A favourite lie of the environmental movement takes another blow

From The GWPF

Date: 30/07/20

Andrew Montford, GWPF

Another nail in the LNT coffin

James V. Neel, author of the ABCC study

A few weeks ago, we at GWPF published a paper by Ed Calabrese and Mikko Paunio, about the linear no-threshold (LNT) model as applied to the harms caused by nuclear radiation. The LNT model encapsulates the idea that there is no safe level of radiation exposure, no threshold below which exposure is not a problem. It is therefore the cause of all extraordinary levels of bureaucracy and safety measures that have all but killed off the nuclear industry in much of the western world.

As our paper showed, however, the post-war science that led to the LNT model’s acceptance was at best plain wrong and potentially even fraudulent. For those who haven’t read the paper, it’s well worth taking a look, but those who have may well be interested in Ed Calabrese’s new paper, which is another nail in the coffin of the LNT hypothesis.

The Muller-Neel dispute and the fate of cancer risk assessment” is a review of the correspondence between members of the so-called BEAR I panel, which was tasked by the US government with assessing radiation risk during the 1950s. It subsequently concluded that the LNT model should be adopted, with fateful consequences for civil nuclear energy ever since. Calabrese was trying to understand how the panel had reached this conclusion despite the existence of the report of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), a major study, commissioned by the US National Academy of Sciences, which had found that the children of atomic bomb survivors seemed to have suffered no ill effects, at least in the shape of genetic damage. This seemed to indicate that prolonged exposure to low-levels of radiation was in fact harmless.

Why then had the BEAR panel reached the opposite conclusion? Calabrese’s review shows that it not only did not take the ABCC study into account in reporting its findings, it didn’t even look at it, instead concentrating solely on studies that extrapolated from animal subjects to human ones. These could be used to argue in favour of the LNT model.

Why would this be? The panel’s correspondence shows that its members’ minds were made up before they started work, and that they had “a strongly unified belief in the LNT model”. Worse still, many of its members were involved in animal studies themselves, and were unhappy that studies on humans were giving a different answer. Essentially the ABCC work had shown that the whole approach of extrapolating from animals to humans was flawed. In essence, groupthink and the self-interest of the panel members put paid to any truth-seeking tendencies they might have had.

Full article here.

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Ron Long
August 2, 2020 6:19 am

This LNT model is why environmentalists (in their many permutations) assign thousands of deaths to Chernobyl, instead of the about 50 that actually died. Not to minimize the tragedy of Chernobyl, which was an inadvisable test gone off the safety protocol, but these types of events are utilized to eliminate nuclear energy. When I was President of a Uranium exploration company in Argentina I consulted with IAEA safety experts in Vienna, Austria, during a Redbook Meeting, and had our geophysicist draw up safety protocols, for employees, neighbors, and politicians. Our safety protocol utilized actual thresholds for various radiation types (if you are a smoker, and breath in Radon, alpha is a serious problem), and set dosimeter protocols. Never did one of our workers exceed 10% of listed maximum exposure in any month, despite some uranium occurrences where the scintillometer went into alarm for over the limit readings. Stay sane and safe (and don’t eat too many bananas, due to K40 radiation).

Reply to  Ron Long
August 2, 2020 1:02 pm

The reason for the dominance of U based civil power generations is that it never was a civil power generation project. Had it been civil project we very likely would be using very different means of harnessing the energy of fission.

The whole reason that nuclear deterrence was successful in keeping the peace in Europe since WWII and forced global powers to play out their conflicts in other people’s countries is because of absolute danger of certain death and total annihilation that we were told a nuclear conflict would result in.

That military detent would not work if we were told it was only mildly dangerous and best to be avoided for too long !!

Now it may be that our generation was lied to scare us into funding the exponentially growing military industrial might Eisenhower warned us about, in the same way the younger generations have been lied to about the dangers of the Satan’s bowel gas: CO2.

I suspect there is as little chance of convincing boomers that nuclear is totally safe as there is of convincing millennials that CO2 is good for the planet.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 10:24 pm

Nothing is “totally safe.”
But a thing does not need to be totally safe to be used safely and be a huge net benefit.
Transportation is very dangerous. Nothing like totally safe.
Fire is dangerous…nothing like totally safe.
Even foods, and producing them, and preparing them.
There are risks and dangers in life.
Managing risk is one of the things we have had to do to progress from the pre stone age to modern technological civilization.

Mark Hansford
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 2:50 am

beautifully put

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 4:58 am

Living is really dangerous so far 100% of people ever born have died although there is a claim about 1 guy who cheated but he hasn’t returned yet.

Jan Lindström
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 6:59 am


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 1:55 pm

Nothing is “totally safe” … except a small dose of ionising radiation. 😉

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Greg
August 4, 2020 3:01 pm

Little sips of water are usually pretty safe too.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 5:32 pm

We are told that it’s wrong to be judgemental…but judgement, being able to weigh risks and benefits, is one of the key things that distinguishes humans from animals…

August 2, 2020 6:21 am

Good. The LNT can’t go away fast enough.

Reply to  SMC
August 2, 2020 1:19 pm

a major study, commissioned by the US National Academy of Sciences, which had found that the children of atomic bomb survivors seemed to have suffered no ill effects, at least in the shape of genetic damage. This seemed to indicate that prolonged exposure to low-levels of radiation was in fact harmless.

It is totally naive to imagine that such a study at the time could be objective science.

Though the strategic merit of dropping nuclear bombs on two major cities of civilian populations may be discussed, it was clearly a war crime. It has to be born in mind that there may have been a certain willingness to limit the catastrophe to those who died in the bombings, rather than accept a liability of genetic mutilation to an unknown number of future generations.

One thing that is documented is some very twisted pine trees in the Chernobyl “nature reserve”. Interestingly some species such as birch are much less affected, apparently.

The number of infants who were affected in neighbouring Belorussian will never be known since the strongly pro-soviet govt. refused to recognise even the existence of radiation poisoning, meaning the West had to accept classifying hundreds of seriously sick children as suffering from some other pathology in order to be able to extract them to the Europe for treatment.

Just as with climate there are totally entrenched positions on both sides of this argument, neither of which is prepared to objectively assess the scientific case.

I guess as long as we need nuclear weapons, we will need to maintain the strategy of government by fear.

Maybe as we move to being controlled by fear of invisible virus strains as the dominant means of population control we can ease up on the danger of invisible radionucleides.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 5:16 pm

You call the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a war crime yet offer no strategy on how to invade the mainland of Japan without suffering the horrendous number of casualties that the Pacific campaign and Okinawa showed our military leaders they could expect! The estimates for that were 1,000,000 casualties for Allied forces and 3-5 million Japanese military and civilians! Perhaps you are willing to make the sacrifice, but I doubt the soldiers, sailors and Marines would have felt the same way! If you want to talk about war crimes perhaps you should look at the atrocities committed by the Japanese in China and their POW camps! Allied prisoners suffered a 25-30% death rate at the hands of their captors, five to six times higher than POWs held by the Nazis! The atomic bombs, while horrific, forced the Japanese to capitulate quickly and completely thereby saving hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives, American, British, Australian AND Japanese!

Reply to  Abolition Man
August 2, 2020 5:24 pm


Reply to  Abolition Man
August 2, 2020 6:29 pm

It is possible the bombs could have been handled differently. We did not know exactly how bad the damage would be since we had only tested one. We could have tried to warn them. But, certainly, we could have waited more than a few days between the two bombs. The damage and shock were so severe they barely had time to even realize and communicate what had happened. It is often said that we only had a few and wanted them to think we had more, but in fact, we could have produced 1 a month and ramped up from there (Plutonium bombs like Fatman from the facilities in Hanford). Invasions could have been moved back a few months. Casualties is dead plus wounded, so the figures for Allied casualties are often misinterpreted to be deaths. We were fire bombing all of their major cities and causing massive deaths in that manner and had them blockaded and most of their ships sunk. We could have kept the blockade going and tried to starve them into surrender. Plus, USSR had declared war after we dropped the 1st bomb. So, we could have got them to surrender without dropping a 2nd bomb or at least given them several weeks to deliberate. Now, the several weeks may not have worked but with the USSR in the war, it may have. Given what I said about us already firebombing them and resorting to starving them out later, some could argue that dropping the 2nd bomb caused fewer deaths. But, it is not as clear cut as often presented. Did not help that FDR died and the inexperienced Truman had to make the decision. “The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes is a great read.

Reply to  Bill_W_1984
August 2, 2020 7:31 pm

Produced one a month? You are dreaming, it would have taken years to reach that level.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Bill_W_1984
August 2, 2020 9:04 pm

Bill W: They were indeed warned and told how completely how terrible it was in no uncertain words! They just didn’t believe it. Please Bill don’t just read one book. For today’s information you have to read many books before you can formulate a tentative opinion, and follow up on each question.

40 years ago, one of my children had a school essay to write on this bomb and how terrible it was. I told him to write the major part as ‘the terrible’ and then muse in a creative conclusion on the millions saved by the bomb including keeping anybody else from dropping one over the past 75years.

You and perhaps Mr. Rhodes, appear to ignore or didn’t know that others, including the Japanese AND Soviet Union were busy working on the bomb. Soviet scientists began thinking about it in the 1930s.

The bomb civilized people who would not have been so forbearing as Americans if they got there first. Can you not think of a good reason for the second bomb? It conjured in minds that America may have had dozens, each one sitting on a runway ready to go! This idea would have struck Sralin instantly. They took until 1955 to explode their first. They were indeed terrified of America – a good thing!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill_W_1984
August 3, 2020 4:20 am

After the first bomb was dropped they were told that there were more and we would use them.
They did not relent and forced the second bomb to be dropped.
At that point in the war, the final outcome was not in doubt…they were prepared to fight to the last man, and force such a battle in order for the war to come to an end.
The Japanese could have capitulated at any time to end the war they started…a war of aggression, in which they intended to keep every inch of territory they had conquered.
They were not going to do what we did when we prevailed.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Abolition Man
August 2, 2020 6:35 pm

I have never understood how killing tens of thousands of civilians through dropping thousands of incendiary bombs was any different then killing civilians with a nuclear bomb.

Entire cities were leveled either way in what was called “total war”. All sides did it – there were no innocent parties here. You can’t point to the U.S. and claim it is somehow more awful then what the Japanese did to the Chinese and Koreans, or would have done to the U.S. given the chance.

