1. This is more science denial propaganda. SORRY, ooopps, I mean SARI is no different than the NIPPC, who can’t accept the theory of anthropogenic climate change. So these morons manufacture propaganda to fool the general public.

    The scientific consensus is LNT. The science has nothing to do with the lack of emergency planning associated with Fukushima. The lack of emergency planning was caused by the mass delusion that a nuclear meltdown couldn’t happen. If one couldn’t happen, there was no need to conduct emergency planning.

    I will likely be censored after posting this comment, because that is how religious people deal with facts that disrupt their mythology. You can respond, uncensored here:



    1. Seems like the religious folks have provided some strong evidence to support their view. As you are the lone voice crying out in the wilderness, your message should give some strong truth of what you believe.

      You’ve been beat up pretty bad on this site for your views. It might be good to provide a few links of evidence showing the harm from low levels. Something other than linear extrapolation would be good evidence. Otherwise, to the casual observer, me, it looks like a lot of money is being wasted by taking overly precautionary measures.

          1. (I tried to post this under your comment in the thread below the Cuttler piece but it didn’t work, so I’ll try again here; apologies if it appears multiple times.)

            Thank you for the reference, but I am not persuaded that it supports the claim of beneficial effects of chronic low level radiation. Here is what it says:

            1. Paragraph 14: “Among other details, the report considers whether a threshold dose exists below which the life-span is unaffected. The report finds the evidence equivocal. A significant conclusion might be established for animals if very great numbers of them were used in such experiments. The report points out, however, that even if such a conclusion were established, its application to the human case would require a theoretical basis to justify such an extrapolation. Such justification is lacking at present.”

            A lot of subjunctives and counter-factuals here. The bottom line is that the authors of this piece are explicitly saying that it’s unclear (circa 1957) whether there is a threshold below which lifespan is unaffected. They are emphatically not claiming clear, compelling evidence for a threshold below which there are beneficial effects.

            2. Paragraph 15: As you note, the table shows an extremely large effect on the median lifespan of rats exposed to .8 r/day or ~5 r/week in the form of Co60 gamma rays. But this was a very small study (22 rats per group), and there are no confidence intervals so I don’t think one can draw firm conclusions from this. Has this study been reproduced in the 60 years since this work was done on a much larger number of animals? If so, it would be interesting to see the results. If not, I’d be very interested to know why, given the enormous (unbelievable?) size of the reported effect.

            I would also note that the weekly dose for this experiment is around 5 r which lines up pretty well with second Lorenz data point (open circle) in figure 1 which shows no difference from the control. This could have something to do with the one group measuring means and the other medians, but it does seem to cast some doubt on the claim of 25% increase in median lifespan.

            3. There were two groups in the review by Mole that were exposed to doses of less than 1 r/week (both groups were exposed to gamma radiation rather than fast neutrons). Both the man lifespan of both these groups were ~7 to 9% longer (judging by eye) than the control groups but the statistical significance is weak – the results are consistent with the null hypothesis of zero effect. (“It should be noted that there are eight experimental points at weekly does of less than 10 r or its equivalent in neutrons, and that the duration of life in none of these experimental groups was significantly different (P > .05) from its control”.)

            4. Mole notes that there are fairly significant differences (~5%) in mean survival time in control group rats, even when efforts are made to make the environment as similar as possible. He writes: “The apparent increase in survival-time at the lowest daily dose used by Lorenz et al. may well be due to the fact that the animals at this does-level were kept without air conditioning in different rooms from all the other groups, including the controls.” He goes on to write “Replication on a sufficiently large scale […] could overcome this particular difficulty [experimental noise]. In fact, however, replication is almost completely lacking from the experiments listed in table I […] no one concerned with duration of life irradiation experiments has ever repeated his experiments even once…”

            5. Finally, just looking at the data in figure 1 (the eye is an excellent filter), I the dashed and dotted lines 2 and 3 – which seems to asymptote to zero effect at low both look quite reasonable. By contrast, drawing a line that goes through the first two points, at dose ~= .8 r/w looks pretty hard without introducing an unnatural bump.

            So my overall take on this paper is that it doesn’t really lean strongly one way or the other on whether there are beneficial effects from low level radiation.

            I’m sure that in the last 60 years there have been many many additional experiments on this topic. Does anyone know of a good, peer reviewed, recent, and reasonably comprehensive review of the literature on this topic?

    2. You honestly believe these people were in greater harm (Radiation speaking…..not being washed out to sea due to the tsunami) had they stayed in their homes?

      Do you wake up every morning with the plan to vomit this same nonsense?

    3. “The scientific consensus is LNT.”

      No it isn’t. Not for low dose rate radiation… there is a disconnect between regulatory practise and scientific research in this area.

      ” The lack of emergency planning was caused by the mass delusion that a nuclear meltdown couldn’t happen. ”

      Nope. Station blackout was already known in the 70’s when the plants were built, to be a dominant cause of core damage. There are other reasons for core damage as well, so some ideas are needed on emergency planning, if you believe in LNT.

      “I will likely be censored after posting this comment, because that is how religious people deal with facts that disrupt their mythology.”

      This isn’t about religion, it is about scientific research unanomously indicating hormesis/threshold effects for low LET, low dose rate radiation. Such as the risks from nuclear powerplants entail.

      Bomb exposure is prompt and not relevant for nuclear power risks.

      LNT says it doesn’t matter whether you drink 1 glass of wine a day for a year or tak 365 glasses on one day. That’s silly.

      LNT has no data on the low dose rate area to indicate no threshold. Quite the opposite is true.

      What Rod has tried to say in this thread is, sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease, especially if we are too “conservative”.

    4. Father Bob, looks like the heretics at atomicinsights are questioning the orthodoxy of LNT again. Questioning the Church of LNT is forbidden and should we ever gain the power to burn these heretics, there is going to be a grand barbecue with you as the chief cook.
      I’ve seen your drivel regarding being censored on this site so often, I believe you simply cut and paste pre-written statements.
      As I’ve stated before, though I lean heavily toward a threshold model, I am open to information to the contrary. You, however, are NOT helping the LNT school by your disparaging comments bereft of any scientific data. If your censorship whining and inability to remain on topic choosing instead to appeal to tired cliches about religion and mythology is the best you can do, then I feel that much more confident in a threshold model.
      It is simply precious that you fail to recognize the irony in your statements regarding religion and your religious adherence to LNT.

      1. “Father Bob” indeed. How appropriate!
        I wonder what a real scientist like Father Georges Lemaitre, Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics, the formulator of the Big Bang Theory, a man who worked with Albert Einstein, would say.

