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Thread: Nuclear Catasrophe?

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    Default Nuclear Catasrophe?

    This article is a bit behind the latest events, but I though some of you may nevertheless find it interesting.

    I tend to support the author's conclusions.

    Opinions? Agree? Disagree?

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    stop panicking people. The amount of radiation that was released thus far is about how much our employees at our hospital are exposed to in a year. Not me, I don't work in that department. It's unrealistic to panic about this.

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    To be technical Maritsa, if an individual were exposed to the entire quantity of radiation that has been released thus far, he'd surely be dead. Fortunately, an individual living on site is exposed to an infinitesimally small portion of the entire quantity of emitted radiation, most of which dissipates harmlessly into the earth and atmosphere.

    Haha, had to nitpick you. Sorry. As far as your actual point goes, I agree with you 100%.

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    crazedrat's Avatar
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    That isnt true, at all. They detected radiation at a rate of 400 nm/hr 3 days ago outside the power plants. The average person in the usa receives 6 nm of radiation over the course of an entire year. 400 nm an hour is a huge amount. Stand there for an hour and you're practically a mutant slime. Those levels are 3 days old and the situation has worsened since then. Rods in the fuel dump on reactor no4 are exposed and will only continue to melt down and emit tons of radiation. Meanwhile radioactive steam is pouring out of reactor no3. Levels have surely risen since those measurements. Yes the radiation dissipates but even if you had .1 nm / hr radiation, over the course of time that adds up to a TON of radiation.
    INTp

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedratsghost View Post
    That isnt true, at all. They detected radiation at a rate of 400 nm/hr 3 days ago outside the power plants. The average person in the usa receives 6 nm of radiation over the course of an entire year. 400 nm an hour is a huge amount. Stand there for an hour and you're practically a mutant slime. Those levels are 3 days old and the situation has worsened since then. Rods in the fuel dump on reactor no4 are exposed and will only continue to melt down and emit tons of radiation. Meanwhile radioactive steam is pouring out of reactor no3. Levels have surely risen since those measurements. Yes the radiation dissipates but even if you had .1 nm / hr radiation, over the course of time that adds up to a TON of radiation.
    You're right, the article is outdated and the situation has progressed, but I'm not so sure about those figures you've cited. What is nm? Do you mean millisievert (mSv)? From what I've read, 400 mSv is the highest figure cited to date, and represents a transient spike in radiation levels subsequent to an outventing of radioactive steam. Most on-premises readings have been substantially lower. See this link. You are correct that 400 mSv per hour comes out to upwards of 100X the amount of radiation exposure in an hour that a person receives in a year. For context though, an acute dose of greater than 1,000 mSv is required before radiation sickness becomes a risk, and death rarely results where exposure is less than 3,000 mSv. It is true that lifetime cancer risk (and birth abnormality risk) is elevated by much lower levels of radiation. Chernobyl fireman were reportedly exposed to between 800 and 16,000 mSv, and about 15% died within 3 months.

    While on-premise radiation may sporadically jump very high, the level of radiation off premise (and especially outside the evacuation zone) is MUCH lower. Moreover, from what I've read, on site radiations levels are NOT tending any higher as of the last two days.

    Long term exposure to low levels of radiation is likely not as big a deal as it is made out to be. Some speculate chronic low level radiation induces a hormetic response (i.e. is beneficial). Whether or not that's true, tolerance to radiation likely improves with chronic elevated exposure (just like exercise conditions us to athletic stress). I'm not saying I wouldn't be concerned if I were living in Japan right now, I'm just saying we in the US are blowing this out of proportion.

    I won't be surprised if a handful of reactor employees suffer radiation sickness or death, and I will accept the possibility of a couple thousand additional cancer cases over the next 30 years across Japan (which is a fraction of the number earthquake/tsunami casualties). Predicting anything worse based on what information has so far come out is fear-mongering as far as I can tell.

