1. Reduce cost?! I just signed on for SureSmile braces for my 14 year old to the tune of $5,400. Prior to, I heard nothing about the increased use of xrays for this new and improved braces phenomenon.

    1. Newbraces – I am not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that you would be interested if the process saved you money, but that it was not offered to you?
      How would you react if the reduced time (cost) required in the dentist’s chair for imaging show up as improved results for the same price as a less effective treatment?

  2. Rod, you’re an incurable optimist. Do you really think that a blogger for the NYT is going to know what a sievert is? She probably thinks that it’s some Swedish rock band.
    Speaking of sieverts, minor error: 210 micro Sv is 21 millirem.

  3. Is it just me, or does the Times really seem to have it out for anything radioactive or nuclear? There’s this story, there was another attack story on medical radiography and radiotherapy a few months back, then there was the “Solar Energy is Cheaper Than Nuclear Power” story (in which they fail to mention that this was the opinion of controversial journal article/monograph written by elements associated with NC WARN, and then don’t really bother to get the other side’s opinion), then there are their editorials against that evil shredder of fish, Indian Point.
    It doesn’t seem like the Times is interested in reporting news about radiation, nuclear power, and associated technologies, so much as they are interested in stirring fear, uncertainty, and doubt about them. It’s unfortunate and sad that such a formerly respectable newspaper has stooped to become a partisan in these debates.

    1. Matt Wald even wrote a story the other day for the Times accepting the line that it was a good thing to be destroying a fully complete nuclear plant simply because it was uneconomical to operate – in 1998 when it was shut down by a management that wanted to teach a union a lesson in obedience.
      I guess the only good nuclear plant – in the opinion of the Times – is a dead nuclear plant. Wonder how much money they make each year running advertisements for fossil fuel suppliers.

      1. Although it is a national paper, the NYT primarily serves the greater New York City region (it is the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States). Look at the local politics. New York just elected as governor the son of the stupid jackass who shut down the Shoreham NPP in the late eighties. The residents of Long Island are still paying for that mistake, both financially and in terms of public health.
        Is it any wonder why the Times takes the positions that it does? Fossil fuel companies alone are not enough to blame. You can’t get to the heart of this until you understand the corrupt and incompetent nature of New York politics and the failure of public common sense that keeps getting these people elected.

    2. The surprising thing is that this is also coming from a paper that has some excellent science and engineering coverage as well. For instance, their retrospective on how the Deepwater Horizon disaster happened was one of the best technical – yet quite readable and understandable – explanations of a man-made disaster that I’ve seen. They ought to know better.
      Perhaps someone from the editorial board or the op-ed page is directing news coverage of energy technologies? Not a good idea to get reporting the news and editorial/opinion-writing mixed up. Sad.

  4. Given what we now know, from radiotherapy to the legacy of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is clear that radiation safety limits are far too conservative. Evidently, our bodies have learned through evolution to repair or eliminate damaged cells, with a low failure rate. I suggest the upper limit might be reset at a lifetime total of 5 sieverts, at no more than 0.1 sievert per month. That would be a fraction of a radiotherapy dose, spread over a lifetime. Given what we now know from Hiroshima and Nagasaki it is clear the safety limits are too low
    In other words, I would like to see a revision that would relax current regulations by a factor of 1000. This may seem excessively radical to some, especially those in the safety industry, (who in my opinion are part of the problem) but common sense says that extra precautions are most needed when we know least, and relaxed later, as instrumentation improves and our understanding of it grows. The regulation of ionizing radiation has resolutely gone in the opposite direction, driven by fear.
    Changing the limits would bring practical benefits. Radiation safety is a major contributor to the cost of nuclear power, so any relaxation should lead to major cost reductions, and stop nonsense beliefs, that medical x-rays are a serious risk.

    1. @DV82XL – you will get no argument from me other than a repetitive comment about the economic benefit that certain establishment energy industry stalwarts have obtained by efforts to impose excessive fear of radiation.
      Actually, there are probably some stalwarts in the medical industry that benefit from imposing a fear of radiation. After all, many drug makers are most profitable when they find a long term treatment – not a cure – for a scary illness like the big C. If a radiation treatment actually serves to cure an illness, there may be an accountant or MBA somewhere that views that positive result as a lost revenue opportunity.

      1. Well with many countries with universal heath care paid by the state, there is no benefit in stretching out treatments, particularly as most facilities in those countries are running at close to capacity. I would hazard a guess that any treatment that would speed things up would come to light in those places, even if they were suppressed in countries with profit-based health care.

  5. The funny thing is that medical diagnostics and treatments have doubled the background radiation of people in the U.S. in the past 50 years with very little public notice or comment… The population exposure of the whole nuclear power industry is a tiny, practically unmeasurable addition to the background.
    I would be particularly concerned about things kids are exposed to. I know of some parents who tan their 8-yr old girl so she looks like a sun goddess year round… I think they’re nuts. Of course, in that case, you really know there is tissue damage because you can see.

  6. Great article Mr. Adams. I would like to ask your permission to post a link to this article from my Website.

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments from our Readers

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar
  5. Avatar

Similar Posts