1. Rod. Most people are not familiar with things like Avogadro’s number (10^23) so “billions” seems very scary when it is small, in the world of atoms and atomic particles. I just want to say this because if I had read your post as a layman, I might not be reassured by the numbers you quote. Not that I could do better. I would like to think of some other analogy to make it clear that these are not huge events.

    Gundersen has refused to acknowledge that the fuel pools are okay and that radiation is decreasing over time in Japan. He predicted that Fukushima would be “Chernobyl on steroids.” At this point, he seems willing to say anything that will make his prediction appear true. I think that his messages, in the past, were at least somewhat connected to nuclear engineering. Now he often sounds like a Caldicott clone.

    1. I notice Gundersen quotes his neutron flux figures in terms of square meters rather than the more customary square centimeters, so that it will automatically inflate by a factor of 10,000. Gee, why didn’t he use cubic units, then he would have had a million times multiplier! This is similar to other antis who like to quote trivial amounts of radioactivity in terms of Becquerels so they can use humongous, but meaningless, numbers. They are also very fond of picocuries, rather than micro or even millicuries, for the same reason – scare the bejebus out of the untrained laymen.

      As Rod points out, and Gundersen should know, irradiated fuel contains many sources of intrinsic neutrons, including those generated from photofission by strong gammas from the short-lived fission products, and many isotopes that spontaneously fission on their own. In particular, Pu-240 is such a high source of spontaneous fission it is one of the main reasons “spent” reactor fuel is such a poor candidate for weapons production. All of these source neutrons are inputs into the phenomenon of neutron multiplication, which amplifies their numbers significantly even in a reactor far from critical. These will activate other materials just as well as critical neutrons. Maybe Mr. G. should have consulted his old textbooks from RPI before he put his reputation on the line – oh, wait, too late for that!

      Rather than Arnie’s Fukushima as a “Chernobyl on steroids”, it turned out to be more like a Chernobyl on sedatives.

    2. By the way, 400 E9 neutrons/m2 = .4 neutrons/ μm2.

      Four-tenths of a neutron per square micrometer (a vast landscape to a neutron with a diameter of only 6 E-10μm) – everyone ready to run for the hills?

      1. Could you please inflate those number to sizes relative to the size of the earth? If the neutron were a person how large would a square micrometer be?

        1. David,
          Some rough calcs suggest that if a neutron were the size of a person (~2m), then a square micrometer would be a third of a light-year on a side, or about a thousand times larger than the entire solar system.

          Does that help? 🙂

        2. It seems that Bern made a mistake somewhere in his calculations. Considering 1.75m as average height for a person and 1E-15m as the rough diameter of the neutron, the available area for each man-sized neutron would be a square with sides 2.77 million km long, which would be over 7 times the distance from earth to the moon. Pretty large still.

        3. Thank you gentlemen. That is very helpful.. The second number seems more likely for the possibility of actual collision. Still these types of analogies are very helpful at least for a visual person like myself trying to catch a bit of the scale of the events.

  2. I wonder how often Arnie makes these types of errors? I also wonder when was the last time he made any meaningful nuclear calculation-one where a design consideration or operational decision was made.

    I saw one of his videos where he was making a presentation to some civic group on the TMI incident and the amount of radioactive material released. He started off his presentation quoting someone as saying 10% of the volatile fission products may have been released, but then when he gets to the punchline of his talk he says 10% of the fission products. I could be wrong, but there would seem to be a significant difference between 10% of volatile and 10% of all fission products.

    If I were an lawyer representing the side opposite of the one that hired Arnie as an expert witness, I would be collecting these videos filled with gross technical errors and use them to discredit him during the trial.


  3. I would very much like to know who signs this fraud’s paycheck. It is always easy to find a mouth-for-hire with an inflated resume, to hold forth on any topic, and take any position you want. The more interesting question is who is paying them, and why.

    1. For quite a long time, the State of Vermont was forcing Entergy to pay Arnie around $300 an hour, which I believe included travel time. This was because Entergy had a docket before the PSB to renew Vermont Yankee. Just as you must pay the town a fee when the building inspector comes to inspect your house addition, groups with dockets before the PSB are supposed to also pay the State’s cost of reviewing their material.

