Skip to main content

The Nuclear Bamboozlement Road Show

snake-oil-scamAlfred Meyer of Physicians for Social Responsibility, travelling around and talking nuclear smack:

His speaking tour … has taken him to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and South Haven. The final stop will be to­night in Ann Arbor. During his presentation, Mr. Meyer shared informa­tion about how nuclear power plants, such as Fermi 2 in New­port, affect the lives of those liv­ing there and the environment in their immediate vicinity.

He argued that there were “no safe levels” of exposure to radiation for humans, plants or animals and that the effects of those energy waves are rarely tested.

“Illnesses don’t come with labels,” he said. “ There isn’t a sign that tells (doctors) a person has thyroid cancer because of Fermi — they just have thyroid cancer. But it isn’t just cancer. (Radiation) affects your circula­tory system and other parts of the body.”

At least the Monroe News throws this in:

According to the DTE Energy Web site about Fermi, “people living near Fermi 2 receive less than one millirem of exposure a year due to that plant’s opera­tion.”

They might have mentioned that a person picks up about 310 millirem per year just by walking around, but it’s a fair effort.

You can’t really rebut vaporous arguments about the “unknown” causes of thyroid cancer, but a responsible physician would know you can look for elevated instances of it around nuclear facilities – except he would also know you won’t find them. 

Here’s an example of a study looking for thyroid cancer among workers cleaning up after the Chernobyl accident:

In the study of 4,742 Estonian cleanup workers referred to above, Inskip et al. did not find an excess of thyroid cancer 9 years after the accident, and subsequent extended follow-up of this cohort did not show any increase in the risk of thyroid cancer up to 16 years after the accident.

Using such a group is important because “studies of such workers potentially have greater statistical power to measure effects.” And that’s because, while other factors still apply, this is a group that spent a measureable period working in a radiation-heavy area.

So it’s not impossible to sort out nuclear facility impacts (and this was after an accident, not daily operation) versus environmental issues. Complex yes, impossible no

NEI sends speakers around to provide a truer accounting of nuclear energy – hopefully, the folks at DTE Energy have someone to give talks to bamboozled Michigan residents.

Comments

Joffan said…
What the Chernobyl results demonstrate is also known from medical exposure: I-131 doesn't cause thyroid cancer in adults.

Thyroid Cancer after Diagnostic Administration of Iodine-131
In conclusion, it is reassuring that the careful examination of over 34,000 patients who received substantial radiation doses to their thyroid glands from I-131 did not reveal a radiation-related risk of thyroid cancer.
Radiation is safe within limits. Radiation: The Facts is a short, readable, article that can be used to educate open-minded people.
http://theenergycollective.com/roberthargraves/347786/radiation-facts
It's also available as a tri-fold brochure.
https://sites.google.com/site/radiationsafetylimits/

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …