals who not only work every day to uphold the highest standards of engineering practices, but who also adhere to the most stringent ethical standards?! And yet, you won’t even reveal your real name?!!

      You have no idea how much contempt I have for you right now. You’re nothing but a sniveling little coward, an ignorant, insignificant little turd, tossing insults that you won’t personally take credit for as you hide behind the shelter of a made-up name.

      I will bow out of this enlightening encounter …

      And we’re so sad to see you go. You’ve been such a pleasant guest. Please don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      I hope that I have provided you with some insight into how rational people think. We don’t cherry pick nonsense off of anti-nuclear websites. We rely on real, hard data and a solid understanding of scientific fundamentals. Those are our “tactics,” and I hope that the “education” you take with you will benefit you sometime in the future, but I have my doubts, since your parting “tactic” is to insult an entire field of professionals who apparently have slighted you by simply being better educated than you.

      How classy.

      … and leave you with a quote that fits you people quite well.

      If you want to play dueling Einstein quotes, try this one on for size:

      “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

      Perhaps you should take a cold, hard look at the chip on your shoulder, which you brought here with the sole purpose of trying to push your agenda that is rooted in disinformation.

      1. ‘It’ dares to insult the profession due to ignorance. A quality which is rife in the luddite camp.

        It is due to ignorance and misguided preconceptions that luddites tend to believe that people in the industry are “lazy arsed sods” who don’t care about the environment but only do care about profits.

        Nothing could be further from the truth, I have experience from several industries but none can compete with the dedication of nuclear professionals especially when it comes to safety and regards for the environment.

        But how do you argue with people who only sees liars and demons when ever the word “unclear” is mentioned?

  85. I have no degree and have been a paid toilet cleaner and am also a bit of a luddite, at least in that i think technology should be sensible. Brian what you see as fantasy is in fact your lack of imaginaton, or duplicity? I kind of hope its not the latter but on the other hand I think the sobriquet traffic cops is likely for you and your mate.

  86. I’ve read many things on the subject since the crisis started. Not the conspiracy theorists stuff. This blog. The IAEA reports. Many source within the Japanese mainstream media. My understanding is that media, and some governments (no all) have been actively trying to downplay the effects of the accident. Experts assessed the situation wrongly. Media lied. This is wrong but it is never too late for serious investigative reporting. We need nuclear watchdogs. I would agree that we need serious ones, fully conversant with what is discussed here, who can back up their claims with facts. Not propaganda. Irrational people are just not making this easier, on both sides of the debate.

    Once thing emerges though: for the people, nuclear is not the future, this is well understood by the German government. Angela Merkel has a scientific background. Her government’s decision to phase the country out of nuclear had partly to do with upcoming elections, sure, but it also genuinely reflected the public opinion and this is also how democracy works – and *should* work.

    Now, look at France, Elysée is pro nuke. Do you trust these guys when it comes to design and technology, or do you admire Germany’ state of the art, top of the world engineering and innovation capacity? Siemens is withdrawing from its nuclear industry involvement. Why do you think this is? This was 20th century tech. Obsolete, costly, dangerous and at risk of falling into the wrong people’s hands like any industry flirting too much with secrecy. Siemens’ decision follows the clear positioning of German society and politics for a pullout from nuclear energy. As such it is also a reflection of democracy.

    If there were referendum, I bet with you most countries would withdraw from nuclear power generating, including France.

    1. I hate to rain on your tiarade but Germany is pulling 100-160 million euros/year (from now until 2022) from carbon reduction funds and funnels it into investments into coal power plants. I have still to find figures on what the total spend on coal in Germany will be until nuclear is supposed to be shut down.

      I don’t know about you, but replacing nuclear with coal is not good for the environment, but still that is what Germany is doing.

      If the French public knew what turning their back on nuclear would entail (France has ~80% electricity from nukes) I am sure they would demand more plants.

      I think you will find that the Fukushima disaster will not be significant in the long run, for the local ecology it is even a good thing…

  87. Well you are quite right to point out that Germany will – and, as a matter of fact already started – produce more coal. They will also import electricity from France and this will likely come from some French NPP. This is the price to pay and certainly a criticizable part of the German energy plan in the first phase (that will also make Germany less energy independent). On the long run though, Germany will consolidate its position as a leader of alternative energy. There is a lot to gain from that. Being a trend-setter, not a follower is key in this strategy. And I do believe German leaders know this, considered it carefully and decided this rationally.

    As for saying Fukushima disaster will not be significant in the long run this is completely wrong, and misleading. Everybody knows in Japan that the cost will be incalculable. Tepco is already bailed out by the Japanese state and Japanese taxpayers will pay for this for decades to come; just read the Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri and others Japanese mainstream media, they talk about it everyday.

    I would love to hear rational arguments on how the local ecology in Fukushima would benefit in any way from the disaster.

    I’d love to believe dumping contaminated water in the ocean improve the regional ecology as well, but that seems far out.

    Maybe you are just trying to stir the conversation a little with a bold controversial claim – that’s ok with me.

