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42 Comments

  1. Rod,
    Thank you for posting this along with your thoughtful comments on Jim’s article.

    One of my main frustrations is that even the people who reject LNT, like Lauriston Taylor and Antone Brooks, they both say that it has use as a simple regulatory framework. Unfortunately, in the policy world any regulation that allows unlimited regulatory intervention and relies upon such arbitrary measures as reasonably achievable, will ultimately result in unrestricted regulation due to the phenomena of regulatory creep.

    I have done some work in this space and adapted other regulations to regulate based upon a threshold dose response, which was the prevailing regulatory method up until BEAR I in the late 1950’s when Muller and Stern did an end run on the NCRP in order to force “the genetic effect” as a valid regulatory base.

    Please find attached my proposed regulatory framework updating the concept of a threshold dose response in a more modern context.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1762o9mv9773k8o/Radiation%20Protection%20Standards.pdf

    1. I could possibly accept LNT as a regulatory framework if that regulatory framework we applied consistently, and included consideration of effects of regulations in discouraging the use of nuclear energy.

      The regulation of the nuclear energy industry is done with only the “safety” of nuclear energy in mind. This narrow regulatory viewpoint does not consider the effect of burdensome regulation. The results is that overall safety is sacrificed because it is easier to build fossil fuel power plants due to the lighter regulatory burden.

      Regulation to maximize overall safety of energy systems, even using the LNT assumption, would put nuclear energy way ahead of other energy sources. If we are going to use LNT, we need to be consistent. LNT needs to be applied all energy sources. For example, it should apply to coal ash.

      As it is, we have the worst of all regulatory worlds — little consideration is given to the consequences of burdensome regulation of the nuclear industry, LNT is applied to the nuclear industry, and LNT is applied little or not at all to other industries that produce radioactive byproducts.

  2. I believe it is Applebaum, rather than Apthorpe. I am not quite sure why he had such trouble getting registered on Forbes, but he has stated there before that he is, indeed, “Anon”.

  3. The greatest expression of ionizing radiation in the human body is from Potassium, a required nutrient. Potassium was selected as a necessary nutrient 4+ billion years ago at a time when the relative ratio of radioactive P40 was multiples of today.

    It’s pretty clear that if low levels of radiation were at all genomically harmful, then natural selective processes would have avoided Potassium as a necessary nutrient, but as it is, life loves the stuff.

    1. The greatest expression of ionizing radiation in the human body is from Potassium, a required nutrient. Potassium was selected as a necessary nutrient 4+ billion years ago at a time when the relative ratio of radioactive P40 was multiples of today.

      Ugh … what does this have to do with anything.

      If the body is adapted to relatively stable levels of a mineral that doesn’t fluctuate in the body much from day to day, and adaptive response has been on the order of millennia (and not years or generations) … what is the relationship to irregular exposure to ionizing radiation (acute or chronic accident doses, and at a level above what is recommended for occupational exposures of radiation workers in most countries of the world).

      I don’t get it. Care to explain? Are you trying to suggests full body doses in the range of 100 mSv over five years (which is the standard for evacuation in Fukushima) is no different than eating a banana or two every once in a while?

      John Chatelle … let me introduce you to Gwyneth Cravens.

      1. @EL

        There is no health risk from a dose rate of 20 mSv/yr. That is less than half of the limit I was authorized to receive as a nuclear trained worker. I have been convinced by evidence that the level was perfectly safe and included a factor of about five to ten for conservatism.

        Based on that knowledge, yes, there is little to no difference between the risk associated with that level of radiation exposure and the risk from eating a banana or two every day.

        The radiation exposures are not the same, but their health risk is.

        1. @Rod Adams. Let me fully understand what you are saying … you are saying the risk is the same among members of the general public (including infants, women, pregnant women, those in higher risk categories due to health status) from 20 mSv/year (indefinitely) and eating a banana or two every day. Just asking, you seem to be willing to be quoted on this, and perhaps even willing to be put on camera in a documentary defending such a view … and believe the scientific and independently verifiable basis of your case will win the argument and bring more people to the side of nuclear power?

          1. @EL

            Yes. That is a pretty good summary of my position about the health effects of radiation at levels below about 100 mSv/yr. It is certainly my position regarding chronic doses at a steady rate of 20 mSv/yr.

