Thursday, March 29, 2012

NEI Questions Associated Press Reporting on Gundersen Radiation Claims

By now I'm sure most of you have seen the AP story that ran earlier this week that quoted Arnie Gundersen saying that soil samples he took in Tokyo would be classified as low level radioactive waste in the U.S. Yesterday, I published a short blog post on the subject after speaking with NEI's Chief Health Physicist, Ralph Andersen.

After discussing the situation further with our media relations staff, we decided to take our case directly to the AP. The following note was sent to AP Editors Karen Testa and Evan Berland in Philadelphia this afternoon. We'll provide updates once we hear back from them.

Dear Ms. Testa:

I am writing to you in reference to an unbylined Associated Press story that appeared in a number of newspapers earlier this week with the headline, "Vt. consultant Gundersen: Tokyo soil is N-waste." The claim made in this article by Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates that soil collected in Japan could be classified as radioactive waste does not seem to have been independently verified, and hence should not have been published by the AP in violation of long established journalism standards. I believe a correction is in order.

In order to classify an object or a substance as radioactive waste, it takes more than simply triggering a Geiger counter. In the United States, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has explicit guidelines. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensees who need to dispose of items that have become irradiated -- in the case of nuclear power plants this often means water purification filters and resins, tools, protective clothing and other plant hardware -- have two options. In the first case, you can ship the waste to a certified disposal site. However, there are cases where the levels of radioactivity are so low that you can actually petition the NRC to dispose of it in an alternate manner.

However, if someone who is not a regulated licensee finds materials that have been irradiated, different regulations come into play. In the case of Japan, the levels of radiation found beyond Fukushima Prefecture -- and that includes the Tokyo metropolitan area -- are so low that our resident health physicist says that there are no regulations that would require the soil there to be disposed of. Furthermore, without seeing the report from the lab that Gundersen used, it would be impossible for any radiation protection professional to completely evaluate his claims. If a radiation protection professional with 40 years of experience in our industry wasn’t able to verify Mr. Gundersen’s claims, then how was your reporter able to do that?

In none of the articles that I have seen in various newspapers is there any specificity provided to readers on radiation levels—simply broad claims attributed to Mr. Gundersen. Furthermore, there isn’t any evidence in the articles that your reporter attempted to verify Mr. Gundersen’s claims with any independent third parties. According to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, reporters should, "Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error." In this case, it seems clear to us that the reporter failed to do either, which makes us wonder why it was ever published.

We would also dispute your characterization of Mr. Gundersen as merely a "consultant on nuclear issues." Mr. Gundersen has a long history of working as an anti-nuclear activist, and has a direct financial interest in seeing plants shut down, something he is already working actively to accomplish while in the employ of the state of Vermont as it seeks to close the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. According to an article that appeared in the Burlington Free Press in February 2010 and is featured prominently on Mr. Gundersen's own Web site, he and his wife Margaret have been paid up to $47,000 by the state to provide just these sorts of consulting services.

Failing to fully disclose this financial relationship is a failure of reporting, and reinforces the need to vet any statement by Mr. Gundersen with a credible third party before publication.

During a conversation earlier this week with one of your Philadelphia-based editors, I learned that this article was written by AP's Dave Gram. Steve Kerekes, NEI's Senior Director of Media Relations, contacted Mr. Gram directly by e-mail about the story earlier this week. Mr. Gram has yet to respond -- a reaction that is in direct contravention of the AP's own Statement of News Values and Principles. They read, "Any time a question is raised about any aspect of our work, it should be taken seriously."

If the AP truly stands by that statement, one that was first committed to paper by your organization in 1914, you should immediately review Mr. Gram’s reporting and issue a correction to every AP member newspaper that ran the story.

Sincerely,

Eric McErlain
Senior Manager, Web Communications
Nuclear Energy Institute
Please recall that this is not the first time that we've taken issue with the AP's reporting -- and that others have noticed. More later.

UPDATE: At 5:42 p.m. I received an email from Cara Rubinsky, the AP's New England News Editor, saying that they were looking into our questions. If and when they provide any answers, I'll share them with you here.

36 comments:

jimwg said...

NEI:
Highest applause on your move against unchecked nuclear fear-mongers. By their history it must be said that AP, and most media organs, are inherently and politically hostile towards nuclear energy, from the local reporting level on up, as can amply be found on YouTube. You almost literally cannot dredge up a positive feature on ANYTHING nuclear -- even the RTG on the Curiosity Mars Probe is regarded as a kind of curse by the NY Times. I am square behind you in running Gundersen's mission of deceit and FUD back into the hole he came from -- and I don't say that out of spite, but simply because his passion is to bury you and anything else nuclear, period. It's important that these Pied Pipers of fear and falsehoods know that someone is standing up to their de-educating brainwashing of the masses, and your gutsy move on his coy ally, the media, is a vital step to disseminating truth than dread to the public.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

TMT said...

For those who are interested in tracking the exploits of Mr. Gunderson, the following may be of interest.

In a 2006 federal district court case, Fineman v. Florida Power & Light (reported at 2006 WL 267330 (S.D.Fla.)), the plaintiffs attempted to introduce expert testimony from Gunderson regarding radioactive dose calculations. The Court would not permit the evidence to be admitted. It is worth reviewing the decision. It is typical Gunderson -- no real scientific basis for his conclusions. Here are some selected excerpts from the court's decision:

"A significant defect in the reliability of Gundersen's theory is that a real world “test” of his theory exists in the form of actual sample results completed by government agencies in 1982. Those results refute his theory."

"In addition, Gundersen's theory has not been subjected to peer review and publication, and there is a large potential rate of error if his assumptions are incorrect."

"The Court concludes that Gundersen's Expert Report and Amended Expert Report must be excluded pursuant to the Daubert standard. Gundersen's dose calculations are belied by the contemporaneous reports of the NRC and the FDHRS regarding the amount of radioactive material released at
the Glades Cutoff site, and by the state studies of background Sr-90 levels in citrus fruits since before operation of the plant. In addition, Gundersen has no qualifications to testify as to soil or water movement around the site. Finally, the Court notes that his report is rife with conclusory statements that are not supported by attached documentation."

The district court's decision was upheld on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 2008. The decision is available at 272 Fed.Appx. 761, 2008 WL 863894 (C.A.11 (Fla.)). The Court of Appeals explained its decision regarding Gunderson's testimony as follows:

"For instance, Gundersen bases his expert conclusions on hypotheticals that begin with the assumption that a truckload of radioactive sewage plant solids shipped from the Plant for disposal in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1991 is the material that was dug up from the Glades Cutoff site nearly a decade earlier in 1982. There is, however, no evidence to support this assumption that the 828 cubic feet of material, which weighs approximately 100,000 pounds, was from the Glades Cutoff, nor any explanation why the Plant would hold on to such a large amount of material for almost ten years. Yet, Gundersen takes the radiation concentration of the sewage solids in the 1991 shipment and extrapolates backward using decay calculations for radioactive isotopes -- effectively multiplying the radiation measurement for the 1991 shipment -- to conclude that the material dumped in 1982 had an excessive radiation concentration. Simply put, this is “the kind of scientifically unsupported ‘leap of faith’ which is condemned by Daubert.”"

Mike Twomey
White Plains, NY

Anonymous said...

Should the same standards apply to statements made to journalists by NEI and other industry officials? Clearly they have even a greater financial interest in the issue than does Gundersen.

I'm picturing Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies: "Forty-five THOUSAND dollars!"

ScottP said...

DO you mean misrepresentation of facts like the way NEI is deliberately misrepresenting the new SOARCA study? Or do you mean facts like how the NRC has to withdraw acredidation of WASH 1400? Was that fear-mongering when the NRC agreed that accidents could be even worse than the study? Get real!

Andrea Jennetta, Publisher, Fuel Cycle Week said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, they should. It's ironic that you choose to post as "anonymous," just like the author of the AP article in question.

And Dear NEI, bravo! The industry needs to do more of this kind of challenging when sloppy journalists write sloppy misinformation from anti-nuclear activitists, then refuse to take any responsibility.

Paul said...

Another AP "journalist" is using Gundersen as a source, in this article on San Onofre's steam generator tubes:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/27/national/a080143D97.DTL

Roger said...

Andrea, how's the fuel cycle thing going?

Roger said...

Scared to publish all of my comments? Though you approved my comment about fuel cycle... interesting. You may want to consider adding differing opinions to stimulate some traffic.

