Those Promised "Green" Jobs? Sending Construction Workers into a Radioactive Wasteland

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat.

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat. Diana Markosian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

One of the problems with renewables is the enormous amount of space renewable installations require. Gathering low intensity power requires a lot of real-estate. But solar entrepreneurs and the Ukrainian Government think they have a solution – they want to build the world’s largest solar plant on land nobody in their right mind would want; the site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster.

Chernobyl could be reinvented as a solar farm, says Ukraine

Ministers create presentation to show how idle land around nuclear disaster site can be used to produce renewable energy.

The contaminated nuclear wasteland around Chernobyl could be turned into one of the world’s largest solar farms, producing nearly a third of the electricity that the stricken plant generated at its height 30 years ago, according to the Ukrainian government.

In a presentation sent to major banks and seen by the Guardian, 6,000 hectares of “idle” land in Chernobyl’s 1,000 square km exclusion zone, which is considered too dangerous for people to live in or farm, could be turned to solar, biogas and heat and power generation.

Pressure has been mounting for years to allow industrial development, but no indication is given of where the solar panels would be located. “There has been a change in the perception of the exclusion zone in Ukraine. Thirty years after the Chernobyl tragedy [it] reveals opportunities for development. A special industrial area is to be created in compliance with all rules and regulations of radiation safety within the exclusion zone,” says the presentation.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this week indicated it would be prepared to lend money for the renewable energy plan. The EBRD has already provided more than $500m (£379m) to build a large stainless steel “sarcophagus” over the destroyed reactor, which will remain dangerous for thousands of years.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/29/chernobyl-could-be-reinvented-as-a-solar-farm-says-ukraine

The Ukraine is desperately poor, so the Ukrainian government should have no problem finding thousands of workers willing to risk their health, to construct this new green power monstrosity.

And who knows, maybe the idea will catch on – no doubt there are other highly contaminated industrial disaster sites around the world, which could be profitably converted into renewable installations.

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Smueller

Not quite sure what you are saying here. Is it wrong to send workers into low level radiation? but I thought the general agreement was that it was quite safe (c.f Fukushima exclusion zone comments).
Or are you just complaining about solar power irrespective of were it is put in place?
Many people are still working in the accident site trying to make it safe, the original sarcophagus is crumbling and with large holes.

Duncan

“Or are you just complaining about solar power irrespective of were it is put in place?”
I agree for the first time reader, the post is short on facts and long on assumptions but generally solar is chastised here due to is intermittent power, large footprint and requires subsidies (other peoples money) to exist. Usually the benefits are oversold using nameplate output when in fact output is just a fraction of this. Lastly, if you are not a believer in CAGW the justification used for their installation is a null point. Solar has it’s place, Anthony even has panels installed on his roof, but not to solely power Western economies (at all costs) as the greens would hope.

Griff

Well, the footprint here can hardly impact – I mean what else can you use this for?
at standard 1MW a hectare that’s 6GW of capacity.
Ukraine is about same latitude a S Germany, so they should see about 4GW a day for 6 hours plus from April to end September. worthwhile contribution to reduce reliance on Russian gas …

EricHa
flyover bob

I notice you are quite willing to send someone else in. How about you volunteering to work in the zone? Fun fact! Every current widely held scientific belief replaced another equally wide held belief. Asbestos was safe, till it wasn’t.

EricHa

Me? I wouldn’t want to go there but some people might. They could open it as a spa and offer a treatment for work deal. A lot of people might take them up on it going by the prices at places like this
http://www.laznejachymov.cz/en/traditional-radon-treatment/
http://www.czechtourism.com/t/jachymov/
Lázně Jáchymov
Discover Jáchymov – a spa that gave its name to the dollar!
In a wooded valley at the foot of the Krušné Mountains you will find the spa town of Jáchymov, which was established as the first radon spa in the world. Come to cure your maladies in this beautiful submontane environment, which for centuries has been associated with its mining past. Whether you travel here in summer or winter, you can enjoy a spa stay with all the trimmings.

Trebla

“Asbestos was safe, till it wasn’t”, cell phones in hospitals interfered with sensitive hospital equipment until they didn’t, birth control pills were safe until they weren’t, fat was bad for you until it was discovered that we needed some in our diet, the consensus, 97% group think list goes on and on.

otropogo

Maybe not “equally wide” in the case of asbestos. Here in Quebec, not far from the town called “Asbestos”, many people still believe the mineral is not harmful, because many people in the region have worked and lived with it without showing any signs of associated illness.

Michael D

From what I’ve heard, the main danger around Chernobyl is from the flourishing population of wolves, bison, and wild boar.

Wouldn’t that be the “flourishing mutant population of wolves, bison, and wild boar”?

Leo Smith

@james Schrumpf:
No.

Bryan A

I’d heard that the main danger surrounding the facility was the amount of radioactive deadfall tree leaves and branches. Since the radioactivity had sterilized the soil microbes, the leaf drop doesn’t decay. This would make the greatest threat wildfire which would release the radio activity into the smoke.

Robert from oz

Ahh green power turning workers a healthy shade of glowing green .

simple-touriste

“Is it wrong to send workers into low level radiation?”
It’s wrong and it isn’t. It’s wrong if you say:
– “Chernobyl” (explosion in the reactor 4 of the Lenin plant) is the worst nuclear catastrophe
– any serious accident in a NPP can render the whole region (we are talking about thousands of square km) inhabitable for centuries
– nuclear technology is unique in its ability to create such “exclusion zones”
and then
– let’s build a “renewable” facility there!
The unit of time for a radioactive contamination is the period of the most widespread isotope. Only one period of Cs-137 have elapsed. And people apparently can work there… according to solar energy promoters.
It’s wrong to send people when you believe it will harm them. Even if you are wrong, it’s still morally wrong. If you believe it’s harmful, you don’t put worker there for a work that could be done elsewhere. And if you don’t believe it’s dangerous, then you don’t propagate the idea of a multi-centuries nuclear catastrophe.

Latitude

Suns out….you get power
suns not out….you don’t
Doesn’t matter how many panels they put out…until they solve that problem

Michael 2

“Suns out….you get power”
A day will come when you will be grateful for power even if only during daylight hours.

James Bull

Unless you were in Spain where the “Diesel Sun” shone both day and night.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/17/nobody-expects-the-spanish-solar-inquisition/
James Bull

Steve from Rockwood

or the storage problem.

joel

One third? That’s it? How about just letting this place be what it is now. An amazing nature preserve. I don’t see why the UN wouldn’t declare this place a World Heritage site or something.

100,000 to 200,000 of industrialize nature for solar or wind, to equal one Nuclear power plant. World needs to move onto the Molten Salt Reactor from the 1950s, low pressure, walk away safe, fuel burns thoroughly, no pressure domes or 150 atmosphere plumbing, thermally suited for co-industrial processes. egeneration.org

Alan Robertson

“100,000 to 200,000…” what unit of measurement are you using?