      Now, Gundersen cannot be hired as an expert witness, I believe, because he has no P.E. license and most states require a P E license for an expert witness on engineering matters. However, the state put together a Public Oversight Panel for the PSB docket, and requirements for that panel were…um…looser. Peter Bradford, Gundersen, and Lochbaum were on that panel at various times. I have heard that Lochbaum (honorably) refused to be paid, since he is already paid by the UCS.

      The Public Oversight Panel member invoices were billed to Vermont (PSB or the Joint Fiscal Office, rather confusing). The State then billed Entergy, who paid the bill. So Entergy paid Gundersen.

      Now that there is a lawsuit and no Oversight Panel, I do not know who is paying Gundersen. Not the PSB and not Entergy. I think Gundersen has contracts with the bigger anti-nuclear groups to write reports for them. I suspect these contracts are not as lucrative as his Vermont Yankee experience with the state of Vermont. Of course, I don’t know, and I don’t think it worth my time to speculate.

      1. The State of Vermont also told Vermont Yankee that it would have to foot the bill for the court fees.

        Vermont Yankee told them that they would not pay Vermont’s legal fees.

  4. Anti-nuclear kooks are fond of placing huge multipliers in front of units that are exceedingly small to make it sound scary. It is a totally transparent and dishonest debating technique for those with the eyes to see.

    I was “debating” with a kook on another blog who was posting things about contamination in the range of 2,700 Bq/kg of 137Cs and how “dangerous” this was and how we were all going to die. When I challenged him to show us how small a unit a Bq really is, all I got was called names.

    It never ceases to amaze me how blatant a double standard there is in this so-called debate. Anti-nuke kooks continuously err grievously yet are considered “experts” and never held to account for their errors and lies, yet those who speak the truth are viewed with suspicion and doubt, and often called liars and industry shills. Yet the real liars and shills, the anti-nook kooks, are let off the hook entirely. In any professional society of any repute, an “expert” like Gundersen would be laughed out of the business and shunned like a leper. Yet he is treated like a hero and rock star in the circle of kooks and the media.

    1. The anti-vaccination people react similarly to anyone pointing out the problems with the ‘evidence’ that vaccines are harmful. They just haven’t had the massive success (& funding?) that the antinuclear crowd has.

    2. But you have to translate these numbers into scales that most people can follow in order to be effective in persuading those reading your posts. What seems obvious and transparent to you about scale and size is not to those reading. I would always translate into medical terms, how much is this equivalent to an x-ray or internally how much is this equivalent to a radiation treatment – say I131 for Thyroid? For most people saying that so many Bq / Kg is equal to 1/100th (or whatever) of a single cancer treatment helps them understand the point.

  5. The comments to his videos has been disabled by the owner of the video (Fairewinds Associates).

    Another sign of a paid liar, stiffling discussion of his comments.

  6. Arnie, along with Helen, likes to say that “A single speck of plutonium will kill you”.

    I’ve wondered before – is that true in the exact same ways as saying “A single lottery ticket will make you a multi-millionaire”?

    That is, in theory, it will be true for someone, somewhere, if that ever happened, but that if millions of people inhaled specks of plutonium, maybe only 1 or 2 would die from it?

    1. @ Jeff S

      No one would probably be affected by specks of plutonium. No other elements has been studied, but two events can be googled easily:

      1) The challenge that Cohen gave to Ralph Nader that he would ingest as much plutonium as Nader would caffeine. Nader never stepped up to the plate

      2) The Manhattan project where humans where given Plutonium to see the effect on their health. Let’s just say that Greenpeace and the UCS ain’t broadcasting the findings.

    2. From the ANL Plutonium health fact sheet:

      “for inhalation (the exposure of highest risk), breathing in 5,000 respirable plutonium particles of
      about 3 microns each is estimated to increase an individual’s risk of incurring a fatal cancer about 1% above the U.S. average.”


      1. So much for inhaling. But let’s remember that plutonium is pretty heavy stuff that does not ‘float’ in the air. It rather has a tendency to stay put and penetrate into the soil.

        You need scientific ingenuity to be able to ‘inhale’ it.

    3. A while back [more than several years], I read an interesting comparison for this spec of plutonium kill a person. The disscussion was a bit more sensational. The statement that a pound of plutonium could kill the entire population of the world was countered with a statement that a single pound of air could also kill the entire population of the world.

