Skip to comments.Fear of nuclear power is out of all proportion to the actual risks. Unlikely to kill anyone.
Posted on 04/04/2011 7:56:47 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Pollution from coal-fired power plants is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths per year, whereas the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant is unlikely to kill a single person.
People are getting nervous about nuclear power in the wake of the problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, questioning whether nuclear power is a sensible option for energy production in light of the perceived risks.
It has been three weeks since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. There have been problems at the Fukushima plant with cooling, gas explosions (not nuclear), and radiation leaks all serious issues, but so far no one has died. The earthquake and tsunami have killed more than 10,000 people.
In fact, the disaster shows how safe nuclear reactors actually are. Reactors designed half a century ago survived an earthquake many times stronger than they were designed to withstand, immediately going into shut-down (bringing driven nuclear reactions to a halt). But the radioactive products in the reactor keep decaying, producing heat, so they must be cooled.
The real problems began when the tsunami took out all the back-up generators that were meant to provide power to circulate the coolant. Loss of site power is the worst-case scenario for a nuclear power plant, so for Fukushima this was the worst crisis imaginable. New reactors have improved safety features, including passive systems that allow cooling to take place without power.
Radiation leaks are undoubtedly serious. But it is worth remembering that we are subjected to background radiation every day as a result of natural processes some people more than others. Those living in UK areas with a lot of granite rocks, such as Cornwall, will have higher exposure than those who live somewhere like the Thames Valley.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Maybe this means not counting industrial accidents at the site. Still, the fat lady hasn’t finished singing her No drama here. If the containment has been so badly damaged that it suddenly disintegrates, watch out folks.
It would be nice to know that the most competent nuclear engineers on earth are watching the site like a hawk. Instead we have Japanese hillbillies trying to pack cracks in concrete in a very radioactive environment with sawdust and paper mache’.
I agree.....it has been said since 35,000 fatalities occur in car accidents does that mean we stop building cars?
Furthermore those who have been injured by radiation generally happen as the result of contact with really dangerous levels....just as those in the article did. And all who work at Nuclear Plants understand the danger perfectly....and it’s generally slight if at all.
There are so many real dangers out in the world that this is the least of those far more dangerous. Besides cancer from radiation is treatable at the leevels they are suggesting are within the radius.
But to have the right perspective on this whole ordeal...
Note that the Nuclear Radiation fear has completley trumped the thousands and thousands who have died from the Tusami...and the thousands who have no homes have nothing but the clothes on their back In Japan. And those who died had no chance to be treated.
Interesting photo as zero deaths have occured in our country at Nuclear Sites...yet 35 deaths in 2010 from Wind Turbin accidnets....perspective is a good thing.
No, in fact only one person has experienced any burns and that was because he waded into radioactive water without his suit on. He's not dead either.
Chernobal blasted dangerous levels of Radiation into the atmosphere Fish Hawk.....not even close to Japans accident. And keep in mind this plant was kept from melting down initially by workers working barehanded...in the dark with no electic. Astounding feat they have managed to do....the plant withstood amazingly well...thru a 9 point earthquake....but the Tusammi prevented what could otherwise have been a complete recovery.
I lived a mile from a Nuclear plant....went there and saw the operation with my own eyes. Their floors were cleaner than any hospital setting of the finest hospitals. Their security impressive beyond measure....nuclear sites are safer than any other resource generating enrgy....by a long shot.
The five who died, died from the explosions, not radiation. If you wish to be a chicken little, please feel free. The thousands who have died in Japan, and those most likely to die in the immediate future, are those that died from injuries received during the earthquake and the tidal wave.
People seem to be forgetting the real tragedy, simply because they want to scream and whine about how deadly nukes are.
You got that right CAlex....fear mongers will always make the headlines and keep the media engrossed..and those who follow it. BTW I’ve received the maximum dosage of radiation, 5000 rads plus, one can have without causing illness or death. That was at 27 yrs. old. I have now four grandchildren and a full life still.
