Someone is wrong in the MSM about radiation

Almost anyone who has spent any time on the internet in blogs or chat rooms has run into this famous cartoon from XKCD:

Duty Calls

Well now, the cartoonist has taken on a new subject – showing how wrong some the MSM radiation claims have been by trying to show the radiation issue as a matter of scale. This may help some people overcome their worst fears of radiation by helping them understand how much a part of normal everyday life it is.

click to see full size

Source: http://xkcd.com/radiation/

The story behind the chart here: http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/03/19/radiation-chart/

h/t to Ric Werme

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132 thoughts on “Someone is wrong in the MSM about radiation

  1. In another geological life, I collected a series of drill samples through the uranium ore body at Honeymoon Well in South Australia. Being a dutiful Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining, I reported my bag of samples to the Site Safety Officer. He brought his geiger counter and checked me out. It’s OK he said, no problem, then passed the counter over the bricks outside my office. The bricks were more radioactive than my uranium samples.

  2. There’s a complete lack of perspective in the media regarding reporting this sort of stuff (as well as other such as CO2 levels etc). For instance, they’re currently blaring that “radiation from Fukushima reached the US West Coast!”.

    Digging just a little (LA Times), a single monitoring station detected an augmentation in Xe-133 to the total level of 1/10⁶ of the background radiation, which can be from Fukushima. Xe-133 has an half-life of 5.3 days and is used in medicine.

  3. The funny thing is that the MSM somehowe figure that the medical effects of radiation are unknown or mysterious. Or that the dose effect ratio is not known. We use radiation daily in the medical community not just in radiology were new modalities are also increasing the radiation dose like high resolution CT (radiation dose equal to around 2000 chest x-rays), but for treatment and conditioning in cancer patients where we give large doses like 2 Grey total body irradiation. The long and short term effects of this are well studied. But I guess that the MSM are as usual more interested in confusing and scaring than in explaining and educating.

  4. Background radiation is a fact of life.

    If you live in parts of Cornwall, Dartmoor in Devon, Cumbria, parts of Scotland etc, you will be subject to relatively high dosages and if you live in a house made of granitic rock, you are also more exposed to background radiation.

    In Britain, now that they teach not a lot about b*****r all, scaring people is quite easy.

    Radiation can cause cancer, it can kill, it is not a joke but the MSM + BBC hype and ‘upping’ the fear factor [Fukushima disaster] – is sheer skin crawling shock horror journalism of the most base ethos, now, they all trawl the depths with the National Enquirer.

    We all live with radiation.

    Get real……………. and remember, in the end, who can you sue? – God?

  5. The highly active isotopes will decay rapidly but my concern is that 1) some chemicals will be taken up in the food-chain and 2) the reactors will remain difficult to decommission for many years.
    I vaguely remember only one reactor at 3 Mile Island costing over 900 million dollars. Some local high radiation spikes are the least of Japans worries.

    Thnks for the post. It’s good to have some perspective.

    I hope this accident makes design engineers sharper and causes the retirement of all Boiling Water Reactors. I’m amazed they were still running them. Like vinyl record hi-fi systems of the early 70s they should have been replaced long ago with something vastly superior.

  6. So eating one banana is equivalent to sleeping with two people. Life is full of tough choices.

  7. There are areas with hundreds of mS/year natural background radiation, and no ill health effects have been observed on local population. So that 100 mSv/year limit “clearly linked to cancer” is dubious at least.
    Or it is so, that local people subjected to high natural doses produce some kind of resistance and the same dose forced on someone else in short period of time makes harm, but we learned that it does not matter on time and intensity, but on total sum. Perhaps not.

  8. Of all the hypes i’ve seen, the nuke failure of Japan beats them all. Another bit of perspective:

    The things survived a major earthquake, a tsunami, multiple chemical explosions and still there’s no real danger.

    In the world hundreds of nuclear reactors (quite a lot of them of very iffy design) active for decades producing of terawatts of reliable green energy and all that happened were 3 major incidents, of only 1 was a real catastrophe.

    Pretty good odds in my risk-analysis

  9. Text too small to read: can’t be important….

    Sounds like someone needs some new web browsing tools. Firefox and the Quick Page Zoom brought the chart up to a size even my old eyes could read.

    And yes, the press are immensely fond of presenting dangers in such a way as to maximise sales and minimise clarity of information.

  10. The thing that drives me crazy is the inability of the media to distinguish between “radiation”, “radioactivity” and “radioactive contamination”. They seem to be either stupid or lazy (or both). You would think over 50 years they would have learned something. Apparently not.

  11. NPR employs a reporter with a PhD in Physics. He is currently covering ” … the global economy for NPR’s multimedia project Planet Money.”

    http://www.npr.org/people/2100747/david-kestenbaum

    Radiation safety is complicated and difficult to explain. Saying that the dose received is “less than that from a chest x-ray” or “less than that received on a New York to LA airplane flight” may be factual but when used over and over again to calm fears in the face of screaming headlines, a reasonable person becomes skeptical. This is seldom a case of one dose fits all and the public wants and deserves a clear explanation.

    This New York Times article appears to be factually correct …
    Several Plant Workers Are Ill, but Radiation Risk in Japan Is Seen as Low for Now

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/14health.html?scp=8&sq=radiation&st=cse

    … but is headed by a photo of obviously sick people lying in a jumble of sheets on the floor of a hospital with the caption, “Patients evacuated from a hospital near the Fukushima Daiichi plant were treated on Sunday for possible radiation exposure.”

    The body of the article includes the statement, “The sorts of numbers I’m seeing are not the sort that could be linked with radiological symptoms,” which is not the message we get from the picture and caption. Confusion ensues.

  12. There are thousands of people dead from the quake and tsunami, and there are media making comparisons to 3 mile island. I seem to remember the death toll was quite small at 3 mile island, from radiation anyway. The biggest outcome was a shutdown in nuclear energy growth for 3 decades. How many people have died in the oil and gas fields in threee decades? I bet more people die in cars on their way to anti-nuke protests than have ever been killed in the nuke industry. People have no notion of scale, our local anti- nuke, clean air groups have meetings about vague ( imagined) health threats from nearby industries. The highlight of these meetings for me are the regularly scheduled ” ciggy” breaks so both sides can go outside and worry about their health over a ” butt”.

  13. Two different commentators on FoxNews referred to “a radiation plume” and “a cloud of radiation” coming towards America. They also interviewed a person who was from a company that sold geiger counters. Such nonsense.

  14. Radiation created all the species on this planet. Therefore, radiation is God.
    Worship the Alpha and the Gamma.

  15. Well, Japan just got saved by Gaddafi.

    The BBC couldn’t push enough of their, “we’re all going to die” stories about Fukushima. They had us on the edges of our seats, just waiting for the inevitable meltdown.

    Then Libya came along, and there hasn’t been a peep about Fukushima in the last two to three days.

  16. That graph may be accurate but it’s useless. Entirely too much information and too many numbers in one place, and those green squares don’t convey meaning, even to me as a graph-loving nerd.

    It’s certainly not going to teach anything to a layman. And the “science correspondents” of the media, who might be able to cook it into digestible narrative form, aren’t interested in providing actual facts.

  17. TomTurner in SF says: March 20, 2011 at 4:20 am That is an interesting concept. I have wondered if the descendants of the northern European population have lower lung cancer rates from smoking tobacco relative to African descendants because of the smokey cave dwelling. Perhaps it is due to the cave dwelling, but the inherent radiation rather than the smoke.

  18. On Fox News last night (Saturday 3/19), they had an interview with a proponent of nuclear power and someone from a “Physicians for Social Responsibility” or some such organization. The latter began his contribution with the claim that “(t)here is no safe level of exposure to radiation”. I muted the TV at that point. Utter nonsense has no place in a discussion of important policy issues like nuclear power.

  19. If I did my math correctly, you would have to be at a town near the Fukushima plant for 1715 days, or 4 years and 255 days, before you would get the radioactive does of one CT scan.

  20. “producing of terawatts of reliable green energy”

    What the fukushima is green about an ever growing mountain of toxic waste that we still have not worked out what to do with?

    “and still there’s no real danger”
    so I guess the poor sods trying to stabalise three nukes threatening a totoal melt-down and hundreds of tons of overheating spent fuel are wasting there time then.

    silly sods.

  21. @ TFN Johnson: click on the image. That brings up the source image which is clearly legible. If it still isn’t, your browser has probably resized it and if you have a cursor over it it should look like a small magnifying glass with a + on it. Click once. The image will nowe overrun your browser windows causing some scrollbars to appear but that shouldn’t be a problem – and you should now have a perfectly legible image.

    Hope this helps!

  22. Less cancer or congenital heart malformations after being exposed to low dose radiation a must read, real life data: http://bit.ly/gbUu2I

    ABSTRACT
    An extraordinary incident occurred 20 years ago in Taiwan.
    Recycled steel, accidentally contaminated with cobalt-60 (half-life:
    5.3 y), was formed into construction steel for more than 180
    buildings, which 10,000 persons occupied for 9 to 20 years. They
    unknowingly received radiation doses that averaged 0.4 Sv—a
    “collective dose” of 4,000 person-Sv.
    Based on the observed seven cancer deaths, the cancer
    mortality rate for this population was assessed to be 3.5 per
    100,000 person-years. Three children were born with congenital
    heart malformations, indicating a prevalence rate of 1.5 cases per
    1,000 children under age 19.
    The average spontaneous cancer death rate in the general
    population of Taiwan over these 20 years is 116 persons per
    100,000 person-years. Based upon partial official statistics and
    hospital experience, the prevalence rate of congenital
    malformation is 23 cases per 1,000 children. Assuming the age and
    income distributions of these persons are the same as for the
    general population, it appears that significant beneficial health
    effects may be associated with this chronic radiation exposure.

  23. How ironic is it that the google ad says not to eat bananas? Funny how the google ads are always telling us what to do… Never asking, always making demands. Sound like children? You bet. Arrested development.

