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  1. Trouble is, Rod, that you have to cite science to plead your case. All they have to do is recite an established narrative completely devoid of scientific specifics. And most people find scientific specifics to be boring and tedious gobbly goop.

    Thinking as a layman, I am beginning to agree with those expressing pessimism about your approach.

    I really don’t have any thoughts on how you can break through the wall you are facing. Fear of radiation is such an imprinted and fortified dynamic among the masses, that it is almost an insurmountable hurdle for you to leap. And as renewables gain favor, and are widely marketed as being successfully employed, this fear will supercede all arguments in favor of nuclear energy. Its already happening, obviously.

    Seems to me, that the one hope on the horizon for nuclear energy, (being utilized on this continent on a wide scale), is globalization, and our fall from super power status. As countries such as China rise in stature while making widespread use of NE, they will also be acquiring greater involvement in our own economic and energy structure.

    Make no mistake, our role as the planet’s role model is eroding fast, as our politicians bicker and posture like barnyard roosters. And this pathetic unfolding satire of a campaign season is undoubtedly making us appear as the nation of buffoons in the minds of our global competitors.

    Egads. Have you ever seen a more pathetic array of clowns? God help us.

    1. @poa

      One key area of your analysis that is way off is the idea that people will continue to believe the fables about unreliables as market penetration increases. The more people know about them, the less they like them. In contrast, the more people know about nuclear, the better they like it.

      I have no illusions that the next few decades will be anything but a fierce struggle for truth. I’m pretty patient and a decent endurance athlete. I’ve been practicing my communications skills for more than 25 years. If I keep practicing, maybe someday I’ll get good at it.

      1. “The more people know about them, the less they like them. In contrast, the more people know about nuclear, the better they like it.”

        Thats a wonderful premise from your standpoint. I have doubts, however, that such a premise is founded in anything more than your optimism.

          1. The vast majority of John Qs do not have the benefit of your experience when being subjected to the media’s blather.

            1. @poa

              Yes, but, with the possible exception of people who never leave their urban high rises, everyone living on earth understands how variable and unpredictable the weather is. I have a great deal of respect for the ability of people to see through the BS when someone points out that unreliables sales pitches are asking them to bet the availability of their electricity on the good nature of the weather.

              They may not know much about the way that power is generated and delivered, but all of them know how uncomfortable it gets when the power goes out for any length of time.

          2. “I have a great deal of respect for the ability of people to see through the BS………”

            In a country where the most popular presidential candidate promises he’s gonna build an attractive tall wall on our entire southern border, deport 11 million people, bomb Iraq’s oil fields, and be God’s gift to the gender he insults daily?

            Yeah, we sure seem to be a nation of geniuses, don’t we Rod?

            Hows that ‘ol ” We’ll be outta Iraq in less than a year” sales pitch working out for us? We sure saw through that one, didn’t we? And Iran, here we come.

            I don’t know how you found this “respect” for for our collective intelligence, Rod, but it sure as hell wasn’t from living on planet Earth.

            1. @poa

              Perhaps it is because I rarely, if ever, turn on the television entertainment programs that masquerade as “news.” Instead, I’ve spent much of my life working, talking and relaxing with real people.

              Need I remind you how close we came to NOT being led by W? If just a few more of my fellow Floridians — yes, I was still on active duty then and still registered to vote in my home state — had been energized to get to the polls and vote for their own interests, the world would be in a vastly different place.

              That is why I have difficulty with your brand of cynicism and snark. It’s not helping.

          3. Chuckling here, Rod. Immediately after posting my previous post I clicked over to Counterpunch, and read this…..


            An excerpt…..

            “Instead of being given multifaceted and multicultural knowledge, pupils and students have been receiving precisely calculated indoctrination doses, well tested during the centuries of imperialism and colonialism. By now, the Empire knows extremely well how to manipulate human minds. Those who are raped are forced into believing that they are being made love to. Those indiscriminately robbed are taught to praise the colonial powers for building their administrative buildings and railroads and people “at home” are instructed to feel no shame for their past and present.”