Previous Comment: If it's ironic to post as anonymous, is it also ironic that the rest of you are posting under names that link back to your 'blogs'? You wouldn't be commenting to get traffic to your site now, would you? After all this neinuclearnotes is ranked 1.8 million in the world, the largest pro-nuke blog on the web! Keep up the great work y'all.

jimwg said...

What nuclear energy and truth is up against:

From Twitter:
Helen caldicott ‏ @DrHCaldicott
Hooray. Fear grows in O.C. cities near #San Onofre #nuclear plant http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0330-san-onofre-20120330,0,7730812.story
4h helen caldicott helen caldicott

A prominent anti-nuker is GLEEFUL about more and more people being in FEAR of a nuclear plant. I’m not harsh in putting it mildly that this person is _ill_.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Anonymous said...

All those that think Arnie is misrepresenting the situation please go live in Fukushima.

Ethan in VT said...

"Anonymous said...
All those that think Arnie is misrepresenting the situation please go live in Fukushima."

If I didn't have a job, sure, Arnie gobbler! If the Fukushima area is such a radioactive no-man's-land and a loss, why doesn't Japan just GIVE IT AWAY to Japanese and foreigners with a non-responsibility wavier? Ain't happening because that property's no more dangerous than the ones around TMI!

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: At 5:42 p.m. I received an email from Cara Rubinsky, the AP's New England News Editor, saying that they were looking into our questions. If and when they provide any answers, I'll share them with you here.
Should we hold our breath?

Anonymous said...

I post anonymously because my employer wants their name kept out of my personal comments. Hardly your concern.

By the way, does "Fuel Cycle Week" publish the salaries and consultant fees of the pro-nuclear sources it quotes? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

@Ethan in VT
You're kidding! Go look at the videos on the net from people who have gone around with geigercounters measuring the contamination.
You would have to be an idiot to think they don't have a serious problem there.

jimwg said...

Anonymous said...
@Ethan in VT
You're kidding! Go look at the videos on the net from people who have gone around with geigercounters measuring the contamination.

Unless I see "U.N." in blue on their uniforms, I trust their readings and videos as far as I could throw an elephant.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Anonymous said...

@Ethan in VT
You're kidding! Go look at the videos on the net from people who have gone around with geigercounters measuring the contamination.
You would have to be an idiot to think they don't have a serious problem there.

You're crazy! You don't understand radiation measurement instrumentation. A reading on a Geiger counter does not necessarily indicate "contamination". I have a Geiger counter in my lab that I can make so offscale high simply by holding it next to ordinary soil. Why? Because it is sensitive down to a rate of fractions of microrems per hour, and many soils contain significant amounts of natural uranium.

You'd have to be an idiot to post on a technical blog when you obviously don't have a clue as to how radiation detectors work, or their capabilities.

Anonymous said...

You guys need to ask yourselves if you don't have rather redneck blinders on to reality. I see more bias in your viewpoint than the most ardent anti-nuclear proponent has. To deny the seriousness of the situation verges on irrational.
Again I invite you to move to Fukushima and live your beliefs. Probably they won't let you take your elephant but they might allow a troop of blue collar baboons...

jimwg said...

To call us "rednecks" and honorable blue collar workers "baboons" strikes me that you're really just a argument-baiting junior high troll than any serious debater. (I even bet you said the blue collar thing because you didn't pick up that I was implying the United Nations). You talk "seriousness of the situation", yet NONE of your anti-nuclear heroes will sit down to an even telephone debate with any of the nuclear blog honchos here. You should be asking yourself why not -- better yet, ask your Emperor "heroes."

You are uncritically taking the word of people with one serious hang against anything nuclear. They do not cough up their "damning evidence" to renown authorities in their fields to examine and collaborate but instead immediately post their "findings" and "evidence" on YouTube to the great science illiterate unwashed (not being harsh here -- the U.S. ed system is nothing to cluck about). Again, why don't you question this practice? Unlike the nuclear industry and bloggers which are stationary targets that have to answer to facts and reality to be legitimate, anti-nukers can and do often lie and misconstrue fact and reality to impress their points of fear and FUD on the public like a hit and run indelible ink stain. Nuclear energy has an outstanding safety and environmental history that cannot be contested -- even including worst accidents like Fukushima (why don't anti-nukers ever protest industries renown for wiping out souls in whole neighborhoods?), but anti-nukers easily shrug that little detail off because their followers seldom if ever check it out. That means anti-nukers rely on IGNORANCE to foster a following, presenting for their case are lies and "what-ifs" and off-the-wall nightmares.

