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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fukushima Guilty Of World's Worst Sea Contamination

This video by AlJeezera could be much better.  It compares the levels of radioactive contamination off the coast of Japan, with Black Sea contamination levels from Chernobyl.  Say what???

Chernobyl was not directly off the coast of the Black Sea, like Fukushima is off the coast of the Pacific Ocean!

Canadian Firm Pursuing Nuclear Fusion

They've certainly got an uphill battle, but here's wishing them the best of luck!

Read more here.

Boston Police Get A "Dose" Of Reality

The Boston police stopped a truck which was apparently carrying radioactive material (this is routinely done throughout the country).  Using radiation meters, the police saw a meter response to the radioactive material.  Rather than investigate whether the truck was legally carrying radioactive pharmaceuticals, or low level waste, or some other material, they overreacted and cordoned off the area.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nuclear Waste Back Home In Germany

Run! Run! 65.17 uSv/hr!

Here's a video clip that has all the fear mongerers in a tizzy.  Someone in Japan measured 65.17 uSv/hr in an evacuation zone.  The reason people were evacuated was because of expected high radiation levels.  And that level isn't particularly worrisome.

(Kind of funny that the instrument is in a bag.  Why?)

Second Cancer Usually Same As The First

Pretty much what I would have expected, but it's always good to do the research.

If one survives a particular cancer and gets cancer again....the second cancer is likely to be the same kind as the original.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fukushima Plant Director Sick

Bring on the speculation!

Cancer Rates Around Fukushima To Rise 20%-30%!!!

No they won't.  But why let facts get in the way of fear mongering?

High Level Waste And More

This is a good video which includes a discussion of high level waste, an interview with U.S. NRC Chairman Jaczko, and a discussion on China's energy growth (half of the world's power plant demand is due to China).  A highlight is great footage of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant which just received its 10,000th shipment.  It looks like it will fulfill its mission years ahead of schedule. 

But don't buy the short story on cold fusion, until Rossi provides evidence to support his claim.

TN Groups Critical Of Bulk Survey For Release Program

A couple of TN groups don't like TN's Bulk Survey For Release Program. 

Read more here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Karl Grossman Can Relax Now

Recently, Karl Grossman engaged in fear mongering regarding the "horrific" consequences if the launch of NASA's Curiosity went bad.

Grossman can relax now.

Curiosity is on its way to Mars.

Happy Landing!!!

Congratulations NASA!

Widespread Fukushima Contamination In Food

There is pretty widespread Fukushima contamination in fish, mushrooms, rice and other foodstuffs.  However, the contamination levels are low.  The limit is 500 Bq/kg which represents an annual dose of 5 mSv if only this food is eaten for the year.  This level of risk parallels typical annual background radiation doses.  Obviously, one wants to avoid the risk if possible, but it is nothing to fear.

Denmark Likes Wind

Read more here.

Poland Planning First Nuke Plant

Read more here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Now It's The German's Turn!

The French had their turn protesting the German radioactive waste which was sent there for treatment.  Now that the waste is being returned to Germany, it's their turn

Reminds me of the game of HOT (get it?) Potato.

Japanese T.V. Host "Gets" Leukemia From Fukushima

It's ridiculous to think that someone could get leukemia so soon after Fukushima, just from eating some vegetables, whether contaminated or not:

Po-210 Poisoning Death Remembered

I'm a few days late, but back on November 23 of 2006, Alexander Litvinenko died from poisoning by Po-210. 

Swiss Nuclear Shutdown To Cost $22.5 Billion

That's a lot of dough!

Skin Cancer News

Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD's) are the deleterious DNA products of UV radiation.  They are difficult for our cells to detect for repair because they are tightly wound within the DNA.  Now a specific protein complex has been found which helps the cell identify and remove the CPD's.

