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PostPosted: November 10th, 2010, 8:52 am 
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These days, we get indoctrinated on the "green" benefits of nuclear energy generation. It's worth looking at delayed costs from past nuclear activity to un-bend the truth lurking out there.

In today's paper, a description of the cleanup cost for the town of Port Hope (an hour's drive east of Toronto) is given:
Quote:
...That operation — the largest radioactive waste cleanup in Canadian history — is off to a slow and cautious start with the trial excavation of a private backyard. Removal of contaminated soil from numerous sites around town will begin in earnest next fall. The waste will be trucked to an enclosed storage mound just south of Highway 401, where it will be sealed up for centuries.

Digging out more than 1.2 million cubic metres of soil, enough to fill 500 Olympic-size pools, will take a decade and cost at least $260 million. The final scope and price tag are unknown.

Doesn't sound so clean to me, and we would have been a lot smarter to demand that such cost is included in the cost of the electricity that that operation generated....

By the way, the article points at the recommendation that the governments have refused to get/publish solid health data on the impact of the pollution on the local folks. That sounds like the tar sands situation out west - showing again that when push comes to shove in Canada, the commercial interests win out!
Here's the Star's article:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/888 ... -move?bn=1

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2010, 9:30 am 
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Fair enough.

I'd like to point out though that the contamination in Port Hope occurred before proper standards were established for handling low-level waste, to the best of my knowledge.

Of course I agree that costs associated with with handling radioactive material must be included in the cost estimates.
Does anyone know whether this is already done?

I must confess that I am a supporter of nuclear (fission, not fusion) energy. Bad as it is, it is way better than fossil fuels.
To my mind, conservation is the prime route to follow.

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2010, 12:01 pm 
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Something that the report doesn't point out is the added amount of radiation that the Port Hope residents are exposed to... how much higher are the radiation exposures, above the "normal" background level that would be expected in the area, without Cameco's effects?

Background radiation includes natural sources such as cosmic rays, and radioactive rocks and soils with radon gas escaping into houses. Manmade background sources include radioactive materials left over from nuclear weapons test fallout, medical X-rays and tests, smoke detectors in houses and I'm sure there are other sources that humans are exposed to.

Airline pilots and staff are exposed to measurably higher levels of cosmic rays by fkying at high altitude. Radon gas from rocks and soils escaping into basements elevates radiation exposures to higher levels. Standing next to a mountain where there are radioactive rocks elevates radiation exposure. Medical tests can elevate exposure above background but should be kept within safe limits.

So how much higher do the Cameco radioactive materials elevate exposure above "normal" background? Radiation dosimeters left in place to monitor radiation in Port Hope and at increasing distances from the Cameco materials could yield some valuable information in terms of whether or not levels are significantly higher. But maybe this is too simple as a tool to understand radiation effects, or maybe the information is too politically sensitive, and if it's been done already, has been suppressed is some way.

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2010, 1:26 pm 
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Yes … the tragedy of uranium mining and clean-up costs on the Navajo Reservation (Port Radium on Great Bear Lake, enrichment facilities, and elsewhere) are well known and it's primarily the taxpayer who bears this burden.

But one doesn't simply have to look at the end of the fuel cycle to see these costs adding up. Places like cigar lake in Saskatchewan are a rare exception with uranium deposits at 17% U. Most of the world's uranium mines produce an ore in the range of 0.5 - 3% U that needs to be highly enriched. High grade ore is already becoming increasingly scarce. The proposed mines at Kiggavik in Nunavut will produce an average of 2.5% U, with a large proportion from underground mines at 0.5% (if we are to believe estimates).

How is nuclear fuel produced, well, you guessed it, it's done with fossil fuels (at places such as Port Hope). Perhaps increasingly with renewable energy as this gets added to the grid (but this certainly doesn't reduce its costs or efficiency in conversion). From a carbon emissions standpoint, industry analysts (and critics) have suggested that fuel from uranium at 0.5% and lower is basically on par with other fossil fuels (I might have to search more for correct source here) and produces the same amount of carbon emissions when the entire fuel cycle--mining/milling, fuel conversion, enrichment, fabrication, construction/decommissioning of plants, operation, reprocessing, and waste disposal--are taken into account. Nuclear enrichment sites, such as those in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, which is to say nothing of Hanford in Washington State, are some of the most contaminated sites in the US and have been the source of numerous leaks and current and long standing risks to public health (and numerous delays and rising costs for clean-up). Port Hope is not the exception, it appears to be the rule.


