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Here are a few telling comments--of self appointed science experts--about yesterday's section about TMI, radiation releases, and health impacts.  
   *Radiation may be good for people in small doses;
   *this essay cites only biased sources--a real absurdity to anyone who reads it;
   *even if radiation isn't good for folks, BEIR VII's advice is only conservative, since evidence that low level radiation is harmful is weak;
   *Jefferson would have told nuclear critics to shut up;
   *only experts who believe such brilliant, unbiased, insightful, and incontrovertible facts as these should speak;
   *the truth about nukes, nuclear safety, etc., is already known and requires no further study or monitoring;
   *and, of course, This Humble Correspondent is an ignorant slut at best and should just STFU.
As bizarre as such representations may seem, as surreal as such ideation appears, as presumptuous and arrogant and supercilious as such contentions are, they are now a matter of public record--readers should take a look, for the above sample is only a tiny tad of the whole package.

   Anyone who would like to visit the first three sections can do so here:
Three Mile Island, Ten Thousand Days Later, Part 1
Three Mile Island, Ten Thousand Days Later, Part 2

Three Mile Island, Ten Thousand Days Later, Part 3-A

   Necessity serving again as the mother of invention, this series section that analyzes health impacts and their analysis has appeared in two pieces.  Today, in what will undoubtedly exercise the holy priesthood of Those Who Already Know All Answers, This Humble Correspondent begins with a review of just a few of the truly heroic efforts by citizens--without government backing, without research funding, without even a modicum of respect by those who know everything and thereby don't need pesky citizens deigning to offer facts and advice--to collect the information that was appearing to them in their children's cancer diagnoses, the spate of thyroid problems, and the lingering legacy of illness and disorder that had not characterized this region before TMI's presence.  


 As the EFMR website states:

   In 1992, Eric Epstein reached a landmark settlement with GPU Nuclear to establish a state-of-the-art radiation monitoring system around Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant.

Of course, as he made clear in interviews, this only transpired after out and out legal trench warfare with Exelon Nuclear, but he did prevail.  

He set up EFMR—named after his grandfather, Emanuel Fievish, and his uncle, Max Rosenberg—as a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization to run the program.
   This settlement and some subsequent legal actions have resulted in EFMR adding the area around the Peach Bottom nuclear plant in York County to its monitoring network, in the acquisition of new monitors, in some significant environmental guarantees from the utilities, and in a significant investment in robotic research by the utilities which has increased worker safety at the plants.
  EFMR has also undertaken educational activities relating to energy production and use in Pennsylvania, initiated advocacy actions on behalf of the safety of nuclear plant neighbors including the evacuation of day care centers in emergency preparedness plans and the distribution of potassium iodide pills to the general public. The group has also intervened at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to protect the economic interests of Pennsylvania rate payers.
  Since its inception, EFMR has worked with AmerGen, Carnegie-Mellon University, Dickinson College, the City of Harrisburg, the Environmental Protection Agency, Los Alamos National Laboratories (SWOOPE Program), GPU Nuclear, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Peach Bottom REMP Program, Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education, Slippery Rock University, Three Mile Island Alert, the Sustainable Energy Fund, and the University of Tennessee, as well as other national and international organizations.

   Among the most bizarre components of this whole story is that the nuclear industry is guaranteeing, unless it plans to institute sustainable fascism, that the very communities that it must ultimately win over will become its staunchest and most intractable enemies.  It will fulfill the adage that 'he who defecates in his bed will suffocate in his own shit.'  Eric Epstein and others like him around the country are the last best hope for any nuclear presence in coming decades that is not a matter of having a technology rammed down a suppressed population's throat--a difficult scenario short of sustainable fascism.

   One critical function of citizen science--obviously in the general context of depredation, degradation, and deception that has developed at TMI--is to provide a "baseline measurement," which the utilities have steadfastly resisted according to Epstein in interviews that he gave to SERMCAP over the past several weeks.  These materials, by the way, are all available on the Community Capacity Internet Audio Archive cited in the previous installment.  

   But even more crucial than attempts to establish a reliable baseline are citizens' having found ways to do surveys, draw inferences, and gather data to document the grotesque mockery of objectivity that occurred in Pennsylvania in the aftermath of the meltdown itself.  "We had all kinds of people showing signs of acute radiation exposure,," says the TMI Alert director: "metallic taste in the mouth, skin rash, nausea, projectile vomiting, animals messed up or dead."

"A taste in the wind," a hauntingly beautiful recounting of events of thirty years ago, offers these insights into the TMI legacy.

Mary Osborne, living in sight of Three Mile Island's cooling towers six and a half miles to the southwest in her redwood house in Swatara township, remembers hearing about the accident mid-morning. She was sure upon learning the news that it was probably not serious,
but she began to wonder if the metallic taste she had noticed earlier when walking her children to the school bus stop was more than a coincidence. To this day countless members of the TMI community can remember such a taste in the air.
 One of them was Virginia Southard, a founder of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a small local group that had opposed the licensing of Unit Two. She drove to her office in Union Deposit, a Harrisburg suburb, as usual that day, arriving at 8:30. Around quarter to nine her desk
phone rang. A friend living 90 miles west of Harrisburg told her that a mutual acquaintance from Philadelphia (l00 miles to the east) had heard there was a problem at Three Mile Island; her friend asked her to "find out what you can and call me back." Southard called a reporter from the Harrisburg Patriot Ledger who confirmed the story, "but we don't know what's going on down there," she recalls his telling her. Southard geared for a possible meltdown. She did not stick around. By l0:30 a.m. she had left town. An hour west she remembers a "metallic taste" in her mouth when she stopped for gas. "I never went back to live in Harrisburg."

   Instead of interest or even a grudging willingness to delve into such matters, nuclear know-it-alls know in advance that such statements must be false.

   One such high-and-mighty genius recently shared this capacity to know truth with This Humble Correspondent, an ability that is so superior that it doesn't even require fact checking or listening.  

Simply put, if the anecdotal testimony was accurate and the effects were as dramatic as they were claimed to be (hair falling out, dead pets, etc.), then we would expect that the consequences of these events would show up in the epidemiological follow-up studies.  A researcher shouldn't have to massage the data to show some sort of slight (and highly dubious) trend. It should be obvious. That's what happens in epidemiological research in other areas of public health -- say, studies linking the use of industrial chemicals to cancer.
 You can't "destroy" epidemiological evidence unless you kill the affected population.
 In any case, there is enough independent evidence from various sources (radiation detectors in the area, postmortem inventory of the reactor core, the Kodak analysis of film in the area during the accident, etc.) to indicate that the amount of radiation that was released was within the values that were determined following the accident.
 Even the folks who are talking about higher releases admit that we have a good deal of certainty about most of the area around the plant. In order to support their hypothesis, they are forced to postulate mysterious (and magical) "plumes" of radioactivity that meandered through the valleys, somehow managing to find the people while avoiding any detection.

   Leaving aside the question of the likelihood that thousands of people would just decide to "make shit up," sort of a mass psychotic stigmata experience with vomit instead of bloody hands, ignoring the criminal falsification of Metropolitan Edison and the evidence of complicity on the part of the NRC with such deceptive practice, setting in abeyance the fact that various authorities bemoaned the complete inadequacy of dosimetry and that the devices present were often "off the charts," according to all manner of documented representations, and just deciding to shrug off the diligent attempt to avoid any sort of comprehensive post accident data gathering and to disallow even the most paltry collection of evidence that the lying utility did not completely control, this commenter's argument defeats itself.

   Not showing up in post-accident epidemiological studies is inevitable when, as Doctors Wing, Mangano, et al., point out, a combination of fiat, court order and 'national security' requires that we accept the values that the point is to measure in the first place.  This is circular reasoning barely creditable in a fourth grader, let alone a grand priest of the holy nuclear highest.

   This shaman of the most holy shores up 'two-pi-r' methodology by pointing to "enough independent evidence."  Do tell.  Let's share that with Dr. Wing; with Eric Epstein; with Joe Mangano; with the citizens who, with nary a countervailing voice, insist that they've never seen any such documentation.  That's what scientists do--they share their data, so that the truth will out, sooner, rather than later, and with less blood on the hands of the guilty and innocent alike.

   The characterization in the last paragraph asserts that the two Penn State Meteorology professors who developed the plume analysis are frauds, but that's the way with the nuclear priesthood.  Everyone else is a charlatan, but they are shamans whom we fail to follow at our peril.

   Of course, we don't have to 'leave aside' the necessity of accounting for an apparent mass plague of prevarication.  We don't have to ignore the documented lies and fraud of the utility company, nor do we need to avert our gaze from indicia of NRC complicity.  We need not set in abeyance the record that voluminously demonstrates inadequate measurement and "off the charts" dosimeters.  We don't have an obligation to kid ourselves about the failure of either industry or government to follow up this travesty in any honest and thorough way.  But even if we did, this argument stinks so fulsomely that it would rot from the inside out of its own accord.

   Here is one of many additional  sources to support the reasoning and data that have already made a mockery of this bigoted priest of the nuclear cult.  It stems from a brilliant researcher who, since he is so clever and imaginative, merits the special ire of the priests, who would eliminate his existence from the eyes of God if they could get away with it.

