Debating Pandora’s Promise

November 7, 2013

Pandora’s Promise is a new movie that producers, I guess, hoped would jumpstart the nuclear industry by convincing doubting environmentalists that nuclear is a good idea.

The premise is flawed, because, nobody ever consults environmentalists about new industrial projects – so it doesn’t really matter what environmentalists think. It matters what investors think, and they will not invest in nuclear energy without massive government subsidies and guarantees.  So ironically, the free market conservatives who love nuclear power are the very people that would have to betray their supposed principles to embrace this path.

Van Jones and Pandora producer Robert Stone square off.

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111 Responses to “Debating Pandora’s Promise”

  1. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    I find that animation of the growth of civilization and energy consumption terrifying – we are like a mould enveloping and feasting on an orange, programmed to gorge itself to death.

    An intelligent species ought to be able to recognize and adapt as it exceeds and compromises the carrying capacity of its environment, yet we continue unabated.

    Our overwhelming success at overcoming predators and disease and extracting resources has caused such an asymmetric imbalance that we are becoming a plague, and we all know that inevitable outcome.

    We will need to be reprogrammed to flourish on a finite world in balance with limited resources to avoid crashing our population.

    • Paul Whyte Says:

      I see the key point of advanced nuclear is that it can provide much cheaper power than coal or old nuclear. The profound recycling that is needed to allow growth of the third world with out destroying the planet needs much cheaper power.

      Advanced recycling means that all mined materials gets to be the stuff that cycles with out loss. Plasma recycling can do that. It’s power hungry.

      Using depleted uranium and plutonium from bombs has the energy when burned in Gen 4 advanced nukes on a small scale to completely change the path to an advanced world that feeds on its own limits. There is enough energy to power the world’s needs for 1,000 years just in the existing waste uranium and waste plutonium.

    • jimbills Says:

      This is the basic truth, and the failure to understand it in all implications is our great, unfolding tragedy.


  2. It seems a common meme that now and then some new nuclear blow hard arises to criticize the environmental movement for doing it all wrong and then push some new, expensive technology that will, likely, never compete with fossil fuels. As for the film, it doesn’t seem to make the case that this energy cannot be provided by renewables as well. In the end, it seems like a new face on an old argument.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I only saw the last 20 minutes, but that was very much my reaction. Nothing new here.


    • some new nuclear blow hard arises to criticize the environmental movement for doing it all wrong

      You mean like James Lovelock, or Patrick Moore?  You mean like criticizing the environmental movement for ignoring its own self-declared Most Important Objectives to instead conform to some 1960’s ideological standard of purity?

      and then push some new, expensive technology that will, likely, never compete with fossil fuels.

      It was more than competitive with fossil fuels until lobbyists got Congress to put hostile regulators in charge of it.

      As for the film, it doesn’t seem to make the case that this energy cannot be provided by renewables as well

      The film wasn’t about that.  It was about the personal stories of people who started out from the position of Peter Sinclair, comparing facts to dogma and deciding that environmentalists should put the ENVIRONMENT before moldy slogans.

      It was about what you would do, if you had the moral courage to do it.  That’s why you hate it.


  3. Reparenting reply to daryan12:

    E-Pot

    I am going to wear this as a badge of honor.  You have to dehumanize me because you cannot respond to the facts I bring up.

    I know that shaking people out of old, comfortable and wrong beliefs is both hard work and a thankless job.  I’m still willing to do my part.

    If you think this article was bad, you should hear what Citigroup thinks of nuclear power:

    https://www.citigroupgeo.com/pdf/SEU27102.pdf

    That document is not available without some kind of registration.

    Frankly, I don’t care what Citigroup thinks.  Citigroup is interested in making money on investments, the quicker the better.  What I want from energy systems is reliable clean energy supply; if the first one or few produced spectacular capital gains, there would quickly be enough entrants to the market to destroy those margins.  Coal is steady and dull also, so Citigroup is bound to get more out of speculating in oil and natural gas.

    Citigroup certainly has enough lobbying power to disadvantage boring, low-margin resources like nuclear in favor of those which make them more money.  The logical thing to do, given resource scarcity and climate, is to use nuclear power for electricity and natural gas for vehicles.  Instead, we are pushed to use natural gas for electricity (and export) and even scarcer petroleum for vehicles.  Cui bono?

    Such opinions are not surprising given the quagmire that the two EPR projects have descended into.

