Atomic Show #224 - Dr. John Boice NCRP 1

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  1. Am I correct in assuming that the exact same long term genetic change argument can be made for any pathway that can affect structure at a cellular level? Like water, air, or food path pollution? Yet every pathway has not been regulated accordingly. Seems policy has been driven by “guilty conscience” effect. It’s hard to hide the number of instantaneous deaths from nuke bombs. Not so much so for the long term deaths from pollution.

    1. Yes, you are correct. Any substance which can directly damage DNA (a genotoxin) is subject to LNT. Including cigarettes. Calabrese used to work for the Tobacco Institute…you know, cigarettes “are safe”.

      Contrary to Adam’s claims, the vast majority of folks understand LNT. A small minority doesn’t (or do, but want to lie about it).

      1. @Bob Applebaum

        Cigarette smoke at low doses is adequately safe. Nearly everyone on the planet has been exposed to the substance at one time or another without any ill effects.

        You continue to operate with a 1950s vintage understanding of DNA. It is not stable. It undergoes damage and repair events on a constant basis at a surprisingly high rate due to simple metabolism and free oxygen radicals. The natural rate of double strand breaks from that process is roughly 1000 times higher than the rate of double strand breaks from 100 mSv/year.

        The LNT “theory” as you like to call it is based on the hit theory that ignores biological repair mechanisms. It has been falsified by numerous laboratory studies in animals and human tissue cultures as well as in numerous epidemiological studies of large populations of humans. Keep on denying science, Bob. Feel free to visit and expose your ignorance any time.

        1. “The natural rate of double strand breaks from that process is roughly 1000 times higher than the rate of double strand breaks from 100 mSv/year.”

          It is this fact alone which already eviscerates the argument that these low levels of radiation pose an unacceptable threat to human health and that of future generations. This fact should have led to a revision of radiation protection principles as soon as it was discovered.

          Yet it changed nothing, and instead radiation protection regulations have only become tighter and tighter. Hence these radiation protection principles as promoted by people like Mr. Applebaum are a fraud, clear as day.

          Unfortunately, fraud is so commonplace and persistent in our world that people simply shrug and move on. After all, people already know they’re being screwed all the time, left, right and center, in so many ways, so why should they care about this one way they are being screwed in particular? They have other, more pressing things to worry about.

      2. @ Bob Applebaum
        An honest and serious question,

        Bob, I’m just the average Reactor Operator who leans toward a threshold response. I am, however, always open to new information (may not be new, but new to me). Given that radiation is all around us if only from natural sources, and if I understand the LNT model correctly, this radiation is damaging our cells, causing mutations. These mutations produce a net negative effect on humans, do I have that correct? Shouldn’t those exposed to higher doses of what is still considered low levels of radiation, say under 10 or 20 Rem per year, exhibit higher rates of cancer or other ailments? If they do not, which is my understanding, even if LNT is an accurate model of reality, if it has NO predictive capacity, if it provides NO meaningful results at these low chronic doses, would you support raising the dose limits for radiation workers to the above limits? If you reply, could you state whether I’ve laid out the case accurately?

  2. Beware, satirical comment impersonating a frequent hit-and-run commenter to follow.

    “It is a waste of time to perform a scientific study. Scientific consensus already shows that LNT is absolute truth. Denier, creationist, blah, blah, blah.”

    -Guess the subject of said interpretation

  3. On a more serious note though, I would have SERIOUS questions regarding the motives of anyone that would vociferously oppose completion of this study (which I presume the subject of my satirical comment would do).

  4. after comprehensive studies on the children of the atomic bomb survivors, looking for malformations, still births, neonatal deaths, changing blood chemistries, cancer risks – every measure of possible harmful effects, there was no increase.

    Maybe Muller was correct after all?

    http://www.bio.indiana.edu/about/history/biographies/Muller_Hermann_NAS.pdf

    “Muller’s views were complex and often misconstrued. He wanted both atomic and hydrogen bombs to be developed. He felt nuclear disarmament was not possible unless it was by mutual agreement in treaties with guaranteed scientific inspection to prevent cheating. He argued that fallout doses (except for the largest of the hydrogen bombs used) were too small to be a public health threat. He argued that diagnostic doses were individually low risk, but when given to hundreds of millions of people, did induce a predictable number of leukemias, solid cancers, and mutations. He argued that the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission in Hiroshima and Nagasaki would find few mutations in the children of the exposed population because most mutations are recessive and they would not show up for many generations to come. Muller’s views were often rejected by those who feared any dose of radiation however small and by those who dismissed low doses as harmless or even beneficial to the public (because they allegedly created a hybrid vigor in the offspring).”

    1. @EL

      From a letter to the editor of the New York Times dated May 31, 1956, published on June 12, 1956 and signed by H. J. Muller:

      There is abundant evidence that exposure of either ovaries or testes to ionizing radiation such as X-rays is associated with damage to the genetic material. Irradiation of germinal tissue inexorably increases the mutation rate. That the grandchildren of irradiated women appear to be normal does not negate the fact that these grandchildren may be carriers of X-ray produced “recessive” mutations.

      Even though the effects of our actions may be far in the future, we still must shoulder the responsibility for them. In this area of endeavor the future generations are at our mercy. The X-ray irradiation of human germinal tissue is fraught with hazard.

      Biographies written by former students and professional admirers of a controversial figure like H. J. Muller may occasionally gloss over some of their more dogmatic statements and campaigns. Professor Elof Axel Carlson, the author of your cited biography considered H. J. Muller to be one of his more influential mentors.

      http://elofaxelcarlson.blogspot.com/2013/07/composing-ones-life-h-j-muller-and.html

      1. @EL

        Here is another letter to the editor from H. J. Muller dated Dec 18, 1950 and published on Jan 9, 1051. It illuminates a bit of the persistence of his beliefs — sans any evidence — and the fame that he had achieved in selling those beliefs. I believe that part of his media success can to be attributed to his long and financially productive relationship with the Rockefeller Foundation – which began generous support of his work in 1926 and continued through most of his career with even larger grants for his extensive and expensive program at the Indiana University.

        This to correct the statement, made in your science news section of Sunday, Dec. 17, that I have expressed the opinion that atomic warfare would “give rise to new and fearsome races of human monsters in future generations” and that a British panel has reached conclusions contrary to mine on this subject.

