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  1. Re: Forbes fracking article:
    “It’s low-level radiation, but we don’t want any radiation in South Huntingdon,” Tom Cornell, a township supervisor where the landfill is located,”

    This is the main problem nourished by antis; The public’s assumption that ANY radiation is “bad” radiation. At rock bottom this is a public education issue. If radiation and nuclear energy has a evil rep and a mountain of respectability to climb it has to be laid at the feet of a nuclear community — industry, unions and professional organizations — which doesn’t know how how to defend, much less promote, itself. It’s plight can’t be blamed on the ads and actions of oil and gas and coal industries; it’s nuclear that has yet to learn the law of the jungle and Darwin. The Ad agencies and mass media talents to turn things around are out there — been. It just takes a little sense and guts to tap them. It’s not like trying to organize a mob of pissed ousted Fukushima residents to storm the evacuation cordons and sweep back into their homes to stay — which would make more of a sign of confidence in living with radiation than anything the nuclear interests here have ever done.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. @James
      … it’s nuclear that has yet to learn the law of the jungle and Darwin ….

      The problem is that pro-nuclear often state things that are ‘proven’ wrong according to general accepted standards and refute those that act according to general accepted knowledge. That makes pro-nuclear not trust worthy and declassify it into the cigarette and asbestos industry.
      Which is really unfortunately and should be avoided, as
      that implies that nuclear is not worth to listen to.

      Few examples;
      – stating that 100mSv/year does no harm, while LSS and others showed that it does. LSS proofed that even 60 years of 5mSv/year harms.
      – Refute authorities for ‘unnecessary’ evacuation, while they acted according to the general accepted scientific knowledge and expert advice.

      1. The hang with you “Bas” is you see most anything nuclear as deadly next to evil and must be banished for its sins. There’s no reasoning with you because for some implacable deep-set reason you’re immune to proof and fact. Again I challenge your impeccable shining heroes Greenpeace, FOE, Sierra Club, etc to go on a web forum like Rod Atomic Show and face the music with him, Meredith, Will Davis, Steve Alpin and Andrea Jennetta. You email those green groups with the same fervor and insistence that you post your rants here for them to go online and face these REAL pros in a web/podcast debate — and ask them if not why not. You can do this RIGHT NOW. Hey — you’re their fan and solider! Post here their replies. Wanna hear my crystal ball? To a one they’re going to chicken out. If they can’t explain themselves or their “facts” before non-lackey critics then they’ve been feeding you BULL — which means all your “facts” are too. Think real hard about their replies, man. Email them the challenge — now! Door’s wide open here and the light’s on.

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

        1. Considering this Dutch troll’s comments here and over at Depleted Cranium I have come to the conclusion that his hatred is driven more by the ‘limits to growth’ meme than antinuclear feelings per se.

          We have to keep in mind that there is a large contingent out there that fear nuclear not because they think it will fail to keep its promise of cheap, clean energy, but rather because they think it might. This group wants to see humanity halt its growth and development and return to a ‘pure’ state of small populations and low tech. Nuclear energy represents a huge threat to this ideal that many saw coming to fruition with peak oil, and now worry that it may slip away with the rise of nuclear.

          Consequently Bas Gresnigt is not interested in ether the veracity of his own criticisms or the counter arguments; he is only interested at lashing out blindly at this evil menace to his dream.

        2. @James
          I’m no supporter of Greenpeace (do not agree with lot of their actions).
          Who / What is FOE? Sierra Club? Rod Atomic show? Meredith? Wil Davies? Steve Alpin? Saw the name Andrea Jennetta at a post here.

          Suggest you take the lead and organize as you seem to know those names.

      2. @Bas :
        – What Life Span Study (LSS) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki analysis is the long term consequence of the atomic blast (as well as of a bit of fission products, and plutonium, fallout), certainly **not** 60 years of 5mSv/year.
        Please justify your claim, or I’m afraid I will have to call you a liar, pure and simple.

        BTW the average dose received by American is estimated to be 6.2mSv/year, see http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/osradtraining/backgroundradiation/background.htm

        The 10 millions people living around Denver are above that because of the higher altitude and granitic ground.

        – Authorities in Japan refused to act according to the general accepted scientific knowledge and expert advice. They had a precise estimation of where the radioactive deposits would be through the SPEEDI estimate, and they *refused* to use it, deciding opposite on completely arbitrary circle around the plant. Not a single expert would have approved that.
        You see you can not win on both side, both as I expect harshly criticize the government for not using that data, but this time claiming their decision have been perfectly informed and rational. They obviously were not.
        The following irrational decision was to modify the authorized radiation level in food which already included a very large security margin, larger than the security margin used for chemicals and pesticides contamination, and reduce even more the allowed level.

        1. @jmdesp
          …What … LSS …is the long term consequence of the atomic blast …a bit of fission products … certainly **not** 60 years of 5mSv/year…
          I wrote: “..LSS proofed that even 60 years of 5mSv/year harms…”.
          That does not imply that the bombs delivered that radiation. Sorry.

          Referring to LSS report no 14: http://www.rerf.jp/library/archives_e/lsstitle.html
          From the summary: “..formal dose-threshold analysis indicated no
          threshold; i.e., zero dose was the best estimate of the
          threshold..”

          That does not proof much, but refer to Figure 5 of the report.
          That shows that the upper bound of a possible threshold is 0.15 Gy.
          That implies that a possible threshold is <150 mSv (primarily gamma).
          With thanks for the advice of Brian!

          Conversion of this low level radiation to protracted radiation:
          – Some studies show protracted is worse than one-time for low level radiation
          – Some do one- to-one (EPA seems to do so).

          To avoid discussion I took a conservative approach and assumed that 300mSv protracted = 150mSv one time.
          That translates to a max. threshold level of 5mSv in 60years.
          More does harm!

          – Japanese authorities follow their own radiation experts. Thanks to the bombs and the LSS, they have more experience than anybody else.
          They adapt the evacuation zone based on measurements, etc:
          http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-More_revisions_to_Fukushima_zones-0312128.html

          “… irrational decision to modify authorized radiation level in food ..”
          They brought their limits in line with the new standards of the UN linked Codex, which are ~10 times more strict than the US & EU standards.
          I assume Codex based that decision on sound research results.

          If you take the research results regarding the heredity effects, that new standard is still rather high. Research showed enhanced levels of stillbirth, Down syndrome, neural tube defects, etc. with a raised radiation levels of only 0,3mSv.

          1. @Bas

            To avoid discussion I took a conservative approach and assumed that 300mSv protracted = 150mSv one time.
            That translates to a max. threshold level of 5mSv in 60years.
            More does harm!

            You’re flat out wrong. That is akin to saying that 200 aspirin tablets taken over a sixty year period is as damaging as taking 100 of them in a single gulp.

          2. @Rod
            … akin to saying that 200 aspirin tablets taken over a sixty year period is as damaging as taking 100 of them in a single gulp.
            Nice idea. But the comparison has no value since the one time radiation dose is also a small dose.

            Interesting that you deny all value to one-time protracted radiation conversion rates that EPA and other official bodies seem to use.

            Allow me a few days to come back on this important issue (busy here). I want to post then at the end of this blog as that makes a better overview of the interaction regarding this important subject.

            1. @Bas
              Nice idea. But the comparison has no value since the one time radiation dose is also a small dose.

              Okay, then divide my numbers by 10 or 100, which your favorite LINEAR assumption fully supports. I suppose there is a remote chance that a single aspirin tablet can harm a super sensitive individual, perhaps by choking on trying to take it.

              Do you honestly expect everyone to believe that one can apply exactly the same risk probability to grinding up 2 aspirin tablets and consuming the resulting powder gradually over a sixty year period?

            2. @Bas

              By the way, the end of the “blog” was written quite a while ago when I posted my article. The comment thread is just a collection of reactions to that article, with varying degrees of importance. They are not indexed for search engines by design; I want results that reflect my carefully researched and thought out commentary. Atomic Insights serves my agenda, not yours. If you want to do a blog of your own, feel free.

          3. @Bas : Whilst the LSS is a serious study, I’ve never seen any even remotely serious one (this mean, studies that are not written the miraculous Mousseau&Møller pair that finds an amazingly high effect every single time it does a radiation study, they have yet to report a single negative result whatever context, subject&method in which they study radiation) claim that protracted exposure is worse than one-time.

            If that was true, the effect of living in a HLNRA (High Levels of Natural Radiation Areas) would be absolutely obvious, which is not the case with for example Denver actually having a lower cancer rate than most of the rest of the US.
            And *no* serious research also shows levels of stillbirth, Down syndrome, elevated by a level of only 0,3 mSv. Again, every country has areas that are exposed to much more than 0,3 mSv more than the other parts. Actually medical exposure is much higher than that at around 3 mSv/y in the US, and 1.88mSv in developed countries (UNSCEAR 2008).

            What is the “UN codex” supposed to be ? Do you realize that reciprocally you’re claiming that US and EU standards are *not* based on sound research results ?
            And that you’re just swiping away the specific references I brought to the Japanese government behaving irrationally ?

          4. @jmdesp
            … *no* serious research also shows levels of stillbirth, Down syndrome, elevated by a level of only 0,3 mSv…
            Chernobyl delivered low level radiation at very specific areas in W-European countries with administrations that also covered major reproduction health problems, as well as background radiation levels, over a longer period in the 1980-2000 time frame.

            Because of the high number of people (millions), it allowed for accurate comparisons regarding changes in the % of still birth, Down, heart malformations, etc.:
            – before and after Chernobyl; and
            – areas with Chernobyl radiation nearby areas that got ~10 times less radio-activity from Chernobyl.

            So Chernobyl delivered an unique situation that allowed to measure effects of low level radiation more accurate than anything before.

            Quite a number of studies were published. Studies from different countries were used in the study I referred to (http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/ibb/homepage/hagen.scherb/CongenMalfStillb_0.pdf).

            It showed with strong significance that the risk for:
            – Stillbirth rise with 33% per 1mSv/a
            – Malformations of the heart rise with 83% per 1mSv/a
            – Deformities (skull, face, neck, spinal, etc.) rise with 120% per 1mSv/a.
            Figures based on raised radiation levels of only ~0,2mSv/a due to Cs137 fall-out.

            Jmdesp: “…You didn’t read …: “The effects we observed are in strong contradiction to ‘well established’ radiobiological theories”…
            Sorry, I read that. Please read what the authors write next:
            “…However, as Vogel [26] put it, the genetic risk estimates by
            BEIR and UNSCEAR, which are mainly based on parents
            exposed to atomic bombs or high background radiation, are
            ‘extremely unreliable’. …”, etc.

            To illustrate further:
            The numbers in the LSS (bombs) and high background radiation studies are >30 times smaller, hence the results far less accurate. Comparison between areas with high and low background levels are further complicated because the circumstances in those areas differ much.
            It is possible that people living for generations in high background radiation developed more resistance to radiation due to selective breeding.
            The concerned areas in Germany(Bayern) have background radiation levels of ~1mSv/a.

            “… effect of living in a HLNRA … would be absolutely obvious, … for example Denver actually having a lower cancer rate…
            The study only deliver figures regarding the enhanced chance on serious damaged offspring. It tells nothing regarding cancer rates.

            … Claim … relative risk of 1.60 per mSv/a. This means that people who are 6 mSv above normal would have a risk multiplied by 10. …
            Sorry. It means 60% more risk per 1mSv/a radiation. Assuming LNT it implies 3,6 times more risk with 6mSv/a.

            Note that the most recent LSS report (no.14) delivers indications that a super-linear dose response may apply at such low doses (e.g. 4 times more radiation => 2 times more risk). I believe even UNSCEAR concluded recently that the relation is not clear at low levels.

            … What is the “UN codex” supposed to be? … you’re claiming that US and EU standards are *not* based on sound research results ?…
            The UN Codex set new standards regarding food safety that are ~10 times lower than US & EU standards. Japanese government implemented these standards in 2012.
            I assume that the UN Codex set new standards in order to bring those more in line with the recent study results about the danger of radiation (such as the one I refer to in this post).

            … you’re just swiping away the specific references I brought to the Japanese government behaving irrationally …
            I have not seen any such reference from you.
            Rod delivered me useful references for which I am grateful (took a while to study those).
            Those concerned a possible threshold regarding cancer risk (of adults).

            Here we talk about the damaging effect of low level radiation on offspring / fetus in the womb.
            A different subject, although at least as serious.

            Note that vulnerability for radiation depends highly on the rate of cell division ( the base of radiation-therapy against cancer).
            A fetus in the womb has an extremely high cell division rate.
            A 60 years old person has a low rate => elderly persons are xx times les vulnerable. Also because damage from low level radiation turn into nasty effects (cancer, heart, etc) after >20years.

            Sorry it took some time to answer, I have busy days here as I have to finish a lot because I go on a bike tour around the Baltic sea.

          5. @jmdesp;
            Please read second paragraph of my last post (May 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM) as:

            Because of the high number of people (millions), it allowed for accurate comparisons regarding changes in the % of still birth, Down, heart malformations, etc.:
            – Before and after Chernobyl; and
            – Districts with Chernobyl radiation versus nearby almost identical districts that got ~10 times less radio-activity from Chernobyl

            Sorry, I used a comparison sign in stead of ‘versus’ that the blog software neglected.

