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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Speaking Of TV....

James Hansen is scheduled to speak about climate change on C-Span at 9:05 p.m. EST.  There is a good discussion on the channel right now!

The God Problem On Book TV

The book is called "The God Problem:  How A Godless Cosmos Creates" by Howard Bloom.

It's scheduled to appear at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and will probably replay later this weekend.

Heartland Institute "Expert" Wins Award!

Yeah, the same moron featured in the previous post.

Congratulations, idiot.

Heartland Institute "Expert" Learns Global Warming Is True

His name is Marc Moron Morano:

A Fission-Fusion Fusion

To help transmute high level radioactive waste.

Japan's P.M. Calls Fukushima An "Unprecedented Challenge"

"Unlike anything humanity has ever undertaken".

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's Wrong With This Headline?

The news is good.  It's about a study that found that proton beam therapy works no better than intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).  So why pay more?  But protons are radiation as are the photons associated with IMRT.

Sakura Meet Rosemary & Meister

Sakura was the Fukushima robotic aide I covered in this post.

Here are a couple more.  They all face hurdles:

Krauss With A One-Two

A couple of short philosophical videos by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss:

How Celebrities Went To War Against Science

A round-up of some of the celebrities who engaged in pseudo-science.  They're just people too.

Nuclear Power Plant Flood Risk

The author of this piece did very well in touching base with the anti-nukes.  However, it is important for nuclear facilities to prepare for climate change and not ignore it.  And they don't have to wait for the NRC to prod them, either.

Fukushima Victims Take A Stand With Human Rights Declaration

Which is non-binding.

New Japanese PM To Review Plans To Ditch Nuclear Power

He will consult with local communities and experts.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nice Chernobyl Photography

Courtesy of National Geographic.

Jerry Coyne Chimes In

Biologist Jerry Coyne chimes in on my last post about science and religion.  He sides with Dawkins (and me!).  I don't know when this talk was given, but it was uploaded to YouTube less than a week ago:

Physicist Criticizes Biologist Over Anti-Religious "Fundamentalism"

Peter Higgs, known for theorizing the recently discovered boson which carries his name, has criticized biologist Richard Dawkins over Dawkins' approach to dealing with religious believers.

What  may motivate Dawkins is that the central paradigm of his science is evolution, and many religious leaders promote that evolution isn't true. There isn't much religious objection to physics, so Higgs hasn't had to deal with the same problems that Dawkins has.

I'm fundamentally (pun intended) with Dawkins.  Higgs offers no reason not to be other than others in his field are religious.  That's not a good reason.

TEPCO Needs More $

To compensate evacuees and others to the tune of $38,000,000,000.

Fukushima Waste Tanks Fail Drop Tests

Causing clean-up delays.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What Is & Isn't A Scientific Debate

Evolution, global warming, and radiogenic cancer are not debatable.

From Fukushima To Okinawa

More than 1,000 people have made the move to avoid the radioactivity.

Flaws In Pipeline Leak Detection Systems

Detect leaks less than 20% of the time.

Recall that natural gas is a greater contributor to global warming than CO2.  Even though when burned, natural gas produces less CO2 than coal, any natural gas leakage works against this benefit.

Science & Faith. Another Reconciliation Attempt?

In HuffPo.

It's hard to really understand what the author means by "faith".  He seems to be arguing more for philosophy.

In any event, just because some things are not understood by humans or we've discovered some things that are counter-intuitive doesn't mean "faith" has anything to add.  It doesn't.

U.S. & S. Korea Team On Fusion Power

In a project called K-Demo.

Plans For HLW Storage In Utah

Are dead.

Neutron Detectors Placed In ISS

Bubble detectors to measure neutron dose components.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fukushima Update

Still "volatile".

Protecting Nuclear Facilities From Criminal Acts

A service of the IAEA:

What Do So Many People Have Against Science?

James Randi answers.

It's ironic that the interview appears in the Washington Times which is owned by the Unification Church.

MOX Glovebox Welds Need Repair


Immediate Health Risk Must Be Weighed Against Cancer Risk

When considering medical procedures using ionizing radiation. 

Spain's Oldest Nuke Plant Shutsdown

Due to its lack of economic viability.

Cutting CO2 Emissions With Innovative Tech

Some of which are described here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hanford Challenge Criticizes Hanford Progress

Hanford Challenge is your typical self-annoited appointed watchdog group.

They are critical of DOE's progress at Hanford.

It does seem like the DOE could be doing better.