There really isn't much else to be said.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Anonymous said...

James it is unlikely there can be any good debate because you are unaware your thinking is just as coloured as the staunch anti nuclear people. When I come here and read the comments it is apparent you guys are just as closed in your minds about these matters as a flat earth society.
I notice an aspect of snobbery as well.
Admit it, you aren't much interested in debate as telling people what to think because only you know the truth. While there may be a degree of ignorance in the general public about the technical side of nuclear engineering it isn't mitigated by arrogance and assertion.
Actually I am neither for or against nuclear power. No doubt nuclear energy does deliver electricity but when things go wrong they go very badly wrong as in Fukushima.
Perhaps if you guys are unwilling to admit there is serious contamination in Japan or believe there are no health affects we can arrange for a container load of soil to be transported to where you live and have it spread around your house.

Anonymous said...

"No doubt nuclear energy does deliver electricity but when things go wrong they go very badly wrong as in Fukushima."

"Very badly", eh? Well, that must mean there were some immediate, serious health consequences to the public. Can you tell me the name of a single person who was killed by the radiation release from the Fukushima plant? One will do. Can you even tell me the name of someone among the general public who was seriously injured by the same? Can you compare that to the number of people killed and injured in the earthquake/tsunami itself? Can you compare the number of injuries/fatalities caused by releases from Fukushima to the deaths/injuries caused by renewable energy disasters in Japan following the March 2011 events? Did you know that there were some deaths attributable to renewable energy accidents in Japan resulting from that event? There were, you know. Give you a hint: look up Okura Dam collapse.

Anonymous said...

So unless people are immediately fried by radiation there is no problem in your eyes?
Interesting happenstance from people who count themselves as being well schooled on all aspects of nuclear energy.
I wonder how much radiation you personally are prepared to live in or eat?
I suppose you will tell me that people dont live around Chernobyl because they are poorly informed or of weak character.
Honestly you are disappointing me because these notions of minimal or nonexistant dangers don't stand up to scrutiny. You know Fukushima is a serious accident. Its quite likely things could get worse there at any time.
I don't think we can have a decent debate here when your reasoning is so shallow and fallacious.
Thanks for replying to my posts though.
Arnie is a good man speaking up against vested interests in the interests of the greater good. Even if you don't agree with him or others with similar concerns at least bring a fair minded attitude to the table and don't resort to character assassination or bluster to score a win.
Thanks for the natter and have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Hey, YOU are the one fear-mongering about how bad, how utterly terrible, how "serious" things are. Like I said, if things are that bad, tell me the name of one, just one person who has been seriously injured by the event at Fukushima. The ball is in your court. You say things are so bad, well, tell us, who has been hurt by the consequences? Surely if things are as bad as you say, you can give us just one single name. Generally, serious accidents have serious consequences in terms of impact on people's health. If that is the case, you should be able to tell us who has been seriously injured or killed. When you are talking about serious accidents in an industrial setting, you are generally dealing with injuries and fatalities. Those are characteristics of a serious industrial accident. So the burden of proof is on you. If you fail to provide even one single name, we'll be justified in counting you among the faceless lotus-eaters who are nothing but purveyors of FUD.

Brian Mays said...

"Arnie is a good man speaking up against vested interests in the interests of the greater good."

And by "greater good," I assume you mean Arnie's bank account.

Anon - Your childish nonsense is becoming tiresome. Blindly claiming that "Its [sic] quite likely things could get worse there at any time" is just silly.

Why? What do you have to back up your claim?

The statistic of no deaths from radiation from the damaged Fukushima reactors is a fact that is supported by clear evidence (i.e., a body count). The very low estimates of future health consequences is the result of very mature risk models for exposure to radiation, which have been developed over six decades.

You, on the other hand, apparently feel free to just make stuff up. I don't think we can have a decent debate here when your evidence is so shallow that it is at the point of being nonexistent.

Anonymous said...