TA

And doesn’t kill wildlife.

LWRs are walk away safe.

Ian Macdonald

LWRs have two very serious safety issues:
One, the use of a volatile coolant under pressure, which must be circulated to avoid boiling. (Think car radiator on steroids, and you have the idea)
Two, the use of zirconium alloys for fuel pin/rod casings. Zirconium is chosen for its low neutron absorbtion. It was also chosen for pre-electronic camera flashbulbs, because once ignited it burns even more fiercely and gives more light than magnesium. Zirconium is not easy to ignite, requiring white heat to get it going. Once alight though, it is extremely hard to extinguish. Submerging burning zirconium in water will simply result in it robbing the oxygen from the water as a means of continuing burning. That process liberates hydrogen, which if it builds up inside a pressure vessel along with air, will eventually result in an explosion.
A safer reactor would avoid the use of both of these problem materials. Molten salt (not necessarily thorium-based, but could be) is the known way to achieve this.

Chernobyl was not a LWR, it was a RBMK dry graphite moderated
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBMK

TonyL

Looks like Ukraine has come up with a gambit to get their hands on some of that international Climate Change money. The proposal is a double plus. They build a “clean, green” facility, and remediate a much hated nuclear area. The international green development people won’t be able to control themselves in their urge to fund it.
Smooth, Ukraine, very smooth.

AndrewZ

Exactly! Green energy is all about the greenbacks.

Felflames

Plus at the end, when the money runs out, the can cite “unecpected health concerns” and shut the whole lot down to rust.

ozspeaksup

well if ends up as “wellmade” as their recent tanks n ammo have..
the tanks are a hoot, using cctv elcheapo and it failed.
they have to use remove views cos they designed them to be impossible for the driver to see OUT of:-0 LoL
the ammo rusted and had a bad failrate within months..
so at best, maybe?
it will last for about 3mths or so.

DHR

“..producing nearly a third of the electricity that the stricken plant generated at its height 30 years ago…”
Only at noon on a clear day could a very large solar array do this. Overall, they would be lucky to average a few percent of the nuclear plant. And between sunset and sunrise, nothing. As to radiation in the exclusion zone, the danger of radioactivity is grossly overstated, very grossly. It would likely be practical to install such a facility within radiation safety guidelines but the details would have to be studied.

Plus, nobody mentions that Chernobyl is at 51° Latitude – far to the North. About the middle of Vancouver Island, British Columbia – not much light up there. Even during the summer it is coming in at a low angle. During winter?

sailboarder

Tourists go to the site. Farmers live there, and plant their food crops, like carrots.
Leave the place as it is, a wildlife refuge. It is the only one Ukraine has I believe.

Dr. Strangelove

The average natural background radiation in the US is 3.1 mSv/yr. The measured radiation level at the abandoned village and residential houses in Chernobyl exclusion zone is 2.6 mSv/yr. That’s why the Chernobyl nuclear plant is now a tourist attraction
http://chaes-tour.com/uploads/posts/2013-10/1381389091_zzzx3.jpg

RAH

It’s not the background radiation that gets you. It’s the hot spots. Lets see one of them take a dip in the primary cooling channels waters.

RAH

I take it you have not watched River Monsters or at least missed the episode when they fished there. The fish are well undersized for their age and are mutants at the cellular level. The main cooling channel is a very hot spot.
http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/river-monsters/videos/jeremy-wade-looks-back-on-chernobyl/
There are other hot spots also. Places that would be deadly to inhabit or hang around for long.
BTW there were several reactors at that large facility. All the others are still working and have been for 30 years.

Dr. Strangelove

Nobody goes to Chernobyl to swim or drink radioactive water in the same way nobody goes to Guarapari beach to eat the radioactive monazite sand. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim Guarapari is a dangerous place because people might accidentally eat monazite sand

Dr. Strangelove

Yes the hot spot is inside the sarcophagus and tourists don’t hang out there. Nobody goes to Chernobyl to swim or drink the radioactive water in the same way nobody goes to Guarapari beach to eat the radioactive monazite sand. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim Guarapari is a dangerous place because people might accidentally eat monazite sand. In that case, all operating nuclear plants are dangerous because workers might swim or drink the radioactive water in the cooling pond.

Dr. Strangelove

Yes the hot spot is inside the sarcophagus and tourists don’t hang out there. If Chernobyl is dangerous because of radioactive water, then all operating nuclear plants are dangerous because workers might swim or drink the radioactive water in the cooling pond. But no worker tried and died doing this

Dr. Strangelove

(Sorry for duplicate posts. Something wrong)
Jeremy Wade’s fear of mutant cells in the fish at Chernobyl is overrated. Cancer is caused by mutant cells. 4 out of 10 Americans have or will have cancer in their lifetime. This is actual statistics. How many Americans swim in Chernobyl’s radioactive water? Wade should check if 4 out of 10 fishes in Chernobyl have mutant cells. By the way, it’s more than 4 out of 10 Americans because some cancer cases are not diagnosed or detected

RAH

It was not Wades fear. The fish he caught were taken to the lab and studied. Wade does not even state it as a fear but as a fact discovered by others.

Dr. Strangelove

If Wade was not afraid of the fish, he should have eaten it. Like this Japanese politician who drank the radioactive waste water from Fukushima. Fortunately he didn’t turn into a mutant ninja turtle. Stan Lee was not impressed, he didn’t even invite the guy to appear in the Superhumans show. Apparently Lee had seen more dangerous stunts in his show. I wouldn’t be surprised if some guy tries to eat the radioactive monazite sand in Guarapari beach. He is more likely to die of choking than cancer.

Dr. Strangelove

Media likes playing up all radioactive things in Chernobyl and Fukushima as scary and dangerous. Nuclear medicine has been injecting people with radioactive isotopes since 1946. These injections are probably more radioactive than the waste water and fish that media is demonizing
http://previews.123rf.com/images/rfoxfoto/rfoxfoto1112/rfoxfoto111200074/11740633-Nuclear-medicine-injection-ready-for-a-patient-Stock-Photo.jpg

MarkW

Assuming there are any hot spots in the city, it won’t take long to find them and clean them up.

RAH

Thanks for confirming multiple times now you didn’t even watch the video before spouting off about what Wade should do or could do or said.

