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 Post subject: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 5:41 pm 
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The root cause of our slow progress in achieving the benefits of nuclear power is fear and ignorance of radiation. Unfounded fear raises the costs of waste disposal, security, construction financing, decommissioning, payments to government agencies, and legal fees.

I have developed a new website and brochure, Radiation: The Facts, to help overcome public fear of radiation from nuclear power.

http://radiation-safety-limits.info

The theme of the campaign is Radiation is safe within limits. The brochure lays out the facts to end LNT and ALARA rules and establish an exposure limit of 100 mSv/year.

Please take a look at the brochure and explore its website. If you like it send me a physical mailing address and I'll mail you a few professional-looking copies along with a letter asking for help in overcoming the public fear by distributing this brochure.

It was very well received at the Boston ANS meeting this week. I've mailed out hundreds to colleagues and hopefully influential people. I'd like your help in this effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Perhaps you should add higher natural radiation areas like the Brazil beaches (some >100 mSv/year where people lay down onto without any protection, indeed near naked).

5 Sv isn't always deadly, it is usually considered the LD50 level, but its hard to pin down such a level as exposure rates vary (5 Sv in 1 second is usually deadly, 5 Sv in one hour is surviveable).

Better than a yearly limit is an hourly limit. 0.1 mSv/h looks a safe dose rate for adults, even if permanently present as a chronic dose rate.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 6:32 pm 
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The history of Japanese A-bomb survivor healt studies is interesting.
According to the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF),

“About 120,000 subjects selected from residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki identified through the national census in 1950 have been followed since that time, including 94,000 atomic-bomb survivors and 27,000 unexposed individuals.”
http://www.rerf.or.jp/glossary_e/lss.htm

Even the earliest published studies noted problems.
According to Life Span Study. Report 1. (October 1950-June 1958, Beebe GW, Ishida M, Jablon S),

“The sample consists of about 100,000 persons, including those exposed near to ground zero, persons exposed at such distances from ground zero as to guarantee that little radiation was received; and nonexposed immigrants to the cities.”

“The nonexposed group seems unsatisfactory as a control, at least for the period in question, since it is characterized by abnormally low mortality in relation to both the exposed survivors and the Japanese population generally.
It may be hoped that the influence of screening will diminish in future years, and that it will be possible to employ the nonexposed group as a valid control.”

http://www.rerf.or.jp/library/scidata/l ... r05-61.htm


RERF’s web site includes appropriate caveats:

“It also should be acknowledged that the LDEF values relate to extrapolation of linear risk estimates based on high-dose/high-dose-rate exposures to low-dose/high-dose-rate exposures. The applicability of the results to situations in which the dose rates are low or exposures are highly fractionated is less clear and requires additional assumptions, which cannot be evaluated with the present data.”
http://www.rerf.or.jp/library/update/re ... vaeth.html

“To date, most reports on the late effects of radiation on cancer in the Life Span Study cohort have focused on mortality. In recent years, a major effort has been made to include the quality of the population-based Hiroshima and Nagasaki tumor registries in RERF studies by producing a registry of cancer incidence in the LSS.”

“Not established in Nagasaki until 1957 and in Hiroshima until 1958, the tumor registries are mainly limited by incomplete coverage of the LSS cohort, which includes people who have migrated from the registry catchment areas.”

The accompanying Figure compares the number of solid tumor cases available for mortality and incidence analyses of the LSS from 1958 through 1987 (the period covered in the tumor registry reports). During this time, 22,187 deaths occurred among LSS members, of which 6,336 were coded as cancer deaths on death certificates, whereas the registries contain data on 9,010 first primary tumors.

“The dose response appears linear for the solid tumors, whereas substantial curvature is seen in the dose-response curve based on leukemia incidence.”

http://www.rerf.or.jp/library/update/re ... idenc.html


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Just a small tip: I'd take out the footnotes if you're not referring to them anyway, they only distract from the text - instead just place a note at the end saying the sources can be found on your website. Also I'd take out the few first sections which feel like propaganda for nuclear energy and state some things that aren't strictly speaking true. Perhaps it's better to make a reference to nuclear energy at the end of the brochure.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 7:59 pm 
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Chen's paper on the Taiwan apartments has been discredited. The residents were mainly students and thus quite a bit younger than the general population. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis

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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 11, 2014 9:44 pm 
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This is interesting... I do not know the full attribution.

http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2013/01/ ... ve-places/


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 12, 2014 4:28 am 
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pstudier wrote:
Chen's paper on the Taiwan apartments has been discredited. The residents were mainly students and thus quite a bit younger than the general population. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis


Not so fast, Paul. That doesn't discredit the paper - in particular, it doesn't explain why cancer incidence was lower and lower with time.

The fact that residents were younger is perfectly displayed in the data - see the graph where national average cancer incidence is compared to the apartments (the apartments start off with a lower cancer incidence rate that is perfectly compatible with the younger population argument).


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 12, 2014 4:38 am 
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Jaro, one of the most important flaws in the bomb survivor studies is that this is a prompt exposure, not chronic. Radiation hormesis (and nuclear power plant accident radiation risks as well) are about chronic doses.