            “Instead of being encouraged to think independently, instead of being asked to revolutionize their thinking itself, the people are being tied, restrained by austere intellectual straightjackets.”

            “Courage and independent-mindedness are systematically vilified and belittled. Rebellious souls are marked as “unemployable”, almost as antisocial.”

            “Cowardice, submissiveness and mediocrity are promoted and marketed by the extremely complex and multi-faceted system of propaganda, advertising, “cultural and entertainment events” and media.”

            “In a fully uniform world where even “culture” and media are serving the Empire and its neoliberal business interests, the New Men and the New Women are being shaped from intellectual clay, then put on massive pedestals: all of them tall and slim, all articulately and loudly regurgitating clichés, carefully avoiding real issues, intensively communicating with each other about nothing, while remaining shockingly ignorant about the world.”

            Welcome to 2015, Rod.

            1. @poa

              I’m independently minded enough to avoid doctrinal publications like CounterPunch, which have such a lose editorial filter that they regularly publish work from people like Harvey Wasserman.

          4. Rod……

            I probably look at over 50 sites in a day. Counterpunch is included. As are the NYT,WSJ, HAARETZ, BBC,Truthout, your site, Chossodovsky’s site, RT…..blahblahblah…..yaddayaddda.
            In other words, I exclude nothing. I also make it a point to watch at least one Fox News broadcast, as well as at least one MSNBC broadcast. And I read the paper version of the LA Times, as well as our worthless local rag. On Sundays I read the paper version.of the NYT.

            Most of it is garbage. But the so called “underground” or “alternative” sites are no less littered with crap than the mainstream is. And the mainstream, whether you like it or not, or choose to accept it or not, is what shapes our collective psyche.

            You think we get our collective world view by osmosis?

            You have made the comment, many times, that you do not indulge in perusing the realm of the propaganda machine.

            Well, Rod, just where the heck do you think the masses are “informing” themselves? Do you think our “leaders” sell their snake oil by employing Vulcan mind melds?

            If you think you are going to sell NE by pressing palms, giving barely attended presentations of scientific gobbly goop to limited and specific scientific audiences, and attending BBQ’s, then you really are detached from reality.

            I envy your optimism. It must be a comfortable way to live. But it ain’t the hook thats gonna sell NE. Quite the contrary. Your opponents might be full of crap. But thats what they sell, they’re good at it, and they own the microphone, the amp, and the stage. Until you claw your way up onto that stage, and make your own pitch, you’re just background noise.

            Who do you think will get the most traffic today, Rod. Atomic Insights, or Counterpunch? Atomic Insights, or Fox?

            You’re just whispering.

        1. @ POA

          While it is fun and satisfying to always be critiquing the short comings of various policies and people, at some point one needs to take a risk and suggest solutions to the short comings one finds. What do YOU suggest NE proponents do to claw their way onto this media stage?

          1. “What do YOU suggest NE proponents do to claw their way onto this media stage?”

            As I have already stated in this exchange, I haven’t a clue. Give the masses a brain? Its like a flea trying to impregnate an elephant.

            Countering numerous decades of FUD is an enormous task. And the Catch 22 is that to counter it you need to employ and occupy the same stage as those whose message is the very message you seek to counter. And they own the friggin’ stage. Good luck.

      2. @ Rod

        “The more people know about them, the less they like them. In contrast, the more people know about nuclear, the better they like it.”

        Exactly and particularly so when they suffer a power outage or are forced to pay higher electric bills. Real world reality will trump the platitudes plied by the pied pipers of the renewables fantasy.

        As for communicating truth, how about an area here where people can post links to articles/editorials critical of NE that also provide an ability to respond. This would give members here an opportunity to refute the bogus bilge of the FUD spreaders. I’ve already come across excellent examples of repartee from Engineering Poet and Joris Van in other venues. Their responses can also instruct other, like-minded folks in effective communication.
        The real battle is not here among the choir debating the merits of various ecclesiastical apparel, but out there in the trenches of the media.