MI Med Center Awarded For Dose Reductions


High Tritium At Barnwell Disposal Site

Or is it a waste "dump"? 

Biased German Physician Faults WHO Fukushima Report

I'm referring to the WHO Fukushima Preliminary Dose Estimate Report which I provided a link to on the right hand side of this webpage.

What evidence does this physician have that the WHO really got it wrong?  None. He's just finding them guilty by association with the IAEA and he's claiming that they've omitted discussions on the health effects.

That's because that report only deals with dose estimates.  Health effects are to be discussed in a subsequent report which is due to be published this year (time is running out).

The WHO is yet to respond.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sunlight Radiation Hormesis

So I was reading the latest issue of the Health Physics Journal and I see this really stupid letter by a guy named William B. Grant criticizing the UV Index working group on its work.  The UVI  working group primarily focuses on the cancer risk associated with UV radiation.

Grant accused them of not paying enough attention to the beneficial effects of UV radiation in areas other than bone health (ie, cancer risk reduction).  He primarily used studies which suffered from the ecological fallacy to bolster his case.

Like the radiation hormesis proponents (or Intelligent Design proponents or global warming deniers) he has a website.

TX IDiot Legislation

C'mon Texas, stop this nonsense!

IDiot Tries To Raise Doubts On Biology

From the IDiot Institute (actually The Discovery Institute which tries to undermine biology in favor of the long debunked Intelligent Design, hence the name IDiot):

How's that model of the Designer looking?

IAEA To Assist In Japan's Decontamination


Friday, December 14, 2012

Pressure On Southern Company

As the company modifies its messaging on its new plant construction.

Wade Allison At It In Warsaw

Apparently he gave a talk to the World Nuclear Power Briefing called the "Road To Public Confidence In Nuclear Power" (see towards bottom of the webpage link).

Congrats Americans!

Most of you are not in denial of global warming.

The rest of you need an education....and not a pseudo-education from Rawls.

TEPCO Admits Bad Safety Habits

Behind the Fukushima crisis.

2012 Set To Be Hottest U.S. Year On Record

According to this estimate.  We will know soon.

Exelon Tells Employees To Tell Congress

To end wind power tax credits because it's hurting their profitability.

The Fukushima "50"

Those who helped control the plant during the crisis...actually more than fifty.  Cool graphic at bottom of article.

Bent Fuel Rod At TEPCO's Niigata Rx

Likely due to poor procedures.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

LA - This Is Very Troubling

Here's a  <20 minute talk by Barbara Forrest of the National Center For Science Education called, "Religious Politics and Secular Values".  It was posted on YouTube yesterday though it dates back to about a year ago.  The focus is on Louisiana and the interplay between religion and politics there:

America - This Is Very Troubling

About 36% of Americans think that the changes we've experienced from climate change, are due to end times.

Nuclear Power Is Japanese Campaign Issue

Wasn't much of one in the recent U.S. election.

UNSCEAR Approves Rad Advice

And they have more work planned for next year.

On Cloudy Days, Your Eyes Can Still Get Sunburned

The UV rays pass through the clouds.

Yucca Mountain: A Post-Mortem

Good, though lengthy article on the history of the site.

Santa Susana Field Lab Still Contaminated

After more than several decades.

Las Vegas Radiation Drill

It could really happen, but what are the odds?

Renewables Can Power Grid

Most of the time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How About Some Cheese With That Whine?

I've written about the International Hormesis Dose Response Society before (see my page, "Comparing The Creationist & Hormesis Cults", on the right hand side of this webpage) and I've written about Jerry Cuttler before (search his name).

Put the two together and you have a paper by him in the latest "journal" published by the society.  It's titled "Commentary On The Appropriate Radiation Level For Evacuations".  You will have to search for it to read it, and when you do you'll see that he's been repeating this over and over.

This is the opposite of science.

Instead of providing new evidence to support his claim, he attached a paper from 1990 to his.

It's almost 2013.

That's classic science denial.

Fukushima - Still Leaking Radioactive H2O

As TEPCO struggles to find location of leak.

Poisoning The Well

Good article which describes how even though injecting pollution into aquifers is against the regulations, a company can get exemptions.  And with the current surge in domestic drilling for energy resources, that's what companies are doing.

Bang! There Goes That Theory!

It looks like there is a British television show called "Bang Goes The Theory" which tried to give the "truth about the effects of radiation".

But they didn't.