        There are persons who desire, for ulterior motives, to give the public the impression that penetrating radiation, such as X-rays and that derived from the changes of atomic nuclei, is not a potent source of damage to future generations. These persons have widely misrepresented my findings that such radiation is a potent source of mutations, by putting into my mouth the claim that such radiation would give rise to numerous fearful monstrosities. This claim is not made by myself or any competent geneticist, but only by those who misunderstand modern mutation theory and confuse mutations in general with monstrosities.

        I have repeatedly said that radiation would have little, if any, appreciable effect on future generations of men through producing monstrosities. Its effect on future generations is far subtler and more insidious, but none the less very damaging in the end. I explained these views in detail to a British panel at their request as early as 1946 and I know that my British colleagues in this field agreed with me on the above points. The statements attributed to the present report of the British panel, mentioned in the science news section article, coincide completely with my own repeatedly published views on the subject.

        To set up and then knock down a “straw man,” or fabulous monsters, in a subject so important for human welfare is contrary to the interests of the public, since it tends to lull them into a false sense of security with regard to a very real danger.

        H. J. Muller
        Bloomington, Ind, Dec 18, 1950

        It is important to understand that Muller had NO evidence supporting his assertions other than experiments on fruit flies. He cleverly proposed a theory that he knew could not be tested with the instruments available at the time. He also cleverly chose a proposed harm that would not be seen, but that sounded quite scary and irresponsible to impose on unknown and unborn persons.

        Just imagine the dismissive reaction if it became known that the Koch Foundation had provided such steady support and promotion to a scientist whose theories about a competitive product were well outside of the mainstream and implied that it would be fraught with danger for the human race to even consider using that competitive product.

        1. Professor Elof Axel Carlson, the author of your cited biography considered H. J. Muller to be one of his more influential mentors.

          @Rod Adams.

          I don’t see the contradictions you believe you are highlighting … just further evidence of the basic statement from Muller’s NAS biographer: “Muller’s views were complex and often misconstrued.”

          Suggesting someone has a personal relationship with their historical or biographical subject is not a proof of bias. Neither is mentioning the word Rockefeller (and one of their major funding programs in the natural sciences overseen by capable and independent scientists and committees, and in one of the most promising new fields of science at the time and in which many new discoveries were taking place). Many biographers and historians have direct relationships or historical ties to their subjects and topics? Yes, the author pursued a career in genetics. I believe that makes him a qualified expert (and someone with relevant first hand knowledge of his subject). I’m not sure what else you are implying with your link.

          Muller was “controversial” (as you suggest) primarily because of his extra curricular activities, and not for his scientific accomplishments (for which he received substantive acknowledgement and recognition from his peers).

          It is important to understand that Muller had NO evidence supporting his assertions other than experiments on fruit flies.

          So no research was done on barley, maize, wasps (at this early time), and other model organisms, etc. (here).

          You really have to stop making fully unsupported and incorrect statements, Rod, or ditch the source that is leading you so clearly and poorly into error.

          1. @EL

            Your link did not work. I received an “Access Forbidden” message. Please provide a working reference so that I can see what you are talking about.

          2. @EL

            I was not saying anything about Muller’s biographer; I was referring to the selected passage that you took from that biography and showing how it provided a different slant on Muller’s philosophy than words directly from Muller himself. Any tome you use a source that is interpreting a primary source, you run the risk of selective memory of choosing to see things in a more favorable light.

            As my second LTE showed, Muller’s hit theory was just as controversial and widely disputed as his political activities.

            1. @EL

              Thank you for the functional link. That is an interesting paper, but it does not provide the support you claimed for giving Muller any evidence backing up his assertions of risk of genetic damage all the way down to a single hit on a single cell. Wasps were not mentioned in the paper; barley and maize showed some possibility of mutations but no doses or dose rates were mentioned. Based on my understanding of the context, the experiments done on them before 1956 were most likely done at levels similar to those used by Muller.

              (Pg. 245 of Trends in Genetics) The risk of somatic mutations after exposure to radiation was early confirmed in medicine, but Muller (1950) insisted that there were also genetic risks. This raised fears which were further increased after the atomic bomb in 1945 and the decade of testing nuclear weapons that followed. To quantify those risks, and their contribution to our load of mutations, has proved very difficult and is still uncertain. However the opposition against the tests led to a substantial restrain(sic) in their performance and radioactive fallout decreased.

              In fact, this paragraph implies that Muller was considered to be an outlier for quite some time. It also hints at the same motivation that Calabrese has ascribed – a desire to halt nuclear weapons testing in cooperation with the global effort led by organizations like the Federation of American Scientists (born as the Federation of Atomic Scientists.)

          3. That is an interesting paper, but it does not provide the support you claimed for giving Muller any evidence backing up his assertions of risk of genetic damage all the way down to a single hit on a single cell.

            @Rod Adams.

            This isn’t the statement we are testing. Paper provides full support that biological experiments on irradiation inducing mutations was not exclusive to fruit flies (at this early period of research, and much later as well). There is no support for your statement that fruit flies were the only evidence considered by Muller for genetic risk and inheritable traits via irradiation.

            Muller never said he had experimental confirmation down to a single hit on a single cell. If continuing to misconstrue Muller’s statements and findings is your goal, you are continuing to do a very good job.

            1. @EL

              You are either reframing or misunderstanding my statement. You are thus refuting something that is quite different than what I intended; perhaps I did not state it well initially.

              Here is a second attempt to state the point I am trying to make.

              Muller performed high dose and high dose rate studies on fruit flies. By his own words in his Nobel Prize speech, the lowest dose used was 400 r at a rate of 0.01 r/minute.

              (Note: I just reread his words carefully again. He might even be admitting that he used higher doses and that it was only later researchers that extended the experiments down to 400 r and 0.01 r/min.)
              (Note: The r unit from Muller’s time stands for “rad”. It is to Gy as pennies are to dollars. 400 r = 4 Gy.)

              Both earlier and later work by collaborators (Oliver, Hanson, etc.) showed definitely that the frequency of the gene mutations is directly and simply proportional to the dose of irradiation applied, and this despite the wave-length used, whether X- or gamma- or even beta-rays, and despite the timing of the irradiation. These facts have since been established with great exactitude and detail, more especially by Timoféeff and his co-workers. In our more recent work with Raychaudhuri (1939, 1940) these principles have been extended to total doses as low as 400 r, and rates as low as 0.01 r per minute, with gamma rays. They leave, we believe, no escape from the conclusion that there is no threshold dose, and that the individual mutations result from individual “hits”, producing genetic effects in their immediate neighborhood.