  24. At Fermilab they had (may still have) a display set up in the lobby with a Geiger counter mounted next to a turntable that contained various items. I don’t remember them all, but I do remember a brick and peanut butter. The brick made some noise, but the peanut butter set that Geiger counter off like crazy.

  25. Also see the table I compiled on “Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation.” This table shows the health risks posed by different levels of radiation by bringing together information from several reliable sources.

    The table can be viewed/downloaded from, “Science Et Cetera” (under Radioactivity): http://scienceetcetera.blogspot.com/

    Studying and measuring nuclear radiation is an avocation of mine and I own radiation detection equipment.

    It should be noted that even though the levels of radiation on the west coast are no cause for concern, inhalation of radioactive particles (e.g., Radon, fallout) does increases the health risk by many times over simple ingestion. That’s why comparisons to eating a banana are, so to speak, apples to oranges!

  26. In most issues that involve fear, the media is simply cutting and pasting, or reading scripts on the air, provided by friendly fear mongers the particular media happens to approve of.
    The days of most media organs having someone on staff who would take the time to actually critically review a particular issue are long gone.
    Look at the NYT, for example: Has Revkin ever actually critically reviewed an issue involving CO2, the environment or population?
    No. He is Malthusian on population, orthodox Greenpeace on environment, and unless he changed his mind in the past few days, still has not read any of the excellent reviews on climategate.
    He is left with repeating provably wrong claims on population, cutting and pasting crap from WWF and Greenpeace marketers, and echoing the hype of the AGW promoters.

  27. Whether out of ignorance or intent, it looks like the main stream media, including those champions of sophistication CNN and Fox News, have descended to the level of the ‘Penny Bloods’ of the mid-1800’s.
    Truth always being trumped by ‘shock horror!’.

  28. The industry we collectively refer to as “the media” is just that. An industry. It is a profit driven industry. The product being sold is advertising or more precisely, the number of eyes watching or reading. Bringing more eyes to the story brings more advertising dollars. While many in this industry are probably good people who would like to be responsible, etc., that is not the purpose of their work. Their work is done to sell soap. Nothing more and nothing less. And we should not give them extra credibility by being surprised when they do just that. They sell more soap by being spectacular. I am only surprised by the media when they manage to report something accurately. I am rarely surprised by the media.

    PBS, The BBC, CBC radio (Canada) etc., are also reliant on bringing eyes to the message. Their ability to get rent from others is dependent on whether they are seen as relevant, which means they need viewers.

  29. Radiation schmadiation! The scar on my lip from the removal of a cancer was NOT caused by nuclear energy radiation. It was caused by the Sun.

    If all these media people are truly worried about fall-out, they need to put their panic into perspective in terms of their coverage of solar-caused cancers, WHICH is nonexistent coverage in my opinion.

    My gawdamighty, I can’t whistle anymore after I had that spot removed! AND! When I put lipstick on, that spot shows up even more! Where is the media coverage over that???? Where is the outcry over solar cancer I want to know! Media bias is what that is.

    They don’t care a rat’s hind-end about my lips or that the Sun is far more powerful than Japan’s reactors regarding my lips. That’s the liberal media for you. My lip just doesn’t matter.

    Vote the Sun OUT I tellya!!!!!!!! And anyone who wants to disagree with me can kiss my scarred lip. She said facetiously.

  30. Actually just ate a banana before reading this, I am so screwed. What is missing in the discussion of doses is radioisotopes in water, food or air. All the doses shown in the chart assume that you can get the dose and leave the area. But if your water contains radioisotopes that you ingest, then those could stick around in your body and cause various problems. The most well known one is isotopes of iodine since they travel to the thyroid.

    An important counter to that is that there is plenty of radioactive material in our bodies that dates from the formation of the earth, e.g. potassium 40. We are accustomed to those radiation sources and can repair almost any genetic damage that they cause. Also it has been shown that a small amount of radiation is better than no radiation due to stimulation of the immune system.

  31. To P. Solar:

    You said:
    “and still there’s no real danger”
    so I guess the poor sods trying to stabalise three nukes threatening a totoal melt-down and hundreds of tons of overheating spent fuel are wasting there time then.

    You are right. IFF those people stopped working, there would be some real danger. Not sure of your source that there would be a “total melt-down”. Does that term even have a meaning? Fortunately, they seem intent on doing their jobs.

    That being said, I am thinking that terrorists around the world are taking note of this. They are taking nuclear power plants off their list of juicy targets. What I get from all this is it is extremely hard to cataclysmically damage a nuclear facility. Bombing, flying planes into them etc., will not likely cause anything worse than some excited news readers at CNN. Until the weather gets bad or something else distracts them.

  32. Many in the media quickly changed the headlines on Fukushima from crisis to catastrophe with comparisons to Chernobyl and TMI. Much of the media reporting has focused on Fukushima at the expense of reporting on the tsunami related 20,000 dead and missing, 340,000 homeless, and millions without heat, electricity, or running water. The people of Japan need our help and the media should facilitate aid to our friends in Japan as was done after the 2004 Asian tsunami. The FCC has a web form for reporting this type of inaccurate and alarmist reporting. Search for FCC and complaints. The form comes up. You have to fill in specific incidents by media outlet and date/time. The Congressional Energy and Commerce communications subcommittee might like to hear from the public on this issue. A few thousand complaints to the FCC might cause the FCC to stir, a hundred thousand might encourage them to say something. A few hundred complaints to the Energy and Commerce Committee communications subcommittee about the FCC allowing this to continue might result in something being done.

  33. “Steve Keohane says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:20 am”

    Nope! It IS due to smoke, more so the real pollution from burning carbon based fuels, charcoal/wood etc, carbon particulates, ie, soot. CO2 and methane released in the burning process is completely irrelevant.

  34. @Polistra
    All the little blue squares combine to make everything on the blue side = 60 microsievert.
    Which carries to the green side (top left on green), which adds to the green.
    All the green squares, plus the blue squares combine to 75 millisieverts and carry down to the brown squares.
    Etc……..
    Anyway, gotta go….a banana is waiting to be eaten followed by a few brazil nuts….which will add to the already-inhaled thorium……not to mention the asbestos (currently killing some three thousand a year in the UK)…..I won’t even mention the CT scan and the three ordinary chest X-rays…..nor will I mention that I’m about three million times more likely to be killed on the road than by radiation (3200 deaths on UK roads per year….average)
    Newspapers, what are they like ?
    AND they don’t even make good toilet paper anymore….too glossy !

  35. “John Eggert says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:48 am”

    More likely they would use a “dirty” bomb and not target something that would not be affected by a fuel-laden 767 etc. Plenty of highly radioactive sources available in hospitals, Universities etc.

  36. In one episode of the TV drama, “House,” the puzzling illness of the show was the radiation sickness a patient was suffering from due to unknowingly carrying the hot source from a beta gauge around. Toward the end of the show, in a reversal of the usual calming comparison with x-rays, the doctors explained his dosage as the equivalent getting 50,000 chest x-rays. (Or for WUWT readers, ten million bananas. : )

  37. Great graphic! I was able to enlarge it in MS Explorer by first clicking on it, and then clicking randomly on the ensuing image. (Usually there is a transitory “enlarge me” icon when the image is automatically reduced, but for some reason that didn’t come up. Also, View said the image was already 100% even though that was not true.)

    However, the fully legible enlargement credits it to an otherwise unidentified “Randall Munroe”, with help from a senior reactor operator are Reed Research Reactor identified only as “Ellen.” The disclaimer says “It’s for general education only. If you’re basing radiation safety procedures on an internet PNG image and things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

    So while this graphic puts things in perspective and shows which questions to ask, government agencies and Congressional investigators should not be staking our lives on it.

  38. That illustration would be best presented as a sort video, something like this one that you have probably seen before on the scale of planets and suns:

    I wrote a small article for friends and acquaintances who were worried by media reports of a cloud of radiation sweeping across the Pacific, on its way to decimate the West coast of America:

    http://thoughtsoftheguru.com/2011/03/fallout/

    BTW: I find it interesting that when it really matters, people don’t trust the government at all. I wonder why that might be?

    And as for “Experts” … well, there is another short article on the same site as the fallout article on that topic.

  39. “Several places are known in Iran, India and Europe where natural background radiation gives an annual dose of more than 50 mSv and up to 260 mSv (at Ramsar in Iran). Lifetime doses from natural radiation range up to several thousand millisievert. However, there is no evidence of increased cancers or other health problems arising from these high natural levels”

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf05.html

    Please specify milli or micro, this seems to have confused the media. To me mSv means millisievert. The link uses millisievert.

    “Since the sievert is a relatively large value, dose to humans is normally measured in millisieverts (mSv), one-thousandth of a sievert.”

  40. I hereby nominate Anthony for the Nobel Piece Prize. After all, he has done more for the education of the masses by exposing the fraud, deceit involved in any and all things to do with the earths atmospheric weather and how it effects everyday life then anyone one else. Anthony Watts has given the world the information it needs to justifiably end any and all investments into climate change, thus opening up the ability of the world to promote peace instead of strife.

    One can only imagine the death toll that could have been reduced if America and other 1st world countries could have prevented if we did not make the Islamic nations of the Middle East so rich and powerful in their influence because of our incessant desire to by their oil instead of producing it ourselves. (long sentence I know, but I do get winded at times)

    So that being said, I am right now in the process of working on a few letters that I will send to persons who qualify to ask them to officially nominate Anthony Watts for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. I think I will also attempt to get him nominated for the prize in Economics, Physics and Chemistry also. He really does qualify for all because when you consider the wide range of positive effects from his work in all four of those fields he you realize he is more qualified then the the vast majority of those who get nominated every year. I am sure everyone here remembers Al Gore winning one, so with that I rest my case.
    One more thing, I first met Anthony when he used to come into the Pizza Hut I managed. He would purchase the personal pan pizza and a one trip salad bar for lunch back in the very early “90”s. Anthony was one of the most polite and quiet individuals who ever frequented my pizza parlor. Just thought I would share that with everyone. I still live in Chico, but I got out of the restaurant bushiness years ago.