        1. “The real battle is not here among the choir debating the merits of various ecclesiastical apparel, but out there in the trenches of the media”


          1. POA,

            When I first began to pay attention to Nuclear Power in 2008 I had done a long study of every possible type of “renewable” energy while living in a poor Asian country. I remember clearly the wonder I felt as I began to lay out the spreadsheets and tried to understand the power density for Nuclear. I could not visualize the numbers I was reading at first and after a while I began to understand that you could power a city with a reactor core that would fit in a space the size of a large van! I was hooked! When I begin talking to someone about Nuclear I show them a pop can. I tell them they could power their WHOLE LIFE on that much fuel totally burned. That when it was finished “burning” the fuel they would have “waste” worth thousands of dollars an ounce.

            Since 2008 – with the rise of comment sections for articles – I have seen an overwhelming shift in the conversations. They have gone from being reflexively anti-nuclear totally frightened about radiation to having fierce debates about the benefits vs the “dangers” of Nuclear power. Most people I talk with are very willing to consider Nuclear and are actually excited by it.

            We don’t need a world government, we just need a chance to actually build the plants! We need reasonable, community health based regulations that are a standard for a design to meet. We currently have a design based regulation system that makes it practically impossible to build new designs. If we had a standard’s based system, we could pump out plenty of competition to Natural Gas and Coal.

    2. Yikes. Sitting in a restaraunt in Tehachapi, eating breakfast. Listening to the owner converse with a family of regulars. Dad, mom, and a mid-teen boy. The degree of racism and ignorance is astounding. Fox news on the tv, and customers nodding in appreciation as this loud discussion about the middle east unfolds. Comments like “Build the biggest army base in the world in Bagdad, and kill anyone and everyone that worships Allah.”….heads nodding in agreement.

      Its all I can do to keep my mouth shut. This country is in deep shit. We are a population largely comprised of ill-informed ignorant puppets, mouthing the crap scripted by a corrupt, traitorous, and murderous media/government complex. Surely we cannot last much longer on our current course.

  2. Obviously, this is a real issue. When trying to enlighten the public in general, one can’t just plead science.

    What we have to do, is relate it to everyday things with a similar (or greater) hazard, which no-one bothers their heads about. One thing I’ve thought about, is filling up at the gas station. The aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline are a known toxic hazard, but in the small exposures involved in filling up, no-one bothers to take special precautions.

    You could then start drawing some easily visualised pictures.
    – Someone filling up while wearing skin gloves. ALARAming ratchet initial position.
    – Someone filling up while wearing gloves and breathing filter. ALARAming ratchet tooth #1.
    – Someone filling up while wearing gloves and gas mask. ALARAming ratchet tooth #2.
    – Someone filling up while wearing a full-body clean suit with air supply. ALARAming ratchet tooth #3.

    AIUI the NRC is demanding something equivalent to #3 when only #0 or #1 is needed.

    At each ratchet position, an ALARAmist could make a “reasonable” case for another click of the rack. More and more however, other hazards would be overlooked in the relentless pursuit of Ultimate Realizable Gas-fume Hazard Hypersafety (URGHH). I can even imagine a few hazards stemming directly from the precautions themselves.

    This fevered line of thinking is like safety “measles”. Dangerous and infectious. The ALARAmists who peddle such thinking need to be quarantined!

    1. @turnages

      I’m not much of an artist, but I’m seeing the opportunity for someone to take a few photos at the local gas station.

      Since I’ve been doing “self service” since I started driving and have a habit of reading everything I see, I recall having read some pumps in some states that have warnings about the fact that gasoline vapors have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. I think I see those warnings less frequently now.

      Here is an example Material Safety Data Sheet for gasoline, a substance to which many of us are exposed with depressing regularity.


      1. @JohnGalt

        Perhaps, but the real subject of the original post here is the effort to question the basis for the limits, and the limits selected after choosing the basis.