              There were a few other experiments that used similar dose regimes on plants. Thus the only experimental evidence supporting Muller’s insistence on implementing a no threshold dose response model with the specific claim that there is “no safe dose” and no escape from the single hit theory came from high dose, high dose-rate experiments on short-lived insects and plants.

              The geneticists experimental assumption at that time was a chemical and molecular model — they thought that since the chemistry of chromosomes and genes in short-lived plants and insects is similar to the chemistry of chromosomes and genes in higher order organisms up to and including long-lived homo sapiens, they were adequate analogs for predicting how radiation and influences like heat and chemicals would affect human beings genetically.

              The myth of a no threshold dose was thus constructed on two shaky assumptions in addition to a bit of purposeful misinformation.

              High dose behavior does not reasonably predict behavior at low dose.

              Insects and plants are not useful analogs for the reaction of genetic materials in long-lived, higher order creatures. (Why would evolution have bothered to select robust, systematic cellular repair capabilities in simple creatures didn’t live long enough to need those capabilities?)

              Muller had evidence of “no effect” at low doses and cooperated with several people – Stern, Caspari, etc. to purposely obscure it. He and his funders also made it difficult for anyone else to perform the kind of painstaking, expensive work needed to build better models. As you pointed out, the Rockefeller Foundation stopped funding radiation biology in the early 1960s after they had effectively established their desired model of “no safe dose” in both the scientific and public mind as settled science.

              Over the years, a number of other multi-year, somewhat costly studies (in the tens of millions of dollar range) have been defunded before reaching an endpoint that would conclusively revise the no safe dose assumption. Listing just a few, the mega mouse research at Oak Ridge, the shipyard worker study, the Argonne radium in man, and the DOE low dose radiation research program were all ended before they could produce definitive results.

              That is why I worry that Dr. Boice’s Million Worker Study may be at risk of budgetary maneuvers and why I think that the best way to insure against that eventuality is to make sure that it becomes more famous and prominent with people eagerly awaiting its final report. It’s not impossible to halt such work by cutting off the funds, but it is harder to do it if there is a strong supporting community of interest in reaching a valid conclusion.

          4. By his own words in his Nobel Prize speech, the lowest dose used was 400 r at a rate of 0.01 r/minute.

            @Rod Adams.

            Indeed!

            I don’t see any evidence in the statement that you are quoting that Muller claimed he had experimental results down to a single hit on a single cell. You are entirely incorrect in this. In fact, he seems to be stating something very different, and gives a very specific dose range in which results have been obtained “with great exactitude and detail,” and a strong conviction or belief that a threshold dose won’t be present at lower doses (upon further tests which were either underway or likely to be forthcoming). Yes, I am aware you think he got results which indicated the matter was scientifically settled (with great exactitude and detail) at lower doses, but he did not. He got preliminary research (notes actually) a month earlier, and did a great deal to promote such research (advance it in the literature) and upon further testing found such results could NOT be independently verified and to lend additional support to his qualified (and entirely testable) statement of no threshold at lower doses. The preliminary results that were presented to him a month earlier had a number of experimental errors in it (among them the use of aged sperm).

            We’ve been over this all before (and continuing to fabricate a thesis that Muller was not a careful scientists and did not understand what counts as belief or what counts as a scientifically supported and independent verified result at a specific dose range “with great exactitude and detail” is an abysmal reading of this speech … presented with respect to the discovery of radiation induced mutations and in a popular and accessible speech on a popular occasion where detailed experimental results are not expected to be offered as they would be in a detailed research report). Restated once again (clearly and thoughtfully) from our previous discussion:

            Where Calabrese sees absolutism, I see a clearly stated and challengeable (i.e., testable) scientific claim. One that is open to question, and can be scrutinized and advanced with future work. “We believe” is highly qualified, and the specific statement makes an evidentiary claim for dose levels to 400 r and dose rates of 0.01 r minute (which is a significant level above the doses and dose rates tested in a “first of a kind experiment” by Spencer and Stern and Caspari and Stern at 25 r and 50 r and presented in preliminary and incomplete draft form). His statement does not preclude the possibility that future work will examine dose levels and dose rates below the level indicated in his speech so as to indicate whether, as he suggests, there is “no escape” from the general rule. Believing in general rules is not a shortcoming of scientists at the time, especially those engaged in careful experimental methods to support their findings on a clearly specified basis (and, as it turns out, to extend their findings into areas previously untested as clearly indicated in private correspondence). A colloquialism may be sloppy, but it is hardly an indictable offense.

            1. @EL

              I don’t see any evidence in the statement that you are quoting that Muller claimed he had experimental results down to a single hit on a single cell. You are entirely incorrect in this.

              Once again, we have a failure to communicate. My intention was to make the claim that Muller and others had done what scientists are cautioned against doing – make assertive statements about their beliefs bases on sketchy experimental observations using poor analogs and unrealistic laboratory conditions that don’t even come close to representing those encountered in the real world.

              Though I’ve quoted Muller’s 1946 Nobel Prize speech here, I have also quoted public utterances from him from other points in time like a 1950 letter to the editor, and comments made around 1956-1958 regarding the BEAR 1 conclusion that — from a geneticists point of view — there is no safe dose of radiation and that harmful mutations that could affect many generations into the future could be caused by a single hit on a single cell.

              There was no experimental evidence to support that decade-long campaign of consistently pushing the no threshold dose model. I have other evidence supporting the theory that the campaign actually began in the mid 1920’s and that it was not actually Muller’s idea to push that model with such consistent vigor.

              BTW – There is still no experimental evidence to support the single hit theory.

          5. Though I’ve quoted Muller’s 1946 Nobel Prize speech here, I have also quoted public utterances from him from other points in time like a 1950 letter to the editor, and comments made around 1956-1958 regarding the BEAR 1 conclusion …

            @Rod Adams

            I was curious what was actually said in BEAR I … and so tried to look it up. Do you have a good link for this. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time looking (or the clutter with other reports and more current assessments made it hard to find). Related to our specific topic, I found the second summary report from Committee on Genetic Effects in 1960 (which builds on the first).

            http://archive.org/stream/biologicaleffect00nati/biologicaleffect00nati_djvu.txt

            I haven’t read it throughly, but it hardly looks like a fringe or radical summary of research at the time to me. I would call it pretty balanced, circumspect and cautious about where we were at the time, what work is needed, gaps in our knowledge, most promising new areas of research, etc. It actually highlights many concerns you have raised about uncertainties and other mechanisms of action at low doses, and where we are unlikely to get clear and definite answers (and where further research is needed). Regarding linearity, it states the following:

            In this connection particularly, we emphasize that present knowledge is all too limited as to the effects of low levels of radiation in inducing malignant neoplasms. We cannot say with any assurance whether the dose-response curve for induction of malignant diseases is linear or non-linear at low levels … We believe that studies of this kind on experimental mammals should be extended and expanded, even though they are difficult.

            This does not mean we have to turn a blind eye to setting an adequate public safety standards that are best informed by available knowledge and science, and that adequately covers uncertainties and variability in how many populations (across different groups) respond to exposure risks. Committee seems most concerned with atmospheric fallout from weapons testing (which was increasing or projected to increase at the time), as well as other areas were public exposure to radiation risks were expanding (industrial chemical processing, medicine, agriculture, nuclear energy, and more). Motivated primarily by atomic weapons fallout, they appear to me to be looking at a general public safety concern, and not one uniquely targeted to a specific industry or site. The membership of the various committees (of which Muller was a member, and Rockefeller grant recipients were among the most expert at the time) seems to speak to this: General Electric, Oak Ridge, Argonne, California Institute of Technology, military, medicine and hospital reps, AEC, and many other stakeholders and representatives.

            They also don’t appear to be acting alone, and cite reports and summaries from British Medical Research Council, World Health Organization, recently published UNSCEAR report, and ICRP. I don’t feel “fearful” reading the document. I feel there are people from across a broad spectrum of interest and stakeholders looking closely at a challenging issue (an emerging public issue at the time), and taking it seriously and being comprehensive in their approach (what is known, what is uncertain, what remains to be done). If they hadn’t done this (summarize the objective research much like an IPCC committee in a clear and comprehensive way), it would seem to me that public fear of radiation risks would likely be much greater (in the absence of such a clear and careful summary from the foremost scientists at the time). Uncertainties, when they are not addressed, tend to increase (and not decrease) over time (as speculation and fear takes hold and has an independent life of its own. In this respect (it seems to me), BEAR probably did much to lay the foundations for an expansion of a peaceful use of nuclear power (more than stand in the way of it and exacerbate public fears). Given the commitments of many of the members of the Committee, as well as public statements from people like Muller (who often spoke of the balance between risk and benefit) … I would say this work was necessary (and nuclear energy advanced so quickly in the following years because of it).

        2. “Just imagine the dismissive reaction if it became known that the Koch Foundation had provided such steady support and promotion to a scientist whose theories about a competitive product were well outside of the mainstream and implied that it would be fraught with danger for the human race to even consider using that competitive product.”

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Koch brothers heavily invested in the global warming denial community?? And, that being the case, I think you can sell any snake oil these days without garnering a “dismissive reaction”, as long as you have enough wealth for a healthy marketing strategy. A majority of my friends and acquaintances that I have on the right side of the aisle believe that global warming is a left wing fabrication. Why? Because the media on that side, such as Fox, are marketing that particular falsehood.

          1. @poa

            I should have specified that the dismissive reaction regarding Koch Brother support would have come from people on the left.

            My goal in exposing the propaganda story associated with the imposition of the no threshold dose model is to explain to people who currently dismiss nuclear energy as an important tool in providing reliable energy with far less environmental impact — including an ultra low CO2 emission rate — is to appeal to the very same people that continually blame the Koch Brothers for political actions that confuse people.

  5. From the NAS BEAR committee report quoted in the original post:

    Even if the mutation is in one gene, there is some harmful effect and that mutation will go on through every generation until the line that bears it becomes extinct.

    If this is true, then how is it possible to life to persist on Earth at all? Life has always been surrounded by natural radiation. Millions of years ago, radiation levels were higher than now. But life continues, with some species having continued for millions of years.

    1. Never mind about that Okla natural reactor in Gabon all those hundreds of millions of years ago. Never happened. It’s a Creationist lie! 😉

    2. donb, Your wording catch in the report is the same thing that caught my eye.
      “Even if the mutation is in one gene, there is some harmful effect and that mutation will go on through every generation until the line that bears it becomes extinct.”
      The report even discussed the event damage at the single cell level, and it follows that cell has to be part of a gene. But the passage you quoted is not even technically true, without adding that single damaged gene actually has to be passed on or there is no future harmful effect from that single gene damage. I don’t really have to walk that scenario through, but what’s the odds for a single damaged cell?
      The point in my above comment was that the total specific location cell damage from all man made radiation in history is in the decimal dust of the total cell damage from other damage pathways. Yet the regulatory approach to radiation is totally different based on the actual genetic risk of a single damaged cell. A point that seems to be lost on many.

  6. Rod wrote that the Rockefeller Foundation funded the BEAR-1 Committee. Are they the same Rockefellers who have their hand in all that West Virginia coal? And don’t coal plants release more radioactivity per megawatt hour than an equivalent nuke? And doesn’t coal supply 50% of US electricity compared to nuclear’s 20%? Something is mightily hypocritical here.

    1. @Ioannes

      They are also the same Rockefellers descended from John D. Rockefeller, the man who figured out how to control about 80% of the world kerosene market and then showed his followers how to expand that to the entire petroleum market under the Standard Oil trust.

      Oops, I almost forgot that the $860 million Rockefeller Brother fund just announced that they were going to divest their fossil fuel stocks a few weeks ago. That fund, by the way, is just one of several interlocking remnants of the Rockefeller fortune, most of which was made in oil, gas, coal and related transportation industries.

    2. @Ioannes, Rod Adams …

      I think folks here need to learn a bit more about the Rockefeller Foundation, and various aims and objectives of their foundations, grants, and funding programs (particularly in fields of science, medicine, public health, social justice, arts and humanities, education, and a great deal more).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_Foundation

      For a specific summary of their efforts in radiobiology (medical applications, health impacts of atmospheric fallout from atomic weapons testing, experimental biology) see below: “… RF greatly reduced expenditure for radiobiology in the early 1960s …” [emphasis added].

      http://www.rockarch.org/publications/resrep/wynchank2.pdf

      Efforts to conflate the Foundation with the likes of the Koch Brothers (and direct financing of political action committees, politicians for hire, anti-science think tanks, etc.) is misinformed. Mentioning the word “oil” does little to make a convincing or meaningful case.

      1. @EL

        My sincere thanks for providing such a data rich source backing up my theory that much of the misinformation and the faulty model of radiation health effects that are taught today were produced under focused grants supplied by the Rockefeller Foundation.

        I’ll leave it to you to explain why you believe that institution had no financial interest in scaring people away from anything involving radiation.