    REPLY: Thanks, I miss Pizza Hut. I don’t need prizes, but thanks for the thought – Anthony

  41. Here is a repost from the previous bananas thread…

    OK, “low dose” radiation, dangerous or not, what does the experimental published scientific literature tell us? Read on… (skip the bio bits and just read the summaries if ncessary)

    (1) Int J Radiat Biol. 2011 Feb;87(2):202-12. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

    Anti-neoplastic and immunostimulatory effects of low-dose X-ray fractions in mice.
    Nowosielska EM, Cheda A, Wrembel-Wargocka J, Janiak MK.

    PURPOSE: The exploration of immune mechanisms of the tumour-inhibitory effect of exposures to low-level fractions of X-rays.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: BALB/c mice were exposed to whole-body daily irradiations with 0.01, 0.02, or 0.1 Gy X-rays per day for 5 days/week for two weeks. Then, mice were intravenously injected with L1 tumour cells, killed 14 days later, and neoplastic colonies were counted in the lungs. Natural killer (NK) cell-enriched splenocytes and activated peritoneal macrophages (Mϕ) were collected and cytotoxic activities of these cells against susceptible tumour targets were assayed. Concanamycin A (CMA) and antibody against the ligand for the Fas receptor (FasL) were used to inhibit the NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Production of nitric oxide (NO) was quantified using the Griess reagent. Secretion of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-12 (IL-12), and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was measured using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

    RESULTS: All the exposures to X-rays significantly reduced the number of the induced tumour colonies and enhanced cytotoxic properties of the NK cell-enriched splenocytes and activated Mϕ.

    CONCLUSION: Suppression of the growth of pulmonary tumour colonies by irradiations of mice with low-dose fractions of X-rays may result from stimulation of anti-tumour reactions mediated by NK cells and/or cytotoxic macrophages.

    kinda speaks for itself to those intelligent and / or honest enough to listen. Note that low dose here means up to 100 mGy/mSv or 100,000 uGy/uSv

    (2) Cheda A, Wrembel-Wargocka J, Lisiak E, Nowosielska EM, Marciniak M, Janiak MK (2004) Single low doses of X rays inhibit the development of experimental tumor metastases and trigger the activities of NK cells in mice. Radiat Res. 161(3): 335-40.

    Here by “low” they mean 100 – 200 mGy (or for low LET photon ratiation, quality factor = 1, the same as 100-200 mSv) – this is MASSIVELY higher than anything being measured around Fukushima.

    (3) Kojima S, Nakayama K, Ishida H (2004) Low dose gamma-rays activate immune functions via induction of glutathione and delay tumor growth. J Radiat Res (Tokyo). 2004 Mar;45(1):33-9. Department of Radiation Biosciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba, Japan. kjma@rs.noda.tus.ac.jp

    (4) Li W, Wang G, Cui J, Xue L, Cai L (2004) Low-dose radiation (LDR) induces hematopoietic hormesis: LDR-induced mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells into peripheral blood circulation. Exp Hematol. 32(11):1088-96.

    Hormesis means a health-positive effect of radiation such as tumour supppression. The aim of this study was to investigate the stimulating effect of low-dose radiation (LDR) on bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) proliferation and peripheral blood mobilization. Mice were exposed to 25- to 100-mGy x-rays. 75-mGy x-rays induced a maximal stimulation for bone marrow HPC proliferation. Marrow from pre-irradiated mice showed improved proliferation of HPCs when transplanted into mice with marrow ablated by high dose radiation. The authors suggest possible clinical application for marrow transplantation.

    Short summary – transplanted bone marrow grows better in the recipient after being pre-irradiated in the donor. Again – think about it, IF YOU DARE.

    The picture is the following:
    (a) mammalian (that includes us) immune systems are constantly busy destroying pre-cancerous cells
    (b) radiation exposure gives a chemical (e.g. free radical) insult which STIMULATES the immune systen to higher activity
    (c) this stimulted activity results in increased effectiveness in removing cancer cells – LESS cancer, not more.
    (d) This finding is highly repeatable – check for yourself at PubMed central (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed)
    (e) where radiation exposure becomes unambiguously dangerous is at higher levels (several hundred mGy) where tissue damage, critically blood capillary damage, occurs. This is much higher than the level needed to cause gene expression and cellular responses.

  42. Yes, whenever something is complex, the MSM doesn’t explain it well. I suppose there are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, to explain something well, you have to understand it well, and that is not always easy. Secondly, the MSM writes as though their audience is 12 years old. Thirdly, the MSM loves controversy, and if you explain things well, there usually isn’t any controversy.

    But then again, some award winning blog sites also let people post misleading articles….

  43. TrueNorthist says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:47 am

    You really ought to change browser. I use Firefox with the AdBlock Plus add-on and I have not seen a single advertisement on any web site for several years now. I highly recommend it!

  44. A couple of comments. First, Bill DiPuccio (March 20, 2011 at 6:20 am) says:

    … inhalation of radioactive particles (e.g., Radon, fallout) does increases the health risk by many times over simple ingestion. That’s why comparisons to eating a banana are, so to speak, apples to oranges!

    I don’t think that this can be stressed enough. Many Japanese seem to wear surgical masks on a regular basis, but what the Japanese government should be doing (or should have done) is recommending that anyone that can be exposed to fallout wear proper respirators 24/7.

    Second, fallout is not uniform. It is splotchy. Maps or reports of average radioactivity tend to miss this risk. So, although the fallout on average may be quite low, there will probably still be specific places where the levels will be so high that there can be serious harm to health. Until the radioactive emissions from Fukushima dai-ichi stop, it would be prudent to act as if the emissions were much higher than reported. Once the emissions stop and the situation due to the tsunami stabilizes, the government needs to do a thorough scan of the fallout region to identify (and, if possible, decontaminate) such pockets of dangerous radiation. After Chernobyl, there were many such places in Great Britain, where radiation levels were very high and farming or grazing was severely restricted. Some of those restricted areas still exist and it has been about 25 years. In fact, the fallout was so splotchy that one pasture might have virtually no contamination, while a neighboring pasture was not to be used.

    The MSM have failed terribly. All they have provided is hype, with no suggestion of what practical steps could be taken by people potentially exposed to the radiation from Fukushima (and yes I believe it will be shown to be greater than TMI, which was very low), such as mandatory use of respirators.

    However, any reasonable danger of exposure to date is probably confined to regions within the general vicinity of the affected power plants. Any suggestion that the radioactive fallout could reach the US or other countries is greatly exaggerated.

  45. http://www.ratical.org/radiation/inetSeries/ejs1192.html

    Ernest Sternglass studied low-level fallout extensively. His research is available online as a free book from ratical.org. He documents changes in New York public health records, falsifying essential information in order to defend the US bomb industry. He revealed that thousands of children died prematurely from TMI (Three Mile Island) and that this was not the worst US disaster. In the article above, Sternglass describes how they successfully covered up a worse one.

    The nuclear industry itself is not told the truth about these things. They think 31 people died from Chernobyl, not thousands, which was the case. This is defense of their industry, but it causes flippancy such as storing the spent fuel rods on the roofs of the Fukushima reactors. They blew off in some cases, from the tsunami and explosions, and probably fell at sea not far from Japan. Long-lived radionuclides from them will probably contaminate Japan’s Eastern beaches for years.

    Consequences will not include outright radiation sickness, but an increase in child mortality and cancer.

    One medical fact I have seen in only one place–films of the Soviet scientist-heroes who cleaned up after Chernobyl. They died. They died of HEART failure. There has been extensive radionuclide contamination of the USA, and it is undoubtedly part of our high heart disease rates. Antioxidants probably have a protective effect. The general subject of low-level fallout and heart disease needs to be studied.

    The press is wildly off-base on all nuclear disasters. They are off-base on almost everything, which is why I search for information online. WUWT is one of the finest sources of reliable information I know of.

  46. Keith says:Many in the media quickly changed the headlines on Fukushima from crisis to catastrophe with comparisons to Chernobyl and TMI. Much of the media reporting has focused on Fukushima at the expense of reporting on the tsunami related 20,000 dead and missing, 340,000 homeless, and millions without heat, electricity, or running water.
    CNN is the worst offender. The consistent image from their hysterical “news” was that of a cloud of radioactive material reaching North America within hours; the whole focus of the story dramatically shifted over the course of a few hours.

  47. C.M. Carmichael says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I seem to remember the death toll was quite small at 3 mile island, from radiation anyway. The biggest outcome was a shutdown in nuclear energy growth for 3 decades. How many people have died in the oil and gas fields in threee decades?

    Going by this official source of information, there were were no deaths at 3-Mile Island.

    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident

    The accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI‑2) nuclear power plant near Middletown, Pa., on March 28, 1979, was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community.

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/3mile-isle.html

    As to ” How many people have died in the oil and gas fields in threee decades?” Here is some information on that.

    Safety?
    How many people have died because of all aspects of using nuclear power and nuclear wastes, relative to other significant sources of energy?

    Data from the Paul-Scherrer Institute in Switzerland for 1969 to 1996, showing relative human fatalities from 4290 energy-related accidents in commercial facilities, indicate that for each terra-watt-year of energy use (the world uses about 13 TW of primary energy each year at this time), the following relative numbers of fatalities are indicated:

    * Nuclear Power 8
    * Natural Gas 85
    * Coal 342
    * Oil 418
    * Hydro 884
    * LPG 3280

    Sourc: http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=498

  48. Does anyone really believe anything that the MSM prints/reports any longer? Their business is drama generation and nothing more. They spin and over-react more than politicans and lawyers.

    MSM credibility = 0

  49. I took your banana post, and thought about how much the world is in a panic over the low doses to date (thank goodness, knock on wood) and decided that an entire blog should be posted on the hype and hysteria generated by much of the news today…

    First post: http://herbegerenews.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/sunday-20-march-2011/

    World News: In shocking news today the general public discover radiation can be deadly if exposed to in high amounts and much of our food supply is already highly radioactive.