          2. So you’re quintupling down at 100 mSv/year (and for infants and pregnant women no less)! That’s a pretty tough sell, Rod. But please be my guest. Someone has to take the far extreme of the argument (might as well be you).

            1. @EL

              For everyone but pregnant women and infants I will take the factor of 5 and multiply it again by 7 for an annual tolerance dose of 70 rem (700 mSv/yr). If I was an infant and could make the choice for myself – obviously a ridiculous assumption – I would demand to have the same dose rate limit as everyone else. The repair mechanisms that are evident in DNA actually work better in rapidly developing organisms.

          3. @EL : But are you sure that opposite position really fairly legitimates the death of 1400 evacuated people from Fukushima ?

            Rod is not taking so much risk, the dose he describes is the one tens of thousands of people have been submitted to in Taiwan during a large number of years, including kids in schools, and no increase in any pathology has been identified. It has been even thought at one time that the number of cancer was reduced, however this result apparently had been a miscalculation not properly taking into account the average age of the people who were living there. But consistently no increase has been found.

          4. Rod Adams wrote: “For everyone but pregnant women and infants I will take the factor of 5 and multiply it again by 7 for an annual tolerance dose of 70 rem (700 mSv/yr).

            @Rod Adams.

            I see. No wonder why you are so adamant the evacuation order should be lifted. By your own account, the Fukushima site itself is as good place as any to build a home, raise a family, do some fishing, and even put in some flowers or a vegetable garden while you’re at it (all things people do in places where they live).

            I see. I won’t ask what supporting evidence you have that 700 mSv/year carries with it no excess relative risk (for the populations you describe). Mostly, because I’m not aware of any. By repair mechanisms, I take you are saying that damage is taking place, and that an activated immune system in response to biophysical stress is just one of those mild irritants in life (like stubbing a toe, the weather, or stretching for a run). Forget the billions in compensation for veterans exposed to nuclear testing, or miners and ore transporters exposed to high radon levels. Complainers and opportunists the lot of them. Don’t they know they just experienced a bad weather day, and really have the tobacco companies to blame.

            I see. Like the Salem Witch Trials or the West Bank Fainting Epidemic of 1983, most of us (and the world’s independent science and radio-protection bodies) have succumbed to a mental condition, a kind of mass hysteria (or collective obsessional neurosis). It’s not health risk that lies at the root of our concern, but an irrational fear or psychosis. And it is ONLY pro-nuclear advocates who have healed themselves of this affliction, and suggest working in nuclear plants or exposure therapy (more power plants, even more power plants in full melt down) as the most certain route to a known and definite cure.

            I see. “Nothing to see here,” the policeman says to the gathering crowd, “please keep on walking.”

            1. @EL

              Here is an abstract that provides a good explanation for the repair mechanisms associated with low dose rate, potentially chronic radiation.

              http://bjr.birjournals.org/content/78/925/3.long

              Low doses in the mGy range cause a dual effect on cellular DNA. One is a relatively low probability of DNA damage per energy deposition event and increases in proportion to the dose. At background exposures this damage to DNA is orders of magnitude lower than that from endogenous sources, such as reactive oxygen species. The other effect at comparable doses is adaptive protection against DNA damage from many, mainly endogenous, sources, depending on cell type, species and metabolism. Adaptive protection causes DNA damage prevention and repair and immune stimulation. It develops with a delay of hours, may last for days to months, decreases steadily at doses above about 100 mGy to 200 mGy and is not observed any more after acute exposures of more than about 500 mGy. Radiation-induced apoptosis and terminal cell differentiation also occur at higher doses and add to protection by reducing genomic instability and the number of mutated cells in tissues. At low doses reduction of damage from endogenous sources by adaptive protection maybe equal to or outweigh radiogenic damage induction. Thus, the linear-no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis for cancer risk is scientifically unfounded and appears to be invalid in favour of a threshold or hormesis. This is consistent with data both from animal studies and human epidemiological observations on low-dose induced cancer. The LNT hypothesis should be abandoned and be replaced by a hypothesis that is scientifically justified and causes less unreasonable fear and unnecessary expenditure.