   "Three Mile Island Health Study Meltdown" dispositively answers the flaccid assertions and wheezing arguments above.from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:


A few research heavyweights contributed estimates of potential health risks to local residents.  These estimates were uniformly low. Arthur Upton, former head of the National Cancer Institute, projected that there might be a single additional cancer death among persons living within 50 miles of the plant as a result of radiation absorbed from Three Mile Island. Shields Warren, a longtime member of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, estimated two additional cancer deaths.
   The early literature included no articles with data on actual changes in local disease and death rates after the accident. Moreover, six of the 31 articles focused on the topics of stress-related illness and psychological suffering as a result of the accident. The U.S. Public Health Service began a mental health survey of the area. These efforts were bolstered by the conclusion of the Kemeny Commission, which had been established by President Jimmy Carter, that the only health threat Three Mile Island posed to the local population was mental distress.
   After the meltdown one would have expected to see some articles featuring local health statistics--especially statistics relating to the very young. The developing fetus and infant are much more susceptible than adults to the effects of ionizing radiation. In addition, reports of
elevated disease rates in the youngest residents near the plant quickly surfaced.
   Pennsylvania Health Commissioner Gordon MacLeod publicly stated that downwind from the plant the number of babies born with hypothyroidism jumped from nine in the nine months before the accident to 20 in the nine months after. MacLeod reasoned that the thyroid gland was affected by the large amount of thyroid-seeking iodine 131 released from the plant. He also emphasized the increase in deaths of infants within a 10-mile radius, as did Ernest Sternglass, a University of Pittsburgh physicist. In the six months after the accident, 31 infants living within
10 miles of the plant died, more than double the 14 deaths during the same six-month period the previous year.
   Vital Statistics of the United States, an annual volume issued by the National Center for Health Statistics, showed that the 1978-1979 rate increase in Pennsylvania exceeded the national increase in three crucial categories: infant deaths, births under 3.3 pounds, and percent of newborns with low Apgar scores. In Dauphin County, where the Three Mile Island plant is located, the 1979 death rate among infants under one year represented a 28 percent increase over that of 1978; and among infants under one month, the death rate increased by 54 percent.
   But no articles were published. MacLeod was fired by Gov. Richard Thornburgh just six months after taking office; Sternglass was described by health officials as an alarmist. The main debate over health effects focused on persons living close to the plant, but evidence surfaced that releases from the accident traveled long distances. In 1980, Science magazine published an article by New York state health officials who had measured levels of airborne radiation 3 to 5 times background levels.(this also was true of measurements in some areas of  Massachusetts and New Hampshire)....
    McLeod and others maintained that environmental radiation levels exceeded the capacity of the existing monitors after the accident. There were no attempts to measure in-body radiation levels of persons living near (or far) from the plant; if such levels had been taken, longitudinal studies tracking the future health of high-dose and low-dose residents would have been possible.
   Another reason is that while much has been made over the large amount of iodine, krypton, and xenon that escaped from the plant, virtually no attention has been paid to other radioisotopes. The reactor core produced dozens of radioisotopes, including strontium and cesium, in addition to iodine, and others. Each affects the body in a different way; for example,
strontium is a bone-seeker, iodine attacks the thyroid gland, and cesium distributes throughout the soft tissues. So while the data used by Hatch and Wing on overall body dose is a start, it lacks specificity. Had greater efforts been made to determine more specific radioactivity levels in the environment and in the body, much more productive research would have been possible.
    But another, perhaps more significant reason may be reluctance to tackle a controversial subject. A similar reluctance, in which researchers shunned evaluation of health consequences of nuclear weapons fallout, was evident during the 1950s and 1960s.

   But perhaps Joseph Mangano is just a congenital liar.  Oh right.  He happens to agree with thousands of eyewitnesses and untold thousands more who express symptomology of acute radiation poisoning.  They must all be liars too.  Yeah, and idiots.  Yeah, and they should just shut up.  This litany of brutal presumption must end.  This is much more the toxic heart of America's troubles now than any particular Bush or Cheney.

   Eric Epstein might usher us toward a more collegial exchange; the miracle is, given the toxicity so prevalent in trying to converse with nuclear storm troopers, that some of them are as honest and as decent and just as truly want to figure out a way to create a conversation as do community voices such as the director of TMI Alert.  Anyhow, only such an engaging, forthcoming, and thoroughgoing discussion has the potential to transform what will otherwise very rapidly become an impasse in American history.

   Epstein's observations about the people who are his neighbors and comrades in this longstanding battle apply to all people of good will, some of whom even reside in the belly of the beast as it were.

       Around here it's clear there's been health effects [...] There's two parts to this puzzle. One is psychological stress, and it's clear that folks have dealt with chronically elevated levels of psychological stress since the accident (stuff like) 'that wasn't our fault...we did not melt the core... we did not mislead investigators about the severity of the accident [...] we're not a convicted felon, this is the people that own the plant, not us' [...]
   We have a real interesting study ... and we have a little block on health effects(on our website)... Some Japanese scientists came here after the accident and they basically interviewed hundreds of people and if you talk to the people here, in this area, in the valley, which is mostly conservative Republican, you'll find that they experienced the same experience of people who were exposed to low-level radiation, I mean, and people here don't lie - they had metallic taste in the mouth, they had sunburn, they had skin irritations,  they had projectile vomiting, they had diarrhea, they had loss of hair.  So we have had increased cancer, but on the other end of the issue we have an industry that has a lot at stake here and basically rushed to have studies done that exonerated them [...] If you look at the studies done by Dr Wing [...] there's a direct correlation between radiation releases, neurological conditions, and cancer clusters. And that's what we have here, cancer clusters.

But clusters or no clusters, the majority opinion remains that we cannot assert causation in this matter.  We cannot find significant correlation.  We can see the increased incidence of certain problems; we can detect changes in patterns of occurrence; but the source, so far, is ultimately mysterious.   This is the official view, and Dr. Talbott represents it professionally.

   UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH ASSESSMENT--As with the Columbia studies conducted by Hatch, et al., Evelyn O. Talbott's investigations, also with cohorts, found evidence of increased cancers and other health problems.  Also in congruence with the Hatch Report, the Pittsburgh effort found no significant increase and no verifiable causal connection with the nuclear plant or the nuclear meltdown, except in the case of breast cancer victims.  Also paralleling the Columbia University experience, Dr. Talbott's work received strong critique from such scientists as Joe Mangano, Steven Wing, and others, along with the outright rejection of many community members and leaders who contend that their very real clusters of cancer invalidate the findings.  Of course, none of these citizen voices are worth anything, according to atomic priests, and the 'junk science' insult is in reserve for anyone, who is sufficiently certified, who has the temerity to doubt the standard view.  In any event, material from Talbott is here for perusal as well.
Mortality among the residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1992," EHP; vol108, pp.545-52--

The largest U.S. population exposed to low-level radioactivity released by an accident at ...Three Mile Island (TMI) .... This paper (a collaboration of The University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Health) reports on the mortality experience of the 32,135 members in this cohort for 1979-1992. We analyzed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) using a local comparison population and performed relative risk regression modeling to assess overall mortality and specific cancer risks by confounding factors and radiation-related exposure variables. Total mortality was significantly elevated for both men and women (SMRs = 109 and 118, respectively). All heart disease accounted for 43.3% of total deaths and demonstrated elevated SMRs for heart disease of 113 and 130 for men and women, respectively; however, when controlling for confounders and natural background radiation, these elevations in heart disease were no longer evident. Overall cancer mortality was similar in this cohort as compared to the local population (male SMR = 100; female SMR = 101). In the relative risk modeling, there was a significant effect for all lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue in males in relation to natural background exposure (p = 0.04). However, no trend was noted. We found a significant linear trend for female breast cancer risk in relation to increasing levels of TMI-related likely [gamma]-exposure (p = 0.02). Although such a relationship has been noted in other investigations, emissions from the TMI incident were significantly lower than in other documented studies. Therefore, it is unlikely that this observed increase is related to radiation exposure on the day of the accident. The mortality surveillance of this cohort does not provide consistent evidence that radioactivity released during the TMI accident has a significant impact on the mortality experience of this cohort to date. However, continued follow-up of these individuals will provide a more comprehensive description of the morbidity and mortality experience of the population.

And that's not all; two and a half years later, this appeared.

  "Long-term follow-up of the residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1998"; EHP, Vol.111, pp. 341-8--The Three Mile Island... accident (1979) prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Health to initiate a cohort mortality study in the TMI accident area. This study is significant because of the long follow-up (1979-1998), large cohort size (32,135), and evidence from earlier reports indicating increased cancer risks. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated to assess the mortality experience of the cohort compared with a local population. Relative risk (RR) regression modeling was performed to assess cause-specific mortality associated with radiation-related exposure variables after adjustment for individual smoking and lifestyle factors. Overall cancer mortality in this cohort was similar to the local population [SMRs = 103.7 (male); 99.8 (female)]. RR modeling showed neither maximum gamma nor likely gamma exposure was a significant predictor of all malignant neoplasms; bronchus, trachea, and lung; or heart disease mortality after adjusting for known confounders. The RR estimates for maximum gamma exposure (less than or equal to 8, 8-19, 20-34, greater than or equal to 35 mrem) in relation to all lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue (LHT) are significantly elevated (RRs = 1.00, 1.16, 2.54, 2.45, respectively) for males and are suggestive of a potential dose-response relationship, although the test for trend was not significant. An upward trend of RRs and SMRs for levels of maximum gamma exposure in relation to breast cancer in females (RRs = 1.00, 1.08, 1.13, 1.31; SMRs = 104.2, 113.2, 117.9) was also noted. Although the surveillance within the TMI cohort provides no consistent evidence that radioactivity released during the nuclear accident has had a significant impact on the overall mortality experience of these residents, several elevations persist, and certain potential dose-response relationships cannot be definitively excluded."

   This Humble Correspondent detects the 'no detectable result' syndrome again.  The assumption of low doses is also clear, despite the massive evidence of cover-up of releases, including the criminal charges against the utility, of course.  But the notation of marked elevations of heart disease and cancer, and then the dismissal of connection to TMI, although always with a nice 'we could be wrong' caveat, is particularly galling.  Anyone with a modicum of statistical and logical ability could mount telling attacks on such research.

   This Humble Correspondent will quote extensively from a comment by Dr. Wing in Environmental Health Perspectives.  All THC would ask is that readers who are not of the trollish variety--whose magical Godly powers allow them already to know all answers and dismiss anything that doesn't fit with those answers in advance--merely consider the logic, tone, and analytical acuity that Steve Wing brings to bear here.  He may be wrong, but he makes a powerful case.

   "Collision of Evidence and Assumptions: TMI Déjà View," again, here:

   "Evidence of health effects from radiation released during the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear generating station continues to be of interest.... Unfortunately, Talbott et al.'s analysis of mortality of nearby residents (1) does little to increase our understanding of the accident's health impact.
   Talbott et al.'s paper (1) suffers from the same logical mistake that we identified previously (2). Specifically, the authors undertook a study in which empirical findings cannot lead to rejection of the study's null hypothesis. Both Talbott et al. (1) and Hatch et al. (3,4), who reported on the Columbia University studies of cancer incidence, began with the assumption that the maximum possible radiation doses from the accident were well below average annual background radiation levels. Even if standard radiation risk estimates are underestimated by an order of magnitude or more, such doses would be associated with very small increases in cancer ... . Given the measurement constraints of epidemiologic studies, it would not be possible to detect an accident-related increase in cancer at the dose levels assumed by these authors. Thus, when they find increased cancer rates among residents assumed to have received relatively higher radiation doses from the accident, such as the significant linear trend in female breast cancer (1), the authors must conclude that the association is not due to the exposure they are studying. There is no scientific reason to conduct a study in which the null hypothesis cannot be rejected due to a priori assumptions. This logical problem was further discussed in letters to EHP (5-8). Interestingly, Talbott et al. (1) did not cite our paper, which introduced this logical problem (2), or the subsequent letters (5-8).
   Talbott et al. (1) did not consider the possibility that some people received radiation doses from the TMI accident that were substantially higher than background. Such a possibility is supported by residents' reports of acute symptoms following the accident (9,10) and by evidence of elevated chromosomal aberration rates among persons reporting symptoms (11,12). The radiation dose estimates used by Talbott et al. depended on extensive assumptions about releases and dispersion because no measurements were available for individuals in the study (13). Simplistic assumptions were made about exponential decline of emissions and dispersion over the first 10 days of the accident (13). Further misclassification should be expected from errors in responses to survey questions about locations and movements of persons during this time period. Inability to accurately classify doses in an epidemiologic study threatens its ability to detect effects. Neither Talbott et al. (1) nor the authors of the Columbia studies (3,4) discussed exposure measurement error in interpreting their findings.
   Gur et al. (13), the authors of the dosimetry report, state that their methodology was developed "for educational, public relations and defensive epidemiology purposes." This description of the rationale for dosimetry reminds us of the constraints on TMI dosimetry imposed upon other investigators by court order (2,6). That order (14) prohibited the investigators from making upper limit or worst case estimates of releases of radioactivity or population doses... [unless] such estimates would lead to a mathematical projection of less than 0.01 health effects and specified that a technical analyst... designated by counsel for the Pools [nuclear industry insurers] concur on the nature and scope of the [dosimetry] projects.
   Because exposed persons were followed, Talbott et al. (1) could also have addressed the problem of tracing birth cohorts through time, a method that could not be employed in the Columbia study (2). Fetal and childhood exposures appear to be particularly effective in producing cancer (15,16); therefore, analyses of cancer mortality among persons exposed at those ages would be of special interest. Talbott et al. (1), however, excluded persons younger than 18 years of age from their dose-response analyses.

 Wing's assessment resonates powerfully with this Humble Correspondent, and the good professor invites all of us to examine this situation on the basis of reasoning, data, and science, instead of relying on court order and fiat.

   Of all the disturbing aspects of TMI, to This Humble Correspondent, none are so sickening as the summary execution of forthright investigation by the stroke of a court-ordered pen.  If anyone could develop that story completely, he or she would truly be serving humanity with a critical helping of political economic realism.  The entire saga floats in a surreal fog of ethereal evanescence otherwise; if it weren't for the cries of the sick and the dying, it would all be almost magical, so bizarre is the entire heady brew.  In any case, the next overall section in this series will examine such legal and policy issues briefly.  Now, however, THC and this essay turn to an unexpected but interesting bit of speculation that appeared in commentary about this story.

A NOVEL IDEA--'RADIATION IN SMALL DOSES IS GOOD FOR PEOPLE'--As a result of a thread of comments from Sunday's diary, I encountered something that I'd only heard of before as an undergraduate, in my sophomore history tutorial, something which I had totally forgotten.  Back in the day, as part of the the discussion of social history, we examined ideas that had received little or no established backing--one of which was the concept of homeopathy, the concept that in many cases, aspects of nature that are toxic or even lethal at certain levels may be beneficial at lower dosages.  And, by the end of the 1890's, newly discovered radiation became something of a fad, and even as other research and observation implied toxicity, some observers continued to insist that very low inputs might have therapeutic effects.

The ability literally  to see smaller and smaller, and ever more isolated elements of nature has permitted a theoretical blossoming of work about this idea, which show up in comments from Sunday's diary.  Thus, the proposition is not patently absurd, even if it is not the majority position, that small amounts of damage might excite a defensive response that benefits an organism.  

       This in any event is the theoretical underpinning that some scientists are currently investigating--as is fitting with the choice of 'hormesis,' which comes from the Greek 'hormein,' or something similar, which means 'to excite.'  Of course, many health physicists and others concerned about occupational safety and public health attack such assessments.

Many folks bridle at scientific criticism of such ideas, just as other sorts often anger when such notions receive scientific support.  We needn't try to delve the data completely to make a brief sojourn about it.  Clearly, if either having a steady small stream of gamma emissions from short lived outputs, or imbibing in some fashion the occasional radionuclide so as to maintain a regular alpha output internally, were good for the constitution, then nukes would be an accidental godsend.  Even Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and atmospheric tests of bombs would have an upside.  

To This Humble Correspondent, these suggestions sound pretty dangerous.  But the supportive research is mostly at the cellular level, with some study of less complex organisms--a few research notes have even dealt with rodents.  THC doesn't find these analyses convincing, but certainly a bunch of them are out there.  THC does appreciate here the precaution and critique of other perspectives.  Readers may take a look and begin the process of finding out that is a part of being able to make choices.

   Introductory and Supportive---
 *T.D. Luckey's seminal article.
 *A cancer analysis.
 *A study of positive effects from radioactive steel in Taiwan.
 *A John Gofman interview.
 *Fundamental Flaws of Hormesis for Public Health Decisions
 *A PDF file critique of one of the hormesis promoter's studies.

   A little of both--
 *The PubMed Site if you enter "Radiation Hormesis" into the search box, should yield a chance to search and find hundreds of citations.
 *A syllabus from a ecotoxicology university course.
  *An MIT Press monograph.

One thread online also offers this guidance:

  The HPS (Health Physics Society) has a lot of information on their website regarding radiation exposures. If you're interested, the BEIR V ( and BEIR VII ( reports have a great deal of information on the effects of low dose radiation exposure. Both can be read online for free.

Anyway, THC has to note that this research corresponds in many cases with an apparent interest in the outcome.  One comment to THC's work on these essays was that the nuclear industry has never proactively sought out research to back up its agenda.  In various instances that these chapters reveal, government and industry nuclear representatives have attacked, retracted, or otherwise sought to devalue research that they initially had ordered, when that research did not meet preconceived outcome parameters, as it were.  But perhaps the commenter was correct, THC thought: maybe the nuclear establishment kept a hands-off attitude toward scientists otherwise.

The Radiation Hormesis materials may suggest a case of sponsoring favorable investigative efforts.  A connection between these arguments and chiropractors and other medical professionals who deal with X-rays and radiation is indubitable.  And many of the citations in support of the RH thesis appear at meetings of the American Nuclear Society or similarly involved trade groups.  Or they show up at Department of Energy or Nuclear Regulatory Commission sponsored events, or even originate in grants from those or other institutionally pro-nuclear agencies.  As time permits, and the fancy strikes This Humble Correspondent, an essay to advance these speculative points might be apropos.  For now, readers should apply the nostrum of caveat emptor and consider these kinds of pronouncements very cautiously.

And clearly, many studies, such as those of atomic veterans, atomic bomb survivors, and of radiologists and other health professionals in regular contact with low level radiation, definitively demonstrate that a degree of exposure once thought trivial significantly elevates negative outcomes such as cancer.  On the other hand, in other professional research, especially of how radiologists have fared, lower levels of exposure do not uniformly result in observable negative effects.  As is characteristic of the studies of TMI, however, almost all of the scholars examining the radiological field call for examining impacts based on clear data about individual doses, instead of on the basis of whole population studies.  When, This Humble Correspondent wonders, will we begin to follow this advice, which has been with us at least four or five decades?  

Whatever the answer to that question is, readers may peruse some of the literature--it is a gigantic archive--about radiologists and atomic veterans here.

Atomic Vets---
 *A National Academies Press call for developing more data and doing more studies.
 *A British study finding undercounting of blood cancers.
 *The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments overview.

 *An overview.

 *a survey of epidemiological studies.
 *a blood cancer incidence study.

  And certainly folks would do well to remember that, however open This Humble Correspondent and other proponents of citizen science may be to crazy sounding ideas, the overall context of this debate is not a pretty sight.  

       While THC, in his limited and admittedly ignorant fashion, has done his best to present all sides of matters at hand, critics have indulged misrepresentation, libel, and insult at every turn.  Under these circumstances, readers may now turn to written materials that concern this consideration of a thirty year old accident that still lives on in various insidious ways in Pennsylvania and beyond.

BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS--In an environment of subterfuge, hidden agendas, lies, and dissimulation on the best of days, the attempt to find honest perspectives and honorable experts is a trying task, to say the least.  What makes the citizen's job even more daunting is the mantle of arrogance and derision and cocksure certainty that so many know-it-alls wear as if they deserve royal robes and bowing and scraping gratitude for deigning to insult and belittle such idiocy as this Humble Correspondent produces.

   The most maddening aspect of the entire situation, however, is the move to limit input and discussion.  Again and again, the wizards of the nuclear agenda promote a ban, if not a witch-burning, against free and open participation by common people.  Such ones as this humble correspondent is describing have on dozens of occasions sneered that THC should not have the right to speak on matters of which he cannot show certifiable expertise.  John Milton calls to us across the centuries of the results of such thinking.  

If it come to prohibiting, there is not aught more likely to be prohibited than truth itself; whose first appearance to our eyes, bleared and dimmed with prejudice and custom, is more unsightly and unplausible than many errors.

   Thankfully, as this series has repeatedly documented, vibrant citizen organizations keep rising up, despite the sinister viciousness of self-appointed hierophants of the nuclear priesthood.  In addition, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, copious online and paper-based resources provide both background and advocacy materials for citizens who reject the notion of their incapacity in the face of the rude sneers of know-it-all experts, many of whom unfortunately wear the taint of falsehood and hypocrisy on their sleeves all too visibly.  Just a few, a teensy taster of the huge trove of such tomes, appear here now.

   *Planet Earth: the Latest Weapon of War--2001, Rosalie Bertell
   *Demanding Democracy After Three Mile Island--1991, Raymond L. Goldsteen, John K. Schorr      *TMI: 25 Years Later--2004, Bonnie Osif
 *We All Live on Three Mile Island--1983, Greg Adamson
 *Hostages of Each Other--1996, Joseph Rees
 *Nuclear Power: Both Sides--1983, Jennifer Trainer Thomson, et al.
 *Secret Fallout: Low Level Radiation From Hiroshima to Three Mile Island--1982, Dr. Ernest Sternglass
       Because This Humble Correspondent can't help himself, several of the above volumes are essentially mainstream.  They nevertheless provide excellent insight--and plenty of data to indict the system that they defend.  Part of what we are missing is a failure to do the work to make sense of such complex and highly charged matters for citizens.  An exhaustive annotated bibliography and research digest about a hundred, and a thousand, such difficult topics for democratic dialog, is a necessity for the survival of democracy.  And what is the plutonium plutocracy priesthood's response to such a need?  "Shut up and do as we say."

   WHAT IS MISSING IN THIS MIX--As the previously cited "Three Mile Island: Health Study Meltdown" noted,

a quarter century after the accident at Three Mile Island, remarkably few questions about the health effects of that near-catastrophe have been asked--let alone answered.

   The same remains true today, thirty years after the accident.  As the next portion of this series will document, routine lies, stonewalling, and obduracy continue to characterize the representatives of nuclear utilities and other manifestations of the atomic economy.  Meanwhile, the guardians of public health and safety at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have consistently proven to be sentinels who routinely fail to ask for the proper protocols and equally often specifically exempt regulations that make their efforts, on paper, quite creditable.
   Part of the problem, as will ever be the case when fallible and ignorant people are lacking in information, is that fear and uncertainty will triumph.  All parties to the controversies that regularly swirl whenever the topic of nukes, radiation, or an accident such as TMI comes up, might profitably acknowledge that we lack a citizen education process, that our schools handle the teaching of the skills and data necessary to consider these issues in a paltry fashion at best.  Here is a marvelous link that provides a truly comprehensive portal to issues of radiation and more.

   In any event, if nuclear energy is not to fulfill TMI Alert's prediction that It "is an industry without a future," then the proponents of this complex and toxic method for producing electricity had better pay attention.  Citizen opposition will destroy their dreams; they will regret not having made honest and fervent attempts to include those who now feel beleaguered and battered by lies and dismissal, as well as inundated with waste and disease and high-cost kilowatts.

   As science journalist Sharon Begley  noted recently,

That science can be bought is hardly news to anyone who knows about tobacco 'scientists.' But how pervasive, effective and stealthy this science-for-hire is ... will shock anyone who still believes that 'science' and 'integrity' are soulmates.


     One of the problems that Eric Epstein raises repeatedly in a recent interview fits perfectly with this observation.  He "categorically rejects" assurances that the waste issue is manageable as currrently articulated.  

Each nuke power plant produces... 30 metric tons of nuclear garbage without a forwarding address [...] if you're gonna produce power in our community then you'll (keep your promises about) waste; we didn't sign up to be a waste site ..  By comparison, if you bought a home from a developer who said 'look were gonna put a toilet in your home, you flush into the front yard, and we'll come back in 30, 40, 50 years and, you know, deal with the problem. You'd say 'you're out of your mind'!

     He continues, scoffing again at industry science in regard to waste disposal:

You know, when you have a funeral at a nuclear power plant, it's a very interesting wake. Essentially, the pallbearer's got to stand in place for 500 years - 2000 years - to make sure that plant is safe and isolated from the community. ... (O)ne of the toes the nuclear industry keeps stepping on is their own toes, they really have not played a constructive role in trying to resolve the problem with what to do with nuclear waste. It's a very bizarre scenario when you make money from a product and then say that the waste product is owned by the government and we're not going to take part in the solution.

     In a talk last week, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, a winner of the Right Livelihood Award(an 'alternate Nobel Prize')and a long backer of community rights at Three Mile Island, truly hammered home the point that the only proponents of 'junk' in the nature of science at TMI are wearing suits and speaking for and from the halls of power.  

I think that the Three Mile Island accident was a very public affair, except for the radiation health questions and those were pretty much swept under the rug for 'national security'. You see, everything that you would say about the harm of exposure to radiation would affect the military nuclear industry.

   She speaks of the Kemeny Commission attitude toward the Citizens Advisory Group that she chaired but which ultimately had zero input into the process.

...(A)nd they all had security clearance so anything they considered to be a threat to national security they could withhold from members of the panels who did not have security clearance [...] it was like a block, the information could not get to the panel. we were dismissed, actually, after the first meeting [...] they tried to get rid of us as quickly as they could and said we were not really ever invited [...] well they had had a committee of nuclear companies as advisors and they wanted a citizens committee to kind of counterbalance that and I found out later that their idea of what we should do was to come up with ways in which the nuclear industry could regain public confidence. Well, none of us were really about to do that.

   And, at the same time that she questions the premises of many of the findings, essentially that 'TMI produced few or no health impacts,' she defends community based efforts to generate data.

I think they've been very carefully carried out. The problem is when people are requiring higher quality science they are also demanding that there be like a two or three million dollar study where everything is verified and where all information is signed off on and things like that.  Actually that's only available to government or industry, (outside of a commitment to support people's science). ... So I think given the fact that these are unfunded and poorly funded small studies, they've really produced good information, solid information, maybe not as much as you would want, but certainly better than the government is giving us. ... I guess your alternative would be 'you shouldn't know anything unless your government tells you it, or the industry tells you', that would be your alternative... and I don't accept that.

   Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions of citizen voices echo in support of what Dr. Bertell and the others who caution against current policies and programs promulgates.  The fifth chapter in this series will offer a few score of those perspectives, and those voices are not likely to slink away silently.   If anyone wanted to whet an appetite for discerning such vox populi, this archive at Dickinson University would be a fine place to start.

    In this context of frustration and high-handed imperiousness, at a minimum, citizen panels that have investigatory powers must come into being.  Independent ombudsmen to represent community interests have to become a sine quo non for continued production of nuclear electricity.  Funding for dosimetry, for follow-up, for identifying alternative ways to document and consider the impacts of exposure, have to be present as part of the normally funded research paradigm.  And citizen input and control of such reforms must be a given.  As Eric Epstein demands, "All we're asking is for these guys to cut the crap and step up to the plate like they've always promised they would do."  "What is missing in the mix," in other words, is simple: an honest, inclusive, transparent process in which ordinary citizens who face the brunt of the impact of this technology have a leading role.  What is missing in the mix is democracy.

Originally posted to SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Kudos & Critiques (8+ / 0-)

    "A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but a willful insistence on maintaining popular ignorance is vicious stupidity at best."

    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

    by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 01:26:52 PM PDT

    •  Nice quote (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, kbman, bryfry, Mcrab, justlen

      You should try living by it, rather than perpetuating fringe conspiracy theories. You'll find life more comfortable when you're arguing for truth rather than spurious doubt.

      You indulge in a lot of strawman argument above, trying to cast the opposing view in certain ways and sneer at possibilities.

      But I have to admit, damn, I wish I'd thought of nicknaming myself Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

      This is not a sig-line.

      by Joffan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 07:43:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Fringe conspiracy theories." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy Busey

        Oh my.  A utility faces an eleven count criminal indictment for lying, falsifying, and general fraud.  A community contends that TMI is "an accident without an end."  Pro-nuclear trolls already know all the answers and want anyone who wants to permit all concerned to speak to just STFU.

        It doesn't sound like a conspiracy to me.  It sounds like a system.  But vaya con Dios, muchacho.  At least you have a sense of humor.  THC.

        I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

        by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:43:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I missed this Sunday (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, kbman, Joffan, bryfry, LookingUp

    So went back to read it from the beginning. I made it about two paragraphs until I got to the speculation about an "explosive hydrogen bubble" leading to a China Syndrome event.

    I gave up after that.

    •  Well, thanks for... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey, SERMCAP it a shot.