    B

  50. I’ll be willing to bet that very few MSM reporters have ever heard of superoxide dismutase. Most of those living in areas with high levels of background radiation also show higher levels of SOM. I don’t have any information on flight crews, but my suspicion is that they also have elevated levels of SOM.

  51. That how riskanalysis works, risk gain

    Risk: Few lives
    Gain: terawatts of safe, reliable, configurable green energy

    Outcome of analysis: Strongly favorable as compared to any other form of energy.

    Toxic waste: You seem to believe that windmills and solarpanels grow on trees.
    If those are green so is nuclear. Nuclear Waste /Energy produced ratio is negligible.

    Windmills this works out worse. Their realistic effective lifespan is very short, but the whole thing is waste. Costs lots of energy to produce and to recycle

  52. Phil says:
    March 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I don’t think that this can be stressed enough. Many Japanese seem to wear surgical masks on a regular basis, but what the Japanese government should be doing (or should have done) is recommending that anyone that can be exposed to fallout wear proper respirators 24/7.

    Why does that need to be stressed? I was in Tokyo in 1961, and the first thing that struck me was the large number of people wearing surgical masks that I saw. The explanation I received for that was that people wore those masks to protect themselves against possible allergies, virus infections and the possible harm done by breathing polluted polluted air. On the other hand, I saw that none of the people who were not wearing those masks were gasping for air. Most people, by far, were not wearing those masks.

    I don’t know of any studies that ever compared the health status of people with masks vs. that of people without masks. However, I do know that dust masks do provide effective protection against me acquiring a serious allergic reaction when shovelling barley in my granaries during harvest time. Wheat and oats do not cause symptoms that are as severe, but I always wore a dustmask as well when shovelling those. I mostly wore a dust mask when shovelling BS, but only when it was dry and dusty. Be assured that not once did I wear a dustmask because I was scared about anything I breathed being radioactive.

    You also stated that, “…fallout is not uniform…” that “there will probably still be specific places where the levels will be so high that there can be serious harm to health.”

    Do you have sources of credible information on which that dire warning is based? I have not read anything yet from any such source that indicates that any of us are endangered at the level of risk the fear of which seems to have you firmly in its grip.

    You further stated that,

    After Chernobyl, there were many such places in Great Britain, where radiation levels were very high and farming or grazing was severely restricted. Some of those restricted areas still exist and it has been about 25 years. In fact, the fallout was so splotchy that one pasture might have virtually no contamination, while a neighboring pasture was not to be used.

    Any back-up information you have for that would be much appreciated. Without a credible source, that statement of yours constitutes unsubstantiated alarmism.

    I suggest that you begin by reading this:

    From the Summer 2010 Issue of 21st Century of Science and Technology

    Observations on Chernobyl after 25 Years of Radiophobia
    Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc.

    The worst possible nuclear plant accident produced no scientifically confirmed fatalities in the general population. But there was enormous political and psychological damage, mainly the result of belief in the lie that any amount of radiation is bad.

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2010/Summer_2010/Observations_Chernobyl.pdf

  53. It is worth noting that nearly 30 years ago, a paper by Luckey(Physiological Benefits from low levels of ionizing radiation- Health Physics Vol 43 No. 6 pp771-789, 1982) cited nearly nine pages of references to data (about 200 individual papers) indicating some degree of radiation hormesis. In a note at the end of the paper Luckey refers to correspondence with Dr H.F. Henry who, in the early 1960s, had presented the concept that low levels of radiation may be beneficial. (J. American Medical Soc, 176 671-675, 1961)
    So far as I am aware, this work was never properly followed up, perhaps someone can enlighten me.

    On the subject of the dangers of radiation, a recent book by Prof. Wade Allison,
    (http://www.radiationandreason.com) argues that on the basis of extensive data from modern radiotherapy, the threshold of danger is about a thousand times higher than current regulations suppose.

  54. @Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta:

    “You really ought to change browser. I use Firefox with the AdBlock Plus add-on and I have not seen a single advertisement on any web site for several years now. I highly recommend it!”

    Great idea! Just tried Adblocker Plus on my Firefox browser, found a version also for Chrome, and ads have vanished on both browsers. Thanks for the tip.

  55. Lady Life Grows says:
    March 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

    >>The nuclear industry itself is not told the truth about these things. They think 31 >>people died from Chernobyl, not thousands, which was the case

    Industrial accidents happen all the time. All things have risks. Some of those risks need to be mitigated for. I.E. If a dam breaks, one evacuates people down stream to limit loss of life. It took 36 hours for the Soviets to decide to evacuate a 10km radius, then 5 days to decide to decide to evacuate a 30 km radius. Then to top it all off, they didn’t do any testing on the local agricultural products.

  56. Just when you think Greenpeace can’t sink any lower, I heard one of their shills tell a MSM bobblehead that the only safe place for a nuclear reactor is on the moon. Completely ignoring of course the thousands of people killed by the earthquake and tsunami, and the hundreds of thousands more who have had their lives wrecked. It’s all RADIATION. Riiiiight….

  57. “Radiation schmadiation! The scar on my lip from the removal of a cancer was NOT caused by nuclear energy radiation. It was caused by the Sun. ”

    Uh, Pamela…the Sun is nothing but nuclear energy radiation. It’s basically a continuous fusion explosion confined by its own gravity.

    Still, it does put into context that our entire environment is bathed in “radiation”…just a large variety of doses, types, and outcomes. The lip cancer was likely caused by UV rays, true, but it could have easily been an energetic cosmic ray that knocked out a critical chunk of DNA in a couple of cells, too. We can manage radiation risk, but it’s pretty hard to eliminate it.

  58. TomTurner in SF says:
    March 20, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Ann Coulter

    I heard her on radio on Friday. Her case for safe radiation was poor. Her ‘study’ of an apartment building wasn’t thorough. There could have been other factors involved, like nutrition, the neighborhood, and other apartment buildings, that were not mentioned. Maybe she was not aware she was supposed to include those factors, as she said herself, she is not a scientist. Her argument using Chernobyl was poorer. She said the animals in the area of Chernobyl had only small mutations and shiny coats. It’s odd that someone like Ann Coulter, who has a very high IQ, 168, would use small mutations and shiny coats in animals around Chernobyl to make a case for radiation being safe, or, safer than people think. How in the world did she think that would sound good??

    But hey, that’s just me. Someone will probably tell me there were only small issues in the animals, not big, and shiny coats are a sign they animals are actually healthier. To each their own.

    And this thing about 50 people a day going down into a uranium shaft for ‘health benefits’—there’s billions of people a day not doing it.

  59. This is a useful guide (eaoe) to help people not panic at each click of a geiger counter.

    Since there seems to be some radiation expertise available maybe someone could help explain a detail I’m having trouble understanding.

    the above chart shows this gives an annual auto-irradiation of about 390 uSv. So lets check some numbers.

    http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/284/2/E416.full

    Potassium in the (fat-free) body :
    TBK/FFM =68mmol K /kg = 2.65 g K/kg (0.068 x 39)

    total K in body per kg body weight = 2.65g
    ratio of K-40 in nature 0.012% of total K.
    radioactivity of K-40 = 264 Bq /mg

    http://www.sialme.com/getattachment/Conference—Workshops/Conference/Mabrouk-Allagi_K-40-in-dates-and-honey.pdf.aspx

    max beta energy of K-40 decay = 1.3 MeV. (Typical decay is less, this is max)
    [I’ve simplified a bit, there’s some (11% ) 1.5Mev gamma and not all the betas will have the max energy, so I’m counting on the large side.]

    1 Mev = 1.6 e-13 J
    seconds in one year 31.56e6

    Rad = J/kg
    for beta and gamma exposure Rad = rem

    energy/s of radiation from potassium in the body, per kg TBW:
    2.65 x 0.012% x 264e3 x 1.3e6 x 1.6e-19 = 17.5e-12 J/kg/s

    dose per kg body mass in one year:
    17.5e-12 x 31.56e6 = 5.511 mJ/kg/year (=mrem/yr)
    =5.5 mrem/yr
    =55 uSv/yr

    390/55=7.1

    Now unless I’ve made a silly error or there is some biological subtlety I’m missing that is not even one seventh of that shown above.

  60. And they want to irradiate (and probably already are) our food supply.
    But that’s ok, because it’s “approved”.
    Go figure.

  61. sagi says:

    March 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

    @Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta:

    “You really ought to change browser. I use Firefox with the AdBlock Plus add-on and I have not seen a single advertisement on any web site for several years now. I highly recommend it!”

    Great idea! Just tried Adblocker Plus on my Firefox browser, found a version also for Chrome, and ads have vanished on both browsers. Thanks for the tip.

    Folks, I’d be careful with this. While it’s nice to browse with ads turned off, you’re also compromising revenue for sites like WUWT. I browse with NoScript and use that to control advertising, but I’m careful to use it only against advertisers who resort to what I think of as disruptive ads … those that make annoying noise or that block content unless closed. I’ve actually permanently allowed certain sources, like googlesyndication, because their ads tend to be non-obtrusive. I even sometimes click on an ad if it looks at all interesting to me, because I know that click is going to support sites I love and helping to keep them online.

  62. I believe that, unfortunately, irrational fear of innovation is not a new thing. Heard in a cave a very long time ago:

    “No! I’m telling you! I will not have any of that ‘fire’ in my cave. Never. Haven’t you seen the terrible forest fires that stuff causes! Huh?” … “Ehrrm, but we could have it so warm and cozy in here… we could put a ring of rocks around the fire so it doesn’t spread so easily.” … “Never in my life. The smoke pollutes and makes you cough. And think about the children! Do you want to hand over a burned out cave with sooty walls to future generations? We are just borrowing this place from them, you know. You can never be completely sure that fire does not spread. And how about security? Ever thought of that? What if that menace of a boy the neighbors have comes over here and messes around with that fire when we are outside, spreads it all around just to play pranks with us. And we will run out of fire wood one fine day also. Then, what do you do? And think about all the ashes we have take care of. It will be laying out there in front of the cave for ever, spreading dust all around. Just forget about that fire!”

    But little by little we were eventually convinced…

  63. To put it into perspective:

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~stgvisie/VISIE/extremedeformities.html

    http://www.seattlepi.com/national/95178_du12.shtml
    http://www.truth-out.org/article/depleted-uranium-horror-america

    Comparison on effects Chernobyl, Japan, New York State – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16726

    Sheep farmers still stuck under a Chernobyl cloud UK -www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/29/sheep-farmers-chernobyl-meat-restricted

    German look at the health effects –
    http://www.ippnw-students.org/chernobyl/IPPNWStudy.pdf

    Turkey:

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-haunting-memories-of-chernobyl-2011-03-18

    Chernobyl, US, etc. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13349

    So, who’s telling porkies?

  64. Zedsdeadbed says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Hello world, I live in Truro………thats in Cornwall don’t you know.

    Well, well, well, so you’ve found your way here, have you? I normally read your utterances on the Daily Mail site (I normally disagree with what you say there, ho hum). I live in Cornwall too. I glow in the dark because of all the radon.

  65. M White says:

    >>
    March 20, 2011 at 7:33 am

    From the BBC – 100 mSv/yr, Lowest level at which any increase in cancer is clearly evident

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12722435

    So Ramsar in Iran is a dangerous place to live at 260 mSv/yr.
    >>

    Yes, that would seem to be a true statement, though you seem to think this is sarcastic.

    Just because a certain level is “naturally occurring” does not mean it cannot be harmful. Nature contains many poisons.

    I would guess that there are other hazards to living in many countries that may mask a rise in the risk of cancer.

  66. Well what did you expect? The MSM is dying, their credibility can not be recovered and the fresh out of school do not trust or use them. Our CBC is best described as the Constantly Biased Corporation, and they make no appologises for that. Save a billion/year defund CBC. Steady blather of false alarm and facetous opinion and its only those of us brought up trusting authority who are disturbed by the nonsense on these medias. I guess having CAWG a la Al Gore crammed down your throat in school does enhance critical thinking, my 14yr old grandniece called it way before the CRU emails, having a BS detector is a survival instinct. The message keeps getting the blame cause the messengers are way too thick to realise the actual message they have delivered.What the likes of wikipedia and google are about to learn is only honesty and openess have any chance of survival in this new medium, these kids are media savy and cynical as we never were at their age.

  67. M.A.DeLuca says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Yes I understand the importance of supporting worthwhile sites such as this one. So to do that, I simply send a donation. I don’t miss the annoying, flashing, blinking, talking, etc. etc. of the internet advertising phenomenon. In fact… good riddance.

  68. 8,000 people die in the US every year from the suns radiation, but they still lay on the beaches.
    Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. A test kit can be purchased for $20.00 or less.

    As with all things every persons systems are different. In the Chernobyl accident some people received massive doses of radiation and lived, others with mild exposure died.
    Stronger more effective DNA repair systems? There is much to be learned.

    Danger to the people on the west coast -> nill. Unless you are unlucky enough to inhale a spec or two of plutonium.

    Danger of contamination to crop and pasture land?

    Average expected result: Sv-mSv

    0 – 0.25 Sv (0 – 250 mSv): None
    0.25 – 1 Sv (250 – 1000 mSv): Some people feel nausea and loss of appetite; bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen damaged.
    1 – 3 Sv (1000 – 3000 mSv): Mild to severe nausea, loss of appetite, infection; more severe bone marrow, lymph node, spleen damage; recovery probable, not assured.
    3 – 6 Sv (3000 – 6000 mSv): Severe nausea, loss of appetite; hemorrhaging, infection, diarrhea, peeling of skin, sterility; death if untreated.
    6 – 10 Sv (6000 – 10000 mSv): Above symptoms plus central nervous system impairment; death expected.
    Above 10 Sv (10000 mSv): Incapacitation and death.

  69. Myrrh says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    To put it into perspective:…So, who’s telling porkies?

    As far as I can tell, all of the sources for which you identified links without telling anything about what all the articles you point to are supposed to signify.

    The articles you identified make unsubstantiated assertions, and someone like Sebastian Pflugbeil, Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz (Society for Protection against Nuclear Radiation) reads like James Hansen mutated into a nightmare.

    Neither James Hansen nor Sebastian Pfugbeil produced solid and acceptable evidence that supports their alarmist allegations.

    The perspective into which you try to put it is extremely alarmist. That works only if you throw all caution into the wind and discard the constitutional provision that an accused must be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

  70. Another anomaly on the chart: a night next to someone in bed.

    Taking for the sake of comparison the 390 uSv/yr auto-irradiation figure that’s a tad over 1 uSv /day or 0.33 for 8h kip. That’s all internal, my own personal K-40.

    Now if I sleep next to someone rather than IN them how do I get irradiated?

    Firstly the solid angle that my body cuts off from whatever is emanating from them will be a small proportion of their total “aura”. To grab a figure lets say 10%. So at 0.033 uSv per night we’re already below the 0.05 given in the png.

    Now how much of the beta particles will escape from the body of my chosen source of nocturnal irradiation ? Well not much. We’ve already assumed each person is getting the full blast of their own auto-irradiation. And with the very limited penetration power of beta there is not going to be much of it flying around the bedroom!

    Maybe I only get exposed to 0.05 when humping.

  71. I apologise if I am stepping on anyone’s toes, as I admit to not reading all the comments above.
    The major factor that the MSM have omitted in their ignorance and doom-mongering, is that spent fuel rods were the cause of all the local radiation, simply because the Japanese back-up cooling water pump supplies failed – no electricity – even though they are doing a sterling job of curtailment. Without constant water cooling, any spent fuel rods in storage continue to rise in temperature as low level nuclear reaction continues.
    I have often wondered why the design engineers involved have never bothered to utilise this heat energy, e.g. as in second or third stage compound steam engines, or latterly in second stage turbo-charging on large 2-stroke engines.

  72. So now I suppose we have to deal with the bananas.

    The human body has a very limited tolerance of variations in blood potassium. Luckily it is pretty good a regulating it. It dumps about 2.5mg each days which is replaced from our diet. Beyond this it just gets flushed out. Eating one, or even ten, bananas is not going to send you into hyperkalemia and bring on cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation. Healthy kidney function will control it.

    Following on from my auto-irradiation calcs : 55uSv/yr from my personal K stock of 2.65g x 80 = 212 g means a nominal 450mg in a banana will radiate about 1/500th of that amount, 0.11 uSv/yr . Note, per YEAR.

    But the banana’s K will only be in my system for about a day, not a year. So the stated dose from a banana is exaggerated by a factor of about 350 times. Maybe Randy has a big banana ;)

    0.1uSv from eating one banana ? What a load of fuku-shima.

    I only hope the rest of the table in the chart is more accurate than the bits I took the time to research.

    Randy’s mega banana dose :
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx

    Dose from a real banana:
    x

    Perhaps Randal could redo some of his calculations, recheck his sources and comment.

  73. To be fair , Randal’s probably just propagating some inaccurate info spawned years ago by the author of a book on diet and nutrition who did not understand biology. This has been mindlessly repeated by endless nuclear proponents and has been going viral this week due to uSv being topic of the week down the pub.

    So it looks like it’s not just MSM who don’t know about radiation. (And it’s true , they have not got the slightest idea).

  74. P. Solar says:
    “dose per kg body mass in one year:
    17.5e-12 x 31.56e6 = 5.511 mJ/kg/year (=mrem/yr)
    =5.5 mrem/yr
    =55 uSv/yr

    390/55=7.1

    Now unless I’ve made a silly error or there is some biological subtlety I’m missing that is not even one seventh of that shown above.”

    I did not see where you factored in the mean [lean] body mass. When you converted to mrem, you dropped the per kg. Perhaps “5.5 mrem/yr” should be 5.5 mrem/kg/yr.

  75. According to the chart at two different sites 50 kilometers northwest from the reactors a person there would be exposed to 3.6mSv per day. Also according to the charts 100mSv is the “lowest one-year dose clearly linked to increased cancer risk”. So someone spending just one month at those locations gets a dose scientifically known to increase cancer incidence. Getting it all one month is also worse, according the chart again, than spreading it out over a year. So it’s worse than you thought.

    A person spending one year at one of those sites, and God only knows how many sites are like it or worse, and how distant those sites might be, gets a dose of 1.3Sv which borders on severe and sometimes fatal radiation poisoning. (2.0Sv).

    This is supposed to reassure us that there’s nothing to worry about? While the MSM may be overstating based upon worst case scenarios this is clearly causing severe health hazards tens and hundreds of kilometers distant. Just because your skin doesn’t blister up like a sunburn a few hours after exposure doesn’t mean you have nothing to fear – you just have nothing concrete to fear until you get diagnosed with small cell lung cancer 20 years later. Who’s writing this “don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe” crap anyway – unemployed big tobacco scientists?

  76. Walter Schneider says:
    March 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    As far as I can tell, all of the sources for which you identified links without telling anything about what all the articles you point to are supposed to signify.

    ? Perspective. “To put it into perspective:”

    And I thought the first was worth a thousand words of explanation for each picture..

    Rather a lot is known of the effects from Chernobyl from all the countries affected regardless of the reluctance of some to come clean with the information, but because of this the full extent will now probably never be known. Your whitewash posting of 25 years later radiophobia claiming no fatalities saying “The worst possible nuclear plant accident produced no scientifically confirmed fatalities in the general population.”, is a disgrace. I’m surprised you don’t recognise lying Communist propaganda in this and the rest of the paragraph you posted..

    But then, how many know what the US and Britain and Nato have done to the populations they’ve bombed with depleted Uranium? Kosovo? Now has the largest US base in the world. Look at the pictures of the babies in Iraq, you don’t really expect the truth from the perpetrators of these atrocities, do you? Any more than you’d expect it from those still parrotting the party line from science when under the decades of Communism in Poland. These are real babies in Iraq, not the silly dismissal of ‘doctored’ pictures of abnormal chickens Jaworowski says of Chernobyl.