              Yes, I do think thank the Fukushima area would be a pleasant, livable area if the government could encourage people to return an repair the damage from the earthquake, tsunami and 27 months of neglect.

          5. Rod Adams wrote: “Here is an abstract that provides a good explanation for the repair mechanisms associated with low dose rate, potentially chronic radiation.”

            What does this have to do with tolerance doses in the range of 700 mSv/year?

            Nobody disputes the concept of radiation hormesis. It is a well studied concept, and is not new or controversial. Putting a biophysical stress and immune system response, however, in the context of general guidelines for radiation exposure and radiation protection (and labeling it “healthy”) is a bit strange to me, controversial, and not particularly well thought out (here). On what basis (animal and in vitro studies), and at what level (for all populations in the general public, occupational exposures, those who meet pre-established health criteria, etc.)? 700 mSv/year is off the charts of adaptive response (your source suggests a range of 5 mGy to 200 mGy). Your source also claims this research is supported by human epidemiological data, but only mentions “several studies” based on “single low-dose irradiation” (and provides no references). And moreover, as a discussion paper, the professional audience it was directed to rejected the position of the paper, and found it’s arguments unpersuasive (30% support, 52% against, and 18% unsure).

            Not sure what you take to be so compelling in this paper, but it doesn’t appear to be that much. And certainly not for the range of doses that you have referenced above, and believe should inform decision making in radio-protection standards and guidelines, and evacuation criteria for the general public in accident zones after a large uncontrolled release of fission products to the environment. The folk witticism “what hurts only makes you stronger” perhaps applies to relationships and love (and maybe even divine prescription as well). But I’m not so sure it works equally well for radio protection and exposure limits (certainly not at levels far beyond what any observation or experimental studies in an extensive and well documented scientific literature would seem to suggest).

            If your intention is to bolster the confidence of an advocate community that not everything is as bad as opponents (or professional and institutional gatekeepers) would seem to suggest, perhaps many here will find your comments provocative and engaging. In terms of bringing new audiences to the cause of nuclear power, however (a goal that is important to many here and motivates their contributions to the site), it seems to me that extreme assertions that are scientifically unfounded and unproven are unlikely to get the job done. In fact, I think there’s a pretty good chance they could accomplish the opposite (and take you out of the running for mainstream and scientifically informed debate all together)?

            1. @EL

              That abstract was not in response to your demand for supporting info regarding the 700 mSv/year tolerance dose. It was answering your question about repair mechanisms.

              I’m on the road through Sunday, but will provide links supporting the tolerance dose number early next week.

              One thing to note is that the HPS statement about 100 mSv being the point at which there starts to be some slight measurable risk is a statement about single doses received in a brief period of time. Remember, the primary population used by the studies that BEIR and others is the population of atomic bomb victims. Nearly all of their dose was administered in a flash.

              As Wade Allison points out in Radiation and Reason, the medical community has been fractionating large doses for many years. Their experience show that there is NOT an equivalency between identical total dose in a case where it is administered all at once and one where it is administered over a long period of time.

              The researchers who recommend accepting tolerance doses in the range of 700 mSv/year assert that a series of low dose rate days allows enough time for repair to keep working without overload. LNT adherents often assert that repair is never perfect, but they ignore the fact that DNA damage events from non radiation influences are one thousand to one million times as frequent. The repair or apoptosis response works pretty darned well.

            2. @EL

              Your questioning continues to stimulate additional reading. This article provides more support for a new look at assumptions about radiocarcinogenisis.

              http://radiology.rsna.org/content/251/1/13.full.pdf

              It concludes with numbers that are slightly lower than the 700 mSv/yr I wrote about earlier – no evidence of excess risk below 500 mGy. (A reasonable simplification is that 1 Gy = 1 Sv) However, it also reports on several populations with no evident excess risk after cumulative doses of “several Gy”.

          6. Rod Adams wrote: “It concludes with numbers that are slightly lower than the 700 mSv/yr I wrote about earlier – no evidence of excess risk below 500 mGy.”

            This is not what the study says. Only if you exclude epidemiology, and focus on a rather narrow set of studies on animals and experiments with cells. I thought we already highlighted some of the uncertainties that are involved with animal and experimental data?