    5. “I will likely be censored after posting this comment, because that is how religious people deal with facts that disrupt their mythology.”

      Actually, Rod would be ill advised to censor you. Your asinine manner of commenting lends credence to Rod’s arguments.

    6. Bob,

      How is accurately weighing different risks “science denial propaganda”?

      Please explain that comment further, and not by obfuscating the question and saying that the Japanese are a sovereign people who determined their owns means of weighing various risks.

      Would you be more likely to die by riding 500 miles in an airplane or in an automobile?

      I’ll hang up and listen (even though I know you never return here after your initial hit-and-runs).


    7. This review supports LNT greatly.
      Even very low amounts of extra radiation cause extra damage to the genes as shown by the gender change of new born after Chernobyl and from mothers who life near nuclear facilities.

      The male chromosome is smaller than the female chromosome, so less chance it is hit by a radiation particle. Hence, abnormal more males born after Chernobyl in Europe (~1mln), and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities.
      This also implies more damage in other chromosomes of these new born. Hence more Down, serious malformations, etc..

      This is in line with the the recent results of the RERF studies concerning the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombs.

      1. Sanne, I’m not reaching the same conclusion as you.

        See figure 2 – European stillbirths. First, the 1986 and 1987 eastern europe stillbirths are lower than 1984, and variations are vary small. Second, there is no causation or even correlation between exposure to radiation and stillbirths. As you know, people were told they were doomed from Chernobyl radiation, resulting in increased alcoholism and stress, which is known to greatly increase stillbirths. If anything, this is more indication for Rod’s disastrous consequences.

        Then the next figure, birth defects in Bavaria. The doses are so trivial this cannot imply causation, even with LNT assumed. Furthermore, the spread in the data is huge and the general trend is downward. Moreover, the second figure of 0.16 mSv/a has a bigger spike than the 0.39 mSv/a, exactly opposite of what LNT would expect. Finally also consider the above increased alcoholism, stress and the like which are spurious factors. The doses in the graphs are absolutely tiny, they cannot explain any effect whatsoever from radiation.

        The there is the next figure, which shows sex odds at infant death. Apart from the same issues with spurious correlations (stress, increased alcohol consumption) there is a major problem with this graph because the trend starts to go upwards before 1986, for multiple consecutive years. Also, how do you explain the 2002 anomaly which was very low?

        The next figure is even more silly. Dose rate from bomb tests were trivial for virtually everyone. Also how do you explain the sex odds between USA and Europe? Clearly not bomb tests because the data set is at variance for the entire period. Do you think that changes in technology such as the food we eat etc. have no influence? Why would you choose to believe that microsieverts can affect sex odds, when there are far bigger chemical insults that make for spurious correlations?

        All the other graphs have similar problems.

        If anything these figures DISPROVE LNT even more.

        I am at a loss as to why you interpret your reference as proof for LNT.

        1. Gender change in newborn is an indication of chromosome damage. And chromosome / DNA damage is extremely important as such damage is transferred to next generations.

          Germany is >1000miles away from Chernobyl, so no turmoil, alcoholism or stress after Chernobyl. Still jumps in the sex odds at birth after Chernobyl that indicate major DNA damage. The more exposed countries have bigger jumps, up to (p.12)
          Btw. no indication that temporary alcoholism or stress can create such DNA damage.

          In Germany the jumps upwards vary from few % (region with little fall out ) via 50% (birth defects) to >100% (sexual organ defects in Bavaria; p.8).
          No pregnant woman will call those jumps minor.

          The significant health damage caused by the bomb tests as shown in the sixties, was the motive for all major powers to divert to far more expensive underground testing. The increased radiation continued years after the ban (spreading of the fall-out), so did the gender change in newborn.

          Note that the gender change also occurs with newborn nearby ‘normal’ operating NPP’s in Germany and Switzerland (p.14+15; p=0.002!). Same for nuclear facilities in France. So I think same also for nuclear facilities and NPP’s in other countries.

          1. You have not provided a shred of proof that Chernobyl was to blame Sanne. You have only provided very weak and poor statistical information, most of which directly disproves LNT.

            I have already told you that the trivial radiation doses reported cannot, even deterministically, be responsible for even very slight changes in gender change. This is true even if you use LNT. For the same reasons you state – Germany was >1000 miles from Chernobyl, so the doses received were trivial, far, FAR less than the natural variation in natural background radiation, for example. If what you state is true then there is enormous impact of radiation on gender, but no laboratory tests with any animal show this, so we know it is wrong.

            You and your reference are simply fabricating false causation out of terribly poor and weak statistical correlations. There is no link with Chernobyl at all.

            You might as well look for correlations between the crime rates in a city and the number of dogs in the city. I will guarantee you that positive correlations will be found. This does NOT imply causation between dogs and crime rate, a spurious correlation is involved. The size of the city determines crime rate as well as the number of dogs.

            The same goes for your reference. Here’s just one example:


            This major environmental disaster occured in 1986. There are many others and also major fires spewing genetotoxic and carcinogenic materials in the air. Such materials are known to cause chromosome damage and increase cancer incidence. Why are you not suggesting that chemical and other accidents were to blame? Why are you looking for trivial radiation doses that occurred 1000 miles away?

            Another example is the fact that coal plants are typically built in the same area as nuclear plants. Also oil refineries are often found in such areas. The reason is they are concentrated in industrial areas. The Borssele Nuclear plant in Holland has a coal plant right next to the nuclear plant!! So looking for correlations would be silly. Might as well be the particulate matter from the coal plant creating health damage, in fact that is more likely as nuclear plants emit almost no radiation during normal operation.

            What you have referred to is an excellent example of the proverb, “there’s lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Rod Adams should do a post on this, I’d love to dissect the nonsense further.

          2. @Rod,
            We know each other.
            In fact we recently decided to develop a WEB-site that does not censor opposing opinions about nuclear (as e.g. The Energy Collective does).

            1. @Sanne

              Only governments can censor. Here in the US, some people forget what the “first amendment” actually says.

              “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

              Atomic Insights is a place where people can peaceably assemble and where the moderator has the right to tell people to leave if they are disrupting the peaceable assembly by repetitious assertions of nonsense.

              You are, of course, welcomed and encouraged in your efforts to develop your own peaceable assembly where you and your visitors can agree on whatever rules you think are appropriate.

          3. “In fact we recently decided to develop a WEB-site that does not censor opposing opinions about nuclear”

            This really is the fundamental problem with anti-nuclear sentiments: it is just opinion without correct facts to back it up. As I’ve just proven with the statistical nonsense reference Sanne linked to, its all fabricated statistics and correlations. There is no science, just opinion.

            Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but do not expect to be able to produce factual lies and demonstrably false arguments and get away with it. Opinion and fact are two very different things. One can dislike the facts, yet such sentiments do not change them.

      2. Sanne, here is an overview of actual controlled experiments on various animals which disproves your conclusions and the claims made in the reference:


        The problem is one of statistics. You can always find a stronger spurious correlation, such as eating and drinking patterns and lifestyle changes, than a few millisieverts of ionizing radiation, and then claim you’ve got a correlation and have proven LNT.

        LNT is about statistics. It is all LNT can do, and it isn’t very good at it at all, making rookie mistakes that even students in statistics are learned to avoid such as not checking spurious correlations etc.

        This is little more than dogma.

        Controlled lab experiments are scientific. They can be controlled, reproduced, verified, by others.

        Statistics is not science. The most we can say is that statistical analysis can be done using scientific methods, which LNT has failed to do.

        1. You accept statistics when the results support nuclear (as in Cuttler’s presentation regarding a.o. the flies) and defy stronger statistics (regarding real humans and with p=0.001) when you don’t like the results…

          Small amounts of many poisons (e.g. arsenic, nicotine) and also radiation have beneficial health effects as they activate the body (defense/immune systems). So they are used to cure patients (poisons already since ancient times). However such activation doesn’t go for free.
          After decades, the activated defense system gets exhausted and the person dies anyway (this is well known with smoking, asbestos, etc).
          The tests in the Cuttler presentation last not long enough to show these effects.

          Regarding the fly’s of Caspari: his dosage was 2.5Rem/day (=~25mSv/day).
          Those flies live ~1000times shorter than humans (their metabolism is very fast).
          So translated to humans it implies a dose of ~10mSv/year (=~3times normal background radiation).
          In addition; DNA of the flies is probably x-times smaller, so x-times less chance to be hit by a radiation particle, then it is ‘normal’ that Caspari didn’t see damage.
          And logical that Muller neglected Caspari’s results. Those were not relevant.

          1. The reason I accept the Cuttler referenced statistical work is simple Sanne. The doses were enormous, yet no increase in cancer nor reduction in life expectancy is seen. The doses in your reference are laughably small. This cannot cause any detectable health effects by definition.

            Moreover, the Cuttler work contains not just blurry statistics, it includes many controlled lab experiments where dogs and fruit flies and such were irradiated. This is way better than doing ecological studies with that much noise to signal ratio.

            You haven’t even read the cuttler reference, clearly. It explains why natural DNA damage is enormously bigger than 1 mSv of ionizing radiation. Please read it. It’s excellen’t.

          2. “Regarding the fly’s of Caspari: his dosage was 2.5Rem/day So translated to humans it implies a dose of ~10mSv/year (=~3times normal background radiation). ”

            Wrong again. You can’t linearly extrapolate like that, extrapolation is the whole reason LNT has gone so wrong.

            Its not just about the flies. There is data on dogs, living much longer, indicating no increase in cancer for 3 mSv/day exposure (though a slight reduction in life expectancy does occur).

            Plus there’s data on luminous dial painters and brest cancer (both human data sets). It all points to the same thing.

          3. “defy stronger statistics (regarding real humans and with p=0.001) when you don’t like the results…”

            No. You’re not listening to anything I’ve said. Its not about the significance of the statistical result; its about spurious correlations combined with tiny tiny exposures (< 1 mSv). Your reference did not consider spurious correlations at all; it did not consider other fires or environmental disasters that occurred in 1986, it did not consider coal plants and oil refineries situated near nuclear plants, it did not have control groups. I can find you p=0.001 statistical results of correlations between dogs and crime rates. That doesn't mean the result makes sense.

            Correlation does not imply causation.

          4. @Rod,
            My first posts were published within seconds.
            My last post just vanished.
            Was published hours (or more) later on.
            That creates the impression it was delayed because it had to be screened.

            Why? Did I treat anybody impolite or so?

            Or do you consider opinions referring to the results of studies, published in decent peer reviewed scientific journals, that contradict the strong opinion of members here (and yourself) as (I cite):
            “…disrupting the peaceable assembly by repetitious assertions of nonsense.”?

            If not why than the screening? Why that delay?

          5. @Rod,
            That moderated last post was the short answer (2 sentences) on your question: “…does Sanne sound suspiciously like a former commenter named Bas?: ”
            (Question at: November 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM)

            No link in the post.
            It was the fourth post. In those four posts, 3 links in total.

            So why that moderation?
            Or is an average of one link per post too much?

            Then a serious discussion becomes difficult as members have to resort to simple statements such as this one by Cyril R.: “…the trivial radiation doses reported cannot, even deterministically, be responsible for even very slight changes in gender change.” without scientific foundations.

            My post of today was published immediately again. Thank you!

    8. Has my faith in the Creator become a litmus test of sorts with regards to the validity of my opinions on this topic?? What, are you Bill Maher’s long-lost cousin?

      I can offer you just as much evidence of the immaculate creation as you can in support of the religion of Darwinism. The trouble is, our Lord hasn’t granted you the ability to understand my evidence. But He will nevertheless soon hold you – and Bill – accountable for that evidence.

      It’s alright…..your paganism does no damage to my eternal security. Our Lord said this would be the state of the world.

      1. Dan,

        Sadly most people in the West are ignorant of history, that modern science came from deeply religious men who did not believe in some sort of whimsical sky God, but in the eternal I AM who created all of existence. These men, because they were devoted to objective truth in religion, were equally devoted to objective truth in science. One of these men – Stephen M. Barr, professor of theoretical particle physics at the University of Delaware – has written an excellent book entitled, Modern Physics Ancient Faith. My copy is filled with hand-written notes. It is well used. I therefore commend this book to the reader who dares to be open minded for a change – the price is well within the capabilities of the average nuclear professional:


        By the way, like Protestant Hugh M. Ross who himself has a doctorate and is an astronomer, Dr. Stephen M. Barr, a devout Roman Catholic, is a real scientist. How many atheists – adherents to and proponents of the religion of materialistic scientism – are like these men, real scientists who have actually contributed something to mankind’s betterment?

        I am sick and tired of this liberal progressive secularist mantra (or alternatively, Ayn Rand objectivist nonsense), that science has to be atheistic and only atheists can know the truth and that people of religion are living in a fantasy and should therefore have no voice in the public discourse. There would be NO science were it not for Christians. NONE. And were it not for atheists, a 100 million deaths in the 20th century could have been averted.