    •  what an anomaly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey, Larsstephens

      since the Kemeny commission various folks at Los Alamos, and all but a few NRC experts all agreed that the accumulation of hydrogen gas posed a significant risk reaching the reactor vessel, such an attitude is a little strange. The hydrogen explosion on wednesday afternoon especially daunted those present about the potential for a larger burst. But, to each his or her own.

      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

      by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 02:25:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  because there was ZERO (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, kbman, Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab, LookingUp, SERMCAP

        risk of the Hydrogen causing a rupture of the pressure vessel.

          •  No oxygen (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, kbman, Joffan, bryfry

            Here, I'll spell it out for you.

            There was a hydrogen release into the containment building from the pressurizer relief valve. Once that was closed the remaining hydrogen in the pressure vessel was not a risk because there was no oxygen in the bubble.

            My point was not to discuss the events, but to highlight that citing ridiculous, factless statements and using inflammatory statements really brings credibility into play.

            I went back and read some more, and it confirmed my initial assessment that this diary really fits into the same mold as yours on the subject, or even that wingnut Wasserman.

            I get it, the opinions you are trying to express are essentially "atoms aren't cool."

            But some facts or basic technical understanding might help your case.

            •  The bubble... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Alma, SERMCAP

     the vessel didn't explode and blow the top off, which is good. And it's true in hindsight that there wasn't too much danger of that, given the fact that the concerned 'experts' (a passle of 'em, all extremely concerned, for 5 long days) actually did find a way to 'bleed' the system of gases. Something the operators had previously managed once they got control of the PORV discharge line block valve back from the engineered safeguards during the first day, but had to stop after containment blew. Turns out that all they had to do was open the vent gas headers on the letdown.

              Concerns about hydrogen being generated by radiolysis rather than zirconium oxidation were legitimate too, given condition of the system and the containment explosion. They were able to vent, so they vented. Into the auxiliary building rather than containment.

              My point was not to discuss the events, but to highlight that citing ridiculous, factless statements and using inflammatory statements really brings credibility into play.

              It looks to me like SERMCAP has attempted by this series to produce a recap of the accident at TMI 30 years ago and link to a whole lot of sources of information about what a great many people who experienced that accident consider to be one of the longer-running cover-ups of criminal liability in governmental/quasi-governmental/corporate history. FACT of the matter is that the bubble was indeed a very significant concern at the time, and dramatically increased confusion and stress related to the accident on the part of everyone - including the nukes.

              Why in the world would you insist that this important factor in the TMI accident scenario not be mentioned? That makes no sense at all.

              I went back and read some more, and it confirmed my initial assessment that this diary really fits into the same mold as yours on the subject, or even that wingnut Wasserman.

              Mine? Mine was a fairly short and to-the-point look at the media's hopelessly dismissive 3-sentence description of the accident at TMI in honor of its 30th anniversary. A failed water pump. Some contaminated water. Not even close to a meltdown. All gross misrepresentations of what actually happened and entirely dismissive of the event as something of such historical importance that my children and grandchildren learned a whole lot more than that about it in junior high school.

              I get it, the opinions you are trying to express are essentially "atoms aren't cool."

              I once thought atoms were darned cool. Enough to spend some significant years of my life protecting people from certain varieties of them, at any rate. I earned my poor opinion of the technology the hard way - at Three Mile Island, in fact - so you and your buddies will just have to accept that I have a poor opinion of your cash cow. You'll have this in a society such as ours where people are allowed to hold opinions you don't share.

              But some facts or basic technical understanding might help your case.

              Facts about what? Basic technical understanding of which part of the process? If you'd be specific, I might be able to provide what you're seeking. But given that my opinion of the whole ugly thing is not one you approve of, I doubt you'd ever be happy with what I might say. You'll have that too.

              •  We need a Busey cloning program... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy Busey

                ...or something similar.  I was going to respond to the toad above, but nothing could ever top this.  What precision, what passion, what purposeful progressive perspective.  The fact that TMI merited so little attention suggests one of two things.  Either, as the self-righteous ones say, 'history has passed by' any attempt to have an honest dialog about this, energy policy, etc., or people are benighted and ignorant and beleaguered enough that they just don't have time or energy to incline their minds to something so long ago and so seemingly far removed.

                Nukes may be better than sliced bread; they may bathe us all in a necessary health giving glow; they may represent the glorious future.  I've eaten crow about all kinds of stuff, and I'll bow down and thank a Lord in whom I don't really believe if such optimism about atomic power turns out even vaguely to be accurate.  

                I've played Cassandra a lot more than I've played the fool, however.  I'm saying it once more: this will blow up in our faces, literally and figuratively(and I'd guess sooner rather than later)unless people organize themselves to stand up to corporate and financial and technocratic interests on this matter and a dozen others.  Nothing in what I want to happen gives a good solid Damn it to Hell about whether the nuclear option remains on the table.  But if an open, democratic conversation doesn't take place, mark my words.  We will have hell to pay.

                I can't help myself: I do take a perverse pleasure in "I told you so."  This is one time that I hope I don't get to say it.

                I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 06:35:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I seriously applaud some of your other writings (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

                  and think your hear is in the right place. But your quoting totally debunked analysis and utter lack of understanding of how a nuclear reactor works indicates to me this isn't an area you are too good at.

                  Your applauding Busey, one of the most uninformed, fringe conspiracy theorists on KOS who doesn't even understand temperature/pressure curves really undercuts the entire subject.

                  •  I applaud the bounteous Ms. B. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joy Busey

                    She worked at TMI.  She is an eyewitness.  She lost her brother in what various journalists(I've seen two articles and read of another)at the time, pre-web, investigated as a contract killing.  Just because someone has a conspiracy theory does not mean that no conspiracy exists.  I'm not a conspiracy afficianado myself; they don't get us anywhere.  

                    I believe in systematic analysis.  I do my best with whatever acuity I can bring to a matter.  Here,  I have been very balanced in giving sources from all sides a hearing.  I have my own opinions about what is likely correct, even though I'm not a technical wonk on these matters.  My whole point is that, so long as the insane, vituperative, and arrogant attacks continue against anyone who wants to have a discussion, I'll keep posting.

                    I am clear, at every juncture, that I nearly two decades ago, left the rabidly anti-nuclear POV behind.  But I will not be bullied and buffaloed into silence by buffoons, most of whom practice lies as if they were professional poker players.

                    Like I said above, you seem like a cool dude.  If you feel the way you do about Ms. B, my advice is to consider that you may have a biased POV.  It's possible.

                    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                    by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:05:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you actually understood how nuclear plants (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bryfry, Mcrab

                      work, how they are constructed, and what radiation is and is not, and what the difference is between low dose and high dose radiation, you would come to see what many others do:  that claims by ignorant people whose work does not hold up to scrutiny are false, erroneous, ideologically shaped, and designed to scare people. You cite people whose work has been extensively debunked by panels of scientists aiming to get at the facts.

                      And you would not react by calling people retarded baboons or whatever.  You would not keep insisting that people who point out the facts are arrogant.

                      If you kept saying that Paris is the capital of Ohio, people would point that out.  You are doing the equivalent of that.  Your reaction is to call the people trying to help you learn the facts "arrogant".

                      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

                      by Plan9 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:14:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And if you admitted that your assertions... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...were only that, instead of the gospel, then a conversation could ensue, instead of repeated bouts of name calling.  BTW, you always start that process, you and your kind.  My error is to give in to the tempting prospect of 'right back at ya.'

                        I understand perfectly well the distinctions in regard to high dose and low dose radiation that you mention.  After all, I offered a complete set of sources about it, unlike one your ilk, who saw fit only to provide a link to Dr. Le's work as if that were the end of the story.

                        I've never pretended to be a reactor expert; however, pray tell what understanding that I lack and I'll try to skill up.  Otherwise, you're covering for a lack of anything substantive to offer by calling me an ignorant slut.

                        Things like this are just impossible to deal with, an assumption of the powers of the Godhead by someone who is clearly mortal, unlike others who may indeed be Great Good Godness.  You decry

                         claims by ignorant people whose work does not hold up to scrutiny are false, erroneous, ideologically shaped, and designed to scare people. You cite people whose work has been extensively debunked by panels of scientists aiming to get at the facts.

                        Joe Mangano, Ernest Sternglass, Alice Stewart, Steve Wing, Rosalie Bertell, all of whom are MPH or Ph.d. sorts, are "extensively debunked?"  Since when?  Why are they still getting accepted, regularly(if they're still alive and active)to peer reviewed journals?  Their work is "false, erroneous, ideologically shaped, and designed to scare people"?  

                        No.  You are a liar.  That's not ad hominem btw, merely a fact.  An arrogant liar.  Thanks.

                        I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                        by SERMCAP on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:39:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Busey don't give no "perfect milk." (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  LOL!!! Gee, my mother used to thank her lucky stars every day that she didn't have two of me. Much less a whole herd!*

                  [*reference a notorious DKos front page advertisement for cloned cows' milk]

                  I think it's possible that we may get all the way to final shutdown of the nukes we've got without another TMI. I am simply unwilling to entertain the legitimate participation of the nuclear industry in our future energy needs so long as they remain hell bent on lies and coverup.

                  What concerns me is that because lies and coverup are SOP for nukes, if another TMI were to happen we'd never know about it. That appears to be the "lesson learned" from the nuclear perspective, self-servingly justified by the pretense that no health effects resulted no matter how damning the data collected by the public that suffered those health effects. If they can just hold out long enough, everyone who remembers will be dead. Then no one will care.

                  You'd think these so smarter-than-thou geniuses would have realized at some point over the last few decades that had they simply told the truth and done what was necessary right away, they might be a lot better respected today.