            It has often been stated that at low doses the linear relationship suggested by the LNT model is incorrect, and that in fact the radiosensitivity of a tissue to oncogenic transformation increases or decreases with dose. Possible mechanisms for non-linearity include: DNA damage prevention and repair mechanisms; senescence; bystander effects; and genomic instability. A hormetic response (Figure 1, curve b) is suggested by some investigators to occur owing to adaptive responses to radiation. This would have the effect of lowering the dose–response curve for excess relative risk (ERR) in the low-dose region to a level below zero; in other words, suggesting that low-LET radiation may actually have beneficial effects in terms of reducing cancer. Many of the arguments against LNT extrapolations do not clearly distinguish between evidence for non-linearities at low doses and evidence that the non-linearity means that LNT overestimates (rather than underestimates) cancer risks at low doses. Many of the arguments emphasise animal or in vitro experiments, whose greater precision at low doses compared with epidemiological data is offset by the formidable difficulties of deciding whether the end points analysed are appropriate surrogates for in vivo human cancer. For example, excess cell killing in vitro at low doses might suggest that there is also excess oncogenic transformation at low doses, might to the contrary suggest that at low doses oncongenically transformed cells are preferentially killed, or might be irrelevant to human cancer. However, evidence for low-dose non-linearity does substantially weaken the one-track action assumption discussed above (p. 1168).

            Article concludes:

            It is prudent that the LNT model should continue to be used as the basis for radiation protection policy, including that which is applicable to diagnostic radiology. There is no consistent evidence to support a departure from the LNT model, either by introducing a threshold level of ‘‘safe’’ radiation or by altering the shape of the LNT curve at low doses. Indeed, although the existence of departure from linearity may be seen in certain instances, as both upwardly and downwardly curving slopes are possible (Figure 1), the net effect may be best described by a linear curve (p. 1172)

            And I really don’t see what initiating a permanent stress condition and activated immune system response in generally healthy individuals has to do with prudent public safety guidelines for radiation exposures and limits (after an accident, in the workplace, or otherwise). Are you suggesting human physiology isn’t adequately adapted to its environment, and merits a supplemental dose of radiation above background (and rising rates of diagnostic procedures) in order to maintain proper physiological functioning and good overall general health?

            1. @EL

              Your phrasing confused me. It almost appears as if you are saying that I did not read the study I linked to.

              Here is the conclusion of the paper I mentioned this morning:

              LNT was a useful model half a century ago. But current radiation protection concepts should be based on facts and on concepts consistent with current scientific results and not on opinions. Preconceived concepts impede progress; in the case of the LNT model, they have resulted in substantial medical, economic, and other societal harm.

          7. Rod Adams wrote: “Your phrasing confused me. It almost appears as if you are saying that I did not read the study I linked to.”

            No … not that you did not read it, but that you did not understand it. Yes, the general statement is correct, old concepts need to be revised, and “current radiation protection concepts” should be “consistent with current scientific results and not opinions.” Who disagrees with that?

            Paper is concerned with animal and experimental studies, and rebutting claims that cancer incidence takes place at even the smallest dose. It makes wild extrapolations based on a handful of studies regarding Chernobyl impacts (many of which are debatable and not certain) … and for a threshold of 200 mSv. Primarily, it makes the claim that nobody should fear x-rays as a diagnostic tool. I don’t see where this is controversial. Other than that, it makes some conjectures, and suggests we seek more information from “patients undergoing radiation therapy” to extend findings in other contexts and at higher dose levels than what has already been suggested by the epidemiology.

            I find the paper really fuzzy in it’s language and findings, often leading you to think one thing (when it is actually saying another). The paper often says “in humans” when it actually means in vitro. These are not particularly clear or informative uses of these terms. This is why I brought up the uncontroversial observation (which is widely acknowledged) about the challenge of relating animal or in vitro findings to in vivo results. I guess you see more certainty in these applications than me. The paper is very clear we should revise LNT to no longer mean cancer incidence at even the smallest dose. It suggests we shouldn’t fear x-rays, and investigate further challenges to LNT as a dominant paradigm of risk assessment for low acute and low chronic doses. It does not conclude that 500 mGy should be used as an acceptable public health exposure threshold in radio-protection standards.

            1. @EL

              Not that this comment comes from a peer reviewed source, but it is interesting and relevant to our discussion:

              https://atomicinsights.com/president-obama-we-have-emission-free-fuels-available-now/#comment-58390

              John Tjostem wrote:

              Wind and solar do not return enough energy for the energy investment to allow for continuing the lifestyle which we have become accustom. Biofuels offer an order of magnitude less energy based on energy investment than wind and solar. I have actively farmed and I continue to own farmland which produces corn and bean. I have academic credentials in botany and microbiology my doctoral work was in plant physiology. The moral implications of using food crops for energy is one concern. Starvation is the alternative for the very poor. The other concern is that we are all poorer because the net energy return from biofuels is nearly zero and our food costs are greater.

              In graduate school I took a concentration of courses on the biological effects of radiation. I have continued to follow developments in the field radiation biology. We now know that radiation hormesis is a proven fact. Additional radiation stimulates our immune systems to protect us from diseased and cancers. We can tolerate a one time dose of 100 mSv with out an increase in incidents of cancer. Wade Allison provides evidence that a chronic dose of 100 mSv/ month or 1200 mSv/ year will not result in an increase in cancer. He suggest that our regulators have set the radiation limit 1000 X too low for chrionic radiation and 100X to low for a one time dose. Everyone in Fukushima prefecture should be allow to return to their homes. The levels of chronic radiation has from the start been in the benficial range. They will likely experience a reduced incidence of cancer and other diseases resulting in longer lives. We now know that surviving the A-bomb victims are living longer than their countrymen not exposed to radiation from the bomb.

              Wade Allison, author of Radiation and Reason, continues to lecture and to provide logical reasons why we need to increase the acceptability of moderate radiation doses. He suggests that we should establish dose limits that are As High As Reasonably Safe and STOP pushing competitive programs to push doses to As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). In the hands of both regulators and radiation protection professionals ALARA philosophies lead to incredibly unreasonable decisions like the outrageous 1 mSv/year that the Japanese Red Cross recently adopted for its volunteer emergency workers. Here is a link to Dr. Allison’s most recent talk – given less than 2 weeks ago:

              http://www.radiationandreason.com/uploads//enc_EdinburghJune13A.pdf

              One of the reasons that I advocate for a dramatically increased tolerance dose is that I believe that humans are better off with more power than without. My understanding of energy source history leads me to believe that improvements in living conditions far outweigh the increased risk when the energy source has a sufficiently high energy return on energy invested.

              Coal, oil and gas continue to provide net benefits to society, even though they come with some increases in chronic negative health effects and increased risk of immediate and nearly immediate death as a result of accidents. As a society, we accept their negatives in order to enjoy their positives and receive that overall benefit. The risk of future climate change is difficult for most people and governments to accept as worrisome enough to forgo the immediate benefits. The enterprises that have arisen to extract and distribute fossil fuels also defend the energy market conditions that form the basis of their wealth and power quite effectively.

              One of the few negative aspects of using nuclear energy is that it comes with a small risk of an elevation in radiation exposure. With moderate investments, we have proven that we can drive the additional exposure from routine operations down to levels approaching zero. The amount of money that can be invested to drive down the probability of accidents that expose people to somewhat higher levels is nearly infinite, and that number grows rapidly as the acceptable dose is driven down closer and closer to zero. Perfection cannot be achieved, but attempting to achieve it gets increasingly expensive as the asymptote is approached.

              If the acceptable dose level becomes more analogous to the acceptable dose of air pollution from fossil fuel combustion, the cost associated with nuclear energy can be dramatically reduced. That would have the eventual result of vastly increasing the overall power availability to human society. We would be able to accomplish a great deal of important work that is currently left undone.

              That undone work leads to a vastly greater amount of human suffering that what would be caused by the moderate increases in radiation dose that would result. After all, it will still be quite risky from a financial perspective to allow nuclear plants to fail catastrophically, even if we recognize and legally accept the reality that there is an extremely remote possibility of harm to the public health by that failure.

              As a beneficial side effect, the cost of medically useful diagnostics and treatment can also be dramatically reduced by replacing machines with isotopes and cutting overhead associated with using radioactive materials. One more side benefit would be improved food longevity and distribution through the increased use of irradiation.