Dr. Strangelove

Macho Jeremy Wade afraid of a “radioactive” fish LOL Don’t go to Chernobyl you might turn into a mutant fish. The radiation level around Reactor 4 is 2.6 uSv/hr. In radiation therapy, patients get 83,333 uSv/hr. That’s just 32,000 times higher! It’s a therapy. It’s to cure people, not to kill them. Still scared of the fish Wade?
http://static.diffen.com/uploadz/2/20/radiation.jpg

Leo Smith
Leo Smith
theorichel

Leo, that is interesting. I was in Guarapari (Brazil where the radiation on the beaches is similar or higher than Chernobyl. But this picture is new to me, what is the location?

acementhead

theorichel July 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm
Leo, that is interesting. I was in Guarapari (Brazil where the radiation on the beaches is similar or higher than Chernobyl. But this picture is new to me, what is the location?

theorichel Google is your friend. In Chrome right click in the image then click “search Google for image”.
(Answer is Hay Tor in Dartmoor.)

Ian Macdonald

A misleading situation because many of the fission products are alpha emitters, and alphas do not contribute significantly to the background count. Reason is that the range of an alpha in air is simply too short to reach the detector, from the ground. But, inhale dust containing alpha emitters, and you are asking for a dose of radiation sickness.
So, whilst it may be safe to walk around on tarmac areas now, that is because the rain has long since washed any contamination off those surfaces. It does not mean that the soil and and any stirred-up dust are considered safe. Yet.

Leo Smith

Radon. the most prominent cause of natural radiation, is an alpha emitter,
Radon is detectable by radiation detectors.
keep clear of those fact exclusion zones folks!

I think you got this wrong. This site lists radiation values in units of micro-Sieverts per hour, not year. I don’t know the accuracy or variability of those numbers, but it really wouldn’t seem likely that radiation levels have dropped below natural background.

RAH

Leave the place alone as it is. You see shows that concentrate on the disaster and the quickly abandoned ghost town but little about how it is a laboratory extraordinaire for researching the long term effects of radiological contamination/high radiation levels on living and reproducing flora and fauna. Lots of data being gathered and research being done as real scientists do the hazardous and grinding work to constantly monitor and document the changes. If there is a better place on earth for such long term in depth research I haven’t heard of it. We humans seem to want to erase so much of the past we deem undesirable but Chernobyl is a place that provides the opportunity like no other to document and analyze the changes over time from initial contamination far into the future.

rd50

Completely agree with you. Can even be of interest to climatologists since at the site below, they can look at tree rings changing due to radiation at 3:27 of the video. Also other interesting videos on youtube about the fauna and flora. Unique for scientific studies on radiation.

SMC

dang it, how do you import pictures?

TheLastDemocrat

A lot of observational data.
The bug patterns and all. If a genuine effect, this should be easily replicable in the lab.

rd50

“How do you import pictures.”
Depends. For this one, it is not relay a picture, it is a picture being displayed for the video presented at this particular site.
For this one, simply copy the the link of the YouTube site where the video is and paste it in your reply here or paste it somewhere else.
So, click on the link showed in your browser of the site you are visiting, the lettering will turn white and highlighted blue. Right click on it, click on Copy on the opening menu.
Then go on this site, start writing your text and then hold the Ctrl key down and hit the letter V. This will paste the site link with your text. Now hit reply. When your reply open on this site it will display the photo of the site with an arrow superimpose on it to start the video.
If it is a photo, right click on the photo, click on Copy on the opening menu and as above hold the Ctrl key down and hit the letter V to paste the photo. The other way to paste it is simply, to right click
on the photo and click on Paste on the opening menu.

SMC: > dang it, how do you import pictures?
If the photo is on your computer, you basically don’t, sorry.
If the photo is a URL to a publicly accessible web site, include it in your comment on its own line. The URL has to end with .jpg for WP to try to display it. See https://wattsupwiththat.com/test/ for more details and practice.

SMC

darn

n.n

The people may not want to live there, but flora and fauna do. The windmill and solar farms are major hazards that disrupt the environment, destroy the habitat of greens, and displace Bambi, too, for marginal returns. Why so pro-choice?

Mick In The Hills

I have yet to see a so-called new green job that isn’t just an existing role re-directed into the renewables field.
This story is another example – it’s just another construction project.

H.R.

I wouldn’t presume to tell the Ukraine what to do.
The Ukraine is doing what it thinks is best for them and I think TonyL nailed what they are really doing (above).
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/31/those-promised-green-jobs-sending-construction-workers-into-a-radioactive-wasteland/#comment-2268942

Andrew

They make an excellent point – large scale solar is best suited to places like Chernobyl and the Mojave Desert where land has zero value and no way to be productively used for anything, and where huge sovereign or supra sovereign subsidies are available.

Leo Smith

The land round Chernobyl; is teeming with life, scarcely radioactive at all and very valuable.

Jenn Runion

I think the people living in the Mojave desert would disagree with your statement.

Analitik

the Mojave Desert where land has zero value and no way to be productively used for anything

A bunch of conservation groups seem to disagree
http://www.desertsun.com/story/tech/science/energy/2016/07/29/why-utilities-and-environmentalists-teaming-up-against-solar-industry/87677852/

commieBob

Lawrence Solomon points to research showing that low level radiation may actually be good for people.
It may be that the exclusion zone is much too large.

Leo Smith

It may be that the exclusion zone is much too large.
Only immediately inside the reactor site is it in anyway dangerous

Ross King

Over recent years, I have stumbled on quite a few articles (of seemingly good provenance) that delve into the issue. Homo sapiens always has been subject to background radiation (varying considerably from place to place, of one sort or another). It was axiomatic (and likely still is in the Halls of Received Wisdom & Settled-Science Orthodoxy) that *any* irradiation is bad for us, and that any exceeding that background level is even worse.
From what I gleaned, the researchers demonstrated that increases in irradiation above background levels are not necessarily detrimental, and in many cases advantageous! ‘They’ posited a cut-off beyond which it really is detrimental, that that level is considerably higher than most people’s background irradiation, and that the benefits generally outweigh the disbenefits up to that level.
The cynics will doubtless argue that such research is funded by purveyors of irradiated meat products (or whatever) but I’d be interested to hear more — please! — from you egg-heads on this site!

Ross King

P.S. That’s it! — radiation hormesis. Thank you brycenuc!
See art. in Wikip for starters.