        2. @BAS : And whilst the LSS study is a serious one, a proper reading of the text shows that the searcher admit the data they have is problematic. From the text in page 238 where figure 5 appears :
          – “The apparent upward curvature appears to be related to relatively lower than expected risks in the dose range 0.3–0.7 Gy (Fig. 4), a finding without a current explanation”
          – “The high risks per unit dose observed in the low-dose range are difficult to interpret”

          As shown by the error bar in figure 5, they have little data below 0.5 Gy, so the error on the result is very large compared the results at higher dose, which means no sensible conclusion can reliably be deduced in this range.

          Actually as it stands, the data they have does not refute the alternative hypothesis of a badly chosen control group, therefore an actual cancer risk at 0 rad level of almost 3 time the reference they use, combined with a threshold at about 0.5 Gy.
          This would explain why the ERR seems to grow below 0.5 Gy, because they would have a constant absolute number of cancer below that, and dividing this constant number by a rad dose that lowers then appears to show a ERR that grows at smaller dose. Of course their error bar is so high that this can not be demonstrated either to be correct, but except for requiring that they have a bad control group, it matches their result better that their no threshold explanation.

    2. Yes, it is a public education issue. Which is why it is nice that the IEA recently specifically recommended that governments do more to make factual and reliable information on nuclear power available to the public.

      http://www.iea.org/publications/TCEP_web.pdf

      “To improve public acceptance of nuclear power, governments should work with all stakeholders to
      ensure that factual, reliable and scientifically credible information is available on the advantages
      and risks of nuclear power, and to emphasise the role of nuclear power in meeting energy and
      environmental policy objectives.”
      (page 37)

      So now we can tell our politicians and government agencies that they should heed the recommendations of the IEA and make sure that we have accurate information on nuclear power!

    3. “This is the main problem nourished by antis; The public’s assumption that ANY radiation is “bad” radiation. At rock bottom this is a public education issue.”

      I envision active billboards on the major roads in every city with a changing digital display, and large, unmissable words next to them stating:

      “Today’s Background Radiation Count: nnn uSv/Hr”

      Or something like that. Get folks used to the idea that radiation is something they’re bathing in every moment of their lives. It’s like Palmolive — “You know you’re soaking in it?”

      1. I’d like to see a micro gieger counter component small enough to be added to ones smart phone circuitry. It wouldn’t have to be super accurate, just sort of a banana / granite countertop detector…. Folks could download a Geiger counter app for their smart phone and impress their family, friends and neighbors with an app no one else has.

        Is there a minimal physical size limit of a Geiger–Muller tube?

        If there were a Gieger counter smart phone app, the politics of radiation would change nearly overnight.

    4. How about you read the book “The Woman Who Knew Too Much.” Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation.
      I found on my property 3 dandelions that have been mutated. Imagine, bees pollinating these flowers…mutated. In just 24 hours. I have 200 acres. This was a very short walk through the property. This is alarming…this is nature being frankensteined.
      No additional radiation is needed after hundreds and hundreds of nuclear bombs being blow. Not to mention the “real” natural radiation.
      I no longer can accept this as normal…it is abnormal and irreversible. Forever changed.
      Only the creator has the right to change anything…certainly not the stupid humans. Queen Elizabeth that nightmare is behind the subject.
      I for one know we are better than this…we can do much better. And, for the sake of future generations we MUST.

  2. You’re both right, of course.  But I think Jim Hopf has a point you’re missing:  it’s going to be much easier to dislodge those entrenched interests if the official position is revealed as obviously ridiculous.  Ridicule is a weapon of great potency.

    1. You should lead this particular battle, Mr Engineer-Poet. With you as general the fight would be over in no time. 😉

  3. Meanwhile, three people are in critical condition after two natural gas barges exploded on the Mobile river. I guess they were fortunate that the barges weren’t still loaded with natural gasoline (a natural gas liquid) when the explosions occurred.

    Fire officials couldn’t do anything to fight the fires resulting from the explosions, so the just let them burn overnight.

    1. Brian,

      The hypocrisy is easy to see, but it is the long term fear of cancer that is difficult to reply to. I have yet to figure out how to respond to the actual fear – of the possibility of cancer – as opposed to the fairly normal acceptance of accidental death. In this case supporters of Nuclear power are up against the whole problem with cancer – that it’s causes are fairly invisible and difficult for most people to really grasp. Thus making radiation easy to compare with Asbestos.

  4. Rod,

    In the fight against slavery in Britain, they had managed to convince the public that slavery was immoral and had a strong movement going against it. Wilberforce’s tireless campaign convinced many people. BUT. It was a slick move to change the registration requirements for ships that actually broke the back of the slave trade. The movie Amazing Grace points out that this was done in a way that was boring and nondescript. It cut the legs out from under the slave trade without having to have a forward assault – banning the trade. Wilberforce had tried the forward assault for decades and failed.

    In this case, Jim’s approach is easy to articulate and most people understand hypocrisy. It is also a bridge approach. That is once people understand that there IS a hypocrisy in the regulations – it opens the conversation to point out that radiation is simply not that dangerous.

    I want to repeat my illustration. Radiation regulations on Nuclear energy are like having noise pollution regulations that forbid installing straight pipes on a harley for one industry – good regulation, while at the same time fining a person with asthma for breathing too loudly while standing outside – for another industry – excessive regulation.

    Fine Schedule for Noise.
    A 100 dollar fine for a bad muffler
    A 10,000 dollar fine for breathing too loudly.

    Fine Schedule for Radiation releases to the environment
    (100 mSv) per month Fracking and Coal – No Fine
    (.00001 mSv) Nuclear power plant 200 million dollars plus lawyer fees, lawsuits and increased regulation.

  5. Fabulous! In the course of studying history, one may wonder: Why do great Empires inevitably decay and fall? In brief, it is because the very things that made them successful, also block their forward advance. In the case of the USA, it is the coal, natural gas and big oil, corporations and infrastructure that have a massive, tenacious, inherent opposition to nuclear energy. Or, as Lenin commented at the time of WWI, the countries richest in capital are also the most prone to parasitism and decay. (see: Great Britain) Why? Parasitism, the siphoning off of superprofits by the big banks, enfeebles productive sectors. (The USA is spending $325 BILLION to develop the F35 fighter; .5 billion to encourage SMRs!) The countries richest in capital inevitably have the biggest banks and most parasitism; see: Wall Street, USA. Decay, because the very success of capitalism creates huge monopolies (in our case, fossil fuel ones) and monopolies naturally oppose progress to a large degree, to protect their installed capital base. What upsets the applecart? Competition from the world market. Will China follow these absurd radiation rules? Ha! They will laugh at the fat bloated foolish American ruling class, and steal the world market away by following rational, scientific standards. The CAP 1400 comes on the market this year, as does the ACPR 1000; to be followed by Pebble Bed helium high temperature reactors; and then by molten salt varieties. They will crush the competition. (Although I am rooting for mPower and NuScale too.) And this will be of huge benefit to humanity, despite the glaring absence of many democratic rights in China at present. I am not suggesting they will also export their social system…

    1. I agree with you, there is a lot of negative momentum coming from the fossil fuel companies (which is natural), but I would say, a greater amount is coming from regulatory ratcheting. The free market is trying to build nuclear, but having to wait 10 years and spend millions of dollars on simply getting a plant licensed to build is a massive hindrance to the allocation of capital for a nuclear project.

      Either coal and natural gas need to be regulated like nuclear, or nuclear needs to be regulated more like coal and natural gas. The former will make energy overall more expensive, the ladder will bring much more incentive to utilities to build nuclear power, research labs to build state of the art test reactors, small Alaskan communities to build something like the Toshiba 4S. Give incentive (in the form of removing regulatory hindrances in this case) to the free market to build something and it will be built. Nuclear power doesn’t need the government to force it, it needs the government to stop putting useless burdens on nuclear power that push away investors.

      This is just my opinion on the matter. I, like most here, want to see nuclear power fully utilized, I just don’t see more government intervention as the way to go about it.

      1. Some greens are quasi-leftists and insist that the NRC is a regulatory agency and therefore, it must be a pawn of the nuclear industry. They have adopted this dogma because these leftists, despite the algae in their eyes, and so forth, have noticed that some regulatory agencies are in fact pawns of their target industry. I would put in this category, the FDA (big pharma and big agribusiness) and many others. I do not put the NRC in this category. It is “captured”, but not by the target industry, nuclear, but by the fossil fuel industry. Take Mr. Jaczko: a groomed agent of Rep. Markey, who facts seem to indicate is a pawn of natural gas elements. Regulatory ratcheting benefits who exactly? Big oil, gas and coal. Who runs the NRC? I suspect Congress and the presidency. And who runs them? I put an = sign between regulatory ratcheting and the “fossils”. Of course, reality is much more complex than this sketch. (Jaczko was also doing the bidding of Sen. Reid, who in turn was dancing to the tune of the Casino owners in Las Vegas.) Also, I have difficulty seeing a “free market” except in a utopian sense of what some people wish existed. Monopolies are the opposite of “free”. And that’s what we’ve got.

        1. What you are describing is crony capitalism. That is the only conclusion when so much power is given to the government. Power seems to always draw less than the best and brightest to seize it for their own gains.

          Are you saying the fossil fuel industry is a monopoly? If they are, than why? You identified the problem: they are grabbing power through the regulatory agency who, more-or-less, controls the success of the nuclear industry. They are using it to keep their product king. This is not the free market’s fault. Do you disagree that giving an agency like the NRC (which itself holds a monopoly on regulating the nuclear industry) less power to stall projects and drive costs way up is a bad thing for the nuclear industry?

          1. I am describing the former competitive capitalism, that, due to its natural progression, becomes monopoly capitalism. Monopolies are the antithesis of free competition. And flow from it. And these corporations run the government, through the power of money. One can put democratic clothes on a plutocracy, but well, a pig is a pig. One may wish for an ideal capitalism where the situation is different. But I have doubts of its possibility. One may wish for an NRC that actually facilitates the nuclear renaissance. OK, but how to get it? I think that the competition from China and other powers that produce energy cheaper than coal and natural gas will put US-based industry at a disadvantage. The US is doing this right now with cheap natural gas, a temporary phenomenon, to Germany and others.) This may then result in a seismic shift in favor of fission over fossils in the USA. It will be a matter of economic survival. And a shift in the NRC will ensue to facilitating fission. There are other possible paths, but this is the one that seems the most plausible to me. Other plausible paths: the US Navy freaks out that the Chinese nuclear navy-to-be will be superior; and this forces some serious Gen. IV R & D in the USA; and consequent NRC reform. (Another variety of competition from the world market.) There are other scenarios too, of course. For example, Big Oil is showing some interest in Gen IV reactors, both for tar sands production, and for refinery heat. Big Oil may opt for this, and in passing, crush coal-generated electricity. One thing about the future, it is unpredictable!

          2. I agree. And I think we are saying similar things.

            The ideal way to get an NRC with reduced power is for the population to strongly want to dismantle the size of the agency. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the majority at the moment. So, like you said, international market pressure needs to be a big driver of policy change here. A problem, however, is that we are still sitting around with crony central agencies after policies change. I do not want a powerful nuclear industry that can influence government force any more than I want a powerful fossil industry doing the same. No matter what, the power given to these agencies should be reduced.

            I hope that big oil see’s the benefit of coupling nuclear power with their oil extraction operations. Oil is not as threatened by nuclear power as coal is, so it seems to be a place where partnership could be made.

          3. And at a out 20m:30s Friedman is asked a question pertaining to nuclear power that hits on our exact discussion.

    2. @Paul
      …$325 BILLION to develop the F35 fighter …
      Indeed a waste as next big war over >10 years, will be won by a new generation of stealth fighter drones.
      As those drones can handle a centrifugal forces of ~25G, which no pilot can, they will not only avoid rockets automatically but also attack and shoot the F35.
      All without any communication from a ground pilot, thanks to Artificial Intelligence in the board computer..

      The F35 prepares for the past war, not the future one.
      A mistake many army commanders made in the past.

      It’s development is a sign, the US is in decay.
      Just as US not leading the next wave of electricity generation.

      1. Bas, with all due respect, you are poorly informed on jets and the anti-air business.

        The old rule of thumb in defeating a surface to air or air to air missile is being to generate 1/3 of its “G” capability. There have been 30+G Soviet missiles around for over 30 years.

        These days you defeat missiles from the air via either spoofing their guidance (chaff, flares, active EW) or destroying the launch / carrier before it is airborne. This is one of the reasons that SEAD is one of the first things a strike force does.

        Of course all the hot stuff smart missiles do, the biggest threat to jets is still surface to air gunfire – directed and otherwise.

        I hope you are better informed regarding nuke stuff. Cheers –

        1. @agimarc
          … These days you defeat missiles from the air via either …
          … biggest threat to jets is still surface to air gunfire..
          Nice summary of the present war.
          Yes, the F35 is made to handle the present situation.

          But the F35 will fly during the coming decades.
          At the next big (not like Irak) war, about air supremacy, the other party will have autonomous stealth fighter drones flying for hours and attacking the F35 in coordinated group attacks, using stealth air-to-air rockets, etc…

          As stealth technology is used, detection occurs at low distance.
          Hence extremely short time to:
          – react => Pilot is slower than drones computer; and to
          – avoid => big G-forces needed. Pilot unconscious/dead if >~12G
          So the drone will end being on the tail of the F35.
          It can shoot one of its short range missiles.

          Btw.
          – You can see autonomous formation flying drones at YouTube already.

          – Your thumb rule applies only for much faster flying attacking missiles that come in under certain angles, and do not have the range & capability for a chase. It it has, than 30G is enough to follow and kill the F35.

  6. Around the world, there are places like Ramsar, Iran where the most exposed can receive 26,000 mrem (260 MSv). “Cytogenetic studies show no significant differences between people in the high background compared to people in normal background areas.”

    In high radiation areas of Ramsar, the annual effective dose rate has a mean value of 6 mSv/year. In low radiation areas, the dose rate has a mean of 0.7 mSv. Both these values are well within existing and conservative radio-protection guidelines for nuclear workers, and general public after an accident. In you’re view, what’s the relevance of 260 mSv figure for assessing health risks from exposure to naturally occurring radiation in cytogenetic or epidemiological studies in Ramsar?

    In addition, three studies have found elevated rates of DNA damage related to higher radiation levels in Ramsar:

    Long-term immune and cytogenetic effects of high level natural radiation on Ramsar inhabitants in Iran.

    Chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals living in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    A third is only available as a conference proceeding with no on-line links (“Cytogenetic studies of inhabitants of some high natural radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran,” T.Z. Fazeli, R.Gh. Assaei, M. Sohrabi, A. Heidary, R. Varzegar, F. Zakeri, H. Sheikholeslami, Proc. Intl. Conf. on HLNBR, Ramsar, Iran, 3–7 Nov. 1990, IAEA, Vienna (1993), pp. 459–464 Proceedings Series).

    And a fourth (a review article from 2012) recommends immediate protective actions for residents of Ramsar in high exposure areas. It also states no significant epidemiological studies have been conducted for the area.

      1. @DV82XL
        Check the table better.

        Number of tests per person differed somewhat (per pp):
        Stab.aberrations
        – control. tests/pp: 216 => aberrated cells: 6.0%
        – high rad. tests/pp: 194 => aberrated cells: 1.5%
        A factor 4 difference.

        For unstable aberrations the difference was a factor 3.

        This is in line with epidemic studies that show that 6mSv/year deliver significant more premature death.
        And does not mention the far worse consequence for fetus (stillbirth, Down syndrome, etc) and babies (demonstrated after Chernobyl and in medical studies)!

        1. Don’t you get it? Bad technique is not excused by findings in line with what you want them to be. And what are you gibbering on about Down’s syndrome, it wasn’t part of this study at all?

          1. @DV82XL. Do you care to tell us what you find wrong with the study, or are you still keeping your observations to yourself (and only want to give out hints)?

          2. Anyone reading this comment thread that cannot see the glaring violations of good experimental design protocols evidenced by the contents of that table (or will not admit they are there if shown) is not worth the effort to parse them out. That’s because, at least for those that frequent these pages, anyone that floats rubbish like this to support any contention cares little about science but rather is pushing another agenda.

            I am frankly tired of this sterile exercise of going through the steps of discrediting each and every one of the endless barrage of garbage papers that are thrown up by the antinuclear side in these debates. I am tired of endlessly pointing out that simple correlational studies on small samples are meaningless as causal inference cannot be established with any generally accepted degree of certainty. Bias is pervasive; most studies are biased or inconclusive or false, most discovered true associations are inflated, and invariably when proper long-baseline cohort studies with large sample spaces are done, these relationships vanish into the thin air they were first pulled out of.

            There is no jury here. When someone like you, or that Dutch troll come to argue, it is us, not the public that you are trying to convince and frankly studies that look like they wouldn’t get a passing grade as a middle-school project aren’t the way to do it. Therefore the onus is on you to defend the references you post, not on anyone else to discredit them. In other words just because some ‘study’ comes wrapped in the trappings of a scholarly work it does not follow that it gets or deserves any credence on that basis alone – those days are gone forever. So show us why these studies should be trusted, us how they meet the Bradford Hill criteria, because as it stands they fall short.

          3. @DV82XL. You’ve made a statement that can neither be confirmed or denied. Since I don’t speak “true believer,” we’re going to have to review fundings on the merits and in the objective language of science. If you have nothing to offer here, I don’t understand the context or purpose of your reply?

          4. Indeed let us judge these studies on merit, but the onus to establish that they have any rests with you, not anyone else. This has nothing to do with being a ‘true believer’ but simply recognition of who is trying to make the argument. I don’t care what you think, or what your opinions are, clearly you do not come here to learn about nuclear topics, but rather to push your own antinuclear agenda. Since that is the case it is insufficient for you to table a reference and imply that it should be accepted at face value unless we can provide counterarguments.
            As a class, simple correlational studies with small samples are of little value and can generally rejected outright. The literature is full of such rubbish that claims to find significant results that are shown to be at best artifacts of poor design and at worse wishful thinking to the point where they are of no value to support any argument. If you contend that any you are referencing have any value it is up to you to prove it – not everyone else to disprove it.
            The only one that consistently has nothing of consequence to offer here is you, and clearly your biases run so deep you have no claim to the mantel of scientist or the to invoke precepts of science until you start practicing them.

          5. @DV82XL. You are aware that in statistics you don’t have to sample the whole population to get a reliable result? Statistical significance is not a measure of sample size (and I’m not sure what leads you to make such a strange and unsupported claim).

            If you have problems with the study … please state what they are?

            Researchers looked at 100 cells “from each individual in HLNRA and control group” (p 110). The P value of 0.05 is not determined by sample size. I don’t see where you think there is an oversight here?

            In fact, the paper is quite compelling on cytogenetic differences between HLNRA population and controls, and it also speaks to enhanced immune system capabilities and the need for follow up research on possible health outcomes, long-term follow-up, establishment of a cancer registry, and epidemiology (which has not yet been done for region).

            What makes you think the study doesn’t support a hypothesis of stress level conditioning, and “radiation hormesis”? Your sense of alarm over the study seems entirely premature, and appears to NOT be based on anything contained within it (or a detailed consideration of it’s design). Hence, my reason for asking you to clarify your position.

            When you have one (based on anything that is contained in the study), I hope you decide to share it with us. Hopefully, you can do so with a minimal amount of emotional distraction, gut wrenching kerfuffle, and banal tantrums about internet trolls, health care professionals, academic educators, energy enthusiasts, dutch nationals, and any other so-called nefarious characters. Sticking to the objective facts would be fine for me (and perhaps to many others on the site as well).

          6. No sale. Statistical significance is meaningless in and of itself and never proves causation alone. This is why these types of study are useless, and why they cannot be used to support any argument. At best one could say that there is justification to do a more in-depth study. This would, among other things, be designed to eliminate any confounding variables, look for evidence of dose-response, and correct for any potential genetic effects and errors that might be due to the fact that they are dealing with a total population of less than 2000 souls and a relatively isolated region.

            As it stands it proves nothing and it states nothing of value. Furthermore, if you cannot see at least one glaring error in Table 3 and identify it, that only shows me that you are ether willfully ignoring it, or grossly incompetent yourself, and no I will not identify it for you. I have nothing to prove here, again: you are the one that wants us to believe in the validity of the study, I don’t care if you accept it or not. Your judgment has proved lacking in the past here already, it is up to you to show you have anything of value to bring to this discussion and so far you have failed

            1. @DV82XL

              Hint – never forget that the goal of a debater is to convince the audience, not to change the position of the opponent or win esoteric points.

              Please clearly explain for interested, but non-specialist, readers why the study Bas and EL are quoting was poorly structured and provides meaningless data chosen to support preexisting agenda.

          7. Furthermore, if you cannot see at least one glaring error in Table 3 and identify it, that only shows me that you are ether willfully ignoring it, or grossly incompetent yourself, and no I will not identify it for you.

            We are still waiting for you to say something substantive about this study.
            Do you have anything or not?

            Your judgment has proved lacking in the past here already, it is up to you to show you have anything of value to bring to this discussion and so far you have failed.

            Rod said “cytogenetic studies” showed no significant differences in residents in HLNRA areas of Ramsar. I cited three studies that showed this was not the case (and yes they are among a majority of “cytogenetic studies” for the region). If you consider this a failure, you have a funny way of doing math (or challenging research with no statements that can either be confirmed or disconfirmed).

            There is no problem with the p-value in this study, indicating it is significantly powered by the sample. People were selected of similar “social and economic status” and were “carefully screened for: illness, smoking habits, medical treatment, X-ray examinations, viral infections, medications, allergic disease …” (p. 109), and any other confounding factors. If you have a problem with the study, you need to tell us what you think it is? It’s really that simple. Put up or shut up.

          8. There is no problem with the p-value in this study, indicating it is significantly powered by the sample.

            EL – The p-value is not the statistical power of a study. They really don’t have anything to do with each other.

            Geez … when you don’t even know the basics, it’s no wonder you get so confused all of the time.

          9. Brian Mays wrote: The p-value is not the statistical power of a study. They really don’t have anything to do with each other.

            So you don’t want to state your problem with the study either. Why am I not surprised?

            Nobody here is confused (except those trying to read this thread and figure out on what basis DV82XL, or you perhaps too, are challenging the merits of the study).

          10. @DV82XL
            “… gibbering on about Down’s syndrome…”

            I wrote that paragraph to show that these aberrations are not a theoretical issue, but that they have real life consequences. Those concern a range of serious effects such as; neural tube defects (spinal bifida, etc), Down, stillbirth, etc.
            And less harmful effects such as slightly lower intelligence (shown in Sweden).

            Per ~0,3 mSv/year extra radiation, the chance on those rise with ~20%.

            So recommendations are published to change the high natural background radiation zone in Ramsar into an unpopulated park: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135044871200087X

            Note:
            It is not sure how far these effects can be extrapolated linear to 6 mSv/year levels. At those levels LNT may become somewhat supra-linear (only little more/less harm if the dose in-/decreases).

          11. Per ~0,3 mSv/year extra radiation, the chance on those rise with ~20%.

            If this were remotely true, the rates of Down syndrome and NTDs in Ramsar would be through the roof.

            They are not.  Therefore, your source is a pack of lies.  But we knew that already.

    1. HI EL,

      Welcome back! Those are good links you have. I noticed this article in the mix. The abstract is interesting because the authors specifically study the immune response. Notice that abnormal may be a good thing. With a background radiation 13 times higher than normal – people living in these regions do not suffer from any major health problems. Amazing! The authors work to discover the reasons for this.

      So, what exactly is your point about the average dose being only 6 mSv / year? Rod points out that those exposed to the highest doses receive much more than this and are still healthy. So what if the overall average is lower?

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17563407

      The major point here being that the regulations for Nuclear power waste storage are 1/20 of the background levels. Do you agree these are excessively low and a total waste of money and time to reach?

      1. …point here being that the regulations for Nuclear power waste storage are 1/20 of the background levels.

        It is shown that that levels of radiation rise already create enhanced rates of stillbirth and defects such as Down syndrome.

        Parts of Germany experienced that, while >1000miles away from Chernobyl:http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/ibb/homepage/hagen.scherb/CongenMalfStillb_0.pdf

        As well as other parts of W-Europe: http://tchie.uni.opole.pl/ecoproc10a/ScherbVoigt_PECO10_1.pdf

      2. With a background radiation 13 times higher than normal – people living in these regions do not suffer from any major health problems. Amazing!

        The authors cite the following paper (here) for the claim “no major health problems” in the area. It seems rather clear to me that paper is not a study of the general health of the population with respect to major health problems, cancer incidence, or morality? Iran isn’t the easiest place in the world to work, and to date there has been no significant epidemiological research in the area?

        So, what exactly is your point about the average dose being only 6 mSv / year … So what if the overall average is lower?

        It doesn’t seem to me that you are following the discussion very closely, and the scientific basis for correlating dose exposures to health impacts in Ramsar, LNT, waste storage levels, etc. If the received dose doesn’t matter, what do you think this discussion is about?

        1. I think the discussion is about the fact that people can receive a dose of up to 2,600 mrem a year with no discernible health effects. “under current rules, nuclear power plant operators, former weapons manufacturing sites, and used fuel repositories are required to continue clean-up efforts until models show that the most exposed person will receive a dose rate of somewhere between 10 and 25 mrem per year.”

          So what if the average dose in an area is 6 mSv / year? There are areas that have a much higher dose. The claim is NOT that most of the people in the area have a high exposure, but that those people who do have a high exposure do not have major differences in health effects.

          Frankly, I don’t believe you when you claim health effects, birth defects, increased cancers and the like from an effect that is so small. You might be able to turn over a Abrams Battle tank with a spoon but I really doubt it. You might be able to damage a person’s ears with a whisper but I doubt it. You might be able to drive from LA to NY on one gallon of gas but I doubt it.

          All the “scientists” you like to quote are trying to convince me that a very small cause has a very large effect. Minuscule amounts of radiation cause horrible and measurable health effects. I have been reading scientists for years. Frankly, I read them and often wonder how in the world they know what they are saying. They measure 20 butterflies and find 5 with defects and tell me that 20% of measured butterflies have a defect. That last phrase is on the front page while the fact it is only 20 total butterflies measured is buried in the report.

          At this point, I understand that not everything a person with a degree tells me is something I should accept.

          1. @David
            … the fact that people can receive a dose of up to 2,600 mrem a year with no discernible health effects…
            Yes during some time. But in the long run ~70% will die prematurely. The level of stillbirth, Down syndrome, etc. will rise to ~90% of all births. If those happen as indications after Chernobyl showed that getting pregnant becomes difficult.

            … So what if the average dose in an area is 6 mSv / year?…
            Population gets ~3% more premature death (cancer, heart, brain, etc).

            That is acceptable if you like to live somewhere (e.g. in the mountains) also because those nice surroundings often have factors that lower the risk.
            E.g. less micro particles, less stress…

            But in my vision it is clearly not acceptable at all, when it is forced on me by government without any compensation!

            The studies of LSS (RERF) include and are reviewed by (the best) scientist of US (Stanford, etc), UK (Cambridge), Japan, and sometimes also France.

            Considering that you seem not to believe their research results, even while those are supported by other independent study results,
            I question:
            ” What ever can convince you of a fact that is contrary to your opinion? “

            1. @Bas

              But in my vision it is clearly not acceptable at all, when it is forced on me by government without any compensation!

              We have a similar attitude. Taking without compensation is stealing. In my judgement, government bureaucrats are using fences, fines and the point of a gun to keep people away from their property using the excuse that they are simply applying additional conservatisms over already conservative limits. They are taking property from the rightful owners and trying to blame a corporation that provided sufficient protection to prevent any measurable harm.

              IMHO – another word for “unmeasurable” is “imaginary”.

            2. @Bas
              The studies of LSS (RERF) include and are reviewed by (the best) scientist of US (Stanford, etc), UK (Cambridge), Japan, and sometimes also France.

              Not true. The studies have been conducted and reviewed by a carefully selected subset of researchers whose work has demonstrated that they accept conventional wisdom. I have mentioned here several times the strong influence of LNT true believer bureaucrats in the office at the EPA that has held the LSS-related purse strings for several decades. Two of them, both named Nelson, made it abundantly clear to their colleagues that they intended to ensure that the LSS would continue to support the LNT as long as they kept their decision making power, at least until the death of the last survivor.

              My source served in that office as a financial analyst for several years and had numerous discussions with the adamant GS-15s.

              As you may or may not know, the always independently minded French Academy of Science disagrees with LNT.

              http://www.jpands.org/vol13no3/cohen.pdf

              “A 2001 Report by the French Academy of Medicine concluded that LNT is “without any scientific validity,” and an elaborate joint study by the French Academy of Medicine and the French Academy of Sciences2 strongly condemned the use of LNT.”
              (2nd paragraph, pg 1)

          2. Bas,

            What can convince me to change my opinion would be studies that tracked the effects of low dose radiation over several years and checked for actual sickness or death. We could start with workers in the Hot springs radiation spa’s that are all over Europe. How about a study of workers in a Ship yard? Some working on Nuclear powered ships and others working on normal ships? How about a study of the effects of Radon which compares the health effects of high radon areas with low radon areas showing the actual number of deaths, and illnesses recorded in both areas? How about a study in Rasmar that shows actual sickness, not simply changes?

            You keep quoting illness that are suposed to have been caused by radiation from Chernoyble. These are correlated sicknesses not demonstrated causative effects from radiation. You will never convince me with that type of evidence. You might as well tell me that everyone dies from breathing because air is present in the case of everyone who dies – in fact 100% of the cases. Thus, air is highly fatal and should be regulated and taxed.

            Yawn. I am looking for actual evidence of harm from low dose radiation.

          3. @Bas : You claim about the consequences of 2600 mRem (26 mSv) of exposition a year is crazy, definitively not supported by any real study.

            They are a lot people who get an exposition at least as high as that from Radon.
            The current recommendation from ICRP http://www.icrp.org/docs/ICRP_Statement_on_Radon%28November_2009%29.pdf is to consider that 300 Bq/m-3 represent 10 mSv of exposure, and should lead to action to reduce it. Frequently house with as high as 1000 Bq/m-3 are found.

            You didn’t read in this “study” the following line : “The effects we observed are in strong contradiction to ‘wellestablished’ radiobiological theories”.
            They claim an effect of a relative risk of 1.60 per mSv/a. This means that people who are 6 mSv above normal would have a risk multiplied by 10.
            This does not just contradict every UNSCEAR, ICRP or OMS report, the consequence of that high a sensitivity level would be **totally** obvious with the variation of natural radiation all over the world.

            People who claim to be the only one to be right when their result so totally, so massively, contradict the ones of hundreds of experts are idiots pure and simple.
            They claim that minute level of 137Cs had very visible effects. They simply are ignorant enough not to know that similar level of 137Cs already occurred in the past when there was atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs.
            They also conveniently didn’t include in their paper the countries that received an actually high level of radiation where the RR factor they use would have meant results that would have gone through the roof.

            What you are doing here Bas, is exactly what climate change denier are doing when they claim the one totally wild “study” contradicting all the rest of the field *has* to be the only one that’s correct.

  7. I am sure most pro-nuclear people here already know this, but perhaps our anti-nuclear detractor Bas doesn’t. About 1.7 years ago or so various naturally occurring deposits of uranium in Okla, Gabon on the African Continent went critical, releasing all manner of radioactive fission products into the environment. Reportedly these deposits “operated” over periods of hundreds of thousands of years, exposing the environment to high levels of radiation. In spite of this (or perhaps because of this), Africa came to hold a wild profusion of life seen in few other places of the planet. While I am not an adherent of materialistic evolution (read Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Humani Generis), I do believe in what the science says: radiation exposure didn’t prevent the vast variety of life on the African continent, and it may have even been beneficial given what we now know about radiation hormesis.

    Absurdly low radition limits results in all sorts of increased costs that the consumer has to pay in the end, and little if any service is done in enhancing safety, let alone protecting people’s health and lives. As for the fear of cancer due to radiation exposure, I am 55 years old and with 30+ years in nuclear energy have still (thank God) not developed cancer. If I ever do, then I suspect it will be because of the things I had once long ago done in my misspent youth (e.g., cigarette smoking, excessive drinking, etc.), not because of radiation exposure.

    1. @Paul
      I read that you accept that smoking & drinking can cause cancer after ~30 years.

      So you also accept that delay regarding low level radiation?
      Hence that the Chernobyl death numbers are not clear yet.
      As well as the Fukushima ones.

      Btw. Read about the Gabon story. Cannot estimate the value.

      1. The known deleterious effects of smoking and drinking, however delayed, would swamp any alleged deleterious effect of low level radiation exposure, however delayed. Having worked in the nuclear industry for 30+ years, and having met and become friends with literally hundred of nuclear co-workers, I know of only two who developed cancer. One person got skin cancer and another bone cancer. Neither appeared to be related to the very low level of occupational exposure we all received. Yet outside the nuclear industry I know scores of people who have developed cancer of one form or another, none having received any occupational exposure. Just in my own small Parish are several people whose lives have been affected. While of course none of this is a statistical analysis, simple common sense experience demonstrates the fallacy of the supposition that delayed on-set of cancer is caused by low level radiation exposure. I would say that all the chemical, non-radiological toxins in the environment – most of which are dumped by fossil fuel energy providers – are the likely culprit, NOT commercial nuclear power plants. Kindly look at the facts, Bas.

        1. … all the chemical, non-radiological toxins … are the likely culprit
          Yes they are important too. Luckily we get all the time better regulations in the EU-NL to stop that.

          One of the few things the EU/Brussels does well. Hope they accelerate that type of work and stop with import taxes.

          I think the somewhat cheaper electricity production compared to PV panels / wind, is not worth the extra risk on death, stillbirth and other harm, due to the present generation of unsafe NPP’s.

          Especially since I read the studies that show that an enhanced radiation of <0,5mSv/year in Germany already produced enhanced levels of stillbirth, etc.
          I want health grand children.

          There are better alternatives available, that even are or will be cheaper than NPP's in ~10-20years.

          1. Bas wrote: “I think the somewhat cheaper electricity production compared to PV panels / wind, is not worth the extra risk on death, stillbirth and other harm, due to the present generation of unsafe NPP’s.”

            Manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) panels is itself an industry that pollutes the environment through the release of metal toxins and other hazardous substances that never ever decay away.

            Both PV panels and wind turbines despoil vast acreage of the environment because both solar and wind energy is diffuse and fluctuating. Capacity factor is 20 to 30% and cannot be significantly increased therefrom. No sun at night or on snowy or cloud-cover days, no energy. No wind, no energy. Additionally, operation of wind turbines has an environmentally injurious impact on raptors and bats.

            Neither solar nor wind energy can economically sustain themselves without significant transfusion of funds from the public tax payer.

            If solar were so great, then we would still be baking mud bricks in the sun as the ancient Sumerians did.

            If wind were so great, then we would still be transporting merchandise across the oceans with sailing ships.

            Solar and wind are equivalent to lack of electricity more than 70% of the time. Life without electricity is like life in the 1900s when there were no refrigerators, no indoor illumination without candles, no air conditioning, etc. People died at very young ages. Coal-fired electricity is better than that, but it still kills, though it obviates more deaths (by avoiding the no-electricity scenario) than it causes. Gas is better yet. Nuclear is best because it is safest, most economic, most environmentally friendly, and most energy dense of all. Bas wants to go back to the no-electricity situation for indeed that is essentially what reliance on so-called renewables really is.

            PS, the best renewable source of energy is the thorium-232 to uranium-233 or uranium-238 to plutonium-239 breeder.

          2. @Bas,

            In addition to Paul’s excellent comment about the limitations of wind and solar let me add in recent developments about Germany’s situation since that country is the poster child for all renewable advocates.

            Germany just announced that they finally recognized their push for heavily subsidized sun and wind power while dumping nuclear power is pushing their grid into an energy security red zone.

            Germany is considering a plan to subsidize coal and natural gas plants based on a capacity payment structure to ensure grid stablility for the long term.

            One of the provisions is to pay capacity payments to the 7 new coal plants, the 27 new natural gas plants as well as the existing coal and natural gas plants based on a market rate structure to ensure the owner’s maintain the plants online with the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing which is frequently. Another provision of the proposal is that the owners can not decommission any additional fossil fuel plants without a 12 month advance notice. However even then the German government may decide to force the plant to stay open for energy and grid security reasons.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-23/power-plant-capacity-payments-inevitable-in-germany-ubs-says.html

            So Germany, the leaders in subsidizing wind and solar, has finally reached the point of realizing their grid will become unstable if more baseload plants are decommissioned. Something the Greenpeacers and other rabid wind and solar groupies stated would not happen. Hundreds of studies and millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent trying to convince us that national grids can handle above 20% wind and solar penetraion but the truth of how energy is generated, transmitted and consumed is finally winning out over the myths.

            This then that puts Germany in a position of having to subsidize both sides; the wind and solar industrial facilities (who will recieve cash payouts significantly above market rates allowing extraordinary rates of return on the back of the German tax payer) – and now fossil fuel plants (who will only receive payments based on actual operating costs)

            All of this money has to come from somewhere – so guess what: the German rate payer will get soaked. German ratepayers may ultimately end up paying the highest electricity rates in the world if things keep going the way they are currently heading.

            There is no such thing as a free lunch in the energy generation, distribution and consumption arena. The laws of physics and thermodymanics as well as the concepts of economics can never be altered despite the renewable energy industry’s attempt to do otherwise.

          3. @Paul and @Bill
            The German transition scenario is studied and debated during more than 10 years (from 1990 onwards) involving universities, etc.

            You did not state their major problems: The transition goes faster then expected, while the adaptation of the grid does not (NIMBY regarding power lines) as well as (pumped) storage . It forces them to bring the expansion of renewable a little more in line with the scenario.

            Germany’s max. consumption is 60GW.
            Installed capacity of Wind ~32GW and solar ~33GW from which
            ~30GW is rooftop solar PV panels on 1,3million roofs.
            Germany has ~40million roofs => expansion to 900GW using existing roofs. So capacity factor is a non issue.

            Wind and solar continue their expansion with ~10-20%/year.
            By filling in a date e.g. 2 years ago, you can see their solar expansion over the country in a nice way: http://www.sma.de/en/company/pv-electricity-produced-in-germany.html

            The new fluidized bed coal/lignite plants are flexible (fast up-/down power adaptation). So can fill the gaps left by wind and solar, preferable burning renewable(waste & biomass).

            The Bloomberg and similar stories are a year or longer around.
            The big electricity companies complain (playing the instability card) as they continue to loose substantial market share.
            They push for subsidies. German grid is interconnected to grids that have to much capacity (such as NL), so their chance is low. After the adaptations of the grid, etc (~2016), their chance goes to near zero (Norway has/can build enough pumped storage, etc).

            Suggest you read more about Germany’s transition. E.g:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Germany

            Btw.
            Land use. Rooftop solar can do the job. So no land use at all.
            Regarding prices and higher yields: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/03/16/smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-law-apply-to-solar-cells/
            Note that the price fall in 2011 and 2012 was ~30%/year.

            I do not understand why you think that the high energy density of nuclear is an advantage. In my eyes that created the big meshes.

            I saw a similar transition scenario for the US at Atomic Scientists (March/April 2013): http://bos.sagepub.com/content/69/2/44.full
            Just as with Germany the extra costs turn out to be marginal.

          4. There’s something very offensive in your saying that you want “healthy grandchildren”. As though people who believe in and live with nuclear energy don’t? What kind of people do you think we are? We’re not heartless greedy dummies about what nuclear is and in handling it. We’re way more responsible than 99.9% of what others do who regularly poison your grand children’s air and water for generations. This hypocritical holier-than-thou clean earth/good health attitude of anti-nukes really ticks me.

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

          5. @Bas,

            Rooftop solar cannot do the job anywhere in this world except where there are people whose energy usage is very low to begin with such as sub-African countries. Assuming rooftop solar can power an industrial society is wishful thinking by people who have an agenda, can operate a calculator but who are not responsible for ensuring reliable electrical power 24/7/365. So any argument you bring forward from here on out is an indication of your lack of desire to truly understand how the grid functions.

            Then on top of that you bring a Wikipedia entry about Germany’s attempts at energy transition to this crowd and suggest I READ IT? That is a total lack of understanding the people who read this blog and make comments here.

            Many of us work in the business of generation and transmission of electricity. We don’t need to read a Wikipedia entry since we live in that environment every day. We are part of the industry working to ensure you have electricity for your computer, coffee maker, hot water heater and any other modern convenience run by electricity that humanity wants to design and buy to make living in this world just a little bit better.

            We read, and some of us write, the actual data reports published within the industry and then balance them out against the reports that are written by those outside the industry who have agendas. One of my side pursuits is keeping up with the Germany energiewende process. So your attempts to push me to read a Wikipedia article about Germany’s attempts to transition their grid indicates how little you understand about who you are arguing with on this site. It also indicates how little you truly understand about how the electricity you are using right now is generated and transmitted to you.

            Then as if that wasn’t irritating enough, you link a blog entry from Scientific American about solar power written by person who used to work at Microsoft. He provides a number of pretty little graphs about how the cost of solar is following possibly Moore’s law. Then he uses his calculator to figure out that all that sun hitting the earth could be an immense power source and indicates that we are stupid for not taping into it for humanity’s sake.

            WOW. I am so impressed. Let me drop everything and jump right on that bandwagon. I have been so wrong in my decades of power generation design and operating experience. Let me swallow the Silicon Valley Kool-Aid from 2011 and dive right into believing Moore’s law applied to power generation sources and zero cost solar panels will save us all. (end sarcasm)

            There are so many reasons Mr. Naam is wrong they are too numerous to list here other than to say he does not factor in the decades of solar subsidies into his calculations which means he has little understanding of energy economics and transmission issues. Nor does he, or you, seem to understand the concept that it really doesn’t matter the end user cost of PV if the sun is not shining and therefore no power is available from those rooftop panels.

            It is an amazing phenomenon of electrical consumers. For some strange reason when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing consumers still want electricity. Who would have thought consumers – who for decades are used to turning on a light switch 24/7 – just don’t seem to want to change that habit because the sun and wind are only available only during certain portions of a 24 hour day. Human beings once tied to a reliable low-cost grid just do not want to go back to the days of the pre-Thomas Edison when no electricity was available for even a minute.

            However, I am sure this fact has been told you many times. So let me say it one more time a little louder to get through the noise of the chants from the solar and wind believers: WHEN THE SUN IS NOT SHINING OR THE WIND IS NOT BLOWING, BASELOAD POWER IS STILL NEEDED. And it doesn’t matter how many inter-ties are to other grids available. If all grids in Europe are transformed to run on wind and solar, then that will just create massive power swings throughout the continent causing blackouts if capacity baseload is not available.

            That is exactly why Germany is considering capacity payments to fossil fuel plants to keep the European grid operational and secure during those long periods of a 24 hour day when there is insufficient solar or wind power. One of the direct results of their knee-jerk reaction to shut down their nuclear facilities.

            Load following and peaking power generation sources have always been used to compensate for swings in demand. It may be a new concept to you but it is not a new concept to those of us who have spent our professional lives working in this industry. However, load following generation sources are not an efficient method to generate electricity which is why many of us are resisting their use for 24/7 baseload support to backup grid systems that are becoming dependant on the weather.

            So load following generation sources will always be needed especially where a grid system is transformed to rely on intermittent, weather dependant generation point sources. Additionally, it doesn’t matter if the load following generator is fluidized coal (which by the way is not a new process), pumped storage (which takes thousands of acres) or natural gas. And if you haven’t got the point yet, small modular reactors are quite capable of load following as well. So with the push for SMR’s beginning, there are utilities where the economics of having a generation source not tied to commodity markets or requiring the construction of a new dam will be very appealing.

            But hey let’s follow your recommendation based on your years of designing grids and use waste and biomass for load following generation. So tell me then why the following Economist report is raising concerns:

            http://www.economist.com/news/business/21575771-environmental-lunacy-europe-fuel-future

            And this article is from a magazine that routinely bashes nuclear power. So in other words it appears you are okay with burning down all the world’s forests including those where rare woods and bio-life grow just for electrical generation in Europe. Because that is exactly what your side is advocating every time “biomass” is mentioned. That is not exactly an earth friendly perspective from my viewpoint.

            One other point to make is to ask why should people be forced to give up their land to support some “green” push to cover thousands of acres of land with industrial solar and wind facilities? It is their land to do with what they want provided it does not interfere with their neighbors. So if people are tired of watching industrial sized wind mills and solar panels and miles of transmissions lines being installed around them then that is their right to become a NIMBY.

            So to conclude, you seem to think that by telling me to read weblinks from sources not responsible for providing reliable generation 24/7/365 I will suddenly see the light and become magically educated about the business of power generation and transmission. That won’t happen. So this discussion is now ended.

  8. Dear All,

    There may be an alternative method to overcome the LNT model menace. I have started a petition at the White House website to discontinue the use of LNT model for EPA regulations for low dose radiation: Petition Site

    Please see my post in Google Groups entitled Doss Report #2 – The Deadly DNA Damage” to justify the change away from the use of LNT model: Doss Report #2

    The arguments presented in this simpler report should be understandable by the general public. If people come to know the LNT model is not justified, is kind of idiotic, and may be preventing progress in reducing diseases, they may not stand still, and they may support us. Please spread the link to this report to your contacts. Hopefully we can get enough signatures for the petition by May 12 that the administration will have to address the issue in the near future.

    For those more scientifically oriented, there is Doss Report # 1 on the same topic at: Doss Report #1 I think this is more humorous. You decide.

    Best regards to all,
    Mohan


  9. Rod,
    They may have discover and stated that, but failed to proof it.
    While others proofed that they are wrong. A few studies:

    – raised stillbirth levels in W-Europe after Chernobyl (rise of 1 stillbirth per 1000 babies) with enhanced radiation levels of only ~o,4mSv/year: http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/ibb/homepage/hagen.scherb/CongenMalfStillb_0.pdf
    Those babies also had significantly more often Down syndrome, etc.

    – LSS report no 14 proofs that e.g. 5mSv in 60 years (or 10mSv in 30 years) deliver enhanced chance on premature death (~3%).

    – Regions with high background radiation are often in the mountains having better air (less micro particles, etc). If you compensate for those than higher background radiation delivers more premature death:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/meta-review-of-46-studies-even-the-lowest-level-radiation-is-damaging-to-human-health/5312306
    (check also studies showing supra LNT at low doses near bottom of the page)

    1. The second link is from The Centre for Research on Globalization. This organization is – how to put it delicately- a Canadian clubhouse for crackpots of the anti-war, 911-truth, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist variety. The Centre is not normally worth noticing except for a laugh so it doesn’t surprise me that Bas Gresnigt would think it worth linking to.

      1. @John
        Sorry I wrote it not correct. Read: “The other babies born alive, had significantly more Down syndrome, etc.”

    2. Bas – If you’re going to spam the Internet by posting the same comment to multiple blogs, then I’m going to post my rebuttal each time.

      LSS report no 14 proofs that 5mSv in 60 years deliver enhanced chance on premature death (~3%).

      No it doesn’t. You need to learn about statistical significance. If I ignore statistical significance, then I can make an equally valid case that the LSS demonstrates that exposure to low doses of radiation reduces the risk of getting cancer.

      raised stillbirth levels in W-Europe after Chernobyl (rise of 1 stillbirth per 1000 babies) with enhanced radiation levels ~o,4mSv/year: …

      You need to do better than a weak ecological study with poor statistics and an even weaker methodology.

      Regions with high background radiation are often in the mountains having better air (less micro particles, etc).

      Oh please. Just how much more ridiculous are your claims going to get?! You’re embarrassing yourself.

      If you compensate for those than higher background radiation delivers more premature death: …

      Not that junk paper again! A dredge through the literature to cherry pick a handful of papers that can be perverted to support the authors’ predetermined conclusions doesn’t impress me and shouldn’t impress anyone else either. I guess that it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this “study” was performed by a guy who was found guilty of scientific dishonesty in his home country ten years ago.

  10. Thanks for the shout out Rod!

    While we (all of us) may disagree on what the best arguments are, one thing we all should agree on is that we need to make our voices heard in the public comments on EPA’s draft proposal (for the revised PAG). The link to the public comment site is below:

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268-0001

    Sorry to be a nag, but if we have time to comment here (and on the ANS site), we have time to post a comment on the EPA’s site :-). There are still only 10 comments posted. Let’s flood the place!! We have until July 15.

    (I confess I haven’t posted a comment yet. Might send one in over the weekend. We do have time; just don’t forget! Thanks everyone.)

    One other thing. This calls for a call to action by the Nuclear Advocacy Network (NAN). How do I/we get them to send one out?

  11. So. Bas Gresnigt has found Atomic Insights. I had a long running discussion with him on my facebook page which didn’t result in a satisfying conclusion. It’s no use arguing with someone who believes the NRC is a puppet of the nuclear industry, and who automatically disbelieves anyone who concludes that nuclear power is safe.

    Take this report as an example:

    http://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/500116003.pdf

    This report was prepared by some of the topmost environmental and energy experts and agencies in The Netherlands. The report concludes that an expansion of nuclear power in Europe will improve the health of Europeans.

    As you expect: Bas discarded this research. And now he is spouting his tired ‘proofs’ that any amount of radiation is dangerous here in atomic insights.

    Eventually, I had to start deleting Bas’s comments on my facebook page because it was getting repetitive and Bas refused to stop making claims that had already been clearly shown as utterly false. Therefore, I’m kind of wondering how Bas’s stay at Atomic Insights will develop. My prediction is that he will completely ignore any information that contradicts his opinion and that he will resort to repeating his wrong arguments over and over in post after post, presumably until Rod gets as tired of it as I got.

  12. “Nuclear Power,” by today’s standards, encompasses a large number of apparatuses and methods. Whilst a misinformed public and a vast number of political control freaks seem to rule the day, it is the bankers that control both. At some point someone will observe that the Central banks are hording gold and the Treasuries are printing bogus paper money.

    It is possible to build nuclear power plants with new technology that is clean and nearly radiation free with no residual after shut down. I suggest engineers and Corporations build such and then demonstrate the merits of the engineering to both the public and the politicians. This would be followed by a “scaling up” to a 300 MW capacity small reactor.

    I suggest a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Plasma reactor that operates inside a vacuum containment vessel where a magnetically driven plasma vortex directly converts accelerated beta-alpha decay to electricity. The Thorium would be in a solution of liquid fluoride and encapsulated inside fullerenes in a central core that is subcritical and accelerator controlled. (See Sandia Labs miniature neutron accelerator) The reactor is an ultra capacitor that is Thorium Plasma charged.

    A table top reactor of of this type could power a car to further demonstrate the technology.

    Wall Street and the Gold hording Bankers might…just might see a profit potential better than hydrocarbon fuels in this low cost approach to nuclear power.

    1. @Micheal:
      … build nuclear power plants with new technology that is clean and nearly radiation free with no residual after shut down….

      That is interesting!
      If it also doesn’t have the high accident consequence (radiation spreading) risk,
      than it is really a jump forward!

      Can you deliver more info (links or other)?
      How far is the research?
      How is it with a calculated theoretical model?

      Or is it still just a vague idea, such as the long running idea’s regarding stopping the radio-activity in waste?

      1. Glad to hear you find it interesting, I hope you’re sincere about that. But do your own research, as you wouldn’t trust the links given you by the people here. Then, if you’re a bit more in two minds about it, that is, lost some of your ‘slab-of-concrete-before-your-mug’ conviction you’re right about all you think you know, come back and ask away. (If Rod allows of course, it’s his site.) If the experts don’t want to, I’ll try my non-expert best to answer. But an honest conversation, not the kind you’ve tried to have here till now.
        At the moment, I think nothing will happen, but I live in hope (and naivity).

  13. I’ve not delved into how the EPA applies their radiation regulations but I do know there are some enormous discrepancies in policy application. For example, the EPA does not regulate coal ash ponds which are nothing less than toxic cesspools. One would have to wonder how well the coal plants would stand up to the radioactive scrutiny that nuclear plants do?

    I find this absence of environmental enforcement so egregious that when coupled with overly rigorous regulation of radiation from nuclear plants, it’s hard to believe the creation of these unfair marketing conditions was not done on purpose. This is truly an adversarial policy designed to hamper nuclear energy.