        Rather than pointing to sources like Wikipedia to learn more about the Rockefeller Foundation and the influence of the Rockefeller family on the US economy, politics and international relations for the past 130 years, I’d recommend people read works like Titan, David Rockefeller’s Autobiography, and Ida Tarbell’s work on the Standard Oil Company. Those would just be scratching the surface.

        The Kochs are minor leaguers and Johnny-come-latelys in comparison.

        Speaking of which, how many Kochs have held major public offices?

        1. I’ll leave it to you to explain why you believe that institution had no financial interest in scaring people away from anything involving radiation.

          Rod Adams

          That’s really not that hard. Please explain how pulling Foundation funding for radiobiology (just at the time when nuclear is scaling up) supports your thesis?

          Your argument appears to be nothing more than shouting “oil” in a crowded room. That’s the easy part. Having serious people believe you (and respond to real and evidence based danger) is the difficult part.

          1. explain how pulling Foundation funding for radiobiology (just at the time when nuclear is scaling up) supports your thesis?

            Simple.  The desired radio-phobic conclusion had been decreed the “scientific consensus” through trickery.  If the normal process of scientific research and peer review had been allowed to work in the field, the deceit would (just like Piltdown Man) be detected and the fraud uncovered.  Shutting down the science was the only thing to do.

          2. @EL

            Hmmm. In a very broad brush response, here is how I plan to tell the story.

            After investing millions of dollars over a fifty year period in selected institutions, scientists, professors, and universities scattered about both the US and Europe, and issuing several “definitive” reports from a committee using one of the most well-known brands in science, the propaganda campaign funders bowed out of the scientific end of the picture.

            They then began directing funds from both their foundation and from other interlocking foundations for another 60 years (and counting) to groups like Sierra Club, NRDC, Union of Concerned Scientist, and World Wildlife Foundation.

            Those groups continued the disinformation campaign based on the created “scientific” foundation by chanting “no safe dose” at demonstrations, in public meetings, at regulatory commission meetings, and in public hearings where they were able to obtain standing as intervenors and collect additional funds from taxpayers and the very companies they were suing.

            My shout is not “oil”. Instead, I will borrow words from the title of one of the thickest and most marked-up books in my library.

            My thesis is that the effort to impose the no-threshold dose response model as the worldwide regulatory standard was a major strategic move in the ongoing Big Game to defend territory that had been won as a prize in the epic quest for oil, money and power.

          3. After investing millions of dollars over a fifty year period in selected institutions, scientists, professors, and universities … They then began directing funds from both their foundation and from other interlocking foundations for another 60 years … Those groups continued the disinformation campaign based on the created “scientific” foundation …

            @Rod Adams

            I see. Careful and meticulous coordination on a global basis of the the worlds most foremost universities, scientists, and institutions; environmental NGOs acting covertly against their stated goals and missions; citizen activists showing up at events and regulatory meetings engaged in disinformation campaigns; and Rockefeller Foundation funding pulled for radiobiology research (after significant gains in this area) at exactly the moment when nuclear power is starting up in US (perhaps seeking to throw us off their trail).

            And … it would seem worth adding, an entirely feckless and ineffective nuclear power constituency (that failed miserably in countering any of this “definitive” and “created” science or global interlocking and coordinated efforts on behalf of the world’s most powerful and influential institutions, scientists, executives, philanthropists, educators, politicians, and more).

            It seems to me you clearly intend to continue to tell this story (despite reasonable and uncharacteristic evidence to the contrary), and appear to think that exposing this conspiracy is one way to gain power and influence for an historically feckless and ineffective nuclear power agenda (which also is a very hard characterization to swallow). In exposing this “propaganda” you are also claiming to not be engaged in propaganda yourself, but a true version of history (and a description of events as they have actually happened).

            I’d urge caution in this regard. Soft targets abound, and it is well known that big oil does promote it’s interests (as does every other product in a marketplace). But painting science itself with such a broad brush undercuts most of your efforts to “prove” anything to the contrary (since everything is getting splattered with some paint). Making real connections is a great deal more difficult, and amounts to more than just speculative and farfetched impressions but actual facts (good journalists have clear methods for this, and some do this very well and change history when they do). When you don’t do this well, you end up looking like Fox News to a liberal, or MSNBC to a conservative. Your died in the wool true believers will adore you and help you tell your story, I am sure. But new folks, sounds like a hard sell to me.

            1. @EL

              Big, complicated conspiracies are terribly difficult to manage. Theories about them often require an almost unbelievable level of coordination and agreement among people with many conflicting interests.

              The story I see here is a much more believable propaganda (marketing) effort by a single identifiable and exceedingly influential organization whose own documents describe the level of their influence as the sole funder and virtually the only party interested in the field of radiation health effects for the first 40 years after man first started investigating the uses and benefits of radiation.

              There are a lot of people who seem to believe that the previously unknown “Koch Brothers” have had an outsized impact on 21st century politics. I’m quite sure that there are several generations of people alive today who recognize the outsized Rockefeller impact on the 20th century and will understand the distinct possibility that among all of the good that the various foundations built from Standard Oil wealth have done, they are quite capable of having devised a campaign to slow down — not stop, mind you — the growth of the only technology that seriously threatens the source of their wealth, power, and even ability to continue their admirable philanthropic missions.

              There was a tremendous level of enthusiasm for the prospect of nuclear energy reducing the need to burn coal and oil in the 1950s. Natural gas was just a blip and only available in limited locations. Most people were enthusiastic about the Atomic Age, it is not at all surprising that Rockefellers and Friends were less excited about the prospects of losing markets.

              It should also be no surprise to anyone that the Rockefellers recognized the potential threat long before most people were even aware of the prospect of atomic energy and even before scientists had found the key to unlocking the dense energy inside atomic nuclei. Here is a quote from the World Energy Council history page:

              At the Berlin Congress in 1930, the third “World Power Conference”, both Einstein and Eddington gave speeches. In his address, Eddington said that, in the future, “subatomic energy would provide the plain diet for engines previously pampered with delicacies like coal and oil”.

              It is also no surprise to anyone that the Rockefellers would plan and take effective action to protect their interests against this wealth-threatening technology.

              A little “white lie” covering up the fact that radiation below a certain dose does not hurt anyone and poses no threat to humanity would be relatively easy to implement and would not be widely contested for almost 60 years.

              As a fellow marketer, I take my hat off to the people who created the initial story.