People don't understand nuclear power = fear of the unknown.
Anything natural is good, man made / artificial evil and bad, nuclear power = man made and artificial. Americans are so conditioned to this that the mere stimulus of a color, i.e. “green” already sets off a Pavlovian effect in many.
Things relating to big business are evil. Nuclear power = big business.
Anything relating to defense and especially nuclear weapons is bad. Oak Ridge and many of the early nuclear plants were designed with the intent to make fissile material for nuclear weapons. Nuclear power = nuclear weapons.
What the writer says can be factually backed up: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/statistics/discoal.htm In the US alone, more coal miners died in 2010 ALONE than what nuclear power has cost in lives in the US since it's inception. Discounting cancer from hydrocarbons produced by burning coal, coal dust and the associated lung diseases, the H2SO4 (acid rain) and CO2 as well as the sludge >100,000 the left over waste by weight and volume........... nuclear is in terms of safety record actually very safe and it's a simple matter of how one counts the casualties. Events like Three Mile Island actually are testaments to their safety. To a large degree even Fukushima, which seems incomprehensible to many since something went wrong, right? Yes something went wrong, yet the fail safe systems, equilibrium seeking and triple containment designed reactors where even in a worst case scenario it just sort of fizzles into the ground is actually proof of concept and design when what was supposed to happen did happen after a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami slam into 40+ year old reactors.
Bottom line, when it comes to nuclear power some will hold it to a zero flaw, zero consequence standard but they will overlook the downsides of coal, which is the only viable alternative.
But as I stated before, what you're really doing here is arguing against a “feeling” and a fad. You can't win this argument with reason because the people you're arguing with aren't thinking. They are essentially sensing and it's a combination of a mass consensus and media hype that defines what they really think. They repeat the same things to one another and look for affirmation in each others feelings.
“Instead we have Japanese hillbillies trying to pack cracks in concrete in a very radioactive environment with sawdust and paper mache.”
Don’t forget the nuclear geniuses at TEPCO are now trying to use bath salts to find the leaks:
Japanese engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been forced to release radioactive waste water into the sea. At the same time they are resorting to desperate measures to contain the damage, such as using bath salts to try to locate the source of leaks ... engineers are no closer to regaining control of the power plant or stopping radioactive leaks.
Anyone think these bozos have a clue about what they are doing? I don’t.
The government expects that several months may be required before radioactive particles stop being released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, its top spokesman said Sunday.
Does this sound to anyone here like the Japanese have any clue whatsoever as to what to do about this mess?
Me neither. Radiation from Japan has already started contaminating our food. And now the Japanese say theyre going to continue to send radiation our way and continue to contaminate our food for months? Its time for the U.S. government to protect us from this mess. Its time for the U.S. government to get medieval on their asses, namely force the Japanese to quit f**king around and take international help to quickly develop a plan to entomb these suckers and then quickly implement it.
If necessary, force a U.N. resolution for the U.N. (lead by the U.S.) to take this thing over. Bring in the real experts, namely those Russians who are left alive that figured out what to do at Chernobyl. Force Japan to give up control by threatening them with cutoff of all aid and all commerce if necessary.
Facing the prospect of having our entire food supply radioactively contaminated indefinitely is not something the U.S. should just sit back and passively accept. In terms of the future benefit to our children, the billions were spending on bombing Libya would be much better spent on entombing Fukusiha.
Naturally, I know none of this will happen. Our leader is an ideologue with the credentials of a community organizer who is focused exclusively on implementing his ideology. There is no room in his agenda for adapting to present dangers. There is no capability of understanding what we are about to face. There is no capability to foresee the future and to react to changing it. There is no concern for the well-being of American citizens. There is no understanding of when and how to wield American power to protect us. There is no ability to recognize what is truly dangerous. There is no ability to prioritize what is important and what is not.
All I can say is, God help us, because Obamas not going to.
What are you smoking?