Leo Smith

The whole planet is made from nuclear waste. Some of it its still ‘radioactive after billions of years’. Get used to it.
PS the man to read is Wade Allison
http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Public_Trust_in_Nuclear_Energy.pdf

aGrimm

The radiation hormesis idea is derived from the pharmaceutical hormesis idea, whereby a deadly substance will have a beneficial effect at low doses. A good pharmaceutical example is the highly toxic digoxin which has huge beneficial heart effects at low doses. Radiation hormesis has a different beneficial effect mechanism than the pharm hormesis, but it definitely has beneficial effects at low doses. I can pull up literally thousands of articles that show the effect. Here is how the effect is believed to occur.
Particulate (alpha, beta, neutron) and electromagnetic (gamma, X-ray) have enough initial energy to break chemical bonds via a couple of mechanisms: direct and indirect actions. As the particle or ray interacts, it loses energy with each interaction until there is not enough energy left to cause ionization. The breaking of the chemical bonds is call ionization. For example the ionizing radiation interacts with a water molecule, H2O. The water molecule is broken into O+ and OH- molecules. Because we are ~80% water, most radiation interactions in the body create these ionized molecules. These ionized molecules are free to interact with other chemicals OR reunite back into water. The former can cause chemical problems in the cell, whereas the latter is ‘no harm, no foul’. Of course the radiation can interact and disrupt the chemical bonds of any chemical in the cell. Because the anti-nuclear types like to focus on genetic (DNA, rNA)disruptions, let’s go there.
Absolutely radiation can break apart the chemical bonds of a DNA strand. However it must be noted that there are all sorts of non-radioactive mechanisms that can break the bonds. Heck, even mechanical trauma can do it. This is where the anti-nuclear types are disingenuous for they report that they found anomalies in some critter’s DNA, which of course they attribute to radiation when in fact it could be due to all sorts of natural mechanisms. Finding the anomalies is only the beginning of the story because the rest to the story is, ‘How does the cell (or organ/body at the macro level) handle the chemical error whether radioactive or otherwise?’
When we exercise, we create lactic acid in the musculature cells. Lactic acid is toxic to a cell. Everyone understands that the more we exercise, then the stronger and healthier (hopefully) we become. Getting rid of the lactic acid from the cell is critical in order for the cells to be stronger/healthier. The more lactic acid buildup, the cell responds by improving its response mechanism to get rid of the lactic acid. This is the concept behind the radiation hormesis theory. In response to a problem in the cell, it ramps up its defenses to correct the fault. Radiation is only one thing that assaults our cells every second of the day. The hormesis theory states that a low level assault helps to ramp up our repair mechanisms. Hence low levels of radiation may improve our defense mechanisms making for a stronger, more viable organism.

otropogo

Thanks for the link. I’ve been trying for years to find out why the mitigation threshholds set by the WHO, the EPA, and Health Canada are 2.7, 4.0 and 5.0 PicoCuries/L , respectively, or even why until a few years ago, Health Canada’s was set at 20.0.
I thought I was making at least some progress in understanding the scope of the problem (described by the government of Quebec as affecting less than 5% of provincial dwellings) when I found a map published online by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation that showed the locations of a national residential radon survey conducted in 2012. Unfortunately, the map didn’t save properly, and I neglected to check the saves at the time (or I would have taken screen shots). When I went back after discovering this, the map had been removed, leaving a note to check with Statistics Canada for the data. Neither map nor data appear at the given link.
IIRC, there was exactly one measuring device emplaced on the entire island of Montreal, and the siting requirements permitted the placement of the device as high as the third floor of a condominium building(in Montreal, condominiums typically have residential units on the lowest level, below the level of the street).
I’ve now had opportunity to take long-term “radon” measurements in two basement bedrooms in Quebec, and both produced readings well above the Health Canada mitigation threshold year-round, with levels three to four times higher when unventilated for three or more days.
“… Springer’s book is not for the pop-cure reader, as attested to by its $240 price tag and its intimidating title, Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold Assumption….”
Dang! Where’s my wallet?
Reminds me of looking to buy the revised edition of “The Natural History of Rabies”, which is selling for $741 new, $498 used, despite being more than 25 years old now. An e-version of Volume 1 of 2 was once advertised for a mere $95, but am having finding any such version now.
I settled for the 1st edition, published in 1975, and found it rather disappointing.

theorichel

Maybe the book ‘Underexposed’ by Ed Hiserodt is available somewhere. It is a popular remake of a book by prof Don Luckey who started the radiation hormesis thing decades ago. Also you can try http://radiationeffects.org/ where the scientists in the radiation hormesis fields gather.

otropogo

@ commieBob
July 31, 2016 at 7:41 am
“Lawrence Solomon points to research showing that low level radiation may actually be good for people.”
thanks much for your link. My previous reply somehow got misplaced. Sorry for any confusion. I would point out that the price quoted in the linked article (circa 2010) for the book Hormesis, has gone down somewhat, at least with US vendors. The US/Canada differential between amazon.ca and amazon.com is striking:
Amazon.ca
by Charles L. Sanders
CDN$ 992.61new(1 offer)
CDN$ 435.05used(1 offer)
CDN$ 231.56Kindle Edition
Amazon.com
Kindle Edition
$177.71
Paperback
$219.00Prime
Get it by Thursday, Aug 4
More Buying Choices
$194.98used & new(23 offers)
[a few minutes ago amazon.com still showed one very good hard cover copy for $97, and 20 for $148]
Product Details
Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold Assumption by Charles L. Sanders (2009-11-10)1656
by Charles L. Sanders
three cheers for NAFTA! Can hardly wait for the Pacific version.

Rainer Bensch

The greens will be against it. Wouldn’t the electricity become radioactive and that mess then delivered through every wall socket. Think of the children. /sarc just in case

mikewaite

It is stated above that Ukraine is very poor. It cannot build the installation without finance from the rest of Europe, including no doubt the debt strapped , energy challenged , UK .
Solar power on this industrial sense will not be profitable without subsidies. If the average Ukrainian consumer is poor then presumably the rest of Europe will provide the subsidies , year on year, indefinitely .
How about the bankers and solar energy moguls asking the taxpayers in the rest of Europe what they think of this idea?

rtj1211

Why will it be Europeans rather than Americans? The US is in charge in Ukraine, after all. They installed the Government and didn’t care too much what the EU thought about it.
They can hardly turn around and expect European governments to subsidise their cronies swindling the peoples of Europe now……

National European government’s won’t be asked. The Brussels oligarchy will decree, after consultations with their German paymasters, and the cash-strapped peons will comply. That’s just one reason why the UK left the EU.

Menicholas

Is it not kind of far north and kind of cloudy in this part of the world?
Much of the year the sun angle is very low and it is frequently cloudy.
I agree that this place is best kept as a nature preserve.
I know!
Build a nuke plant, but a safe one like France has, and get 100% of the electricity of the old power plant there!
And keep the animal preserve, plus have steady rather than intermittent power.
Wonder what the relative costs are…I am sure someone here has those numbers right in the tip of their tongue.

That’s not a bad idea.Certainly better that miles of solar panels. And its already polluted so its not like they are taking any new area and developing it.

