There is so much antinuclear rhetoric in the media and in the education
system that safety has to be "oversold" or there will be no nuclear
Of course there a potential for large releases. The safe
plant design and the safe operator procedures/actions at
Fukushima did prevent large releases in spite of the weaknesses
that were revealed by the rather extreme conditions of the external hazard
(Lady Luck? Mother Nature is a real bitch).
Every time a becquerel of radioactivity is released from a nuclear plant
the world (fueled by the media) just goes bonkers. People in Vancouver
start popping iodine pills. I looked through the 2010 book by
Charles L Sanders, 'Radiation Hormesis and the Linear-No-Threshold
Assumption." There is no solid evidence to support the notion that
radioiodine causes cancer, yet the nuclear safety
regulations are based on limiting radioiodine dose.
Section 12.3, Thyroid Cancer, first sentence: A U.S. National Council on
Radiation Protection report on thyroid cancer said, "available human data on low
dose I-131 exposures have not shown I-131 to be carcinogenic in the human
thyroid" . Then I look at the radioiodine treatment of patients
with hyperthyroidism, who receive an average of 300 MBq of radioiodine.
The mean total body dose is 54 mGy (5.4 rad), and the conclusion is: "The
decrease in overall cancer incidence and mortality in those treated for
hyperthyroidism is reassuring."
Now I read the Preface:
Outrageous, unsubstantiated statements are made
concerning the hazards of ionizing radiation, in spite of a vast published,
peer-reviewed literature on molecular, cellular, animal, and epidemiological
studies indicating not harm but benefit from low-dose ionizing radiation. Claims
that as many as a million children across Europe and Asia may have died in the
womb as a result of radioactive fallout from Chernobyl or claims that the health
impacts of low levels of internal radiation are underestimated by between 100
and 1,000 times are common among antinuclear arguments. Such statements are
fueled by proponents of the linear nonthreshold (LNT) assumption, which assumes
that any dose of radiation, no matter how insignificant, results in increased
mortality from cancer and other diseases.
The most dishonest, manipulative research I have
ever seen in my nearly 50 years of participation in radiobiological research has
been published by radiation epidemiologists who are proponents of the LNT
assumption. Their hundreds of publications and involvement in national and
international radiation protection agencies have put them in a position of power
and control within research establishments. They have continued the
deception in spite of the overwhelming published, scientific data that clearly
demonstrates how wrong the LNT assumption is. ...
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: [cdn-nucl-l] NYT 'Safety
Myth' Left Japan Ripe for Nuclear Crisis
I agree with you that in the
response to Fukushima, the low dose scare is unfounded and misdirects
attention but the article is not about low doses of radiation per se.
There was and is a potential for large releases (or
overall plant safety if you will) - that is a real issue. It is
only because of our industries obsession with the three Cs (Control, Cool,
Contain) that we have such a good accident record overall and why Fukushima
turned out to be a non-event off site. On-site is another story of
course. Not that we don't obsess about the wrong safety items things
sometimes, mind you. To me the point of the article is that safety can
be oversold - internally and externally, domestically and internationally - to
the point that we let our guard down. You
know better than me that the bigger risks at plants lie in the service water
and electrical systems, not in the large LOCAs and such. Overall the
industry has done really well but my point is that we HAVE to do really well,
not because of incorrect fears over low doses but because of the real risks of
large doses. You can bet that assurance of decay heat removal will be
bumped up in priority in plant design and operation - and rightly so.
And let's give a hat tip to nuclear designers, operators and regulators
everywhere, and to lady luck, that we were given the opportunity to become
wiser about assurance of decay heat removal without killing
At 01:27 AM 26/06/2011, Jerry Cuttler
Interesting article in June 24th
mailing list cdn-nucl-l@mailman.McMaster.CA
The nuclear plants are safe. No one has been
killed (nor even injured) by radiation.
It's the radiation scare that is
causing the "crisis" and the enormous human suffering.
Of course, there
is a large financial loss; but that was a rather large earthquake and
The cleanup costs will be much higher than need be, again
because of the enormous radiation scare.
The non-nuclear costs and loss
of life caused by the earthquake and tsunami should be a much more important
consideration, but ...
‘Safety Myth’ Left Japan Ripe for Nuclear
Over several decades, Japan’s nuclear establishment has
devoted vast resources to persuade the Japanese public of the safety and
necessity of nuclear power. Plant operators built lavish, fantasy-filled
public relations buildings that became tourist attractions. Bureaucrats spun
elaborate advertising campaigns through a multitude of organizations
established solely to advertise the safety of nuclear plants. Politicians
pushed through the adoption of government-mandated school textbooks with
friendly views of nuclear power.
The result was the widespread adoption of the belief — called the
“safety myth” — that Japan’s nuclear power plants were absolutely safe.
Japan single-mindedly pursued nuclear power even as Western nations
distanced themselves from it.