      Of course, the key is in the methodology. The plutonium may be deadly in the long term by virtue of very specific application to each person and the resultant cancerous interactions within the body. The possiblility and probability of death by cancer rises. Therefore the death from the exposure to plutonium is a long term effect more like a chronic exposure to the sun.

      On the other hand, the pound of air distributed properly [injected into the bloodstream] can easily kill by viture of air emboulism and quickly.

      Like thousands of compounds that surround us in our everyday lives, plutonium is useful, but not something that you want your kids playing with.

      On a personal basis, I compare it to mercury. Very useful in many applications, but not something every household should keep around. How many of the readers out there remember playing with blobs of mercury in school? I remember rubbing it on pennys to make them shiny silver. Obviously as a society we have learned to control the use of mercury as we need to control the use of plutonium.

      As a side line, the burning of coal in US power plants dispurses tens of thousands of pounds of mercury into the atmosphere anually and I don’t really see the Arnies of the world sounding off to much about it accumulating in our bones etec.

  7. Any public calling-out rebuttals to Arnie, anyone?

    @Meredith Angwin
    If not the mainstream media, that nugget on Arnie should be plastered on the front page of every nuclear carnival blog.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. G. R. L. thank you for the catch. Believe it or not, I thought I had edited the post this morning to explain S-35 production as coming from as an n,p reaction, but apparently I goofed up the version control.

      Oh well. It is corrected now.

      1. So are you saying that he said sulphur but meant chlorine? did he ever apologize and correct that? And if he said chlorine could loose a proton and turn into sulfur 35 he’d be right?

        If that’s the only mistake he made in that 11 minute video it sounds like a good air filter might be in order. Or it
        perhaps it might be time to go camping in the Pripyat wilderness and just get it over with….

        1. Can you read English? Mr Gunderson said sodium and may have meant chlorine. And the correct spelling of sulfur is with a ‘f’ not ‘ph’.

          Rod even edmitted that Mr Gunderson may have made a ‘verbal typo’ and meant chlorine. And no that wasn’t the only mistake he made in that 11 minute video. Did you read the whole post or just enough to cherry pick one comment, twist what was actually said and use that to attack the rest of the post which you decided not to read?

          His major mistake, a mistake that no real nuclear scinetist would ever make, was claiming that since radioactive sulfur was detected then the reactors must have gone critical at some point after the accident because it was the only way to get the neutrons to cause the formation of the radioactive sulfur.

          He also made a mistake about the detected plutonium.

          And then Rod say these are only the mistakes he spotted in the first 3 minutes of the 11 minute video.

          As to camping in the Pripyat wilderness, have you been there lately? It is a beautiful area with abundant wildlife. If you can get permission from the Ukrainian government to go camping there you should jump at the chance. Just be sure and bring the equipment you need to protect yourself from the bears, wolves and wild boar.

        2. What do you mean ‘sulphur’ is an incorrect spelling? It’s an acceptable spelling of the word in many English speaking countries.

        3. What I mean is that the IUPAC adopted the spelling sulfur in 1990. Thus scientifically sulfur is the only correct spelling. The fact that many places still spell it with a ‘ph’ is beside the point because the IUPAC is the recognized world authority in developing standards for the naming of the chemical elements and compounds.

        4. One of the major byproducts of the tar sands is sulphur. Some say it can be used in ‘geo engineering’ to help prevent climate change.

          You have to pump up sulphur in the atmosphere so that it can be used to cool the planet.

        5. ok ok i got it, my spelling sucks. I totally agree, and to top it off my degree is in international relations so i don’t know anything about quantum physics but i do know a little about passive nuclear power and human nature. And i also know nuclear power is the biggest technological breakthru (i like to abreviate to save energy) in human history but can you imagine if the Romans had nuke power when their society collapsed? Who’s going to shut these things down when shit hits the fan? Every empire collapses and this one won’t outlast the half life of cesium.
          I know i sound like a conspiracy theorist to most folks in here, but then most people who read this think the media is liberal, conservatives can manage public money, and the FED is some kind of gov’t run agency. And that is what is so scary.

        6. @Nardox – “Who’s going to shut these things down when shit hits the fan?”

          Without getting too technical, due to intrinsic factors like fuel depletion and fission product buildup, with no operator action a reactor at power will tend to shut itself down over a period of days or weeks.

          If there is a loss of power to the electromagnets that hold the control rods (PWR), the reactor “trips” immediately and shuts down within two seconds.