Scientist Doesn't Like Science

You can always tell when they use the neologism of "scientism".  When we apply the scientific method to everything, we fare better than when we don't.  Yes, even ethics.  When we observe and tabulate the effects of certain behaviors on others we can get data to help us decide whether the behaviors are more harmful than we might have first thought.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The RadWaste Market - The Good, The Bad....

And the Ugly.

An accurate summary of the fighting associated with the radwaste market.

Japan's Tsuruga Plant Sited On Fault

And will likely be shutdown.

Georgia's Rad Material Market

Not the U.S. state of Georgia, but the country.  It seems to be part of an illicit market for radioactive material which could be used to make either a dirty bomb or a nuclear weapon.

SRS Assists Fukushima Cleanup

They gained expertise in cleaning up U.S. sites.

The Santa Lie - Does It Hurt Kids?

Here's a Slate article that discusses the question and generally finds that because it fosters creativity it has some benefit.  And of course, one day the children learn it was lie.

But what about this?:

Despair After Last Week's Climate Conference

Summarized here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Exxon Hates Your Children

Proliferation Risk Of Thorium

It's not proliferation risk free.

And Don't Forget About Health Physics!

A good article on what is and is not a scientific debate and the role of the media.

Japan's Health Physics Deniers

Yup, Japan has them too, and some have been nuclear industry funding recipients.

One of them says that the linear, no threshold model is a "tool" and possibly not scientifically sound.

It may not be, but he needs to provide evidence to convince others, and he obviously hasn't.

I don't know what work he's done on salamanders or other animals, but it's sure is early to declare that there are no harmful effects.

Fukushima - A Nice Place To Visit

But would you want to live there?

Pseudoscience - The Shadow Of Science

This article describes what I've found to be true...the pseudosciences will always migrate to do what they can to look like legitimate science because real science earns so much respect.

Working against biology we have the Discovery Institute and working against health physics we have the International Dose-Response Society.  They look reputable and scientific...they even have PhD's.

But they are peddling nonsense.

Exporting Natural Gas

It may make economic sense, but does it make environmental sense?

More S. Korean Rx Parts Problems

Remember those S. Korean unverifiable parts?  More problems.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reminder - Science Refutes God Debate

Starts in just under an hour.

French Nuclear Power Dead?

According to one analyst due to cost overruns.

Ban On CO2

That would be U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

I wonder why the article's author felt compelled to find a climatology denier to interview.

Al Gore: Nuclear Power Too Expensive

At a green energy conference.

Fukushima - >80% Of Homes Remain Contaminated

About 100,000 homes was the estimate of the total number requiring decontamination.

IDiot Needs Focus

Here's biologist, but biology denier, Doug Axe attempting to raise doubts about evolution (and sell a book):

7 Gift Ideas For The Climate Change Denier In Your Life

Courtesy of Popular Science.

Africa - Getting Energized

Kenya is scheduled to have its first nuke plant by 2022:

Meanwhile, Ghana and Morocco are scheduled to open large solar power plants.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Earth's Rad Belts Are Highly Dynamic

Remember the two space probes launched a couple of months ago to study the Earth's radiation belts?

They've begun to transmit unexpected data.

"Don't Criticize Science When It Doesn't Give You The Answer You Thought You Knew"

Here's a wonderful Forbes article (Forbes of all places!) criticizing some of our Congressmen for promoting anti-vaxxers (the false allegation that vaccines cause autism, they don't).

Genetic Background Matters

This study shows that it matters in relating skin cancer risk to UV exposure, but it also matters for other cancer risks and ionizing radiation.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the linear, no threshold risk model applies to individuals, but it doesn't.  It applies to a population.  An individual may be at less or greater risk than the population as a whole.  And different populations can have different radiation cancer risks.  This should be obvious in the case of UV radiation where darker skinned populations are at less risk than lighter skinned ones, but there can also be traits which cause differential ionizing radiation responses.

NRC Whistleblowers On Flood Risks At Nuke Plants

Those that are downstream of dams.

TEPCO Considers Giant Net To Control Contaminated Fish

This sort of thing was done before to minimize the spread of Hg contaminated fish in 1974.

Diet & Radiation Destroy Brain Tumor Cells

In mice.  Those provided with a high fat, low carb diet fared better than those with a standard diet.

Q&A At An Anti-Nuke Conference

I can't embed the video, but it's here, from the recent Chicago anti-nuke conference, featuring Arnie Gundersen (I don't know who is at his side).

It's interesting to see how they maintain fear among themselves.

Manhattan Project National Historic Park

It's a mouthful, but a part of history.

