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  1. “There is no safe dose.” ??
    Shining the light of history on LNT provides new understanding of the motivations of the scientists and puppet masters to introduce FEAR of radiation. LNT fuels fear and excessive regulation. It is time for science and common sense to win. There are thresholds of no-effect, and possibly hormesis, a systemic beneficial effect. A great deal of food-for-thought is contained herein.

    1. I always laugh when I read someone appealing to consensus. Consensus does not determine truth. Truth is not decided on by vote or popular opinion or democracy. Truth is immutable and eternal and unchanging. It does not matter how many people “believe in” LNT. Indeed, it does not matter if all 7 billion people on the planet believe in LNT and none believe otherwise. Those 7 billion would still be incorrect in their belief, and truth would remain truth. Low doses of radiation are beneficial to life. Were that not the case, then we would all be sick and dying from the radiation given off by naturally occurring radionuclides which exist in small fraction within our own bodies.

      1. Bob is just fearmongering. If I had to choose between 100 mSv per year of man-made radiaion exposure, or a continuation of fossil fuel burning, my choice would be for the 100 mSv/a. And I have two children whom I would make the same choice for. I make that choice because I know the difference between air polution, resource wars and climate change on the hand, and the risk of low-dose radiation on the other hand. Bob’s fear mongering does not touch me since I have done some investigation with the help of people like Rod Adams and the various suppliers of reasonable information on radiation and health like Wade Allison, Ed Calabrese and others.

        Except of course, a nuclear world would *not* in fact result in 100 mSv/a dose to people. It would not even result in 1 mSv/a, except in highly infrequent major accidents. Bob’s refusal to admit that very low levels of radiation are in fact harmless is just his little contribution to making sure the world keeps choking on fossil fuel emissions and keeps buying his LNT-based radiation safety snake oil.

        Wade Allison has recently explained that 50% of the cost of nuclear power is unnecessary radiation safety consultancy, regulations and technology:

        This unnecessary radiation safety consultancy and technology is Bob’s bread and butter! This fully explains Bob’s perseverence alll these years against all reason in pushing his snake-oil ideology based on the ‘consensus’ of the entire snake-oil radiation health community which is like a giant parasite sucking leech on the nuclear industry, killing the industry slowly like the greedy people in the childrens fable “The Goose that laid the Golden Eggs”

  2. Good talk Rod. Ted Rockwell would be proud. It’s a tribute to his legacy to speak out on this topic.

    Highly engaged audience with good questions too.

    Surprised to hear that Bobby Scott retired and the low dose radiation research under the DOE defunded and at a standstill.

    Has anyone approached NEI about funding, seeking private funding, or at least lobbying the government to fund low dose radiation research again?

    If the industry doesn’t agressively support independent research that could potentially save billions of dollars and thousands of lives, then how can we expect anyone else to support it?

  3. @JMS:

    I don’t know what Universe you live in, but radiation research is ongoing. LNT is the scientific consensus. If that reality bothers you, than the problem is yours.

    1. Except we know LNT is wrong, Bob.  We know it’s as wrong as Newtonian mechanics, which don’t account for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury or the bending of light by gravity.  We know radiation hormesis exists, because we have multiple confirmed experimental results demonstrating it.

      LNT is a hypothesis.  Any hypothesis which is contradicted by reproducible data is wrong, period.  It doesn’t matter how many people agree with it.

      1. To quote Feynman:

        We compute the consequences of the guess, to see what the guess would imply, and then we compare those computations to nature, or experiment, or experience. IF IT DISAGREES WITH EXPERIMENT, IT’S WRONG. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, how smart you are, or what his name is: It’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.

      2. Except we know LNT is wrong, Bob.


        So what’s the threshold dose, then?

        If current radiation protection standards already account for uncertainty in low dose range (below 100 mSv) … what is the radical rethinking that is taking place with lab based individual cell response studies? At what dose level in humans do we find reliable and reproducible data supported by all lines of evidence (including epidemiological) and sufficient to establish scientifically defensible public health standard?

        1. I believe Rod noted in his talk that one can’t experiment directly with humans. Would cell response research or animal research suffice to determine the safe threshold?