                  So long as the harm to the public can be attributed to stress caused entirely by knowing the accident happened, "protection" for the public could be defined (by them) as not telling them about it. Our journey to the dark side will be complete... §;o)

                  •  lol, coverup (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9, Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab

                    c'mon, quote me from the "chemtrails" nut.

                    Do you even have the basic understanding on how a PWR works?

                    •  Are you asking me? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joy Busey

                      I'll answer as if you are.  I have a basic understanding, though I clearly don't have an engineer's understanding.  

                      A Pressurized Water Reactor has safety and power generation advantages over other designs I think.  It starts with the idea that the cooling water loop has something like direct contact with the reactor core.  The reactor is essentially a beautifully machined piece of industrial art into which something like several thousand long, thin rods of uranium pellots, clad in real high tech zirconium steel I think, can be inserted and from which, a third at a time, they can be removed and replaced.  

                      The Uranium has a much higher than naturally occurring component of U-235, which permits slow neutron as well as fast neutron fission, but its concentration is less than half of that necessary for a super-critical, explosive reaction.  Anyhow, the reactor assembly also permits a certain number of neutron absorbing rods to sit among the assemblies of almost pencil thin Uranium containing rods.  Boron mostly now acts as this neutron moderator.  

                      I'm not sure of the sequence from construction to start up, but basically these primary systems, the reactor and the main cooling system, are brought to a state of readiness so that operators in a control room with all sorts of video and instrumental access to what is going on, can initiate the withdrawal of the rods--I assume they pull all of them out, but I'm not sure.  Anyhow, as the neutron uptake of the boron goes away, the strategically calculated and placed Uranium achieves a critical mass, and the heat shoots way up.  The primary core cooling system absorbs this heat, so that, because the water is under pressure, is above the boiling point.  A second loop of water, through various sophisticated heat exchange technology, absorbs enough of the coolant's calories to bring it back down(below boiling? I doubt that, but I don't know), and then back to the reactor core goes the coolant water, in a hypothetically endless loop.

                      I'd assume that pumps assisted this process and were available at various points to make sure that any blockage or stagnation in the movement of the water didn't happen, but I'd guess that the engineers would figure out a way to make the water 'want' to keep moving for the most part without pumps.  

                      The turbine water loop, which takes up the heat from the reactor, also under pressure, doesn't boil until, through some seriously psycho magical engineering, it is almost to the turbine, when it suddenly flashes into steam as it loses pressure.  It makes me nervous just to think about the forces in play, but the mo-fo's who make these things are truly amazing gizmo guys, or every reactor on earth would have shaken itself to pieces a thousand times over.  

                      I don't know if this steam-loop water gets reused.  I'd assume not, because I think I've read that it gets a little irritable from ionization or something similar, but I'm not at all sure.  I'm not at all sure about any of this, but I'd love to know where I'm wrong.  This would constitute the basic systems, with the exclusion that I haven't really addressed the operator interface.  I'd assume that some amazing Hollywood and other electrosensory technology lets a crew of technicians keep tabs on the core and steam and cooling components as if they were there, but I'm not sure how it all fits together operationally, any more than I'm sure exactly how all the parts of my car's engine work in tandem and provide feedback to command sensors and such.

                      The safety features of the reactor include various automatic shutdown modes(one of which two of my sources say they witnessed failing at TMI, though the industry denies this--their assertions don't count as proof, of course, but they are evidence, and their testimony could account for the fucked up shape the reactor was in, much worse than should have been the case if a successful scram had actually occurred ten seconds into the fiasco at TMI).  As well, sometimes one and sometimes two(right? like in the Navy, don't they have two?)emergency core cooling systems are present, which I guess must be for a case when either a breach occurs in the primary system or some blockage causes pressure to build because of a lack of flow.  

                      Regular maintenance standards and plenty of operator training are part of the process, apparently the former and the latter implicated in the accident at TMI(the operators supposedly panicked and didn't know what was what at several points, and a series of pumps for the emergency cooling system(I think)were all down simultaneously for servicing, which was a big no-no).  

                      So I'm a billion miles away from a technical or even a proficient rudimentary comprehensions of the real deal, but I think I have a basic idea, and I'd welcome correction or guidance in any event.

                      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                      by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:42:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not bad (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9, justlen, SERMCAP

                        although it isn't hard to find out more.

                        A PWR has three water systems, the reactor loop, the turbine loop and the cooling system. The reactor and turbine loops interact much as you say but the turbine water is a closed loop cooled by the third system (as well as by the energy loss to the generator), which is open. The cooling loop is the one that can be seawater, or might be used in cooling towers.

                        The difference with a BWR is that the first two loops are effectively amalgamated, and the same water that cools and moderates the core drives the turbines.

                        Fresh fuel for these designs is around 4% U-235 (and weapons-grade uranium would be about 80+%, without checking) although CANDU designs run on natural uranium at 0.7% U-235. Reactors are brought up to power by withdrawing control rods by enough to heat the water as required. Typically this withdrawal will vary as the fuel gets older.

                        TMI scrammed without incident, stopping the fission totally. The fuel melted because reactor cores do not cool down immediately due to the intense radioactivity of the fresh fission products which produce a great deal of heat for a few hours, and require active cooling. The operators stopped this cooling process due to misinterpreting the problem.

                        Human factors in operator training, interfaces, alarm design and notification were a big lesson learned from TMI. Sensor technology has improved immeasurably too.

                        This is not a sig-line.

                        by Joffan on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 07:43:38 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Don't be shy... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...send a couple of links.

                          I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                          by SERMCAP on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:40:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Only if you tell me (0+ / 0-)

                            that you read my last one on external costs of different energy options.

                            (Here's the quick version:

                            Power sourceGreenhouse gases, g/kWh
                            Lignite (brown coal)1230
                            Hard coal1070
                            Hard coal PFBC798
                            Oil combined cycle526
                            Natural gas640
                            Natural gas combined cycle423
                            Cogen, Diesel731
                            Cogen, Gas627
                            Cogen, Gas lean burn590
                            Nuclear LWR7.6
                            Nuclear PWR4.8
                            Hydro, Alpine reservoir3.7
                            Solar PV (South Europe)34.1
                            Wind, Onshore10.5
                            Wind, Offshore13.4

                            which I'm only giving so as not to waste the effort I put into finding out how to display a table in a comment :-).

                            This is not a sig-line.

                            by Joffan on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:38:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Tell you what! (0+ / 0-)

                            If you send me instructions(HTML, right?)about how to embed this, I'll put it in the last diary in the series, which is about nukenomics and such.  I'm not an  idiot; I know that such charts are all about the parameters and assumptions underlying the conclusions, but it's interesting, and besides, charts are nice for focusing conversation.  Data links for this would be nice, and the others, about reactor operations, also.

                            As you like; thanks for the perspective in any event.

                            I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                            by SERMCAP on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:45:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sure; table html: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            <table border="1"><tr><th>Power source</th><th>Greenhouse gases, g/kWh</th> </tr>
                            <tr><td>Lignite (brown coal)</td><td>1230</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Hard coal</td><td>1070</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Hard coal PFBC</td><td>798</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Oil combined cycle</td><td>526</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Natural gas</td><td>640</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Natural gas combined cycle</td><td>423</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Cogen, Diesel</td><td>731</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Cogen, Gas</td><td>627</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Cogen, Gas lean burn</td><td>590</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Nuclear LWR</td><td>7.6</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Nuclear PWR</td><td>4.8</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Hydro, Alpine reservoir</td><td>3.7</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Solar PV (South Europe)</td><td>34.1</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Wind, Onshore</td><td>10.5</td></tr>
                            <tr><td>Wind, Offshore</td><td>13.4</td></tr></table>

                            This is not a sig-line.

                            by Joffan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 06:22:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks dude! (0+ / 0-)

                            Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks.  I'd love the how-the-damned-things-work links too, if that's possible.  Inquiring minds always want to know.  Faust is my favorite character in lit.

                            I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                            by SERMCAP on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:08:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Couple of things (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9, SERMCAP

                        In this design the primary loop never boils.

                        Water is the moderator, as it heats up it becomes less dense and moderates less neutrons. The reactor is self regulating.

                        You are headed down the right path with the enrichment of the uranium. What a lot of people miss is it isn't just the critical mass (amount) of uranium but also the critical geometry (shape). The reactor was subcritical within seconds into the accident, and even if the core completely melted it is a physical impossibility that it would reach criticality again. That's the point of irritation between Joy and a lot of posters that know how reactors work. There was never any danger of an explosion. That's why "China Syndrome" and "we almost lost Detroit" piss people off so much. They are factually false.

                        Oh, and Naval designs have a single emergency cooling system. It involves direct injection of seawater into the primary loop. It's a "last resort" setup in that the reactor is permanently farked at that point. It's never been used.

                        TMI was all about operator error, misinterpretation of the issues (i.e. press frenzy over the hydrogen bubble), and little about design.

                        •  I doubt seriously... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Joy Busey

                          ...that Joy would ever assert either post melt-down criticality or a fission explosion post reactor or containment breach.  Can you cite such an instance?

                          I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                          by SERMCAP on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:42:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "All about operator error"... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                   the ugliest lie of the whole slew of ugly lies told. Jesus! Those guys did way more than a yeoman's job of bailing out central PA's collective ass, even as they were being exposed to God only knows what, ending up in full respirators for a week thereafter. They had to fight stupid engineer tricks, a scram failure, a meltdown, and an explosive containment to ride that bucking bronco down. What did they get for it all?

                            ...blamed for the worst accident in US nuclear history. It's long past time to bury this lie with all due honors. Got any spit left?

                          •  I think she just answered your question (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            by reiterating her wingnut claims.

                    •  Search parties have been sent out (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and come back empty-handed, Justien.