The goal for the Americans was to save American lives in a war we did not start. In that the atomic bomb was successful. I am certain that every service member who was facing the task of invading Japan’s home islands was quite happy with the choice – but it’s easy for people who have never been at war to criticize as they never had anything to lose.

It so happens to have saved Japanese lives as well – just different lives then those killed. For the 200,000 or so dead it is estimated that more than 3 million lived who would have died – I think that is probably a low figure. And Japan would likely be a split country like Korea with the Northern Islands captured by Russia and put under communist control.

The real point seems to be completely missed by revisionist historians – wars have consequences.

Reply to  Abolition Man
August 2, 2020 11:28 pm

” The estimates for that were 1,000,000 casualties for Allied forces and 3-5 million Japanese military and civilians! ”

haha war models

you believe in war models

too funny

The PREMISE ( that invasion is necessary ) was an Army premise. The navy plan ( blockade)
was superior, but they lost the argument.

In short, there were two plans ( a navy plan and army plan) both plans were heavy on assumptions
( like all battle plans) with made up estimates of deaths to “back them up”.

estimates for death were all over the map.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 3, 2020 4:18 am

Blockade kill people by starvation. Nice.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 3, 2020 10:31 pm
John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 4, 2020 2:32 am

The Drive-by English Major suddenly discovers that models are “funny” and “heavy on assumptions” with numbers “all over the map”. Now *that* is too funny (and so sad).

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 6:00 pm

The ultimate war crime, that deserves ultimate punishment, is starting a war. Some Germans and some Japanese did that. They were punished.
That is what matters.
You are free to love your strange thoughts about twisted pines = concealed radiation damage, but your freedom to think is a consequence of punishment of those who foment war and hate.
Geoff S

Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 7:30 pm

I get it, anything the US military does, must be evil. Even if you have to complete re-invent terms in order to prove it.

Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 8:07 pm


War crimes are not something that you dislike or regret. They are subject to definitions that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings do not meet.

It is objectively wrong to label something a crime, simply because it kills civilians.

Firstly, an action is only a war crime if it is disproportionate to the military objective required and the expected benefit. In this case, the objective was to end the war quickly and with as few as possible ALLIED casualties. The assumption that casualties suffered by the aggressor are no different from those suffered by the nations defending themselves, is an obvious abandonment of moral standards.

Secondly, the idea that we can make a clean distinction between military and civilian populations in a nation that has mobilised its entire population in support of its war effort, should be self-evidently ridiculous. It requires assuming that targets are determined by the uniform they wear, not tge things that they DO to support the war effort.

Thirdly, the Allies had already suffered through years of war and millions of deaths. The idea that they should suffer hundreds of thousands more – not to mention the risk to the huge numbers of POWs and citizens of occupied territories that the Japanese government had openly threatened to kill, again shows a complete lack of perspective.

The Japanese were NOT talking about surrender. Much of their communication was not decoded until after the surrender, and the first instructions to negotiate a surrender went to their Embassy in Switzerland AFTER the bombing of Nagasaki. The fanaticism of the Japanese defence of Okinawa was the best and most current indication of the Japanese mood and intent. Do not pretend otherwise.

Anyone talking about the supposed benefits of the Russians entering the war, should do some reading on the Russian invasion of Berlin. That was ALSO fresh in people’s memories, as was the suffering of the civilian population at the time.

We had a new and untried weapon, which presented an opportunity to bring the war to an end with minimal casualties on our own side, and far fewer casualties amongst the Japanese than might be expected given recent events. We had to convince the Japanese government and military that not only was defeat inevitable, but that it would not be “honourable”.

It worked. It was the most appropriate thing to do at the time, and the moral panic over nuclear weapons had not yet developed. It is grossly unjust to judge people of that time by the fears and prejudices of a later and far more sheltered generation.

Get over it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  PeterW
August 3, 2020 5:37 am

“The Japanese were NOT talking about surrender.”
In fact, they had in mind finding to the last breathe of the last person alive.
They were taking steps to train and arm civilians.
Hitler had pressed into service old men and young boys by the end of the madness he created.
And by all accounts the Japanese were fanatical in comparison to the Germans.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 7:26 am

In fact, some Japanese officers attempted yet another coup to prevent the broadcast of the imperial rescript announcing the surrender.


Reply to  PeterW
August 4, 2020 10:02 am

Agree, PeterW. Considering things such as the way American/Allied prisoners-of-war were treated by the Japanese (most were worked/starved/diseased to death), and how many American troops were being killed by fanatical Japanese soldiers that would never surrender, and that the atomic-bomb option had just then become available, the American military & the President really had little choice if seeking an end to American deaths & the war since atomic bomb city-destruction was prb’ly the only way the Japanese military & government would be frightened enough to end their warring. In retrospect they were right & there’s no doubt the action saved both American and Japanese lives — as mentioned above an embargo would have starved many Japanese civilians before any consideration of surrender given their militaristic culture.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 10:11 pm

I think you need to look up what Unit 731 got up to during WW2 if you want to call war crimes in to the argument.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 10:38 pm

Just think of the last human to touch the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. That man who pulled the three fail-safe “fuses” and how he felt that day. He still has/had them.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 11:40 pm

Greg Writes:

“Though the strategic merit of dropping nuclear bombs on two major cities of civilian populations may be discussed, it was clearly a war crime.”

Sorry Greg, but the second part of your sentence makes the first part invalid. You are both offering the opportunity of debate and telling the participants the answer in the same sentence.

(also, nit pick – the weapons were atomic, not nuclear. Nit pick. 😀 )

Now I think I am safe in saying that your view is ‘Use of Atomic/Nuclear weapons = War Crime’, and, hey, stick to your ethical and moral convictions, because if you believe then you should say so.

What I am saying is the structure of your sentence is such that you have said, “While you can argue, discuss and debate, you are STILL WRONG”. To be honest I feel you should have just led with “War Crimes!” and saved yourself a lot of keystrokes.

(for the record I find the concept of ‘illegal war’ a bizarre one to discuss. Legal/illegal requires a law to be in place, and for a law to have a point it must be enforced by an authority recognised by the parties involved. At lower levels this is easy to enforce – you break a company ‘law’ as an employee you get dragged in front of HR – however at international level we are talking literally ‘Yeah? You and who’s army?’

(basically you cannot stop someone from going to war without the threat or application of force, or, to word it another way, you stop wars by threatening wars. Parabellum.)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Craig from Oz
August 3, 2020 12:20 am

“Craig from Oz August 2, 2020 at 11:40 pm

(also, nit pick – the weapons were atomic, not nuclear. Nit pick. 😀 )”

Nope! Both were a nuclear, fission, reaction.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 3, 2020 2:10 pm

Thanks Patrick. But please don’t pick on nits.

Unfortunately Craig did not explain what the super subtle but important difference between the two was.

It is hard to see how a bomb deriving its energy from the binding energy of the nucleons inside a nucleus as the nucleus splits into multiple new nuclei , is not “nuclear”.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Craig from Oz
August 3, 2020 5:11 am

“also, nit pick – the weapons were atomic, not nuclear. Nit pick.”

Atomic bombs are most commonly described as a subtype of nuclear weapons.
IOW… atomic bombs are nuclear weapons.

For ordinary semantic purposes, the terms are more or less interchangeable, but technically speaking, atomic bombs use fission reactions, while the other type of nuclear weapons use a more complex set of reactions to produce both fission and fusion powered energy release.
To achieve the energy output and temperature required to induce fusion reactions, an atomic trigger explodes first, at which point various means are employed to focus the energy, subatomic particles, and radiation, to cause fusion in another component of the device.

They are all nuclear.
The energy derives from the release of the binding energy of the nucleons in the nucleus of atoms…large atoms in the case of fission devices, small atoms in the case of fusion.
At the apex of the nuclear binding energy chart is iron. Atomic nuclei smaller than ~iron (or nickel, depending on the isotope. Fe-56 is the commonly occurring isotope with the highest binding energy per nucleon, but Ni-62 and Fe-58 are slightly higher.) will yield energy when fusion occurs, while atomic nuclei larger than ~iron will yield a release of energy when fission occurs.

Amazing to consider where all of the atoms are thought to have come into existence:


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 8:46 am

It’s an interesting topic that I’ve discussed with multiple nuclear engineers here are at work (note, engineers are not physicists, but their understanding is sufficiently advance to have interesting conversations). Essentially, there doesn’t seem to be any agreement as to whether we use fusion-pumped fission bombs, or fission forced fusion. As I recall, you could find evidence to support either.


Patrick MJD
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 4, 2020 2:34 am

“ripshin August 3, 2020 at 8:46 am

Essentially, there doesn’t seem to be any agreement as to whether we use fusion-pumped fission bombs, or fission forced fusion.”

Exactly! If Greg wants to go atomic, that’s his problem. He is still wrong.

August 2, 2020 6:21 am

“the post-war science that led to the LNT model’s acceptance was at best plain wrong and potentially even fraudulent. ”

Was shown to be fraudulent more than 40 years ago.
Apartments in Korea built with steel from ships in Bikini nuclear tests
Studys of the health of Nuclear plant workers in England
Radiation for control of cancer – although harmful if too much.

Reply to  Dusty
August 2, 2020 1:24 pm

“Radiation for control of cancer – although harmful if too much.”

LOL, the idea is exactly that it is highly dangerous and destroys the slightly mutated human cells you don’t like. The object is to be as targeted as possible in the hope that you can kill the cancer before you kill the patient.

Hardly evidence of fraudulence.

Reply to  Greg
August 2, 2020 11:49 pm

Greg, besides the destruction of the cancer cells by a high dose of radiation, the surrounding cells do get a high dose of radiation too (minimised by radiation from different angles), but even so, there is little evidence that these extra irradiated cells lead to more cancers after the treatment…

Reply to  Dusty
August 2, 2020 1:27 pm

“Radiation for control of cancer – although harmful if too much.”

LOL, the idea is exactly that it is highly dangerous and destroys the slightly mutated human cells you don’t like. The object is to be as targeted as possible in the hope that you can kill the cancer before you kill the patient.

Hardly evidence of frau-dulence.