    I should also add, the nuclear industry hasn't exactly been hit all that hard by any of this. I'm invested in a diversified uranium mining fund (PKN). The fund suffered a 12% drop on Monday and has recovered 6% since then despite the progressively worsening news. BP fell closer to 60% after the deepwater horizon debacle (and has fully recovered since). Investors obviously don't believe this event will spell doom for the nuclear energy (which is presently the only viable alternative to oil, which will only get more expensive with time). This is pretty strong evidence that the dangers are being exaggerated.
    Last edited by Timmy; 03-19-2011 at 09:22 AM.

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    Thats how the article I read measured it.
    A couple thousand cancer patients is a pretty big deal. But there are over 13 million people in tokyo. If radiation made its way there, it would all depend on how much, but the number of cancer cases could be pretty significant. Numbers could climb even higher. It all depends on the amount though.
    Last edited by crazedrat; 03-19-2011 at 11:18 AM.
    INTp

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    I'm confused... I thought radiation CURED cancer?

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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    Mr. Tucker is author of "Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey" (Bartleby Press, 2010).
    source clearly not impartial.

    article fails to mention the 1700 spent fuel rods at risk of degrading in reactors 4, 5 and 6, none of which are shielded by any steel or concrete casing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mirrorsoul View Post
    I'm confused... I thought radiation CURED cancer?
    I hope this was just a very bad joke.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirrorsoul
    I'm confused... I thought radiation CURED cancer?
    Noted nuclear physicist, humanitarian, and peace activist Ann Coulter said the exact same thing on Fox News, so it has to be true.

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/w7Pge9F5SpE

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    Le roi internet Bluenoir's Avatar
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    Why does the media reward this woman with attention?

    Can we put her in a reactor and see what happens?
    The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

    Chapter 14, Verse 9.
    The Bhagavad Gita

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    Grand Inquisitor Bardia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0rpsey View Post
    Noted nuclear physicist, humanitarian, and peace activist Ann Coulter said the exact same thing on Fox News, so it has to be true.
    lol

    She does not know what the heck she is talking about. Send her to Japan so she will have a lower risk of cancer .
    “No psychologist should pretend to understand what he does not understand... Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.” -Anton Chekhov

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    http://kevan.org/nohari?name=Bardia0

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy View Post
    To be technical Maritsa, if an individual were exposed to the entire quantity of radiation that has been released thus far, he'd surely be dead. Fortunately, an individual living on site is exposed to an infinitesimally small portion of the entire quantity of emitted radiation, most of which dissipates harmlessly into the earth and atmosphere.

    Haha, had to nitpick you. Sorry. As far as your actual point goes, I agree with you 100%.
    Thank you
    Our media loves to inflate things. It's like so many of our weather stories; they prop up the news by preparing people, cautioning them of harsh weathers and turbulent rain, but when the rain comes over it drops a few drops of water and then the excitement created, that internal stress is just a puff and gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by mirrorsoul View Post
    I'm confused... I thought radiation CURED cancer?
    Yes, but radiation therapy for cancer patients is targeted therapy. The radiation from emission of these disasters is inhaled into the lungs and settles in the marrow and other places in the body that is hard to kill off. It's just like Chemotherapy; to the administering individual, it's harmful, so they have to take extra precaution when giving it to the recipient who is not well and needs to try to treat what they have with it.

    https://thescienceclassroom.wikispaces.com/radiation
    Last edited by Beautiful sky; 03-19-2011 at 04:31 PM.

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    Interesting graphic.

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    Robot Assassin Pa3s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy View Post
    Interesting graphic.
    Cool. I've already heard of radioactive fruits.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Korpsy Knievel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy View Post
    Interesting graphic.
    So much Te! *grabs spoon*

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    Contrarian Traditionalist Krig the Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy View Post
    Interesting graphic.
    Dang, I was just about to post that. Randall Munroe is great for these things.
    Quaero Veritas.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirrorsoul View Post
    I'm confused... I thought radiation CURED cancer?
    Radiation doesn't cure cancer, it kills cancer cells as well as healthy cells, chemotherapy is a full system wipeout, its like nuking a town full of a zombie infestation. Once your system is weak, then they go about targeting the remaining cancer cell survivors, sometimes cancer patients have to go through this process several times.

    Chemotherapy and radiation cancer treatments don't magically cure you, what it is is a technique to destroy the cancer cell infestation to a managible level.

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    <something> Wynch's Avatar
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