The dose rate is what's important because the body has a certain capacity to deal with damage and heal itself. Dose is not so important. I can take 1 pill of aspirin every day, for the rest of my life, with no detectable health effects, in fact possibly even beneficial for the heart. Doing that for 50 years would net me dose of 18250 pills of aspirin, which is always deadly if taken at once, even 1% of that dose if taken in one day is deadly.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 12, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
Jaro, one of the most important flaws in the bomb survivor studies is that this is a prompt exposure, not chronic. Radiation hormesis (and nuclear power plant accident radiation risks as well) are about chronic doses.

The dose rate is what's important because the body has a certain capacity to deal with damage and heal itself. Dose is not so important. I can take 1 pill of aspirin every day, for the rest of my life, with no detectable health effects, in fact possibly even beneficial for the heart. Doing that for 50 years would net me dose of 18250 pills of aspirin, which is always deadly if taken at once, even 1% of that dose if taken in one day is deadly.

Absolutely ! .....couldn't agree more. In fact one of the RERF caveats quoted above says as much.

I just think that mixing up the A-bomb survivor studies with the LNT/hormesis debate confuses the issue. There are many better, unrelated studies to look at.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 12, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Prof. Hargraves: That's certainly the kind of information we need to fight public ignorance. I have a few comments and suggestions.

The font is rather large. Maybe a bit too large.

The "Misunderstandings" list of false statements could be misconstrued as true statements by an inattentive reader. You might want to somehow clearly label each one as false.

I suggest you add a bit more on Fukushima since it is the new rallying cry among the anti-nukes. Just citing radiation figures and claiming that the levels are safe is not effective enough in my opinion. I suggest that you compare the Fukushima emissions with natural levels of radioactivity already in the ocean. If you can show that Fukushima raised the radioactivity of the Pacific by only a few millionths of the previous natural level, that to me is much more persuasive than just citing absolute figures and declaring them safe.

Also, a comparison of the radioactivity emissions from coal-fired power plants could be very effective. In an article in Forbes, I saw this:

"The radiation that fossil fuel plants spew into the environment each year is around 0.1 EBq. That’s ExaBecquerel, or 10 to the power of 18. Fukushima is pumping out 10 trillion becquerels a year at present. Or 10 TBq, or 10 of 10 to the power of 12. Or, if you prefer, one ten thousandth of the amount that the world’s coal plants are doing. Or even, given that there are only about 2,500 coal plants in the world, Fukushima is, in this disaster, pumping out around one quarter of the radiation that a coal plant does in normal operation."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall ... n-bananas/

Now, if that is true, then it certainly puts the whole matter to rest. However, I have not been able to confirm it yet. If you can do that, that would be great.


Last edited by Russ on Jan 13, 2014 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 1:26 pm 
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New post on my FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=579609188785654&set=a.493867307359843.1073741828.493843777362196&type=1&relevant_count=1


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 7:59 pm 
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On the topic of footnotes, I think leaving them in is critical. The anti-nuclear types I know will not accept anything said without attribution and then only very solid and well acknowledged attributions. They assume any written argument is just another blogger stating a different viewpoint.

I find that attitude amusing because they present a lot of hogwash without attribution to peer reviewed research. They accept crazy statements as factual and require opposing views only with iron clad backing.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 14, 2014 6:11 pm 
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https://xkcd.com/radiation/

It is rare that I get into a conversation where radiation fear-mongering can't be explained by this awesomely visual chart.

No, 150 microsievert readings from Half Moon Bay are not proof of "disastrous consequences of Fukushima". That is a pitifully small dose and it has nothing to do with Fukushima. The higher background there is probably from radon seeping out of the large natural gas deposits underneath the Monterrey Bay area.

^above is from a real conversation I had last week.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 15, 2014 3:56 am 
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Cthorm wrote:
https://xkcd.com/radiation/

It is rare that I get into a conversation where radiation fear-mongering can't be explained by this awesomely visual chart.

No, 150 microsievert readings from Half Moon Bay are not proof of "disastrous consequences of Fukushima". That is a pitifully small dose and it has nothing to do with Fukushima. The higher background there is probably from radon seeping out of the large natural gas deposits underneath the Monterrey Bay area.

^above is from a real conversation I had last week.


Again though, it confuses the dose rates. The 8 Sv that is supposed to be always deadly even with treatment, is actually highly dependent on dose rate. If 8 Sv in one second, yes almost zero probability of survival. If 8 Sv over a year (<1 mSv/h) almost certainly you will survive. The graph uses different dose rates, some are over a year, others prompt, but it's not explicit about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Radiation: The Facts
PostPosted: Jan 15, 2014 7:17 am 
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Cthorm wrote:
.No, 150 microsievert readings from Half Moon Bay are not proof of "disastrous consequences of Fukushima". That is a pitifully small dose and it has nothing to do with Fukushima. The higher background there is probably from radon seeping out of the large natural gas deposits underneath the Monterrey Bay Area.
Turns out to be beach sand, high in thorium and radium.

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