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 2, 2020 6:28 am

A small extract from

When the worst occurs, and the fuel melts, the amount of particulate matter that escapes from the plant is insignificant in contrast to both the fiery explosions of fossil fuels and the daily emission of particulate matter from fossil- and biomass-burning homes, cars, and power plants, which kill seven million people a year.

Thanks to nuclear’s inherent safety, the best-available science shows that nuclear has saved at least two million lives to date by preventing the burning of biomass and fossil fuels. Replacing, or not building, nuclear plants, thus results in more death.

In that sense, Fukushima did result in a public health catastrophe. Only it wasn’t one created by the tiny amounts of radiation that escaped from the plant.

Many highly populated areas on planet Earth have relative high levels of radiation from the ground, without any noticeable health effects.

The great scientists could have DuckDuckGo’ed and be done with by looking at the non-negative-health issues of the Brazilian beaches. See more in comment by Usurbrain:

There are even signs put up at the “Black Beaches”, saying the the extra radiation is good for rheumatism and other things. That may be a bit overblown business scam though 🙂

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
August 2, 2020 7:31 am

Radon cure is an old medical advice…..

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 2, 2020 9:22 am

Perhaps radon would make the HCQ cocktail even more effective. Mix enough things together and something is bound to work.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 2, 2020 9:37 am

Oh no you didn’t!
Oh no you did not!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 2, 2020 10:22 am

That’s the kind of thing the designers of the massive overdose HCQ trials by sinistral -leaning researchers on elderly sick people could have used if it had occurred to them!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 3, 2020 8:50 am

I mean, while we’re at it, maybe we could use radioactive lysol to disinfect people’s insides…


Robert W. Turner
August 2, 2020 6:29 am

Hmm going with fraudulent on this one. Just like the IPCC, when your entire purpose is built around one thing, you will find that one thing is a “truth”.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Robert W. Turner
August 2, 2020 11:30 am

Years ago is was discovered that the steel I-beams of a major office building in a major Japanese city were contaminated with a radioactive isotope of cobalt instead of normal cobalt. Before alarming the residents of the building, the authorities did a study of the residents and those of the surrounding buildings. To their surprise, they discovered that the people in the “hot” building were healthier than those in the surrounding buildings. Apparently, this higher radiation level keeps the human immune system active and wary, which made them healthier rather than ill.

“The toxicity is in the dose” and the ZNT approach is just ingenuous and stupid, but it serves the bureaucrats want for power over others. The requirements for mercury in the air were so stringent up Obama, aimed at attacking power plant emissions in the war on coal, that sea air off the ocean was in violation of the regulations. And, ozone limits were so low that forests were in violation of laws on a sunny day, as trees emit ozone.

Reply to  Charles Higley
August 2, 2020 3:33 pm

I don’t know, if known, whether having no harmful radiation is dangerous.
Or everyone is getting some level of harmful radiation. And it might hard to get that level closer to zero.
And of course UV light is also harmful radiation, and unless one has proper diet and/or taking D3 supplement, that lack of harmful radiation would kill you.
But planet Earth is one big nuclear reactor and everyone bombarded with some levels of GCR. You need potassium, and don’t there available potassium which does not have radioactive isotopes. Or bananas have more potassium in them, and eating bananas is eating more harmful radioactive material.
Our yard has radioactive material in it. The surface of earth down 1 km diameter hemisphere has more “natural” radioactive material than what one nuclear power plant would make.
One might imagine the ocean would less radioactive. I think there it is but a lot uranium in the ocean:
“Gill notes that seawater contains about three parts per billion of uranium. It’s estimated that there is at least four billion tons of uranium in seawater, which is about 500 times the amount of uranium known to exist in land-based ores, which must be mined.”
But ocean is big. How compared to amount gold in ocean:
“Ocean waters around the world contain about 20 million tons of gold in them. When I say “in” that is meant literally, there is gold in ocean water.”
So a lot more uranium than gold in ocean. And thorium is higher abundant than uranium. And there a lot potassium in the ocean. Oh,
“For example, U is quite soluble in sea water, Th is nearly totally insoluble”
The first question most people ask about radioactivity in the natural environment concerns health risks. The following list shows the radioactivity found in a typical adult human body of 70,000 grams (about 154 pounds).”
Gives chart, and the potassium and Carbon {carbon-14} are most radioactive stuff in in all humans.
I guess human are more radioactive than seawater. Or seawater would be low level. And have remove radioactive isotopes from the potassium
and carbon you eat to get a less radioactive “environment” benefit from living in the ocean.
And if did that, would it kill you?

Reply to  gbaikie
August 2, 2020 7:51 pm

The theory that low exposure to various toxins and/or radiation induces a protective somewhat like giving a vaccine is called hormesis and is well established for many different toxins. We know that our cells have enzyme systems that neutralize many toxins and those systems can be stimulated. We also have complex DNA repair mechanisms in our cells.

There are many simple demonstrations of the presence of thresholds below which toxins show no measurable ill effects, whether it is arsenic in the water supply or low level radiation. For example, the drinking well water here in NM is high in arsenic, but there is no increase in arsenic related toxicity reported in NM. Because of our elevation and natural presence of trace amounts of radioisotopes in our soil, background radiation exposure in NM is said to be about twice that of people living at sea level. But there is no reported increase in radiation related cancers in NM.

August 2, 2020 6:32 am

“Scientists” appear to become more untrustworthy by the day.

The latest incident in the UK is England’s Chief Medical Officer stating publicly that the only way it will be safe to re-open schools in September will be by closing pubs! Who do these guys think they are?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Newminster
August 2, 2020 7:32 am

Because the kids only change the places where they sit ???? 😀 😀

Krishna Gans
August 2, 2020 6:33 am

Current Research

But since the turn of the current century, researchers have been reexamining radiation hormesis, applying LDR treatment in various disease settings in laboratory animals.

Various studies in mice have found that exposure to low-dose radiation protects against the effects of subsequent exposure to mid-lethal doses of X-rays, minimizing DNA damage and mortality

Could Small Amounts of Radiation Be Good For You? It’s Complicated.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 2, 2020 12:52 pm

I eat lots of bananas to get my radiation dose.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 2, 2020 1:27 pm

My rationalization for eating potato fries.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 2, 2020 11:57 pm

I recommend climbing a mountain. Many are formed of granite and other rocks that have measurable amounts of radioactive minerals in them, you get more exposure to cosmic rays as you gain altitude and let’s not forget the exercise and it’s benefits. Kind of a win, win, win!
Where I live in the Southwest there is a large swath of higher radiation level terrain running from the Rio Grande to the Four Corners area; that’s why I run all the water I drink through an activated charcoal filter. I would presume the reason for this is that the volcanic lava deposited over the area came from deep within the Rio Grande Rift and was therefor higher in radioactive elements than most surface deposits, but I will defer to those more knowledgeable on the geology.

Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 6:34 am

I ask the many radiographers that I encounter through my work (medical imaging) what their thoughts are on radiation hormesis, the vast majority have never heard of it. Unfortunately difficult to study but entirely feasible the body’s repair mechanisms are stimulated by low levels of ionising radiation, potentially leading to repairs of cells that otherwise wouldn’t have been and possibly prevent tumours developing. Similar principle to the way antibodies are developed to fight viruses.

Reply to  Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 6:55 am

Radiation Hormesis has been a taboo subject for decades. The subject has just, relatively, recently begun to be talked about more openly. It’s not surprising the medical imaging folks haven’t heard of it.

Ron Long
Reply to  Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 7:07 am

Dr Vague, I am 100% in agreement with the theme of hormesis. When adapting radiation safety protocol we encountered many references to incidental exposures of radiation, at low but measurable levels (Dusty above mentions some aspects of this) and their health was apparently approved. Workers around radiation tend to have better long-term health statistics, but that may be at least partly due to mandatory semi-annual check-ups. Hormesis also extends to other impacts other than radiation, but you won’t find many doctors that agree with this.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 2, 2020 8:21 am

“and their health was apparently approved”

Approved or improved? I’m picturing people walking around with a stamp of approval on their foreheads.

Ron Long
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 2, 2020 5:50 pm

First you improve their health by regular medical check-ups, then you approve of their status by stamping their foreheads. Fixed it.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 7:12 am

Studies of radon in residential homes showed that the radon radiation hormesis did show up as a benefit in low doses. However, the EPA uses the LNT model for residential radon. It was based on mine workers in Pennsylvania without regard to smoking, air quality or any other environmental conditions in the mines.
There has never been a case of lung cancer that can be traced to residential radon exposure yet there continues to be a radon scare. Yet real estate transactions and home owner concerns about their health are affected by LNT models of the level of acceptable radon. With the development of a multi billion dollar industry around radon testing and mitigation, there is no political way to end the misinformation.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 2, 2020 8:27 am

When they started scanning workers coming into the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island 1 some of them were setting off the alarms. Turns out they were getting radon on their clothes from their basement because the granite in the area would off-gas radon.

And one of the anti-nukes would patrol the perimeter of the plant with a Geiger counter, to detect any radioactive emissions from the plant in spite of the self monitoring the plant did. It runs out she was picking a a considerable dose from the radon in her basement. But indicated that was OK, because it was “natural” radiation. What a crock.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  oeman50
August 2, 2020 10:35 am

It is not the radon which is responsible for the health problems, but rather the short lived radon daughters (SLRDs) and their decay products, such as the alpha particles. The SLRDs can be breathed in where they could cause a problem. The radon is merely a source for the SLRDs. These SLRDs have a half life of less than 30 minutes. When the SLRDs attach themselves to something they are considered plated out and are no longer a health hazard.

Reply to  Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 7:32 am

Lawrence Solomon, and his group Energy Probe, campaigned against nuclear energy for years. I’m not sure if Solomon now supports nuclear energy but he’s willing to call BS when he sees it.

I think the first time I heard about radiation hormesis was in this article by Solomon from 2010. In it he cites the academic tome Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold Assumption by Charles L. Sanders. It makes the point that some amount of nuclear radiation is beneficial and has extended the lives of Americans by as much as a decade.

We’re seeing two shifts in public opinion here. The first is the growing realization that there is likely to be a long term shift to nuclear energy. I’m astounded at the lack of push back. Given the vileness of the SJW cancel culture I would expect people who speak positively about nuclear energy to at least lose their jobs if not worse.

The other shift is that public trust in ‘experts’ is just about zero because ‘experts’ as a group have shown themselves to be irredeemably corrupt. I have a particular hate on for Dr. Michael Mann and would love to call him the poster boy for expert corruption but I can’t. There are ‘experts’ and groups of ‘experts’ who make him look like a choir boy.