Anti-Nukes Visit Old Chicago Waste Site

They say to keep the risks of nuclear power in the public's mind, but if it's so risky why are they there?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Climatology Deniers Write Stupid Letter

Not in a science journal like the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, but in the Financial Post!

For a resounding criticism of it, read this.

Latest From Doha

Covered by the NYT and Reuters.

When More Medical Radiation Is Good

When targeting lung cancers with it which have evolved resistance to drugs.

Medical Radiation Exposure Reduction Conference

Is being held this week by the IAEA.

Science Refutes God

Is the topic of a debate which is being live-streamed this Wednesday.

Teens Dying Curb Sunbed Tanning Industry

Yeah, not a good thing to contribute to kids' cancer.  And where have we seen this line before (think - fossil fuel industry and global warming or nuclear industry and LNT or religious organizations and evolution)?:

 “Though they don’t have much in the way of scientific argument, they do their best to obfuscate.”

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Radiation Issue In Indiana Town?

Possibly due to fly ash, but the EPA doesn't agree with local "expert".

Faults Inspected At Tsuruga Nuke Plant

They can learn from Fukushima too.

Fukushima Inspires Safety For Georgia Rx's

As covered by CNN.

Bashing Nuclear Power

The Nuclear Energy Information Service is holding a two day conference in Chicago, starting yesterday.  Their confirmed list of speakers (provided on their website) are pretty much the same anti-nuclear folks of decades past.

Video's of yesterday's talks are here.

Arnie Gundersen has posted his talk on his website.

Montana You Have An IDiot

Who has been elected as a legislator.  Not a smart move.

The Guardian On Cumbria

The Guardian is a British newspaper and Cumbria is the proposed high level radioactive waste disposal site. Here are a series of short videos posted by the newspaper where a reporter gets different viewpoints from different folks:

Saturday, December 1, 2012

CO2 Could Reduce Crop Yields

It almost certainly will in a particular region for a particular crop, but it may help certain crop yields in other regions.  Some people focus only on the fact that CO2 is consumed by plants as a part of photosynthesis, so the first thought is that rising CO2 should be good.  But rising CO2 also causes temperature increases, droughts and flooding which can be worse.

High Thyroid Doses To 178 Fukushima Workers

According to this article describing the draft WHO report on Fukushima.

Islam To Focus On Science - Surely You Jest

Though it would be refreshing.

Inside Fukushima - Chaos & Uncertainty

An opinion in the NYT based on viewing the released videos.

EnergySolutions Site Changes Approved

But I can't tell what they are from this nebulous article.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Chasing Ice" Viewer Emerges From Fox News Bubble

"Chasing Ice" is a documentary about the planet's loss of ice due to global warming.  Here's a trailer:

DNA Imaged For First Time With Electron Microscope

Previous images obtain by x-ray crystallography.

Farm Lobby Wants VA U Ban To Stay

Because they think it's too dangerous and they want to grow tobacco.

The irony.

Dispersants Made Deep Water Horizon Spill 52 Times More Toxic

Based on rotifer studies, a common organism used to understand ecotoxicity.

Energy Use By Country

Here's an interactive graphic that makes it easy to see.

15% CO2 Emissions Cut Needed

By 2020 to hit UN's warming target.  

Global Warming & Atmospheric Rivers

Can lead to flooding, especially in CA.

The Economics Of Radwaste Disposal

General rule is cheaper is better as long as regulatory compliance is satisfactory.

Possible Sabotage At San Onofre

Coolant in emergency diesel generator oil reservoir - possible employee retaliation to impending layoffs.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ice, Ice Baby

A new study shows that ice sheet loss at both poles is increasing.

But fear not, there's likely ice on Mercury.

Music please, Maestro (no, not Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby", rather Bowie/Queen's "Under Pressure" from which he stole the bass riff):

CNN - How Old Is The Earth?

It's good that they had Bill Nye on to criticize the stupidity.  But the caption shouldn't say "...debate over the age of the Earth...".

There is no debate.

Does Ubiquitination Cause Cancer?

This study of the Ras gene sure makes it seem so.  We've known gene mutations in Ras can lead to cancer, but ubiquitination is an epigenetic effect.

Neurosurgeon Promotes Heaven

And tries to make a buck with a book.

Does Genomic Instability Cause Cancer?

This has been a pretty old question.  Cancer cells are notorious for having lost control of their genomes, but is this a symptom or a driver of cancer?  A recent study with fruit flies indicates it's a driver.

Note that in addition to causing mutations in DNA in the "hit" cell, ionizing radiation also causes genomic instability whose effects include mutations, chromosome aberrations, aneuploidy and micronuclei, in cell daughters several generations after the "hit".

France's Love Affair With Nuclear Energy Cools

For some citizens anyways.

Ted Rockwell's Ironic Plea

In the December issue of the Health Physics Society's Newsletter he asks for assistance from "radiological protection experts" to denounce the NYAS's Chernobyl book.

The editorial is titled, "The Responsibilities Of Being A Radiological Protection Expert".

The irony is that he co-chaired the 2012 ANS President's Special Session which was an overt attempt to deny the science of health physics.

So, being a responsible "radiological protection expert", I criticized that session (as I do the Chernobyl book).

See this earlier post on both attempts to politicalize health physics.

Antarctic Ice Melting More Slowly

Than earlier estimated.

2012 Ranks Among One Of The Hottest Years

Among the 9 warmest since record keeping began.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Closer Scrutiny Of CT Scan Exposures

Were recommended in the journal Radiology.  This study may be relevant.

If The Last Post Didn't Hurt, This One Will

Wild animals at the usually animatronic "museum" devoted to willful ignorance:

More Anti-Science Propaganda By The Discovery Institute

This time with a documentary attempting to show that C.S. Lewis, who had warned how science could be twisted to attack religion and limit human freedom, was prophetic.  Not that there hasn't been plenty of evidence of people using religion in order to limit human freedom!  Nah!

How A Nuclear Power Plant Works

High quality video by a low quality group (The Heritage Foundation, which was mentioned in the article associated with an earlier post today).  Other videos in their series, "Powering  America" can be found at the link given at the end of this video (I've posted a few before, search "heritage").

Chernobyl Milestone (Improved)

Yesterday I posted on the shelter construction milestone reached at Chernobyl.  But the photo in the article didn't really do the milestone justice.

This does.

Why Conservatives Turned Against Science

Because science exposed failures of the free market.

And not surprisingly. scientists have fled the Republican Party.


Tying environmental exposures to biological triggers of disease.

Global Warming - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Some scientists are looking for ways we can use climate change to our advantage.

Music please, Maestro:

Court Room - Homeopathy vs. Medicine

Homeopathy found guilty of being stupid.

Medicine wins!

Remember kids, radiation hormesis was originally promoted by comparing it to homeopathy.

Of Course! This Is America!

About 64% of adult patients undergoing outpatient CT didn't know what radiologists do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies To Publicly Admit Deception


Chernobyl Milestone

In the construction of its shelter.

Arafat's Remains Exhumed To Check For Poisoning

Po-210 is one suspected agent, though Arafat's symptoms didn't really match those of Po-210 poisoning.

But then why were some of his personal articles contaminated years later (it has a half life of 138 days)?

Cleanup Of Westinghouse's Hematite Still Going

Should be complete next year.

RealClearScience Asst. Editor, Doesn't Understand Science

Or at least the philosophy of the science.  Ross Pomerey tries to support the claim that strict atheism is unscientific.  His basic argument boils down to "you can't prove god doesn't exist!".

Of course, he fails to define "God".  The reader is free to imagine any god he/she wants to and assume Pomerey is addressing that version.  Maybe he is, maybe he isn't.

We can all imagine whatever we want exists, like unicorns, fairies, gods, etc.

Just because we can imagine it, is not a good reason to think they actually exist.

An existence claim of something not generally observed requires evidence, and an existence claim of something extraordinary, like gods, requires extraordinary evidence.

No such evidence exists, so there's no reason to believe in gods.

Entertainer Caldicott In Japan

Anti-nuclear entertainer Helen Caldicott was in Japan recently.  I don't understand the questions, but I understand the answers.  I do hope the audience isn't taking her seriously, but they probably are:

Climate Denial Groups Work To Reverse Renewable Energy Mandates

No, they're not climate skeptics...they're deniers.  When groups deny the preponderance of the evidence then the actions that they undertake will not be reality-based.

Small Rx For Deep Space Flight

Is described here (I couldn't get the video to play for me).

U.S. Scientists Learn From Fukushima

Members of the National Academy of Sciences went to Japan to prepare for an upcoming report due to be released in 2014.

Hope Of Homes Fade For Fukushima's Displaced

A NYT article.