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2010, 9:28 am 
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Here are the Mayor's comments in rebuttal to claims that Port Hope's residents need to be relocated.

(PS... this isn't an isolated problem as far as toxins go generally, many cities have toxic soils and sediments resulting from unregulated industrial activity. Toronto's waterfront at the Don river is one, and Tommy Thompson Park (the Leslie Street Spit), the largest manmade structure on Lake Ontario, was created by lakefilling beginning in the 50s and 60s with materials that included toxic soils from building sites.

The cleanup costs may be too much for governments to deal with anytime soon. Hamilton Harbour's toxic sediments still are in place and exposed to water since the money set aside for remediation ran out.)

Quote:
Mayor addresses comments about safety of Port Hope

Nov 10, 2010 - 10:26 PM

PORT HOPE, ON - The Mayor of Port Hope today addressed the recent comments of Australian anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott.

“Dr. Caldicott’s comments on the Municipality of Port Hope are misinformed. Her assertions ignore the work of Health Canada and the many clear and unequivocal health and statistical studies of the last 50 years, many of which have undergone comprehensive independent peer review.” said Mayor Linda Thompson.

Mayor Thompson gave interviews to numerous media outlets today in response to the comments published in today’s Toronto Star, ”This appears to be sensationalism not science. I find it reprehensible that a scientist would attack our community and our people in such a cavalier way without providing scientific fact.

These types of comments have an immediate economic effect on our community and an unwarranted negative impact. The facts are out there. Port Hope is safe. We are a healthy and vibrant community and we will continue to ask questions to do our proactive due diligence as our community expects. The repeated misinformation propagated by anti-nuclear activists like Dr. Caldicott impedes the progress that we are making in cleaning up our community.”

Port Hope has had to deal with contaminated soils, resulting from past practices by industry and government at a time when less was known about radioactivity. Our local industry has attracted some of the best and brightest people to our community, and our community has prospered and grown thanks to their efforts. Over the years, the Municipality has met the challenges regarding the soils head on and with the Port Hope Area Initiative underway, the problem is being dealt with once and for all. Port Hope is now recognized internationally as a leader in resolving these types of waste management problems.

The process has been, and continues to be, open and transparent and information on the Port Hope Area Initiative and numerous health studies conducted are available from the Municipality http://www.porthope.ca, the Port Hope Area Initiative http://www.phai.ca, The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission http://www.cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca, and Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

“From the beginning of this process, a well-informed populace has been our greatest asset,” said Mayor Thompson of the years-long search for a long-term solution to the issue of historic low-level radioactive waste in the community. “It was our citizens who came up with the idea of managing the waste here. Our residents and stakeholders have served on numerous committees to help with research into everything from the habitat of fish, animals and plants to the socio-economic effects of the cleanup on the community.”

It is time to refocus our energies where they belong: on building and growing Port Hope into the community we want here on the shores of Lake Ontario, rather than fending off the fear mongers.

http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&func=display&sid=5175

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2010, 10:08 am 
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If I was in her job and had to face the public, I would probably scrape together a similar response. On the other hand, how many million dollars again...?

As to people's reaction to the nuclear waste storage site: I took a friend to the town suggesting he might like the low rent and the great surroundings. He took one look at the Cameco plant and said "No way!"

But we did enjoy the great baked stuff at the "Dreamers Cafe" (corner of Queen and Walton - http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s ... 02666&z=19 ) downtown...

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Last edited by Erhard on November 11th, 2010, 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2010, 10:54 am 
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Three unwritten rules for all municipal employees:

(1) Never tell the truth.

(2) Never volunteer for anything.

(3) Never work more than your seven and a quarter hours a day.



Jest kidding.

:wink:

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PostPosted: November 11th, 2010, 11:04 am 
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Mayor Linda Thompson may find it very effective to make Dr. Caldicott a scapegoat for a history of shutdowns and environmental concerns at Point Hope, and trudge out the dirty moniker "anti-nuclear activist," but I think she would be best served by addressing the concerns of members of her own community. 1570 residents maintain an active monitoring program and website detailing community issues, Cameco troubles, and a successful 16 month campaign to oppose plans to "introduce enriched uranium to our community" (Cameco cancelled it's Slightly Enriched Uranium Blending Project in 2005). Among their goals:

Quote:
To develop and promote linkages with the international community of individuals, foundations and corporations who closely monitor and comment on pollution, nuclear related issues, water quality and health matters related to pollution, and