        Before we can get protective measures right, we need to make sure that the limits are soundly selected.

      2. Yes, measures are applied when the set limits are likely to be exceeded. This is fine if the limits are reasonable.

        But after years of ALARA-mism, the radiation limits are not, and the point you miss, and which I tried to bring out with my ratchet illustration, is that with LNT/ALARA they can never be! What are the set limits but a threshold? And what does LNT say but that there is no threshold of harm? Therefore, you are always compelled to strive to reduce, and reduce, and reduce, to the lowest “reasonably” achievable levels, which are always themselves reducing with the state of the art.

        In actual reality, however, both gasoline toxins and radiation exposure effects have a threshold below which no harm is measurable. (Whether there is actually a hormetic effect below the threshold is another argument for another day.) That is the limit we should be using in either case. So I contest your assertion that comparison is at all lying or misleading.

        What we needs is AHAMS – As High As Measurably Safe, instead of the chronic treadmill, alarm-inducing ALARA.

      3. @JohnGalt
        Read 10 CFR 20.1101 – The NRC regulation imposing ALARA. However, the R in ALARA is not defined and it constantly means less and less. And thus the Regulated requirement becomes constantly less.
        When the INPO evaluation ranking of ALARA slips from the upper half of the plants to the lower half of the plants, executive management is concerned. The pressure is immense to keep the number low. Work in high rad areas requires (plant management) two, four or more “training” runs on full size mockups. Years ago it was just a walk through. Today there is a Mockup facility in the training building just to practice and decrease time. I have seen welders weld large diameter pipes, valves, pumps to pipes, etc. together in a mockup, cut it apart and do it over again, so that they can do the real weld in 10 % faster, and thus receive 10% less dose. The training is filmed, critiqued, etc. meaning not just one welder but several, and in instructor. .

  3. The Linear No-Threshold Model was one of the root causes of the significant contamination at Fukushima.

    Without that element of radiophobia, the venting at unit 1 would have started hours earlier and the hydrogen explosion might have been avoided. The venting was delayed because there was a perceived need to check for clearance and evacuation status – which is down to limits that should not have been applied, especially in an emergency. Even if, worst case, the explosion had only been postponed by a day, the work on units 2 and 3 would have been much further along.

    Without unit 1’s explosion contaminating and disrupting the site, the slower-progressing problems at unit 2 and 3 would almost certainly have been resolved short of the contamination actually experienced. Indeed power hook-up to unit 2 was in progress when the first explosion threw everything off track.

      1. Thanks E-P, I’d missed that. Would go some ways to explain Mr. Kan’s post-2011 anti-nuclear activism, and seemingly desperate contention that no nuclear power plant can ever be safe.

  4. Yeah, evolution deniers don’t like to stick to a 100 year old theory either.

    You know, mutations can’t be responsible for evolution.

    Sounds like a party.

    1. @ Bob

      So, just how did non-living material not only come to life, but life fully capable of taking on products and giving off byproducts AND reproducing? Why isn’t this an example of the experimentally disproven theory of spontaneous generation?

      “You know, mutations can’t be responsible for evolution.”

      If every tiny bit of radiation causes mutations, and mutations have taken us from amoebas to man, just think how much further we’d could be on that “evolutionary scale” should we begin to reduce the requirements (ALARA) on the nuclear industry. Indeed, who needs shielding when there is an evolutionary ladder to scale?

      1. ” how did non-living material not only come to life, but life fully capable of taking on products and giving off byproducts AND reproducing? Why isn’t this an example of the experimentally disproven theory of spontaneous generation?”

        Nobody knows exactly what reactions were involved, and no doubt there were billions of different short-lived autocatalytic reactions over millions of years before a persistent one appeared. But as we discover more about which organic molecules are common in comets etc the possibilities are becoming clearer.

        The origin of life is a fascinating topic.

        1. @Don Cox

          There is, of course, an easier explanation, even if it is not satisfying to those who insist on denying the possibility that there is some kind of creative force that we are not even close to comprehending.

