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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gundersen - Wing And Some Fear

Arnie's got some more media attention, this time in The Japan Times.

The author doesn't help much, playing one side against the other without reaching any conclusions.  For example, he contrasts a WHO study with a bogus New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) "study" on Chernobyl, except he doesn't identify that the NYAS study is bogus.

So Gundersen is claiming an excess of 1 million cancer deaths from Fukushima!

Here's Arnie at a cocktail party which followed the symposium:

Of course, Arnie commits the fallacy of cherry-picking by fixating on one study to support his claim, one by Steve Wing dealing with Three Mile Island.

That study suffers from the ecologic fallacy and it didn't account for radon.  If you look at the U.S. radon map (see upper right), Pennsylvania has elevated natural radon levels.

Arnie says little attention has been paid to Xenon (primarily Xe-133) and Krypton (primarily Kr-85).  Well, there isn't much need to pay those isotopes much attention (they haven't been ignored, see section 1.4 of the WHO Preliminary Dose Estimate, link provided on the right hand side of this page).  Those gases are not absorbed much by the body because they are inert.  The primary hazard is external radiation to the skin from the beta radiation emitted by those isotopes (cloudshine).  Once the plume passes, the risk is gone.  To the extent one is indoors and clothed, the risk is really, really trivial.

The WHO expects to publish a study on the health effects of Fukushima by year's end.

Don't jump the gun-dersen, Arnie.

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