To support a funded series of comprehensive independent health studies of Port Hope residents, which studies are both historical and current, and

To promote, support and encourage the educational, scientific, and technological development and advancement of radioactive pollution cleanup methodology that might be applied to Port Hope and the surrounding area,

and much more
The website wise-uranium has an extensive list of documents and sources on health reports, spills, accidents, and voluntary shutdowns because of exceeding regulatory emissions and contamination guidelines (as recently as 2007, 2008, 2010). From the looks of it to me, there needs to be an independent agency in there exploring local issues of contamination and resident health concerns (and offering firm benchmarks for meeting mutually agreed upon clean-up goals). All of the reports investigating plant shut downs, soil and groundwater contamination, UF6 leaks, elevated particulate emissions, etc., appear to have been done by Cameco itself?


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PostPosted: November 13th, 2010, 9:37 am 
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Energy Probe's Lawrence Solomon chimes in. The National Post's page includes a link to studies done on the Port Hope problem... would not download for me.


Quote:
Lawrence Solomon: Port Hope — a hot spot that may be cool

National Post

Residents of Port Hope, Ont., have long worried about the carcinogenic effects of a local nuclear plant, but it may actually protect them.



Thirty-five years ago, Canada’s first radioactive cleanup of a contaminated town was ordered for Port Hope, Ont., after my organization, Energy Probe, proved and publicized gross violations of radiation safety standards. Today, 35 years and many protests with many high-profile environmentalists later, the issue of contamination has not gone away. The earth-moving equipment is back for yet another cleanup and local environmental groups are bringing in yet another high-profile anti-nuclear activist — Dr. Helen Caldicott, head of Physicians for Nuclear Responsibility, who is calling for the town’s 16,500 residents to be relocated before its “carcinogenic time bomb” explodes.

One thing has changed, though. My organization is no longer confident that low levels of radiation, such as those that now remain in Port Hope, pose a danger. To the contrary, a growing body of evidence indicates that low levels of radiation could actually confer a health benefit. Rather than continuing the 10-year $260-million-plus cleanup that has just begun, or contemplating the more extreme measure of closing down the town, the safest course to take may well be to move out the bulldozers instead of the townsfolk.

Port Hope, a pretty town on the shores of Lake Ontario 100 kilometres east of Toronto and home to the country’s largest rehabilitation involving low-level radioactive waste, may be the most researched, rehabilitated, remediated and monitored community in the world. Port Hope became a major uranium refining town during the Second World War as part of the Manhattan Project, under the auspices of a federal Crown corporation, Eldorado Mining and Refining Ltd. Since the first cleanup began in the mid-1970s, various government agencies have moved some 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soils to other locations, have managed another two million tonnes and, after the next move of contaminated soils is completed in 2020, have plans to supervise the new repository for the next 500 years. Meanwhile, other government agencies have overseen 30-odd environmental studies and 13 epidemiological studies of the health of residents who may have been contaminated over the decades.

The many studies generally show that the town’s level of radioactivity, and the health of its residents, is no different from that found in other communities. That doesn’t allay the fears of many, who fear radioactive hot spots, who rightly point out that no full-scale independent public environmental assessment has ever been carried out and who note that official bodies — those in Canada included — state there is no safe level of radiation.

Yet the view that radiation is dangerous in small doses is no less contestable than the conclusions of the many studies done to date. All of the official bodies that state that low levels of radiation are dangerous freely admit that they have no proof for their belief. In the absence of information, they say, the only prudent course is to assume that radiation poses danger in small doses as well as large.

Yet the information is now coming in, say many scientists who study the effects of low levels of radiation on human health. And it shows that low levels of radiation tend to be healthful, or hormetic, to use the medical term.

The planet has many regions that are naturally high in radiation because of the minerals in the ground or because of elevation — the higher up you live, the higher the dose of radiation you receive. Some parts of North America are 10 times more radioactive than others. Those who live in high-radiation regions tend to contract fewer cancers. One study found a 25% higher cancer mortality rate in the lowland states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, than in the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico, where residents receive five times as much radiation. Colorado does especially well, with a cancer mortality rate 30% below the national average for males and 25% for females.

Our government assumes that radiation plays no role in protecting the townsfolk of Port Hope, but that assumption, too, has no basis. The studies of nuclear workers in Port Hope show them to contract fewer cancers, and to live longer, than the general population of Port Hope, and also those who live in Port Hope contract fewer leukemias than those who live in the nearby area.