        2. @EL

          The only uncertainty below 100 mSv is in the minds of those who believe in the no safe dose assumption invented nearly 90 years ago. No study has shown any negative effects below that dose.

          How much more unanimity do you need before recognizing that the right answer is that there is no negative effect. It is a safe dose, even if repeated every month, because adaptive responses work.

        3. So what’s the threshold dose, then?

          Nobody’s tested that.  However, natural experiments like Ramsar and the monazite beaches of Kerala and Guarapari demonstrate that any threshold is in excess of 30 μSv/hour.  Hormetic responses are observed at those dose rates, which is why those sites have long been popular for their health effects.

          1. So “natural” conditions that human beings have been exposed to since the beginning of time provide adequate empirical evidence of low doses being safe. Makes sense to me.

          2. However, natural experiments like Ramsar and the monazite beaches of Kerala and Guarapari demonstrate that any threshold is in excess of 30 μSv/hour.

            @Engineer-Poet and Eino

            The mean annual public dose in elevated radiation levels in Ramsar is 6 mSv (not 262 mSv or 30 μSv/hour).


            When referencing scientific arguments, it’s often best to start with some science (wouldn’t you say).

            From what I hear … you seem to be suggesting 6 mSv per year is a better threshold than LNT informed statistical observations and models (based on natural experiments like Ramsar)? Median annual exposure doses in high radiation areas of Kerala appear to be even less at 4 mSv (with individual dosimetry in some studies as high as 7.17 mSv)?

            Is there anything in here meriting radical revision? Unless we are going to revise current standards to be more protective, I don’t see the relevance of these arguments as you have defended them?

            1. @EL

              From the abstract available at your link:

              The mean potential annual effective doses in ELNRA are about 10 times higher than those in ELNRA, but some individual effective doses are about 200 times higher than the mean of LLNRA. The results are reported and discussed.

              I’m a little confused by the first phrase because it looks to me like there is a typo (how can doses in ELNRA be 10 times higher than those in ELNRA?).

              However, the key question is whether or not there is any data that indicates different health outcomes for the individuals that apparently receive 200 times the mean annual dose? Unfortunately, the paper sells for nearly $40. I can’t afford to pay that price every time I find an interesting paper to read.

          3. I’m a little confused by the first phrase because it looks to me like there is a typo …

            @Rod Adams

            There is a typo. Later in the paper appears the following: “As can be seen,
            the mean value of the effective doses from living indoors and outdoors in ELNRA is about 10 times higher than that in LLNRA, but some individual annual doses in ELNRA are about 200 times larger than the mean value in LLNRA.”

            Less than 5% of the population in ELRNA regions are estimated to receive potential doses in excess of 20 mSv/year. As stated in the abstract, public doses in ELRNA regions range from 0.6 to 131 mSv (not the 30 μSv/hour figure provided by E-P). And 95% of the population are estimated to receive doses below 20 mSv/year.

            1. So is the sample of people who receive elevated doses too small for any significant results that can be used to falsify the LNT hypothesis?

          4. So is the sample of people who receive elevated doses too small for any significant results that can be used to falsify the LNT hypothesis?

            @Rod Adams

            Paper is not about health risks, but establishing baseline dose projections for public exposures in ENLRA and LLNRA regions of Ramsar (they are not as high as falsely claimed by E-P). Results of health screening and long term followup of 5% of the population receiving doses in excess of 20 mSv on annual basis was not conducted and is not reported in paper.

            Are you suggesting such health findings are reported in the paper?

            The dose rate on the beaches of Guarapari is as high as 50 μSv/hr.


            It is unclear to me what you are suggesting. You “believe” a dose rate measured from sand is equivalent to received radiation from residents who live in area, don’t always visit the beach, and are shielded by homes, cars, and other structures in their daily environment?

            There are many studies examining health risks from high radiation areas in Kerala. They are typically receiving doses less than 20 mSv/year (and significantly so). If you have a study that reports otherwise, please provide it.


            1. @EL

              No, I was not suggesting that your link provided any information about health risks. I was hoping that it said something about that important topic.

              It is interesting to me how you describe the fact that actual doses in the areas with higher than average background are actually far lower than some assume because the high dose areas are quite specific within the area, leading to a phenomenon of hot spots but generally low general area levels.