  88. Rational argument about the contamination of ecology around Fukushima;
    It will preclude humans from interfering with the ecology! The pacific ocean is a large body of water and will dilute the spill to below detectable levels soon enough…

    Compare it with he exclusion zone around Pripyat, the ecology is thriving as the human population is very limited.

    Rational enough for you? Or perhaps too rational…

  89. You people are morons. How can you honestly defend nuclear energy? It is a way of boiling water that results in radiaoctive material, the disposal of which has still not been figured out so all spent material (still highly radioactive) sits on site. But hey, it is will remain radioactive for thousands of years, so, I guess we have plenty of time how to deal with it right? There is no safe way to mine for the fuel, ‘burn’ it and then dispose of it. It kills, deforms and causes long term health issues. This is not a valid long term solution to energy needs. Anyone who thinks that it is (or says that it is) is being intellectually dishonest.

    1. Nuclear power kills, deforms and polutes the least of all the currently available energy sources in existance today [WHO, EXTERNE].

      We mine for iron and rare metals, this is no different from mining for Uranium. Are you saying we should stop all types of mining?

      Every year 32 kilo tons of Uranium is flushed out by the worlds rivers into the oceans by natural processes, this is enough to supply every human on earth with about 3-4 kW using open fuel cycles.

      Accidents happen in all industries, regardless of origin. The questions are;
      Would you have an energy source that constantly kills 15-200 people/TWhe or 0.004 /TWhe?
      Would you like to have an energy source that just lets all of its spent fuel escape through a vent stack or an industry that actually takes care of 99.99999% of its waste?
      Would you prefer an industry that actually can provide a large part of our energy needs today and for the forseable future or one that may only continue for about 50-100 years?
      And finally would you like to rely on an energy source that is governed by weather patterns and available sunlight or one that will continue to produce electricity regardles of the weather (most of the time)?

      Think about this and let me know what an viable energy source would be.

  90. “including the health effects of radioactive particles so tiny that you cannot even measure them, but that are certain to cause bad effects if you happen to breathe just one. (A patent absurdity when it comes to radioactive particles, by the way.)”

    So Rod, I assume when you are handling, or are in close proximity to, nuclear material you go bare back? No protection? No dosimeter? No protective clothing? No mask? Please tell me you are the stud you claim to be and the rest of us are scared of radioactive particles for no reason.

    1. Dosimeters do not provide protection – they provide a way to measure the dose. Read what I said – if trained people using sophisticated devices cannot measure the particles they do not exist.

      I have often entered areas that were “potentially” contaminated without any breathing protection or even anti-contamination clothing AFTER they have been surveyed and found to be clean.

      I am not telling you that you should not be careful about radiation and radioactive material that exists – I am telling you that you should not be concerned when it has been MEASURED to exist at levels so low that it is not dangerous.

  91. @Matte “Nothing could be further from the truth, I have experience from several industries but none can compete with the dedication of nuclear professionals especially when it comes to safety and regards for the environment.”

    What regard to the environment? The nuclear industry continues to burn through fuel at full speed with no disposal plan and no contingency plan. Ooops, my bad, there is a contingency plan: store the fuel on site in a pool until it cools down, then put it in concrete casks in the parking lot until we figure out where to dump something that is going to be highly radioactive for thousands of years. That, and we can spread it all over the middle east in the form of munitions called “depleted uranium.” Very environmental of you. Ethical too.

    1. No – we put it out in the well designed containers in the parking lot until such time as we decide it is worthwhile to reuse it. The material still contains 95-97% of its initial potential energy. Enough of us know that throwing that material away would be really stupid, so we have worked hard to prevent short term efforts designed to do that.

  92. @Derek

    Inspite of your tone I will answer your waste concerns. Ever heard of KBS-3? No!? Google it, there is a answer to the nuclear fuel issues. Not the best solution but a perfectly workable one. Oklo showed us how it can be done in bed rock that is absolutely soaking in water.

    It is in large part thanks to people like you that America does not have a politically viable solution to the nuclear fuel waste issue. The solution is not technical, we know how to do it safely, problem is people like you stopping it from happening due to ignorance. Or is it more like religious fervour that the nuclear industry is bad/evil and must be stopped at any cost?

    But then burrying the fuel is the worst option, PRISM, IFR or any other 4th generation reactor can and will use the waste as fuel. Sure, some will still require disposal in repositories for a few hundred years after which they will be a valuable source of rare metals. Oh dear, yet again a political issue not a technical one as it can and has been done already.

    But then I suppose you like the coal industry, I suppose you could continue to burn coal like ever before. I hear mountain top mining in West Virginia is really good for the environment and the communities there, but perhaps that is just the EPA being lapse about regulating the mining industry, what do I know…?!

    A persons life time of electricity from nuclear produces about a handful of nuclear waste.
    How do you dispose of the 15-20 kg (33-44 pounds) of waste that your consumerism is responsible for every year that can’t be recycled and is too poisonous to dispose of? Mind you, this waste does not decay away like nuclear fuel waste. Ah, you didn’t think of that either, oh dear…

    Nuclear has the least environmental impact of any energy generation technology to date. It is comparable to both wind and hydro. Solar is still playing in the fossile fuels league. Nuclear kills less people per generated MWh of produced electricity, so I have to say that you are right (missplaced irony or not) nuclear is very ethical, especially when you compare it to the alternatives, including any renewable sources of energy.