Could the benefit of working in proximity to radiation be an indication of radiation’s beneficial effect? Port Hope residents don’t know. “The studies weren’t designed to look for hormetic effects,” explained Patsy Thompson, director deneral of the federal government’s Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment.

But Port Hope residents should know. “If I were from Port Hope, what I would be asking for is a full environmental assessment, and a public hearing that gives the people who live in that area the right to question and cross-examine the scientists and so-called experts who draft the conclusions,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another environmentalist whom local organizers brought to Port Hope in an earlier protest that attempted to get at the truth of what radiation means for Port Hope. “I can’t understand that there’s any reason why that kind of hearing shouldn’t exist.”

There is no reason. A full assessment that allowed all parties to bring forward independent environmental and health experts, and then have them withstand expert challenges, would at a minimum remove uncertainty and spur swift remediation — this picture postcard town, which boasts more heritage buildings per capita than anywhere else in Canada, loses tourist dollars as well as pride of place whenever its environment is disparaged.

At a maximum, the evidence would show that radiation in small doses enhances life, that there’s no reason to fear invisible threats in their air or water, and that $260-million doesn’t need to be spent fixing a non-problem. The endeavour would be worthy. Port Hope should live up to its name.

Financial Post
LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and the author of The Deniers.


http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/1 ... y-be-cool/

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2010, 9:38 am 
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Energy Probe's Lawrence Solomon chimes in, stating that clean-up isn't needed and spending money there is unnecessary.

The National Post's page includes a link to studies done on the Port Hope problem... would not download for me.


Quote:
Lawrence Solomon: Port Hope — a hot spot that may be cool

National Post

Residents of Port Hope, Ont., have long worried about the carcinogenic effects of a local nuclear plant, but it may actually protect them.



Thirty-five years ago, Canada’s first radioactive cleanup of a contaminated town was ordered for Port Hope, Ont., after my organization, Energy Probe, proved and publicized gross violations of radiation safety standards. Today, 35 years and many protests with many high-profile environmentalists later, the issue of contamination has not gone away. The earth-moving equipment is back for yet another cleanup and local environmental groups are bringing in yet another high-profile anti-nuclear activist — Dr. Helen Caldicott, head of Physicians for Nuclear Responsibility, who is calling for the town’s 16,500 residents to be relocated before its “carcinogenic time bomb” explodes.

One thing has changed, though. My organization is no longer confident that low levels of radiation, such as those that now remain in Port Hope, pose a danger. To the contrary, a growing body of evidence indicates that low levels of radiation could actually confer a health benefit. Rather than continuing the 10-year $260-million-plus cleanup that has just begun, or contemplating the more extreme measure of closing down the town, the safest course to take may well be to move out the bulldozers instead of the townsfolk.

Port Hope, a pretty town on the shores of Lake Ontario 100 kilometres east of Toronto and home to the country’s largest rehabilitation involving low-level radioactive waste, may be the most researched, rehabilitated, remediated and monitored community in the world. Port Hope became a major uranium refining town during the Second World War as part of the Manhattan Project, under the auspices of a federal Crown corporation, Eldorado Mining and Refining Ltd. Since the first cleanup began in the mid-1970s, various government agencies have moved some 100,000 tonnes of contaminated soils to other locations, have managed another two million tonnes and, after the next move of contaminated soils is completed in 2020, have plans to supervise the new repository for the next 500 years. Meanwhile, other government agencies have overseen 30-odd environmental studies and 13 epidemiological studies of the health of residents who may have been contaminated over the decades.

The many studies generally show that the town’s level of radioactivity, and the health of its residents, is no different from that found in other communities. That doesn’t allay the fears of many, who fear radioactive hot spots, who rightly point out that no full-scale independent public environmental assessment has ever been carried out and who note that official bodies — those in Canada included — state there is no safe level of radiation.

Yet the view that radiation is dangerous in small doses is no less contestable than the conclusions of the many studies done to date. All of the official bodies that state that low levels of radiation are dangerous freely admit that they have no proof for their belief. In the absence of information, they say, the only prudent course is to assume that radiation poses danger in small doses as well as large.

Yet the information is now coming in, say many scientists who study the effects of low levels of radiation on human health. And it shows that low levels of radiation tend to be healthful, or hormetic, to use the medical term.