Guys I don't want a give you a hard time but going by the responses so far it isn't any wonder no one will debate with you. You simply aren't capable of of sustaining a sensible and thoughtful discussion with other adults without tossing insults and being bigotted.
Its kind of like visiting a bar and discovering some loudmouth Chevrolet fanatic thinks the place is his. You shouldn't expect people to extend your much credibility while this is the standard of your conduct. Being knowledgeable isn't the same as being a well rounded individual with a balanced outlook.
Whether you realise it or not you have made butt naked fools of yourselves here.
Later...
and btw you haven't answered my question about how much radiation each of you are personally prepared to live in...name a figure....lets see you at least salvage some respectibilty even if you can't be civil.

Brian Mays said...

"Guys I don't want a give you a hard time but ..."

Somehow I find that difficult to believe. In fact, I strongly suspect that it is your only purpose for posting your anonymous comments here.

"You simply aren't capable of of sustaining a sensible and thoughtful discussion with other adults without tossing insults and being bigotted [sic]."

If you don't want to be called childish, then you should stop acting like a child. You can begin by dropping the whole "you guys are mean, and I'm taking my toys home with me" attitude and actually address some of the comments here rather than constantly changing the subject.

Some of the comments have directly addressed your "concerns" in a civil fashion, but rather than acknowledge them with some additional "thoughtful discussion," you have chosen again and again to move on with another question, which you hope will give you that "gotcha" moment that you so dearly crave.

Believe it or not, some of the people commenting here have better things to do than to feed the huge chip on your shoulder.

"Whether you realise [sic] it or not you have made butt naked fools of yourselves here."

And who exactly is "tossing insults"? Please grow up.

"and btw you haven't answered my question about how much radiation each of you are personally prepared to live in...name a figure...."

Since you seem to be completely ignorant of radiation protection standards, I suppose that I should inform you that workers in the nuclear industry are willing to be exposed personally to 50 mSv/year (5 rem/year) above background levels. This is the regulatory limit in the US, which is considered to be very conservative and is backed up by solid epidemiological evidence, including comprehensive studies of nuclear workers worldwide. This is for normal operations; the limits in case of an emergency are higher.

Note that 50 mSv/year is a rate of exposure that is higher than most of the "no-entry" zone around the Fukushima-I plant, according to recent measurements.

Anonymous said...

And YOU haven't answered a single challenge to any of your own statements. You say things can "go very badly wrong" with nuclear energy and use Fukushima as an example. You make nebulous, non-specific statements like "things can get worse there anytime" and provide no basis for that assertion. But, even given that, in the spirit of acceptance and cooperation I allowed your example and then asked you to provide the basis for your assertion, and even offered, assuming you didn't know, a standard metric (injuries, fatalities) for industrial accidents, and asked you to back up your assertion. You didn't. You didn't even try. You failed. Then you whine about us insulting you while in the same sentence use pejoratives like "butt naked fools". Look, this is a technical blog whose participants are very knowledgeable concerning the subject at hand. Don't come here and make unfounded assertions and expect not to be challenged. It's clear to us that you don't have the depth of knowledge and experience in the subject to permit a discussion based on facts and verifiable information.

Anonymous said...

Arnie Gundersen was the only one giving real information in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. These are ridiculous attempts to disparage his information. NEI can whine all it likes but if it thinks that people will listen to it, vs Gundersen, they're fooling themselves. And their trolls posting in support are equally foolish.

Anonymous said...

"Real information", eh? About like how there was uncontrolled criticality? There wasn't, never was, won't be. Like how the SFP was going to dry out, and caught fire? Never happened. Gunderson also said "Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed, you probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores,..." First, there are no "fuel cores", there are simply reactor cores. Second, how does four magically become 20? That violates a fundamental law of physics (conservation of mass). Gunderson also said that the Fukushima event (note, event, not "accident") was "the biggest industrial accident in the history of mankind". Nope. Not even close. No fatalities, no injuries, whereas bad industrial accidents in the past have killed thousands. Gunderson has no credibility except among fear-mongers and the mainstream media (same thing).

Anonymous said...

>You didn't even try.
Correct. It was your mentality rather than the questions that ruined your prospects. It didn't take very long to establish I would be wasting my time considering your anatagonistic disposition. I think about the only hostility we haven't seen exhibited here is for you to start slagging off people as being unAmerican.
When you have to contend with such a low level of intellect you may as well save your breath.....

