Archive for the ‘Nuclear’ Category

Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

Abstract

This study quantifies worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on 11March
2011. Effects are quantified with a 3-D global atmospheric model driven by emission estimates and
evaluated against daily worldwide Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)
measurements and observed deposition rates. Inhalation exposure, ground-level external exposure, and
atmospheric external exposure pathways of radioactive iodine-131, cesium-137, and cesium-134
released from Fukushima are accounted for using a linear no-threshold (LNT) model of human
exposure. Exposure due to ingestion of contaminated food and water is estimated by extrapolation.We
estimate an additional 130 (15–1100) cancer-related mortalities and 180 (24–1800) cancer-related
morbidities incorporating uncertainties associated with the exposure–dose and dose–response models
used in the study. We also discuss the LNT model’s uncertainty at low doses. Sensitivities to emission
rates, gas to particulate I-131 partitioning, and the mandatory evacuation radius around the plant are
also explored, and may increase upper bound mortalities and morbidities in the ranges above to 1300
and 2500, respectively. Radiation exposure to workers at the plant is projected to result in 2 to 12
morbidities. An additional 600 mortalities have been reported due to non-radiological causes such as
mandatory evacuations. Lastly, a hypothetical accident at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in
California, USA with identical emissions to Fukushima was studied to analyze the influence of location
and seasonality on the impact of a nuclear accident. This hypothetical accident may cause 25% more
mortalities than Fukushima despite California having one fourth the local population density due to
differing meteorological conditions.

Some time ago i decided to look into nuclear power. While i havent had time yet to read some of the books i mentioned there, i read this paper.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664640/ no paywall

-

Nuclear Energy and Health: And the Benefits of Low-Dose Radiation Hormesis

Abstract

Energy needs worldwide are expected to increase for the foreseeable future, but fuel supplies are limited. Nuclear reactors could supply much of the energy demand in a safe, sustainable manner were it not for fear of potential releases of radioactivity. Such releases would likely deliver a low dose or dose rate of radiation, within the range of naturally occurring radiation, to which life is already accustomed. The key areas of concern are discussed. Studies of actual health effects, especially thyroid cancers, following exposures are assessed. Radiation hormesis is explained, pointing out that beneficial effects are expected following a low dose or dose rate because protective responses against stresses are stimulated. The notions that no amount of radiation is small enough to be harmless and that a nuclear accident could kill hundreds of thousands are challenged in light of experience: more than a century with radiation and six decades with reactors. If nuclear energy is to play a significant role in meeting future needs, regulatory authorities must examine the scientific evidence and communicate the real health effects of nuclear radiation. Negative images and implications of health risks derived by unscientific extrapolations of harmful effects of high doses must be dispelled.
Keywords: sustainable nuclear energy, radiation health effects, radiation hormesis, social acceptance, regulatory implications