Bohdan Burban

Then there is winter snow …

Pop Piasa

We have a truly unprecedented opportunity to get hard data on the long term effects of a radiation excursion in the this zone. Not only how animals fare, but botany and the natural processes that have been burying the radioactive dust.
I don’t think it wise that there should be soil disturbances like those involved in footings for solar and wind installations. Use the area for research and build a tour industry as many are now doing.
Very interesting tour and photojournalism (although it is by a nuclear doomsdayer) here from Elena V. Filatova, whose father was employed as a govt radiation monitor, IIRC.

Pop Piasa

This is in Russian, but shows the present operations in the exclusion zone. I think I picked up words from the context.

rd50

Yes, visit the area. Absolutely fascinating.
Bring your radiation monitor with you. Now, wait a minute, is there an app for this?

The Chernobyl area of exclusion has less background radiation than Grand Central Station or the U. S. Capitol Building. It also below the level of where radiation is harmful and where it is beneficial due to radiation hormesis. What a shame that knowledge of radiation is so lacking among members of the general public.

TonyL

“radiation hormesis”?
You would like to have the public know about that? A little ambitious, I would say.
Let’s check in and see how things are going with educating the public.
Engineering:
Getting people to understand that building a power production system that will never produce as much power as it took to build it represents a deadweight loss.
Success Quotient: Poor to Dismal
Economics:
Getting people to understand that pouring huge taxpayer subsidies into something does not make it cheaper.
Success Quotient: Dismal and Depressing
Biology:
Getting people to understand that CO2 and sunlight is called photosynthesis, and is how living things grow.
Success Quotient: Discouraging and Strongly Negative – People now believe CO2 is a pollutant.
Anything you teach the public about radiation will be instantly forgotten the next time a Godzilla movie comes out.

Pop Piasa

Yes, but what to do with all the metal objects, the Ferris wheel, the bumper cars, the fire engines, trucks and tractors that are still very hot with radiation? I understand the folks in Belarus and Ukrain check out a used car or machinery with their Geiger counter before purchasing.
Also the low background levels depend on not disturbing the fallout buried under decades of vegetation debris and dust.

Leo Smith

but what to do with all the metal objects, the Ferris wheel, the bumper cars, the fire engines, trucks and tractors that are still very hot with radiation? I understand the folks in Belarus and Ukraine check out a used car or machinery with their Geiger counter before purchasing.
I understand that they dont. I understand that there isn’t a shred of scientific or other evidence for your statement.
Anything massively radioactive has decayed by now. If it hasn’t decayed, it isn’t massively radioactive. Thats science.

C. P. Snow was prescient with his Two Cultures, more than he knew, more than we knew when the book was new.

John Greenfraud

The land around Chernobyl has turned into a modern day Garden of Eden with plentiful wildlife, trees etc…. Yes, it still has detectable levels of radiation but with much less effect on nature than was thought possible. Now they want to pave over nature and install their Borg-like blight. Leave it alone — we’ll never have a better laboratory for (actual) recovery times in nature versus the science-y guesswork of catastrophic speculation.

Leo Smith

The land around Dartmoor has turned into a modern day Garden of Eden with plentiful wildlife, trees etc….Yes, it still has detectable levels of radiation but with much less effect on nature than was thought possible.
Dartmoor is a granite landscape popular with holidaymakers in the UK. It is more radioactive than the evacuated city of Pripyat.
There is no place on earth that does not have detectable levels of radiation. Except maybe inside a lead lined box.
The record is held by Ramsar, in Iran at 70-100msv/a:
“Ramsar’s Talesh Mahalleh district is the most radioactive inhabited area known on Earth, due to nearby hot springs and building materials originating from them.[8] A combined population of 2,000 residents from this district and other high radiation neighbourhoods receive an average radiation dose of 10 mGy per year, ten times more than the ICRP recommended limit for exposure to the public from artificial sources.[9] Record levels were found in a house where the effective radiation dose due to external radiation was 131 mSv/a, and the committed dose from radon was 72 mSv/a.[10] This unique case is over 80 times higher than the world average background radiation.” (wiki)
Dartmoor in the UK :
“The largest source of exposure to naturally occurring radioactivity in England and Wales is from the build-up of radon gas in houses. For the country as a whole, the mean annual dose is 1 milliSievert per year (mSv/y). Higher than average doses arise because of geological factors, particularly the natural uranium content of the ground, and the permeability of the rock and soil to radon. The National Radiological Protection Board has been carrying out national and regional studies to identify houses where radon gives rise to high annual doses of radioactivity. The results are not necessarily representative of the housing stock as a whole in the area, as they represented a deliberate attempt to identify houses with high radon concentrations. But the areas identified by the NRPB with the highest mean indoor exposure to radon products are:
Location and County Grid Square Number of dwellings surveyed Mean annual dose (mSv/y)
Eastern part of Sedgemoor, Somerset ST 43 1 56
North-eastern edge of Dartmoor, Devon SX 88 4 41
Coast area of Mount’s Bay, Cornwall SW 52 2 40
North-eastern edge of Dartmoor, Devon SX 78 11 38…”
Extract from Hansard, the official record of the UK parliament Dec.. 05 February 1987
Fukushima:
“I look down at my radiation monitor. It’s reading 3 microsieverts per hour – not enough to get me worried on a short visit, but more than ten times above what the Japanese government has declared “safe” for people to return.
Because of that, this place has been declared off limits for the foreseeable future. That means the people who once lived here are now permanent exiles.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35761136
3uSv/hr is around 26msV/yr. Half some areas of Dartmoor and less than a third of the natural radiation in Ramsar.
It is almost impossible to find any reliable data on Chernobyl radiation levels. A Google search will simply list a thousand sites claiming almost anything as long as it is factually incorrect and hysterical.
Certainly in the reactor building itself, its pretty lethal, but people are working there and not dying. In the exclusion zone the average levels are very low. – in the 10-20mSv/a level, but there are significant hotspots where lumps of reactor ended up.

Griff

I’m a mused a t the concern from posters here over paving over the environment…
Seems OK when its for new nuclear or coal plant!
anyway this is 6,000 out of 100,000 affected hectares – 6%

(a) That would be because nuclear and coal plants are a lot smaller for the same output.
(b) The area *covered* is less than the area *affected*.

Brock

Is the estimated power output of this 23+ square mile solar farm really about 0.5 W /ft^2? Seems like it would have more value to science/scientists left alone.

Leo Smith

10-20W/sq m is about average for solar.
which is about 1-2W /sq ft
[??? What location? Near 1000 W/m^2 at noon in a clear sky, 800-900 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and much lower between 3:00 pm and 9:00 am the next day of course. .mod]

Leo Smith

average over a year in the UK latitudes

I didn’t read all the comments but do they kill all the wildlife that moved in to make room for this EU white elephant ? Just a question for green piece 😉

Not sure why all of a sudden my comment never posted have never had that happen before ?????????

Twice am I blocked for some reason ??????

Pop Piasa

I suppose a 6 mile square of PV panels wouldn’t make much of a dent in the total exclusion zone, plus it would be an experiment on wildlife impacts. Though, it sure is expensive and unnecessary IMO.

Pop Piasa

I also wonder what local impacts on weather are from this albedo change.

Eric Worrel apparently has no clue about “contaminated radioactive sites.” One huge advantage to Chernobl area is that one can know precisely whether there are any dangerous subareas. Radioactivity doesn’t only appear out at night – it will be present at all times and can easily be measured – even a greenie understands what a geiger counter is. Workers in nucear plants are always wearing a radiation detector
that can remember any unsafe levels. Maybe Eric has seen too many 1950’s sci fi movies about the evils of radiation and expects to find giant grasshoppers at Chernobyl.

Duncan

Authur4563 – I am sure Eric is fully aware of preventive measures and Geiger counters. He is pointing out the extremes to which the radical environmental movement and governments will stoop, especially when other governments are handing out free money. The project would not even be drawn on the back of a napkin if not for the free money. So the sarcasm Eric is known for, while dry, is lost on others who actually find a projects like this defensible, especially when someone else is paying for it. Have you ever invested YOUR money in renewable technology start-ups? I should not be forced to invest MY money. Eric does go onto say, “And who knows, maybe the idea will catch on – no doubt there are other highly contaminated industrial disaster sites around the world, which could be profitably converted into renewable installations.”
So maybe he supports it on good land use alone??

RBom

Perhaps EBRD should consider other nuclear contamination sites like Muslumovo and Semipalatinsk. Even as “renewable” energy schemes are just UN-sponsored and state-sponsored fraud at least a small portion of the vast monies would perhaps leak to the local peoples.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/04/nuclear_contamination_in_former_ussr_radioactivity_in_muslomovo_on_techa.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semipalatinsk_Test_Site

‘workers willing to risk their health’
According to Cohen, the most dangerous occupation is being unemployed. My speculation is that a safety culture is an important part of many occupations and something you bring home. Safely dealing with radiation and contaminated is not the difficult.
Eric’s arguments against renewable energy are absurd. Using sarcasm to tell a lie is still lying.
For the record Chernobyl is not an interesting experiment. We learned nothing new about the biological effects of radiation. Do not expose children to I-131.
Unfortunately, the evil empire learned nothing from TMI. A timely evacuation plan would have prevented all but a few deaths.

Leo Smith

For the record Chernobyl is not an interesting experiment. We learned nothing new about the biological effects of radiation. Do not expose children to I-131.
Unfortunately, the evil empire learned nothing from TMI. A timely evacuation plan would have prevented all but a few deaths.

Actually we have learnt a hell of a lot. Enormously high levels of background radiation (by accepted industry standards) have resulted in no adverse health effects on the wildlife that stayed.
AS far as the thyroid cancers go that was less the result of not evacuating than the result of not issuing iodine pills
10 weeks on iodine pills and the I-131 has all fizzled out.
What we learnt from TMI is that a contained core meltdown is expensive but utterly harmless.

“I’m not stupid enough to get a construction job …”
Eric is not smart enough to get a construction job period. Eric appears to get all his information from reading the guardian.
As far as being a troll, if posting on subjects that I am knowledgeable is what a troll does than I am guilty. Duncan when the clueless call me a troll, I take as a complement.

Pop Piasa

Respectfully, classifying others as “clueless” or whatever your slogan happens to be, only relieves you of the courtesy of open-mindedness and consideration. Folks usually find that to be fringe thinking.

So pop how would describe the clueless?

Leonard Lane

Good comment Pop. Some things are easy to say in a comment. Easy to say does not make the correct or conducive to advancing our knowledge.
Thanks for the post Eric, it caused many to think.

Pop Piasa

The goal is to educate them, not describe them. Please be positive in your assertions and avoid those kind of “put-downs” which polarize you from them. We are searching for a common truth here.

Duncan

Kit P – I find this blog refreshing, it supports my view point that we are not all going over a cliff tomorrow. Calling Eric “stupid” is trolling case closed. I welcome and actually desire if more people with opposite view points posted here. Please come back when you can have a respectful and hopefully enlightening conversation or view point. We all might learn something. Good day to you.

Duncan
That is Mr. P to you! You can reply sir, yes sir. If you read Eric’s essay he is not civil.
I am very respectful for those that want to engage in civil discourse. Apparently Duncan does not how to do it.

For those who understand German (but Google translate may help), there is a very good report with lots of details and background about the causes of the Tsjernobyl disaster and the current situation, including comparisons of the background levels at the exclusion zone with other places on earth from Dr. Walter Rüegg, Switzerland, who visited the site in September 2015 with a group of nuclear experts from different countries:
http://kaltduschenmitdoris.ch/images/pdf/Reise%20ins%20Innere.pdf
The main (not too) hot spots are at moss spots: moss does fixate Cs (whatever isotope) from falling dust, which it takes as Na which it needs, including the fallout of the disaster…
I do agree with many here to leave the exclusion zone to what it did become nowadays: a paradise for wildlife…

Paul Johnson

In contrast, think about all the “green jobs” HRC plans for the U.S. Putting Chinese-made solar panels on millions of homes will create thousands and thousands of jobs for solar panel installers. Think of all the ambitious young people putting their “free” college educations to good use as glorified roofers.

“collects corpses”
Wow! I am trying to figure out how theoretical came up with so much BS from his link.
The reason ‘hot particles’ are not very clear is it is something idiots talk about.
‘uranium, plutonium, americium, and thorium’
These are not hot particles. Long lived isotopes are not radiological hazards but may be a health hazard as heavy metals.
The Manhattan Project and the subsequent US weapons program did an excellent job of handling radioactive material which is why we have so little data. The evil empire not so much. What I learned from those studies is that people in the evil empire smoked too much and drank too much vodka.
Let me put in perspective. Plutonium has the same toxicity as nicotine. The latter is inhaled by school children to be cool.
“probably the most contaminated in the world, there is no proof of extra cancer there”
No, it is everyday folks who have naturally occurring uranium in there water wells. Check out the CDC on this subject. Cancer is not the problem, kidney failure is. Uranium who accidentally ingest stuff have their urine sampled.
According to the CDC, there are no examples of environmental problems with uranium. Mercury, lead, and arsenic do have problems.

