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Did 'Pro-Nuclear Fanatics' Get US Nuke Regulator to Cancel a Cancer Study?


#1

Did 'Pro-Nuclear Fanatics' Get US Nuke Regulator to Cancel a Cancer Study?

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Tuesday announced that it was cancelling an in-progress study on cancer risks for populations living near reactor sites, citing cost and expected low value of the overall project—but at least one nuclear watchdog group is charging the agency with being part of a cover-up.


#2

They don't want the danger of being near nuclear plants documented.

Then they'd have to stop pretending it's safe.

No.

If they didn't stop after Fukushima they won't stop until they're all forced to move near nuclear plants.

Then we'd see what they really believe.


#4

Oh yes, of course ... Radiation is GOOD for you!

John Fuller's book, "We almost lost Detroit" is a very fascinating read on both how we arrived at our current regulations as well as a description of many accidents the press never really covered. There is a PDF version at
http://wsrl.org/pdfs/detroit.pdf


#5

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#6

The lack of deaths, counted anyhow, is something that is driving the idea that nuclear power is 'safe', and that nuclear war might be 'winnable'.

What they really believe is that they're super-duper-supermen, and that there's nothing that can't hurt them.

They're not pretending, they're just evil.


#7

If we don't vote, cancer causing oiligarchs and their conservative dupes will win.


#8

Okay, Let's get on it!!! Move them to the plants now.... call out the national guard and help 'em pack
Hell, I am going to pass this one around for sure. Most people in this country have NO IDEA what a stupid place this has become. Funny thing is, when you give people some real information and it's proven fact that they cannot dispute, they really have no reaction. I mean, that happened to me today and it's happened before. When you deliver some absolutely clear evidence about an issue, the listener doesn't say, "OMG, REALLY!!! THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE.... " .Then they try to discuss it or find where they can read about it. No, they do not do this. They just nod and smile, yeah, they smile and say "ummumm". What is that??????


#9

Global Warming demands that we shut down the more than 100 nuclear reactors across the United States --

Global warming will bring increasing heat, droughts/floods, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, lightning strikes, changes in wind systems, earthquakes -- which will all increase in severity, as well.

No one can say how Global Warming's effects may compound.

Yet, Japanese scientists warned of increasing earthquakes and the government tried to shut down the Fukushima nuclear reactors prior to the catastrophe.
W Bush sent a team to Japan and when they left the nuclear reactors were still operating but the government was changed.

Capitalism is an evil which cannot be regulated.

Many find it difficult to understand the truly suicidal nature of capitalism and organized money. Few of us get up every morning thinking about how to gain control over other people, other nations, whole populations.

Capitalism is suicidal.


#10

Everyone should understand by now the NRC exists to protect the industry, NOT the public. We can expect more such collusion and threats to the public (as we've seen for decades) from NRC shills/agents for the nuclear inductry - the two are really one. A main threat I believe is the "decommissioning" scam, where a nuc plant can be just left intact for up to 60 years (they say) with no clean-up assured. That is a fraud to delay and perhaps force the public to clean-up plants after the industry and its executives, and the co-conspirator NRC have vanished.

"SAFSTOR (Safe Storage). In the SAFSTOR process, a nuclear plant is kept intact and placed in protective storage for up to 60 years. During this time, the main components remain in place, including the reactor vessel, fuel pools, turbine and other elements. All fuel is removed from the reactor vessel and placed in fuel pools on site. The NRC continues to inspect the site and provides regulatory oversight of maintenance and security.

This method of decommissioning uses time as a decontaminating agent, allowing the radioactive elements in components to decay to stable elements. The plant is then dismantled in a process similar to the decontamination (DECON) option once radioactivity has decayed to lower levels. Companies can choose to end SAFSTOR at any point during the 60-year period and transition to DECON. Generally, sites must spend no longer than 50 years in SAFSTOR to allow 10 years for the DECON stage of decommissioning."

"The cost of decommissioning the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is estimated to be $1.24 billion, the onsite storage of the spent nuclear fuel should be completed by 2020 and the plant will be put into SAFSTOR for an undisclosed period of time before the site is returned to a "green field" status, according to the plant's owner, Entergy."
http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/october/entergy-vermont-yankee-submits-124-billion-decommissioning-safstor-plan

"An Entergy Corp. official said Wednesday the company is offering no guarantees it will pay to decommission its retired Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant if the job’s still not done by the end of a 60-year period. Entergy Vice President Michael Twomey told members of two Vermont legislative committees that if decommissioning isn’t done by the end of the period, known in the nuclear industry as “SAFSTOR,” he expects there would be litigation, with the state and Entergy taking different positions."
http://neworleans.suntimes.com/nola-business/7/126/94916/entergy-nuke-plant-closing-costs-not-covered-past-60-years

Entergy seems to admit they will not fully "clean-up" nuc sites (including the aged and dangerous Indian Point complex 35 miles from downtown Manhatten) or return them to pre-industrial condition. They WILL try to evade responsibility, not clean-up plants, take the profits and run.........letting the lawyers litigate our future and safety...why do you think they don't want ANY comprehensive cancer studies?