                      My impression from 4-5 years of posts is that Busey is actually a front for several people, all of them poorly informed. Repeatedly experts who clearly are versed in nuclear tech and health physics have corrected her mistakes and outlandish claims.  But she keeps claiming to have worked in the industry.  I doubt this is true.

                      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

                      by Plan9 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:00:51 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  My God (4+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, kbman, Joffan, bryfry
                Hidden by:
                Joy Busey

                This is so full of retard that it doesn't recognize the basic laws of physics.

                The fear of the bubble was due to incompetence of local officials and was allayed when DNR was brought in to advise. But by then it had been picked up by the local press and continues with the freak anti-nuke freeper type sites you quote from.

                There was never an overpressure of the pressure vessel. I was waiting for your tired post about cracks in the vessel, which were only cracks in the cladding due to the melted zirconium and in no way compromised the vessel integrity.

                I'd post the metallurgical testing of the vessel post-incident but I don't have the patience to answer questions like what a Charpy v-notch test is.

                •  HR'ed for ad hom. (1+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:

                  This is so full of retard that it doesn't recognize the basic laws of physics.

                  You didn't read my link? Or, if you prefer, you could just credit what the NRC's official "TMI Historian" J. Samuel Walker said about it in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just a couple of weeks ago -

                  " The greatest source of concern during the TMI crisis was a bubble that formed in the top of the pressure vessel, the large container that held the core, from the release of hydrogen during the accident. Although opinions differed, some reactor experts feared that over time the hydrogen might become flammable or, less likely, it could rupture the pressure vessel and force the damaged core into the containment building. The loss of the vessel would not make a breach of containment inevitable, but it would increase the risk of a disastrous release of radiation."

                  Or, what this meant at the time to the people involved -

                  "The presence of the bubble was a major source of intense anxiety for many decision makers and members of the public on the weekend after the accident."

                  So while it is true the bubble didn't ignite or explode, the fact is that it was a major issue of great concern. You really should be more particular about your objections. The importance of the bubble in the historical event over a period of nearly a week is well documented. It's just not a good detail to lie about.

                  There was never an overpressure of the pressure vessel.

                  What a bizarre assertion. I never said there was an overpressure of the pressure vessel.

                  •  My God (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9, kbman, Joffan

                    This is my entire point.

                    Hydrogen is non-flammable without the presence of oxygen.

                    Did you ever take chemistry?

                    •  . (0+ / 0-)

                      Mattson, who was considered the nation's leading expert on emergency core cooling, came to the startling conclusion that a hydrogen gas bubble had formed above the reactor core. Speaking to NCR Chairman Dr. Joseph M. Hendrie, Mattson said, "They can't get rid of the bubble. They have tried cycling and pressurizing and depressurizing; they have tried natural convection a couple of days ago; they have been on forced circulation; they have steamed out the pressurizer; they have liquided out the pressurizer. The bubble stays." Mattson explained that in order to shut the reactor down, they must reduce the pressure. But lowering the pressure caused the bubble to get bigger. A bigger bubble could push all the water right out of the core and lead to a meltdown. Mattson told Hendrie they were involved in a "horse race," and he was quite unsure as to whether they could win it.

                      Roger Mattson, Victor Stello and the Hydrogen Bubble
                      Meltdown at Three Mile Island, PBS

                  •  The presence of the bubble (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

                    was trolling by the press combined with incompetence by local officials )I thought you were there?).

                    DNR was brought in an allayed the issue.

                    •  . (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      And at that point, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission directed Roger Mattson, the top technical guy, to form what was known as the Bubble Squad. And the Bubble Squad was to determine, if a hydrogen bubble did exist in the reactor and in the reactor building. If it did exist, when would it become explosive. And if it exploded, what would happen. So those questions were addressed sometime during the day on Friday. Mattson from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and several other people began assembling this Bubble Squad, which consisted of the top scientists from Livermore and all the nuclear labs in the country, as well as the major universities and research institutions, Matel, and so forth. The top thinkers in nuclear physics in the country who knew anything about nuclear power plant design or construction were called upon that night to assemble, you know, either physically or by telephone to start studying this problem. Word of that leaked out, naturally, because there were calls going all over the country and people were saying, "Well, why? What's happening here? Why this urgent demand for concentration on this hydrogen? What is the hydrogen problem?" And so a story then hit the wire service "NRC Considering Danger of Hydrogen Explosion." Well, at that point the press corps inside the state house crashed into the press room and demanded details from Paul Crichlow, Governor Thornburgh's press aide -- you know, they didn't want people to know, they didn't want a story. What they wanted to know was, "Is it time to get out," because these guys had their equipment under the arm. They were ready to head for the gate. And there was genuine terror, in Harrisburg on that night. I was there and certainly I had the full sense of the experience -- that we were faced with a potential catastrophe.

                      Mike Gray, Meltdown at Three Mile Island, PBS

                  •  HR abuse (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9, kbman, bryfry

                    There is no ad hominem involved here. The discussion is not about personal qualities but arguments.

                    This is not a sig-line.

                    by Joffan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:35:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Don't call people retards. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joy Busey

                      I don't do H.R.'s myself.  I figure that Steve Wing had some insight when he said that "if the flacks start lying and the double dealing start misdirecting and the know-it-alls start pontificating pointlessly, then you've probably stirred up a hornet's nest that needed stirring."  

                      So many sources document the dishonesty of the leaders of the nuclear industry.  Secrecy was its birthrite, so to say.  But if the industry is to survive, the cretins whom the leadership has loosed had better pull back and show some respect.  That's my guess, but maybe they'll just ram reactors down our throats, or maybe I'm totally full of shit and reactors are not really dangerous and I should just STFU.

                      I'm still in column A, and I always learn bits and pieces as I go, the vast majority of which suggests that the gang-tackling arrogance-is-our-anthem squad represents a danger to me and mine, as well as to themselves.  Talk about busting a gasket.  Whoa!!

                      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                      by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:52:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Don't call people retards? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9, bryfry

                        SERMCAP's hypocrisy shines through.

                        Learn to read you retarded buffoon.

                        SERMCAP's Greatest "Hits" - note the playful quotes.

                        Oh, BTW, God called ... She asked to please tell everyone to knock it off with all this religious bullcrap.

                        by kbman on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:23:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          kbman, Joy Busey, bryfry

                          Maybe I deserve to be H.R.'d.  I tend to give what I get.  I don't set out to hurt people's feelings but to create a narrative.  You're a great writer, and you've pointed out errors in style and substance.  I've been appreciative of that.

                          But you've also intentionally insulted me, so I intentionally insulted you back.  Is that the best way to proceed?  Probably not.  But I put a lot of time and effort into this, and I didn't do it to mislead, or advance 'an antinuclear agenda' that I don't have or to celebrate a fundamentalist philosophy that I don't have or to hold myself out as superior and knowing all things and trying to make people afraid or any of the other representations that you stated as facts without knowing a thing about me.

                          And many of your assertions, which I'll get to as I fancy were silly, or vicious, or untrue, or unfair, or a combination of all of these things.  I'm a pretty good mediator, but I have a belief that a process that starts with respect and trust--trust that someone posting a diary is doing for legitimate reasons and doesn't deserve a STFU moron response--is the only way to advance democratic dialog.

                          That means listening to folks who aren't technically proficient.  That means inviting people to share their opinions.  That means getting people involved instead of trying to intimidate them into silence.

                          But that's just me.  I apologize for the angry remark.  I'd had very little sleep, not that that excuses it.  I imagine I could find some pretty vicious text in some of your replies.  Is that not true?  I'm too much tit-for-tat perhaps.  But you are not willing to trust that someone is being intellectually honest and doing his best.  Intellectual honesty doesn't mean being right about everything: it means being willing to look at competing perspectives and arrive at hypotheses or conclusions in a way that doesn't cheat, make shit up, etc.  I may have made plenty of errors; clearly I don't have a big 'fact-checking department,' but I never set out to misrepresent.

                          I'm still checking on the Met-Ed issue; the court and several other documents indicated a name change, but you could be right.  I may have misinterpreted.  I certainly didn't do that in a purposeful, calculating way.  Goodness gracious.

                          I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                          by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:08:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Acknowleged (0+ / 0-)

                            I apologize for my cynicism in not believing in your good intentions.  I don't wish to shut down valid communications.  Truly, that was never my desire and I'm sorry that I started out in my comments against you in as strong a manner as I did.  I was harsh and overly dismissive, not the best way to start a dialog.  I hope you get some rest ...


                            Oh, BTW, God called ... She asked to please tell everyone to knock it off with all this religious bullcrap.

                            by kbman on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:40:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  justlen called no-one a retard. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9, bryfry

                        This is so full of retard that it doesn't recognize the basic laws of physics.

                        is not an ad hominem. It is a pejorative description of Joy's argument, which you might disagree with, but it does not attack her ad hominem.

                        This is not a sig-line.

                        by Joffan on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 06:50:10 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree with Joffan (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    the HR was uncalled for.

                    The comment was a bit crude, but there was no "ad hom" attack. You applied the rating simply because this person disagreed with you.

                    An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
                    -- H. L. Mencken

                    by bryfry on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:23:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  oh, and "radiolysis" (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, Joffan, bryfry

                Indicates you don't know dick squat about primary chemistry.

                Keep on quoting fringe sites.

              •  "I have a poor opinion of your cash cow" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, Joffan

                points out the fallacy of your entire argument.

                I have no dog in this hunt, I got out of the industry over 20 years ago. But I have enough of an understanding of how things work to follow the news and form opinions of how the nuclear industry stands and how it fits in the future balance of power needs, relative risk, and environmental impact.