          After five years in a water-filled pool the used fuel rods can be put into outdoor storage canisters cooled only by natural circulation of air. The French have licensed more efficient designs where the fuel can be transferred in two years. In the pool, depending on the age of the fuel, a few hundred gallons of water a day would provide adequate makeup supply if forced cooling were lost.

          I believe it took the Roman empire a few hundred years from peak to collapse, but it’s a free country so you can still worry about these things if you want to.

  8. @Ross
    I have to query why you have used a clearly erroneous news article to support one of your own assertions when it does not? The information in the news article dated 17 days after the original earthquake is the stuff being fed the news media by the Japanese Government and TEPCo before they admitted how serious the issue actually was/is.
    You stated “the plutonium measurements were consistent with fallout from nuclear weapons detonations”, but the article referred to does not support this. It states, quote:
    “It was unclear where the plutonium had come from. The reactors could be a source, and tests of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, which ended in 1980, left trace amounts of plutonium around the world. The highest levels in the soil, of plutonium 238, were found about 500 yards from the most heavily damaged reactors, the company said.”
    It then goes on to quote a cabinet secretary as saying:
    “…that the makeup of the plutonium in the soil suggested that traces could be escaping the reactors.”
    This is a clear contradiction to what you are saying and does not support your point.

    I fail to understand how you got from there to your position, unless you actually quoted the wrong article? Is there not a better source for your currently unqualified statement?

    In an article about anothers inaccuracies isn’t it better to double check your own points before posting?

  9. Rod,

    In your article you stated:

    “It is not possible to form radioactive sulfur, which has an atomic number of 16, by hitting the nucleus of sodium, which has an atomic number of 11, with neutrons.”

    Would this not be possible, if fantastically unlikely, by a series of neutron captures and beta decays? Decaying that far up the table seems like a bit of a stretch, but I think we should acknowledge the possibility if it exists, however remote. Happy to be educated if this is not physically possible.


    1. @MickH – take a good look at the periodic table. The path that you suggest would include the creation of some elements that currently do not exist.

      There are things that seem possible on paper, but simply would never happen in reality.

  10. ….bottom line is that according to the most extensive study carried out by the New York Academy of Sciences on the death toll and health effects of the Chernobyl Disaster, approximately 985,000 fatalities have occured as a direct result of the CHernobyl release of Radionuclides into the environment SO FAR.

    And the key words to note here are “SO FAR”

    What should also be noted is that the amount of nuclear core material at Fukushima is about 12 times the amount at Chernobyl.

    So perhaps the people commenting in here about trivial typos made by Gundersen and others should consider what lays ahead for the people of Japan and sadly the Northern Hemisphere which will receive extensive radioactive fallout.


    1. Really?

      Then please provide a citation to this extensive study by the New York Academy of Sciences. Something that any ‘Doctor’ worthy of the name wouldn’t even have to be asked as they would have provided it as standard practice.

  11. …..and remember the radionuclides released by Fukushima into the environment will undergo a process BioAccumulation.

    And some point we do need to eat, drink and breathe in the air.

    The Risk model adopted by the IAEA is based upon 1950s data and excludes the effects of internal exposure to radioactive particles.

    So to say that the radiation is decreasing from Fukushima is a meaningless indicator of the cirtical situation that exists in Japan today.

    TO say that the reactors are in cold shut is a luaghable TEPCO claim. considering they dont know WHERE the corium is precisely, its geometry and the temperature profile within it.

    They merely measure the temperature of the water they are circulating around the reactors and throughout the Buildings.

    The integrity of the Sarchophagus at Chernobyl must be be maintained for the next 100,000 years or so (actually more than that because there are still radionuclides inside the corium that have half lifes orders of magnitude greater than 100,000 years)

    So good luck will the self deception the IAEA and the corporately owned Nuclear Power industry which is NOW as we speak the most expensive, most polluting, most dangerous and morally irresponsible power option man has ever devised.

    I suppose the nuclear power industry can sell the by product PLUTONIUM at about $4,000 per gram in order to manufacture WMDs such as Hydrogen bombs.

    That is after all what the primary purpose of the nuclear power industry – isnt it Folks!

    1. No, the primary purpose of the nuclear power industry is to produce power, specifically electrical power. The production of weapons grade Plutonium is actually a very difficult and very expensive process for a commercial nuclear plant, it also amost precludes using the nuclear plant as an effective supplier of electrical power.