          I fully accept the evidence of numerous changes the common systems found in a variety of species. What I question, mainly based on my engineering understanding of entropy and creativity, is the assumption that the wonderful variety of life on this planet is the result of random chance.

    2. Mutations are not responsible for adaptation or evolution: natural selection is.

      Mutations are one cause of the variation that makes natural selection possible.

      1. @ Don Cox

        “Mutations are not responsible for adaptation or evolution: natural selection is.”

        Then we should be able to artificially “naturally select” complete new species. Despite thousands of years of dog and horse breeding, there always seems to be a point beyond which we can’t go.

        Turnages up above suggests using simple analogies to communicate truth to the non-scientifically minded, a practice I fully endorse. Here is the atheist Fred Holye employing that same technique in regard to evolution:

        “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”

  5. “a group of pro-nuclear fanatics—there is really no other way to describe them”

    Some of us are so damn sick of watching pro-nuclear fanatics parasail onto the mirrors of solar plants (usually at night), and shoot terrorist-supplied RPGs into 30-story windmills.

  6. Ultimately I predict the NRC will deny the rulemaking because the petitioners fundamentally don’t understand how the agency thinks and operates. It unlikely to make a change that gets ahead of BEIR VIII.

  7. @JohnGalt

    The dose limits currently applicable to people who work in the nuclear industry are safe and include a large safety factor before approaching doses that have been proven to cause harm.

    While it is virtually impossible for doses to the the general public to approach those limits, they should still be the limits. That situation would not, as critics like Gofman and Tamplin feared, cause nuclear plant operators to relax in their operational excellence. Instead, it would result in a public knowing just how far away from danger they really are with the kinds of doses that the nuclear industry subjects them to, even in a very bad, three reactor meltdown accident scenario like Fukushima.

  8. “I’ve even toyed with the idea of creating a Fission Fan Club”

    Put me down for an A.I. hat and coffee mug and a group tour of a NPP.

  9. @ JohnGalt

    “…and interesting that not all the conspirators …”

    Are these conspirators those who simply desire more common sense in establishing radiation standards?

    “It is mistaken, misleading, or a lie, depending on knowledge level, to imply or say “AIUI the NRC is demanding something equivalent to #3 when only #0 or #1 is needed.”

    Are you suggesting that the NRC is only concerned with exceeding dose limits and makes no comments and asks no questions of a plant that while maintaining dose levels below the limits, has a cumulative dose, say twice the “industry standard”?

    Does ALARA only come into play when dose limits are approached? If one has a very low dose, practicing ALARA is the #3!

    Why do we have signage that claims every tenth of a millirem counts and why are plant workers scolded if they don’t take the extra time reviewing a planned job and as a result, receive one extra millirem?

    This is real life as a nuclear plant worker, not theory or hyperbole and I assure you without fear of contradiction that enormous amounts of time and resources are wasted preventing exposure to infinitesimal levels of radiation.

    1. Not to mention down powering to 70% for a couple hours so electricians can fix a limit switch in the heater bay (BWR)…….to save 100 mrem. I’m an RP and even I think that is dumb. That 80 mrem cost about $40,000 in lost production alone.

  10. I might add that the RERF (Radiation Effects Research Foundation) has been medically monitoring the Hiroshima/Nagasaki survivors for seventy years. It says they have found no heritable genetic diseases or mutations in the offspring of the Hibakusha, or any subsequent generation.