The worst type of skin cancer is malignant melanoma.  There is a drug available to treat this, but patients become resistant to the drug over time.  Now researchers have figured out why.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Total Effective Dose Equivalent Question

Asked on YouTube:

"The question still remains: how does the test account for the concentration of energy, i.e., the difference of being zapped by x amount of energy (expressed in gamma) while flying in an airplane vs letting the same amount of energy (x) accumulate in your thyroid? Radiation therapy is based on this - the energy is concentrated and directed to a specific spot (cancer); in case of Fukushima, one absorbs radiation internally, which accumulates in a certain organ and kills it"

Why Can't We Be Friends?

You don't often see pro-nuclear AND anti-nuclear folks agree on a radiation cancer risk study.

But they do in regards to a U.S. NRC initiated plan to have the National Academy of Sciences assess the cancer risk in populations around nuclear power plants.  The study is being done in two phases.  The first is assessing whether it seems likely that a statistically valid study could be accomplished at such low dose levels.  This phase is currently in progress. If not, there is no need for a second phase.  If so, the second phase would perform the epidemiology based on findings in the first phase.

Possible Therapy For Radiation Sickness

It's been shown to work on mice.

New Evidence Links Virus To Brain Cancer

Read more here.  Fortunately, there is also research regarding enhanced brain tumor treatment.


Senator Markey Goes After Hanford

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some French Folks Protest German Waste

Read more here.

Arnie Gundersen Gives Me Gas

H2 gas, to be exact....oh, and please send $$$, new sweatshirt needed.  (He actually wasn't his typical anti-nuclear self in this video): 

Pesky Neutrinos

Perhaps you've heard of some experiments involving neutrinos and the OPERA detector.  It's possible that neutrinos may actually move faster than light.  It's also possible they may not.  Neutrinos have mass and light doesn't, so it would be very unexpected if neutrinos could travel faster than light. (Note: the reference is really the speed of light in a vacuum.  We know charged particles can exceed the speed of light in a non-vacuum...that's what causes Cerenkov radiation).

Last year, research indicated that neutrinos might affect the rate of radioactive decay.  But this was discounted.

Mortality Rates For Pharynx/Mouth Cancers Have Decreased


H2O2 & Tumors

Here's some interesting research on how the immune system is stimulated by H2O2.  Tumors and wounds release H2O2. 

A frequent cliche I've heard many times by LNT-deniers is that radiation stimulates the immune system and therefore radiation is beneficial.  They fail to realize that stimulating the immune system can also be detrimental.  Inflammation has been associated with carcinogenesis.

This article links cancer, inflammation and aging.  It doesn't make the strong link between inflammation and cancer, as the link above does, as it is focused more on aging and senescent cells.

Tumor Specific Pathway Identified

Certain tumors use a reverse Krebs cycle.  We may be able to tailor cancer fighting drugs to attack this unique phenomenon.

Coffee Seems Effective In Reducing Endometrial Cancer

Read more here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Edward "Clueless" Calabrese

My initial, opening post when starting this blog was a criticism of Edward Calabrese.

Rather than providing evidence to contradict the LNT, he's whining again.

Let's dig in!

DoD To Release Radiation Dose Estimates For Japan Bases

Read more here.

Mars' Radiation Environment And Humans

I recently posted on Karl Grossman's fear mongering concerning the NASA Curiosity rover and its Pu-238 power.

Here's more on the subject.

One of Curiosity's goals is to measure the radiation environment on Mars for future human habitation as well as general science knowledge.

A Pain In The Glass

Hanford's Vitrification Plant is hurting.

Even More Action Needed On Global Warming

The inertia of our political and economic systems are just too great.

More here.

NRC Targets Waterford 3

Read more here.

Former U Of Arizona Reactor Fully Decommissioned

Read more here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

More On Hydrofracking

This is timely.

Hydrofracking & Radioactivity

This is pretty bizarre.  Marvin Resnikoff is fear mongering about the radioactivity associated with hydrofracking.  First, he makes the ridiculous comparison between fracking brine and drinking water. 

Marvin, guess what?  No one is drinking the fracking brine. 

He laments about the pipes with the internal scale buildup.  These can be sent to any number of waste disposal sites.  Not a big deal.  Unless one wants to manufacture a controversy....a manufacturoversy.

Fukushima Struggles To Rescue Its Land

Radiation Phobia & LNT

This is a bit of a weird opinion piece.  It discusses the need to continue funding the DOE's Low Dose Radiation Research Program.  But the author seems to think that continued funding will overturn the LNT model, and that will reduce radiophobia.

Radiophobia is an unwarranted fear of radiation.  In other words, the people suffering from it don't understand LNT to begin with.  If they did, they would realize the cancer risks are usually trivial and they wouldn't be phobic.  They are phobic because they don't understand LNT and aren't interested in any sort of accurate risk assessment.

BEIR VII, which was tasked with determining the best radiation dose response model, looked at the types of studies done by the LDRRP and others (see Chapter 2), and concluded LNT is the best model.  The LDRRP continues to provide new insights and may lead us to overturn LNT (either because the dose response is super-linear or supra-linear at low doses) one day.

I don't think that will have much psychological effect on radiophobes.

Get Educated!

Colardo State University offers some radiation safety courses online.  They're convenient, but not free.

Vanderbuilt University has posted some relevant lectures on YouTube, so they're both convenient and free!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Concerns Over Tokyo Hotspots

Problems At Braidwood Unit 2

The reactor vessel head leaked at the seal surfaces.

Wade Allison - Is No Expert

I recently posted on some poor reasoning by Dr. Wade Allison who has been promoting the idea that radiation safety limits should be raised a thousand-fold.

According to his website, he is selling a book which provides a "clear and positive scientific account of the effect of radiation on life".  And you can schedule him for a lecture! 

This suggests he has expertise on the subject.  And yet I was perplexed at his erroneous and simplistic reasoning as I pointed out in the earlier post.

I am perplexed no more.

Here are 4 short clips (about 2 minutes each, you may have to "Load 10 More Videos" to get to them, they are the "Oxford Discussion" series) with Dr. Allison.

He admits he has no expertise in the field of radiation safety (at about 1:30 in the 2:01 minute video).  Even worse, he denounces expertise. 

Why would anyone want a lecture (or buy a book) on a subject by someone who states he doesn't have expertise in it? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Probiotic Protects Mice Intestines From Radiation

A new study finds that a probiotic (a cousin of that found in dairy yogurt) helps to protect the intestines of mice, if given prior to radiation.   Studies on humans are needed.

The Thorium Dream?

More here.

European I-131 Gets Less (or More) Confusing

A Hungarian medical isotope firm comments that they are likely responsible for increased I-131 levels in Hungary.  But unlikely they are responsble for other heightened levels found throughout Europe.

Head scratcher.

Update:  The IAEA is attributing all the I-131 to the Hungary firm.

EU Bans Airport X-Ray Security Scanners

'In order not to risk jeopardising citizens' health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at EU airports"

More here.

More Of The Same Bull

Here's a recent YouTube upload, though the video dates back several months.

The "million dead" figure (shared by Caldicott in the previous post) comes from the infamous, no longer available NYAS book shown in the video.

And for an added bonus...unrelated video of kids with birth defects!

Passionate, Yes...Accurate, Not So Much

Here is Dr. Helen Caldicott at a recent anti-nuclear rally.  She mentions millions of cancer deaths from Chernobyl, but that figure isn't supported by the current evidence:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nuclear Power Industry News

Read more here.

The Four "Facts" Of Dr. Wade Allison

From the blog Atomic Insights, I learned of a physicist named Wade Allison who is preaching the need for a new understanding of radiation safety

Why?  He mentions 4 facts.  Let's dig in:

The Shieldalloy Radioactive Waste Disposal Fight In New Jersey

Read here.

Nuclear Mishaps Are An Elite Conspiracy Aimed At Mitigating Human Fertility!