Why do I put quotes around ‘expert’? The accepted definition of expert includes those who have demonstrated expert performance, like engineers, surgeons, musicians, etc. The accepted definition of expert also includes those who merely know a lot about a subject. Society would collapse without the one kind of expert. It would do just fine without the other.

When people insist you should believe them because they’re experts, realize that a PhD in grievance studies talking about anything at all is not the same as an airline pilot talking about airplanes.

old engineer
Reply to  commieBob
August 2, 2020 8:58 am

commieBob –

I hadn’t heard the term “grievance studies” before. I googled it, and found a YouTube video from the three academics that purposely had seven hoax papers published to expose the agenda of the many “-studies” programs in universities. See:


Reply to  old engineer
August 2, 2020 11:37 am

Thanks for the link. I had somehow managed to miss seeing that video until now. It brightened my day.

Reply to  Dr Vague
August 2, 2020 9:45 am


Yes, agreed LNT

I have always been interested in radiation hormesis and have had to listen to our RAD “safety officers” drone about LNT for damn near 20 years. They seem to completely miss and worse not even question the very logical fallacy of LNT. Life on this planet started when both the Earth ( it had no name in those days ) and solar system were young and were both a mess in terms of radiation.

During one of my first RAD safety training session upon entering the NM industry I quipped, “That is one of the most anti-scientific thing I had ever heard”. The trainer stated well is been proven. My response: animal studies show this; offspring from the human survivors have no genetic abnormalities. Please show me the papers and studies. I reminded her that we live in a radio-logically active universe furthermore the further back in time you went the higher the background radiation there was and life still happened. It is also impossible to live in LNT universe and if we cannot live in that universe and we still live then LNT must be invalid. And that I could send her many documents on radiation hormesis. I asked her to explain the lack of expanded cancer rates in Iran, Brazil and airline crews. Reminded her we are using radiation to save people’s lives. She stated that I obviously had no knowledge of radiation. Informed her I had completed a minor in Nuclear Chemistry and completed several internships at some of the national labs. She kicked me out of the training.

Odd that same thing happened during my unconscious bias “training” when I pointed out that evolution gave us these biases for a reason.

I work in nuclear medicine an engineer on the the particle accelerators/beam lines for both PET isotopes for disease diagnostics and for proton therapy. The final energy of these two machines are very different. Both are H- and with the final accelerated particle being just the proton.

Dr Vague
Reply to  JEHILL
August 2, 2020 6:03 pm

Interesting job you have JEHill, I am envious. It’s mainly CT for me. Funny thing is that major development around CT now revolves around dose reduction rather than image improvement. Have also noted many physicians reluctant to CT their patients due to the exposure to ionising radiation. Looks like LNT is here to stay for a while yet unfortunately.

Reply to  JEHILL
August 3, 2020 2:10 am

Humans are also animals.
Or how do you think we are different?
I would rather stick to the LNT model, if it is tested in animals.

August 2, 2020 6:50 am

A complete review of the question of radiation safety would be good, but, I don’t think it would go the way the author thinks it will. Lots of genetic damage in Iraq (Fullajah babies) and Chernobyl affected regions (children of Chernobyl). The two atomic bombs over Japan were high air blasts with most of the fallout dispersing with the winds, likely out to sea.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  icisil
August 2, 2020 9:25 am

Dosage is everything. The point is that the effects are non-linear and that the effects of low dosages cannot be extrapolated from those of high dosages. Life on Earth has had to deal with background radiation since the planet formed and life evolved. The body has repair mechanisms that can handle a certain amount.

Reply to  icisil
August 2, 2020 1:43 pm

I’m guessing that these claims are similar to your claim that the USS Ronald Reagan had to be dry docked for decontamination just because it had sailed through the cloud from Fukushima.
In other words, completely made up.

Reply to  MarkW
August 2, 2020 6:48 pm

For some reason you insist on playing the fool. The Reagan sailing through the plume and subsequent decontamination is well documented. Whether the ship was dry-docked or not, I don’t know, but it went offline at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for over a year for decontamination.

Reply to  icisil
August 2, 2020 7:34 pm

The so called decontamination was limited to replacing a few air filters.

What you know, and what is, rarely coincide.

Leo Smith
Reply to  icisil
August 2, 2020 3:41 pm

When were nuclear weapons used in Iraq?
What ‘Chernobyl children’??’

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 2, 2020 6:50 pm

Depleted uranium munitions in Iraq. Look up “Children of Chernobyl” (if you have a strong stomach).

Reply to  icisil
August 2, 2020 7:34 pm

Depleted uranium isn’t less radioactive than your granite counter top.

Reply to  icisil
August 3, 2020 12:11 am

You are aware that published studies concluded that no evidence could be found that Chernobyl had nothing to do with the very real problem? Also that some locations even further away, far upwind and outside of any possibility of where fallout could have landed, have had an even greater incidence of deformed children born. After the professional studies found nothing, an environmental groups’ paid study concluded that isotopes in too small a quantity to detect had likely been consumed or breathed in by women and thus produced the defects in their children. While “Chernobyl children” has garnered many followers, and lots of donations, the claims rest on speculation rather than evidence.

Reply to  AndyHce
August 3, 2020 4:45 am

Being in an area of fallout wasn’t necessary for severe contamination. There was a sheep shearing factory not in a contaminated zone that became a radioactive hotspot because of all the radioactive sheep brought there from outside the area.

Reply to  AndyHce
August 3, 2020 4:56 am

Wool processing plant, not sheep shearing plant. Chernihiv was not in a heavy fallout zone, yet Liquidator status was requested for 298 people who worked in the plant there.


John Endicott
Reply to  AndyHce
August 4, 2020 2:44 am

the claims rest on speculation rather than evidence.

That sounds about par for the course for the anti-vaxxer poster you are trying to talk sense to.

Reply to  icisil
August 3, 2020 5:30 am

If you want to read the DU report on Iraq

You get a higher dose from a banana

The radiation exposure from consuming a banana is approximately 1% of the average daily exposure to radiation

Flight Level
August 2, 2020 7:01 am

Occupationally exposed to cosmic radiation aircrews glow in the dark, just observe our smiling radiance as we proudly walk the hallway.

Ready for our next mission, safely haul another charter of eager for vacations souls to Kannur in the province or Kerala, one of the most naturally radioactive spots on earth.

Well that was before COVID restrictions though.

HD Hoese
August 2, 2020 7:06 am

Calabrese appears to be an excellent scientist. Checked on hormesis not long ago in a recent toxicology book, very thick nowadays, said it was considered controversial. Suspect that it is just complex as shown in this paper. Life had to not only adapt, but conscript what was available, not always the best, toxic here, necessary there. Hormesis effect dates from 1880. Precautionary principle, morphed into “guilty until proven innocent,’ a little over a century later.

Calabrese, E. J. 2008. Hormesis: why it is important to toxicology and toxicologists. Environmental Toxicology Chemistry. 27(7):1451-1474. pdf available

Reply to  HD Hoese
August 2, 2020 7:19 am

There are, as yet, no hormeopaths listed on-line.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  HD Hoese
August 2, 2020 9:28 am

I’ve suspected for a while that cellular repair mechanisms actually have an evolutionary “fudge factor” built in to allow for a certain number of mutations in non-critical areas, such as limb length, coloring, etc, in order to promote environmental adaptation.

August 2, 2020 7:12 am

LNT supports the entire Health Physicist (aka radiation safety) community. Not unlike the Climate Scientist community supported by the “Climate Change” thesis.

Reply to  DHR
August 2, 2020 11:05 am

I made a career of Health Physics, mostly in the university/research community. There are three types of HPs: regulatory, practical, and scientific. The regulatory types propagate the LNT theory to the max because their real job is to expand regulatory authority/power/control and assure their jobs. Because they have the power and money of government, they have always prevailed in the argument over the lower limit of danger via the absurd LNT theory. Almost all regulatory types believe and teach the LNT theory.

The scientific HP types study the effects of radiation. Studies countering the LNT theory are rarely well funded while studies supporting the LNT are promoted via government grants. Occasionally, good studies countering the LNT get through. In the 1950s a lot of good studies were performed and supported by the government, but these “disappeared” with the rise of the EPA and its “dangers-of-Radon” push. The head of the EPA’s Radon bureaucracy, on two occasions, told HP conferences that when the EPA determines their rulings, they did not and would not consider any study that countered the LNT!

The scientific HPs tend to be a mixed bag of those who are scientifically open minded and those who adhere to the government message. There are thousands of studies, most from the 1950s which demonstrate that low doses of radiation are beneficial to all forms of life. My first introduction to this was during a couple year stint as a regulator and my first work as an HP. I inspected a fishery research facility and found out they were giving small doses of radiation to fish roe. More roe hatched and the fish came back bigger and healthier. This immediately told me something was wrong with the LNT.

Practical HPs are those who have to implement the regulations and protect their employer from the government bringing the hammer down on the employer. Again there is a mixed bag of pro and anti LNT in this group. Like me, most are originally indoctrinated into the LNT camp. The smarter ones eventually figure out that the LNT is a crock of manure. In the small world of university Health Physicists, I did not know a single one who thought that Radon at environmental levels was a problem. We were always caught between the regulators and our knowledge that the LNT has serious scientific problems. There are three basic theories on the risks of radiation. I would teach: the LNT (for which I would point out its flaws), and two slightly different theories demonstrating no real risk at low levels but then a threshold would be reached where it became risky according to dose. There are studies that show changes in cells at the micro level from low doses but there are no studies that show any demonstrable risk from radiation below 5 REM. Thus if your HP only preaches the LNT theory: 1) he/she is probably not very bright, and 2) has been indoctrinated by those who wish to control.

August 2, 2020 7:14 am

With the falling Earth’s magnetic “shield” and the Sun starting to come back to life, looks like underground is the only place to go (for some).

George Daddis
August 2, 2020 7:15 am

The damage of this model is a lot more widespread than with respect to radiation.

The combined application of the two principles; “no lower threshold” and “linearity”have been used by alarmists and activists for decades resulting in ridiculous and completely useless regulation.

Linearly extrapolating large harmful doses of something which causes sickness to Y number of people becomes the basis to argue that a smaller dose of 1/100 of that amount will impact 1/100 of Y people – down to imperceptible amounts.