      But facts don’t matter to you do they?

    2. “according to the most extensive study carried out by the New York Academy of Sciences on the death toll and health effects of the Chernobyl Disaster, approximately 985,000 fatalities have occured as a direct result of the CHernobyl release”

      It appears you wish to labor under the misperception that NYAS “carried out” this study. In fact, the only thing they had to do with it was to allow it to be printed by their presses. They are starting to realize that was a huge mistake, and a huge blow to their scientific credibility.

      They have issued a strong denial of having anything to do with the content or conclusions of that blatantly flawed “study”. Since Greenpeace apparently never sent you the memo, I will generously supply it.

      Douglas Braaten, Director and Executive Editor ANNALS of the New York Academy of Sciences told George Monbiot: “In no sense did Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences or the New York Academy of Sciences commission this work; nor by its publication do we intend to independently validate the claims made in the translation or in the original publications cited in the work. The translated volume has not been peer-reviewed by the New York Academy of Sciences, or by anyone else.”

      You had better get your facts right before you post here, this isn’t HuffPost.

      “and sadly the Northern Hemisphere which will receive extensive radioactive fallout.”

      “I suppose the nuclear power industry can sell the by product PLUTONIUM at about $4,000 per gram in order to manufacture WMDs such as Hydrogen bombs.
      That is after all what the primary purpose of the nuclear power industry – isnt it Folks!”

      Congratulations, you have marked yourself as one of the biggest idiots to have ever posted here.

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  13. Having read many of the comments here, it appears most of you think Chernobyl and Fukushima are no big deal. There is nothing to worry about. It’s all been blown out of proportion. It’s OK to have radiation go into the ocean. It’s OK to have radiation fall all over Japan and way beyond its borders as the increase in health risk is very small. We should keep building more nuclear plants because they generate power we need.
    Thanks, I feel so much better having been told the facts. I will now support nuclear plants. We don’t need to think of any alternatives, they are good. Events like Fukushima only incrementally cause a very small impact which is insignificant in the scheme of things. The planet is very healthy and a safe place to be.

  14. Nuclear power safe or not ? Is that what should be debated ? I think the engineers who decided to put Fukushima’s backup generators in the basement and the spent fuel high up in concrete buildings were geniuses who deserve the “Darwin Award”. A person in hindsight would not have to be a nuclear engineer to see this as a stupid idea and that is what bothers me. How many other stupid nuclear power station designs are operating right now ?

    Rather than debating the “safety” of existing plants why not spend time coming up with completely fool proof, earthquake proof, terrorist proof nuclear power plants. You guys are the engineers who should be able to rethink this, starting from step one which is that the type of fuel does not have to be one that can also be used for weapons.

  15. I’ve read through a few of the articles here about Arnie Gundersen saying that he is less than truthful about the state of the Fukushima reactors and especially the dangers of the spent fuel rod pool in building #4.

    I am just a regular old US citizen living on the west coast, which Arnie has determined is a more dangerous area to live in (when unit #4 collapses) due to the wind currents we receive from Japan. I never went past intermediate algebra and I never took a chemistry class. So I don’t understand the formation of radioactive sulfur and I don’t understand neutrons, picocuries, Becquerel’s, or ANY of the rest of it.

    All I know is that Arnie Gundersen has me scared out of my britches and thinking that I need to sell my house and everything else I own, and move to the southern hemisphere. In the last video I watched, Arnie said he has advised his friends living in California to get up every morning and make sure that Unit #4 is still standing. If not, he has advised them that they have 9-10 days to go south or else. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItPra2Y0M7Q&feature=related

    I’m getting kind of old to start over and thinking that I should just go down with the ship when unit #4 collapses (as certain as night and day according to Arnie when Japan gets the next 7.0 or above earthquake which they undoubtedly will). However, I have kids here too and I would rather not see them go down as well.