WOW!  When conspiracy nuts go nuts....they really go nuts.

Here's The Alex Jones Show....just making stuff up (and he throws in the deformed baby pictures!!!  Can't have a good show without 'em!!):

How Hanford Progress Hurts The Local Economy

Can be found here.

Gene Mutation Associated With Malignant Melanoma Found

Malignant melanoma is the worst type of skin cancer.  I recently posted on the topic.

Researchers have discovered that a mutation in the gene (called E318K) could block sumoylation of MITF.

Say what????

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Radiation Causing Unusual Changes In Japan??????

No...unless one wants to make stuff up.

That seems to be the motivation behind this Japanese webcast program, which was originally broadcast back in July, but has only recently been uploaded to YouTube.  If you click on the "cc" button, you can get English subtitles, but to do that, you have to go to the original post (

If I were going to direct a spoof on the "dangers" of radiation, I would've done something like this clip. 

But it isn't a spoof!

Report Provides Details On Fukushima

Click here.  Separately, the video below was recently released by TEPCO.  And reporters have been allowed to tour Fukushima in protective gear (second link here).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mystery I-131 Over Parts Of Europe

According to the IAEA.

Fukushima Is Killing Philadelphia Babies!!!!!

What can I say:

Voodoo Medicine

Voodoo Acupuncture medicine is bogus.  Why would anyone even attempt such a flawed study?

Notice, that no sham acupuncture was used (that's intended for a second study).  So what we basically have is the placebo effect.

And worse, most of the study is based on self-reporting by the patients rather than by objective physical measurements (some salivary flow rates were measured, but hardly mentioned in the article).

Fukushima Cleanup Estimated at $14 Billion

According to Japan's Ministry of the Environment.

Epigenetic Therapy Shows Promise For Lung Cancer

Lung cancer falls into two broad groups based on the size of the cells that make up the tumors:  small cell tumors (about 20%) and non-small cell tumors (about 80%).

Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.  A common epigenetic phenomenon is methylation, whereby a methyl group (a chemical compound which includes CH3) is added to a portion of a gene (cytosine or adenine).  Methylation tends to suppress the expression of the gene.

A new drug, using epigenetic methylation, has been found to be helpful in treating non-small cell lung cancer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Waste Control Specialists Grand Opening Of Low Level Radioactive Waste Site

Waste Control Specialists celebrated the grand opening of its LLW disposal site yesterday.

There hasn't been a new LLW disposal site opening for decades in the U.S.

Braidwood Tritium Leak

Here's a classic example of lazy reporting by a local news outlet.  It's just one side versus the other, absent of any facts regarding the risk of tritium compared to other everyday risks.

Nuclear Fusion Energy Making Progress

Nuclear fusion is being pursued in a multi-national project called ITER.  Though it seems that fusion is always "decades away", progress is being made.

Should we stick with it?

More On INL Incident

Can be found here.

Spokane, WA Folks Concerned About Waste Shipments

Click here for more.

Bowel Screening Reduces Cancer Deaths

By >25%.

Some of the underlying genetic causes of colorectal cancer discussed here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Small Shielding Leak At HI Oncology Center

Pretty insignificant.

Small Mishap In Idaho

Not a lot of details, but odd that the workers were offered treatment to expedite elimination. 

That usually isn't done unless the uptake is thought to be significant.

5 Years Isn't A Lot Of Time

To reduce global warming.

Davis Besse In The News

Small containment building cracks.

Public Health Preparedness For Radioactive Attack

I recently posted a similar, older video whose targeted audience was public health professionals and first responders. 

This link includes a recent C-Span video featuring Dr. Norman Coleman.

The audience is obviously the general public.

Our Skin Can "See" UV Rays

Duh!  Obviously our skin reacts to ("sees") ultraviolet light. 

What is interesting in that the skin uses the same light receptor as in our eyes, called rhodopsin.

But if UV is non-ionizing, how does it cause cancer?

Transparent Radiation - The Film

Looks like a transparent trailer....what is the point?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wall Street Journal Article On Fukushima

Can be found here.

Fukushima Syndrome - HDNet Tonight

Tonight, on HDNet World Report at 9 p.m. EST, one of the topics is "Fukushima Syndrome: The Stark Cost of Japan's Nuclear Embrace".

Better Late Than Never!

I only recently started this blog, and just barely missed pointing out National Radon Week of October 17-24.

HAL Meet Asimo..

I recently wrote about HAL, the robotic suit that could be helpful at Fukushima.

Here's another called Asimo.

Update On Your Local Nuclear Disaster? Check With The Weatherman!

After watching the Atomic Trucker, it's "comforting" to know your local weatherperson is standing by to give you updates on the potential consequences.  

This is a talk given by a U.S. CDC representative (Charles Miller) to the American Meterological Society about the weatherperson's potential role in a nuclear disaster.

The Atomic Trucker

This is an amazing story of an (extra-) ordinary trucker who figured out how to make working replicas of the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

If he can do it......????

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here Comes The Sun

A pro-solar energy op-ed by economist Paul Krugman.

Birds Of A Feather, Flock Together

I posted a clip earlier today with James Corbett, whose schtick seems to be that he's "embedded" in Japan to give his audience the real scoop on Fukushima.

So who does he call for information?

An anti-nuke in Vermont.

Does This Suit Make My Butte Look Big?

Cyberdyne makes robotic gear and one of their creations is called Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL).  They are now marketing it for use with personal radiation shielding as a means to support work at Fukushima.

Here's more on HAL.

Dr. Norman Ramsey Has Died. Who????

Dr. Norman Ramsey

Fukushima Situation Still Critical!....Or Not.

Here's Part 1 of a set of recent videos from the Alex Jones Show with guest James Corbett.  These are conspiracy wingnuts.

Corbett tells us how TEPCO releases information as it becomes available, and yet when they don't have certain information he plays the "we just don't know" card.  When TEPCO does release information Mr. Corbett frames it as if they are "admitting" something. 

It's a three part video, but only Part 1 addresses Fukushima, the rest is conspiracy silliness.

"Blue Monday"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Public Health In A Nuclear Or Radiological Terrorist Incident

It's Sunday afternoon.  You could be watching something boring like football...but you have options!

Here's an exciting  (NOT!) video by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control intended for an audience of public health professionals who might be involved in a nuclear or radiological terrorist incident.

The Face Of Testicular Cancer!

My motivation for starting this blog had to do with radiation and cancer.

This has nothing to do with radiation, but with a psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia.

The Face.

The comments in the link are hilarious.

Happy Anniversary Charter Of The Forest!

In the Middle Ages all English land was owned by the King and his buddies (noblemen and churchmen).  Though formally a monarchy, it was more like an oligarchy.  Everyone else was a peasant.  A vast majority of the peasants were serfs.  This was a form of slavery whereby the serf was indentured to a landowner in order to gain access to land (for food, housing, etc.).  Eventually the serfs  (and many noblemen who came not to like the King for other reasons) caused enough of an uprising, that the King (Henry III) signed the Charter Of The Forest on this day in 1217.


(P1 of this series can be found here)

We've hardly mentioned BEIR VII throughout all of this.

Remember this graph from yesterday?

Well, here it is again within BEIR VII.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another Country Decides To Forego Nuclear

That would be Belgium.

Happy Birthday To You...happy birthday to you... look like a heavy element and you are one too.


(P1 can be found here)

Now we can look at the LSS in greater detail.

Remember this is a largely prospective cohort study.  The exposed cohort consisted of about 120,000 people and contains a large proportion of survivors who were within 2.5 km of the hypocenters, and a similar-sized sample of survivors who were between 3 and 10 km from the hypocenters and whose radiation doses were negligible.  The unexposed cohort consists of non-exposed Japanese folks.