    1. @ Leslie Corrice
      Curses, ninja’d again! I’d spent much of the morning browsing my RERF notes on this topic:

      RERF’s Views on Residual Radiation 8 December 2012. This is a brief 6 page report aimed at public mis-perception of the effects of residual radiation on bomb survivors, and the differences between internal and external dose:
      “Finally, with regard to the effects of the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some reports have hypothesized exaggerated effects of “internal exposure,” but the best and most comprehensive evidence, some of which is cited above, does not support the argument that internal exposure is more dangerous than external exposure. Because food and drink are now being monitored adequately following the accident and the amount of radioactive substances suspended in the air is extremely small, concerns about internal exposure should not grow any further as long as the current monitoring system is maintained. In terms of effects from radiation exposure immediately after the accident, results of measurements conducted so far by the government of Fukushima Prefecture on tens of thousands of people have shown that the committed dose is less than 1 mSv in more than 99.9% of such people, and the maximum dose observed in this group is as low as the global average background radiation level (2.4 mSv a year).” (page 6)

      From RERF’s Radiation Health Effects:

      Birth defects among the children of atomic-bomb survivors (1948-1954):
      “No statistically significant increase in major birth defects or other untoward pregnancy outcomes was seen among children of survivors. Monitoring of nearly all pregnancies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki began in 1948 and continued for six years…
      The incidence of major birth defects (594 cases or 0.91%) among the 65,431 registered pregnancy terminations for which parents were not biologically related accords well with a large series of contemporary Japanese births at the Tokyo Red Cross Maternity Hospital, where radiation exposure was not involved and overall malformation frequency was 0.92%. No untoward outcome showed any relation to parental radiation dose or exposure.” (page 1)

      Report on the Health Effects Study of the Children of A-bomb Survivors March 2007″
      “In analysis of the data from the current study, when multifactorial diseases in children were combined, no evidence suggesting increased risk associated with parental radiation exposure was observed…
      2. The present study did not show a positive association between parental radiation exposure and health effects among offspring, although a negative association was suggested between paternal dose and the prevalence of multifactorial diseases among male children. Given that the average age of the study population, 48.6 years, is relatively young, careful interpretation of such findings is required by continuation of the study, including the items which did not reveal significant association. ” (page 2)

      Your Hiroshima Syndrome collection might (conceivably) be a bit more complete…

  11. I refer to them as the “Nuclear Ignorance and Retardation Schemers.” Before anyone calls me out on that, understand that I do not use “retardation” as a slur against the mentally disabled. I mean it in its dictionary sense, that is, to slow or impede something. That is exactly what NIRS does — slow and impede nuclear progress.

    And I’ll proudly take on that “pro-nuclear fanatic” label myself as well, thanks! I bought five of your “Nuke Climate Change” stickers, and would happily have a t-shirt. 🙂

  12. Curious.

    Is this site well regarded by the NE community? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it mentioned here before….


    If it is well regarded, its a shame that Atomic Insights is not gifted with mention. Perhaps thats a siuation that could be remedied.

    Also, I see that the Sendai reactor has developed a leak in its condenser system. Seems salt water is leaking into the freshwater?? I have no idea how serious this is. My gut tells me it ain’t no big deal, and that will undoubtedly be the conclusion advanced here by the regulars.

    What needs to be considered, however, is that from a PR standpoint it IS a big deal. Here you have the first start-up in Japan since the shut-down, and barely a week goes by before the plant experiences technical problems. Who can doubt that the sizable contingent of Japanese antis will jump on this like flies on a rancid squirrel carcass? Its a shame that NE is held to such an exclusive and unreasonable standard of perfection. But thats the current reality. So these kinds of incidents, no matter how trivial, will be exploited and heralded by the media and the anti crowd. And your side of the story will get nary a mention. Thats what you’re up against.

    1. Regarding the Sendai condenser…
      The main condenser is kept under a vacuum to maximize power output from the main turbine. If any of the seawater tubes inside the condenser develop a leak, then seawater can flow into the condenser and disrupt the very clean water chemistry. It is a rather common problem that needs to be repaired, but it is not a nuclear safety issue. We are talking about saltwater leaking into the plant, not anything leaking out. The Sendai plants have been out of service for many months, and it is not surprising small issues like this will come up.

  13. Clarification….

    I am asking if “Nuclear Tourist” is well regarded. On rereading my question, above, I’m not sure I made that clear.

    1. POA

      I don’t know if it is well-regarded by others. I have always had the highest regard for that site.

