More Clarity about Fukushima from Rational Rod Adams

I have been going to Hiroshima Syndrome for reliable updates on Fukushima but sometimes a post by a nuclear professional who only makes occasional posts about Fukushima can state what you need to know in a more succinct manner. Rod Adams of Atomic Insights does just that. Here are some highlights from Fear Mongering Over Water Leaks at Fukushima Dai Ichi
I am no expert so I like it when people like Rod explains
“there is no reason for anyone to be concerned that “contaminated” water from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station is going to cause them any physical harm, now or in the future… Those nutty activists would have to be very patient people, because they would have to drink that water for many years before any negative effects might show up… Fish swimming in the harbor have nothing to worry about; people who eat fish that swam in the harbor have nothing to worry about; people who decide to swim in the harbor would have nothing to worry about…If someone drank two liters per day of the water that we are supposed to be afraid of for an entire year, their committed effective dose would be just 3 mSv; it would slightly more than double their annual background dose. If the entire amount of that water entered the Pacific Ocean, it would contain less than 0.00002 grams (0.02 milligrams) of strontium-90. Now can you see why I am not worried and why I think you need to stop worrying? Of course, I expect that most of the people who have made it this far were never worried in the first place, but you might have family, friends or acquaintances who have been losing sleep in fear of the Blob – in the form of water leaking from Fukushima – coming to get them. One more thing – the most recent stories have included concerns that additional groundwater is flowing onto the power station site an might become contaminated on its normal path to the ocean. Remember what I wrote earlier; a limited amount of radioactive material does not get any larger just because more clean water is added.”
Read the “full story here.”

19 Comments

  • August 28, 2013 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I see you’ve gotten sucked into the pseudo-science of hormesis.

    That’s too bad. I might be able to help with that.

    See my blog and realize that’s it’s unethical to promote pseudo-science (like global warming denial, anti-vaccines, etc.).

    http://www.ribjoint.blogspot.com

    Bob

  • admin
    August 28, 2013 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    According to your way of thinking just like radiation comes in varying doses so do ethical decisions.
    If you must categorize hormesis as pseudo-science the same must hold true for LNT.
    The studies show that people living in highly radioactive regions (natural background levels) of the planet (much higher than Fukushima)
    are living long healthy lives. To say otherwise is unethical.

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    From Nina Federoff, (former) president of AAAS:

    http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2011/0303am_fedoroff_profile.shtml

    quote below from “Mendel in the Kitchen.”

    “Hormesis is the general name given to the observation that toxic substances–and even other damaging agents such as radiation–have positive health effects at very low doses. The idea dates to the nineteenth century and was the basis for homeopathic medicine, long viewed with suspicion by the medical community, particularly in the United States. Today hormesis has been indisputably documented. although arguments about its generality continue, as do investigations into its physiological basis. The toxicological implications and the impact on risk assessment are just beginning to be discussed. And there may be important health implications. There is growing evidence that the increasing incidence of asthma might be the result not of dust and dander in the environment but of their absence. Small doses of irritants early in life might be necessary to build tolerance.”

    Federoff cites Calabrese’s work. Applebaum views C as a nut.

    Well: arguments from authority have their limits and their uses. Here, it is of use since A is referring to H as a pseudo science on a par with creationism, and yet the President of AAAS makes her statement.

    so at the very least, Applebaum’s argument from authority is contradicted by another authority more authoritative than he, to put it mildly.

    Bob: expecting some guilt by association from you, Mr. Evidence himself. something like Federoff likes GE.

  • August 28, 2013 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    You guys don’t seem to understand the scientific method. It is a very specific approach to ensure that the best ideas rise to the top, and inferior don’t. It’s a way of ensuring we don’t fool ourselves or get fooled by others.

    Like IDiots (Intelligent Design proponents), DeNiArs (hormesis proponents) are free to try to publish their results in peer reviewed scientific journals. In fact, they have and they’ve been criticized by their peers. They could roll up their sleeves and produce more evidence to convince their peers, but they haven’t in over 30 years.

    Since they can’t convince their peers, they short-cut the scientific process and look for members of the general public to convince. That is highly unethical, intellectually cowardly and narcissistic.

    Cancer has many causes. You can’t fixate on just radiation level differences and say that there is no increased cancer rate. You have to consider the difference in value in radiation levels as well as diet, smoking, diesel exhaust levels, medical exposures, genetic makeup, virus exposure, etc. You haven’t done that have you?

    Bob

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    “Cancer has many causes. You can’t fixate on just radiation level differences and say that there is no increased cancer rate. You have to consider the difference in value in radiation levels as well as diet, smoking, diesel exhaust levels, medical exposures, genetic makeup, virus exposure, etc. You haven’t done that have you?”

    are you serious? are you speaking to Federoff? are you calling her unethical? forget me. I’m an easy target since I am not a practicing scientist.

    Have you read Bernie Cohen’s radon work that expected to confirm LNT and found otherwise for particular ranges of radon exposure? right or wrong, do you think it “fixates on just radiation level differences”? It doesn’t matter what you think. It’s a carefully controlled study. Not definitive because of that. It would be a rare thing for one study to be definitive.

    You are parodying the research. and also, really, not responding to the post, and so changing the subject.

  • August 28, 2013 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    My point to you, as a non-practicing scientist is that you should know that the scientific consensus exists so that YOU don’t have to be an expert on everything.

    Scientists know that they have to make their arguments in the scientific arena in order to convince their peers to their point of view. The consensus process exists to filter out bad ideas from good ones. All scientists know to respect that, just like people in the legal field know to respect the rule of law. If a lawyer tried to convince you to break the law that would be unethical. The lawyer knows he has ethical means to change the law.

    With that said, the consensus is what it is. If you want to understand it and understand why Cohen’s and Federoff’s views have been found to be incorrect, I’ll be glad to explain.

    Are you a global warming denier?

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Applebaum says: “Since they can’t convince their peers, they short-cut the scientific process and look for members of the general public to convince. That is highly unethical, intellectually cowardly and narcissistic.”

    I, an English Professor, could cite loads of evidence to counter what BA says. I chose Federoff, who appears to take the research seriously. She qualifies as a “peer.” She is no marginal figure. On another list, I cited parts of Feinendegen’s paper, recently written, and yet that does not stop BA from regurgitating the “no evidence in 30 years” business.

    I keep coming back to the Federoff to keep BA from changing the subject. Are your comments directed to Federoff? is she a peer? has she been convinced to take the research seriously (answer: yes and yes)? Is her statement the statement of a marginal figure, since you are making broad claims about “peers”? Are you honestly aware of no criticisms of LNT, especially its collective dose component for predicting cancer deaths? because I’m aware of many such criticisms. didn’t John Boice call LNT “scientifically dead for low-dose risk assessment”? Is he a peer? answer my questions about peers and then you can return to your insults (I admit that they are fun).

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

    No Bob. I do not deny global warming. it’s interesting that you should assume I do. guilt by association maybe. I predicted you would go there and you did.

    I think creationism is obvious nonsense. I don’t know what peer reviewed articles they have done, though I have read their books
    –Behe, Phillip Johnson, etc.

  • August 28, 2013 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

    You chose Federoff.

    As an English professor, look up the term “the cherry picking fallacy”.

    And realize you’ve committed it.

    Then if you want me to explain the science of health physics to you, I’ll try.

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I know what cherry picking is. it’s a very bad practice. I picked Federoff because her statement treats hormesis as way at odds with what you say and she is an important figure. I would like to see her response to your cherry picking charge.

    Let me cherry pick Antone Brooks. I may have confused Boice, the incoming president of NCRP (right?), with Brooks, who says in his Taylor lecture to NCRP, that “the dinosaur of LNTH remains useful for regulations but is scientifically dead for low dose risk assessment.”

    Is this an endorsement of hormesis? No. would not go that far. but it is a pretty significant criticism of the view you treat as the equivalent of natural selection.

  • August 28, 2013 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I was honestly asking the question. I didn’t assume you did. You assumed I assumed you did. The bias is yours.

    Why don’t you deny global warming?

  • August 28, 2013 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

    You don’t understand Brooks’ meaning. LNT is scientifically dead for reasons I will explain after you answer up on why you are not a global warming denier.

    First things, first.

  • admin
    August 28, 2013 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Bob. Or anyone else. I would like to know more about the idea of accumulated dose. First do we accumulated radiation and store it away like a battery?
    How does it if ever leave our body? Is that a valid question?

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    carbon dioxide is a powerful ghg. Burning fossil fuels produces lots of CO2, although there are other anthropogenic sources.

    There is a close relation between temp increase (and heating of oceans) and CO2, either as forcing or feedback or both.

    Rival theories, like “it’s the sun,” don’t explain stratospheric cooling. I’ve read lots of books on global warming and read contrarians. I’ve tried hard to understand the arguments and understand them well enough to take a position. The “deniers” are also experts at cherry picking.

  • August 28, 2013 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Very good. What makes CO2 a powerful greenhouse gas?

  • admin
    August 28, 2013 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Sorry guys. Your discussion has diverted and Bob’s comments are not addressing the original post in any way.
    So I will stop approving comments that are not related to Fukushima or the interpretation of what is true about
    radiation.

  • Gregory Meyerson
    August 28, 2013 - 10:25 pm | Permalink

    excellent: explain to me what Brooks means. I read his powerpoint where he declares LNT dead because it fails to account for a variety of “radioprotective mechanisms” whose existence appears incompatible with LNT.

    Perhaps I’ve misread. But I do talk with real scientists in order to get clearer on such things. so please enlighten me.

  • admin
    August 28, 2013 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’re not trying to play clever games to show you’re superior in some way.
    It would be wise to stick to the topic and not get into tit for tat thinking.

  • admin
    August 28, 2013 - 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. I have to put a stop to this. End of discussion.

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