When LNT is applied to national populations of millions of people they can assert “This evil causes hundreds of deaths a year” without coming up with any bodies!

This is abused not only by government agencies (air, water and ground quality) but medical charities (Heart Association, American Lung Association (asthma, heart disease) but even those anti-tobacco groups (e.g. some arguments against 2nd hand smoke).

Reply to  George Daddis
August 2, 2020 11:19 am

GD: I concur. A way to counter this nonsense is to use the term hormesis, which comes from pharmacology and using everyday pharmacological examples. For example, digoxin in low doses helps control heart problems. In high doses it is extremely toxic. Extracting risk from high dose to low dose without evidence is just plain lousy science.

Reply to  aGrimm
August 2, 2020 6:51 pm

Very true. EPA uses low dose extrapolation all the time. Anything that is easy to measure, such as mercury, gets LNTd to absurdity. It is simply an excuse for not doing the job.

August 2, 2020 7:38 am

I’m coming to the conclusion that people, and apes in general, are selfish, and also innumerate. It’s not necessarily the selfish part that is most troubling.

It’s hard to fathom how gambling industries can exist, for example, and even be state sponsored. But then there is some rationale in the notion that if you don’t play you can’t win.

More significant perhaps, is the problem that extrapolation is subject to even greater abuse in thought.

Reply to  Scissor
August 2, 2020 8:37 am

and also innumerate”

And also they say a lot of redundant things, too, as well. 😉

August 2, 2020 7:43 am

“The failure to assess the human genetic study of Neel and
Schull (1956a) at this most crucial time in risk-assessment
history represents a profound abrogation of responsibility by the
National Academy of Science leadership and the BEAR Genetics
Panels…. The adoption of LNT occurred during a ‘perfect storm’
consisting of: heightened societal fear of nuclear confrontation;
continuing nuclear fallout from atmospheric testing;
ideologically based policy and scientific leadership of the
Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. NAS; and a handpicked, highly
LNT-biased Genetics Panel that was dominated by an even
more-determined Hermann Muller.”
My bold.
Rockefeller again.

When Truman committed the only nuclear terrorism ever, one can see the intent – Tavistock susceptibility, today known as behavioral psychology. In other words Truman sacrificed 2 Japanese cities to terrify and “nudge” Americans. LNT nudging just had to continue – just remember what was at stake!

Now today, Professor “Nudge” himself, Cass Sunstein, of Obamacare infamy, joins the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights & Sciences for Health. In 2008 Sunstein, the husband of Samantha Power, co-authored the paper “Conspiracy Theories,” which called for “cognitive infiltration” of groups
promoting what he in his unerring wisdom considered to be thought crimes.

It is indeed a “perfect storm”, so what will the behavioral psychologists try next?

Pat Frank
Reply to  bonbon
August 2, 2020 10:35 am

In other words Truman sacrificed 2 Japanese cities to terrify and “nudge” Americans.

Not correct. Those bomb made an invasion of Japan unnecessary. Japan was committed to continuing the war to its bitter apocalyptic end.

The historical monographs in R. J. Maddox, “Hiroshima in History” provide a detailed account of the military events and planning, including casualty estimates following the extreme of casualties and fighting that occurred on Okinawa, all of which preceded the use of atomic weapons at the end of WWII.

The first chapter concerns Gar Alperovitz’ manufacture of the slander that Truman A-bombed Japan for reasons of propaganda.

The bottom line is that dropping those bombs prevented an estimated 10 million Japanese deaths and 1 million American casualties.

Reply to  Pat Frank
August 2, 2020 3:48 pm

Pat, correct.
I am confident that most honest people believe there was many lives saved by dropping the bombs on Japan.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Pat Frank
August 3, 2020 5:32 am

Not to mention people in numerous other countries that were being daily blown up, starved, tortured, and otherwise deprived of an ability to have any sort of normal existence.
So every day the war went on, countless numbers of people were being harmed in countless ways.
The notion that what was done to end the war, a war of aggression in which the US was attacked, can be considered terrorism, is offensive.

Such historical revisionism is not just sickening and offensive, it is dangerous.
It seems to be akin in some way to the idea that one is only morally justified to respond to an attack with an equal level of response. IOW, if someone is trying to stab you, you can only stab them back. BS. When someone is attacked, the attack itself is moral justification for whatever means can be employed against the attacker to end the attack.
There exists no moral imperative to fight things out on terms set by the aggressor, in any situation, whether a person being mugged, or burglarized, or one country attacked by other country in an act of war.
To put it simply…they are the ones who asked for it.

Reply to  bonbon
August 2, 2020 12:26 pm

People arguing that the bombs on Japan were morally wrong generally appear to have inserted their heads into a working nuclear reactor core and exhibit a CNS-brain totally destroyed by radiation. There is no sense in any of their utterances.

By mid 1945 both the USA and USSR were poised to invade mainland Japan.
Japan’s entire culture and religion forbade and prevented any thought of surrender.
Thus the US invasion plans foresaw a campaign lasting almost up to 1950, involving not less than 1 million fatalities among US forces and many times more among the Japanese.
With no atom bombs, the Japan invasion would have ended sometime in 1948-1949 with US and Soviet soldiers meeting eachother halfway up Japan.
The Northern half would have become another east Germany, and another cold war flash-point would have been created.

You realise how good a thing the bombs were watching the end of the “Band of Brothers” series, when Germany has surrendered but the divisions remain mobilised, waiting for a transfer to Japan to continue a war there for several years, potentially larger than the whole Europe campaign.
When all that was obviated by the atom bombs, one appreciated how good a thing atomic technology was for humanity, and also the inevitability that it would be politically opposed.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Phil Salmon
August 3, 2020 5:47 am

I recently watched that whole series over again.
And there are numerous documentaries made using actual footage from the war, both in the Pacific and in Europe.
In many ways, the versions depicted in movies and TV shows are highly sanitized versions of the actual reality.

It should be kept in mind that if the people that started those wars wanted to, they could have ended them at any time.

Reply to  bonbon
August 2, 2020 1:47 pm

Your hatred of all things British/American causes you to see things that never existed.
By using the bomb, Truman saved 10’s of millions of lives. Most of them Japanese.

Reply to  bonbon
August 2, 2020 2:55 pm

My dad was on an LST just finishing up from the invasion of Okinawa. He and his fellow sailors along with the Marines and Army troops were very happy about the bombs.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Richard
August 3, 2020 3:07 pm

My parents were Jewish refugees stuck in Karuizawa Japan during the entire war, Richard.

They barely survived. W. Puck Brecher’s “Honored and Dishonored Guests” discusses the expatriate community in wartime Japan, including mention of my parents.

My mother said that the Japanese military police had donned samurai swords in the weeks when a US invasion was anticipated. She expected there were plans to purify Japan by killing all foreigners in preparation for the final (holy) defense of the home islands.

She was on the street when she heard about the bomb from a Swedish expatriate. He said, ‘The war is over! The Americans have dropped some kind of bomb.’ She said it felt like a huge weight suddenly dropped from her chest.

Had those bombs not been dropped, neither I nor my siblings would be here. Nor the generations following ours. A positive outcome shared by the other millions who would otherwise had been killed.

John Endicott
Reply to  bonbon
August 4, 2020 2:50 am

In other words Truman sacrificed 2 Japanese cities to terrify and “nudge” Americans.

Come on, Bonbon, you are slipping. You failed to mention how it was the conspiracy of evil British banksters pulling Truman’s strings in order to eliminate the gold standard. or some kind of nonsense like that. It’s always the conspiracy of evil British banksters behind everything and/or the wonders of the gold standard with you.

August 2, 2020 7:46 am

Same goes for the tipping point animal extinction theory and the linear habitat theory which is the base of polar bear alarmism.
But there is hope

Doug Huffman
August 2, 2020 8:11 am

This paper provides information from the unpublished final report of the nuclear shipyard worker study (NSWS) (Matanoski, 1991), herein referred to as ‘Final Report’. The NSWS is the world’s largest and most thorough study of health effects of low-dose- rate ionising radiation to nuclear workers. The detailed results of the NSWS have not yet been published in any journal even 14 years after the study was finished. The NSWS was a rigorously performed search for health risks of radiation to civilian employees of eight shipyards that overhauled and repaired nuclear-propelled US Navy ships and submarines under the leadership of Adm. Hyman G. Rickover. Neither author of this paper was directly involved with the research.
[ … ]
The NSWS is the world’s largest and most rigorously controlled study of radiation workers. Significantly lower total mortality was observed in both groups of nuclear workers. Significantly lower mortality from all causes was observed among the cohort of nuclear workers who were exposed to an average dose rate of 7.59 mGy y–1 and median dose rate of 2.80 mGy y–1 than among unexposed controls. In addition, the cohort had significantly reduced mortality for all cardiovascular disease, arteriosclerotic heart disease, respiratory diseases and cancer. This significantly lower mortality contradicts the linear non-threshold (LNT) model of radiation risk.


Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 2, 2020 11:55 am

Thanks Doug for reporting the Shipyard Study. The shipyard study is possibly the best epidemiological study ever conducted. The goal of epidemiology is quality of control – how can you get two populations, one exposed to test agent, the other not, but which are exactly the same in every other respect. The Shipyard study achieved this in a brilliant way. Both populations were shipyards, exactly the same mix of blue and white collar workers, many other unknown but important factors were all well controlled due to the direct equivalence of the two population.

So it’s result is very authoritative. As such is shows that ionizing irradiation at low levels is harmless or slightly beneficial, and only hazardous in the highest dose category studied accounting for a few tens of workers in both tens of thousands workforces.

And yes – it has been suppressed. Most reading this (and your post) will be learning about this for the first time. It’s an utter disgrace and makes clear that lying to exaggerate radiation harm is deliberate policy executed with extreme prejudice at the highest executive levels.

It is because of my exposure to this dishonesty in my PhD research into radiation biology and carcinogenesis, that it came as no surprise to me to discover the same campaign of outright falsification lying behind the climate alarmist scam.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 3, 2020 2:55 pm

Great paper! Thanks, Doug.

Phil Salmon, as a radiation biologist, are you interested in a paper on the synchrotron X-radiolysis of L-cysteine?