The planet has many regions that are naturally high in radiation because of the minerals in the ground or because of elevation — the higher up you live, the higher the dose of radiation you receive. Some parts of North America are 10 times more radioactive than others. Those who live in high-radiation regions tend to contract fewer cancers. One study found a 25% higher cancer mortality rate in the lowland states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, than in the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico, where residents receive five times as much radiation. Colorado does especially well, with a cancer mortality rate 30% below the national average for males and 25% for females.

Our government assumes that radiation plays no role in protecting the townsfolk of Port Hope, but that assumption, too, has no basis. The studies of nuclear workers in Port Hope show them to contract fewer cancers, and to live longer, than the general population of Port Hope, and also those who live in Port Hope contract fewer leukemias than those who live in the nearby area.

Could the benefit of working in proximity to radiation be an indication of radiation’s beneficial effect? Port Hope residents don’t know. “The studies weren’t designed to look for hormetic effects,” explained Patsy Thompson, director deneral of the federal government’s Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment.

But Port Hope residents should know. “If I were from Port Hope, what I would be asking for is a full environmental assessment, and a public hearing that gives the people who live in that area the right to question and cross-examine the scientists and so-called experts who draft the conclusions,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., another environmentalist whom local organizers brought to Port Hope in an earlier protest that attempted to get at the truth of what radiation means for Port Hope. “I can’t understand that there’s any reason why that kind of hearing shouldn’t exist.”

There is no reason. A full assessment that allowed all parties to bring forward independent environmental and health experts, and then have them withstand expert challenges, would at a minimum remove uncertainty and spur swift remediation — this picture postcard town, which boasts more heritage buildings per capita than anywhere else in Canada, loses tourist dollars as well as pride of place whenever its environment is disparaged.

At a maximum, the evidence would show that radiation in small doses enhances life, that there’s no reason to fear invisible threats in their air or water, and that $260-million doesn’t need to be spent fixing a non-problem. The endeavour would be worthy. Port Hope should live up to its name.

Financial Post
LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and the author of The Deniers.


http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/1 ... y-be-cool/

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2010, 10:28 am 
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Thoughtful and interesting article. A quick check on the author reveals he's written a book (published April 1 in 2008 :wink: ) that is summarized on Amazon as
Quote:
Global warming is a question for citizens, not just scientists. We must decide how serious the threat is and what to do about it. But how can we settle the fiercely complicated scientific issues involved? Al Gore?s answer is to rely on the argument from authority. Accept the word of the great scientists who really know, who say that global warming is real, caused primarily by humans and will lead to catastrophe if unchecked. The science is settled, and those who dissent are either crackpots or crooks. Eminent environmentalist Lawrence Solomon was not satisfied with Gore's answer. He decided to find out whether any real scientists dissent from the Gore/U.N. line. What he found shocked him. Not only were there serious scientists who dissented on every headline global warming issue, but the dissenters were by far the more accomplished and eminent scientists.

Not sure about that one - whenever I looked they were a motley bunch but not "the more accomplished and eminent scientists".

OK, he's got to tell us something about Port Hope. Now if he moved his family and his children/grandkids to that town to live there, I'd believe him....

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2010, 12:57 pm 
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You guys really do want to ruin my chances for a relaxing weekend morning, don't you?

Lawrence Solomon is HUGELY misstating the facts. He's right that studies have looked closely at the "linear-no threshold" theory of radiation exposure and risk to public health and carcinogenesis, and found there are problems with the theory. Meaning, if the risks of exposure to 800 mrem/year are x, exposure to 400 mrem/year is half of x (with no threshold). Fine. But while the linear-no threshold theory has been somewhat debunked (there are many who are still cautious to claim this), there is no overwhelming evidence or conclusive scientific justification regarding its opposite, that low levels of radiation are actually "healthful." And what are the levels of radiation (including industrial radiotoxin, or "alpha" particle exposure, among workers and residents) at Port Hope (is there a reason why he doesn't tell us this in the article)? It's all a very grey area with industry proponents and anti-nuclear activists mud-slinging various hyperbolic barbs at each other and in the meantime raising fears of uncertainty with residents caught in the middle. I prefer to err on the side of caution. I'm glad he reiterated calls for a full independent assessment by environmental and health experts (since this is what local residents are looking for … not another Cameco or Nuclear Safety Commission "synthetic" report).