“Interesting photo as zero deaths have occured in our country at Nuclear Sites...yet 35 deaths in 2010 from Wind Turbin accidnets....perspective is a good thing.”
And solar is even more dangerous - installers falling from rooftops.
Here’s some data about the death rate from the various energy sources. Nuclear is the safest by far.
Ok so you have a low opinion of people with opinions other than yours. Check.
And you dismiss any other opinion than your as feeling rather than rational though. Check.
You present straw man arguments. Check.
You eliminate any interest in discourse with you thusly:
“You can’t win this argument with reason because the people you’re arguing with aren’t thinking.”
Ok so I will just check for Red6 posts and skip them. Meanwhile, some of us will choose trade information, experiences and perspectives.
Uh...I see your link includes data re people who die from coal pollution but it does not count the thousands of people in Russia who die from Chernobyl and other Russian nuclear pollution hot spots. Of course, that’s largely because Russia refuses to acknowledge it. But there are accounts of people who were there, soldiers, officials, photographers etc. and the info is buried in international medical reports. Not just Chernobyl (thousands did die there) but pretty much all of Russia’s habits re nuclear wastes have been horrible. Oh they back up trucks to open lakes and just dump the radioactive waste in. When the lake becomes too radioactive, they thought about filling it in with rocks and dirt but their scientists said that this would force radioactive waste into the ground water of surrounding areas so - radioactive lakes dot the land here and there. Untended, a chemical explosion blew tons of radioactive waste into the surrounding country side and Russia of course denied it but satellite photos captured trees lying down pointed away from the blast for miles around. Oh but it’s always away from the urban centers. They neither treat nor tell the people living around radioactive waste sites. They’ve made odd little radioactive silos for nuclear wastes in the Urals but didn’t tell even their own people so the natives living there have folk tales of ‘the sickness’ that people get if they stay near those things.
Do you have documents to back up that drivel?
Ah I guess you are using the word ‘drivel’ to refer to information you don’t like?
Let’s see, there are several radioactive open lakes in Russia but here’s a link to get you started. Once you get the names down you can find more documentation from other sources.
For a more accurate take on Chernobyl, try the YOUTUBE video series The Battle For Chernobyl (ten part series, each part is about 10 minutes). It includes interviews with Gorbychev, Hans Blix, people who were there etc. When I went to get the link to the first part for you, I found the video present in one piece lasting 1 hour 32 minutes - this is probably more convenient. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiCXb1Nhd1o
There are other excellent videos - Nova’s series Inside Chernobyl’s Sarcophagus is good too as is “ Chernobyl - the severe days”
And an example of an international medical report:
From the NEA.org website report on Chernobyl:
For the eight years prior to 1986, only five cases of childhood (less than 15 years old on the day of accident) thyroid cancer were seen in Minsk, which is the main Belarussian centre for thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment for children (De94). From 1986 to 1989, 3 to 6 cases of thyroid cancer in children were seen annually in Belarus. In 1990, the number jumped to 31, to 62 in 1991, then to 87 in 1993. By the end of 1998 the total had reached over 600 in Belarus. Nearly 50% of the early (1992) thyroid cancers appeared in children who were aged between one and four years at the time of the accident. Atthe same time 382 were diagnosed in the Ukraine.
The histology of the cancers has shown that nearly all were papillary carcinomata (Ni94) and that they were particularly aggressive, often with prominent local invasion and distant metastases, usually to the lungs. This has made the treatment of these children less successful than expected, whether undertaken in Minsk or in specialised centres in Europe. In all, about 150 000 children in Belarus had thyroid uptake measurements following the accident. Other data from Ukraine and Russia show a similar, but not as pronounced, increase in the incidence of childhood thyroid cancer since 1987.
Here are the member countries of the Nuclear Energy Agency:
This link sounds interesting if only I had a subscription:
ACCIDENTS WITH POPULATION EXPOSURES (PDF File)
Urals, Russia, was the site of several serious radiation events. So far. only fragmentary descriptions of the situ- ation have been published in the open ...
This one is just plain sad:
Chelyabinsk was one of the former Soviet Unions main military production centers, which included nuclear weapons manufacturing. Accidents, nuclear waste disposal and day to day operation of the Mayak reactor and radiochemical plant contaminated a vast area of the province. In the early 1950s there were so many occurrences of death and disease from the nuclear waste dumping in the Techa river that 22 villages along the river banks in a 50 kilometers zone downstream from Mayak were evacuated. In 1957, a nuclear waste storage tank accident released radiation double the amount released by the Chernobyl accident. This accident was kept secret and 10,700 people were evacuated. The severe environmental contamination of this region led to dramatic increases in cancer rates, birth defects, and sterility. Over the past 33 years, there has been a 21% increase in the incidences of cancer, 25% increase in birth defects and 50% of the population of child bearing age are sterile. http://www.wentz.net/radiate/cheyla/index.htm
Here’s another link”
I’ll include my own anecdote here:
had dinner with a Russian nuclear scientist who told us all about a talk he was to give to an international body of scientists gathering in Georgia (USA). He was excited to be the one to brag to the foreign scientists about Russias innovations to remove the problem of radioactive waste (shortly before Chernobyl) . This was in the 1980s. He stood up and began to tell them all about the way that Russia had conserved the waste by mixing them into concrete used to make schools and hospitals. First one scientist jumped to his feet to call to him Please tell me this isnt true! then another. Pandemonium ensued as the audience recoiled in horror. My friend sheepishly said that Russia didnt understand the health impacts very well and assumed that dilution with concrete was sufficient and believed that all the furor in the west about what to do with nuclear waste really had more to do with an unwillingness to waste valuable resources.
I am having trouble finding the link for the white domes that cause people to become sick by standing near them because the page it appeared on was basically exploring the folk knowledge saying that these were actually from aliens! I’ll see if I can find it looking back through the history of my browser. It was certainly odd - the domes are said to have no door and be covered with a nail-file like abrasive substance that cannot be scratched? Strange.
You make many excellent points. We really need to keep things in perspective. What the media never tells us for some reason, is that coal-fired power pollution kills an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 people every year in American alone, according to major studies. That means that more people have died due to coal-fired power than have died due to nuclear power EVEN SINCE THE CRISIS STARTED IN JAPAN.
Check out my webpage on nuclear power at http://RussP.us/nucpower.htm
Not to mention deaths by Godzilla.
The number of 4000 new thyroid cancers registered among the children from Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine should be viewed with respect to the extremely high occurrence of these dormant subclinical malignant tumors that contain transformed tumor cells and are quite common in the population (Akslen and Naumov 2008; Weinberg 2008). This is exemplified by occult thyroid cancers, the incidence of which varies from 5.6% in Colombia, 9.0% in Poland, 9.3% in Minsk, Belarus, 13% in the United States, 28% in Japan, to 35.6% in Finland (Harach et al 1985; Moosa and Mazzaferri 1997). In Finland occult thyroid cancers are observed in 2.4% of children (Harach et al 1985), i.e., some 90 times more than the maximum observed in the Bryansk region. In Minsk, Belarus the normal incidence of occult thyroid cancers is 9.3% (Furmanchuk et al 1993). The Chernobyl thyroid cancers are of the same histological type and are similar in invasiveness to the occult cancers (Moosa and Mazzaferri 1997; Tan and Gharib 1997). Since 1995 the number of registered cancers has tended to decline. This is not in agreement with what we know about radiation induced thyroid cancers whose latency period is about 5 10 years after irradiation exposure (Inskip 2001) and whose risk increases until 15 29 years after exposure (UNSCEAR 2000a). In the United States the incidence rate of thyroid tumors detected between 1974 and 1979 during a screening program was 21 times higher than before the screening (Ron et al 1992), an increase similar to that observed in three former Soviet countries. It appears that the increased registration of thyroid cancers in contaminated parts of these countries is a classical screening effect.