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January 14, 2013

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 139

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 139 is up at Yes Vermont Yankee

James Conca's article at Forbes: Like We've Been Saying, Radiation is Not a Big Deal.

Conca describes the very recent United Nations (UNSCEAR) report on radiation risk, which paid special attention to the consequences of Fukushima. Here's a quote from the Conca article: "UNSCEAR also found no observable health effects from last year’s nuclear accident in Fukushima. No effects."

In short, the Linear No Threshold (LNT) model is simply....wrong.

NOTE - there are still studies that have the different conclusion. University of South Carolina Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews has such.

Monseau contradicts UNSCEAR and ICRP (among others) who say extrapolating tiny LNT risk factors out to large populations is wrong because the numbers show health effects that are not indicative of what's really happening. LNT-based assumptions should be used only for setting regulatory standards, and should not be used to estimate actual morbidity. Second, Monseau has always used "cherry-picked" evidence that supports his philosophical agenda, and continually avoids the things that challenge. The referenced paper out of the college where he's tenured is yet another cherry-picker. Finally, he is writing correlative papers, which are by their nature non-conclusive. He's merely re-shuffling the statistical deck to draw pre-existing conclusions by applying the numbers to populations of sufficient size to glean out what he's looking to "prove".

The conclusion that Monseau had - Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years, researchers from the University of South Carolina and the University of Paris-Sud found that variation in low-level, natural background radiation had small, but highly statistically significant, negative effects on DNA as well as several measures of health

NBF- So 46 studies were selected out of hundreds of studies from a 40 year range. This goes to the argument that there was "cherry picking".

There is a lot of argument in the comments at the Forbes article.



Next Big Future, describes an investor presentation and third party analysis of LightBridge's annular metal fuel for uprating the power in nuclear reactors.

The Lightbridge presentation and a third party analysis describes the economic case and technical details of their annular metallic fuel for uprating the power in nuclear reactors. They expect regulatory approval for the new fuel by 2018, and commercial use a few years after that. The post also includes graphs from an economic analysis of future power prices, by Pace Global. Using this fuel, increased power generation will have a levelized cost of 20-30$ per MWH which is less than half the projected cost of coal and natural gas, or of regular nuclear construction

If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks
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