    Actually, there are four of them.  The two in China appear to be going swimmingly, with the first one scheduled to go on-line about 4 months from now.  The cost of about $10.5 billion for 3200 MW comes out to about $3300/kW, less than the capacity factor-adjusted capital cost of wind farms.

    This raises the question:  why can the Chinese build EPRs so much faster and cheaper than the Europeans who designed them in the first place?  The answer is simple:  lack of hostile regulators.

    EDF still couldn’t secure private finance and had to rely on state owned Chinese companies to bail the project out.

    With fully half of the world’s EPR construction efforts in China, they have the expertise to play general contractor as well as financier.

    (nobody seems to be able to give the banks a straight answer as to how much a reactor actually costs)

    How could you, when those costs change at bureaucracy’s whim?  Take Vogtle Unit 3 as an example.  The reactor sits on a “base mat”, a huge slab of reinforced concrete.  The plans called for a certain standard for the reinforcing rod.  But it didn’t call out the specific version of the standard, which had changed between the submission of the application and the start of construction.  The contractor used the current version, the NRC got wind of it… and construction was halted for months while the NRC decided whether concrete could be poured or the rebar would have to be ripped up and re-done.  The NRC could have signed off in a week.  I’ve made similar decisions based on calculations of margins in minutes.  The difference is, the NRC’s charter and commissioners call for hostility to the industry it regulates.  So, loans and workers had to be paid while things sat, running up costs.

    Would wind be viable if it faced such hostility?  Not on your life.  Level the playing field.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      E-Pot

      ‘I am going to wear this as a badge of honor. You have to dehumanize me because you cannot respond to the facts I bring up’.

      ‘I know that shaking people out of old, comfortable and wrong beliefs is both hard work and a thankless job. I’m still willing to do my part’.

      I will respond to this part of the ongoing mind-numbing deluge of fact and fiction about nuclear power issues from E-Pot since I am the one who dubbed him with that name.

      Wear “E-Pot” any way you wish, E-Pot, but DO understand that it was a jab at your narcissism, pretentiousness, and general arrogance—-NOT anything to be proud of.

      And, having spent some time in engineering school, and having known a few poets, including a State Poet Laureate, it is apparent to me that using Engineer-Poet as a handle is rather oxymoronic and almost almost beyond comprehension (except as an expression of narcissism, of course). SBAN, E-Pot!

      • daryan12 Says:

        Dumboldguy,

        Touchy isn’t he!

        E-Pot,

        I’ll get you a copy of that citigroup report, its not on this PC but I have it somewhere else and will update the link.

        Firstly, I’d always read anything coming out of China (i.e. a nation without a free press) with a pinch of salt. If the 5 year plan says they will install a reactor with X amount of time and costing Y, then that’s what will be reported to the media. Saying anything different is to question the eternal wisdom of the communist party, which will earn you a trip to a re-education camp in outer Mongolia.

        And even if we were to buy this, one has to consider the much lower labour costs in China compared to the West. So unless they mount the finished power station’s on wheels that ain’t much good to us.

        There have also been accusations of various corner cutting going on at Taishan, something I doubt (and indeed hope) won’t be allowed in the UK.

        http://www.wiseinternational.org/node/3810

        This of course brings us to the issue of nuclear regulation. I feel a sense of deja vu. I recall it being argued back in the 80’s that the soviets were ahead of us because they could build reactors twice as fast for half the cost (or so they claimed anyway!)….an argument that transitioned effortlessly post-Chernobyl into “well Chernobyl isn’t relevant to the west as our nuclear industry is better regulated and uses safer designs”……:roll:


        • If the 5 year plan says they will install a reactor with X amount of time and costing Y, then that’s what will be reported to the media.

          I’m not at all averse to testing Chinese claims on these matters.  They can hide costs, but schedule slips are another matter.  If they throw the breaker at or close to the time they said they would, it suggests that they’re doing something right.  If they don’t, it means they’re not as sharp as they claimed to be.

          Are you willing to DIG FOR EVIDENCE and decide these things based on facts, or are you just going to keep attacking me because I dare to advocate for nuclear power—which, I must remind you, has allowed France and Ontario to almost eliminate fossil-fired generation from their electric grids, as Denmark has not and Germany is falling away from?

          one has to consider the much lower labour costs in China compared to the West.

          This is a valid point.  However, wastage of construction labor time through regulatory delays is a big factor too (read that Cohen chapter I’ve linked a few times, will you?).  So is the addition of non-construction labor as skilled engineers whose jobs are essentially to placate the regulators, not add value to the plant.

          unless they mount the finished power station’s on wheels that ain’t much good to us.

          The idea of the mPower reactor (among other SMRs) is that it can be factory-built and trucked to the installation site as a pre-packaged source of steam.  Russia intends to build and lease entire barge-mounted nuclear plants.

          There have also been accusations of various corner cutting going on at Taishan, something I doubt (and indeed hope) won’t be allowed in the UK.

          I’m all for learning from Beijing’s mistakes as well as our own.  But if we e.g. build whole reactors in factories and use all of the radiological, dye-penetrant and eddy-current inspection techniques to prove that they were made right and have no hidden flaws, do we really need the army of regulators we’ve got?

          I recall it being argued back in the 80’s that the soviets were ahead of us because they could build reactors twice as fast for half the cost (or so they claimed anyway!)

          I do not recall this.  The USA actually had something very close to the RMBK, specifically the N reactor at Hanford.  It was shut down quietly in 1989.  It never malfunctioned.

          The USA went with light-water reactors rather than molten-salt or heavy-water designs because of Rickover and his protegé, Milton Shaw.  This was probably a mistake, but light-water reactors are still better than anything else we can currently build at the required scale.

        • daryan12 Says:

          Oh and as promised

          http://npolicy.org/article_file/New_Nuclear-The_Economics_Say_No.pdf

          I knew someone would have a copy of it online somewhere.


      • The Climate Crocks poster DumbOldGuy
        Habitu’ly makes his own mom cry
        When we ask “What’s the season
        When he will see reason?”
        The answer is always, “When pigs fly.”

        My pseudonym was born on Slashdot something like a decade ago.  My style is 20th-century Nash, thus the pocket protector beneath the Elizabethan collar (another bit of self-deprecating humor).  If you can’t find anything else to attack, it just proves that your ideas are bankrupt.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “The Climate Crocks poster DumbOldGuy
          Habitu’ly makes his own mom cry
          When we ask “What’s the season
          When he will see reason?”;
          The answer is always, “When pigs fly.”

          LOL Now E-Pot is actually PROVING to us that he is a PO-ET! We know he is demonstrating PO-ETiness because he has written something in which the last words of sentences rhyme! Of course, his rhythm is a bit forced and his word choice a bit weak, but it DOES rhyme, and would be worth an A in any 5th. grade Language Arts class. (And I love the pretentious “Habitu’ly” and his talking about his “style”, to say nothing of his “self-deprecating humor”. Lord love a Duck, E-Pot—narcissists only “self-deprecate” as a means of pumping up their own self-image. SBAN).

          Would that he could bestir himself to do the same with “Engineer”, i.e., prove to us that he has the “right stuff”. E-Pot DOES have a vast store of knowledge about things nuclear power—-perhaps one day he will stop misleading, distorting, and obfuscating—-a true “engineer” is concerned with finding “truth”—-the best solution to a physical problem—-and does NOT slather it with personal bias, politics, or narcissism.

          I have already said that I am with Hansen et al in calling for a second look at nuclear power as a means of perhaps more quickly making a dent in C02. Nuclear power advocates like E-Pot are doing the cause little good—that’s where some true “bankruptcy” of ideas can be seen.

          PS—-Einstein’s favorite piece of PO-etry:

          “There was an old lady called Wright
          who could travel much faster than light.
          She departed one day
          in a relative way
          and returned on the previous night”.


          • That limerick – you’re one who knows it
            Your quickness is what really shows it
            But the difference, you see
            Between you and me
            Is I’m the one who could compose it.

            I was poet
            I didn’t know it
            But my feet show it.
            They’re Longfellows.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            LOL—How did you determine that your feet were “Longfellows”, E-Pot? Did you carefully measure your feet before you stuck them in your mouth or some other dark body cavity? I DO appreciate that little piece though—I think I first heard it in elementary school back in the 1940’s—we 6-year-olds thought it was funny then, and it’s a trip down memory lane for me, since I haven’t heard it used since.

            I WAS hoping that someone would pick up on the Einstein relativity poem and play with it. It might be fun to use it to point out certain people’s tendencies to “think faster than light”, thereby allowing them to make pronouncements before they had really thought through anything (in a relative way, of course).

          • daryan12 Says:

            One of my other pro-nuclear colleagues, I once had to talk him out of a conspiracy theory he’d cooked up where he’d convinced himself that the likes of the E-Pot’s of this world or the various “Thorium trolls” doing the rounds were some sort of “deep cover” unit of Greenpeace who were purposely taking a seemingly pro-nuclear position so off the wall nuts that it would discredit the entire nuclear lobby.

            I managed to talk him down to accepting that unfortunately there are some people in this world who are really this crazy, but it doesn’t matter because few in a position of authority will ever listen to them, so quit worrying.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            daryan12,

            I am not so sure that your colleague was wrong when he said “the (E-Pots) of this world were purposely taking a seemingly pro-nuclear position so off-the-wall-nuts that it would discredit the entire nuclear lobby”.

            That’s one of the ways the Infowars are fought nowadays—make the opposition seem so deranged that people come over to your side. Fortunately, in the world of politics, there are some who actually ARE so obviously “deranged” that they defeat themselves, as climate change denier and all-around-extremist KookNelly did here in VA. This is good.

            The situation in the world of science is different however, mainly because the general public is ignorant, ill-informed, and susceptible to the FUD-sowers, as we can see from the public attitudes towards AGW over time. The “evil ones” have been quite successful at misleading the public WITHOUT seeming to be “off-the-wall-nuts”. It has been enough to just keep saying “but”, and making reasonable sounding (to the layman) arguments questioning AGW. When your audience contains a significant proportion if motivated reasoners who WANT to believe you, you WILL be heard. What mystifies me is who E-Pot thinks he is talking to here—-does he really think he is convincing anyone who has found this site and visits regularly? Maybe his goal is to make it “unpleasant” to visit, i.e., drive away casual visitors before they can become hooked on the truths posted here?

            I myself pay little heed to what E-Pot says about nuclear power because of his many “personal failings of presentation”, but I STILL think that we are NOT making adequate progress on reducing CO2 emissions, and DO think that there may be some place for nuclear until we can stop using fossil fuels.

            The anti-nuclear forces are guilty of some motivated reasoning and cognitive dissonance themselves, just as they are with fracking, vaccines and GMO in food. The human brain is a wonderful thing—too bad so many waste the parts of it that THINK.

    • stephengn1 Says:

      It’s astounding that out of one side of your mouth you still give China the Cold War moniker “ChiComs” while out of the other you marvel at the one party dictatorship as they build nuclear reactors at a breakneck speed, without much of a regulatory framework. The only reason China’s massive nuclear build out is possible is because she is a one party system. It most certainly would not have been possible in a democracy. Further, China’s lack of regulations has brought them massive polution and us (among many other undesirable things) toys with lead paint.

      As deeply flawed and captured an agency as the NRC is, it has still led to a better safety culture than can be found in any autocracy. Look at that other mixture of nuclear power and autocratic rule – Russia. Nuclear polution galore.

      Your solution to climate change – build ten thousand nuclear reactos right now and let the radioactive chips fall where they may

      Thank goodness you have no real power to implement your foolishness


      • stephen- at the heart of it, EP thinks radiation is good. Thus, more radiation, better. Sort of like the Oregon Institute position that says make radioactive waste into a powder and sprinkle it from an airplane. At that point, there is little left to discuss. To him, Chernobyl and Fukushima are good things and more of them is better. I agree fully with your last sentence.

    • stephengn1 Says:

      “This raises the question: why can the Chinese build EPRs so much faster and cheaper than the Europeans who designed them in the first place? The answer is simple: lack of hostile regulators.”

      Why, that must be it! It has nothing to do with the fundamental fact that China is a corrupt, one party dictatorship. It’s all about a lack of regulators (who are, of course, AUTOMATICALLY “hostile”)

      Nothing to stop penny pinching, profit maximizing corporate skimping in the costruction process (for example) by using the nuclear equivalent of Chinese dry wall, right? Everything is hunky dory in the free market utopia of unregulated nuclear China. They can build nuclear plants any way they want!! They can store or dump wastes anywhere they want. No one can see them. No one can stop them. No one can sue them. THEY ARE FREE (from responsibilities for their our own actions)

      Regardless of whatever catastrophic consequences may result – no more evil oversight! Elites must be made completely devoid of personal responsibility and forever held blameless.

  4. Will Ricks Says:

    If everything is as sound and safe as what they made it out to be. Then I have a test I want them to go to Japan, then I want to head to the fukushima plant, and then I want them to take a swim in the pacific. I mean you guys do know what you are talking about right? So you shouldn’t worry at all, because the ocean filtered out most of it for you anyway. The so called activist in this movie can swim with you too, so can all of your supporters. I am soo serious I am not the smartest person in the world but I am not dumb enough to get into pacific I am good, but I am not the one who came out with horrible lie and name of movie, I would stuff pandora in a box along with her curiosity and the box given to her by Hera, then dump both in Volcano. Then I will relish in the fact that I had hope without exposing evils from their bondage through a destructive curiosity. Swim in the pacific with a radioactive Isotopes who’s have life is 30.17 years you trippin. SWIM STROKE STROKE STROKE, I am sooo serious go swimming if it is safe GO!!!! Your people come out with this movie or come on Real time with Bill Maher saying dumb@$$ stuff, dont worry about it its good for skin, no marine life will be harmed, no immediate impacts, no real risk to health. You call yourself elite best of the best, HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA thank you for showing and teaching me a new joke…lol. It’s starts with whY then ends in Oh yoU dirty mf (follow the caps). I want my fellow activist and not those actors in this movie, I want you to tell them if they secure in the work and we are the ones who are full of it, we only ask for proof just take a little dip in the pacific near fukushima, better yet lets make it 50 miles out from the facility itself to prove your theory….My bad your facts. Or am I being unfair

    • Will Ricks Says:

      Sorry I just got done watching, didn’t not write as properly as I could have. See what I did there? I owned up to my mistakes, and now I can go work on not repeating them. I could lie to you and say this is some of the best writing that has ever been done, but it would be a lie just like this movie.


  5. This reply to daryan12 re-parented here, for readability.

    I looked into SMR’s sometime ago and jist of it is that mass production involves striking a compromise between performance and ease of manufacture. This is why you can get a mass produced car like an NSX or a RX-7 for tens of thousands, while a Ferrari the prices start at $250,000. Its why Concorde was a technical success but an economic failure compared to the 737 or 747.

    I looked into what you claimed to have been a look into the issue, and found you contradicted yourself.  You implied that only a few 180 MW(e) mPower (let alone 45 MW(e) NuScale or 25 MW(e) Hyperion) units could be sold, limiting the market and increasing the per-unit price to Ferrari levels.  On the contrary:  if the cost falls with the number of units built, smaller reactors will cost less.  Also, the factory-built nature of SMRs reduces the amount and duration of on-site construction and allows a shorter construction schedule.  This cuts the cost of financing.

    The mere fact of smaller unit size allows service in many more markets than GW-scale PWRs.  Take Hawaii as an example.  The average power demand for the entire island chain last August was 1167 MW (868 GWH for the month) which, not being sufficient to sustain a single conventional reactor for any island, was served mostly by oil and coal.  A number of mPower reactors could de-carbonize most of the state’s electric supply, and serve as the base for the electrification of its ground transport as well.  Given how much gasoline costs in Hawaii and how small the islands are, it should be a natural for BEVs which are a natural complement to nuclear baseload power.

    Wouldn’t it be great if even isolated islands could have completely carbon-free electricity?  24/7, not the noon-peaking, night-absent supply of PV which demands combustion-driven backup?

    Last, the reason a Ferrari costs so much is not because it’s so hard to produce Ferrari performance.  It’s because Ferraris are produced and sold in limited quantities and high prices to serve as status symbols.  An automotive expert of my close acquaintance once told me of the shoddy workmanship of a Lamborghini, like windshield sealant obviously applied sloppily by hand.  If you think SMRs would be serving such a market, you’re too deluded to be taken seriously.  For you to accuse ANYONE of being “batshït crazy” is, well… ironic.

    In the real world, a 60-year run of a 1 GW light-water reactor creates enough plutonium to start roughly 1 GW of fast-spectrum reactors, like S-PRISMs.  The spent fuel of the LWR will run the fast-spectrum reactor for hundreds of years.

    One can scarcely think of a worse thing to try and mass produce as an S-PRISM (overly complex, exotic materials used, largely unproven design, oh and you’re aware it has a positive void co-efficient?).

    Since you imply expertise on your own part, I ask you to elaborate:
    1.  What complexity in the S-PRISM is excessive… and what/who drives that?
    2.  What exotic materials are used?  Steel and metallic sodium are commodities.  The zirconium/niobium alloy used for water-cooled reactor fuel cladding is far more exotic.
    3.  Since the EBR II ran for 30 years and the EBR well before it, what part of the design can be considered “unproven”?
    4.  Under what conditions can the sodium coolant, which boils at 883°C, be expected to create voids?

    I remind you that the EBR-II was tested under two loss-of-cooling scenarios starting from full power operation.  In both tests, it shut down as designed without external intervention and without any harm to the reactor, fuel or systems.  S-PRISM is designed to be passively air-cooled in a loss-of-grid shutdown scenario.  There are no pumps to lose power or fail, no water supplies to run out.  All your catastrophic Fukushima visions… impossible.

    In short the idea that by sacrificing economies of scale you can somehow make an industrial product cheaper is little short of ridiculous.

    On the one hand, the anti-nukes claim that nuclear reactors are too big and too centralized.  On the other hand, they argue that making them smaller sacrifices economies of scale.  That rat stinks too much for anyone who isn’t deeply into denial to fail to smell it.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      let’s have shorter posts people.
      it makes for a much more open conversation if it proceeds in
      smaller bites.
      please discipline yourselves, I don’t have time for
      careful edits, and might start just cutting stuff.


      • I think you need to cut some slack here.  The climate-change denialists’ talking points cannot be rebutted with the same number of words used to make them.  It’s the same for any discussion where “what everybody knows” is erroneous, in whole or in part.

        I would be happy to break up rebuttals into pieces dealing with individual points.

        • stephengn1 Says:

          Will you also agree not to use clowns from the discredited Heartland Institute as your primary source?


          • Will you agree to stop using the genetic fallacy and guilt by association as your chief tools of argument?

          • stephengn1 Says:

            I’ve only ever used the established, multi sourced, peer reviewed science from across multiple fields of study in BIER VII. It has been fully accepted by the National Academy of Science and is now the law of the land

            You have used a power point from a self published nobody with an agenda

            …make me laugh, Side show Bob


          • I’ve only ever used the established, multi sourced, peer reviewed science from across multiple fields of study in BIER VII.

            That’s BEIR VII, Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation, and it would do you good to read it instead of using it the way a drunk uses a lamppost (for support rather than illumination).  Here’s a bit from page 92:

            The most important finding of these studies is that there are no statistically demonstrable adverse genetic effects attributable to radiation exposures sustained by the survivors. Although cited and discussed in the UNSCEAR and BEIR reports over the years, these results did not constitute part of the “mainstream thinking” of genetic risk estimators and therefore were not used in risk estimation. [emphasis added]

            TL;DR the report authors actually admit to cherry-picking of data in previous reports.

            And perhaps most significant, from Appendix D:

            A recent publication reviews data for and against the concept of hormesis (Upton 2000), while noting that further research needs to be done at low-dose and low-dose-rate exposures to resolve the issue. Another recent review argues against the validity of a linear no-threshold model in the low-dose region (Cohen 2002). The committee also reviewed a compilation of materials submitted by Radiation, Science, and Health Inc., entitled Low Level Radiation Health Effects: Compiling the Data and materials provided by Dr. Edward J. Calabrese including the Belle Newsletter Vol. 8, no. 2, December 1999 and the article; Hormesis: a highly generalizable and reproducible phenomenon with important implications for risk assessment (Calabrese and coworkers 1999).

            So there it is:  support for my position, cited by your favored source.

          • stephengn1 Says:

            No there is NOT support for hormesis. LNT is the law of the land out of a necessary abundance of caution.

            Nuclear power advocates are against LNT, but all the INDEPENDENT health organizations agree that LNT is the correct science.

            http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/assessment/low-dose-284-291.pdf

            You think statements like “Epidemiological studies fail to find LNT below .05 Sv…..” prove LNT is not valid. But that’s just spin. It just means epidemiological studies do not have the resolution to test LNT below .05 Sv. Epidemiological tests can neither confirm nor deny that validity of LNT below their resolution. They CERTAINLY can’t do so for hormesis.

            Even the NRC admits it sometimes.

            http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/bio-effects-radiation.html

            It is RIGHTLY, out of an abundance of caution, that LNT is the law of the land

            Merely for the sake of your advocacy you would risk lives (mostly the lives of female children). That makes your position utterly reprehensible


  6. Reply to stephengn1, re-parented:

    No there is NOT support for hormesis. LNT is the law of the land out of a necessary abundance of caution.

    You employ the fallacy of equivocation.  It’s like saying “there is no support for teaching contraceptive use in schools; abstinence-only is the law of the land”.  The former speaks of evidence, the second is ideology.

    In this case, LNT is ideology and the evidence contradicts it.  I’ll just let Rod Adams do the quoting from the official NIH report on the health of Chernobyl cleanup workers:

    Aside: Here is a quote from page 12 of the report that explains the “anomalous” dose-response of that group of 20. “However, preliminary analysis identified a significant (p=0.021) difference in the dose-response for 20 cases (6 non-CLL and 14 CLL) with direct in-person interviews <2 years from start of chemotherapy compared with other cases (ERR/Gy= -0.47, 95% CI: <-0.47, 1.02, p=0.244 for 20 cases vs.ERR/Gy=2.38, 95%CI: 0.49, 5.87, p=0.004 for the remaining 117 cases, Table 2 and Supplemental Material, Table S2). Due to this marked disparity, we limited our primary analyses to cases who were interviewed 2-15 years after start of chemotherapy, did not have chemotherapy, or for whom proxy interviews were used and their matched controls (85% of all cases and 83% of all controls).”
    (Emphasis added. A negative number in ERR/Gy indicates a positive health response to increased radiation. Hmmm.) End Aside.

    But the real reason you know that LNT is a bogus standard aimed at a ban on nuclear energy is because of the totally different levels of prevention used for different routes of exposure.  Nuclear workers and the public are “protected” to one standard, medical patients to a far less stringent one… and there is not even a warning posted at natural hot springs where the water is high in radium and radon and people have for centuries deliberately exposed themselves to far-above-background levels of radiation for their health!

    It is RIGHTLY, out of an abundance of caution, that LNT is the law of the land

    That’s like saying “Vitamin A is toxic in high doses, so out of an abundance of caution we suggest people reduce their consumption to a level As Low As Reasonably Achievable.”  You’d kill people with that suggestion.  You want the right amount, neither too high nor (crucially!) too low.

    Merely for the sake of your advocacy you would risk lives (mostly the lives of female children). That makes your position utterly reprehensible

    The threat you point to is bogus, and the evidence suggests that the “risk” of low-level chronic exposure is actually negative (e.g. activating genes like p53 to eliminate mutated cells before they turn cancerous).  On the other hand, Michael Mann has calculated that nuclear energy has, through the elimination of air emissions, saved 1.8 million lives world-wide to date.  The people who die from breathing smoke from cooking fires are mostly female.  The thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of ice caps will flood most of the world’s river deltas and destroy huge amounts of irreplaceable farmland which supplies the food for hundreds of millions.  That, and the mass extinction that is alraedy under way, is the real threat.

    Creating hysteria over a non-issue, which has the effect of preventing the use of the most effective known measure to wean industrial society off carbon-based fuels… THAT, sir, is reprehensible.  You own this one.

    • stephengn1 Says:

      “You employ the fallacy of equivocation.”

      – I do no such thing. I invite anyone to read my single statement again. It clearly bears no resemblance to the two statements that this clown separated with a semicolon.

      “In this case, LNT is ideology and the evidence contradicts it.”

      – Spin / BS – LNT is not ideology, it is best practices. Statistical resolution is impossible to establish at this level, thus contradictory evidence is also impossible to establish because it relies on the same resolution

      “Nuclear workers and the public are “protected” to one standard, medical patients to a far less stringent one…”

      – When you go to the dentist for a carefully directed microburst of low level radiation, your dentist is sure to cover you with a lead apron to protect you from the scatter of that microburst. Why?

      Even such tiny microbursts of low level radiation have been positively linked to brain tumors

      “and there is not even a warning posted at natural hot springs where the water is high in radium and radon and people have for centuries deliberately exposed themselves to far-above-background levels of radiation for their health!”

      – It is the minerals in the hot spring, not the radon or the radium, that is healthful. Chronic exposure to low levels of radiation from radon kills many people each year. Chronic exposure to low levels of radiation from radium has done the same.

      “That’s like saying “Vitamin A is toxic in high doses, so out of an abundance of caution we suggest people reduce their consumption to a level As Low As Reasonably Achievable.”

      – No, it’s nothing at all like saying that. Low level radiation is not a vitamin

      “The threat you point to is bogus.”

      – It is not.

      “On the other hand, Michael Mann has calculated…”

      – I think you mean James Hansen. I agree with Hansen, nuclear is better – than coal. However, Nuclear is no where near as safe, cheap or easily implemented as renewables with storage

      “Creating hysteria over a non-issue”

      – It is not hysteria and it is not a non issue – you just desperately want people to believe it is

      “…preventing the use of the most effective known measure to wean industrial society off carbon-based fuels…”

      -It is not the most effective known measure – Renewables are.

      “THAT, sir, is reprehensible. You own this one.”

      – Make me laugh, clown

      • dumboldguy Says:

        stephen,

        I BEG you—-STOP feeding E-Pot’s need for attention. You and all the others who have responded to his flood of comments have more than amply demonstrated which arguments are superior and which are contrived (and, unfortunately, that some AGW supporters can occasionally be guilty of a bit of motivated reasoning and cognitive dissonance, the same as deniers).

        I am wearing the letters off my “delete” key. There have been 103 comments on this thread, all too many of them from E-Pot, who seeks not to convince others of very much, but mainly to “look at himself in the mirror”. Please stop responding—-mirrors don’t work without “light”.


      • I absolutely love it when a denier talks out of both sides of his mouth:

        LNT is not ideology, it is best practices. Statistical resolution is impossible to establish at this level

        And in the next breath:

        Chronic exposure to low levels of radiation from radon kills many people each year. Chronic exposure to low levels of radiation from radium has done the same.

        After asserting something is impossible to know, he asserts that he knows it.  This is not science.  It’s not even logical reasoning.  It is flat-out religion.  He doesn’t view me as wrong, he views me as a Heretic in Denial of his Revelation.

        Incidentally, American lung cancer rates in non-smokers are negatively correlated with radon levels.  This has been known since 1988:

        A linear regression of lung cancer rates for males and females vs. mean radon levels gives negative correlations with slopes over seven standard deviations more negative than zero, whereas all linear-no threshold theories predict a substantial positive slope. When data are segmented by states or by regions of the nation, negative correlations are very predominant. In addition, five studies by individual states find the same phenomenon of predominantly negative correlations. It is concluded that this represents an important breakdown of the linear no threshold theory of radiation carcinogenesis.

        Note, SEVEN standard deviations from zero.  This popped up in the first page of results on “radon cancer”.

        When you go to the dentist for a carefully directed microburst of low level radiation, your dentist is sure to cover you with a lead apron to protect you from the scatter of that microburst. Why?

        Because prompt doses are unnatural, and normal cellular protective mechanisms don’t work properly with them.  This is why high, prompt radiation doses are used to kill tumor cells (both cancerous and otherwise).  Low, steady (chronic) radiation is natural and what all life on earth has evolved in.

        It is the minerals in the hot spring, not the radon or the radium, that is healthful.

        Of course he begs the question:  why no radiation warning?  If the question can’t be answered, simply wish it into non-existence!

        There are areas of high natural background radiation, including monazite sand beaches in India and Brazil.  People bury themselves in those sands, also for the alleged benefits to health (documented in Pandora’s Promise).  Are you claiming that minerals leach out of sand grains and through skin?  BTW, the above source notes this:

        No increase in the frequency of cancer documented in populations residing in areas of high natural background radiation.

        But he’ll still sing choir in the LNT church anyway.


      • It is not hysteria and it is not a non issue

        The immediate post-Fukushima evacuation of thousands of elderly Japanese, whose remaining life expectancy was a fraction of the latent period of most non-acute radiation-induced diseases, causing the prompt deaths of hundreds of them and the accelerated deaths of hundreds more, was (get this) NOT hysteria per stephengn1.  So glad to clear that up.

        I agree with Hansen, nuclear is better – than coal. However, Nuclear is no where near as safe, cheap or easily implemented as renewables with storage

        Then why hasn’t the whole world done it already?

        “…preventing the use of the most effective known measure to wean industrial society off carbon-based fuels…”

        -It is not the most effective known measure – Renewables are.

        Ah, yes, renewables.  Per the World Bank:  2010 per-capita CO2 emissions 8.3 tons for “renewable” Denmark compared to 5.6 tons for “evil nuclear” France.  How’s that “renewable effectiveness” working out for ya?

        I don’t post to get attention.  I post to inform, and yes… when faced with intransigent ignorance, to mock.  Falsehoods deserve to be refuted, and people disinforming the public should have to face criticism.


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