research that might rethink LNT

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research that might rethink LNT

Post by macpacheco » Nov 18, 2014 1:32 pm ... 11401.html

The US House of Representatives on has passed legislation to authorize Department of Energy (DoE) research on whether low-dose ionizing radiation poses a risk.

Could this be the beginning on rethinking LNT at the govt level ?

Fingers crossed. The retrospective on this isn't good. But it can't get any worse, so one should be hopeful.
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Re: research that might rethink LNT

Post by nsche » Nov 18, 2014 5:33 pm

Also needs to be passed by the senate (unlikely in the lame duck session) and signed by the President (unlikely IMHO) to become law. It is just posturing otherwise. Maybe in the next congress.

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Re: research that might rethink LNT

Post by MSJ » Nov 19, 2014 12:29 pm

Bill summary and tracking options here: ... 44#summary

House passed it on a voice vote with no opposition so there's no record of how individual members voted, but govtrack gives only 31% chance of enactment ..

It's a good stalking horse -- the bill sponsor is a medical doctor, motivated by concerns money is being wasted, needlessly, due to lack of understanding.

Will fossil fuel lobby care enough to oppose?

If yes, will they do it anonymously?

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Re: research that might rethink LNT

Post by Lars » Nov 19, 2014 3:09 pm

GAO is also concerned about LNT because it is badly distorting how much damage a terrorist dirty bomb could do to our society. They have been agitating with EPA to justify LNT.

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Re: research that might rethink LNT

Post by KitemanSA » Nov 23, 2014 10:17 pm

IIRC, there was a large EPA study on low dose radiation that was terminated prior to completion. The report I read seemed to indicate the EPA was determining that the LNT model was incorrect.

I'd be satisfied with the LED model (linear excess dose) as a replacement, though a decent hormetic model would also be good.
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Kurt Sellner
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Re: research that might rethink LNT

Post by Kurt Sellner » Nov 24, 2014 12:37 am

MSJ wrote:Will fossil fuel lobby care enough to oppose?
There's two ways to look at this, the transport fuel side and the electric utility side. Transport fuels are primarily from oil and I do not believe that the oil people see nuclear power as opposition. In fact the oil people might see nuclear power as an ally, nuclear power could mean getting more oil more cheaply to make more money. This is one market that Terrestrial Energy is lobbying. A small modular MSR would provide the heat needed to squeeze more oil out of sands, shales, and wells.

Electricity production is a bit more diverse. There is coal, natural gas, wind, hydro, and solar. Natural gas might also see nuclear as an ally since nuclear power does well for base load but not for peak. More nuclear, at least the old steam nuclear, mean more peaking power needed. If nuclear power starts to translate into load following gas turbines instead of steam then natural gas may still find a market in energy. They'll sell natural gas to preheat the air, or on site backup. If that does not work then expect natural gas to move to other markets that use natural gas as a fuel or feedstock for chemical processing, like fertilizers, ethanol, plastics, concrete, solvents, or sell to the oil people that need to lighten up their heavy waxes into more valuable gasoline and fuel oil.

Coal may or may not be a hard sell. On some level all these people want to do is make electricity. That means all they want to make is money. If they can make money with nuclear power then they might just buy in. The coal miners would have to find a new market, such as concrete or aluminum, or switch to a new mineral to mine, like uranium, thorium, and rare earth metals.

The hydroelectric people will be confident that they can produce electricity at a lower price, can defend their existence by pointing out flood control and other water concerns, and/or even play nice with nuclear as a mechanism to store the energy they produce.

I think the real push back would be from the wind and solar people. The problems with selling wind and solar we be much more difficult if the calculated risks from nuclear radiation is reduced. Things like cost, carbon output, reliability, terrorism issues, are becoming less of a benefit for wind and solar with newer nuclear power designs.

All the wind and solar lobby have against nuclear is radiation fears and cost. A reexamination of the effects of radiation on the body can change that. Advancements in small modular reactors is changing the costs. If someone gets load following nuclear reactors to work then the mood can change real quick. All of the sudden the wind and solar people don't have to rely on natural gas to make up for when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.

Now, it seems to me that the wind and solar people tend to lean to the Democratic Party. So the question to me is does the Democratic Party have enough political power any more to oppose this? I keep hearing about how the Democratic Party is the party of science. If they oppose this then they will give more evidence on how they are green on the outside but red communist control freaks on the inside. These watermelons will use all kinds of arguments of saving the environment to pry themselves into more aspects of our lives.
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.

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