#11

This study was initiated under the chairmanship of anti-nuke NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko. The official reason given was that the previous study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), performed during the period from 1987-1990, was getting dated. The NCI study found no correlation between proximity to a power station and cancer risk. Jaczko did not assert any problems with the NCI study methodology nor the findings, nor did he indicate what could have changed over time which would warrant a reexamination now, but the NRC apparently did not approach the NCI about revisiting and possibly updating their previous work.

Instead, the commission went to the National Academy of Sciences. a choice which met with the general approval of nuclear operators, and which was derided by some anti-nukes who felt the academy was too compromised and had nuclear industry relations which were too cordial. At a cost of more than $1.5 million, NAS produced a hefty (roughly 500 pg.) outline of the various possible ways such a study could proceed. Their conclusion was that this would have to be a very large study because the effects were expected to be very small, at worst, and because there would be a large number of confounds and co-variables, and because of deficiencies in past data.

Although the preliminary analysis indicated high cost and low confidence in any sort of definite result, the NAS did offer to run a first phase pilot study on a small scale to test the feasibility and methodology of the study design. No usable results were expected to come from the pilot study because the sample size was far too small. At the end of the first phase, the NRC could decide whether to drop the study, go on with the full study, or commission another pilot study using a different design. The earliest projected date for any results would have been around 2025, and there was no projection for a latest date. Cost of the full study would have been an order of magnitude greater than the cost of the pilot study.

In an Aug. 21 report on the pilot study, Mark Satorius, executive director for operations at the National Academy of Sciences, cited various previous studies about cancer risk. He noted epidemiological studies in Canada and five European countries since 2008 have shown “no association between facility operations and increased cancer risks to the public that are attributable to the releases or radiation exposure.”

So by the time of this cancellation, the current feeling of the NRC was that there was nothing defective about the NCI study, and no real justification for this study. Among nuclear supporters, confidence was high that this study, like other before it, would find no association between nuclear power proximity and cancer risk. Among nuclear opponents, suspicions were high that the fix was in, and they were prepared to reject any finding which was not detrimental to nuclear power. And at the NAS, the feeling was that this study was going to have to be massive to have any chance of detecting an effect above all the noise, and they weren't even sure whether a sample size large enough could be assembled. Basically, this was going to be a decade-long project with a price tag well north of a hundred million dollars, and whether it found a positive correlation, no correlation, or a negative correlation between nuclear power proximity and cancer, the many shortcomings in the study would cast doubt on the validity of its findings. By cutting the study now, they are holding their losses to less than $3 million instead of letting the tab run past a hundred-million for no good reason.

Previously, the DOE was working with the NAS to specifically examine the health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation using a laboratory approach. Such a study could have broader health implications, including setting standards for nuclear medicine, and it would avoid many of the messy confounds of an epidemiological approach. Spending on that project in its peak year topped $20 million, but funding has since dwindled away and now that study appears to be in mothballs. Republicans introduced a bill in the House last year directing the DOE to make this study a high priority (but not including any funding for it) and it passed with bipartisan support, but then the corresponding bill never came to a vote in the Senate. Essentially the same bill (H.R. 35) was again passed early this year, again with Republican sponsors and broad bipartisan support, and again, it appears to be stalled in the Senate. This is a study which many in nuclear power and nuclear medicine support, because any definitive finding would be an improvement over the nebulous limbo which currently surrounds low dose policy and procedural guidelines. And since they support this study, some of them harbor their own conspiracy theories as to why work on this study has effectively ground to a halt.

As one who feels today's reactors are a dead-end technology and who also supports research and development into better forms of nuclear power, it is of no consequence to me whether the net effect of chronic low-level radiation is positive, neutral, or negative. Even if the net effect is positive, I would still advocate for reactors which have far lower operational and disaster release values. I would no more want a nuclear power plant to be putting beneficial radiation into the environment at large than I'd want some company putting some beneficial drug into municipal water supplies. But I nonetheless support studying the health effects of low level radiation. We've been formulating radiation policy and regulations on the basis of hunches, hypotheses and suppositions for far too long.