August 2, 2020 8:36 am

The molten salt nuclear reactors have a hard time even producing radiation that could affect many folks – there are no pressures of significance on the uranium in thereacor and no possibility of radiation spewing forth, even inn the unlikely event that the containment vessel sprung a leak. And the uranium is dissolved in salt, which freezes and stops radioactive fission once it “freezes” (encounters temps below 650 degrees. ) It’s hard to imagine any situation in which the activities of a molten salt nuclear reactor could harm an appreciable number of persons (or even one )

Reply to  ColMosby
August 2, 2020 9:20 am

Where might one find a molten salt nuclear reactor producing anything?

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Scissor
August 2, 2020 11:20 am

“ Where might one find a molten salt nuclear reactor producing anything?”. Well said!

Colum Mosby (surely not Colonel) impeached.

There are no extant molten salt reactors, and no thorium powered reactors.. Paraquat pipe dreams only.

William Astley
Reply to  Scissor
August 2, 2020 2:40 pm

The wheels are in motion. The first commercial Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor….

Will be produced by a Canadian/US company, Terrestrial Energy and will be installed (three sites I believe have been selected) and I believe the plan is to install the reactors at the sites by the of 2020s, however, the review of the technology that was built and tested 50 years ago ….

… is currently being ‘team’ reviewed by the US and Canadian Nuclear regulatory agencies. How long and what they are reviewing is not known.

Molten Salt reactors are sealed and the Terrestrial design has triple heat exchanges to stop any radioactive molten salt leaving the reactor.

The first heat exchanger is in the reactor. There are six heat exchanger in the Terrestrial reactor. One backup and a means to isolate a heat exchanger if it leaks.

The heat exchanger in the reactor can, is fed with a non radioactive salt of the same type that is used in the reactor. Positive pressure is maintained in the short pipe link, to ensure a leak is into the reactor. The next heat exchanger switches from molten salt on one side, to a standard industrial molten salt that is used in non nuclear power plants. The industrial standard molten salt can carry heat in an insulated pipe for about 1/2 mile.

This enables a Molten salt reactor to be used to provide heat for industrial applications in addition to producing steam to produce electricity.

The Terrestrial reactor can has a lifetime of 7 years because of the lifetime of the can’s carbon core. At the end of the seven years the reactor can is replaced with a new reactor can. The old reactor can is drained and then the mildly radioactive can is stored on site for later disposable.

Molten Salt reactors can be made to walk away safe because…..

That design has no possible melt downs, the system operates at atmospheric pressure using a liquid that melts at 400C and boils at 1400C, with maximum reactor operating temperature of 650C. Can go as high 800C.

Over pressure blow ups followed by a meltdown are not possible, hydrogen explosions are not possible as the ionic salt is absolutely stable in high radiation.

The convection cooling in a molten salt reactor is nine times better than flowing water cooling hot fuel rods. The entire heat output of the PWR comes out of the surface of the fuel rods. These are very hot rods. When a fission reactor is shutdown its short lived high radioactive fission products continue to produce heat. Roughly 7% of the reactors heat output for 48 hours.

The primary fission reaction can be stopped by the injection of a neutron absorbing liquid and their are neutron absorbing rods that are fall into the molten salt reactor on loss of power or loss of motion of the small screw pumps that help circulate heat in the reactor.

The problem with pressure water reactors, is they are cooled with water at 130 atmospheres and if the water stops flowing or if there is a leak in the piping/crack in pump case and water pressure is lost, the fuel rods melt down and destroy the reactor. There are systems to protect from this happening, however, the systems can fail.

And the fission reactions produces radioactive noble gases and radioactive elements that water soluble. These fission products are locked into the thin zirconium clad nuclear rods. There are 50,000 fuel rods in a typical pressure water reactor, a 1/3 of which are replaced every 2 1/2 years.

The problem is the fuel rod can crack releasing the radioactive gases and water soluble radioactive gases into the PWR cooling water.

Now after, Three Mile Island the Democrats investigated the US PWR/BWR industry and found some reactors had 10% of their fuel rods were cracked.

So the point of the above is the old PWR leaked some radioactive material into the environment.

The molten salt reactor is sealed. The radioactive water soluble fission products are locked in the salt. The radioactive fission noble gases that produced in molten salt reactor float up to the top of the reactor where they are removed almost continuously removed from the reactor can, so there is no build up of radioactive gases in the can.

John Endicott
Reply to  William Astley
August 4, 2020 2:54 am

The wheels are in motion

They’ve been “in motion” for decades and are always “coming soon” Yet somehow are no closer to getting here then they were last week, last month, last year or even last decade. Go figure.

William Casson
August 2, 2020 8:41 am

I spent many years working in health physics supporting workers who received significant doses. Most radiation workers knew the risks and accepted it. Some were very upset when told they may have to work somewhere with lower doses to avoid exceeding the ridiculous local administrative limits. I followed all the research on LNT and spent many hours talking to coworkers who were part of the ABCC or contributed to it. Now retired, I have concluded that radiation is much like Covid-19, most see little or no health effect, but a very small number suffer horrible results. Meanwhile many health physicist waste many hours and millions of dollars addressing false positives barely above detection limits and far below legal limits from dosimeters on administrative and other personnel who never go near a radiation source. There are some things I will just never miss.

August 2, 2020 9:34 am

Another nail in the LNT coffin? We’re quibbling over scientific studies from 70 years ago. Interesting, but hardly convincing. Are there no newer studies? Why, as a matter of fact there are. This one from MIT in 2012 demonstrates that mice exposed to ionizing radiation 400 times higher than background radiation for 5 weeks showed no DNA damage. That’s 50 times higher than the arbitrary safety level derived from the bogus LNT model that triggers immediate evacuation.


Stand back! I’m going to try science.

Nicholas McGinley
August 2, 2020 10:08 am

What does not kill us, makes us stronger.
Hormesis is a fact.
Every part of our physiology has repair mechanisms at many levels.

Someone who is constantly doing hand labor that abrades the skin, does not wind up with thin worn out skin, they wind up with think and tough skin, impervious to abrasions.

Some who spends a while out in the direct Sun every day does not wind up with permanent sunburn, they wind up with skin adapted to being in the Sun and do not burn.

Someone who has to lift heavy stuff all the time does not wind up with weak muscles that have worn out by all the years of lifting, but strong as an ox muscles that can lift heavy stuff with no bad effect.

Some who works every day in filthy conditions loaded with germs of every sort, does not wind up sick all the time, but instead has an immune system that is powerfully strong.

People that live every day in frigidly cold conditions adapt to being very cold, and survive it far better than people who have never been cold.
Ditto very hot conditions.

People that live at high altitudes have various physiological adaptations to lower levels of available oxygen, and do not suffer from it like someone does if they live their whole lives at sea level and then go to someplace at a high altitude one day.

This is because our body reacts to damaging events and stresses by activating repair systems and overcompensating to prevent similar events from doing any damage at all.
The people that have various adaptations to some particular stress are far less likely to have any sort of permanent damage by some stress that greatly exceeds what one has previously had to deal with.
There are thresholds of stress or damage that cause permanent injury or damage that cannot be readily repaired or overcome, but mostly these thresholds increase for people who are regularly exposed to low levels of that same sort of damage or stress.

Our cells are loaded with numerous repair mechanisms, right down to the level of repairs to damaged DNA.
It makes sense that since we live on a planet with all manner of sources of natural radiation of varying types and dosages, that our body would react to this type of damage like it reacts to other sorts of damage…by ramping up repair mechanisms. Those who are rarely or never exposed to such damage could be expected to have these repair mechanisms dialed down or largely turned off, while those who have lived with elevated levels of radiation might be expected to have them dialed up and so be less susceptible to damage from radiation.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 12:36 am

Aside from radiation, much that does not kill us does enough damage that we are greatly weakened and disabled.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  AndyHce
August 3, 2020 3:54 am

Did you read what I wrote past the first sentence?
Maybe you missed this part, when I said,
“There are thresholds of stress or damage that cause permanent injury or damage that cannot be readily repaired or overcome, but mostly these thresholds increase for people who are regularly exposed to low levels of that same sort of damage or stress.”

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  AndyHce
August 3, 2020 4:12 am

Did you read what I wrote past the first sentence?
Maybe you missed this part, when I said,
“There are thresholds of stress or damage that cause permanent injury or damage that cannot be readily repaired or overcome, but mostly these thresholds increase for people who are regularly exposed to low levels of that same sort of damage or stress.”

The entire notion of hormesis, as well as the sorts of damage I made references to in my comment, are regarding levels of damage or stressors that do not cause immediate or progressive damage, but instead cause a response which makes a person more resilient.
If someone who has never done any manual labor and has soft hands, is one day forced to use bare hands to dig through ten feet of sharp gravel, that person will wind up with useless hands, the skin stripped away down to the bone. This will not result in tough calloused skin on the hands and fingers. The damage is likely to be permanent.

In order to get the type of a tan which protects my skin, I have to avoid getting badly burned.

In order to be strengthened by lifting weights, I have to lift an amount that does not cause torn muscles or ligaments, ruptured tendons, or broken bones.

On order for exposure to microbes to strengthen my immune system, I need to not be subjected to an infection that kills me.

In order to become accustomed to cold temperature environments in way which is beneficial and not detrimental, I have to not freeze to death or lose parts of my body to frostbite.

Becoming gradually adapted to high altitudes can enable a person to survive a summit attempt on Mount Everest, but only if they do not go so high so soon that they die or suffer pulmonary cerebral edema.

High dose radiation is not protective, it can kill or cause permanent injury or disability, such as blindness or cataracts.

Obviously we are not invulnerable.
Are you missing the point on purpose, or is something about the concept of hormesis beyond your ken?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 4:14 am

“…pulmonary OR cerebral edema.”

Bill Taylor
August 2, 2020 10:25 am

sunlight IS “radiation” claiming no safe level of exposure is possible is insanity

August 2, 2020 11:06 am

“It is therefore the cause of all extraordinary levels of bureaucracy and safety measures that have all but killed off the nuclear industry in much of the western world.”

But even if such was true, there is no way it justifies insane level of control that do not exist in any other industries – industries that have actually killed plenty of people.

August 2, 2020 11:06 am

I question this statement:
Essentially the ABCC work had shown that the whole approach of extrapolating from animals to humans was flawed.

What is the difference between humans and animals that invalidated that extrapolation?
What is the biological difference between humans and animals?