        Faith in God gives certainty in objective Truth, whether revealed by science or by the teaching of Holy Mother Church in Her Sacred Scripture and Her Sacred Tradition, and a purpose for living that mere pagan hedonistic libertinism can never satisfy. Faith in God does NOT make one less of a man, but more of a man, for poor indeed is the man who must prop himself up with the fragile ego of hubris and arrogance, declaring like Eve so long ago that he has the knowledge and the right to determine on his own cognizance what is good and what is evil. Poor in morality. Poor in spirituality. Poor in humanity. Science will never come from such a man as that.

      2. Holy red herring, Batman!

        Please take your apologetics to an appropriate forum.  This isn’t one.

  2. The current death toll due to the evacuation is over 1600.

    Its amazing when you think about it, how dangerous evacuating an area is. First there’s risk of traffic accidents, elderly and people in hospitals dying upon abandoning the facilities, etc. Then there’s the dangers of letting people stay in tents in poor living conditions, high stress, people drink and smoke more. The death toll is going to increase further from this, based on Chernobyl. Not to mention the number of abortions from pregnant women who are told they are doomed and if they can have children at all they will have three heads and six hands.

    You’d think that authorities would learn from historic accidents such as Chernobyl. Oddly enough the exact same mistakes were made in the Fukushima evacuation.

    The only rational way to approach evacuation is to consider the likely death toll from staying versus the likely death toll due to evacuation. If there’s high probability of the former being larger than the latter, evacuate. At no point during the Fukushima crisis was this the case.

    Even for short term evacuation to guard against short lived iodine exposure, it is far less risky to advise people to stay indoors and monitor the dairy produce in the area for radiation for two months, if there’s a big iodine release.

    Evacuation is never strictly necessary, even with the worst LWR accidents (Fukushima is on the high end of what’s possible with nuclear accidents with LWRs with multiple equipment failures and multiple delays and failures in recovery actions, nearly full meltdowns, multi units affected, etc etc).

    Better than evacuation is compensation. Here’s what I’d propose: for every mSv above 2 mSv/day (this is the threshold for bad health effects), the plant owner must pay people $100 in compensation. People can then choose to stay or leave.

    1. “The current death toll due to the evacuation is over 1600.”

      How is that figure arrived at?

        1. Excerpt from Rod’s link….

          “The evacuation deaths included those unable to obtain medical care in the confusion, as well as those who committed suicide or developed fatal illnesses, The Mainichi reported Tuesday.”

          End excerpt.

          Although I have no doubt that deaths occurred, directly caused by the evacuation, I think it is a somewhat dubious pursuit trying to cite a figure. Judging from the article, it is impossible to determine how many of these deaths would or would not have occurred had there been no evacuation. Seems we kinda broached this subject once before sometime ago, when someone tried to attribute the evacuation as “causing” increased alcoholism. I had to point out that the malady of alcoholism is not “caused”. You are, or you aren’t. An event may in fact trigger an alcoholic binge, but it does not instill alcoholism.Really, one would be hard pressed to scientifically and accurately put a number on the deaths attributable to the evacuation, in my opinion. Also, another unknown is the amount of deaths that would occur as a result of residents staying in an area devastated by the quake and tsunami. In many ways this could easily be as stressful as an evacuation, and surely accidents, depression, and sickness would figure into the equation.

          I am not advocating for these kinds of massive evacuations. I am just opining that the death figures cited are agenda driven more than they are a factual accounting. Truth is, its impossible to know, and it somewhat disingenuous to offer an accounting presented as accurate..

          1. I think you have a good point that many, perhaps even most, of the deaths would have occurred “naturally” otherwise. Still, it seems reasonable to argue that at least hundreds, and perhaps more than a thousand, of additional evacuation related deaths have already occurred, and more are likely to occur from continued deprivation of livelihoods.

            1. @Cyril R

              Since all humans are mortal, there is a 100% probability that each of the deaths would have eventually occurred.

              I’m not hung up on accounting here. The general point I am trying to make is that there is measurable, certain harm associated with relocating large populations from a settled area into temporary shelters while also telling those people that they can never return to their homes and that they may already have been exposed to a substance that might eventually lead to their early death.

              Of course, as Les Corrice has described, the pain of relocation can be assuaged with enough money. People who would otherwise be interested in returning to their homes to rebuild might be perfectly satisfied with remaining in their new homes and spending their work-free income. That solution is expensive for society as a whole, but it benefits certain key industries and individuals that are making tens of billions of dollars per year providing power from burning fossil fuels.

          2. Picturing the devastation of the area around Daichi that was impacted by the tsunami, one can easily imagine the risks associated with attempting to remain in the area during the process of rebuilding. The overstated danger of radiation exposure (if in fact it was overstated) would not be the only reason for a large scale evacuation. The complete destruction of the coastal infrastructure around Fukushima would seem to render the area incapable of safely supporting a base population. It is just my opinion, but I would assume that the death toll would possibly be higher should a large population remain in an environment razed to the degree that this coastline was.

          3. “The complete destruction of the coastal infrastructure around Fukushima would seem to render the area incapable of safely supporting a base population.”

            @ POA. I don’t see how this would be the case. Inland megacities aren’t bothered by lack of coast, including infrastructure. Land based infrastructure is a good substitute.

            Japan is a dangerous place to be. Volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis. It is in the Pacific Ring of Fire. If people in Japan don’t like that risk, they could leave the country.

          4. I would appreciate some comment from this group on what effect you feel the tireless cavalcade of anti-nuke, hysteria mongers (Caldicott, Busby, Alverez, Gunderson, Kamps, et al) have had on this phenomenon of suicides, increased stress among the mothers of young, the elderly, etc. I cannot help but feel the increased fear they induce has led to some early deaths or worsening health issues. Any links to substantiate this?

          5. Thinking further, one must realize that this “unreasonable” public fear of low dose exposure was pre-existent to the quake and tsunami. The argument can be made that the evacuation actually eased stress on the general population by removing them from the proximity of the devastated area. Surely the antis would have raised a ruckus about allowing a population to be exposed to these “deadly” radioactive emissions. Remember, these victims of what you allege is FUD have swallowed the propaganda whole. Imagine the stress of being told that by remaining in the area you are consigning your family to being exposed to almost certain cancers and shortened life expectancy. The evacuation didn’t instill the fear you deem as unreasonable and unwarranted. It already existed.