As I said in my last post, ‘hot particles’ are not very clear is it is something idiots talk about. Generally fear mongers try to relate nuclear weapons to using nuclear reactors to produce power.
Nuclear weapons release huge amounts of energy in a short period of time instantly killing most of the victims. Those surviving the blast could be exposed directly radiation and die of radiation poisoning in the next 30 days.
Fallout from particulate fission products could result in contamination. So take a shower.
In the context of commercial nuclear power, the most common particulate is activated corrosion products. Cobalt-60 is an example of something we are concerned about during maintenance.
There are fission products that particulate. Since Chernobyl was a graphite moderated reactor without a containment large amounts of particulate fission products were released. So take a shower.
So what is the bottom line. Idiots like Eric make lists of reasons to be against something. I am not saying that renewable energy at Chernobyl is a good idea.

dmacleo

been a bit so I may be remembering wrong but wasn’t the soil in whole area/surrounding areas heavily coated with caesium?
iirc (again I may be remembering wrong) it had penetrated fairly deep into soil.

And, so! You have to explain the significance. For example, how does it get into the food chain.

dmacleo

isn’t it water soluble and easily absorbed into plants and drinking water?
thought that was one of the major cancer risks but I have not had chance to check and may be thinking of something else.

Philip Schaeffer

I feel your pain. Every time Eric talks about something that I actually know a bit about, I end up with a bad headache. He is driven by his ideology, not his knowledge of the subjects.

BZ

@Ross King
Working a hazardous job requires training if for no other reason to keep them from freaking out. In the navy that training was one one of my responsibilities as naval nuke officer. While the nuclear trained workers has extensive training, others who enter ‘radiation area’ had to be trained. This included ‘mess cooks’. The risk was explained.
I have worked in restaurants and did the mess cook thing when I was first enlisted. Everything in a kitchen is more dangerous than radiation.

Ross King

TVM for yr factual support.
If current Health-and-Safety Regs. were in force in Columbus’s day (or Cook or Magellan — or NASA’s space-riders) we’d still be stuck in the paddy-fields.
“(S)he who dares, Wins!” (isn’t that the motto of the military elite in UK?)
The converse of which is, of course, “(S)he who doesn’t dare, loses!”
In my Albertan/B.C. view, having lived in both for many years, the difference in attitudes is *very* constructive in life. In Alberta, they say (or said, pre-Notley?): “If there’s nothing to say you *can’t* do “it”, then do it!” In B.C.: “If there’s nothing to say you *can* do it, then you *can’t do it”!
Today’s society is dominated by the latter, methinks. The over-reaching tentacles of Big Gov’t and the ever-willing-to-expand bureaucracy, intent on more Rules, more Power, and preservation of Sinecures, will — in my view — lead to the next Dark Age. Long live entrepreneurial freedom! Since when did inventions come out of a Gov’t Dept?
Yours, in exasperation about my grandchildren’s future …

@Ross
I do not have a problem with safety regulations. If you are in a hazardous occupation and can not handle the paperwork, maybe you should find a different line of work.
Codes and standards are just engineering best practices codified. Regulations put the force of law behind them. Utility A operates nuke safer and more economically by using new maintenance strategies. While many voluntary adopt the concept some do not. After following the legal process, the NRC issue the maintenance rule to enforce better methods.
The methodologies for building nuke plants while protecting the neighbors were forced upon the chemical industry only after the worst industrial accident killed 4,000. Process safety is now a regulation.
As far as renewable energy is concerned, power is a public service. If the public wants wind and solar give it to them. It is not about entrepreneurial freedom.
If you are going to do something you have responsibility to your employees and neighbors.

dmacleo

get enough people glowing there and no artificial light needed……

Ross King

Much as you might think that’s a smart & enlightening remark, it isn’t!
I invite you to visit my 0-20 Scale of Morons, and consider where *I* might place *you*. Think it over and let me know, please?
Or was it just a bad joke?

dmacleo

is u havings a bad day?
get over yourself
learn what tongue in cheek means while doing that too

Let me translate Ian’s BS.
“the use of a volatile coolant under pressure, which must be circulated to avoid boiling”
That would be water for the rest of us. When it boils it produces steam which is a very effective heat transfer mechanism. Steam also drives turbine which turn pumps to pump water back into the reactor vessel.
“the use of zirconium alloys”
Yes, we understand and design for the properties of the material we use.
“safer reactor”
No one has been hurt by LWR designed to standards. Since LWR have a perfect safety record, how are you going to make it safer?
Our operating reactor experience trumps your paper reactor claims.
Power plants of all kinds must be safe. No brownie points for insignificant claims.

David Cage

No one really want to admit it but the danger time is far lower than any estimates we are given. The high intensity half life elements are spent as they are of short duration and we are now into the moderate level longer half life and low level near harmless thousand year half life ones.
Also semiconductors do not work well in high radiation areas so either the levels are now quite safe or they are in for some efficiency problems.
As for giving people solar and wind if they want it they should be first given the same level of brainwashing about the cost and unreliability they are given about it being “free” energy rather than capital intensive and high maintenance but low fuel running costs that overall costs two to three times the fossil fuel alternatives. More if you count the true infrastructure costs of connection of highly distributed sources.

aGrimm

David: you are correct. There are seven factors that influence the hazard of a radioactive material. Two of those factors are half-life and quantity (# of atoms). Not many understand that there is a relationship with these factors. That a nuclide has a long half-life actually works in our favor if there are only a few atoms. Let’s say five atoms of U-238 gets in our body. The odds are that none of the five atoms will emit their radiation in our lifetime. In this case, there will be no harm – period. However, there is a point where the number of atoms does make a difference and a longer lived nuclide becomes potentially more harmful than a shorter lived nuclide, though this is where to other five factors come into play and must be accounted for. For the shorter lived nuclides, say less than seven year, all of the atoms are guaranteed to emit their radiation during your lifetime.

MarkW

From everything I have read, there is little to no reason to maintain the exclusion zone around most of Chernobyl. With the exception of a mile or two around the plant itself, most of it is safe.

Leo Smith

Prezactly. Likewise Fukushima.
Except that you just KNOW what would happen. Someone moves back on and dies of cancer 5 years later and his /her relatives sue the guv-mint for billions. And some whackjob judge allows it to succeed.

Gary Hladik

“Someone moves back on and dies of cancer 5 years later and his /her relatives sue the guv-mint for billions.”
Which would seem to be a potential problem with the Chernobyl solar scheme as well?

Resourceguy

It has two things going for it, 1) low cost land, and 2) throw away money from the UN and other other agencies. On the down side, I will not employ many after construction.

Resourceguy

I’m still waiting for the bio fueled F-35, and by executive order of course.

higley7

This idea is rank with problems. Not only is Chernobyl at a high latitude, which limits solar energy intensity as well as causes huge seasonal variation, but solar thermal plants require huge infrastructure for all the mirrors and huge amounts of water. This means bringing water in from elsewhere, unless they are willing to contaminate all their equipment with radioactive local water. So, who is going to suffer from their water being diverted to this plant? And, the worst negative is the fact that solar energy is only available during part of each day. Saying that such a plant would produce a third of what the original nuclear plants produced is to ignore the unstable, variable, and expense of this plant. Systems for storing heat energy to be able to generate electricity at night are also very expensive. All of this includes disturbing the radioactive subsurface layers that probably lurk in the area.
This is a very bad idea and represents throwing money at a non-problem, money stolen from other people for wealth redistribution by the UN.