Reply to  NeedleFactory
August 2, 2020 11:47 am


It is the same half baked “science” where you feed excess fat to a rabbit and then say see rabbits cannot handle fat and it must also be bad for humans.


Using a bomb calorimeter passing it’s output through a series of equations and stating that these are the calories or joules energy of food A human will produce when consuming a food.


producing a vaccine because it worked in situ or in vitro — great let’s inject it into billions of humans to “solve” virus problem from China and see what happens.

Reply to  JEHILL
August 2, 2020 3:49 pm

Or assuming immune response is the same as protection…

Simplistic assumptions are the plague of “biomed”. They think they can model complex systems but they can’t.

Reply to  NeedleFactory
August 2, 2020 1:52 pm

Aspirin can cure your headache, but it could kill your dog.
The fact that humans and animals have differing biologies has been well known for generations.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  MarkW
August 2, 2020 6:57 pm

Ummm … aspirin at proper dose rate is fine for dogs .
Naproxen Sulfate is not safe for dogs .
Ask your Vet .

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  NeedleFactory
August 3, 2020 10:32 am

I think the jury has come back on the question: Mice are not little people.

Reply to  NeedleFactory
August 3, 2020 11:46 am

Thanks, everyone, for your replies; however they do not address my concerns.
That’s my fault for being imprecise.
Instead of “What is the biological difference between humans and animals?” I had better asked
something like: “What is the physical difference between humans and other mammals?”
We all have the roughly the same components: bones, flesh, hormones, etc.
Radioactivity is a physical/chemical process; it effects atoms and thus molecules.
I’m still unclear as to why radioactive effects can’t be extrapolated from other mammals to us.
Fats, vaccines, aspirin all act at a different level of abstraction.

August 2, 2020 11:18 am

Another issue that I only write about reluctantly in public forums: the risk of a lawfare-radioactive dirty bomb terrorism.

The HARMLESS spread of minute amounts of radio isotopes could force BY LAW the closure of a center. What if it’s a strategic region? What if it’s a place that provides essential, vital service to the population? Who would have the authority to OVERRIDE LAW?

Note that the pro civil rights leftists have been enthusiastic with limiting basic rights in a way no even seen during WWII. But here, the situation would be reversed: you would have to maintain rights in face of law.

And there is even a more vicious terror-lawfare-international law-terrorism scenario that might eliminate people lives with radiation lawfare (via EURATOM). I don’t want to elaborate further, but intelligent people should be able to see how EURATOM can be used for terrorism and murder via law (EURATOM being a treaty it even overrides our Constitution, sic) with trivially dangerous radiations or even non existant radio isotopes (via a bluff you can’t call).

It makes me sick just to think that people promote EURATOM – even pretend BREXIT promoters.

That’s why we should never enter ANY treaty that regulates internal matters, like protecting women from violence; Poland was right to exist that Istanbul nonsense.

Matthew Sykes
August 2, 2020 11:20 am

We are bathed in radiation down in the west country from Radon gas coming off the granite every house is built with. My dad was a Chiropractor, he had an regular inspection of his X Ray machine, all the inspector could read on his meter was Radon gas coming off the walls.

Radiation is vastly over rated.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
August 2, 2020 11:24 am

Growing up, I had a neighbor DC that worked under his fluoroscope. He wore heavy latex gloves in public and strong fragrances to hide his horrible burns.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 2, 2020 10:24 pm

Obviously massive does.

I saw a TV program about local radiation, a rock in a car park locally was thousands of times the permitted EU dose, yet this is what our houses are made of.

Stephen Richards
August 2, 2020 11:23 am

This proposal was part of my physics degree in the ’80s. The problem stemmed from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic weapons. The radiation was so enormous that they had to extrapolate linearly to zero. That showed that death and or damage occurred at all levels of radiation.

Then came Chernobyl where the radiation level were slightly above the minimum levels of Nagasaki going down to very low levels. What this showed was the the linear extrapolation was flawed.

Gary Pearse
August 2, 2020 11:41 am

The overblown enviroactivist thing about nuclear was clear certainly after the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone turned into Europe’s Serengeti Game Park. There were small animals that were affected with deformed offspring in the early years, but guess what? They were all eaten by wolves!

Little known except locally, were бабушки (grandmothers) who for decades have been regularly picking and preserving edible mushrooms, berries and other delicacies for their families from the Exclusion Zone. If I can find it in this Lysenkoist censorious climate these days, an article with one of these healthy old бабs and the healthy abundant game is photographed.

I, with another geologist, did a due diligence of virtually all the best mineral resource areas in Ukraine for a European investor in 2005, from the Russian border area in the Dombas/Dniprpetrovsk region (coal, manganese, gold, uranium) to the Carpathians in the west (gold, copper, barite, etc). I wanted to visit the EZ but was not permitted.

Surprise! The BBC did an article that was very upbeat on the healthy animals in the EZ game park:


A final note on safety (maybe health benefits!) of low level radiation: Hiroshima radioactivity after the bombing fell to background levels in less than a year. They rebuilt the city and Bob’s your uncle.

World socialism is the worst pollution of humankind and the wilderness environment.

August 2, 2020 12:10 pm

Calabrese’s review shows that it not only did not take the ABCC study into account in reporting its findings, it didn’t even look at it, instead concentrating solely on studies that extrapolated from animal subjects to human ones. These could be used to argue in favour of the LNT model.

It is not true that animal studies support LNT.
Only cell culture studies do – individual cancer-derived calls in culture.
Organisms behave in complex integrated ways that are poorly predictable from behaviour of cultures of neoplastic (cancerous) cells.

There is a logarithmic heirarchy of thresholds of radiation effects in living organisms.
At the whole organism (rat, mouse) level, ~10 Gy are needed to have tissue damagingand lethal effect.
At the cell level (in culture), ~1 Gy is needed to damage DNA and thus curteil replication and survival.
At the DNA gene expression level, only 0.01-0.1 Gy are needed to evoke changes in gene expression (heat shock proteins etc..)

In a few seconds it is possible to find numerous studies on mice where low dose radiation stimulates the immune system, suppresses (makes LESS) cancers, and increases lifespan (makes them live LONGER).
Here goes – turning to Google Scholar:






Yoshio Hosoi (2006) Antitumor effects by low dose total body irradiation
Yakugaku Zasshi – Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.
2006 Oct;126(10):841-8. doi: 10.1248/yakushi.126.841.
[Article in Japanese]
Total-body irradiation (TBI) with 0.02-0.25 Gy has been reported to have antitumor effects. In mice, low-dose TBI induces tumor growth delay, antimetastatic effects, suppressive effects on the incidence of spontaneous thymiclymphoma, sensitization of tumor to ionizing radiation, and decrease in TD50 value. In artificial metastasis, 0.20 Gy TBI suppressed lung metastasis when it was conducted between 3 h before and 3 h after tumor cell injection into a tail vein. In spontaneous metastasis, 0.15-0.20 Gy TBI suppressed lung metastasis. Irradiation with 0.15 Gy twice a week from 11 weeks of age for 40 weeks significantly suppressed the incidence of spontaneous thymic lymphoma in AKR/J mice, which caused prolonged life span. Low-dose TBI has been used in the clinical treatment of lymphomatous malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The usual practice was to give 0.1 Gy TBI three times a week or 0.15 Gy TBI two times a week to a total dose of 1.5 Gy. Despite this low total dose, low-dose fractionated TBI could induce long-term remissions and was as effective as the chemotherapy to which it was compared. Experimental data suggest that the antitumor effects of low-dose TBI could be explained by immune enhancement, induction of apoptosis, and intrinsic hypersensitivity to low-dose irradiation. Possible mechanisms of immune enhancement are elimination of the T-suppressor subset of lymphocytes and augmentation of the immune response including alteration of cytokine release and enhanced proliferative activity of lymphocytes to mitogenic stimuli.

August 2, 2020 12:13 pm

Faulty reasoning like the LNT “model” is the reason kids can’t get radioactive ore, even with parental supervision, to use testing their homemade Geiger counters, as I did as a child. P*sses me off.

I’ve not seen a radium watch dial in many years, and the phosphorescent versions don’t work worth a damn.

There’s no conspiracy of fear, imo. We’re doing it to ourselves.

jsyk, I used to be a regular here, and now spend time bringing science to the Quora community.

August 2, 2020 12:34 pm

The new film about Marie Curie, “Radioactive”, is worth watching.
(Rosamund Pike is one of my favourite actresses.)
It captures the excitement and surprise at the discovery of radioactivity.
It is only mildly politicised by Hollywood standards, making valid points about discrimination against women. Overall it’s a nicely told story. The first half is better than the second, it loses its way a bit toward the end but is a good scientific film overall capturing that excitement of discovery.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Phil Salmon
August 2, 2020 5:47 pm

Thanks for the shout out! I loved her in “Pride and Prejudice” and “Jack Reacher” although I still want someone to do a series of ‘Reacher’ movies with an appropriate male lead.

Capn Mike
Reply to  Abolition Man
August 2, 2020 7:12 pm

Too bad Nolte is so old (and damaged!)

August 2, 2020 2:57 pm

From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4128341/

Radiation-induced immune responses: mechanisms and therapeutic perspectives
Recent advancement in the radiotherapy technology has allowed conformal delivery of high doses of ionizing radiation precisely to the tumors while sparing large volume of the normal tissues, which have led to better clinical responses. Despite this technological advancement many advanced tumors often recur and they do so within the previously irradiated regions. How could tumors recur after receiving such high ablative doses of radiation? In this review, we outlined how radiation can elicit anti-tumor responses by introducing some of the cytokines that can be induced by ionizing radiation. We then discuss how tumor hypoxia, a major limiting factor responsible for failure of radiotherapy, may also negatively impact the anti-tumor responses. In addition, we highlight how there may be other populations of immune cells including regulatory T cells (Tregs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) that can be recruited to tumors interfering with the anti-tumor immunity. …

And also look at the many References in this paper as they show a few with similar results.
For instance —

From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4128341/
Unlocking the Combination: Potentiation of Radiation-Induced Antitumor Responses with Immunotherapy

There is increasing evidence of the potential for radiation therapy to generate antitumor immune responses. The mechanisms of this immune-activating potential include actions on tumor cells such as immunogenic cell death and phenotypic change. Radiation modulates tumor cell surface expression of cell death receptors, tumor-associated antigens and adhesion molecules. This process of immunomodulation sensitizes tumor cells to immune-mediated killing. Radiation also affects immune compartments, including antigen-presenting cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes and humoral immunity, leading to specific antitumor immune responses …

And a last remark in the FUTURE Perspectives paragraph says —

Substantial preclinical evidence has indicated a synergistic relationship between RT and immunotherapy. Anecdotal and prospective clinical data also support the efficacy of this treatment regimen. Additional clinical trials are needed to determine if adding active immunotherapy to definitive RT can affect clinical outcomes, as most of the studies reviewed here have had immunologic response as their primary end point. Learning how best to exploit radiation-induced immunogenic modulation in cancer patients with the addition of active immunotherapy is an exciting frontier in cancer research, with the potential to greatly improve patient care in the future (64)

The linear no-threshold (LNT) model is dead, but what is the upper limit over what timescale which the average person should recover from with differing forms of radiation? Isn’t it about time it was quantified, and start further investigations as to what patient circumstances could make this limit more or less than the ‘average’ figure?