Its absolutely preposterous to say that unless there are immediate and dramatic deaths of the nature of drowning in the tsunami or being crushed by debris there is no accident to note.
What sort of callous and disingenuous monster are you?
According to the same mentality then deaths from asbestos and from smoking are just figments of a statisticians imagination. There was no gore so there is no problem.
Propogating this idea of there being no health hazard from the dispersed radiation is so crass that it doesn't warrant discussion. Its clear to me that one of the difficulties you have here is that you need a spokesman who won't discredit your position by citing such blatantly flawed reasoning as a valid rebutal. Truly a shocking and dishonest minimisation of an unfortunate situation.

Which brings me to protagonist number 2.
Thank you for a half decent reply Brian. I am probably older than you are.
I take it when you say 50mS/hr and say that is very conservative this is what you are willing to live with yourself? So if we were to place a representative tray of cesium, stronium and plutonium dust measuring 350mS/yr under your mattress for the next 20 years you would have no quarms? This is something you could easily declare in public that would validate your assertions on the harmlessness of prolonged radiation exposure. I look forward to seeing the announcement.
The difficulty I have with 50mS/hr at the front gate is that we are not just concerned with the front gate but well beyond the front gate.
We won't get into exactly what sort of greeblies are present at the front gate and beyond but lets just say its an interesting soup with a persistent aftertaste.
Despite your viewpoint even someone as well versed in nuclear matters as presumably you are would quickly acknowledge that the arbitary 20km radius exclusion zone on the map in no way summarises the risk to citizens.
Whilst a considerable amount of the radiation thankfully went out to sea significant amounts went to the NW about as far as 150 km away and as the wind changed direction also as far as
Tokyo. This is no minor event confined to the plant boundary. It would be a crime against humanity to pretend otherwise.

Now if you will excuse me I am frustrated with
typing into this silly little text box

Anonymous said...

"Its absolutely preposterous to say that unless there are immediate and dramatic deaths of the nature of drowning in the tsunami or being crushed by debris there is no accident to note."

First, you are wrong, wrong, wrong to say it was an "accident". It was a natural catastrophe. If it were not for a natural act, nothing would have happened at Fukushima, or elsewhere. Second, by the commonly-used metrics of industrial accidents, even if you want to call it an accident, the results of the Fukushima event in terms of impact on public health (deaths, injuries, long-term effects) are either zero (deaths and injuries) or minor (long term effect health effects) by any credible, objective measure. In you vacuous "mind", you have made up that it is "very serious" by those metrics, but you have no data to support your lying assertion, so you resort to personal insults, such as...

"What sort of callous and disingenuous monster are you?"

A lot less of one than you, who spreads nothing but FUD, which, in the long term (if you want to talk about such things) probably causes more harm to the public welfare than anything Fukushima ever did or will.

Anonymous said...

answer to anon: it is definitely the most expensive industrial accident in history. In terms of productive land now useless it is clearly an incredible tradgedy. As far as verifiable deaths go where should I look for the stats?

The cancers from excess exposure to radioactive materials generally take years to manifest.

Unless you are plain ignorant or an industry hack you should know that.

Once again, let me know where you think we should get the cancer stats from.

Anonymous said...

"If it were not for a natural act, nothing would have happened at Fukushima, or elsewhere."

Please try to pay attention to this because it outlines a huge part of the nuclear debate.

Nuclear power plants should be built to withstand the "natural acts" that they are expected to encounter. In a country like Japan the likelihood of magnitude 8+ earthquakes is so high that the construction of nuclear power stations is irresponsible in the first place.

It is like walking on a tightrope and then blaming the wind and gravity when you fall to your death. The only thing to blame is your lack of intelligence and bad planning. Nature is not responsible in this case.

Anonymous said...

I am not ignorant. You are trying to invoke the LNT model to predict excess cancer deaths. LNT is not an established fact, it is a theory, based on extrapolation of observable effects at very high doses to very low doses. Very low lifetime doses are what we are talking about here. And there are no reliable, credible data points on the LNT curve at very low doses. And for good reason. Observable effects at low doses simply cannot be sorted out from the background in any credible epidemiological model. In fact, based on animal studies and others, there are indications of beneficial radiation effects at very low doses. Look up radiation hormesis if you want to know more.

The LNT model was NEVER intended to be a tool for public policy decisions regarding the use of nuclear energy, nor to predict effects of exposures at very low levels. It was developed as a planning tool for establishing an effective radiation protection paradigm. It allows you to implement practical, reliable procedures to keep doses to a minimum in medical and industrial applications. It was never intended to be a tool for epidemiological protocols or definitive predictions of effects of low doses to large populations.

Anonymous said...

"Please try to pay attention to this because it outlines a huge part of the nuclear debate."

No, YOU pay attention, to YOUR OWN WORDS and the others below.

"Nuclear power plants should be built to withstand the "natural acts" that they are expected to encounter. In a country like Japan the likelihood of magnitude 8+ earthquakes is so high that the construction of nuclear power stations is irresponsible in the first place."

ALL of the reactors in Japan survived the earthquake and those that were required to do so shut down exactly as intended. In fact, the Fukushima reactors survived an earthquake that was about 15 times stronger than their design strength, which was twice the magnitude of the strongest earthquake ever recorded for that area through its history. That they did so is a testament to the strength of their construction and robustness of their design. Not many things built by man can withstand forces 15 times greater than what they are designed to withstand. Now, pay attention, because here is where your ignorance is exposed. It wasn't just the earthquake, it was the one-two punch of an unprecedented magnitude earthquake with an unprecented magnitude tsunami. The earthquake itself did not damage the station, it was the tsunami that followed, which could never have been predicted in any reasonable seismic model simply because there was no data to support it, even going back to earlier geologic eras. The only evidence available for flooding this devastating dated back to prehistoric times, when the islands were first being pushed up out of the sea, tens of millions of years ago. Nothing man builds today allows for that kind of historical backview. It simply isn't realistic to base planning of modern society on information that predates the last geologic epoch. If you tried, you'd never build anything, and that includes things other than nuclear, stuff like skyscrapers, railroads, highways, pipelines, electric power lines, offices, and houses. You'd force us back to the era of living in trees or caves if you did that. If you want to apply that standard, you go first. Find yourself a cave and start digging, tough guy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your replies anonymous and others.
Having witnessed a complete lack of professionalism here and frankly an embarrassing absence of logic in your assertions its obvious the public should pretty much dismiss any technical advice emerging from the NEI as near worthless or even as being so debased by compromised interests as to be willfully genocidal.
The NEI is clearly a corrupt and ineffectual organisation that has no regard for the welfare of people.
Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Almost all your 'facts' are incorrect.
I do not know if this is intentional or if you missed Geography at school.
Please pay attention:

Let us begin with the Tsunami activity and then move on to earthquakes.

You wrote:

"The only evidence available for flooding this devastating dated back to prehistoric times, when the islands were first being pushed up out of the sea, tens of millions of years ago."

Here is a short list of the Tsunami activity in Japan over the last 400 years:

1605: Keichō Nankaido, Japan
tsunami height: 30 metres

1707: Hōei, Japan
tsunami height: 20 metres

1771: Yaeyama Islands, Japan
tsunami height: between 30 meters and 85.4 meters

1792: Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan
tsunami height: 100 metres

1854: Nankai, Tokai, and Kyushu Japan
tsunami height: 16.5 metres

1896: Meiji Sanriku, Japan
tsunami height: 30 metres

1923: Kanto, Japan
tsunami height: 12 metres

1933: Showa Sanriku, Japan
tsunami height: 28.7 metres

1993: Okushiri, Hokkaido, Japan
tsunami height 31 metres

2011: Pacific coast of Japan
tsunami height 30 metres


So we have 10 tsunamis over the Fukushima design basis in 400 years. One every 40 years. How old is Fukushima 1? About 40 years.

So much for your argument of tens of millions of years. Are you paying attention yet?

Most of Japans 50 nuclear reactors are built on the coast.

Here are more lies that you wrote:

"In fact, the Fukushima reactors survived an earthquake that was about 15 times stronger than their design strength, which was twice the magnitude of the strongest earthquake ever recorded for that area through its history."

Actually- as you can see below reactors 2, 3 and 5 experienced 20% more than their design basis...and 1,4 and 6 were within design basis.

The following from

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf18.html

The interim recorded data for both plants shows that 550 Gal was the maximum for Daiichi, in the foundation of unit 2 (other figures 281-548 Gal), and 254 Gal was maximum for Daini. Units 2, 3 and 5 exceeded their maximum response acceleration design basis in E-W direction by about 20%.

Actually a cave is a very bad place to live in an earthquake prone region, and Japan is a very bad place to build nuclear reactors.