    Your paragraph ended with a typical tried and tested Beria created propaganda format. In fact, you couldn’t have picked a better example of the disinformation genre in the short paragraph you chose. Excellent.

    So that’s the level of Science and Technology we’re to expect our lot in the 21st Century? http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2007/06/page/2/

    Interesting. Jaworowski is pretty good on the ice-core data. Interesting choice for Larouche, to take someone steeped in Communist hide-it science on Chernobyl to publish in a mag extolling such wonders as genetically engineered crops which are already forced on Iraqi farmers, now illegal for them to save their own ungenetically engineered crop seeds in the Monsanto takeover.. http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstrygmo112804.html See 5.

    The really clever move that Maggie Thatcher made was to get the Greens on board her anti-coal campaign. (She destroyed the unions, you only have to look back to the BA strike to see how biased the media was against workers daring to claim dignity at the workplace..,) destroyed cheap fuel for the masses by destroying the coal industry, and then sold off other fuel assets to private industry; the French now own British water iirc. With this move she managed to silence them Greens about nuclear, distracted them, and now, what’s his name Greenpeace has very recently come out and said he thinks he was wrong about nuclear energy.

    And of course all the sleight of hand from the AGW puppets pointing to oil interests as backers for the skeptics, while all the time the oil interests were in on creating AGW from the beginning at UEA, Maggie and Hadley Centre, etc.

    Convoluted. You’ll have to dig a bit deeper to discover who’s actually saying what.

    The Beeb saying 100 mSv/year produces bad health effects, this appears to be saying the same thing, but says less than 200 not a problem if a one-off dose. I think that’s what it’s saying: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/03/msv-radiation-chart-japan

    So, 5,000 one-off dose would kill around half the people in a month. The radiation levels at Fukushima have reached 400 mSv per hour. So, does half a day at 400 mSv/hour count as one 5,000 dose?

    The articles you identified make unsubstantiated assertions,

    Bull. Read them.

    and someone like Sebastian Pflugbeil, Gesellschaft fur Strahlenschutz (Society for Protection against Nuclear Radiation) reads like James Hansen mutated into a nightmare.

    http://www.ippnw-students.org/chernobyl/research.html

    As I said, some of it has been recorded. Much has been swept under the carpet. Regardless of the personalities, the Communist propaganda from the era of brainwashed Polish science contradicts what is known. And what makes reasonable sense knowing levels and effects. People in Europe and Turkey as well as in the Ukraine are still dying from that explosion. That someone is off the wall on one subject, doesn’t mean they haven’t a clue about another..

    http://www.ippnw-students.org/chernobyl/research.html

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/nuclear-nightmares/#

    Does the paragraph you quoted still make sense?

  77. Engchamp says:
    March 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    “I have often wondered why the design engineers involved have never bothered to utilise this heat energy, e.g. as in second or third stage compound steam engines, or latterly in second stage turbo-charging on large 2-stroke engines.”

    Because you need 1000F dry steam and lots of it to get much work done. While spent fuel rods can cause a stagnant pool to start boiling after a few days they can’t crank out enough dry steam to justify the cost of safe extraction.

  78. M.A.DeLuca says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

    re; ad blocking

    Easy enough to do with MS Internet Explorer. Change security setting to “high”, apply it, then select “custom level” and go through the option list to re-enable file downloads and allow already installed active-x controls to run. Most websites run just fine this way except for annoying advertising. For those sites with something you want that needs java script what I do is I have Firefox installed with all the standard settings and I just copy & paste the URL from Internet Explorer to Firefox and/or for sites I visit a lot that require javascript enabled I bookmark them in Firefox and enter them using Firefox.

    I’ve been using the above method for at least the last 5 or 6 years with no problems. Using Internet Explorer with high security as your preferred browser will keep a lot of unwanted stealthy crap off your computer in addition to silencing Google Ads which can be hideously annoying especially when they highlight keywords and pop ads up when your mouse cursor accidently passes over it.

  79. Hal Dall, MD says: I did not see where you factored in the mean [lean] body mass. When you converted to mrem, you dropped the per kg. Perhaps “5.5 mrem/yr” should be 5.5 mrem/kg/yr.

    rem is a J/kg measurement. Like a measure of how much damage the energy can do to tissue. Since the first credible looking source I got expressed their results in mmol/kg in “fat free” subjects, I used that approach, so the total body mass does not come into it. If it did , it would be divided out again in converting to rem.

    Thanks for checking.

  80. Under section 2.

    “It is a scandal for the IAEA Summary to be treated respectfully by the press as a scientifically valid study of radiation health effects from Chernobyl. The IAEA study was pre-destined to find no provable health differences between the study’s so-called exposed and so called unexposed groups — and hence no provable radiation-induced health effects — because the IAEA used two groups which experienced only a negligible dose-difference.” http://www.ratical.org/radiation/CNR/HoloVsNoProb.html

    Sounds familiar – “On May 21, 1991, the IAEA released a 60-page summary of the conclusions reached by these travelling experts (IAEA 1991-a). The report itself was withheld and not made available for examination by the press or by independent analysts. The press release and summary resulted in newspaper headlines such as:

    . etc.”

    They think they’re it’s stress, more psychological than biological.

    The above from a link on http://ibis-birthdefects.org/start/chornobyl.htm

    From which also, http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/ChernobylCoSS.html

    Background history 1991 publication “Chernobyl: Insight from the Inside” by Vladimir Chernousenko, the Ukrainian nuclear physicist tasked to “liquidate the consequences” of the accident.

    “Chernousenko offers the first set of figures available on the great wave of morbidity that has seized the Soviet population after 1986. At first mainly concentrated in the the three Soviet REpulbics of Byelorrussia, the Ukraine and Russia, where the bulk of the emissions settled on more than 100,000 square kilometers, the refusal of the Soviet authorities to recognize the true extent of the contamination of farmland has since spread radiation illness to all the former Soviet republics.

    He asserts that in Byelorrusia, which was the hardest hit, there is hardly a child today not suffering from some immune deficiency disease, either cardiovascular, lymphoid or oncological, and in the three biggest provinces of the Ukraine a medical investigation of the public health, conducted in 1989, indicated that the health of every second resident was damaged.”

    Chernobyl and the Collapse of the Soviet Society by Jay M. Gould – posits this disaster the true reason for the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union.

  81. Myrrh says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    ? Perspective. “To put it into perspective:”

    And I thought the first was worth a thousand words of explanation for each picture..

    Oh! Were those eight links ranked in order of importance to you? I did not realize that, but what the point is of the first, and what all of those pictures worth so many thousand words signify you do not tell. Is that because words fail you, even though not to an extent that would prevent you from uttering a vicious rant while safely hiding behind your anonymity?

    So, just to make sure I have got it right. I am a communist agent who whitewashes hype and hysteria with Beria propaganda, and in your eyes Zbigniew “Jaworowski is pretty good on the ice-core data” when he produces information that you like to agree with. However, when he writes in his capacity as one of the foremost radiation experts in the world, his alter-ego comes to the fore and he becomes in your ‘steamed’ opinion someone “steeped in Communist hide-it science on Chernobyl.”

    All right, that, your anonymity and the price of a cup of coffee get me a coffee. I’ll have to pay extra to get a doughnut.

    Give me scientific facts on a science blog, not unsubstantiated, hysterical rants.

  82. Bill Garland says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    >>
    FYI. I wrote up a few paragraphs on comparative risk – nuclear is one of the least risky ways to make electricity.
    >>

    It’s not because “only” 70% of the core melted in one of the reactors and the hydrogen explosions that ripped No.3 to bits and that no one expected did not end up with the spent fuel on fire, that there is less “risk”.

    Without wishing to pre-empt how it works out, it seems like they may just, after a week of total panic, just maybe got things a bit more stable.

    That does not reduce the risk.

    Like hitting an empty chamber is russian roulette, it does not reduce 1 in 5 risk you just ran of getting you head blown off. The risk is exactly the same you just got lucky this time.

    Don’t confuse how well something worked out with the risk being run in doing it.

    With nukes the RISK is enormous.

  83. The hysteria isn’t coming from me..

    Nope, it wasn’t ranked. But the first was deliberate choice to set the scene for both drama and cover up as the subject of my posts was perspective, both in terms of the effects radiation actually has and to the cover up of these effects by all the nations utilising it to mass destruction, whether by design or by accident. The choice of building these kinds of nuclear reactors was in the first place deliberately to produce weapons grade by products.

    The Polish/Science/Communist connection I worked out as I investigated, on the hoof. Jaworowski reads like any programmed/educated warmer on AGW. Perhaps because I have more background info into the politics of Communism and its methods it jumps out at me. They were experts at manipulation, Beria organised. The Goebbels to Hitler, he was to Stalin. Who himself was incredibly impressed by the power of advertising he discovered America had – these are sharp minds. Blunted emotions, but sharp minds.

    All of AGW is built on this disinformation technique and divide and conquer, as I touched on by giving a bit of the Thatcher history of involvement.

    So shrug, it’s a well known AGW meme to keep saying that scientific facts haven’t been given, when they have. Are you using this? Or have you merely not bothered to read any of the articles I posted?

    Whatever, and see my follow up post, the history of the manipulation to dismiss Chernobyl as having no disastrous health effects continues, with the same people co-ordinating. I find it really hard to believe that anyone reading the links I posted could not understand what I was meaning, and/or wouldn’t immediately stop and wonder if the information they had was correct if pushing a line of benevolent radiation.. Perhaps the machinations of political entities in our history, especially in the 20th century, isn’t your ‘bag’.

  84. P.S. – I do hope you understand now that I wasn’t accusing you of being a Communist agent..?

  85. @Walter Schneider says:
    March 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

    When I stated that “I don’t think that this can be stressed enough,” I was referring to the difference between inhaling radioactive particles and being exposed to them on the surface of your clothes, shoes, etc. I was not referring to surgical masks in particular. Please don’t misquote me.