ANS & NYAS - Case Studies In HP Politicalization

I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on the similarities and differences between the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) publication of the Chernobyl book, and the American Nuclear Society's (ANS) 2012 President's Special Session On Low Level Radiation & Its Implications For Fukushima Recovery.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Climate Change: From Biotic To Exotic

In a talk by Minda Berbeco, superhero (you'll understand if you watch it, and you should watch it with a glass of wine!):

Climate Change Evident Across Europe

According to a new, free online report published by the EU's European Environment Agency.

Errata - Earth Isn't Old

HA! HA!  No, no, no...I'm just joking.  Following my earlier post of today on the geology piece in USA Today, we have this nonsense.

Those arguments probably appear to be sound arguments to that audience.

Post-Fukushima: "Coexisting With Nature"

I haven't seen David Suzuki in some time (he was the host of the long-running television science series, The Nature Of Things).  Here he is in a NHK documentary about Japan, asserting the need for a change of direction in energy production:

U.N. Human Rights Rapporteur On Fukushima

A rapporteur is someone who is charged by an organization to develop a report on a particular subject and inform the organization of the results.  In this case the organization is the U.N. Human Rights Committee, the subject is Fukushima, and the rapporteur is Anand Grover.


Science In USA Today

It's wonderful to see an article like this one in the USA Today.

Free Course On Critical Thinking

Offered by Duke University.

I Could Get Arrested In KY

As could any number of people who don't follow dogma.

When 375 Miles Per Second Is Kinda Slow

When it's a Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun.

Leading Imaging Companies Demonstrate Commitment To Dose Reductions

Philips and Toshiba.

WHO Draft Report Of Fukushima Health Effects

Apparently a draft of the report is available, though it's not on their website.  As expected the predicted cancer risk increases are very low.

Poor Arnie!  Will he pull a Pat or not?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Practicing This Is A Waste Of Time

Here's Pat Robertson explaining why, even though he had said god had revealed to him that Romney would win the last Presidential election, Obama won.  He suggests practicing to try to hear voices in your head until you do.  I suggest practicing just about anything else:

Here was his "revelation" from last January:

Britain To Encourage Nuclear & Wind Power

A bit of good news amidst a possible calamity (see previous post).

Global Warming Calamity Warnings

This article describes the international meeting going on in Doha, Qatar.

The snapshot of climate change numbers (at end of article) is troubling.

(I don't recall ever seeing the message of calamity associated with a photo of cooling towers, unless the message was anti-nuclear and the cooling towers belonged to a nuclear power plant.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fukushima & The ICRP

The International Commission On Radiological Protection (ICRP) formed a unique task group to understand the radiological issues associated with Fukushima so that the information could be assimilated within the ICRP's work of promulgating radiation protection recommendations.

The initial lessons learned by the task force can be found at the ICRP website (left hand side, under "News").

PSR Plays The "Safe" Game

The Physicians For Social Responsibility (PSR) is an anti-nuclear group and it contains an Environmental Health Policy Institute.  Their current topic is Radioactivity and Health.

Two of the papers deal with health physics and both play on the word "safe" ("Radiation's Risk To Public Health" & "An Overview Of Radiation and Health").

Those authors over-emphasize the absolute meaning of "safe"....that radiation exposure does increase the risk of cancer.  That's true.

But there's also a relative meaning of "safe"....meaning that every endeavor involves some sort of risk so any radiation exposure (and any associated benefit) should be considered relative to other endeavors.  So, we can compare the risk of an x-ray in order to diagnose a pain we're experiencing to an alternative of surgery which involves its own risk.  Or we can forgo diagnosis, which also has its own risks.

We can compare the risk of radiation exposure from nuclear power to risks associated with other energy sources.  Or we can forgo energy, which has its own risks.  Energy is a benefit which powers hospitals, heating and cooling systems, etc. and therefore saves lives.  Of course electricity itself also kills people, in addition to the byproducts of energy production.

If the PSR elaborated on relative safety, it would talk itself out of its agenda.

Seawater Level Rise Marches On

After dipping sharply in 2010-2011 due to a strong La Nina event.

Leukemia Risks Amongst French Nuclear Workers

The study, published in the recent Radiation Research journal (as was the study of the previous post), shows an increased risk.

Chernobyl Worker Thyroid Study

Shows increased thyroid cancer risk.

This follows on the heals of an earlier study on leukemia incidence among Chernobyl workers.

Physical Scientists Take On Cancer

Here's a free online supplement of Outlook courtesy of the journal Nature which has a wonderful collection of easy-to-read papers on the topic.

Climate Change News

The World Bank fears a 4C warming trend.  "The time is very, very short."

Reduced Russian arctic ice.