            1. @poa

              I don’t think most of us are confused on this point. The irrational evacuation was a result of the already extant fear of radiation that has been steadily promoted with adequate resources since 1956. The effort actually started in 1925 when the Rockefeller Foundation provided Hermann Muller and the University of Texas with funds to conduct x-ray irradiation — at doses whose minimum was 400 R (4 Sv) — of fruit flies and report the results as being proof that radiation is harmful instead of being accurately reported as “radiation is harmful when received at too high a dose without adequate recovery time.”

  3. Question: if Bob Applebaum feels like he is being censored on this website, how come his nonsense posts appear in every single article that Rod Adams posts?

    Bob, have you provided any evidence in the form of weblinks that Rod has blocked?

  4. Bob Applebaum is correct.
    But he is not correct because he is scientifically correct.

    This quote was recently provided here on another topic.
    “It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.” – Machiavelli, The Prince

    Bob Applebaum is correct because he has the law on his side.
    Now, the question is, should the law (LNT) be changed?
    If so, how is this to be done?
    Do not forget those “who have done well under the old conditions”. These are the fossil fuel interests, the leading environmental organizations, and the promoters and investors in renewable energy. All of these groups have a vested interest in preserving the LNT law.

    1. It’s time that a court case is brought against nuclear fear mongerers. During the Fukushima debacle (which was a public relations debacle, not a nuclear debacle) plenty of people put themselves in the media spotlight and fanned the flames of radiophobia in Japan and internationally. They should be arrested under the same laws which forbid falsely calling “Fire!” in a packed theater.

      Bringing to justice those who attempt to create extraordinary fear of radiation may be a way to normalize the public discussion of nuclear matters. Once anti-nuclear activists realize they can in fact be held to account for baseless fearmongering, they might become more careful of making false claims. And once they stop making false claims, their relevance to the public debate about nuclear power will be eliminated. After all, each and every popular anti-nuclear ‘issue’ brought against nuclear power is either a blatant fabrication or a gross exaggeration. If anti-nuclear activists become limited through law only to claim what they can support with evidence, then 99% of what they are currently saying would become illegal and hence would stop polluting serious discussion about energy and our common future.

      I would support such a law. I don’t think it is a denial of freedom of speech, as some might protest. Freedom of speech is not freedom to deceive in my opinion. On the contrary, the right of freedom to speak utter nonsense about nuclear energy is interfering with my right to be informed accurately and objectively about crucial matters affecting my life and that of my children. We have laws against holocaust denial, and against inciting to (racial) hatred, so why not have laws against the promotion of gross anti-nuclear propaganda? The subject is too important to leave the public at the mercy of anti-nuclear propaganda organisations that are well- funded, stop at nothing and have no shame.

      1. Joris, I am of the same sentiment though in America, this would never fly. I think the industry (in America) should explore the possibility of going after FOE under the Federal RICO statute given their sole purpose of shutting down nuclear power (see Rod’s 10/8/14 article on FOE strategy). I feel the nuclear industry is simply impotent in its defense against anti-nuke attacks. Japan should deport those westerners who promote hysteria, it can’t be helping their situation. Perhaps people like us can more vigorously approach the media with accurate information to counter the FUD. Seems to me the anti-nukes are far better at persuading the media to dance to their fiddle. We need to couch our response in a way that is not only honest, but also of great interest (safety can be so boring).

      2. It’s not the individuals who utter such lunatic comments, it’s always the media professionals who give then ‘air time’.

        Journalists, editors, presenters and celebrities have inordinate powers to invade and persuade the public of their viewpoint, which always comes at any subject from the angle that ‘if it bleeds, it leads’

        Power without responsibility is the issue – morally criminal, if not legally so!

      3. Suing some individuals who promote LNT for fraud might be a good idea. Let a jury hear both sides and convince them with facts that LNT has been disproved. If the verdict got some national interest, it would be a great public relations victory. The main problem, besides, education, is that it is too difficult to get government permission to build and fuel a reactor.

        1. I think it would be better to put LNT itself on trial similar to the Scopes Monkey Trial.

          Since LNT-ALARA in 10CFR20 is the law of the land, we would just need one person to purposely incriminate himself saying he violated ALARA for the case to have a defendant.

          Think of the intense international publicity a trial would bring to the issue!

          1. As one who leans heavily toward a threshold response, I would certainly hope that the threshold folks would provide more evidence for Threshold and against LNT than Darrow did for evolution. But, that’s another story…

            Doesn’t the BEIR committees consider all the evidence from the many studies such as those Cyril cites, as well as the areas of the world that have high back ground doses such as Ramsar Iran or Guarapari Beach Brazil? Wouldn’t “raising awareness” of these high back ground communities and comparing them to the infinitesimal doses received from nuclear facilities penetrate the public mind?
            I believe simple comparisons, when imparting truth, is more effective at enlightening the populace than posting a 300 page study unless one does both using a simple link as a reference.

  5. Bob can’t see this for what it is: a problem in probabilistic risk analysis rather than a problem in health physics. It’s a conundrum in a complex risk analysis that conservative assumptions in one dimension are not conservative in other dimensions. The only thing to be done is avoid this in the future.

    And there was no delusion about the possibility of core damage. I was in Westinghouse Nuclear Safety Division for nearly 20 years, and I spent seven of them doing nothing but thinking about the consequences of core damage. We never called it a meltdown, by the way, any more than a doctor would refer to a hematoma as a boo-boo. Meltdown is a term coined by the antis to simplify the complexities of core damage progression and distort the consequences, as they are wont to do.

  6. After Chernobyl, the USSR sent in 600,000 “liquidators” to clean up the site, rotating them in and out so that nobody got a dose higher than a few hundred mSv. If LNT were true for low doses, we would be seeing thousands of excess cancer deaths among that group by now.

    The actual rate of cancer deaths among Chernobyl liquidators is 13% lower than in Russia as a whole, and overall mortality among liquidators is 15% lower than controls (Imanaka 2002, Table 5.2).

    I would also point out that BEIR VII is certainly not a scientific consensus. The French Academy studied exactly the same science as BEIR did at the same time, and came to the opposite conclusion regarding low dose radiation (Tubiana et al. 2005), finding that LNT does not hold for low doses.

    1. I would also point out that BEIR VII is certainly not a scientific consensus.

      @Keith Pickering

      And neither is the French report …


      The critiques presented by Tubiana and colleagues to the microdosimetric arguments which support LNT do not seem to be valid. It is, however, certainly true that if inter-cellular interactions among radiation-damaged cells dominate carcinogenesis, rather than being small perturbations of the carcinogenesis process, one would expect deviations from LNT. But it would still remain to be determined whether LNT was underestimating or overestimating cancer risks at very low doses, and whether such deviations from linearity were small or large. There is no convincing evidence to support the suggestion that immune surveillance will differentially decrease cancer risks at very low doses, and there is some evidence to the contrary (p. 255)


      As summarized by Brenner and other experts: “Our understanding of the effect of inter-cellular interactions is still in its infancy …”

      1. “There is no convincing evidence to support the suggestion that immune surveillance will differentially decrease cancer risks at very low doses,”

        Clearly these guys aren’t paying attention!!!


        Also some basics as to why LNT is wrongly assumed and why researchers get confused when they do not understand basic statistics and biology rules.


      2. @EL

        Agreed. Neither the NAS BEIR VII nor the French academies represent scientific consensus because on this particular topic, there is NO consensus.

        It does not bother me to be called a contrarian in this subject because the LNT model that has been accepted by regulators around the world — despite the lack of consensus — is not only wrong, but harmful. It discourages people from fully using the best available tools in numerous situations, whether we are talking about power production, ship propulsion, medical diagnostics, food sterilization, or medical treatments.

        Brenner, by the way, is one of the people who is actively campaigning to reduce the use of CT scans because of their supposed risk.

        1. Brenner, by the way, is one of the people who is actively campaigning to reduce the use of CT scans because of their supposed risk.

          @Rod Adams

          I don’t have a problem being prudent with radiation doses that are proven to result in excess risk.

          Brenner is a well respected scientist and medical practitioner, and he is not “actively campaigning” for some political job, but informed choices in diagnostic imaging (and engages with his peers accordingly). Would you rather scientists and medical practitioners made their health care decisions in a non informed way rather than one fully informed by the science on an issue?

          I don’t see any inherent conflict (as you seem to see) between prudent radiation limits and widespread and beneficial use of available technologies. Only if such regulatory standards would be loosened to such an extent as to be meaningless, and to lose the confidence of the public.

          1. “Only if such regulatory standards would be loosened to such an extent as to be meaningless, and to lose the confidence of the public.`

            Oddly enough the opposite happens in practise. Tightening radiation standards orders of magnitude below proven risks does not install confidence, it makes people deathly afraid. When you tighten a standard, it gets violated more easily. Not a problem with normal operation of NPPs, as they don´t emit meaningful amounts of radiationuclides. When an accident happens its very different. The media love to play into this, with headlines such as `ten times allowable radiation levels` without mentioning the levels are thousands to tens of thousands of times below demonstrated health risks.

          2. @Cyril R.

            Current radiation protect standards are not “many orders of magnitude below proven risks.” So you’re incorrect (yet again).

          3. @EL. Epa limit for nuclear power facilities is 0.25 msv per year. Known limit for chronic exposure is 700 msv per year. Factor 2800.

          4. Known limit for chronic exposure is 700 msv per year.

            @Cyril R.

            This is not a known limit for chronic exposure.

            See what I have said about making incorrect statements over and over again. They don’t add up to anything correct (or very informative).

          5. http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/pdfs/Presentations/Guest-Speakers/2013/20130625-Cuttler-CNSC-Fukushima-and-beneficial-effects-low-radiation.pdf

            “See what I have said about making incorrect statements over and over again. They don’t add up to anything correct (or very informative).”

            So far are the cases where you claimed I was incorrect, in each case I proved you wrong again.

            This is simply a yes-no-yes-no-yes-no debate, like the one children have when they’re “debating”. I’ve provided you with references. You’ve responded with fuzzy statements, lack of coherent rebuttal, and no references providing rebuttal. Even when I explicitly state this to you, you fail to provide URLs or clear, coherent arguments debating the main biological points raised by Dr. Cuttler and others.

          6. Remember Cyril, E.L.’s job is to obfuscate, confuse and cast doubt. Not to reach meaningful understanding of reality through a careful examination of the facts available. Only the “evidence” that seems to further his aims is grist for his mill, regardless of how many times it has been soundly refuted.

            Thank you, Cyril, for tirelessly refuting E.L. and his ilk with carefully referenced arguments. I am also enjoying your efforts on Brave New Climate.

            These folks are nothing more than information vandals. There are honestly confused people out there, but when they’ve been shown sound data repeatedly and it makes no impression, we’re into the realm of vandalism, not honest academic argument. Unfortunately, E.L. is an extremely skilled vandal. It takes a skilled artist like yourself to clean up his messes in a re-constructive way.

        2. @JohnGalt

          Another useful search would be “Brenner Image Gently”.

          Here is the site for Image Gently. http://www.imagegently.org/

          The campaign may not be as star studded as the anti-vaccine campaigns, but the messages are quite similar – be afraid the technology that the medical profession has developed.

          (I’m never opposed to a message of “understand the technology” that any profession has developed and sells for a profit.)

  7. The actual rate of cancer deaths among Chernobyl liquidators is 13% lower than in Russia as a whole, and overall mortality among liquidators is 15% lower than controls (Imanaka 2002, Table 5.2).

    I would also point out that BEIR VII is certainly not a scientific consensus. The French Academy studied exactly the same science as BEIR did at the same time, and came to the opposite conclusion regarding low dose radiation (Tubiana et al. 2005), finding that LNT does not hold for low doses.

    1. I’m sorry Keith, I’m just a lowly reactor operator (actually, at San Onofre we all lost our licenses, SROs are next), if this table 5.2 is the one on page 181, could you give me a short explanation of how to read it to come up with your numbers?

  8. “the leading environmental organizations”

    That’s one of the issues. These organizations, IMHO, should not be “leading” if they cannot accept the fact that Nuclear Power is extremely important to this “Environment” they wish to protect.

    I make $100,000+ a year “protecting” individuals from the “deadly” effects of ionizing radiation, so by association I am one of these groups with vested interest. Even I have the ability to look past the horseshit and realize we already have the most important energy technology that is vital to world health…..and its proven, efficient and by far the safest available. Nuclear Power is bigger than me and I’m more than grateful to be part of it. Seeing it shunned has done great harm to my faith in the human race.

  9. I just visited Bob Applebaum’s blog. He talks about Hitler and the Holocaust.

    I thought this guy was supposed to be a renowned scientist, but the blog is one of a nutter.

    1. His blog is at http://ribjoint.blogspot.com/ and his username is “TheHealthPhysicist” on youtube. I had a debate with him on the deaths from Chernobyl but was not aware that he was Bob at the time.

      I am currently attempting to get Goddard’s Journal on youtube to respond to the study on the threshold dose. In my opinion, he is the person with whom you should be debating LNT. He has some good arguments and is actually willing to engage with people.