    1. Nail on, Jason! It bewilders me why a bunch of law students somewhere haven’t made this a test case to pass the bar! It would be a slam-dunk feather in their resume showing that EPA standards are hypocritical!

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

      1. I’d bet that there’s a gap in EPA’s authority over ash landfills, created by Congress.  It’s not hypocrisy if someone else mandates it.

        1. @Engineer-Poet

          And you can bet that any exemptions in authority over coal ash provided by Congress have seen heavy industry lobbying efforts, a few of which might even have become subject to public scrutiny.

          http://cnsnews.com/news/article/coal-industry-regulations-were-laughing-matter-epa

          In fact, one of the reasons Lisa Jackson felt the need to resign was “controversy” over a desire to impose regulations on coal ash and other “features” of grandfathered old plants.

  14. So you don’t want to state your problem with the study either. Why am I not surprised?

    EL – In case you didn’t notice, I didn’t comment on the study. I commented on your poor level of understanding of statistical analysis.

    Regardless of the quality of the study reported in the paper, I fail to see what the big deal is. The paper didn’t report any health effects (adverse or otherwise), and its results, if valid, do not necessarily imply any negative health effects. In fact, they are entirely consistent with a hormetic response to low level radiation.

    If you have a theory that low-level radiation stimulates repair mechanisms that protect against cancer, then there must be some sort of effect on cells to provide the stimulus, and this effect should be observable. It doesn’t work by magic, folks.

    Frankly, it’s much like examining a patient who had just received a vaccination and being shocked (shocked!) to discover viral material in his bloodstream. Does this mean that we declare vaccinations unsafe and to be avoided at all costs?

    1. EL – In case you didn’t notice, I didn’t comment on the study. I commented on your poor level of understanding of statistical analysis.

      Nope. My level of understanding about statistical analysis has not been shown to be incorrect. If so … please tell us why you think p-value and statistical significance are unrelated (as you claim it to be)?

      You and DV82XL are terrific providing no substantive content to your posts (especially on matters where there is some degree of uncertainty and debate), only demeaning insults and character attacks. Most of us here want to have a substantive and analysis driven discussion. I wish you (and DV82XL) would join us!

      Regardless of the quality of the study reported in the paper, I fail to see what the big deal is. The paper didn’t report any health effects (adverse or otherwise), and its results, if valid, do not necessarily imply any negative health effects.

      This is not the conclusion of the study. No general health study has yet been conducted on the residents of Ramsar related to radiation (“In the HLNRAs of Ramsar, at present there are no reliable radio-epidemiological data regarding the incidence of cancer,” p. 115). This study did not report on health impacts. Subjects recruited to the study were “healthy” … so I am unclear how you would get “unhealthy” subjects from this approach. It recommends a need for more reliable radio-epidemiological data, monitoring and follow-up of subject population and general population for health status, establishment of cancer registries, aerobiological studies and cytokine assays, and more. It seems to me that this paper is not about what you seem to think it is about. If you can show us how it seeks to model and document general population health impacts from chromosomal aberration rates, that would be really helpful. I don’t see the study attempting to do this (but somehow you do)?

      1. … please tell us why you think p-value and statistical significance are unrelated (as you claim it to be)?

        EL – Wow! You don’t even understand the difference between statistical significance and statistical power. The stupid, it burns!

        Sorry, but it appears that informing you of what you don’t know and don’t understand would require nothing short of giving you a semester-long course in the basics of statistics. I usually get paid for such services, so no thanks. Now, please crawl back under your rock.

        1. @Brian Mays. You claim to know something that I do not (or that I have stated something in error). I’d be interested to know what this is.

          Humour us!

          If you have nothing substantive to say on the topic … I’ll ask you to keep your bullying and childish thoughts to yourself.

          1. EL – You have the entire Internet at your disposal. Please google “Type I” and “Type II” errors and learn something new. A descent explanation can even be found on such pedestrian sites as Wikipedia.

            Now that that is out of the way, if you have nothing substantive to add other than unrelenting badgering, irritating questions, and humorously incorrect assertions, then please take it somewhere else. I know that you think that you’re being a clever debater, but really, you’re just annoying.

        2. @Brian
          p-value and statistical significance are highly related.
          Statistical power is another notion.

          You put up new items or flee into charges, etc.,
          when your claims are shown to be non relevant or wrong.

          That harms your credibility, and hence your case.
          Why not simply recognize a mistake?

          That improves your position & credibility, as everybody makes mistakes.
          What makes that so difficult?

          1. I’m now being lectured by the “super troll” about the need to “recognize a mistake.” Oh, this is too rich!

            This is the same person who has spammed the same debunked nonsense across several blogs over the past couple of weeks. What chutzpah!

          2. EL – You have the entire Internet at your disposal. Please google “Type I” and “Type II” errors and learn something new. A descent explanation can even be found on such pedestrian sites as Wikipedia.

            Hummm? Do you have the specific quote of anything I said related to “statistical power” or Type II (false negative) errors?

            I thought so … because I didn’t make any.

            I said the sample was adequate to reject the null hypothesis of no effect at a significance level of 0.05. And contrary to what you have said, it’s my understanding that alpha does relate to “statistical power.”

            For the type of comparisons made in the study, and the hypothesis being tested, I find this to be a strong result (and adequately summarized in the conclusions). Since you have raised the issue that this may not be a strong result, I am interested in why you think this might be the case. None of this takes a semester long course in the basics of statistics to explain. It takes calmness, reason, and study. False character attacks and irrationality never get us very far (I would hope you might agree). Perhaps it’s time to try something different for a change?

          3. Hummm? Do you have the specific quote of anything I said related to statistical power or Type II (false negative) errors?

            All too easy … and I quote (emphasis mine):

            “There is no problem with the p-value in this study, indicating it is significantly powered by the sample.

            Hope that crow takes good, considering you’ve got to eat so much of it.

            Geez, boy, don’t you know how to use the search feature on your browser? Try it next time. It might spare you from another embarrassment such as this.

          4. @Brian Mays. I only claimed to be talking about statistical significance (which is what I explained over and over again). Sorry I had you confused.

  15. After some reflection Rod, I am going to respectfully decline to do what you ask. I am no longer interested in debating details with the likes of EL, Bas, or Applebaum or any other troll but rather to expose them for the intellectual frauds that they are. If EL wants to show he doesn’t soil the mantel of scientist that he claims to wear, let him demonstrate he can do a critical analysis himself of that paper. As for anyone else, please ask yourselves this: if you were in a position of authority, holding ether a public or corporate office would you really be prepared to make a decision based on the quality of the information in that study? Don’t answer that you would call for more research; that is the only thing that is implied by any survey of this type. If the answer is that you would not be comfortable relying on this information in the above situations, then why would it be acceptable in this debate? This is not debating the science; this is draping a political point in the trappings of science in the hope of granting it more gravitas than it warrants.

    We go out of our way to accommodate trolls; treating the rubbish they post with the same deference we would a colleague’s when in fact they are like those punching clowns we had as kids – you remember, the blow-up ones with the weighted bottoms, each time you knocked it down it would pop back up unharmed with the same idiot’s grin. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times their arguments get trashed, the trolls keep coming back and every time we rise to the bait and treat their posting like they were presented in good faith. Were I a conspiracy theorist I would wonder if this were a plan to keep any effective action from happening by engaging those that might be doing something useful in sterile little side actions. Certainly the trolls on these pages have effectively pinned down several commenters this way.

    Try and post to an antinuclear forum and see how far you get. If you’re lucky your comments are buried under meters of verbiage and if you actually manage to make a point you’re unceremoniously deleted and likely blocked.

    I understand, Rod that you tolerate these trolls because you believe they provide foils that generate good debate, but you are fooling yourself if you think there is an audience out there of any consequence that cares. The sad fact is there is no one here but us pigeons and if you think otherwise please consider the pathetic results of that LNT petition to date. Looking at that should send cold chills down the backs of pronukes everywhere not just the U.S., especially because we all just know that any radiophobic petition on the same site would have likely garnered ten times the signatures in the first day. Yes this particular petition is tilting at windmills, but that’s not the point; the fact that it’s doing so poorly underlines just how badly we are managing the PR and politics, and it should be a wakeup call.

    The fight is not going to won or even advanced in any significant way fencing with trolls, and as much as it might be distasteful to some, it is time that we began using the same tools that our opponents have brought to bear on us and that means a more demagogic approach and more outreach to the public where real gains can be made. Major blogs like this one that already count many of the active pronukes among it readership need to take a dynamic role in this regard and at the very least serve as clearing houses for greater community initiatives if not an active leadership role. Those that come to waste time need to be flushed away as they are not contributing to progress towards what should be the real agenda.

    Now I also understand this is your sandbox that you pay for and you alone make the rules and this is all very presumptuous of me telling you how you should retask it. Nor are my hands clean. In my region of the world we were too complacent and saw antinuclear forces as small, weak and poorly organized. We failed to do the calculus of the impact that they could have as a voting bloc in a minority government holding on by its fingernails at a time when our NPP was very vulnerable to political machinations, and we have paid dearly for our hubris. We have taken a blow to the fundaments that we are still reeling from and any hope of salvaging something from this mess now depends on help from those with other primary agendas and working on other timetables. But this has only underlined for me the need for greater focus on the political side of the equation and less emphasis on trying to make our point on the technical advantages of nuclear.

    So no, I am not going to debate with this EL character as if he were my equal, as if he counted for anything and if that means he will crow that he has won, then so be it, nolo contendere. He is a nothing and his opinion is nothing. If it also means I have worn-out my welcome here with you then that’s too bad, but really just what are we doing here if not actively trying to advance the cause? I am mailing you this directly as well as posting it and all I ask is that you consider what I am writing seriously.

    .

    1. Re: “we were too complacent and saw antinuclear forces as small, weak and poorly organized. We failed to do the calculus of the impact that they could have as a voting bloc in a minority government holding on by its fingernails at a time when our NPP was very vulnerable to political machinations, and we have paid dearly for our hubris.”

      The enormity of the problem is as mundane and close as our TV sets. Just now as I was settling down to breakfast I channel-surfed by “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel, and it brought back to me when they had that singular dark and brooding and ominous show on nuclear energy which only 10% of which was about it generating electricity and how and the rest brooding over how incredible dangerous it was and the smallest slip will cost millions of lives and nuclear waste will be sitting on our doorsteps for a million years, etc, etc. Quiet a different take than their sunny cheery features on solar and wind and hydro. My big point is that Modern Marvels and its ilk like Nat Geo on the Discovery, History, “Science” and “Green” Channels are cited as school teaching sources for students. Tens and millions of kids exposed to the same “pact with the devil” inference about using nuclear energy every day. That doesn’t even factor in mostly anti-nuclear personalities hosting such “educational” shows. On ANS I mentioned how for nearly 20 years Westinghouse and the Ford Foundation haven’t seen one nuclear energy exhibit in any NYC junior/senior high school science fair. People, THINK about that! No students has submitted a nuke plant exhibit in the nation’s largest school system at least since 1998 (and certainty far before). This, in the shadow of Indian Point. Can you spell criminal neglect in public education and corporate self-promotion? How do we counter this? It’s now far beyond the individual or even blog to effectively challenge. Not passing the buck, but it’s really up to the big leaguers now, and the PR offices of individual nuclear plants, Atomic Workers Unions and Nuclear Professional organizations to step up to the plate and splurge a little coffee corner funds and start cranking out some adult educational Ads and PSAs and start pushing back this evil nuclear image on the media’s own turf. So you’re way more than just right, DV82XL; the nuclear community is still too complacent or inept about saving itself, God help them and the world.

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

      1. So based on James Greenidge’s comment (with which I agree), why should I trust anything taught in public schools or disseminated over the popular news media given that the safest, most economical source of energy – nuclear fission power – receives apathetic coverage at best or more frequently hysterical sensationalist fear-mongering? Why should I trust what any politician says or does – right or left, conservative or liberal – when he / she can’t even come to grips on the truth with regard to such a benign subject as nuclear energy? I am thoroughly disgusted.

        Wide spread use of nuclear energy has the capacity to raise the living standard of every single human being here on our planet, obviating the need for wars of conquest in search of access to natural resources, and forever eliminating poverty and hunger. Nuclear energy can propel humankind to Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The good Lord has provided more than enough uranium and thorium here on Earth for prosperity for everyone for tens of thousands of years without regard to color, creed, religion, nation, culture, etc. But instead we give credence to these vile, malicious persons whose goal isn’t humankind’s prosperity, but humankind’s eradication. Sorry, folks, just reading comments by EL and Bas puts me in a foul mood. 🙁

        1. Me too. However, I still trust the majority of people to recognize the truth when told. We have a lot of work to do to overcome the focused efforts of a small, but well organized and funded group of opponents.

          Please don’t give up hope and faith that truth will win.

    2. Certainly the trolls on these pages have effectively pinned down several commenters this way.

      Ah hum … you might want to look closer into the definition of an “internet troll.” I (and the site owner) asked you to explain the relevance of your baseless and inflammatory attacks, and you had none. In my mind, this violates the norms of a civil on-line community, and the ends (whatever you may understand these to be at a personal level) do not justify the means.