              I realize that my language is imprecise and perhaps even “fuzzy” (to use your word), but that is part of the nature of the topic. Benefits associated with increased energy availability are difficult to precisely define and quantify, but that does not make them any less real. Risks associated with low to moderate radiation exposure are also difficult to quantify, but they are low enough that they can be compared to other energy related risks that we already accept.

  4. One part of the Fukushima story I find to be worrying is that Japan has such an educated populace, yet the fear mongering works on them. Or perhaps its more of a cultural habit of obeying authority? But if a highly educated population has these fears, how would we ever hope that education would allay the fears in places like the USA??

    1. One of the problems is that Japan has a media-mind set which seeks to respect, i.e. reinforce, common beliefs in society. There is little or no challenging of commonly-held viewpoints. Scientific journalists are absent from news programmes.

      Another problem is that the education system in Japan is rote-based: there is little or no emphasis on thinking for oneself. There is a lot a lot of superstition in Japan, belief in astrology, spirits, and the power of blood types to determine character being the main ones. So, we have a set-up where outlandish claims meet little resistance in society.

      A good recent example in the media is the reporting on Thyroid cancer detection in youths in Fukushima Prefecture. The numbers detected are above the typical rates*, but no reporters have used their grey matter to come up with any reasons for this beyond radiation. The fact that the youths are being subjected to in-depth thyroid scans, and so may be having possible cancers detected years before they would have been noticed. Such cancers would normally be detected when the youths were adults, and as adults have a higher rate of Thyroid cancer, these youths and will also have a higher rate.

      * Note also that there is no national cancer registry in Japan, the gathering of such statistics being the reponsibility of the cities, towns and villages of Japan. Any statistics on less common cancers should be treated with caution.

      1. With regards to the Thyroid cancer worries, I’ve found a very interesting lecture here :
        http://archotol.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=484784 Do All Cancers Need to Be Treated? The Role of Thyroglobulin in the Management of Thyroid Cancer

        Being selected by the US Head&Neck surgery society for the official lecture of their annual meeting, the author decided to cover the specific subject of the increase in identified thyroid cancer, and the usefulness of treating those.

        1. Hadn’t really finished my comment, so his concusion is that “we have embarked on a quixotic quest to rid our patients of microscopic and probably clinically unimportant thyroid cancer”, that “we are performing far too many unnecessary thyroidectomies”, and that most of the mortality of those cancers is caused by a few very specific variants “2% of patients had anaplastic thyroid cancer, with a mortality of 85%” (so those 2% represent 33% of all those who will die from thyroid cancer), so that “most patients who ultimately die of thyroid cancer can be identified at the time of their initial treatment and followed up aggressively and appropriately”.

          1. Thanks, an interesting lecture indeed. My eye-opener on the Thyroid cancer front was the paper “Very high prevalence of thyroid nodules detected by high frequency (13 MHz) ultrasound examination” by Guth et al. Using 13 MHz scanners on a similar population, they found a 68% pervalence of thyroid nodules, more than double that of a study which used 7.5 MHz scanners (33%)

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19601965

  5. The sad thing is, someone in my extended circle on a now-defunct social networking site showed exactly the pattern of psychosomatic illness detailed above, and he lives far outside the Fukushima fallout zone.  Many Japanese are truly being terrified so much that they get sick from it.

  6. 2 weeks ago today, Dr James Conca wrote another great article on the EPA who is looking into raising the legal radio active threshold in the US following a civil nuclear incident.

    The US Government does not want to have to sustain the livelihood of thousands of US evacuees in case of a minor incident like Fuskushima and this is why this revision is going upward.

    Also Conca sees things from a different perspective. He does not think that US citizens will evacuate their homes that easily as opposed to their Japanese counterparts. Plus, this 2nd amendment would probably kick in and some residents will use their guns if they have to in order to stay home. Interesting.

    Anyway. The radio active standards are going up and it’s about time the EPA wakes up.

  7. Rod,
    Where does your “700mSv/y” come from? That is over twice as high as any other source I have seen (~250mSv/y).
    Thanks

    1. @Kiteman

      It comes from the ICRP tolerance dose established in 1934, which was .2 R/day or roughly 70 R/yr (700 mSv/yr). It has been confirmed as being a reasonable protection standard based on work by Cuttler, Feinedegen, Allison, Pollycove and Calabrese.