              BTW – you are not telling the truth when you say I am going to attempt to claim I am disinterested and that I am not engaged in a rebranding campaign. Feel free to call my efforts propaganda – though it is a bit of a stretch to compare the efforts of a single middle class individual with a keyboard to the efforts of one of the wealthiest families to have ever inhabited the planet.

          4. Rod,

            I see that your efforts are becoming more and more targeted in regards to your narrative regarding the interests that likely fund anti-nuclear efforts, which should aid in uncovering more specific instances of Smoking Guns that will be unable to be refuted as merely being conspiracy theories.

            Good work, Sir.

            I am gaining an increasing interest in who EL is and what he or she does for a living. He/she is able to spend a great deal of time here in the comments section and always has sources at the ready.

            -EntrepreNuke

          5. “I am gaining an increasing interest in who EL is and what he or she does for a living”

            Me too, but I guess that info is top secret. I asked once, and it seems EL is a bit concerned for his safety should his true identity be known. (Perhaps he’s read a few of Brian Mays contributions.) Rod , knows, but ain’t talkin’. However, I have it on good authority that EL is actually Whoopi Goldberg.

          6. Me too …

            @POA and EntrepreNuke

            I’ve answered this (many times). I’m a grad student (in a degree program unrelated to nuclear power which gives me access to the larger peer reviewed scientific literature and training as a skilled researcher), and have most recently worked on climate mitigation programs in my city providing social science research on community outreach, policy reform, and climate impacts in low income communities.

            I don’t understand why this is such a mystery (because I appear to be smart and include a few links from time to time in my posts)? There are many people here who are regular contributors, post links from time to time, and I would guess don’t work for PR firms or who are paid to communicate with others in social media about energy issues that interest them, they have expertise about, or they want to learn more about. POA … it sounds to me like you are one of them? For someone who is still young and new to the job market (in my field) and who doesn’t want a long internet trail associated with my name (especially with folks engaged in periodic name calling and sometimes ad hominem attacks) is any of this a mystery to you?

            Maybe you aren’t in a job market or a professional field where people calling you a “paid shill,” Mays often called me an “idiot,” and the like, is something that you think moves you up the list of potential job applications. But I am, and I don’t want that kind of record associated with my name.

            I check the site a few times a day, and respond to direct questions (maintain discussion threads I have started) or add a comment to a new thread when I have something to say. Otherwise, I try and make sure my comments are “on topic,” provide a perspective that is not being regularly provided on the site, don’t belittle or demean other members, and in general try and be constructive with my comments and informative. And yes, when perspectives are offered that aren’t in line with conventional wisdom, I sometimes appear to be the person who speaks up in defense of the conventional wisdom.

            I’ve spoken before about my perspective on nuclear power. I feel very strongly you aren’t going to advance nuclear power by misleading the public about radiation risks, creating uncertainty about regulation (or lowering public health standards), engaging in climate denial (climate policy is the best thing going for nuclear), or looking to change the topic about renewables and other low carbon energy resources (where I see a lot of potential for allies and common interests). Here is what I have said in the past:

            The path forward for nuclear is very clear to me:

            1) build plants on time and on budget

            2) address long standing legacy costs pertaining to decommissioning and waste management

            3) retire old plants that no longer have the confidence of the public and build new plants that adhere to the most stringent of industry best practices and standards for safety and reliability

            4) advocate for rational and cost-effective climate policy and carbon caps that place all energy resources on a level playing field (including renewables)

            5) give some thought to system integration and how nuclear can contribute to broader energy conservation and efficiency goals

            6) pursue productive partnerships and allies outside of military contracting and the nuclear establishment (since nobody does anything alone)

            7) provide better assurances and security to investors that properly minimize their risk (likely involving such things as PTC, Price-Anderson, government leverage over siting and licensing, constructive working relationships with a fully independent NRC)

            8) better international frameworks and cooperation, and

            9) fully account for total costs, and lower them vis a vis other perfectly viable and commercially competitive alternatives.

            I agree, I am not a cheerleader for nuclear. The question I would ask … why is this fundamentally a “bad” thing. I would suggest that robust and substantive debate and discussion from a variety of perspectives (and defending stakeholder positions) is a very good thing (and does a great deal to advance the interests of nuclear and also change public attitudes). Are you intimidated by this? Does this threaten you some how? I think this is rather ordinary and pretty par for the course (and no different than what any other technology alternative has to face … see policy and technology issues having to do with pipelines, fracking, wind turbine variability and noise, energy subsidies for renewables, mountain top removal … anything else really, tax policy, minimum wage, health care, etc.). When did making the clearest, most well reasoned, and responsive case in favor of something become something that was only a matter of adherence (and not justification)!

            As you can guess, I could continue to say more in response to your comment, on and on, and respond to questions, on and on, and answer rebuttals, on and on, and make clear statements that I am not paid to be here, on and on. But really, it’s the weekend, and I have better things to do.

            If you would rather raise substantive matters about energy issues (and nuclear power in particular) I think that would be a terrific thing and a far better use of our time (and would be much more interesting to me … and perhaps others as well). If none of this makes sense to you, I guess I just have to accept that. We’re going to disagree, you think there is something nefarious going on, and your mind can’t be changed on the matter.

            1. @EL

              Your number 1 priority and mine are virtually identical.

              1) build plants on time and on budget

              My second priority is to put nuclear energy back on the improvement trajectory in cost and schedule that it should be on – the one in which sequential ‘S’ curves of innovation result in a continuing process of faster, better, cheaper projects.

              Partially based on the wide gulf between your experience in social science and mine in technology, leadership, communications, and the energy business, I believe my chosen strategy will achieve at least some reasonable progress in the right direction.

              Feel free to disagree and continue challenging my thoughts. The effort I invest is addressing your comments is as well spent as the effort I invested in the repetitions that bored and discouraged some of my swimming teammates.

          7. I am not a cheerleader for nuclear. The question I would ask … why is this fundamentally a “bad” thing.

            One reason is this (emphasis added):

            3) retire old plants that no longer have the confidence of the public

            This is the same public that has been driven into near-paranoia by decades of propaganda about radiation from nuclear power plants, but not from hot springs, airline travel, mountain vacations, etc.  We’ve seen what this leads to:  Vermont Yankee.

            Lack of public confidence in plant safety means no more than lack of public acceptance of climate science.  Putting massively expensive and environmentally essential assets at risk due to demagoguery is unacceptable.

          8. EL…….

            My interest has been more about what you are, than who you are. I have defended you in the past, when this business about you being some sort of paid shill has been raised. Really, just curious about your profession.