    Then we have Dr. John Apsley telling us about the Petkau Effect and that it doesn’t take large doses of radiation to kill you or make you sick. In fact, it sounds as if the radiation from the Petkau Effect can kill you faster. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petkau_effect

    The last video I watched on the dangers of Fukushima was by Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III (US Army Ret.), President of the Natural Solutions Foundation, an international NGO (non-governmental organization). He says that if we stay in the northern hemisphere, we will surely SICKEN and DIE, and that if we love our families we need to migrate south. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJIEZvX4PZI&feature=related

    He really had me going until (22:00) he gave the sales pitch to buy “clean/unadulterated food” and buy into a private equity fund from his organization. He and Dr. Rima Laibow are in this together http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?page_id=198. A few years ago I noticed that they had some kind of community that people could buy into in the Republic of Panama. I couldn’t find a link to the information at the above website, so did some Google searches to try and locate the information. It looks like many of the links are not working, but I found one that was: http://www.lifespirit.org/NSF-ARC-index.htm I suppose this is what Mr. Stubblebine III is referring to in his video when he asks people to contact him for help in relocating to the southern hemisphere. I haven’t read through this entire website, but it is beginning to look like they (Rima and Stubblebine) want us to buy into their community, work the land to produce food for not only their community, but to sell around the world.

    Realizing that Rima and Stbblebine are probably playing on people’s fears as a business opportunity, that still leaves me with trying to determine the credibility of what Arnie Gundersen, Dr. John Apsley, and of course Dr. Michio Kaku (theoretical physicist) say is true or false (http://enenews.com/kaku-on-spent-fuel-pool-no-4-people-dont-realize-its-on-a-knifes-edge-near-the-tipping-point-audio). And trying to make a decision to stay in my home and go down with the ship, or cut and run to the southern hemisphere if Unit #4 collapses and the entire northern hemisphere will become a dead zone.

    I think the big problem is that those of us, who don’t understand ANYTHING about nuclear energy and the potential dangers, don’t really have enough information or facts to determine the truth.

    In addition, for entertainment I enjoy listening to Coast to Coast AM (although I’m still skeptical of UFO’s and aliens and many of the other things they talk about). They had a “Fukushima Special” show on June 9, 2012 that featured Arnie Gundersen, David Blume, and Dr. John Apsley who were all telling us about the horrors of Fukushima and how the radiation will affect us once unit #4 collapses. http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2012/06/09

    This show is the largest overnight talk show that airs on more than 560 stations around the world and is heard by nearly 3 million weekly listeners. If Fukushima isn’t nearly as dangerous as the guests on the recent show proclaimed, I’d sure like to see YOU folks or others from the nuclear industry get EQUAL AIR TIME with your experts to debunk these people. As I said there are millions of people who heard that show and are probably pretty freaked out. I believe that Coast to Coast AM would be open to having another show with other experts in the nuclear energy field to help dispel any misinformation presented during the “Fukushima Special”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P70jGFRuM_I

    So please tell me (and hopefully the world) what we can expect from Fukushima if the situation continues to deteriorate, including the collapse or Unit #4.

    1. @Caroline

      I’ve read through a few of the articles here about Arnie Gundersen saying that he is less than truthful about the state of the Fukushima reactors and especially the dangers of the spent fuel rod pool in building #4.

      You are being gentle with Apocalypse Arnie – he is lying through his teeth about the dangers of the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Unit #4. Here is a link to an article written and reviewed by a team of nuclear professionals about the situation:


      From your comment, it appears that you recognize that there are some people who are using fear as a tactic in a search for an income stream. I am not saying that any of the jokers that you quoted are getting rich; snake oil salesmen rarely become wealthy. However, they work pretty hard at their craft and are sometimes enabled by media sources that make their money by attracting audiences that they can sell to advertisers, not by telling the truth or informing the public. It is easier to attract an audience by telling interesting stories, even if they are complete fabrications, than by telling the boring truth that there is no danger. That is especially true when the boring truth requires the audience to be able to understand some simple math and some scientific principles.

      Here is a link to an article I wrote about Apocalypse Arnie when he was making $300 per hour as an “expert witness” trying to scare the people of Vermont into forcing a reliable nuclear power plant to shut down because it leaked about 125,000 gallons of virtually pure water that contained the mass equivalent of 1/3 of an aspirin tablet of a weakly radioactive isotope of hydrogen called tritium.


      Please come back to Atomic Insights on a regular basis to hear from people who understand nuclear energy and who seek to inform, not to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt for profit.

      One more thing – you might want to look on a globe to find out that Panama is in the Northern Hemisphere. The canal latitude is 9.0800° N. If Stubblebine is trying to sell land there to people who are trying to move south of the equator, he really is as nutty and dishonest as he seems to be.