              That brings up an interesting question about the evacuated areas of Chernobyl and Fukushima. Wonder if they also have very localized hot spots? How detailed have the surveys been that were used as the basis for the forced evacuations? Were decisions made based on recorded peaks instead of more careful analysis?

              One reason that people who question the truth of the LNT assumption point to studies of areas with higher than average background levels and also to studies like the nuclear shipyard worker study is that the LNT assumption indicates that even if the doses were not all that high, the health results should be worse than if the people had not had the extra exposures. As far as I know, there is no indication that the results are worse.

              Of course, the typical response from supporters is that the sample sizes are too small and we still don’t know enough to allow people to make their own decisions about whether or not to take a tiny risk to achieve potentially large benefits.

          5. One reason that people who question the truth of the LNT assumption point to studies of areas with higher than average background levels and also to studies like the nuclear shipyard worker study …

            @Rod Adams

            It is my understanding people interested in scientifically informative and rigorous work on radiation health impacts are interested in looking at actual studies correlating dose exposures with health impacts (and not made up numbers and faulty assertions from pro-nuclear enthusiasts about radioactive sand in Kerala)?

            LNT is already significantly amended by BEIR to include findings as you have suggested on fractionation of very small doses and immune system responses to damage and stress via dose rate effectiveness factors (DDREF). Implying that international and national organizations reviewing available science and establishing protocols for public safety have not reviewed this work and incorporated it into their recommendations is misleading and inaccurate.

            There are many studies at uncertain low dose levels that suggest several possible dose response curves above everyday background radiation risk (and not just one): downwardly curving, hormetic, LNT, upwardly curving, and threshold. This is not news. The consensus is typically summarized in the following way (highlighting uncertainty and conflicting results at low levels):

            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 … the LNT model still remains the most robust model for making decisions about medical radiation exposure vs cancer risk, and one of the safest.

            EP has suggested a threshold level around that found in Ramsar … which is some 6 mSv/year. This appears to be more proactive for radiation workers than the current standard, and for triggering evacuations in places such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. If this isn’t what EP is recommending, perhaps he wishes to add to his point?

            1. @EL

              A fudge factor like DDREF is simply an attempt to avoid admitting the fact that there is no scientific basis on which to assume that there is a linear relationship between dose and cancer risk that holds true all the way down to a zero dose.

              The “target” or “hit” theory invented by Muller and his funders in the mid to late 1920s and promoted with vigor until finally adopted by a committee whose work was funded by the same organization and chaired by the guy who had been writing the grant checks for at least half of the committee was never valid science and never based on any observations in the dose regime of interest. In fact, the few attempts made to actually study doses lower than the minimum level of 400 R used in Muller’s Nobel Prize-winning research contradicted the hit theory.

            2. @EL and Bob

              I hope you have noticed that the NAS has gotten the message that it is time to review and incorporate the science that has been published since their last report was issued in 2006.

          6. EP has suggested a threshold level around that found in Ramsar … which is some 6 mSv/year.

            Wrong.  I suggest nothing about where the threshold is, only where it is not.  And I suggest that it is not even close to 6 mSv, but no lower than the ~440 mSv/year on the beaches of Guarapari.  It’s certainly higher, but how much higher cannot be determined from that data.

            There’s no possible way you can legitimately take my clear statement “in excess of 30 μSv/hr” and derive 6 mSv/yr from it.  Whether dishonest or merely careless, you’ve earned a ban from this forum.

          7. There’s no possible way you can legitimately take my clear statement “in excess of 30 μSv/hr” and derive 6 mSv/yr from it.


            The accurate figure for public dose exposures from beaches in Kerala is around 4-7 mSv/year. If your not interested in real figures, that’s not my problem.

    2. @ Bob,

      Is there radiation research going on that examines the effect of doses in the range of 50 to 100 rem per day over a period of several months to a year?

      By the way, are you saying that if a theory is a scientific consensus it should not be challenged or even investigated to see if it still conforms to the emerging evidence?

      Are you saying the the current evidence in favor of hormesis is so loose and unsubstantial that no further investigation in that direction should ever be pursued?

      Are you saying that any suggestion that hormesis is a plausible hypothesis is unethical?

      Are you saying that any suggestion that the damage to DNA from ordinary exercise is greater than damage from radiation is science denial propaganda?

      Your faith in the scientific consensus is interesting, but hardly compelling. Faith as yours in the scientific consensus would leave us without the General Theory of Relativity. It would leave us without the theory of Evolution – since Darwin was challenging the consensus of his day. It would leave us without plate tectonics. In fact, it would leave us without the electric light – since it was considered impossible to subdivide electricity until Edison showed us how.

    3. LNT is the regulation, not scientific consensus, there is a difference. LNT was a regulatory shortcut, originally thought of as a “conservative” stance, unfortunately reality has shown that it has negative consequences.

  4. @E-P;

    I don’t know what Universe you live in, but LNT is not a hypothesis, it is a scientific theory. If it were a hypothesis, than like all scientific hypotheses, it must be testable, and we would test it and find it right or wrong. Calling LNT a hypothesis is the same tactic used by Creationists when discussing evolution. It is intended to be denigrating.

    It is a fact that LNT is the scientific consensus, it is the best theory to describe radiation health effects and has been for decades.

    But just like a Creationist can’t accept that the theory of evolution is the scientific consensus, you can’t accept that LNT is the scientific consensus.

    The problem is yours.

    1. LNT is not a hypothesis, it is a scientific theory.

      To be specific, LNT is a model just as flood geology is a model.  LNT is wrong just like flood geology is wrong.  Chronic gamma exposure adding 25-30% to the lifespan of rodents conclusively falsifies LNT.

      LNT has been tested and falsified by reproducible evidence.  It now belongs to the realm of pseudoscience, like homeopathy and acupuncture.  It’s a mighty profitable pseudoscience, as you can attest personally.  But that doesn’t mean we should profit you at expense to the public, and the planet at large.

      The problem is yours.

      Yes, I derive only detriments from the acceptance of LNT that profits you so handsomely.  I hope to see a stop put to that.

    2. Bob Applebaum wrote:

      “But just like a Creationist can’t accept that the theory of evolution is the scientific consensus…”

      I simply cannot resist responding to this. Consensus does NOT determine the validity of a theory. Furthermore, one can be a Creationist (as am I) and still accept the theory of evolution as a valid model describing the development of biological systems. Pope Francis recently spoke about this to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences:

      Pope Pius XII wrote about this in his encyclical, “Humani Generis,” and Pope John Paul II expanded on this in his speech, “Magisterium Is Concerned with Question of Evolution for It Involves Conception of Man,” to the same Pontifical Academy of Sciences back in 1996.

      Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “Fides et Ratio” is also highly recommended. Just googling any of the titles for these Papal documents will give you the English translation. But the Latin is so much more precise and exact. As a nuclear trained professional, I appreciate the precision and exactitude (especially when Popes Pius XII, JP II or Benedict XVI write – they along with Leo XIII are my favorites).

      Indeed, it pleases me no end that the truth is opposed by a consensus when it comes to LNT and its opposite, radiation hormesis. It is entirely fitting though perhaps sadly so that a majority is put to shame by the truth, and shame it is. The LNT model is invalid just as the evolutionary model is valid. But they are only models and should be treated as such – embraced when evidence agrees but discarded when evidence disagrees.

  5. @Bob Applebaum:

    It would appear that your problem is with reading comprehension. I said “low dose” radiation research,

    Also, LNT is NOT the scientific consensus at low doses. One only has to a report to the US Senate on Radiation Standards in June 2000:

    “According to a consensus of scientists, there is a lack of conclusive evidence of low-level radiation effects below total exposures of about 5,000 to 10,000 millirem (50 to 100 mSv). The model under which these effects are assumed, lacking conclusive evidence, is called the “linear, no-threshold” hypothesis or model. According to this model, even the smallest radiation exposure carries a quantifiable cancer risk.”

  6. @Bob Applebaum:

    Jeff Siegel and Michael Stabin wrote an article in the upcoming November Issue of HPS News that fully illuminates your position on LNT at low doses. Since you beleive that LNT has been proven harmful at low doses, I’m sure you will now volunteer to lead the campaign for our national safety to “Cuddle Wisely and Infrequently”:

    “…First, just sleeping with a partner is dangerous. Assuming that one sleeps at an average distance of 10 cm from at least one other person for 8 hours a night, every day of one’s life, until the age of 75, the content of 40K in the average individual is approximately 5 kBq and the exposure rate constant for 40K is 1.51 x 10-19 C kg-1 m2 s-1 Bq-1 (Smith and Stabin. Health Phys 102(3):271–291; 2012), the radiation dose over those years is: …2.3 mSv.

    This dose is approximately equivalent to an additional year of exposure to the average background radiation level in the United States, a level which has been “proven” to represent a significant cancer risk. Given that the entire world’s population of approximately 7 billion is potentially subjected to this additional radiation dose, the number of LNT-derived worldwide cancer deaths is horrifying.

    According to the widely promoted International Commission on Radiological Protection LNT-derived fatal cancer risk estimate of 0.0115% for this 2.3 mSv exposure, over 800,000 cancer deaths are expected.

    Cuddling would result in even more devastation. The mean distance between you and the deadly 40K in your partner’s body may be as small as 1 cm, and since this dose equation depends on distance squared, the dose rate during these periods would be a factor of 100 times higher…”

    1. Having preformed hundreds of whole body counts over the years, you would be amazed how many people have NO IDEA they are radioactive……and that’s NUKE workers. I can only imagine what percentage of the public have no idea.

      All of a sudden the idea of starting up a tungsten shielded pajama company seems like a huge money maker. Slogan….”If you’re married and don’t want spouse induced cancer, then Bonds’ Tungsten Radiation Shielding Pajamas are for you!!”

      Bob, what is your size? I can send you the prototype.

  7. “Is there a good explanation for why some cancer death rates have been falling since the mid to late 80s or 90s?”

    Yeah, higher divorce rate obviously.

  8. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has contracted a detailed study on health effects near US nuclear reactors from the National Academy of Science.
    This will go into more detail than an 1990 study which covered pretty much all major US nuclear facilities and all cancer types, but which only compared fatalities, and at county level ( matched with cancer fatalities among similar populations in similar, but ‘nuclear-free’ counties.) The new study will try to look at smaller areas.
    A German government-instigated study from 2002, generally known as KKiK ( Kinderkrebs in der Umbegung von Kernkraftwerken, Child Cancer in the vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants ), focused on just the 16 power reactor sites in the country, rather than including research or smaller reactors; it listed all cases of leukemia for children under the age of five; and it measured the distance from their house to the most likely venting area of the reactor to within a few metres. According to this analysis, the probability for under-fives living within five kilometres of a reactor about doubled.
    Since I regard the German retreat from nuclear to be a disaster for the whole planet, I would be delighted to hear a cogent rebuttal of this. I’m sure it has been important in the rejection of nuclear power by the German electorate – in the last federal elections there, the only pro-nuclear party was almost wiped out. Sweden had been a counter-example of a country which enacted a nuclear phase-out policy, stuck with it for twenty years, and then reversed course and decided that current reactors, which make nearly half the nation’s power, would be replaced as they reached end of life. But in the latest election there, the Swedish Green party got into a coalition government, and are gunning for the nuke shutdown again.
    There are dozens of different radioisotopes, ditto of types of cancer, and individual susceptibility probably varies enormously, between different genotypes, ages, general levels of health. It’s possible that a dose that might be beneficial to a vigorous, mature shipyard worker or radiologist might harm an embryo or a baby. It’s very probable that if the same microscopic attention was focused on any other energy source, much worse effects could be found.

    1. There is some information there

      What is troublesome also is that there is no real plausible explanation for any of this. Radiation is easily measured and is so completely minimal offsite during any normal operation that it’s just a ridiculous assumption that it’s doubling a radiation-linked disease despite being totally insignificant vs. background.

    2. The CNSC did a very good review of the German study and strongly criticized it for having a poor design, flawed methodology, not accounting for confounders, amoung other major issues such as not having reproducable results from similar studies. They concluded:

      “When drawing conclusions about the health effects of radiation, it is important to consider all the evidence. Thus any claims of a link between childhood leukemia and radiation from nuclear power plants are unfounded and not supported by a wealth of evidence resulting from multiple epidemiology studies.”

      For all the details:

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