      Rod wrote the following statement in a recent thread:

      “I do not exclude people because of their arguments. I exclude them when their comments have no content and when they continuously attack the credibility of people who have backed up their arguments with verifiable data.”

      While the choice is up to Rod, it seems to me your willful disregard for sensible ethical comportment, and community norms of respectful and civic discourse on the site have at a minimum worn your welcome thin (by your own admission). I follow these basic common sense rules and conventions, and I don’t see why you shouldn’t either. I would be satisfied with an apology, but if you can offer none, I don’t see why your baseless and inflammatory remarks should be openly tolerated or worse encouraged in any way on the site?

    3. @DV82XL
      I can understand your frustration with Bas, EL and others, and why you don’t want to debate with them any longer. But I find it a pity.
      Not all readers here are experts on this blog’s topic, and I for one have learned a lot more about LNT and hormesis than just by reading articles, because people have rebuffed Applebaum time and again, patiently and clearly. I’m mostly a lurker because I don’t have a lot to contribute here, but I very much appreciate the time and effort others are putting in. I don’t know if I’m of any consequence, but I do care.

      1. @Twominds,

        I completely agree. At times I am amazed at the patience of Rod, and several of the more prolific posters here, in dealing with a lot of the “less than substantiated” comments put forth by certain participants.

        As a scientist / engineer (not nuclear / power generation systems), I look for experimental and other rigorous support when claims are made on either side of an amazingly polarizing issue. And I have learned a lot from all of the comments here, as well as the papers presented and authored by conscientious researchers.

        I’ve even educated myself in ways I didn’t expect; I never realized that so many people on one side of a political issue would actually go so far as to present “scientific” evidence and conclusions that clearly lack support and/or are erroneous. Maybe that shows my naivete.

        I had no choice but to learn lot about nuclear power, plants, radiation, and related issues after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster, motivated at least in part because I live in Japan with my family. And the open presentation of scientific data, articles and studies that have been thoroughly vetted, as well as arguments and responses to comment posters in blogs such as this, have influenced my views on nuclear power.

        Never really for or against nuclear as a political position, I always somehow hoped for the phasing out of fission reactors (and their nuclear waste — my issue before I knew more), while simultaneously supporting solar / wind and nuclear fusion research. But I never really took the time to study up on power grids, the reality of coal / gas / oil power generation, nuclear issues, or what radiation does / does not do.

        Blogs like this have given me the chance and motivation to put in the time and effort to get up to speed on nuclear power in general. And also to become a supporter thereof, which as a resident of Japan who lives in a “hotspot” (as described by many in the “against” camp), even I find just a bit surprising.

        So thank-you again to all who take the time to present your arguments here. And even though this is a “pro” nuclear blog, the amount of time and patience shown to those who may disagree is laudable.

  16. Jumping into the discussion of p-values and their significance at this late date.

    I am years removed from my statisitcs class but this discussion brought back some memories about discussions of p-values, Bayes’ theorem and confidence intervals as well as the pros and cons of the various methods of statistical analysis.

    Something to throw out is the following paper that I ran across this weekend. It discusses the use and misuse of the p-value:

    http://www.nyuhjdbulletin.org/mod/bulletin/v66n2/docs/v66n2_15.pdf

    Several key points in the article:

    1. A statistically significant result is not necessarily clinically relevant

    2. While the p-value is still the most popular tool with which to critically interpret results, its difficulties in use and interpretation have been gradually recognized in the international literature.

    So my takeaway from the paper and my own recollections of my statistics class is that relying on the p-value for making a definitive statement about the potential results of a study is not a sound path by itself. Addtional items such as the 95% confidence interval should be considered.

    What concerns me about the testing protocol presented in Table 3 of the linked paper is that the tolerance band of the annual effective does for the “HNLRA” group indicates they may have sampled a number of people whose exposure was the same as the control group. The range of exposure of the HNLRA group is quite large from 1.6 to 42 mSv/y for a small group size. That 42 mSV/y data point can skew the average exposure rate number unless there is some sampling smoothing process to account for it instead of just a simple averaging process.

    This raises the question in my mind if any significance can be attributed to the data at all. How many people in the small sampled HNLRA group had a measured annual effective exposure within the tolerance band of the control group? I have a hard time seeing any significance of this report other then to say more data is needed.

    Just some thoughts that came to mind as I have watched this discussion progress over the past few days.

    1. Agreed with statement on P-value and clinically relevance (as I highlighted already in my statements several times above). This is not the focus of the study.

      Regarding tolerance ban and a very small number of people who may have received similar doses in both groups, wouldn’t this result in a lower probability of rejecting the null hypothesis (and not the high degree of difference in the study). Subjects were not recruited to study on basis of dose exposures, but meeting selection criteria (good health, smoking habits, x-ray exposures, viral infections, etc.), and primarily by residential location (whether they lived in high HLNRA regions or not). The following conclusion seems to be well supported by the study: “The fact is that the increase of frequency of chromosome aberrations were observed in some high background radiation areas (HBRAs) and the possibility of effects induced by ionizing radiation can not be excluded” (p. 115).

      In addition, it more than meets the test for why I originally provided the study in the first place: to indicate that there are studies that show a difference in chromosome aberrations between populations “in the high background compared to people in normal background areas.” In fact, follow up studies appear to confirmed this result (and with a higher degree of statistical significance).

      If you think this point has been disconfirmed by this study, I would be interested to know why. Or how the result is somehow cooked into a preexisting agenda of the researchers?

      1. @EL

        Just out of curiosity, how does a study showing that there are chromosome variations that appear to be related to radiation prove that the effects were harmful?

        1. There are many studies designed to look at and explore this question. This study (as I have said several times) is not one of them.

          1. @EL
            So why do you think the studies you have introduced are relevant to the discussion of radiation health effects? Are they relevant to the silliness of the “linear, no-threshold” dose assumption that has been used as the basis for regulations that assume all ionizing radiation originating from a nuclear reactor is dangerous and must be reduced to absurd levels?

            We will all agree that ionizing radiation has an effect on cells. What most of us don’t agree about is whether or not that effect is inherently hazardous, whether or not there is any logic in treating “man-made” sources differently from “natural” sources, and whether or not human physiology is well adapted to recovery and repair from a whole host of influences that “affect” cells.

            Introducing a study that says nothing about health in response to initial comments pointing to the apparently good overall health of populations of Ramsar and other areas where there is a naturally high background exposure is simply a distraction. It is an attempt to derail the conversation and engage in irrelevant exchanges. (Sadly, I bit and fed the distraction.)

          2. @Rod … the study is a rebuttal to the following claim you provided in the lead post:

            “Cytogenetic studies show no significant differences between people in the high background compared to people in normal background areas.”

            All of the ad hominem charges and unsupported inflammatory and uncivil attacks from DV82XL (by his own admission offered in an unsupported way) taking us down this long and winding road has nothing to do with health impacts, but with whether this particular study (and others supporting the same) show a difference in chromosome aberrations between the two populations or not.

            In other words, does it support the statement you provided in your lead article or not?

            The answer appears to be there are significant differences here, and your reply indicates that perhaps you agree with the observed findings of the study (and as Brian Mays and others have said, it “makes sense” that there would be an observed difference in chromosome aberrations between residents in high radiation areas and those who are not). Bill Rogers, speaking in a sensible way, has said he no longer wants to comment on the Ramsar studies (and that he would like to see such research expanded to show a more definitive result).

            If you think there is anything that I have said that is in error in this thread (or is unsupported by evidence I have provided and defended), I would appreciate if you would point it out to me and we can end the discussion there.

            Regarding DV82XL, however, and his very long diatribe on what he thinks the aim and goal of the site should be (which I would characterize as “advocacy by whatever means”), the “troll” is on the other foot (and he has elected to actively harass another member and not provide any evidence for doing so other than he disagrees with the person, and has judged for himself that my comments, whatever they should be, should be unwelcome and received with disdain on the site). I’m sorry, but that doesn’t cut it and I think it deserves a reply.

            Does your site have a policy regarding “internet trolls” (those who inflame and provide baseless attacks for no other reason than to obstruct and interfere with measured debate on the site). If so, what is it. And is uncivil discourse allowed on the site?

            1. @EL

              Though I have taken graduate level statistics courses and understand what “significant” means in that technical field, I am not a statistician and do not choose to use their jargon when communicating with the public.

              For most people, a synonym for the word “significant” is “important” or “worthy of concern.” Using everyday vocabulary, I fail to understand why variations in chromosomes that have not been shown to have any relationship with health should be considered “significant differences.” Perhaps I did not make myself clear.

              I hope that you also understand that a fair majority of the experts who post here are biased towards the beneficial use of nuclear energy because we long ago learned too much about the pluses of the technology in comparison to all other energy alternatives to remain neutral or unbiased.

              If you call that a bias toward atomic advocacy, so be it. To change my mind, which was pretty firmly made up a few decades ago when I made a close, personal friendship with a shipmate named S5W, you have to find something a long more significant than chromosome aberrations appearing in a group subjected to a wide enough range of background radiation that their individual annual exposure overlaps with the “control” group.

        2. Rod makes an excellent point. I will use an analogy.

          Venom administered by the bite of a pit viper is lethal. Get bitten by such a high dose and die. But because of a cardiac condition, I am taking a medication whose operative chemical is essentially what, within the venom of the pit viper, can kill. Yet it is in a dose optimum for my blood and arteries, thus keeping me alive instead of rendering me dead.

          The same is true of radiation. Get too much and bad things will happen. But get a small dose and surely chromosome variations do occur, but are they necessarily bad? Or might they perchance have that radiation hormesis effect, similar in being beneficial to perhaps the happy effect I obtain by taking my daily dose of pit viper venom?

          As was posted before, a natural reactor in Okla, Gabon on the African continent 1.7 billion years ago fissioned on and off repeatedly for hundreds of thousands of years, releasing all manner of radioactivity into the environment (hey, wait, it was already a part of the environment!). Yet in spite of this (or maybe because of it) a vast diversity of fauna and flora developed in Africa seen in few other places on the planet. Man himself is said to have developed there. So is radiation intrinsically a bad thing? Or pit viper venom?

    2. @Bill Rogers. Perhaps it’s useful to ask my question in a different way.

      If the question of the study is to look at whether residents of HLRNA regions of Ramsar have more, less, or the same chromosome aberrations as those from low radiation areas of the region. Why does it make it a better study to limit your subject recruitment on the basis of received doses?

      It seems to me that this would make it a much worse study and one that would be poorly designed to answer the question that is being asked?

      1. @EL,

        I am going to politely not respond to further questions about the Ramsar studies you keep linking for several reasons listed below:

        1. The researchers involved with the study of chromosonal abberations are working on cataloging data from tens of thousands of people since the goal is to find markers as a preindicator of cancer no matter the initiating factor be it toxic chemicals or radiation. So chosing to look at just several studies which specifically involve a handful of people from Ramsar does not do justice to the field of chromosonal abberation blood markers.

        2. I have a problem with study sizes that are small in number then trying to apply that to a general population as a whole which I already mentioned on the previous comment. Changing the focus to a newer study as you did that involves even fewer people and focused on one catagory – elderly women- does not change my view about this point. Especially when the experts in the field are attempting to catalog data from tens of thousands before they go on record about blood markers.

        3. After over a decade of focused research to determine chromosonal abberation markers that might be an indicator of cancer, there is still no definitive A-HA moment that has appeared based on my quick skim of the field. Yes they are able to find markers but that fact that markers exist in a person’s bloodstream is not proof that exposure to toxic chemicals or radiation will cause cancer. Now I am not saying that toxic chemicals or radiation will never cause cancer but I am parroting what the leading researchers themselves state – CA markers in a person’s bloodstream does not automatically mean cancer will develop.

        4. This is an area that is outside my speciality and as such I am at best an interested observer into the study of CA markers since I have been exposed to a low level rad field for an extended period of time as have most Navy Nuclear personnel. However at this stage I don’t have any inclination of diving into arcane medical studies to study up on a subject that has yet to produce definitive proof one way or another.

        So at the end of this comment stream it appears we are right back to where we started. Are low does rates sufficient to initiate cancer in a human body? My assertion is no and that assertion is further bolstered by some of the CA marker researchers themselves since they reference research where the question of hormesis is studied.

        But I will leave it at this with a quote from one of the leading research studies I ran across:

        Before using CAs as a marker of cancer risk, it is essential to establish not only the presence of an association with exposure but also the link with cancer occurrence – WHO 2001 Biomarkers in Risk Assessment: Validity and Validation

  17. I have never seen any behavior more ethical, more civil and more respectful than I see from James Geenidge and DV8XL (to at least one of whom EL’s comment is directed). While I am unfamiliar with James except for what I see at this forum, I have read DV8XL’s posts and comments at other forums, and I can honestly say that while I strongly disagree with him on most other issues outside of the realm of nuclear energy, I note that he has invariably acted with the utmost sense of ethics, civility and respect. Indeed, I can understand and empathize fully with his revulsion at giving credence to pseudo-science quackery and hysteria-mongering. It’s the science – the truth – that matters: the objective, knowable truth.

