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27 Comments

  1. How long will it be before the pagans weigh in with their inability to face up to reality?

    1. @Dan Williamson

      Bob Applebaum answered your question. His comment on this post appeared less than 2 hours after I published it and only 21 minutes after you asked your question.

      1. The context is Applebaum’s loathing of Christiainity and his pathological need to transfer that loathing onto those that disagree with him. Although, I’ve yet to figure out what my faith in the Creator has to do with my take on the farce that is LNT.

    2. One pagan who definitely understands energy reality is Craig Schumacher (aka Finrod). 😉

    1. Well, Bobby ol’ pal, you’ve just proven that you are totally unfit to judge relevance as you previously proved that you’re unfit to judge evidence.

    2. I find it notable….and completely understandable….how little conversation your site generates.

  2. With the new face being painted on our body politik, the senate now belonging to the right, it will be interesting to see if Paul Primivera’s heros ride to NE’s rescue.

    My bet? The fossil fuel folks are in the throes of an epic orgasm, Netanyahu just got a license to turn apartheid into genocide, and the global warming monster just got shot with a massive dose of steroids. Oh, and, uh, the Iraq WMD scriptwriters were just hired to write a screenplay about Iran.

    1. Nice to see that I am still remembered. For the record, I prefer the Constitution Party because its platform more closely approximates Church teaching. As for Nuclear Energy, I let the reputations of Democrats such as Barbara Boxer, Andy Cuomo, Ed Markey, Henry Waxman (whose boy Jeff Baran is now in the NRC), etc speak for themselves. Are all Dems anti-nukes? Nope, but a majority are. Are all Repubs pro-nukes? Nope, but a majority are. Nevertheless, I defer to the Psalmist David – put not thy trust in the princes of this world. PS, kudos to Rod Adams for his pro-nuke work even though I oppose his politics. You can disagree with someone and still recognize the great good he is doing. I don’t see much of that out of the left these days.

  3. The letter is well written.

    I wonder (and I don’t know the answer to this, so if someone does, I’d be interested to hear about it) whether the real problem with the decision to evacuate was because the LNT model made overly large predictions of the health consequences from the additional radiation exposure, or whether, at least in this instance, poor decisions being made because of the general hysteria that the word ‘radiation’ incites. Did someone sit back and do a calculation using LNT and decide based on the calculation that evacuation was in order, or was the decision based on a gut reaction that it was the right thing to do?

    Suppose for the sake of argument that the LNT model were correct. What then would be the total number of years of life lost, according to this model, if no one had been evacuated? I would imagine, based on what (little) I’ve read, that this number would be much much smaller than the number of years of life that were actually lost on account of the evacuation, and that essentially the decision to evacuate, and certainly the decision to evacuate hastily, was a poor one even if one accepts LNT. Has someone done this calculation?

    1. @Jeffrey Miller

      The LNT is the basis for the often repeated mantra “there is no safe dose of radiation.” It is that mantra that is the source of radiation fear, not some kind of inborn or natural reaction. Try asking a four year old who has already learned from direct experience what “hot” means if they are afraid of radiation.

      1. Fear of radiation is not inate, but I’m not sure it has much to do with LNT either. It’s very likely that the risk of getting in a car accident is linearly proportional to the miles you drive and that there is no safe amount of driving. But most of us aren’t afraid of driving to work. Fear of radiation has more to do with the fact that it is unfamiliar to most people (unlike driving), because of antinuclear propaganda, and because people are generally not good about making accurate assessments of risk.

        Do you know if someone has done the calculation I asked about above?

        1. The US federal regulations are predicated on an “acceptable risk” using the LNT model. I believe that Japan’s process was largely influenced by the US guidelines. The IAEA guidelines seem to have a lot better handle of the low-dose effects than LNT. Indeed, the advise not evacuation people outside the small emergency zones unless the groundshine exceeds 25µSv/hr (provided clean food and beverage are available). In other words, almost NONE of the evacuated zones in Fukushima should have been evacuated. It was all LNT based fear driven.

    2. Jeff, the answer to your question about the “decision to evacuate” is not really based directly on a real time calculation process. It is based on pre-calculations to determine action levels. It is part of the Emergency Planning (in advance) process. So your question is not easy to answer. It would be unreasonable to expect the front line emergency response people to be “winging it” during these events. So everything is spelled out in advance, defining predetermined, different action levels (sheltering, evacuation, etc). They do have real time data available, such as radiation release rates, wind speed and direction, and even temperature inversion information (which affects plume dispersion), etc. But basically the Emergency Plan then defines conditions which hit predetermined recommended courses of action. The plant makes a recommendation to civil authorities based on the plant data. But it is basically determined in advance at what action level an evacuation will be recommended.
      Your point is valid however. The Emergency Action Threshold Levels are determined in advance. And they are based on “something”, possibly LNT, I just don’t know that part.
      Also keep in mind, at Fukushima the whole area infrastructure got destroyed, such that most of the normal communications links between on-site and off-site were down, emergency responders could not respond, and even the off-site emergency data systems lost power.