      If you managed to convince Goddard’s Journal that he was incorrect, I think you would have a good person on your side.

      1. Mr. Applebaum’s blog espouses the religion of materialistic scientism that one has come to expect as the norm nowadays. Dr. Edward Fesser addressed the error of this point of view in an essay in 2010:
        Dr. Fesser, having once had a point of view similar to that of Mr. Applebaum, is hence uniquely qualified to speak on this subject.

      2. ” In my opinion, he is the person with whom you should be debating LNT”

        He doesn’t appear to be interested in debating. Unless hit-and-run mud-throwing is what you mean by debating.

  10. Well, my understanding is that the call for BEIR VIII has gone out. The final results of this review should be…rather interesting. I believe it’s due to be released in 2016? Anyone?

  11. Human data cannot be obtained in carefully controlled experiments, but the beagle studies by Dr. Otto Raabe demonstrate a threshold so clearly that the existence of thresholds at pretty high levels of exposure (25 R/yr for the beagles) cannot be disputed.
    “Scaling of Fatal Cancer Risks from Laboratory Animals to Man”, O.G. Raabe, Health Physics, vol 57, Sup 1, pp 419-432, 1989.

  12. Seems Mr. Applebaum was looking forward to being “censored” for a deviant view. Too bad.

    His words simply show him to be incorrect, in both radiation knowledge and biological knowledge.

    Since he, like the rest of us, lives each day with >4000 gamm/beta emissions per second throughout his and our bodies for life, just from the Potassium we nust have to live, I guess he and we must be apparitions — perfect for Halloween.
    The LNT model was always known to be false and untested, even from its original proponent, Muller: http://tinyurl.com/4xqwzjc

    But then again, Mr. Applebaum apparently thinks Ma Nature has been dumb about radiation for >3.5 billion years of life, starting on a planet with far higher background radiation then than now.

    For some facts: http://tinyurl.com/c8vrc8y (Applebaum is encouraged to find the error on the banana page)

    Dr. A. Cannara
    650 400 3071

  13. Can anyone tell me of any biological insult which DOES follow a LNT model? I am sure there must be some but nobody I have talked to seems able to cite any. It seems to me extremely likely that if something as ubiquitous as radiation were indeed dangerous down to zero exposure we would surely have evolved sensory apparatus to detect it, at least at the levels of variation in natural background. Why should low levels of radiation not be hormetic when a vast range of natural hazards we face is?

    1. There aren’t any. Almost all are S-shaped (elongated S).

      LNT was contrived on a faulty data set (the high end exposure of prompt exposure, basically the straight part of the S curve on the right) and even then the static at the low end did not support the idea of no threshold.

      This is commonly known in toxicology. S-curve of some sort is the standard. Threshold or nil effect on the left (no or nil slope), then a climbing area of increasing deaths and effects that may appear to be linear if you only have access to that part of the data set, then a levelling off as the most robust individuals (“tough guys”) have a high survival rate.

      There are some weird curves for non-lethal effects, where positive or negative disruption can occur at some doses but then dive off to the left and right (bell shaped). Chemicals that affect some hormones are an example.

    2. Malcolm, I echo that sentiment. I am a simple man preferring deck plate level, common sense explanations. If LNT is true, shouldn’t nuclear workers and airline crews have higher incidences of cancer? Shouldn’t those living in high back ground areas such as Ramsar Iran have higher incidences of cancer? Those Taiwanese apartment dwellers whose domiciles were constructed of Co 60, many living there for as much as 15 years? I am willing to acknowledge that perhaps I’ve just never been exposed to information supporting LNT but just from a common sense view point, given the above observations, it doesn’t appear to make any sense.

      1. Same here, simple guy, if its obvious there should be clear and unambiguous data. However I have delved quite a bit into authoritative documents and studies claiming to support LNT conclusion. They are full of holes when you dig down; things like spurious correlations weren’t checked, doses were too low to be statistically significant in the first place, and actual laboratory tests disproving LNT were hand-waved away on qualitatitive terms.

        Amazing. As an amateur in this field (but having recieved formal training in statistics) I cannot believe the errors that renowned scientists are making, or the conclusions that are being drawn from hard data that doesn’t support such conclusions.

        1. @Cyril R

          Since you have received formal training in statistics, I suspect you have heard of one of the basic references used in many good statistics classes How to Lie With Statistics.

          Here is a quote from the product description of the book on its Amazon page.

          “There is terror in numbers,” writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through “the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind” with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. “The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify,” warns Huff.

          It is coincidental that we are talking about the statistical manipulations of what might have been the most costly (or profitable, depending on your point of view) marketing campaign ever devised and that campaign picked statistics as its weapon of choice in a report published in 1956 — within a couple of years of the publication of the classic instruction book on deceptive use of statistics.

          It’s quite possible that my understanding of statistics is slightly colored by the place where I took my courses. Some of my fellow students were specialists who were learning how to run deception programs for various branches of the US armed services.

          1. Thanks for the reference Rod, haven’t read the book yet.

            Certainly there are entire volumes to be written about lying with statistics, if for no other reason, because nearly infinitely more false (unrelated) correlations exist than causal correlations.

            The books we got to read were very dry, theoretical books. Not very useful at all, it was only in later courses that the warnings came, it was a revelation for me that most epidemiology is completely unsuitable for any sort of statistical analysis to begin with! In case of ionizing radiation, the background noise of endogenous DNA damage (both single strand and double strand breaks) is so overwhelming that all the data with low doses is inherently unsuitable for any analysis.

            Also amazing for me was the revelation that hard statistical data isn’t actually hard. Much is left to the researcher or analyst, some data points that are “not liked” can be omitted, plus some respondents lie (eg about not smoking when they do smoke, etc.).

            Yet here we have ended up, with entire countries and major institutions having bought into statistical lies and irrelevant or erroneous data sets, even though basic biology and toxicology plus beginners courses in statistics clearly demonstrate the invalidity of almost all LNT research. Much authority is given to mathmatical significance of fabricated curve fitting, and no authority is given to real science such as controlled lab tests and the great field of toxicology.

            In the end I concluded that statistics isn’t science as it violates multiple scientific principles. Of course this made my teacher very angry, but made me realize that when people’s jobs are in the balance, a professional blindness is created.

            1. @Cyril R

              Interesting that you were only exposed to the warnings about ways to misuse statistics in later, presumably upper level courses. I never had an undergraduate level course in statistics; mine all came at the Naval Postgraduate School. Some classmates were learning the math to be able to use stats as a “tool” to further other aims; I was in the class in order to better understand communications network operations.