      1. Rod Adams wrote: “It has been confirmed as being a reasonable protection standard based on work by Cuttler, Feinedegen, Allison, Pollycove and Calabrese.

        What source and what study?

        Please do tell.

        Studies in Ramsar do not show 700 mSv/year is a safe level, and Cutler and Pollycove cite 150 mSv/year as a safe radio-protection standard (here).

        1. @EL – The Ramsar study you linked does not evaluate whether or not 700 mSv/year is safe or not. All it does is assess the dose itself throughout the area.

          1. Indeed. And where are the doses anywhere close to those reported by Cultler and Pollycove (which they report, in the absence of epidemiology, as erroneously confirming no additional health risk).

            The answer would be: nowhere. Mean dose in the ELNRA areas of Ramsar are 6 mSv/year.

            1. @EL

              There are other populations of exposed people besides those exposed to natural radiation. There have also been animal studies done.

              I want to clarify something. The recommended tolerance dose concept is not about deciding to start irradiating people. It is not about suddenly getting careless. It is about reassuring people and accurately informing them about how safe they would be in an area as lightly contaminated as nearly every square meter in Fukushima.

          2. The report you appear to be citing contains the following statement:
            “This paper only reports the potential annual effective doses from the external exposure” which typically excludes inhaled or ingested radiations. And since they are the primary sources of natural radiation dose, it is unrealistic to exclude them. The often triple the external dosage.
            So, 2 to 300+ mSv/y, even more in spots, with an average about 20. But no inddication of harm from the ~300 areas.

          3. @KitemanSA.

            The paper specifically recommends the following:

            “Considering also the internal exposure from 222Rn from living indoors and outdoors, the mean potential annual effective dose of the public can be roughly doubled” (p. 24).

            And no. It has not been demonstrated that there is “no inddication of harm from the ~300 areas.” Firstly, what ~300 areas are you talking about, and secondly, what epidemiological studies (health records are sparse and none have been conducted for the area)?

      2. Ok, I found it. But since the recommendation was actually .2R/day and assuming 5 work days per week, that yields more like 500mSv/y. Still higher than I’ve seen elsewhere. But I did like the phrase “threshold for adverse effect”.

  8. Rod is not taking so much risk, the dose he describes is the one tens of thousands of people have been submitted to in Taiwan during a large number of years, including kids in schools, and no increase in any pathology has been identified.

    @jmdesp

    Nope. Please realize that I (and most of us on this site) are all well familiar with the handful of studies that pro-nuclear advocates draw on over and over again. Mean annual dose of residents in Taiwan apartments exposed to Cobalt-60 was 13 mSv/year.

    Last time I checked, 13 mSv/year is a great deal less than 700 mSv/year (which Rod says is an acceptable tolerance dose for the general public, excluding infants and pregnant women). Studies on this issue were limited in duration, and merit extended follow-up (which most people understand and acknowledge).

    And no, we’re not talking about comparative risks with relocation alternatives. We’re talking about absolute risks (per Rod’s specific comment).

    1. Since I never know when I’ll be censured …

      Geez, Bob, it not that hard to figure out what to expect. You’ll be censured whenever you make ridiculous claims or resort to fallacious arguments — such as disgusting ad hominem attacks or spurious association fallacies — or just let your very nasty personality seep into your comments. As long as you keep that up, people here will continue to rebuke you, some rather forcefully, for these faults. Why is that so difficult to understand and anticipate?

      Oh … wait … you probably meant to say censored.

      Yes … so you deserve to be censured for your dismal knowledge of English vocabulary as well. It’s almost as poor as your understanding of scientific research and methods.

      1. It always amazes me to see some yahoo criticize ad hominem while engaging in it. One would think a pro-nuclear website would be attended by people intelligent enough to understand the word “hypocricy”.

    2. Well, I started reading your link and tried to get all the way thru, but after so many fallacies or inconsequential snipes in a row, I gave up in disgust.

      I hope someone with a stronger stomach than I can properly rebut it.

Comments are closed.