        1. Jeff, Also if you want to look at the total picture of the whole disaster, where your point becomes most relevant is not in the initial evacuations. The nuke plant radiation release problems were almost a footnote to the total mass destruction requiring evacuation anyway. The remaining area contamination levels do become relevant when considering when the populations can return. And that is where LNT discussion becomes very relevant.
          But the initial mass destruction from the quake and tsunami not only destroyed the infrastructure required to stay in those areas, but it also destroyed most of the emergency response capability required to recover. You can’t repopulate towns of several thousand souls without roads, electricity, food supply chain, water, etc. Several of the towns still have those conditions. They can’t yet be repopulated radiation or no radiation.
          Unfortunately, as a lot of us know, all the world press coverage has been shifted to blame relatively low levels of radioactive contamination for both the initial evacuations and the re-population delay. It is just not the case; the infrastructure destruction was massive.

          1. I’m sure what you say is true for towns along the coast which were directly hit by the tsunami, but there was also a general evacuation in a 20 km radius around the plant because of radiation fears, and most of this area (I assume) was not struck by the tsunami and did not “need” to be hastily evacuated (or possibly evacuated at all). Here’s a good article from the Lancet on how that went for elderly patients in nursing homes and hospitals:

            http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)60384-5/fulltext

            It definitely seems like risk planners should revisit their guidelines on evacuation recommendations in cases of radiation leaks at nuclear plants, since it seems clear that even if one accepts LNT, the expected deaths from evacuation may greatly exceed those from relatively minor radiation exposures.

          2. “But the initial mass destruction from the quake and tsunami not only destroyed the infrastructure required to stay in those areas, but it also destroyed most of the emergency response capability required to recover. You can’t repopulate towns of several thousand souls without roads, electricity, food supply chain, water, etc. Several of the towns still have those conditions. They can’t yet be repopulated radiation or no radiation.”

            Bingo. Exactly the point I was making. So, this FACT renders the “unnecessarily evacuated” argument completely false, if radiation is touted as being the sole reason for the evacuation. And further, to put numbers on fatalities caused by an “evacuation based on irrational fear of radiation” is a disingenuous pursuit, every bit as deceptive as tactics practiced by the antis. Simple common sense, and a moderate application of logic, one must surmise that a population subjected to remaining in a completely devastated urban area would undoubtedly suffer resultant deaths and injuries that logically would surpass those resulting from an evacuation.

      1. @mjd

        Your point is valid however. The Emergency Action Threshold Levels are determined in advance. And they are based on “something”, possibly LNT, I just don’t know that part.

        The action levels have some basis in LNT. In the US, we have achieved a skewed balance between the people who push for ALARA-like levels in the single digit mSv per year range and those who have a little more understanding of risk management. The responsible agency is the EPA, the documents are collectively known as Protective Action Guides.

        The currently issued version was produced in 1992. There is a draft version that has been in circulation for more than a year that has been approved for interim use. It’s front matter makes it clear that the guide is not mandatory.

        http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/er/pag-manual-interim-public-comment-4-2-2013.pdf

        It establishes criteria for sheltering in place or evacuation in a situation where the general public is expected to receive from 10 mSv to 50 mSv (1-5 rem) in the first 4 days. It recommends relocation if the public living in the area will receive more than 20 mSv in addition to that early exposure within the first year. In my opinion, those doses are far too restrictive; I would not be willing to leave my home or recommend that my family leave our home if the general area is equal to or less than 2 mSv/day (200 mrem)

        Hot spot removal is an early action in the clean-up phase and should not be used as the basis for evacuation or relocation.

        1. “It establishes criteria for sheltering in place or evacuation in a situation where the general public is…..”

          Reading your comments on this thread, Rod, one can easily get a picture of a pristine urban environment, sullied only by the government’s unjustified overstatement of dangerous radiation exposure.

          We both have seen the films depicting the degree of devastation. Where do you suggest these citizens should have “sheltered in place”?

          1. @poa

            I’ve seen films of devastation for many natural disasters. I’ve visited areas in the early stages of recovery from major storms like Andrew and Katrina. I lived in Charleston, SC when it was hit by Hurricane Hugo and worked through the recovery. (My “rack” even includes a Humanitarian Service Medal given as a thank you for helping to rebuild public schools.)

            Leaving an area hit by a storm, earthquake or tsunami is generally advisable while the pros hit the decks hard to rebuild. In a modern country like Japan, the recovery process would normally take months, not years. Irrational fear of low levels of radiation has made a huge impact on the rate at which infrastructure can be rebuilt to support human habitation.

            The “shelter in place” provisions in the Protective Action Guides are designed for a radiation release that is not accompanied or caused by a major natural disaster.

      1. That is ridiculous.

        There must not be any potassium in Japanese soil, and apparently these regs would prohibit adding any K as fertilizer.

  4. Rod,

    The SARI letter provides the first rational, common sense argument I have seen regarding the irrational, extended evacuations of Fukushima areas. The targeted addressees as well as the main stream media have completely missed this travesty foisted on common Japanese people. I used to have a great amount of respect for the Japanese culture/mindset/intelligence, but their wholly irrational, long-term evacuation actions due to radiation phobia, as well as the grossly delayed restart of their NPPs, has cut that level way down. It’s almost Salem-Witch-hunt levels of ignorance.

    I hope the SARI letter gets the attention from the targeted audience. Thanks for your efforts in this.

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