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Monday, August 20, 2012

Gundersen Anti-Nuking Again

On a local public T.V. show:

1.  The earthquake and tsunami were historic for THAT region.  It's stupid to compare to a meteor (disaster, fluke of nature).  Meteors fall all the time somewhere on Earth.  One figures it's unlikely to fall where one is standing.  Similarly, an earthquake of that magnitude in that region was highly unlikely, never in history was one recorded there.  We frequently weigh costs against risks, like in driving safety.

2.  He is correct that our risk estimates can be proven to be wrong in the future.  That's why they're called risk estimates.  If we could predict the future with 100% accuracy, there would be no risk.

3.  The NRC and the industry frequently adjust practices based on new knowledge.  This has nothing to do with the new Chairperson or new seismic knowledge.

4.  He lies about Yucca Mountain, it was chosen by scientists and based on their review Congress voted to accept it.  Contrary to what he says, it was scientifically "best".  We started studying it in the late 1970's and Congress voted its approval in 2002.  MacFarlane raised questions about the site (which could apply to any site), but did not pass judgement on it.

5.  He lies about the health effects of depleted uranium.

6.  "Insects are relatively radiation resistant compared to human beings".  Some are and some aren't.  Obviously the butterflies are not.  We have not statistically found an excess of human mutations from any radiation exposures (they could be happening below the detection threshold, but the rate would be low).

7.  Only 1 phone call.  Funny.

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