        2. They are full of holes when you dig down …

          @Cyril R.

          Such as underestimating risk at low doses (as you have suggested for shipyard study and others)?

          1. Just more statistics, no science. A few mSv of ionizing radiation is in the noise of confounding factors, anything from inaccuracy in the data to lies in the data (respondents lie, researchers sometimes lie as well) to things like asbestos pipe fitting. It is impossible to dredge anything out of an epidimiological study that has noise to signal ratio of 1000 or more.

            You’re just being silly. None of the controlled laboratory experiments show high risk at low doses, the opposite is true. This is because they do not have the overwhelming background variations that epidemiological studies have to deal with.

            Do not conflate risk with invalid statistics. Risk is estimated in controlled laboratory environments, not in statistical studies with noise to signal ratios of 1000.

          2. @EL : The fact that the correlation this study finds is many times higher than predicted by LNT disproves the quality of the study, and does not at all help LNT as you believe.
            Serious studies should find similar, compatible results 19 times out of 20. If the results keep varying wildly, then the studies are very, very bad and prove nothing.

            Also most of those author of those studies make the huge error of believing the statistical formula they use give the exact amount error there will be, when in fact they only give the minimal amount of error there would be if everything was just theoretically perfect in the study. Any error in the methodology adds to this amount of error, including amongst many others, using correction factors *without* taking into account that the corrective factors themselves *must* have some imprecision and statistical errors.

          3. @EL : The fact that the correlation this study finds is many times higher than predicted by LNT disproves the quality of the study, and does not at all help LNT as you believe.


            You kind of get it right … observational studies of a high quality that specifically document health risks are different from general statements about dose response curves as a general indicator or estimate of risk. Yes, studies showing that LNT assumptions are imprecise and underestimate risk are an indication of the imprecision of LNT.

            What is the alternative that you recommend?

          4. @EL : No, internal consistency test shows that this study is definitively not of a high quality, and obviously you’d never claim it is if you didn’t so much like part of it’s result.
            I say *part* of it’s result. You scrupulously ignore that this study finds a **lowered** rate of leukemia for nuclear workers despite that no other cancer has ever been as well linked, and is as easy to link, with whole body exposure to radiation as leukemia (iodine and thyroid cancer is thyroid only exposure, cancer treatment induced cancer results from a high dose radiation to one specific organ, a dose that applied to the whole body would result in a acute radiation syndrome). At Chernobyl, it’s the only cancer for which a somewhat significant result could be found for the cleanup workers.
            This incoherence means this study is worth nothing, and should have be sent to the paper basket if we were not in a world where you must publish to exist, and you also must claim that the result you found mean something. That’s just what they are doing here instead of taking the reasonable step which would have been of investigating on why the results they got are incoherent, what caused them to be buried inside the noise level and publishing a warning about how difficult it is to get anything meaningful out of this kind of study.

  14. How does the LNT model work in practice?

    Let’s say that N people are exposed to m mSv of radiation above background levels (whatever these may be).

    Exactly what predictions does the (most commonly accepted) LNT model then make? I’d be interested in the exact numerical predictions about things like expected decrease in lifespan, expected excess cancers and so forth, not just the generic statement that in the LNT framework risk scales linearly in m.

    Is there a good source on this?

  15. The number thrown around is a 5% increase in risk of cancer per sievert. Google “cancer risk per sievert” to see the sources.

    “Epidemiological studies continue on the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, involving some 76,000 people exposed at levels ranging up to more than 5,000 mSv. These have shown that radiation is the likely cause of several hundred deaths from cancer, in addition to the normal incidence found in any populationg. From this data the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and others estimate the fatal cancer risk as 5% per sievert exposure for a population of all ages – so one person in 100 exposed to 200 mSv could be expected to develop a fatal cancer some years later.”


    1. Yes, except there’s also a magic number – called DDREF – that defeats any attempt to prove a threshold. DDREF stands for “Dose and Dose-Rate Effectiveness Factor”, as I recall, and applies only at low doses and dose-rates. Any study of radiation effects can then invoke a DDREF value that keeps the LNT model within statistical non-disproof distance of the (no effect) results.

      At some undefined low doses and low dose-rates, BEIR say DDREF should “some number between 2 and 10” and the risk is then divided down by that factor. The fact that this completely breaks the linear link to high-dose effects, which is the only basis of assuming any harm at all, is totally ignored.

      The matter of the effect of using DDREF on demonstrating a threshold is noted in passing by ICRP:

      the effect of introducing the uncertain possibility of a threshold is equivalent to that of an uncertain increase in the value of DDREF, i.e. merely a variation on the result obtained by ignoring the possibility of a threshold.

  16. Tsunami deaths are instant. Evacuating afterwards doesn’t help, the damage has been done already and evacuating makes things worse.

    1. @JohnGalt

      I am less concerned about the initial evacuation than I am about the 3.5 year forced relocation. I’ll grant that some people prefer to leave their home areas if they are destroyed by a natural disaster. Speaking from my own experience as an American who has participated — in a small way — in area reconstruction from at least 4 major hurricanes (Andrew, Hugo, Katrina, and Isabelle) I can testify that most people want to return and rebuild as soon as that is possible.

      The tragedy in parts of Fukushima is that a tremendous amount of effort and expense has been diverted from rebuilding basic infrastructure into scraping good topsoil that happens to contain a tiny quantity of radioactive cesium.

  17. A moment’s break from the minutiae: let’s go big. Darwin came up with a good theory: living organisms evolve to fit their environment. Our environment has a lot of water, some land, tons of nitrogen, some oxygen (since about three billion years ago), electromagnetic radiation (particularly radio and in the visible range) and background radiation (comprising alpha, beta, gamma). We have evolved to fit in with them all. It is contrary to Darwin’s theory to suggest that we have evolved to NOT fit in with one specific one. Background radiation in most places in the world fits in the range one to 10 mSv/yr so that level is our evolutionarily-acceptable level.

  18. I took a look at that imdb.com film. Lucky we don’t live in a world of fantasy film! We live in a world in which, whatever we might wish to imagine is true, the truth is that death from conventional weapons far exceeds deaths from the two times the Americans activated nuclear warheads. Death from disease also. Death in general from hydrocarbons, either directly in drilling and exploration operations and explosions of storage tanks, or indirectly in motor vehicle use and planes, not to mention cancers from insecticide, plastics and paints and of course the ‘disputed’ global warming, dwarfs our apprehension, let alone our comprehension.

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