@dmacleo
“thought that was one of the major cancer risks”
I would have to see the assumptions in the analysis. For LWRs with contaminants, the risk is insignificant.

Steve from Rockwood

I had the opportunity to visit the Nevada test site in the late 1980s. An estimated 650 atomic detonations, all but 2 of them underground. They had pretty white picket fences around the detonations to mark out the collapse areas. We visited one of the at-surface detonations (20 min limit). No photos please. I can see the appeal of visiting Chernobyl especially if they talk about radioactivity and speak about the only scientist to ever win 2 Nobel prizes in science prior to 1950. I quiz the ladies about this – always to blank stares.

Steve from Rockwood

As I understand Fukashima the main issue was the water from the tsunami flooding the emergency generators. No power, no water circulation. Heat build-up. Bang.

“I’m retired and haven’t kept up on what radionuclides remain in the Chernobyl countryside”
Why would you keep up with at all?
If I am planning work in an area with the potential for the workers to get contaminated with radioactive material or get radiation from other than a natural source; I would then have a Health Physics technician perform a survey of the area. Identifying general area radiation, ‘hot spots’, and fixed and loose contamination.
My last job in the in the navy included responsibilities ‘Health Physics’ department.
“The whole science of determining dose whether from whole body or localized hot spots is extremely complex. ”
Not really! Out at sea operating a reactor often you do not have time for complex calculations. We would use radcon math to get a ballpark number that was good enough to get the job done. We were not dealing with modes, we were dealing with verifiable results. After the job was done we checked to see that we were conservative.
When my wife was working at Hanford’s N-reactor (shutdown at the end of the cold war), she brought home a publish research paper that one of the phd engineers had published. I read the abstract and said 3. Then I read the paper and found the answer was 3 something. The next night, my wife said the engineer had spent a million dollars of DOE’s money getting the answer.
The models for determining worker and off-site does after an accident are very complex. One of my last task was to come up with an engineering fix for an assumption in the model. They assumed 0%. I found that the as designed number was 10% and the best fix would be 2% at a very high cost of the life of the plant. I looked at the model, and we had a 75% margin.
I convinced people that we should reperform the calculation. This time they assumed my system did not work (or 100% failure to buffer water). The reduced the margin to 74.8%.
In Other words, the safety system did not need to be a safety system.
The real answer is to not expose workers to internal contamination. Put the panels someplace else and avoid the cost of complex caclulations.

@Pop
“The goal is to educate them, not describe them.”
Not my goal. Information is available from many sources. Idiots with an agenda are not interested in education. For many years I was anti-coal. With good reason! However, when information became available that showed me things had changed.
I have two goal. One is too learn. The other is to educate where I can.
“ a common truth ”
Is that code for consensus? Some share my goals. Eric is not one of them.

otropogo

@ theorichel
August 2, 2016 at 10:07 am
“Maybe the book ‘Underexposed’ by Ed Hiserodt is available somewhere. It is a popular remake of a book by prof Don Luckey who started the radiation hormesis thing decades ago. Also you can try http://radiationeffects.org/ where the scientists in the radiation hormesis fields gather.”
Thanks very much. Very promising site. Have saved most of the offerings for later study.
The most frustrating issue I’ve encountered in my several years of trying to measure meaningfully and understand residential radon levels is that I’ve yet to find anywhere a discussion of the issues of reliable measurement. EPA and Health Canada simply point the homeowner to the standard short and long term testing devices, without any attempt to make sense of the issues of documentation.
Even though there are States in the USA which require all homes to be “radon tested” before being sold, I haven’t found an explanation of how such testing can be reliable, given the vendor/occupant’s strong financial interest in “documenting” low readings, never mind the time constraints, which completely conflict with the dictum that three day tests should be conducted during the heating season.
I understand that US realtors may use expensive recorders capable of functioning properly in a high humidity environment, and encased in a cage that can be locked in place. However, I’ve never read anything dealing with the issue of the occupant/owner opening doors and windows in the space to be measured and/or putting a temporary fan to work.
Even with the best of intentions to obtain an accurate and meaningful reading/readings, there is no clearly reliable methodology. In fact, it took me several years to find an official government definition of a level requiring mitigation. It was on a Quebec government site, and defined the Health Canada mitigation level to be the average of one year’s readings. This would seem to make meaningful measurement for the purpose of selling or buying a home, or even for determining the need for mitigation, practically impossible.
My own experience demonstrates this. I started with a properly conducted three day cannister test (ie. in the lowest bedroom, during the heating season, with all doors and windows closed for 72 hours). The result that came back from the lab was 17.7 picoCuries/L, more than three times the Health Canada mitigation threshold.
I immediately searched for radon mitigation “professionals” as advised by both Health Canada and the EPA, and found two, both part-time “professionals”, both located several hours’ drive from my home. Both expressed eagerness to embark on major structural changes to my home without further testing, and both wanted several thousand dollars for this work. They “guaranteed” only that the radon level would be reduced to the Health Canada mitigation threshold level of 5 picoCuries/L. Neither offered an explanation of how this figure was arrived at, nor how it would be measured in case of dispute.
I asked what they used themselves to measure radon, and both name the S3 professional, the least expensive electronic radon detector,. And so I bought the same model myself and also began a one-year cannister test, thus doubly replicating my three day test, but in a normal day-to-day environment
The result of my 365 day cannister test was reported as 2.3 picoCuries/L, and my S3 professional never read higher than 13 (a peak 48 hour average) during the course of the year, and the average of the entire year hovered at the mitigation level of 5. Of course I was using the room normally, airing it when possible (it was my bedroom).
Had I listened to the “professionals” licensed and recommended by the government of Canada, I would have spent thousands of dollars to damage my house when (again, according to the same government) there was no need for any mitigation.
Since then, I have offered the loan of my S3 Professional to a number of neighbours, including my physician, who had just become a new father and moved into a new house. Not one accepted my offer.
And it’s not hard to see why. Since Radon in a home is condemned by the government as a health risk, it must be disclosed when a home is put up for sale. And since any level of Radon is deemed, again by the government, as damaging to health, even a low recorded level will make any home less desirable, possibly entirely undesirable, to potential buyers.
Are Health Canada, EPA, and the WHO, and their political masters too stupid to grasp that their Radon mitigation crusade is actually discouraging homeowners from testing for Radon levels in their homes or is this part of a strategy to eventually require government-controlled Radon testing (for the public good, of course) in every dwelling?