Leo Smith
August 2, 2020 3:34 pm

The goto source for this is Wade Allison: He presents a rather more tolerant take on why, and a far more severe take on how much, LNT has damaged nuclear power.

Animal studies are not mentioned. He is a nuclear physicist concerned with impacts of radiation on all cellular tissue. His take (from memory – read ‘Radiation and Reason’ available as an Ebook) – was that at the time the regulations were drawn up, all that was known was that for sure prolonged exposure to moderately high radiation or short term exposure to intense radiation caused cancer, and that the Hiroshima 50-percentile death rate was around IIRC 2Sv.

Lacking any further data, they asked the power station scientists ‘how low can you get the radiation’ , and got an answer, then drew a straight line from 500 in a thousand dead at 2SV down to 0 in a thousand dead at no radiation, looked at what kind of mortality rate was then predicted for what the engineers felt they could build, and adding up twenty years of it into a single dose, pronounced that it was a reasonable regulatory limit, in the absence of ANY data on chronic low level radiation.

They needed a limit, and the engineers were happy that they could meet it (and they have) and the politicians were happy that one cancer in a thousand years was acceptable.

What then happened was that soviet inspired anti-nuclear organisations deliberately represented this as ‘your own government’s regulations admit that there is no safe limit for radiation’

And bearded and be-sandalled academics used it to predict ‘cancer clusters’ round badly managed nuclear facilities, that got great publicity – to the extent that a late friend of mine assured me that these clusters existed and had happened, but no evidence of them could I find, only evidence of the study predicting them. But I digress.

The problem is of course twofold, and Allison did the research.

Firstly there appears to be a cell correction mechanism such that unless two bits of DNA get simultaneously mangled in exactly the same way, no viable mutations will happen. The cell just dies. The effect of this is akin to digital signal error correction. At low to moderate doses there is no mutation, just normal cell death and replacement, at a slightly more rapid level.

Secondly, the effect of a dose taken over time is – gasp – not the same as taking it all at once. Radiation does not accumulate in the body. Although some radioactive elements like caesium can …In fact the evidence from cancer treatment is that in fact the risk is from short duration high intensity radiation, not chronic exposure to low level radiation, although the picture is complicated when e.g. we talk about inhalation of natural radon where there is evidence that the decay products are heavy lead, polonium and bismuth and stay in the lungs, especially the impaired lungs of a smoker. These elements are carcinogenic even when not radioactive.

However Ramsar in Iran has a massive background radiation level – the highest in the world – is populated by many smokers and does not appear to have any measurably higher rates of cancer…

So the evidence is somewhat conflicting, but the broad swathe of it, as Allison maintains, indicates that we are between one hundred and one thousand times more scared of radiation (as reflected in the regulatory standards) than we need to be.

A short article by Wade is free to read here


In addition, people interested in nuclear power should read the late Professor Cohen’s e-book – again free – on the impact of (well meaning) regulation on the cost of nuclear power.


Taken in conjunction with Allison’s conclusions, the implication is that we could build nuclear power stations for relative peanuts – certainly not much different from coal power stations – and end up with electricity prices – especially in today’s negative interest rate environment – less than any other energy source and massively below renewable energy prices. At least if the nukes were driven continuously for baseload. The price per MWh starts to climb if the capital cost is not offset by high capacity factors. So whilst technically possible to operate nuclear power stations as load following dispatchable sources, it becomes more expensive than – say – using less capital intensive, but more expensively fuelled gas power stations to do load following at lower capacity factors.

Naturally this represents and extreme commercial threat to the other big players on the energy game – Gas and coal, and of course renewables, none of which (renewables) can come anywhere near the price of coal gas or nuclear except by creative accounting, externalising system costs onto other players , political rent seeking and scare mongering and over-regulating nuclear….

Business as usual…

Robert of Texas
August 2, 2020 6:39 pm

The Linear No Threshold model is one of the most magnificent tools in all the propagandist’s toolbox to confuse people and scare them into non rationale decision making.

Used skillfully, it can prove anything is harmful to however many people you need in order to reach some threshold to promote a false idea.

August 2, 2020 7:45 pm

Any thoughts on breast cancer X-rays screening?
Who could possibly benefit from it?
Who should never even think of it?
Does the first group include the second?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
August 2, 2020 9:57 pm

Why would there be people who should never think of it?
I think of it whenever the subject arises.
Do you mean people who should not get it done?
How can anyone reach a decision if they do not think about it and consider it?

What does your third question even mean?
Best I can tell, you are asking if there are people who could possibly benefit from it who should “never even think of it?”

The people who can benefit from it are women who have breast cancer which is at a curable stage, and who find out they have it before it reaches an advanced stage that may be incurable, or require more drastic measures to prolong the patients life.
Cancer is progressive.
Every cancer starts out as one cell which accumulates numerous types of damage and alteration, and instead of the cell activating it’s self destruct mechanism, called apoptosis, it begins to reproduce in an uncontrolled and unconstrained way. At that point there is still plenty of chances for nothing much to come of it: The immune system regularly destroys damaged cells using one of several means; a cell cannot multiply very much unless it can commandeer the mechanisms that cause formation of a blood supply to a growing neoplasm (new tissue…i.e an incipient tumor); and a tumor might at some point reach some level of limit to growth at stop doing so, and all the while whatever has allowed the cell to evade notice by the immune system to the presence of “nonself” or damaged cells might be overcome, and a strong immune system attack can then destroy the neoplasm, before it can grow to a size that becomes fatal to the person; the neoplasm might not be able to acquire the ability to spread to remote parts of the body…known as metastasis. Only a relatively few types of cells have the ability to move or travel around, or to become detached from the matrix which holds cells in their usual spot within the body while still surviving. Every cell needs nutrients and oxygen, and so must always be within a very short distance, usually in direct contact with, at least one circulatory system capillary.

Breasts are relatively easy to image using x rays. X rays are able to visualize tumors before they reach a stage that can be readily detected by means of self exam, or the tumor might be in a location that makes them difficult or impossible to find this way. Caught early, many cancers are easily treatable, while those same cancers, when not caught early, can be very deadly and incurable. And it is a type of cancer which can progress rapidly.
Since breast cancer is one of the more common types, and the breast is not way inside the body, but instead a surface appendage of the body, it makes sense to screen individuals at some level of increased risk for getting the disease.
There are all sorts of reasons why it is impossible for everyone in the world to ever agree on anything that is a complex issue. People can never all agree on even basic no brainer issues.

I have a set of questions for your homework:
1) Are there people who can benefit from vaccinations?
2) Are there people who should never consider getting a vaccination?
3) Does the first group include the second?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 3, 2020 3:21 pm

“1) Are there people who can benefit from vaccinations?”

In 1st world countries, I see no evidence of that for those mandatory vaccines for school children.

You may suggest one example of a vaccine for which there are clear benefits.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
August 4, 2020 8:07 am

Any vaccine that provides protection against an infectious disease provides a clear benefit: Protection from an infectious disease.
I will, instead of one, list 27 of them:
Dengue fever
Haemophilus influenzae type b
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis E
Human papilloma-virus
Japanese encephalitis
Meningococcal disease
Pneumococcal disease
Rotavirus gastroenteritis
Tick-borne encephalitis
Typhoid fever
Yellow fever
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

But I would not want to miss an opportunity to ‘splode your noggin, so I will also give you this-
An article describing a 10 year study of over 667,000 kids showing that not only does the MMR vaccine not cause autism, it prevents it. Autism was reduced by 7% in the vaccinated vs the unvaccinated children.
This backs up the results of an earlier study of over 537,000 kids that found no increased risk of autism in vaccinated children:

And the research paper which published this result:

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 4, 2020 9:34 am

BTW, this list conspicuously omits smallpox.
This is because small pox no longer exists, having been eradicated worldwide due to the vaccine which prevents it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
August 4, 2020 8:14 am

“A greater than 92% decline in cases and a 99% or greater decline in deaths due to diseases prevented by vaccines recommended before 1980 were shown for diphtheria, mumps, pertussis, and tetanus. Endemic transmission of poliovirus and measles and rubella viruses has been eliminated in the United States; smallpox has been eradicated worldwide. Declines were 80% or greater for cases and deaths of most vaccine-preventable diseases targeted since 1980 including hepatitis A, acute hepatitis B, Hib, and varicella. Declines in cases and deaths of invasive S pneumoniae were 34% and 25%, respectively.”

Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States

Ian Flint
August 3, 2020 5:04 am

Has anyone heard of the 1954 Gerschman & Gilbert paper in Science “Oxygen Poisoning & X-Irradiation: A Mechanism in Common”. Radiation and oxygen cause biological damage via the same sequences of highly reactive intermediary oxidants formed from water in the cell. We’re exposed to oxygen all the time. The body copes using an array of evolved defences common to and essential for any organism that uses oxygenic respiration. (Oxygen, The Molecule That Made the World by UCL biochemist Dr Nick Lane). These defences (antioxidants) are equally effective against radiation damage up to a point.

August 10, 2020 6:58 am

The poison is in the diose. No water kills and too much water kills.

Hormesis is real and LNT is stupid. Smoking is a confound.

Radon studies prove that some radiation is healthier than none or too much.


Dr. Stan Young recently did meta analysis of this and I will try to find a citation.

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