    I do agree with you, using depleted uranium on the battle field is downright stupid. But then any armed force has never impressed me with their latteral thinking abilities…

  93. Hey Rod Adams
    You such an expert on nuclear stuff, get down there and help clean it up. They’ll pay you well and you know it’s all safe!

  94. Rod Adams, how many rads can YOU take…hmmm? BE A MAN!!! Go walk around inside those Fukushima reactors– ONLY A REAL MAN CAN DO THAAAT!!!!

    1. Like all humans beings, I have a physiology that has evolved on a radioactive planet. The best science available tells me that I can be exposed to about 10 rem per year (which equals 10 rad if the radiation is gamma) without any risk at all.

      That is about 100 mSv per year, which is 100 times as much as most areas outside of the gates of the Fukushima power station and 2 times as high as the highest radiation areas outside of the gate.

      No one should walk around inside any reactors without a great deal of care and attention to time, distance and shielding. The same statement can be made about the inside of a furnace.

  95. Rod says,
    “Quite honestly, I have become tired of the effort required to respond and debunk each of his false claims.”

    Psychopathic liars always get tired of their lies, so much effort is put into the lies…

    The truth never gets tired and those who tell it will never give up…ENENews.com

    Good night Rod

    1. @LLRadsKill

      I assume that you ignored the date (March 18, 2011), the caution about the lack of maturity of the information, and the fact that the statement is unsourced (how does a country report anything) and without any details.

      Other than that, great find. This should make headlines and disuade the world from believing all of the other reports out of Japan and the recently released report from the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) which has done the measurements and reviewed all of the data to conclude the following:

      Separately on Wednesday, a U.N. scientific body said that several TEPCO-related workers were “irradiated after contamination of their skin,” but that no clinically observable health effects had been reported.

      “Six workers have died since the accident but none of the deaths were linked to irradiation,” said a statement issued in Vienna on the interim findings of a study by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiation (UNSCEAR).


  96. Rod, My question should be simple. My husband’s company wants us to relocate to Tokyo three to five years. We should be moving the next six to twelve months. If I were a member of your family, a daughter, or sister what would you tell me to do? Should I move with confidence that I am not endangering my health or don’t move? I am really struggling with this. I am not a physicist and don’t understand the info that’s out there.

    1. @Kathi

      Move with confidence, as long as you like living in a big city. That is the only health risk you are taking in moving to Tokyo.

  97. Please let me know your credentials.. they seem far less than Gundersons experience. SO you are pro nuclear– well of course you wnt to discredit him. Why isnt anyone concerned with the stockpiles of enriched plutonium 5o meters or less from the leaning reactor 4?Why doesnt the international community insist that these fuel rods be move asap and out into dry casks before another earthquake hits? Are you saying if this explodes the entire Northern Hemisphere is not at risk? plutonium is the deadliest element on earth. My father died from fallout from the Manhattan Project sunbathing on the lab as a student at University of Chicago. A rare form of leukemia caused by our govts secret testing exposing many thousands to radiaoctive fallout. ie Simi Valley , etc. No concern to the innoent civilian–just money making agendas for producing nuclear waste with no place to safely store it. Once it contaminates all our water suppies we all will die early of leuken=mia and cancers. In southern California we live 5 miles from San Onofre and we have hade many many fundraisers for children with leukemia who live close by. In 5 years I have lost over 50 friends and relatives to brain cancer blood cancers and have 3m ore diagnosed this week. This I believe is from how hard the radiation has hit the bay area–My sister just diagnosd and felt pain in her stomach 5 months ago. Eating radiaoactive contaminated food cesium 137 has been measures in all of us and plutonium. across the US. You are in major denial …
    Before WOrld War 2 before atomic bomb , cancer after has climbed exponentially. Of course the entire toxic society , gmo foods and pesticides have not helped. Check it out. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the signs of our times.All this cancer is not normal. The mummies in Egypt show no signs of cancer. Our toxic society has proliferated a coming generation who will not live to see the age of 50.Please seach your soul andseek God for the truth. You are not able to see clearly and I will pray for you.

    1. *Sigh!*

      Gundersen got sacked from the nuclear industry, that he now hounds, for gross incompetence. He is enbittered and wildly speculative not to mention the only nuclear engineer that “so called greenies” can drum up to actually produce the tripe they call “factual reports”.

      Cancer is related to our prolonged lifespan, the natural background radiation varies more due to geological parameters than fallout from nuclear weapons (you can test this yourself if you can understand the equipment required) so no, manmade radiation is not the cause of cancer.

      The Egyptian mummies don’t show any cancers? Well, ancient Egyptian texts describes malignant tumours often enough and a way for treatment of breastcancer. As to prostate cancer it is quite obvious why mummies don’t have those, you need to look at the pappies to find prostate cancer…

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