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View Diary: Sex, Lies, & Radiation: Miley Cyrus, Fukushima, & Memeology In A Post-Fact Society (19 comments)

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  •  And Gundeson is a snake oil saleman. (2+ / 0-)
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    kirrix, terrypinder

    He lied about the SF Pond on Unit 4 "being on fire" and he was wrong about the "ongoing criticality" on the same unit's reactor. Why should I trust what he says now?

    I appreciate the diaryists attempt here to rope back the fear and crazyness about this.

    Also, so ya' all know, the Japanese regulatory agency has abused the INES standard to no end. It was never, ever meant as a rotating shot-in-the-dark predictor of how bad things are suppose to be. Here is what the World Nuclear Agency says about it's proper use:

    WNA: Context is key to nuclear incident communication
    29 August 2013

    "In Japan we have seen a nuclear incident turn into a communication disaster," said Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association. "Mistakes in applying and interpreting the INES scale have given it an exaggerated central role in coverage of nuclear safety."

    A serious incident occurred last week when radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at Fukushima Daiichi. This was cleared up in a matter of days without evidence of any pollution reaching the sea, and comprehensive measures are being taken to prevent this happening again. However, news of the event has been badly confused due to poor application and interpretation of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), which has led to enormous international concern as well as real economic impact.

    INES ratings are intended for comparison of safety-related events at nuclear power plants in context, to draw distinction between events of real significance from lesser events. Repeated revisions by Japanese authorities have led to the opposite effect: giving the impression that INES is a 'nuclear threat level' that goes up and down to predict what might come next.

    "This cannot continue: if it is to have any role in public communication, INES must only be used in conjunction with plain-language explanations of the public implications - if any - of an incident," said Rising.

    WNA urges Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority to listen to the advice it has received from the International Atomic Energy Agency. "Frequent changes of rating will not help communicate the actual situation in a clear manner," said the IAEA in a document released by the NRA.

    IAEA told Japan: "One possible communication strategy, rather than using the INES scale as a communication tool to rate each event in a series of similar events, would be to elaborate an appropriate communication plan to explain the safety significance of these types of event."

    Since the leak was discovered, each announcement on INES ratings has been a new media event that implied a worsening situation. "This is a sad repeat of communication mistakes made during the Fukushima accident, when INES ratings were revised several times," said Rising. "This hurt the credibility of INES, the Japanese government and the entire nuclear sector - all while demoralising the Japanese people needlessly."

    "INES will continue to be used while international agreements between countries using nuclear power and the IAEA continue, but it represents only one technical dimension of communication and that has now been debased. Priority must be given to the context of a nuclear safety-related event and a focus on its effects, or not, on the public," said Rising.

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:46:38 PM PDT

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