    Most of us here have worked for decades and decades in commercial and military nuclear energy with the utmost respect for its vast power, and with the greatest of safety-consciousness. If it were even remotely unsafe, then we would straightaway be the first to oppose its use in that way. The very fact that overwhelmingly we are healthy and safe (as well as our families who live near and in the presence of such reactors) demonstrates the benign and salutory nature of nuclear energy, for if it were as deadly as its detractors make it out to be, then by all rights we ought to be dying from radiation poisoning or already dead. That clearly and demonstrably is NOT the case. Therefore, with all enthusiasm I applaud my adversary in religious philosophy who happily is my ally in energy philosphy. Again, it’s the science that matters, and the science says nuclear is best. May I be granted his sense of ethics, civility and respect. 😉

  18. DV82XL, I too have appreciated your posts. I know there are others. Rod has the stats for this site, and I am sure that for every regular poster there are many lurkers. I firmly believe Rod’s assertion that the battle is not against your opponent, but for the minds of the audience.

    More generally, I have often wondered whether nuclear advocates should be more active on youtube. Audience potential there is unlimited, yet it is currently dominated by Arnie Gundersen or worse. Are there nuclear advocacy youtube channels?

  19. The title says: “Civil disobedience might be needed to overcome illogical EPA limits on radiation,” gee finally someone is suggesting a bit of Action Directe (in the political sense) I think. But no, instead the discussion moves, as it always seems to here, to dealing with noise from those with nothing to say. Again an effort has to be made to show once again and as always, that the ‘arguments’ this EL character has tabled is based on ether misinterpreted, shoddy or irrelevant material, (or as in this case all three) and any real discussion on what looked like the beginnings some insinuative are forgotten, while everyone bends backwards to show that they have given his drivel due consideration.

    Just so there is no confusion, I hold this EL in utter contempt, he is nothing and he has never brought anything meaningful to any discussion here. He is not here to engage in a debate but to create the illusion of debate in the same way creationists keep shoving their garbage ‘scientific’ papers into the evolution/natural selection discussion then claiming there is a controversy. His tactic seem to be that of throwing dirt into the air to create the illusion that there is something to debate when there in fact is not.

    Each and every time he has posted his nonsense someone has taken the time to systematically rub his face in it, yet guaranteed he will return with another misinformed, inapplicable, or outright wrong attempt to criticize nuclear. This level of obstreperousness can only be explained if one assumes he is stupid or a fool, or has such a huge ego he is incapable of admitting he has made an error in judgment when it comes to this subject.

    Clearly regulation all over the world concerned with the release of radioactive material into the environment are written and enforced with little regard to ether logic or science. This is the important aspect that needs consideration, this is the crack where some political wedge might be driven, and this should be what is being discussed.

    Instead effort and time is used to prove once again that this EL has nothing to contribute and the discussion spirals down into a how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin exercise in pointlessness. Does this really help the greater cause?

    In case it isn’t clear, this is my last posting to Atomic Insights.

    1. I would hope, DV82XL, that this wouldn’t be your last post at AI. I certainly learn a lot from what you write, and I am sure others do as well. I share your disdain for anti-nuclear junk science, just as I also share your disdain for short-Earth history creationist junk science. But even as I am hopeful at the recent conference on evolution / creation at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences this last month, so also am I equally hopeful that the truth about nuclear power will win out in the end. The truth – the objective, knowable truth – will win in the end.

    2. I pray DV82XL hangs around and inputs here, and a wish that we might adopt a new viewer principle here; if something totally nonsensical, illogical, uncertifiable or repetitious crops up here more than twice then label the person a troll AND STOP FEEDING THEM, even if they’re willfully and slyly pricking your ego to do so! Such are like roaches; they won’t hang around a clean place and starve! Don’t give them the thrill and glory of getting under everyone’s skin!

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

    3. @DV82XL,

      I understand your opinion and frustration. If this is truly your last posting that will be a sad passing. Your posts and followups have always been both informational as well as entertaining.

      Your point about angels dancing on a head of pin is one place I have been repeatedly myself. I have had to step away from they keyboard many times to get my focus back on living life instead becoming a pro-nuclear troll hunting down every false bit of nuclear information on the internet.

      Ultimately though I do believe it helps to discuss arcane details but up to a point. We are not writing to change the mind of the belligerent who comes here to force their veiwpoint and Greenpeace/Caldicott/Lovins talking points onto us. That will rarely happen. The list of former high-profile anti-nuclear people who now understand the real issues is very small: Gwyenth Cravens, George Monbiot, Ben Heard, Stewart Brand, Patrick Moore to name a very select few.

      I see this as a battle to change decades of fear-based discussion that has infiltrated everywhere including our school system. Teachers are now being fed DOE/NREL propaganda to teach grade school kids about wind and solar power. We need to stop spending our hard earned tax dollars to push a false agenda into the grade school level but it won’t be a quick fight. That battle to get the truth out there will be a long haul and a rough road at times especially when the nuclear industry itself makes PR mistakes by allowing anti-nuclear crusaders frame the message.

      The people who come here to Rod’s blog from many different angles are seeking additional information for whatever reason. They are the ones who are the reason many of us continue to fight to get the truth out there. I don’t hold any illusions that just because of some random comment I make, people will change their minds. But I believe the non-stop effort to keep pushing back, to shine the light into the dark corners by all of us is beginning to slowly turn the ship.

      Maybe I am fooling myself but I do see small but significant changes such as a NYT article the other day about Fukushima that for once did not quote Gundersen, Lochbaum, Lyman or one of the other usual anti-nuclear crusaders that are on every energy reporter’s speed dial. The article still had its sky-is-falling moments. However it was the first time in over two years I haven’t seen the one of the usual cadre of anti-nuclear crusaders quoted which means they did not get airtime to push their agenda.

      Another example was this past week when Howard Shaffer was allowed to discuss Vermont Yankee issues at a Vermont legislative session for the first time as a counter to Gundersen’s fear tactics. That was a big step as Howard’s comments are now in the official record.

      These are small, first steps in a long slog. It shouldn’t be this hard getting the truth out there but the wind, solar and the ethanol lobbying firms have had decades of practice and have had access to billions of tax dollars over the past 2-3 decades to push their agendas and myths out there.

      I hope you will reconsider your decision after some downtime. It would be a sad thing if you let inane arguments such as EL’s failed attempt to play “gotcha” with Rod’s article push you from adding to the debate.

      Regards,

      Bill

      1. “Maybe I am fooling myself but I do see small but significant changes such as a NYT article the other day about Fukushima that for once did not quote Gundersen, Lochbaum, Lyman or one of the other usual anti-nuclear crusaders that are on every energy reporter’s speed dial. ”

        Rod, if we could get you on journalists’ speed dials, would you be willing to serve? Is there a better candidate or a stable of good candidates?

        Why don’t we pick out some volunteers, then see what we can do about getting them established as “contacts” when the journalists run stories on these issues?

        I have a friend who used to be a TV news reporter. It’s been over 20 years, but she might have some suggestions. She also was an officer for IRE. I’m sure collectively we could find some other starting points.

        It seems to me that if we can get some of our folks on the journalists’ contact lists, if those contacts are readily available and give quick, useful statements, it might grow our visibility.

        The big catch is that the media may not want comments from sensible, reasonable people who won’t say that the sky is falling.

        1. If I remember correctly, Margaret Harding was asked by some reporters to provide some common sense in the first weeks of the Fukushima accident. Maybe she can help with connecting pro-nukes to useful reporters. Because you’re right, this needs not only people who can talk well on the subject, but also journalists who are able to listen to it.

        2. @Jeff

          If called, I am willing to serve. I’ve done it a few times, but building the network is a slow process when you are an independent and do not employ any publicists.

          As an aside, for those who believe this conversation was just about the opinions of the people involved, I checked the stats. More than 1200 unique individuals specifically opened the article page – that number does not count RSS feeds or those who catch the article when it is at the top of the list on the home page.

          1. I will pick Diane’s brain in the not-too-distant future and report back. She may not know anything particularly useful after so long out of the field, but I hope she still does. It may be a week or more. My LL team has five games and two practices in the next eight days.

            We’ve got to get guys like you on the the media’s speed dial, although a paid media consultant/representative would be even better. Presumably, you have a life and limited amount of time to devote. I know NEI has a group/section for this. Why is UCS on the media speed dials and not NEI? Is there someone over there we can ask?

            The other day I was reading an article linked to either through NEI Notes or Nuclear Town Hall, and when discussing a technical question about reactors, the story quoted a UCS representative — and the question was a purely technical one. And I didn’t see anything especially bad about the quote. But the point is that for simple informational requests, the media is using people like the UCS instead of people who are actual authorities on the topic. How did the situation ever come to this?

            In other news…linked to at Nuclear Town Hall, in the article titled “Sen. Boxer finds herself at odds with environmentalists”, Boxer, who I assume has historically been anti-nuclear, states:
            ====================================
            Boxer disputed any effort to weaken environmental laws but acknowledged that she was seeking to end delays to crucial projects, such as those needed to protect communities from flooding.

            “The environmentalists don’t like to have any deadlines set so that they can stall projects forever,” Boxer said. “I think it’s wrong, and I have many cases in California where absolutely necessary flood control projects have been held up for so long that people are suffering from the adverse impacts of flooding.”
            =====================================

            It’s not about nuclear projects, but I find it interesting that a prominent politician comes right out and calls “Shenanigans” on one of the “greens” favorite tactics. Surely there are applications for this quote in pro-nuclear fight.

          2. Jeff;

            Man, it’s such sexy relief seeing someone who’s able to pull what strings he has to get things rolling on his own outside organizations holding him back! There’s no emoticon for that! It’s getting so that I highly suspect the likes of the Huff Post and NY Times are pulling way too articulate and factual comments to their anti-nuke rants. Getting someone like Rod or Will Davis or Meredith a toehold to being someone’s true media nuclear consultant is the next best thing to a row of national educational PSA/Ads! Media outsider me can’t think what I can do to help contribute to your aims!

            Great show!

            James Greenidge
            Queens NY

          3. Well, as I wrote, James, I don’t know if this will pan out, but I’ll do what I can. The thing all of us can do, is if we have any friends or contacts in media, ask them the same question. How do we get known good sources established as the “go-to” source on a topic?

            We don’t (at least I don’t) have the money to start a public relations campaign, but if we can just get our guys, like Rod, onto the radar of reporters, so they get to have their say, that will help — unless their thoughts get edited out of stories because they’re too calming.

            There are so many potential obstacles.

  20. Ah, here’s the article I mentioned in my previous post. I am surprised that UCS either missed the opportunity to bash nuclear or the reporter edited it out. But in either case, why is UCS being used as an information resource about the economics of nuclear energy?

    And upon rereading the article, I see that there is a quote from an NEI representative. So that’s good. I guess it’s not as bad as I feared. I’m still bummed that reporters feel any need to get simple information from the UCS once they have an NEI representative on the line.

    In case the URL doesn’t come through, it’s in “The Day” and the article title is “Dominion nuclear plant’s closing reflects state of competition in industry ”

  21. It occurs to me that it may be possible to ridicule the EPA’s new anti-radiation standards by simply posting a real-time local radiation count on a web page; perhaps even as a widget similar to the time – temperature widgets on the smart phones.

    What if the widget were to show at least two plots – the first would be local background radiation. The second and more prominently would be the EPA’s new restrictions. Highlight the difference between reality (local background) and magic (EPA). The ability to do this for more than one location would be a plus, particularly if you could generate a background count in a High Plains city (Denver or Boulder, for instance).

    Show the world. Generate traffic. Get the message out. Probably a bit more useful than feeding the troll with the possibility of embarrassing the EPA. I know a bit of programming, but haven’t played with these sorts of apps yet and would have to learn. Don’t have access to real time background radiation counters though. Cheers –

  22. I have wondered if ww2 could have been ended by giving the Japaneese a demonstration of the atomic bomb’s potential without calling it a demonstration. If the bombs had been set to explode at 18,000 feet instead of 1,800 feet and the media had been asked to run a false story that decimal error had been make in designing the altimeter’s, then that might have given Japan a face saving way out (some of them would have figured out that it was a covert demonstration). If ended the war it also would have provided information on possible radiation hormesis.

  23. David says: April 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM “What can convince me to change my opinion would be studies that tracked the effects of low dose radiation over several years and checked for actual sickness or death.”

    This new large study shows you that cancer in young people increases by 2-3% per mSv (1mSv=0.1rem) of CT-scans: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2013/130521.html or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23694687

    The the human sex odds at birth increases by 1-2% per mSv of Chernobyl fallout per year possibly demonstrating genetic damage: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482426

    Hagen Scherb

  24. Interesting discussion.

    I have been selling radioactive necklaces online for radiation hormesis stimulation of the immune system. Sales are really picking up as the news of radiation hormesis hits medical journals and some hospitals. My radiation hormesis site …

    http://radiation-hormesis.com
    (At the bottom are my other sites.)

    Here are some great new research links. …

    http://www.philly.com/philly/health/cancer/20130908_Scientists_study_using_low-dose_radiation.html

    Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
    This article schools the EPA for causing excess cancer deaths through standards that do not allow enough ambient radiation.

    http://www.jpands.org/vol18no3/robinson.pdf

    Health Physics Editorial 2013 on hormesis potential in medicine
    (Download editorial)
    http://scitation.aip.org/content/aapm/journal/medphys/40/3/10.1118/1.4773027

    Happy Reading
    This is the year it went mainstream!

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