            As a long time participant on political blogs, I am well aware of the strawman tactic of accusing a poster of being a paid troll when that tactic is easier than offering strong rebuttal. Just look down a couple of threads and note how well deserved criticism of Israel becomes twisted into anti-semitism when factual defense of Israeli policies becomes untenable. The irony is the hypocricy involved in creating such strawman arguments. Many here are gainfully employed within the nuclear industry, therefore more deserving than you are of a suspicion that their commentary may be fueled by self interest rather than factual science. Mays accuses me of being a “conspiracy theorist”, when he sees a paid troll behind every bush. Loannes accuses me of being blatantly anti-semitic despite there being NOTHING in my comments to cause such an impression. Yet, at the same time, loannes engages in blatantly bigoted rhetoric that is flagrantly islamophobic. Cannot they see their own hypocricy in such engagement??

            Honestly, I have always enjoyed your contributions here. Frankly, this site has a real danger of becoming a constant litany of Rod simply preaching to the choir if posters such as yourself weren’t willing to participate. And I wish there were a few more like me, willing to look at both nuclear and renewables with an open mind, realizing the damage being done to our environment by our present fossil fuel based energy inertia course.

          9. @El

            “build plants on time and on budget”

            The budget can be smaller if the constraints of LNT can be overcome. Whether you agree or disagree with LNT, it is manifest that the effects of low levels of radiation are small. Philosophical adherence to a theory of dubious utility and the dose limits that go along with that theory drives up the costs of doing business. All life is risky and burdening society with costs not commensurate with the risk is foolish. I enjoy the debate on the studies and profit from them, but in the end, if one cannot consistently and unambiguously draw a direct correlation between the effects of low dose radiation and cancer as one can with say, cigarette smoking and cancer, then we should raise the dose limits immediately and arm wrestle with the details later.
            With that, would you, El, support raising the dose limits on both the public as well as radiation workers? Will you employ your skills as a researcher to petition the NRC to raise these limits?

  7. “But life continues, with some species having continued for millions of years.”

    All organisms alive today have a continuous unbroken ancestry stretching back nearly 4 billion years. On the other hand, most past species of multicellular organisms have become extinct, leaving just a few to carry on the lines.

  8. Actually it’s pretty much proven that even small dosages of second hand smoke will cause lung cancer. But that doesn’t mean everyone, or even a large minority…will ever contract cancer from it. But regulations on second hand smoke are something I strongly support (if for no other reason that it is a major initiator of asthma attacks, something I’m susceptible too). I don’t believe Calabrese defended tobacco even when he was at the Tobacco institute.

    1. @David Walters

      The analogy is not what one might consider to be “second hand” smoke but the kinds of doses one gets by simply smelling someone else’s smoke left behind a few minutes before you walked down the same sidewalk.

      Inhaled doses of tobacco smoke contributes to the risk of cancer. It doesn’t always cause cancer. The risk decreases substantially for people who quit as time passes and their bodies have a chance to heal.

  9. I’d like to make a couple of observations about this discussion on this website of radiation risks, but before I do, I’d like to preface my remarks by saying that I strongly support nuclear power and believe we should be undertaking a worldwide effort to replace fossil fuels with nuclear energy. This will require massive investments, on the order of thousands of new plants worldwide, but I believe it is our only good option if we want to provide cheap and abundant energy to the world while not destroying the climate and acidifying the oceans. Here are my comments:

    1. Supporters of nuclear power do not need to make scientifically unsubstantiated claims about hormesis in order to make their case. It is well established that nuclear power is responsible for many fewer fatalities per unit of energy delivered than almost any other source of energy. This should be the message.

    2. All industrial processes and sources of energy have risks and drawbacks. It’s foolish to pretend otherwise. What nuclear supports should be spending their energy on (in my opinion) is not promoting hormesis but doing a careful comparative analysis of the lifecycle risks of various energy sources on a per TWH basis. Nuclear looks extremely good on this basis. Nuclear advocates should also continue to push for regulatory consistency. It’s OK to allow LNT (if that is the best scientific consensus, which it appears to be at the moment) but exactly the same standards need to be applied to coal, and gas, and oil, and renewables – and they all have their own versions of LNT for the toxins they emit and they all emit far, far more toxins, not even accounting for CO2 emissions. Enforcing regulatory consistency will make nuclear look very very good relative to almost everything else.

    3. It seems to be universally agreed that the effects of low level radiation at small cumulative doses (<100 mSv dose ) are very small. When effects are very small, they are hard to observe. The confidence intervals on any real world epidemiological data set will therefore of necessity be quite large. In cases like this, it is reasonable to use the simplest possible model that makes sense and which is roughly consistent with the data. That's because more complicated models have more parameters. If you try to fit a statistical model with more parameters to a dataset that is very sparse, you are likely to end up fitting the noise. The basic message that should be hammered home should be this: that the effects of low dose radiation are extremely small – so small as to be unobservable in almost all cases. Muddying this basic and very important message (effects are tiny) on which all scientific authorities agree with the unsupported claim that there is actually some tiny benefit to low level radiation is not a good strategy in my opinion.

    4. I don't see much evidence for hormesis being supported in the academic circles who study these things. Dr Edward J Calabrese seems to be something of an outlier in this regard, although one extremely well funded by industry, to judge by the CV on his website. Here is a paper that outlines some issues with hormesis and with some of Dr Edward J Calabrese's claims:
    http://www3.nd.edu/~kshrader/pubs/ksf-2010-calabrese-synthese.pdf

    My basic point is that I think pushing people like Dr Edward J Calabrese, who frankly appears to be on the scientific fringe, ultimately does a disservice to the very legitimate cause of advocating nuclear power which can stand very well on its own merits without invoking hormesis or Dr Edward J Calabrese.

    What nuclear needs is a rational regulatory framework that treats the risks from all energy sources on the same footing. Just doing that in a consistent way would be a huge boon for nuclear power.

    1. I have tended in the past to agree with you, but there is something very important to consider.

      Simply put, public opposition to atomic power is based almost entirely on a propaganda campaign saying that ionizing radiation is dangerous to human life & to the environment, in a unique way which unequivocally trumps the more familiar hazards associated with other ways of producing energy. No matter how often we point out that Three Mile Island didn’t actually kill anyone, that the complete nuclear fuel cycle results in fewer lost-time accidents than any other industry, et cetera, what people come away with is the idea, which has been relentlessly hammered into their heads, that there is no safe dose. Never mind that you can’t even reach that conclusion on an LNT basis (simple exercise : calculate the average harm from an accepted everyday activity such as driving an automobile, then use LNT to calculate the corresponding radiation dose). Take away the unreasonable fear of radiation, & public resistance essentially collapses.

