The Missing Facts That Explode The New Fukushima Alarm

Posted on Thu 07/19/2012 by

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The Former Fukushima Nuclear Power Station

By Andrew Bolt ~

Australia’s Fairfax Media promotes a new study spreading alarm about a nuclear incident that has unhelpfully failed to kill or injure a single person through radiation:

RADIATION from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant may cause as many as 1300 cancer deaths globally, according to a study that showed fallout from the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s crippled reactors may be deadlier than predicted.

The March 2011 nuclear disaster may cause as many as 2500 cases of cancer, mostly in Japan, Stanford University scientists said…

Cancer cases may have been at least 10 times greater if the radiation had not mostly fallen in the sea, said Mark Jacobson, co-author of the first detailed analysis of the event’s global health effects.

Here’s a few facts omitted from the article – facts which suggest the findings are alarmist trash.

– Jacobson is a long-time anti-nuclear activist and global warming campaigner.

– Jacobson’s past absurd claims include asserting that by 2030 “wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels” – a purely fantastical infrastructure plan that grossly exaggerates the output and reliability of solar and wind power and grossly underplays the cost.

– Jacobson has claimed “nuclear power results in up to 25 times more carbon emissions than wind energy” (a finding contradicted by many experts), basing his calculations on the absurd assumption that the emissions of a nuclear power station should include the emissions of the likely nuclear war that could result:

Because the production of nuclear weapons material is occurring only in countries that have developed civilian nuclear energy programs, the risk of a limited nuclear exchange between countries or the detonation of a nuclear device by terrorists has increased due to the dissemination of nuclear energy facilities worldwide. As such, it is a valid exercise to estimate the potential number of immediate deaths and carbon emissions due to the burning of buildings and infrastructure associated with the proliferation of nuclear energy facilities and the resulting proliferation of nuclear weapons. The number of deaths and carbon emissions, though, must be multiplied by a probability range of an exchange or explosion occurring to estimate the overall risk of nuclear energy proliferation. Although concern at the time of an explosion will be the deaths and not carbon emissions, policy makers today must weigh all the potential future risks of mortality and carbon emissions when comparing energy sources.

– Jacobson still assumes the discredited no-safe-dose theory of nuclear radiation, claiming that infinitesimally small levels of radiation spread widely enough will still kill hundreds. In fact, says the International Commission on Radiological Protection:

Collective effective dose is not intended as a tool for epidemiological risk assessment, and it is inappropriate to use it in risk projections. The aggregation of very low individual doses over extended time periods is inappropriate, and in particular, the calculation of the number of cancer deaths based on collective effective doses from trivial individual doses should be avoided.

In fact, as the Health Physics Society explains as simply as it can:

…the concept of collective dose has come under attack for some misuses. The biggest example of this is in calculating the numbers of expected health effects from exposing large numbers of people to very small radiation doses. For example, you might predict that, based on the numbers given above, the population of the United States would have about 40,000 fatal cancers from background radiation alone. However, this is unlikely to be true for a number of reasons. Recently, the International Council on Radiation Protection issued a position statement saying that the use of collective dose for prediction of health effects at low exposure levels is not appropriate. The reason for this is that if the most highly exposed person receives a trivial dose, then everyone’s dose will be trivial and we can’t expect anyone to get cancer…

Another way to look at it is that if I throw a 1-gram rock at everyone in the United States then, using the collective dose model, we could expect 270 people to be crushed to death because throwing a one-ton rock at someone will surely kill them. However, we know this is not the case because nobody will die from a 1-gram rock. The Health Physics Society also recommends not making risk estimates based on low exposure levels.

Why was none of this background given? Surely it is relevant in judging whether the alarmist findings should be heeded or treated with contempt?

Ironically, the Jacobson paper is not just more evidence that anti-nuclear extremists and media dupes cause more harm and alarm than nuclear power – it actually confirms it in its own findings, even allowing for its gross exaggerations:

Japanese government agencies, for example, evacuated a 20-kilometer radius around the plant, distributed iodine tablets to prevent radioiodine uptake and prohibited cultivation of crops above a radiation threshold – steps that Ten Hoeve said “people have applauded.”

But the paper also notes that nearly 600 deaths were reported as a result of the evacuation process itself, mostly due to fatigue and exposure among the elderly and chronically ill. According to the model, the evacuation prevented at most 245 radiation-related deaths – meaning the evacuation process may have cost more lives than it saved.

PS:

And even after all his wild assumptions and exaggerations, the worst that Jacobson can claim is that the worst nuclear disaster in two decades could eventually kill just 130 people.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

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