      As you will note, though, it hasn’t been updated since 2013. The site has a plea for organ donation for the webmaster’s wife, and I think the webmaster has retired from the site. If someone else knows more, that would be great.

      I don’t know why it isn’t referenced more. It has always seemed helpful and accurate to me. I particularly like the parts where you walk through various plants. A true labor of love.


      1. Meredith…..

        Despite its dated upkeep, the link “Recent Nuclear Power Plant News (24 hours)” still seems to work.

        Thanks for your response.

    2. Thanks for posting that link. I look forward to spending some time on it tomorrow.

      I’m lucky enough to get “real” tours of a Nuclear Plant everyday. Main condenser leaks are fairly common. There are thousands of tubes and plugging some isn’t an issue. Not even close to being news worthy……even in Japan.

  14. Rod, this is a fantastic article. I would love to see an expanded version (or perhaps there is an expanded version somewhere?) that addresses, on a point by point basis, areas where nuclear energy has, in the opinion of nuclear professionals, gone beyond reasonable safety assurance, to measures that are costly and provide essentially no additional benefits, along with detailed explanations that can be understood by the general public, about why those are unnecessary and don’t provide additional safety.

    There are three things I think which could be done that are the key action items to a nuclear Renaissance:

    1) Internalize the costs of GHGs and pollution from fossil fuel plants (that is, put a cost on fossil fuels)

    2) Reduce the unnecessary cost burdens on nuclear. We want it safe, but we can do so without making it 2 or 5 or 10 times more expensive than it SHOULD be.

    3) Remove market distortions that unfairly favor “renewable” energy.

  15. As I have pointed out in the past, the linear no-threshold model itself cannot support ALARA. On the assumption of linearity, it’s possible to calculate the point at which the harm from radiation exposure becomes arbitrarily small compared to other harms — say, those from breathing fossil fuel wastes.
    Some thirty thousand people die on the roadways in the United States every year (and that is a historically low number), but car trips are treated as utterly normal, & nobody calls for As Few As Reasonably Achievable. Radiation exposure kills few or none even by the most pessimistic of credible estimates, but is treated in an entirely disproportionate manner.

  16. It’s not about persuading people to suddenly start to taking an evidence-based approach to public policy questions….

    it’s about getting people to DROP their religious approach to issues, where they ‘receive’ wisdom from wherever (or however) way back when, and then they spent the rest of their lives cherry-picking evidence to support what they already believe.

    This may sound obvious, but just as you wouldn’t waste your breath to try and convince some evangelical that God didn’t have a hand in the Cowboys’ beating the Redskins last Sunday, WE shouldn’t waste our breath with the multitude of anti-Nuke-as-a-religion people. it’s not too hard to separate out the thinkers from the believers.

    I think OUR mission should be to convert people – not from anti-nuke to pro-nuke (although that would be nice) – but from public policy-by-religion people into public-policy-as-a-series-of-trAdeoffs, priorities, and hard choices people. Once you find yourself in the midst of the argument over whether Chernobyl is a Mad Max wasteland or a pristine animal filled wilderness, you are officially wasting your time.

    If people I talk to can’t settle on basic priorities and goals and trade offs FIRST….if their approach is to say ‘wind is the answer’ before they’ve defined what the QUESTION is, I know convincing them about the miracle of fission is hopeless. But I just might get them to step back a few paces and ask themselves some harder questions that faith-based responses don’t cover.

    It’s like algebra – gotta teach folks how to THINK first…and don’t be afraid to admit many are hopeless

  17. This may be usefull
    It came as a surprise to me and it will probably come as a surprise to many that there has been no kind of genetic damage to the descendants of persons who have been exposed to even very strong ionizing radiation.
    This applies for survivors of the nuclear bomb attacks on Japan, for cancer patients who have been exposed to radiation and to residents in the area near Chernobyl.
    Next to religion, little has been discussed with so many preconceptions as radiation hormesis. (The claim of benefits from moderate exposure to radiation)

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