    The point I thought I was making was that, instead of inducing panic by trying to use the word “Chernobyl” as many times as possible in a news story or broadcast, it would be much more helpful and practical to suggest that people who are concerned about radiation wear respirators. I think that respirators are more effective at filtering out small particulates than surgical masks.

    You made the accusation:

    You also stated that, “…fallout is not uniform…” that “there will probably still be specific places where the levels will be so high that there can be serious harm to health.”

    Do you have sources of credible information on which that dire warning is based? I have not read anything yet from any such source that indicates that any of us are endangered at the level of risk the fear of which seems to have you firmly in its grip.

    Here are some sources supporting the statement that fallout is not uniform:
    From Scottish sheep farms finally free of Chernobyl fallout

    Radioactive caesium has a relatively short half-life of 30 years – the time it takes for activity to halve – and it was always anticipated that restrictions would be necessary for up to 20 or 30 years after the accident. Some of the affected sheep that just exceed the threshold can be brought within the limit by allowing them to graze on lower, unaffected pastures for several months before slaughter.(emphasis added)

    A further reference is here. What is surprising is that the restricted area with a measurement greater than 4000 bequerels per square meter is on the west coast of Great Britain, which is further from Chernobyl than the east coast is.

    Another source that seemed to show to me that fallout was “splotchy” was http://users.owt.com/smsrpm/Chernobyl/glbrad.html. If you scroll down there are two diagrams that seem to show the “splotchiness” of the fallout. The first is labeled “The Impossible Happens, Chernobyl, 1986″ and is the second diagram from the top. The second one is labelled “Figure 32 Radiation Hotspots Resulting From the Chornobyl’ Nuclear Power Plant Accident, April 1986.” It also shows IMHO “splotchiness.” The second diagram I believe is the same one that is shown on page 13 of Dr. Jaworowski’s paper and is labeled as “Figure 6 Surface Ground Map of Cesium-137 Release in the Chernobyl Accident.”

    Let me be blunt. There has been a very large explosion at Fukushima Unit #3. At the same time, it appears that the spent fuel pool at Unit #3 may have lost enough water to expose the fuel rods. The explosion at Unit #3 appears to contain large amounts of particulates (i.e. unlike the explosion at Unit #1 which showed an initial clear air burst). It has now been admitted that Unit #4 also had a “hydrogen explosion.” The spent fuel pool at Unit #4 also may have lost enough water to expose the fuel rods. Wearing a respirator in a zone where you may be exposed to particulates from these explosions, I would submit is not being gripped by “fear.” It is a precaution and a reasonable one at that. It is still early in this event. A full assessment of the situation within and without the Fukushima power plant has not been done. I would also submit that there is a fundamental difference in the fallout from steam vented from a reactor vessel that remains intact and that from an uncontained spent fuel pool accident involving multiple explosions.

    Finally, I once again would respectfully ask you, sir, not to misquote or otherwise try to change the meaning of my words. I did not say that “any of you” were endangered, based on the assumption that you and/or “any of us” are not presently located near the Fukushima power plant. If you are at present close to the Fukushima power plant, by all means, dear sir, please inhale as many particles of actinide oxides as you wish. It is your choice. If it were me, I would be wearing a respirator until I could get a better assessment of risk.

    P.S. I would consider myself mostly, but not unconditionally, pro-nuclear. I believe everything has risk, but that risk can be managed if it is recognized and addressed. If it is ignored, then it will come back at you.

  86. New radiation measurements for points outside Fukushima Dai-ichi can be found at http://www.mext.go.jp/component/english/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/03/21/1303972_2110.pdf as of March 21, 2011

    I have made a scatter plot of the radiation measurements by distance from Fukushima Dai-ichi. The units are µSv/hr/km. I divided each radiation measurement by the distance from the power plant. Here is the chart. As can be seen, the fallout varies widely by distance. The stations showing the highest fallout are #32, #33 and #31, respectively, which are about 30 km from the power plant. Splotchy.

  87. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that news articles report people’s fearful ideas, as opposed to originating the ideas. For example, I read an article which quoted an ordinary Japanese woman as saying that she was fearful and that the authorities might be lying, and then, later on, stated some claims by Japanese authorities to the effect that there was very little to be worried about. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the media not to report what many people think and feel, because it is news. If they did not publish it as news, they would be propaganda organs. (Consider a hypothetical case – e.g., global warming! – in which the many were right, and the authorities wrong.) So perhaps the news media are not remiss as news media, and complaints about them amount to being complaints that they are not something other than news media. Of course, I might be wrong, since I haven’t made a comprehensive study of what the media say.

  88. P. Solar says:
    March 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Sorry Mr Solar, you have no idea.

    In the whole area of “Risk Management” there are two aspects to be mindful of and you are confusing them.

    In assessing the “Risk” of anything you have to take into account two things.
    1) Likelihood of an event happening
    2) Consequences of that event

    You just jumble everything together and say the risk is the same for “nuclear” regardless of how likely an event may be.

    An example:
    Playing Russian roulette with one bullet in a 1 shot chamber gives you deadly consequences and unacceptable risk of a bad event happening (unless you’re a hopeless shot)

    Playing Russian roulette with one bullet in a 6 shot chamber still gives you deadly consequences and lower possibility of that event happening, therefore lower risk.

    Playing Russian roulette with one bullet in a 1,000,000 shot chamber gives you deadly consequences and a miniscule likelihood of that event happening, therefore, very low or negligible risk.

    Nothing is without risk in this world. It is the combination of likelihood and consequences that determine risk.

    Working in a nuclear power plant has much less risk than working in a coal mine.

  89. TrevorG says:

    In assessing the “Risk” of anything you have to take into account two things.
    1) Likelihood of an event happening
    2) Consequences of that event

    I agree. My point is (like the bullet) the fact that we appear to have avoided the worst this time does not somehow reduce the risk, neither in the sense of 1) or 2).

  90. Exactly. If anything the last 4 decades have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that nuclear energy is the cleanest, safest, most reliable, configurable form of energy production to date.

    With the untold terawatts of energy produced, it has resulted in only a few casualties, no more then 3 major incidents, of which only one serious incident.

    All the questimating of various illnesses which are claimed to be linked to radiation are just that: wild guesses without a proven causal link.

    As such it beats anything out there in cost/benefit ratio.

  91. Bill Garland says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    “FYI. I wrote up a few paragraphs on comparative risk – nuclear is one of the least risky ways to make electricity.”

    Did you take into account the health hazards of uranium mining and refinement? Those fuel rods don’t exactly grow on trees. While rooftop solar may be more dangerous to the installation and maintenance personal when compared to the equivalent jobs in the nuclear industry no one has to mine the sunlight that fuels the solar panels and no one has to eventually cart away toxic spent solar fuel. If you’re going to compare dangers you have to be far more inclusive of end-to-end activities required for nuclear energy and it isn’t such a rosy picture in that case. And it only takes one bad nuclear accident in a high population center for the casualty count and adverse economic consequences to skyrocket into billions in damages and hundreds of thousands or millions of people subjected to increased incidence of fatal cancers and even worse for young children including those still in the womb. The risk of such an accident might be small but the damages are commensurately large. Compare to solar power where the worst possible accident is the typical accident – one person dies falling off a roof and that’s as bad as it gets.

    In short your analysis doesn’t compare apples to apples and amounts to no more than seriously flawed propaganda no different in that regard from ecoloon propaganda.

  92. Smoking one pack of cigarettes exposes you to 20 uSv, or one little green square.

    A pack a day habit for a full year would be 365 of those squares, about 3/4 of one orange square, about 7 mSv.

  93. “And they want to irradiate (and probably already are) our food supply.
    But that’s ok, because it’s “approved”.
    Go figure.”

    I could not let this comment be ignored. I work in the food industry in quality assurance and my plant as started experimenting with irradiating food. It has nothing to do with this subject. By “irradiate” we mean “shine a UV light on it.” We use “irradiate” because all light is radiation, whether it’s in the visible spectrum, ultraviolet, infrared, or even the gamma spectrum.

    And if you’re worried about us using UV light, you might want to see about convincing farmers to grow lettuce in the shade.

  94. The fact that the nuclear proponents always forget is, that risk from nuclear energy is calculated in a purely statistical manner. For a modern western reactor model and an uptime of 40 years there is a probability of 0.1% of catastrophic failure (ines7).
    But lets use the brushed figures of the IAEA:

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull225_6/225_604792333.pdf

    (yes I know there are complaints about the study in the article, but at least you can call this “data”).
    They use probabilities of about 0.001% per year per plant. Lets call this the far optimistic end. The studier reactors of that time are the ones that are still in most widespread use.
    There are a gazillion studies inbetween or somewhere close.

    In practice however, inside of 50 years we have seen 1 category 7, 1 cat.6, 3 cat. 5 (counting Fukushima as one reactor, because I’m a nice guy) and that’s just published reactor incidents. I haven’t mentioned the accidents during transport of radioactive materials or the ones covered up by the SU.
    Ines is actually cool source:

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull225_6/225_604792333.pdf

    So all this blah blah about statistical safety is total bs. Humans (of which a certain percentile are morons and or greedy and or terrorists) operate them.
    The fact is that chernobyl could be measured world wide. Every other major incident will be world wide. A tin of spinach anyone?
    Even if you can somehow disregard this chasm between theory and reality:
    Currently, since there are no final storage plants for depleted rods, every nuclear plant is gathering danger potential in form of hundreds radioactive rods which have to be actively cooled. We reap the benefits of a cheap energy source and leave the problems and dangers of its residue to later generations.

    Very enlightened.

