Saturday, March 01, 2014
Nuclear - Safest Power Source In Existence
"If one assumes a linear relationship between dose and cancer risk, it follows that total health impacts (cancers, deaths) scale directly with collective exposure, i.e., the integral of dose times the number of people exposed (in units of man-Rem). If government policy is ostensibly based on LNT today, you would think that said policy would treat all man-Rems the same. In a clear sign that policies and standards are not objective or science based, that is not true, by many orders of magnitude.
The fact of the matter is that, while LNT, along with a 10‑4 to 10-6 lifetime cancer risk criterion, will be applied to cleanup standards after any nuclear plant release, vastly larger sources of public collective exposure are simply ignored. These include all exposures from natural background (e.g., radon), air travel, and medical exposures to some extent. Exposures to naturally occurring radioactive materials from all other industries (such as coal plant emissions or old oil pipes off the California coast) are also generally ignored.
Radon is estimated to expose on the order of 100 million Americans to hundreds of millirem annually, resulting in an annual collective exposure on the order of 25 million man-Rem. According to the LNT, this results in on the order of ~10,000 annual deaths. Medical exposures are also a huge source of collective exposure (with CAT scans alone causing ~29,000 annual deaths, according to LNT), and the medical community is only starting to pay attention to the issue, with patients and many practitioners hardly thinking about it at all. Both of these sources of collective exposure are orders of magnitude larger than the collective exposure that would result from a worst-case nuclear accident, even if no cleanup efforts were made.
And yet, nothing is being done about them. Little to no money is being spent. People aren’t even being warned (not saying they should be). In all those areas (radon, medical), collective exposures could be reduced at a cost (in dollars per man-Rem avoided) that is many orders of magnitude lower than the amount we’re planning on spending cleaning up affected areas after a nuclear plant accident. If we really believed in the LNT, and really (and objectively) cared about reducing collective exposure, we would focus on those areas instead.
The LNT is not the problem. Its selective application is the problem."
I agree about LNT, indeed I suspect the opposite theory, hormesis, that low level radiation is beneficial is correct. I have done a collation of links of evidence against LNT http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/low-level-radiation-evidence-that-it-is.html I did intend to also include scientific evidence for it but there is literally none.
I have suggested a legal right (possibly constitutional amendment) to allow any regulation to be challenged in court on the grounds that it requires actions at least 4 times more onerous per life saved than other regs in comparable industries. This cost benefit analysis would certainly allow nuclear industries to overthrow most of its regulatory burden and it would be difficult for politicos to explain why they were against it.
But what we really need is a rottweiller charity willing to go all out at anti-nuclear campaign. To sue anybody good cases of lies about the industry. To advertise that newspapers that give coverage to false scare stories and don’t give at least as much coverage to the truth (ie almost all of them) are, by definition, corrupt, lying, fascist scum who cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything else.
And that governments that give money to promote “environmental” issues, they approve of, are engaged in totalitarian fraud if they don’t give an equal amount to technology promoters – just as much as a Democrat (or Republican) Governor who gave money to his own party would be criminally liable.
All of which unfortunately needs a bit of money to start it rolling.
Meanwhile Colin McInnes has an article in the Herald
And The Register points out what Fukushima proves:
It's worth noting here that the Daiichi reactors and cooling pools were not particularly safe as nuclear powerplants go: they were a very old, long outmoded design. They were hit by earthquakes and tsunamis wildly beyond what they were rated to withstand, in the second worst nuclear power disaster that has ever happened anywhere.
And as a result ... absolutely nobody's health has been or will be measurably harmed. That's a pretty impressive safety performance.
We stand by our original headline: Fukushima was a triumph for nuclear power, not a disaster. If there's one lesson to learn from it, it's that nuclear power is very safe indeed. ®