      And unreasonable it is. As we’ve seen from Dr Boice’s remarks, originally the fear was predicated upon well-publicized threats of genetic degeneration ; when those proved not to exist, the fear machine was kept at work by emphasizing “stochastic effects” such as carcinogenesis, hypothesized to occur at dose rates much lower than those which cause tissue reactions. But guess what?
      The study of the 110 000 Chernobyl liquidators does not show the expected increase in cancer incidence. The study of tens of thousands of US nuclear shipyard workers, one of the most statistically powerful studies of anything I’ve seen (thanks to its extraordinarily good controls), shows an improvement in overall health & a reduction in Standardized Mortality Ratios — a result which the investigators refused to publish, but was eventually published by a member of the advisory board. This new category of things to be afraid of, again, simply doesn’t exist in any meaningful sense. There’s a deafening lack of evidence for things like cancer absent gross radiation injury.

      Since the public has been sold a bill of goods, it behooves us to respond as strongly as possible. That means pricking the “you’re killing us with radiation” balloon, rather than leading with “but coal is killing you faster”. I will go so far as to agree that that is the real story, but as is well known, quantitative estimation of risk among the general public is essentially non-existent.

      1. ‘Since the public has been sold a bill of goods, it behooves us to respond as strongly as possible. That means pricking the “you’re killing us with radiation” balloon, rather than leading with “but coal is killing you faster”.’

        I agree with that. I just don’t think it is wise to push the whole hormesis thing. We can (hopefully) educate people and get them to understand that radiation risks are objectively tiny even within the framework of LNT. There is no need to go out on a scientific limb and claim that radiation in small doses is good for you.

        1. @Jeffrey Miller

          I’ll admit there is some aspect of “pushing” hormesis — aka the biphasic dose response model — here on Atomic Insights. However, I push it because I have reviewed enough work from enough different people working independently to recognize that it better represents reality than the no threshold dose model that supports the false claim that “there is no safe dose” of radiation.

          In this case, it is not about accepting a tiny risk. It is about realizing that there is no risk.

          In fact, in a situation that is biologically similar to exercise, sunlight, and vitamins, efforts to reduce radiation doses to zero will put the subject at more risk than engaging in routine activities that involve doses in the healthy range of the biphasic curve.

          1. Rod, you make a good point. “There is no safe dose” is a heavily loaded way to phrase things and is certainly (intentionally) misleading.

      2. I agree, it is the comparison with fossil fuels that makes the anti-nuclear case completely ridiculous. Nuclear energy, including mining and accidents, has raised the radiation exposure of humankind by less than 0.1%. The total global all-time exposure from Chernobyl has been estimated at 600,000 man-Sv, about 20 days worth of global natural background exposure.
        And substantially less than the annual exposure from medical diagnostics in anti-nuclear Germany.
        What is the ‘natural background’ for fossil fuel pollutants? Even in relatively clean remote rural areas the majority pm 10 and pm 2.5 is from fossil and biofuel burning.
        We’ve had billions of years to adapt to ionising radiation, but the only defense animals have developed against smoke pollution is an excellent of smell and an instinkt for avoidence.
        If you apply LNT to fossil fuel pollutants these industries would have to stop operating instantly.

      1. I wear a “green stone” necklace from Nighthawk Minerals. I also have a growing collection of uranium glass beads on my computer desk where I spent quite a bit of time.

  10. @Jeffrey Miller, I would also like to know more about to what deegree the toxicology community embraces Dr. Calabrese’s work, but do not think your interpretation above is well founded.
    As you must have seen from Edward Calabrese’s CV he has a remarkable publication record not only in volume, but in quality science journals. He is a toxicologist by training writing about toxicology. I am writing to contrast that with the paper you cited in #4 above. Kristin Shrader-Frechette is a social scientist writing in a philosophical journal. It is a forum for discussing social aspects of the scientific process, not one where the authors, editors, or reviewers will have expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, or any relevant hard science.
    On a related point I respectfully request you look at Kristin Shrader-Frechette’s publication record. You wil find that she has authored antinuclear books and numerous antinuclear articles (in exciting journals including Kentucky Monthly). This despite an apparent lack of relevant training.

    1. Thanks for bringing Kristin Shrader-Frechette’s record to my attention. I don’t know anything about her and don’t wish to endorse her general views especially since as you indicate she is antinuclear. I just took a quick look at her publications and think I would disagree with about 95% of them. I thought her discussion of Calabrese was interesting perhaps because it confirmed the impression I got from reading his voluminous CV that he is a man available for hire, something that I really do not respect at all. But I should have resisted this tendency toward confirmation bias and not included the link. Mea Culpa.

      Regarding hormesis and radiation, while I don’t rule out the possibility that it may be correct, I have seen no compelling evidence for it in controlled animal experiments and I don’t see any major scientific bodies embracing it, so I’d definitely put it in the “speculative” category.

  11. Rod,

    I noticed that when Dr. Boice was talking about the difference between risk reduction and radiation reduction that he revealed an internal conflict. While admitting that we want to measure risk reduction rather than radiation reduction, he went on to celebrate the achievements in radiation reduction. This is actually nonsense. Why even attempt to reduce radiation exposure if it makes no difference to our health. This type of double measure was evident in several places in the interview. Either background radiation levels are have little harmful effect and are not worth the effort to reduce them more or they are highly dangerous and we should work to reduce the levels of exposure to IR as much as possible. It can’t be both ways at the same time.

    Wind is very dangerous at 250 mph, at 100 mph is still a problem, 50 mph can cause some damage, 25 mph is brisk, 10 mph is a breeze and pleasant. It is foolish to say that because there is a dangerous effect at 250 we should celebrate turning off the fans in our houses and stop using hand fans. If the levels of radiation in Japan are the same as those in Colorado why call them high? If the levels in a NPP are already extremely low for the workers and no harm can come to them at that level, why spend a single penny to reduce them more?

    Why spend a single penny to reduce levels below average background?

    But, even within Dr. Boice the contradiction is evident.

  12. @ Engineer-Poet & Joris van Dorp

    Read your comments on the Energy Collective re: Nuclear Energy Cost Comparison & Analysis. Excellent comments, I gave them the thumbs up.

    1. Their moderation system has become an enormous headache.  They’ve got bugs that used to have simple work-arounds, but now the moderators are in the way and refuse to cooperate.  No explanation has been given.

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