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View Diary: Hansen: Nuclear power has prevented 1.8 million deaths (95 comments)

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  •  Regarding the suggestion that Chernobyl deaths (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, Sandino

    due to radiation exposure is a closed case at 43, a claimed figure that skews the "safety" data on nuclear power:

    The Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4 000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240 000 liquidators; 116 000 evacuees and the 270 000 residents of the SCZs). Since more than 120 000 people in these three groups may eventually die of cancer, the additional cancer deaths from radiation exposure correspond to 3-4% above the normal incidence of cancers from all causes.

    Projections concerning cancer deaths among the five million residents of areas with radioactive caesium deposition of 37 kBq/m2 in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are much less certain because they are exposed to doses slightly above natural background radiation levels. Predictions, generally based on the LNT model, suggest that up to 5 000 additional cancer deaths may occur in this population from radiation exposure, or about 0.6% of the cancer deaths expected in this population due to other causes. Again, these numbers only provide an indication of the likely impact of the accident because of the important uncertainties listed above.

    I don't mind diaries that point out the dangers in fossil fuels, they are the most widely used fuels and have a dangerous and deadly track record.  My problem with your diary (and I could not read the totality of Hansen's article through the link you provided because it is access limited) is that it suggests a safety certainty about the impact of the still relatively new and low use nuclear power generation.  The pollyanna-ishness of the safety claims about commercial nuclear power seems foolish and premature.  

    I would not be opposed to nuclear power plants if they were built and run by the US Navy using standards currently in place for nuclear sub or ship plants, unfortunately, greed in the commercial field, and the willingness of "regulatory" agencies to certify plants beyond the original "final" safe operation life expectancies of 40 years suggests greed will trump a fairly respectable US track record on nuclear power plants, and it's only a matter of time.  

    Re: Fukushima, it is interesting to me that the fact that whole swaths of formerly productive land, ancient towns and farms, land that has been part of families for hundreds and hundreds of years and is now considered contaminated and unfit to habitation is not factored into the impacts of nuclear accidents.

    And for what it's worth, my brother is part of the US nuclear navy as an engineer, and he won't step foot in a commercial plant.  He spends 6 days a week in navy nuclear plants without reservation.  

    Despite your diary and Hansen's article, the safety case is not conclusive or closed.  We have more to learn.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:37:08 PM PDT

    •  My link didn't work, here it is to the WHO article (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:40:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The key phrase there is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112, Roadbed Guy

      "based on the LNT model." Which is highly suspect.

      Access to Hansen's paper is restricted only insofar as it requires free registration. Register free, the paper is yours.

      We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

      by Keith Pickering on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 04:53:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another thing ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112, KenBee

      ... is that even if the WHO's LNT model of Chernobyl deaths is accurate (and as Hansen and his references make clear, that's highly dubious) -- then the end result is that nuclear power is about as safe as wind, instead of being twice as safe as wind.

      We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

      by Keith Pickering on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  here but in reference to your comment above (0+ / 0-)

        comparing deaths

        There was a death at the plant, I'll be wrong but I'll go with Arkansas for now... I see no mention of it anywhere here oddly..well, not oddly as dkos was the only place that was carrying the story at the time I think. (but did you see? Kim K's lip flapped..again!)

        A man was killed when they were using a crane to shift a 500 ton armature and the crane or floor collapsed and killed him, and injured 8 others.

        It also took out the outside power and inside controls and scrammed the other unit that was operating at 100% at the time.
          It was reported that the core I think was being cooled by convection, which meant no water circulation, just steam venting. Sounds really bad...

        I was looking to see more here, but...

        anyway. shorter to the point: installation and maintenance deaths are certainly of interest, but attaching them to the industry seems very fraught with complications appropriate to the technology..

        Is wind too unsafe for maintenance? Is Solar? Is Nuclear?

        If I had a question it would be that: how are these statistics  alike and different to even compare, and wouldn't deaths to those not in the industry be more comparable if that isn't done now?

        Anyway, I think I probably overthunked it...but interesting diary, well done, and thanks.


        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:02:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This was an accident obviously like any other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in a large plant. Or, like the kind experienced by workers climbing wind turbines who..fall...or something falls on them. At my power plant in California, we had a craine operator killed when a steel beam came down on top of him. Very ugly. This has zero to do with the safety of nuclear energy. It has to do with work rules. Period.

          It doesn't sound 'dangerous' in that the plant actually did function the way it was supposed to with aux. diesel pumps coming on line, as they always do.

          If you look at the stats...maybe someone has a link, more people have died from industrial work related accidents than wind or solar installers. I would say, this is not an arguement against wind or solar, it just means that unionization of the work force needs to be accomplished to oversee the work rules.

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:49:53 AM PDT

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      •  Science is a wonderful place where ideas (0+ / 0-)

        are proposed and fiercely debated and then tested.  That Hansen and his reference believe the LNT model is dubious does not make it wrong, it makes it a theory subject to debate, that's reasonable.  What I find curious is that you seem to believe that the matter is settled fact, and it's not.  No scientist could make that claim, and you shouldn't either.  

        Again, what I find difficult in your diary, in your retelling of a scientific claim, is that you appear to puff up controversy and scientific disagreement as settled fact.  I have as much issue with the chicken little anti nuclear  diaries that claim that there is no reason or purpose for nuclear power generation, that it's all just bad and horrible and we should stop talking about it.   I don't believe nuclear power should be off the table, which is why I continue to strongly support a nuclear navy.  

        Hansen has a point of view, so do you.  I agree that we must explore every reasonable option to save this planet from climate disaster.  We know fossil fuels will kill us and our planet.  I admire those, like you, who realize this is our generation's time bomb, and we have to act.  I just wish these discussions were less entrenched and more open.  We really have to solve this together.  

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:19:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As Walter Mondale said (0+ / 0-)

          "Where's the beef?"

          In fact, there is a growing amount of evidence that LNT simply doesn't work at low doses; Hansen cited a couple of these in his paper. And epidemiological evidence that LNT does work at low doses is simply non-existent.

          I'm all in favor of scientific debate, but the debate should be based on evidence. LNT was a fine conservative assumption back in the day when we didn't have low dose data. Now that we do,  LNT doesn't hold up at doses below 100 mSv.

          We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

          by Keith Pickering on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:43:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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