  95. P. Solar,

    Regarding your calculation for the radiation from the natural potassium in the body, I was checking your math and I think that there may be an error that affects the outcome. At the end, you multiplied the radiation energy (J/kg/s) by the number of seconds in a year to get the total exposure: (17.5*10^-12)(31.56*10^6)=0.0005523 J/kg/yr. That should be .5523 mJ/kg/yr, not 5.523 mJ/kg/yr. (mJ=milli Joules, not micro Joules, thus 3 places to the right, not 4)

    If mJ/kg/yr=m/rem/yr, then it should be .5523 mrem, which then equals 5.5 uSv/yr, not 55 uSv/yr.

    Then you get 390/5.5=70.90

    Interestingly, 70.90 kg=156.31 lbs, which falls right in the middle for the ideal weight of a 5’7″ human male according to this chart (http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1108048103230.html). Therefore, it seems that Randall found the radiation energy per kilogram, and then multiplied the radiation by a chosen weight (70.9 kg in this case) to get a total for the entire body. That is why he has 390 uSv for natural radiation from potassium, rather than a lower number.

    Ruben

  96. “”””” C.M. Carmichael says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:04 am
    There are thousands of people dead from the quake and tsunami, and there are media making comparisons to 3 mile island. I seem to remember the death toll was quite small at 3 mile island, from radiation anyway. “””””

    The death toll at 3-mile Island (from anything Nuclear related) is very easy to remember. The body count was exactly one less than the death toll at Chappaquiddick.

  97. P. Solar and Ruben taken together are correct; the confusion arises when trying to state *total* activity in the body in units of radiation per kg (Sv). The 390 uSv is in fact high by the factor typical body mass, and is incorrect. The Sievert as a unit indicates the dose to _each_kg_ of the body and has to be left that way (5.5uSv/yr). The bigger you are the more total activity, but the dose/kg is the same as for a smaller person. It is an error present elsewhere in the literature, by the way.

  98. Dave Springer,

    “If you’re going to compare dangers you have to be far more inclusive of end-to-end activities required for nuclear energy and it isn’t such a rosy picture in that case.”

    Agreed. I only wish the environmentalists would apply the same rules when auditing their pet technologies, including the strip mining that goes on for rare earth elements in China. Listening to the propaganda by the likes of Jonathan Porritt, one could be forgiven for thinking that a wind turbine appears out of nowhere by an act of divine creation.

  99. Dave,

    There are 2 tables provided. One was end-to-end stats for that power source. The other was accidents only. So yes, they do take into account the health hazards of uranium mining and refinement?

    Bill

    “Dave Springer says:
    March 21, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Bill Garland says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    “FYI. I wrote up a few paragraphs on comparative risk – nuclear is one of the least risky ways to make electricity.”

    Did you take into account the health hazards of uranium mining and refinement? “

  100. It’s becoming clear that proponents of (or rather anti-nuclear) alternative energy can’t do their math right.

    If the worst that can happen with solar energy is falling of a roof, it has to be put against the gains.

    The gains of alternative energy are so poor that even the lack of accidents makes it already unfeasible. There’s no need for tragedy, the tragedy is in the stubborn belief that this kind of energy production can hold up against the massive energy potential per unit of matter in matter/energy conversion.

    That is what counts, how much energy can you produce using the least effort so the energy doesn’t becomes so expensive it ruins your economy.

    In that all forms other then matter/energy conversion don’t stand a chance. So whilst we are waiting for fusion to come to fruition we’ll use fission. That’ll last long enough to bridge the cap.

    Stop wasting money, resources and manpower on pipedreams. There’s no free lunch, each form of energy production comes with it’s own set of problems.

    Nuclear giving the biggest result per dollar even when calculating the risks.

  101. P. Solar says:
    March 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm
    Bill Garland says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    .
    .
    .
    Don’t confuse how well something worked out with the risk being run in doing it.

    With nukes the RISK is enormous.

    The risk is not necessarily enourmous, the consequences are potentially enourmous. The risk is a product of how badly things can go wrong and how likely they are to go wrong in just that manner. The visceral reaction is to the outcome when we finally roll “snake eyes”. To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet died of direct radiation exposure. In New Jersey, 122 people have died in automobile accidents since Jan. 1. No one is looking to ban cars in NJ as far as I know. The simple reason is that everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car firmly believes (however wrongly) that they control their own fate. Since we can’t “drive” the local nuclear power plant, our anxiety levels are higher since we don’t have that illusory control of our own fate.

  102. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein/nuclear-power-causes-canc_b_251057.html

    “A nationwide study of current cancer rates ner nukes is sorely needed. In May this year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR) quietly announced it was commissioning an update of the 1990 National Cancer study. This sound like a positive step. However, the NRC has long been a harsh critic of any suggestion that reactors cause cancer. This is not surprising, since the Commission receives 90% of its funds from nuclear companies that operate reactors.

    Rather than ask for competitive bids for the cancer study, the NRC simply handed the job to the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Oak Ridge is an Energy Department contractor in the city that has operated a nuclear weapons plant for over half a century. The “Institute” is merely a front for pro-nuclear forces. It has no record of publishing scientific articles on cancer rates near reactors. The whitewash is on.”

    Of all places on the net WUWT is the one I would least expect to find such an amount of compliant agreement with the obvious disinformation being pushed by the nuclear bods, how anyone can even for one moment believe that there were no deaths from Chernobyl is beyond all that’s rational knowing how much we do know about radiation effects on health. But obviously the campaign to hide the effects on those living around nuclear reactors has gained such strength that it can even promote this despicable meme and get away with it. Japan of course, is no worse than eating a banana.

    Sheesh.

    These nuclear reactors are lethal, in their day to day operation and a horror when things go wrong. They were designed to produce weapons grade ammunition for war, not for any other reason. Producing electric power is a by-product. Not giving a damn about the grotesque use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Serbia, how the heck can you think they give a damn about the number of locals to the plant die prematurely or are born with defective health?

    Do you really think that this government sponsored industry, for war, is going to let it be proved that these health problems are real? Even if it could be directly attributed the limit’s already been set in Europe, tough if you’re over the 10 year max.. The costs of the nuclear industry are heavily subsidised, and money also comes from the taxpayers to do this. How it works in the US I don’t know, here’s a look at the UK – http://www.mng.org.uk/gh/private/nuclear_subsidies1.pdf

    Bearing in mind that this isn’t about cheap, clean, electric energy, everyone who isn’t a war monger should be against these types of nuclear power stations.

    If governments really gave a damn about cheap power for the people, there would be already be thorium powered, small local and without the hazards which these depleted uranium producers have inbuilt.

    It’s not about concern for our welfare that there’s this monstrous huge campaign to pretend there is no danger from these nuclear plants, any more than AGW’s are able to show their cr*p ideology of green energy is for our benefit.

    Do yourselves a favour, supporters of the radiation isn’t-now-nor-ever-was-dangerous meme, get the story right. It’s not about nuclear, it’s about this kind of nuclear.

    Take a good look at the pictures of the babies born grotesquely deformed in Iraq, that’s what you are really supporting.

  103. Dave Midleton linked to some good graphs, though the low end scale is difficult to decipher.

    The graphs shows a large spike on the 15th. I believe this is the day the spent fuel pool went dry. Ergo, no shielding. Besides the obvious increase that would occur in the plant area itself from this problem, note that the perimeter readings also went up. The slope leading up to the peak makes sense such that as the pool lost its water there was a steady increase in expsure rates. One of the little known facts about gamma radiation is that a small portion will scatter back and this scatter is called “sky shine”when a source is pointing towards the air and the small portion of gamma radiation bounces back from the sky. The perimeter graph makes a lot of sense when viewed in this light. They lost shielding, the exposure rate from gamma went up probably due to sky shine. They got the pool filled and the exposure rate went back down.
    Radiation levels drop off by the square of the distance. So if you are far enough outside the sky shine umbrella you will be quite safe. There are too many unknowns with the Fukishima situation for me to fully determine if what was seen at the perimeter is completely due to sky shine, but it makes a lot of sense. I’ve witnessed sky shine at irradiator facilities where there was no shielding above the source (lots of shielding around the source).
    Hey Anthony: Weather can make a big difference with sky shine. The cloudier it is, the more sky shine you will see. Therefore do your job right as a weatherman and keep the sunny weather coming. ;)
    Incidentally, X-rays do the same thing as gamma rays in giving some backscatter. It is why we make X-ray techs wear lead aprons and stand behind a lead shield. A few X-rays bounce off the table, the walls, the air and the patient. It’s not much, but it adds up to the technician over lots of X-ray shots. It is an easy fix – distance and shielding – and we keep the tech safe.

  104. Oh dear, there are a few folks showing up on this site who have bought into the myths surrounding radiation. Lots of passion, few facts. I’d love to tackle them all, but it would be fruitless. However, here’s one I’ll tackle because it is so despicable…

    Sunspot: The whole “uranium weapons are creating a generation of deformed babies” meme is a crock of manure. You really need to do some homework and you might find out that: there are good studies that show no increase in radiation related problems in these areas; and the pictures they love to show were frequently taken before the wars. Twenty percent of the human race has some sort of deformity. Most are minor, such as a birthmark. However, nature has a bad habit of producing some really horribly deformed people. People who use pictures of naturally occurring deformities for their political agenda are nothing less than despicable. That you are spreading this travesty makes you despicable.

  105. Myrrh (March 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm)

    Depleted uranium is a different discussion about chemical toxicity (it has unimportant radiological properties). Using lead ammunition instead is not going to help much. The only thing that would really help is having no more bad people in the world who need to be deterred (either through war or the credible threat of war). Using ammunition made of marshmallow is not a solution and misses the point.

  106. In the graph on the left (blue) a one day dose Fukushima is 3.5 microSievert in 17 march, on the right hand (green) it’s 3.5 milliSievert on 17 march.

    Which value is correct?

  107. Hans Erren says:
    March 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    In the graph on the left (blue) a one day dose Fukushima is 3.5 microSievert in 17 march, on the right hand (green) it’s 3.5 milliSievert on 17 march.

    Which value is correct?

    If you read carefully, it seems that the “blue” dose is the average somewhere “near” the plant while the “green” dose is at two specific locations 50km away.

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