The way Lawrence Solomon's argument works (he could have at least told us as much), is that radiation interferes with cell division and the cell cycle. A single particle of radiation interacting with a single DNA molecule may initiate a mutation and an abnormal cell division, but there are also various biological defense mechanisms to deal with this and rid the body of aberrant cells. There is evidence that exposure to low levels of radiation actually enhances these biological defense mechanisms. Is this because the body is working overtime to rid itself of aberrant cells, or is it a "healthful" effect that improves the body's resilience to prevent cancers from forming in the first place? I suppose it's two ways of looking at the same objective condition. That said, I'm not a doctor, and don't have the answer. And I'm confident to say neither does anybody else. In cases where people are smokers, heavy drinkers, deal with heavy exposure to dangerous chemicals, and such, it seems that low levels of radiation don't seem to help in such cases (that the body is already overwhelmed in it's natural defense capabilities … just one more of a series of very dangerous and potentially harmful chemical and physical assaults).

I found a slew of articles and sources on "low level radiation" from just a very quick look on the web (and by this, I mean reference sources on scientific journals, and the like). But I lack the energy to provide a detailed summary with links. Given the gist of Solomon's article, it's lack of empirical support, and the fact that nobody else on this board has done any work to substantiate his claims, I think we're left looking at the article from the vantage point of industry proponents, media perspectives, and whether he makes a persuasive rhetorical argument or not? If his point is to counter the extreme and poorly researched claims of some anti-nuclear activists with his own extreme and unsubstantiated views to the contrary, I think he has done a very good job. Yea to Solomon for making it even more difficult for us to find sane and rational common ground and mutual interest in a very complicated and rapidly evolving scientific field! In general, though, I find it REALLY interesting to see this debate taking shape in the media and public interest, so keep it coming (I'm all ears).


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PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 12:16 pm 
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Well … I've had a little more time to look at the radiation hormesis thesis, and frankly I'm stunned and shocked at anybody who would put such untested and potentially reckless and dangerous speculations into print. People don't have the time to look into these things on their own, all they hear is "healthful" and "the critics are wrong" and this allows them to sublimate their very real fears and move on to better and more personally rewarding things: such as their kid's soccer game, time with family, work responsibilities (pressing immediate concerns). And apparently, Mayor Linda Thompson is a part of the very same picture of sublimation and denial, inviting low dose proponent Dr. Douglas Boreham to Port Hope to talk about the "healthful" benefits of living in the midst of a radiological development zone for the last 80 years. I suppose it doesn't matter that Boreham spent his lifetime advocating for the nuclear industry, and for the last two years has "been working for Bruce Power, the largest nuclear power station in North America, and involved in scientific oversight of Environmental Assessments for proposed new nuclear reactors."

Sure, carefully controlled lab experiments do show individual cells reacting and enhanced defense mechanisms when exposed to low dose gamma radiation, but as one physician noted in commenting on Solomon's paper (I have this in e-mail and not on web): "An equivalent would be to say that mosquitoes must be tonic to humans because humans behave more actively and vigorously in their presence." The incubation period for cancer incidence from radiation is 5-60 years, so I wouldn't hold much credence on carefully controlled lab experiments. Radiation hormesis has been examined and rejected by the United States National Research Council, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Didn't smoking industry try something like this once: filters, low tar, and "more healthful" brands (and becoming purveyors of scientific doubt)?

I hope some of you get to attend Caldicott's talk on Tuesday (I would love to go, and I really hope she gets an earful and it gets wide press). From what I can pick up from her other talks, well worth watching in its entirety (she is an alarmist no doubt), she's in her element when she gets critics, opponents, and other people who vociferously disagree with her in the room. The venue has been shifted around some, because her appearance has been quite controversial, but it's currently scheduled for Best Western Convention Centre in Oshawa (Nov. 16 at 7:30). Caldicott is also speaking at a forum in Iqaluit regarding Kiggavik proposal and uranium mining in Nunavut on the 18th (with several other members on panel). Organizers say video of Nunavut event will be available to watch on IsumaTV.


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PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 5:53 pm 
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Quote:
One study found a 25% higher cancer mortality rate in the lowland states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, than in the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico, where residents receive five times as much radiation. Colorado does especially well, with a cancer mortality rate 30% below the national average for males and 25% for females.


I could blow a giant hole in that theory with one simple question........

What is the difference in average income/education between Colorado and the "lowland States" mentioned?

Take note that mortality rate differences are given not incidence rates, probably a safe bet that Mississippi has higher relative mortality rates for just about everything.

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PostPosted: November 14th, 2010, 6:29 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Idw,

In your first post above I think you would do well to distinguish between uranium refining and uranium enrichment since they are 2 very different processes. Candu reactors, for e.g., used refined uranium, but not enriched uranium.

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