                Yeah, I get that you were a radcon tech, and I am assuming have a fairly competent knowledge of radiology. But you've yet to exhibit any competence of how a plant works overall.

                I don't have a clue as to how stem cell research works. Hence I don't run around calling Obama a babykiller. That's really what your posts sound like.

                Or more simplistically, a drunk driver killed someone. So we should ban cars.

                •  I notice that the peanut gallery... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ...never shows while the diaries are on the list. Why is that? I timed it tonight, you showed up as soon as it scrolled off. Since you're so brilliant, you must then know that there won't be more than a handful of people (if that many) who will read the diary itself, or even less likely any of the comments.

                  It's late and I've little patience for juvenile delinquent troll-bait games tonight, but I've just got to ask the obvious question. Why so emotional? It obviously means a lot to you to throw your weight around to me as if it's supposed to mean something, but for the life of me I can't figure out what that something might be. Care to enlighten me?

                  •  I posted as soon as it was on the list (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joffan, Mcrab

                    Nice try

                  •  Sure, let me fill you in (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9, kbman, Joffan, Mcrab

                    I'm tired of people who post these "ZOMG, we're all going to die" diaries without any factual knowledge.

                    China Syndrome
                    We Almost Lost Detroit
                    Acute radiation poisoning

                    I'm fucking sick of the misinformed hate speech.

                    •  That's ludicrous. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I'm tired of people who post these "ZOMG, we're all going to die" diaries without any factual knowledge.

                      This is a retrospective and collection of aftermath data on an event that happened 30 years ago. Where's your sense of perspective? Of history? If you've invested so much emotion into defending nukes that you'd obsess over some old lady who won't STFU about something that happened three decades ago, you've got a serious problem.

                      But I'm not going to shut the fuck up just because it makes you very uncomfortable that I exist and speak. I know you don't really expect such a thing. That sure wouldn't be considered very "progressive" on this progressive website, would it?

                    •  Hate speech? (0+ / 0-)

                      Dude, either you have serious psychological problems or you are so thin-skinned that you...oh, yeah, must have serious psychological problems.  What in the world is hate-filled in anything that I've posted as a diary entry?  Quote it to me.  Let's pass it by a panel.  I'll pay ten bucks for every line that bears any resemblance to a KKK pamphlet or anything similar.

                      What bizarre ideation.  A lot of folks from TMI are going to speak here on DK in a week or so, after the next installment is put to bed.  You can always ignore me; I'm such an idiot, a loser, a marginal monster of hate.  Goodness, why bother.  I guess I must be like Hitler, and you're just imparting again the lessons of Chamberlain's appeasement failure?

                      Trouble is, you're closer to the fuehrer than I am by a long shot.  Keep those cards and letters coming though.  It's delightful, it's delicious, and vaya con Dios.

                      I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                      by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:06:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  What do you think tags are for, Joy? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    People read stuff they're interested in. No magical conspiracy involved.

                    This is not a sig-line.

                    by Joffan on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 08:42:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Man! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joy Busey

                    I was thinking the same thing; I don't worry about it. The whole process is like amazing material for a combination "Monty Python"/"Friday 13th Goes Nuclear" movie/novel/comic/TV/film series.  Like I've said, I hope my doubts about nuclear are completely groundless, but I'm afraid I'm going to have a lot of chances to say "I told you so" before too many more years have passed.  

                    I predicted this new resurgence of the capital intensive goon squad back in the early '90's, though I was off by almost ten years; I said that the backers of fission steam would be at the feed trough again by 2000.  Here they are, in any event, sucking up hungry capital that needs a place to root and grow.

                    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

                    by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:59:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why don't you read (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      a book that explains very clearly what nuclear power is and what it can and cannot do?

                      I recommend for friends and family a book by a woman who was opposed to nuclear power and decided to learn about it.  

                      Power to Save the World.

                      I had a similar experience.  I am an environmentalist (ecology division) and was opposed to nuclear power.  My research led me to track down impacts of anthropogenic nitrogen in streams in the Rockies.  The excess nitrogen and carbon come from fossil fuel plants.

                      Long story short:  I learned just how deadly fossil fuel combustion is, how it destroys habitat and endangers species.  And I learned that nuclear power has a far better safety record, does not emit nitrogen and sulfur and carbon oxides that cause great harm, and has led to the reduction of greenhouse gases on a large scale.

                      I learned that my assumptions about radiation were based on erroneous stuff I had learned from environmental manifestos. At first I reacted with hostility to anyone who tried to correct me.  But when I calmed down and looked at radiochemistry and did a lot of other research, I saw where I had gone off track.

                      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

                      by Plan9 on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:32:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I give up (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, kbman, Joffan, bryfry, Mcrab

    Having an intelligent conversation with Joy Busey about nuclear power is like discussing Obama's citizenship with Orly Taitz.

    "It could have blown up!"

    And I might get a Unicorn for my birthday.

    Utterly devoid of facts.

    •  Just to set the record straight... (0+ / 0-) DID blow up. The "it" being the containment atmosphere. The core just fissioned itself halfway out and then melted down.

      They did have a clever back-up plan for if the vessel blew, though. It was a regular big deal work effort involving lots of clever (and not so clever) 'experts'. Luckily it didn't turn out to be necessary.

      •  The fission stopped (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, kbman, Joffan, Mcrab, justlen

        less than a dozen seconds into the accident.

        Christ, Joy, if you're going to ignore simple physics, then why should anyone take anything you say seriously?

        Oh yeah, that's right, perhaps he's a whackjob with the moniker "SERMCAP," who never met a conspiracy theory that he didn't like.

        He should really check out the video that I offered him, since he doesn't know what he's missing. Chemtrails sound like they're right up his alley.

        • Government conspiracy ... check
        • People being killed ... check
        • Theory advocated by a "winner of the Right Livelihood Award" ... check
        • People with an actual science education dispute it as crazy nonsense ... check

        See?  It's got everything that he considers important for a "democratic dialog."

        I expect SERMCAP to be writing diaries about chemtrails any day now.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 09:42:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still don't know what they are dude. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy Busey

          You're hilarious.  You know, in a really small and pathetic sort of way.  I feel sorry for you.  I honestly do.  

          I'd be willing to listen, if the tariff were high enough.  I swear to God I could help you find a way out of this dark, dark spot in your life.

          But I know.  I'm a nutjob conspiracy theorist.  What a hoot!!

          I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

          by SERMCAP on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 10:09:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of Unicorn's ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, bryfry

      Did you know that The Unicorn Killer, Ira Einhorn, 60's counter-culture hero and organizer of Philadelphia's first Earth Day celebration, was arrested the morning of March 28, 1979, just five hours after the accident at TMI began?

      Counter-Culture Killer

      When the Philadelphia police came to the apartment building at 3411 Race Street at 9 a.m. on the morning of March 28, 1979, they weren't too sure what they would find. The Powelton Village district of the city was not a high-crime area; it was too collegiate for that ...

      I mentioned this the other night in an NNadir diary, (another person SERMCAP hates), after he referenced Einhorn in one of his typical free-association comments.

      I even seem to recall Einhorn using this coincidence as part of his defense.  I know that he tried to claim the CIA had set him up, and given the date of his arrest I can't imagine he didn't run with it.  The idea being that they "had" to shut him up before he got a chance to talk to the public about what was happening at TMI because he still had enough influence to start an anti-nuclear power revolution in Pennsylvania, or some such nonsense.  But hey, when you're facing life imprisonment for gruesomely murdering your girlfriend, cutting up her body and storing her in a trunk in your closet for a year and a half, I guess you go with what you've got.

      Given that the diarist seems to put a lot of stock in conspiracy theories, here is one that I heard back in the spring of 1979 ...

      At the time of the accident I was working at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda as part of a work/study program.  One of my coworkers, a lab technician named Pat claimed that he had heard a somewhat fantastic story about the TMI accident ...

      Remember that in the mid to late 1970's the oil embargo and formation of OPEC had caused domestic oil prices to soar.  In addition, coal-fired plants had become more expensive to operate due to the smokestack regulations resulting from the wave of environmental consciousness of the late 1960's and early 1970's.  Meanwhile, new nuclear plants were coming on line and several more were in the midst of the licensing process.  Given the relative economics of the energy market in the late 1970's, nuclear was by far the least expensive source of megawatts.  

      According to Pat, (I never did learn his source for this theory), he had heard that a couple of key operators on duty at the time of the accident had deliberately sabotaged the plant to create an accident scenario similar to the one in The China Syndrome.  These "moles" were actually in the pay of Gulf-Western and had lucrative positions awaiting them.  Gulf-Western, as in Gulf Oil, also owned Columbia Pictures, who just happened to produce The China Syndrome.  He also said that popular anti-nuclear singer Jackson Browne's anti-nukes concert tour was sponsored by Gulf-Western.

      This was all a coordinated effort to tarnish the public opinion of nuclear power and frighten people into not allowing any new plants to be built, thus ensuring greater profits for the oil and coal industries.

      Do I believe this?  Mostly not.  Certainly not the heavy tin foil hat part about sabotage and payoffs and thus and such.  I believe it is possible that both the movie and Jackson Browne's career were helped along by their value as anti-nuclear propaganda.  But I also believe that the accident at TMI is fairly well understood in terms of poor maintenance procedures, an improperly installed relief valve, and a cascade of operator errors resulting from confusion and conflicting data.  I certainly don't believe that undercover oil industry saboteurs created the accident to coincide with the movie.

      Hell, I don't even know if there are any connections between Columbia and Gulf-Western, or whatever - I was never that interested in checking it out because, though plausible, the overall theory sounded fairly preposterous.

      Oh, BTW, God called ... She asked to please tell everyone to knock it off with all this religious bullcrap.

      by kbman on Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 11:25:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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