Sunday, July 15, 2012

113th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers at Next Big Future

The 113th Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers is up at Next Big Future.  This carnival contains some very impressive posts.

Dan Yurman looks at the Japanese Diet's review of the Fukushima accident.  The review concludes that Mistakes Were Made, but also concludes that the Japanese culture is basically to blame. In Japan, it's hard to contradict your supervisor. As a Japanese saying goes: the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.  Yurman sees the Diet report as a bit of a cop-out. "We don't have individual responsibility.  Our culture made us do it."

Radiation Safety Canada blog also looked at Fukushima issues. One question that comes up all the time: did the earthquake knock out the diesels before the tsunami hit?  Radiation Safety Canada blog examines the evidence and comes up with a clear answer: no.  The diesels were okay until the tsunami.

Meanwhile, Margaret Harding of 4factor Consulting discusses the Russian application for an NRC license, and Atomic Power Review reports on the Russian/Westinghouse alliance bidding for reactor contracts in the Czech Republic.  Atomic Insights looks at coal advertising, and Canadian Energy Issues reviews the return on investment for nuclear research in Canada (it's been huge).  Next Big Future lists the start-up date for nuclear reactors in Japan, and I have a controversial post on why global warming activists don't talk about nuclear energy, and nuclear energy advocates stay away from global warming discussions.

Low Doses: The Biggest, Most Controversial Issue

Yes, bloggers reported on the controversial issues: Fukushima mistakes, the Fukushima diesels, global warming, coal industry advertising. However all these pale in comparison to the low-dosage, Linear Non Threshold Controversy. The most powerful post (IMHO) is at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Nuclear Cafe, reporting a special session on Low Level Radiation and  Linear Non Threshold Theory of radiation damage.  About half a dozen  papers were given at this session, contradicting and at least partially disproving the Linear Non Threshold (LNT) theory. This blog post has thirty-five comments, many by one of the premier defenders of the LNT theory.   Read the post and the comments--it's an education! (I was not one of the people who commented.)

Oh heck.  Just for fun. There was another post on this subject on ANS Nuclear Cafe on July 3. I did comment on that post. I want to quote a part of the comment exchange between Bob Applebaum, the LNT defender and me:

Me: If you are saying that cancer implications of very low doses delivered over time is the same as a one-time higher dose, because of the “stochastic effects,” your argument makes no sense and I don’t agree with you.

Applebaum:  ...Your statement implies you don’t understand LNT. The rate of cancer incidence is not the same for high single doses as compared to the same doses which are fractionated. To correct for this difference the LNT theory includes a “fudge” factor.

Me: I had no idea that the LNT theory had a fudge factor to account for the fact that lower-doses-over-time have less cancer than the same dose all at once. I naively thought that Linear Non Threshold meant, you know, Linear. You know…Linear Non Threshold. If you claim that Linear Non Threshold is correct because the theory isn’t, after all, linear…well, I won’t argue with you. I am not a specialist in fudge factors.

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