  16. Caroline & David;

    Look, I don’t know either of you so I’m not throwing stones, but one can’t be very good parents in the eyes of kids if you allow the rants of a few nuts to sway you out of house and home. As rabidly anti-nuclear the NY Times (within a few dozen miles from Indian Point) and the Hollywood bunch are, you don’t hear those writers and editors and overpaid actors packing up and heading south to avoid glowing clouds. Sure, they’ll protest and picket plants, but hang their lives and livelihoods and homes on what a handful of certified FUD-nuts say? That ought be clue #1. You don’t exactly see green groups and their H.Q.’s leaving town either in the shadow of nuke plants. I’ve always believed that anti-nukes are more philosophically opposed to nuclear power (like a Hiroshima guilt trip or anti-corporation) than against it on safety issues — which you really can’t be without being a public health hypocrite if you prefer fossil energy that is known in reality for generations to’ve killed tens of thousands of their own workers and millions of the public by pollution and lung diseases to this very day lingering in hospital wards — reality! not nightmare scenarios — than a power source in whose worldwide 60-year history — even including its RARE VERY WORST days — in total has killed less people than a small plane crash — and all of that in Russia. Really, if really want to talk hazard and safety this is a no-brainer. You also should know it’s a big ego-boost to such pop-activists to know they could move so many to change their lives just on their word. Ever hear of Jonestown? BTW, please glaring note, how it’s SO very east for Arnie and Helen and their ilk to gather on a radio station and happily spew bedtime nightmares _unopposed_ — but they WON’T debate toe-to-toe with the nuclear professional likes of Rod Adams and Will Davis and Dan Yurman and such. Why? Not rocket-science! Their arguments and assertions would get PLUCKED clean! The anti-nuke emperors have no clothes! Clue #3! Don’t let your kids see how much of a sucker you can be to take the word of a few who love to fleece the clueless. Check out the obvious and the facts and common sense as a life lesson to the kids.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  17. Rod & James,

    Thank you very much for responding.

    Rod, I appreciate the links you provided and I read the information there. I especially liked your name for Arnie; ‘Apocalypse Arnie’. Ha, ha, ha. I’m going to start calling him that from now on.

    I used to be a Plans Examiner for a county building department prior to retiring, and I have reviewed a fair amount of engineering, but nothing on the scale or importance of a nuclear facility. But I do understand terms like vertical and horizontal forces, shear, sway, twist, rotation, etc.

    It was reassuring to see that “TEPCO has conducted seismic safety studies of all the reactor buildings” for their ability to withstand further seismic ativity, and that “collapse of the reactor buildings is very unlikely”, which is contradictory to the doomsayers assertions.


    In fact, all three assertions, as we’ve seen, fall apart at every turn—there’s no basis to assertions of shaky buildings, or a structurally failed 1F-4 plant, or the chance of zircalloy cladding fire, or billowing of the released material to the entire earth. Realistic, practical analysis, performed by personnel on site (TEPCO/NISA), nuclear professionals here in the United States with decades of experience in both theory and practice, and official peer-reviewed studies and documents (e.g., NUREG /CR-4982) show that the predictions of apocalypse being spread now are just as unlikely to occur as those predictions of apocalypse that were made then at the time of the accident.”

    During my time as a Plans Examiner I worked with many architects and engineers of varying skills and abilities. Some of the (usually) home-based backyard engineers, did such shoddy work that we (county plans examiners & inspectors) wondered how they got and maintained their P.E. licenses. But, the engineers who worked on more important projects like state facilites, schools, and petroleum refineries were generally highly qualified and thorough in their analyses. I suspect that ‘Apocalypse Arnie’ was of the backyard, or school yard variety.

    I think I will sleep a lot better knowing that I don’t need to worry so much about Fukushima, leaving my home, and heading for Dodge (wherever that may be). My kids are all grown and gone now, so I don’t need to worry about being a good parent in their eyes. They have all expressed their appreciation for my past parenting skills, but I would sure hate to lose contact with them, and hopefully any future grandkids.

    BTW, Rod, that was a good call on Panama not being in the northern hemisphere… I don’t have a globe or world map an didn’t even think to check on that.

    I’ve got your website bookmarked, and will check back if/when I have any additional questions about nuclear energy.

    Thanks again!


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