Now That's What I Call Radiation!

About two weeks ago I looked up into the evening sky and saw a pale, blood red glow.  I thought I was observing the Sun's reflection off of some localized pollution source.  Yet I had never seen it before.

Turns was radiation!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Side Dish For RIBs & BEIR - Fetal Case Study

You need not read this to follow the RIBs & BEIR series, this just provides a sidebar.

I created a link to NRC Event Reports on the Home page.  If you click on it today (11/04/11), you will see there was an incident involving a fetus that received an estimated 17.4 rads.

I Should Have Been A Civil Engineer

It's Arnie Gundersen with information "he's been wanting to share with you for a long time".  But for some reason, he couldn't post a YouTube video until now.

Call me skeptical.


(P1 can be found here)

In this post, I'll shift from epidemiology to history in order to appreciate the LSS in the Big Picture.

The atomic bombings occurred in 1945.  We didn't discover DNA until 1953, though we had postulated how radiation might cause cancer.  We had directly observed cell effects and we had animal studies which showed radiation carcinogenesis.

The overall sense was that radiation caused cancer.  That's why we undertook the LSS!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Global Warming Is Caused By Radiation!

Of course it is.

It's not ionizing radiation -  it's infrared radiation.  The Sun's ultraviolet light (high energy relative to visible light) is degraded on Earth and re-emitted by our planet as infrared light (low energy relative to visible light).

The CO2 molecule has a quantized vibrational state.  It loves to vibrate by absorbing IR at the frequency of  667/cm, which happens to be close to the peak frequency associated with the Earth's IR radiance.

Small Setback At Fukushima?



(P1 can be found here)

We know we can't run the "perfect" epidemiological experiment on humans. 

But we have options:

A Side Dish To Go With Your RIBs & BEIR

This is extra explanatory material for the series.  It need not be read to understand the series.

The topic is causal criteria. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quality Anti-Nuclear Propaganda

This is pretty much standard fare, with same the old, cherry-picked scientists, half-truths, anecdotal evidence, NYAS book, kiddie photos, etc.  Where it does excel is its production qualities.  I will give them that.

That said, the Chernobyl thyroid cancers described are real and there will be an increase in other cancers.  Time will tell how well epidemiology can detect them and give us some science-based insights on the totality of the consequences.

Good News For Some, Bad For Others

Depending on which side of the nuclear energy position you are on.

Japan has restarted one of its reactors.

Why Does A Lie Always Follow "If I Lied..."???

I recently discussed the flaws in an LNT-denialists arguments.  Let's play a similar game with a fear mongerer.  Enter Dr. Helen Caldicott:


This will be a series of posts on the underlying science supporting BEIR VII.  There have been a number of comments reflecting various degrees of misunderstanding (and outright ignorance) of science and epidemiology.

First, no science is perfect.  We don't even fully understand gravity.  Science is about finding the best explanation that fits the facts.  If you want to play the "science isn't perfect therefore X", read no further.  If you have evidence for X, then that becomes a part of science.  We can test evidence.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BBC Report - Fukushima

Here's a series of BBC videos about Fukushima, and yet little is shot there and it lacks specific detail. ...they bounce from place to place.  But it does have some good visuals, useful for teaching others.

Pt. 1 - Basic reactor design.  They are quite creative at using props to visualize what happened.

The Other LNT Deniers

For fun contrast, here is an old review by an anti-nuclear group, who seemed to have been in denial about BEIR VII because LNT isn't super-linear!  They think the BEIR committee is too loosey-goosey!


Science is a take enough folks with enough expertise and perceived objectivity, and you let them get to work on the evidence.  And that's what happened in BEIR VII (and previous ones)...and those with their preconceived notions about what the outcomes SHOULD be...go into denial. 

And yet, the process is the best process we have!

At least anti-government regulation LNT Denialist-In-Chief, S. Fred Singer was consistently against the LNT: