I am very pleased and excited to bring you some advance notice of the upcoming feature length documentary Pandora’s Promise, from acclaimed, Academy nominated film-maker Robert Stone. This film will bring to global audiences many of the issues, arguments and discussions that have been passionately raised here at Decarbonise SA and among other pro-nuclear environmentalists.

Click on the image to visit the Pandora’s Promise page

PANDORA’S PROMISE is a feature-length documentary that explores how and why mankind’s most feared and controversial technological discovery is now passionately embraced by many of those who once led the charge against it. The film is anchored around the personal narratives of a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists and pioneering scientists who, in the face of considerable controversy, are directly challenging the anti-nuclear orthodoxy that is a founding tenet of the mainstream environmental movement.

While in the US recently, I had the great pleasure to meet and get to know Robert just a little bit, and what a terrific, passionate man he is. We were treated to a 9 minute teaser, and if that is anything to go by, this movie will be a big deal indeed. I have since followed the final stages of the film’s development with interest, and just this week received word that it has been selected to premier at the Sundance Film Festival in the US in January 2013, with a mainstream US release in the summer of 2013. According to Robert, both the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals are expressing interest, so I am hoping we might see him and some of the other protagonists of the film (several of whom are listed on my Who gets it? page)  on our shores next year to promote this work.

You will note if you visit the page that the cast includes Charles Till and Len Koch. For those of you who have been paying attention, you will realise that the film will be covering the development (and, I have to assume, shelving) of the Integral Fast Reactor. You may also note that the film has been in development for over three years, meaning it would have been well underway when the Sendai quake hit Japan, and the Fukushima nuclear incident occurred. I have to imagine that it will be amazing viewing to see how Robert covers the way in which this event then steers the opinions and perspectives of the protagonists.

This release is another great cause for optimism that rationality in the climate change/energy debate is due to gain the upper hand in the next few years in Australia. Reports like the Australian Energy Technology Assessments, and tools like CSIRO efuture are making it much harder for policy makers to remain blind to the economic and environmental advantages of nuclear power. My own report collaboration, Zero Carbon Options  , provides a convincing and comprehensive response to the meme that Australia can or should trust our future to renewables alone, in an accessible, readable, and (hats off to my co-creators) very good looking format. Before long I will be bringing news of a major science conference for Australia entirely focused on nuclear power for around mid-2013.

But thanks to Robert and his friends and co-creators, Pandora’s Promise  provides an even stronger chance that the pro-nuclear environmentalist perspective will leap into the worldviews of vastly more members of the Australian public in a much shorter space of time. I’m sure we all look forward to offering our support to the local release of the film.

80 comments

  1. Hope there will be a German language version to be show in the Fatherland 🙂

    You could almost make a feature length documentary about the response to that!

    1. Probably a German version should include more details to refute claims of a link between Down syndrome and radiation, as well as claims of increased leukemia around nuclear station. Especially it should document that there is undoubtedly a lot more radiation around a coal plant than around a nuclear one, so that German realize that if they really believe such a tiny amount of radiation could be dangerous, well it’s *still* the coal plants that they should shut down first !

  2. Wow!! All thing just keep getting better ! This will be wonderfull. Anything that promotes an open minded discussion of alternative energy with this demographic is gotta be a good thing. Cant wait to see it.

  3. From the trailer:

    1. Mark Lynas: “no increase in cancer amongst Chernobyl liquidators”

    WHO: “a doubling of the incidence of leukaemia among the most highly exposed Chernobyl liquidators.” – http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/index.html

    2. Mark Lynas: “no children born deformed as a result of Chernobyl”

    Science: “the frequency of both congenital and fetal abnormalities in the Republic of Belarus has apparently increased.” – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/stem.5530150734/abstract

    3. Dude in denim shirt: “Greenpeace claims 1 million deaths from Chernobyl”

    Greenpeace: “93,000 cancer deaths, possibly up to 160,000 deaths from all other causes.” – http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/planet-2/report/2006/4/chernobylhealthreport.pdf

    So, in just a few seconds of trailer we find it’s packed with false claims. Looks like weak propaganda, not credible documentary.

    1. Seriously? One quick click of your link, on quick read of WHO, and it is evident that you seem to have missed something. Perhaps next time quote the whole passage or you could be accused of cherry-picking. No one wants that.

      Ionizing radiation is a known cause of certain types of leukaemia (a malignancy of blood cells). An elevated risk of leukaemia was first found among the survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan some two to five years after exposure. Recent investigations suggest a doubling of the incidence of leukaemia among the most highly exposed Chernobyl liquidators. No such increase has been clearly demonstrated among children or adults resident in any of the contaminated areas. From the experience of the Japanese bomb survivors it is possible that a large proportion of the leukaemia cases that could be linked to Chernobyl have already occurred, now that 20 years have passed since the accident. However, further studies are needed to clarify this.

      While scientists have conducted studies to determine whether cancers in many other organs may have been caused by radiation, reviews by the WHO Expert Group revealed no evidence of increased cancer risks, apart from thyroid cancer, that can clearly be attributed to radiation from Chernobyl. Aside from the recent finding on leukaemia risk among Chernobyl liquidators, reports indicate a small increase in the incidence of pre-menopausal breast cancer in the most contaminated areas, which appear to be related to radiation dose. Both of these findings, however, need confirmation in well-designed epidemiological studies. The absence of demonstrated increases in cancer risk – apart from thyroid cancer – is not proof that no increase has occurred. Based on the experience of atomic bomb survivors, a small increase in the risk of cancer is expected, even at the low to moderate doses received. Such an increase, however, is expected to be difficult to identify.

      Those leukemia findings are not particularly compelling or robust.

      1. The quote you have cherry picked does not refute the clear statement that there was “a doubling of the incidence of leukaemia among the most highly exposed Chernobyl liquidators.

        Of course there is uncertainty. Cancers do not come with a microchip to show where the radiation that caused it came from. This is one of the primary tactics for nuke propaganda: treat uncertainty as certainty that nukes are not responsible.

        And it is quite clear to anyone who researches the subject with an open mind that the records of who was exposed and what happened to them is incomplete and quite unreliable. That’s another false claim made by Mark Lynas.

        Also, the WHO produces by far the lowest estimates of cancers and deaths:

        * Union of Concerned Scientists = 53,000 excess cancer cases; 27,000 excess cancer deaths – excluding thyroid cancers. The 95% confidence levels are 27,000 to 108,000 cancers and 12,000 to 57,000 deaths. http://allthingsnuclear.org/post/4704112149/how-many-cancers-did-chernobyl-really-cause-updated

        > “Those leukemia findings are not particularly compelling or robust.”

        Because you say so?

        I note that you have not responded to the other false claims I have exposed.

        1. You accuse me of cherry-picking? Curious. The passage I lifted contains the single sentence you chose to share with a whole lot more information on either side. Pot, I would like you to meet the kettle.

          You have now moved away from WHO as a source to UCS. Is it your opinion that rising death figures from bodies of lesser credibility deserve the same weighting as everyone else?

          Why not move in the other direction toward the actual peak body, UNSCEAR? Their position is that the uncertainty is so great that now additional estimate of death should be made at all.

          Yes, there is uncertainty. So much uncertainty that we deploy public health experts to sort their way through it, principally UNSCEAR. Then, some people, apparently you included, ignore their findings and refer others to the Union of Concerned Scientists instead. But we are supposed to believe that it is you who has the more open mind.

          Because you say so?

          No, because the experts do, like WHO did in the section of the quote you chose to ignore. You are not the first to point this out so I have read it before

          1. What you plucked out of the report does not refute the find that “a doubling of the incidence of leukaemia among the most highly exposed Chernobyl liquidators.” You’re just waving your arms around.

            Who says the UCS has lesser credibility than the WHO which is clearly influenced by the nuke lobby – e.g. the lead author for UNSCEAR is an IAEA employee. Do you know what ‘conflict of interest’ means?

            * Chernobyl: An Unbelievable Failure to Help. How IAEA, UNSCEAR, ICRP and WHO manage the nuclear message. http://ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/CaUFtH.html

            The experts at WHO say exactly what I quoted and you have failed to refute.

            I assume your silence on the other false claims I have exposed means you accept they are false.

            1. I assume your silence on the other false claims I have exposed means you accept they are false.

              Are you familiar with the term “Gish Gallop”? You can spread nonsense much faster than I can effectively refute it. It’s just a fact of debate. Give me some time.

              1. But you haven’t refuted a thing yet. Just a lot of arm waving and denial.

                > “UCS have a longstanding anti-nuclear agenda.”

                They are independent scientists communicating science and facts that you have not responded to. Are you suggesting they are lying? Got any evidence? Or is it really the case that you cannot refute the facts and science they communicate so you insinuate they are dishonest and think that is good enough?

                > “UNSCEAR is the peak body for this single, specific issue of radiation exposure and health.”
                You’ve already been told the lead author works for the IAEA. Like most nuke fans you are clearly suffering confirmation bias and only believing what you want to be true and ignoring all science and fact that threatens your ideology.

                1. I have yet to meet a member of UCS who is actually a scientist or an engineer. I believe they exist, but I suspect they are rare.

            2. Part of the issue here Petr is that you give yourself the luxury of conceding nothing. When you are shown to be cherry-picking WHO, you just move on. WHO both point out the findings, and pretty promptly say that it is not good enough to make much of. You see, I don’t really need to refute it do I? WHO no sooner mention it than they practically dismiss it. If you only see the bits you want to see, there is not much I can do to help you.

              UCS have a longstanding anti-nuclear agenda. UNSCEAR is the peak body for this single, specific issue of radiation exposure and health. They are chalk and cheese on this matter.

              If you want to look everywhere except the experts, then that is your problem.

              1. WHO clearly state cancer rates doubled for the liquidators but Lynas claims there was no increase at all.

                Your response is that there is uncertainty therefore you think that means you can ignore it completely. That is a scientifically illiterate attitude because all science comes with uncertainty.

                I have also produced independent peer reviewed science showing cancers resulting from Chernobyl but you simply ignore them. Why are you ignoring science?

                You should also make some effort to understand why UNSCEAR is not a reliable source on this issue:

                * Chernobyl: An Unbelievable Failure to Help. How IAEA, UNSCEAR, ICRP and WHO manage the nuclear message. http://ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/CaUFtH.html

                Please try responding to the facts this time.

    2. And did you even read beyond the abstract on that birth defects paper? Or did you just find what you wanted and move on? The authors are incredibly frank about a whole host of uncertainties and limitations from their own work. It is a useful paper for a demonstration of just how careful we need to be in making attributions.

      You would appear to be very much committing the errors that you accused others of.

      1. That’s a common tactic used by climate change deniers: reject anything that comes with uncertainty, which means all science.

        * International Journal of Epidemiology: “Study results suggest that the increased risk of leukaemia and acute leukaemia among those children born in 1986 and resident in radioactively contaminated territories may be associated with exposure to radiation resulting from the Chernobyl accident.” http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/1/125.short

        Independent, peer reviewed science is filled with evidence to show that the effects of Chernobyl were horrific. And it doesn’t begin to cover the entirety of human suffering for those who had to flee their homes forever.

        Fortunately, nukes are not economically viable so denial of the effects of radiation won’t help anyway.

        1. Fortunately, nukes are not economically viable so denial of the effects of radiation won’t help anyway.

          First indication that you know you are going to lose this. You are trying to shift the debate, even though you started it.

          Sorry Petr, I am not even nearly finished with you.

        2. Actually, third indication. First was that you ditched WHO when it stopped working for you. Second was that you have already had to fall back on conspiracy theory. Shifting the whole debate was number three.

          1. You’ve not refuted a single fact or responded to most of the science and evidence I have put in front of you. You’re just producing empty bluster.

            1. Petr, you do not seem to have even read your own sources. There is little for me to refute, as they pretty much do the job already, provided one reads beyond the abstract. But again, I’ll be back to break this down, with some measure of enjoyment, when I have adequate time.

              1. You’re producing nothing but empty bluster. I think it will be obvious to anyone who looks at this thread. You are not doing your credibility any good.

        3. Petr, actually the study you reference was later completed by this other study http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/2/386.full that reports this about your study “The one case–control study that reported an excess of leukaemia among persons 0–20 ATA in Ukraine included a small subset of the present study, and radiation doses were estimated for only one-third of the cases and a lesser proportion of controls. It is not clear how the selection of cases and controls for dose estimation was done, and whether it was accomplished in an unbiased manner”.
          In addition, it should be said that what you describe as “terrific effect” is an increase from 8 to 21 leukaemia case between the contaminated and non-contaminated area. However on a still low number of case like that and with only 2 data points (one contaminated against one uncontaminated area), it’s difficult to be completely sure this is not a random effect, and the authors did not actually calculate the likehood of it being statistically significant.

          The second study itself is included inside the following review http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3107017/ “The Chernobyl accident — an epidemiological perspective” Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol), May 2011.
          To have a global view of the conclusions that could be reached from all the studies that have been done, it’s more adequate to read that review instead of focusing on individual studies. Here’s what it says about leukaemia :
          – “ECLIS found no evidence of a radiation-related increase in the incidence of leukaemia in Europe in the first five-years after the accident”
          – “National studies do not, in general, provide evidence for an increase in the incidence of childhood leukaemia although none was sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in the incidence of such a rare disease and all are subject to methodological problems that may limit the interpretation of the findings.”
          – About this Ukraine positive result, that was not matched by results in other countries : “Results however are difficult to interpret due to problems in the selection and comparability of controls in Ukraine.”
          (they are also some information about Leukaemia amongst liquidators, about which I will post a separate comment)

          I would however describe this in a way that’s slightly different from what Ben Heard says, saying that the effect of low dose, if any, are small enough that they can not be conclusively measured. We can never be certain that they is no effect at all. But we’re at the stage where the effect is small enough that we are not able to conclusively separate it from the random noise of the multiple other cancer factors that exists.

          This implies that trying to remove that risk is an effort that will have zero global health impact. Even if the conclusion that those results are not truly significant is erring and the risk is actually there, the fact still is that we know this risk is small enough that the impact of removing it will not be seen on any statistics of cancer cases and will not improve live expectancy.

          An important complement, if you still believe that it’s worth trying to remove that risk, is that we’re not comparing “using nuclear” against an ideal, zero effect situation. There’s a massive amount of anecdotal evidence that every time you reduce the amount of nuclear, you mechanically increase the amount of coal to compensate (everybody who has another option already uses it). When Austria was proud to ban nuclear in 1978, it immediately started construction of a coal plant to compensate (the Dürnrohr plant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%BCrnrohr_Power_Station ).
          And for coal, the evidence of a massive negative health effect is overwhelming.

          1. Thanks so much for bringing us closer to the original sources and discussion on this, I really appreciate it!

            To be honest, it is not that I feel the need to die in a ditch defending anyone else’s statements to the letter. The likes of Mark Lynas are perfectly capable of doing that for themselves.

            I think your summation is absolutely spot on. However, it is also true to say that there has been “no increase in cancer” in so far as there remains no good evidence of such. To that extent I think Lynas’s statement is entirely defensible.

            Perhaps the simple addition of terms like “that we can identify, despite observations and exhaustive studies for nearly 30 years” is always wise.

            But as to the direction where people can be excused for erring, it is Lynas’s direction. Slinging about statements of great harm without evidence is simply a terrible thing to do.

            1. “Slinging about statements of great harm without evidence is simply a terrible thing to do” precisely.

              The issue is always comparative risk. Petr, do seriously think that highly problematical evidence about a few cancers in a country with a very low cancer rate anyway justifies risking the vastly bigger consequences of climate change? There’s an oncoming train and we are on the tracks and you are arguing that there is evidence that people who jump are highly likely to sprain ankles … according to some small case control study … so lets not jump.

              And it’s not like anybody still want reactors without containment vessels. Fukushima showed exactly how dangerous your kind of fear mongering is Petr. The evacuation killed people. The evacuation has left people homeless, hopeless, jobless, getting fat, getting sick, feeling helpless. All for what? To avoid a possible risk to a few people? A risk so small that scientists are having a tough time agreeing on whether there is any risk at all. Is this sensible? No. We don’t do it with anything else. We had a big oil fire in Adelaide last year. Carcinogens spewed out all over the city. Nobody panicked, nobody evacuated (except briefly to avoid possible explosions). After the event, people are undoubtedly working to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s a rational sensible response. But evacuation? This is nothing more than cruel victimisation of people to serve a phobic obsession.

          1. Actually electricity price is cheaper in a selected few European countries. But those have a much lower cost of life and salaries, whilst EDF pays very good salaries to employees, particularly those in nuclear plants, with an arm long list of benefits.

      2. And the effects of radiation exposure don’t effect just those who were directly exposed:

        * Very high mutation rate in offspring of Chernobyl accident liquidators. “These results indicate that low doses of radiation can induce multiple changes in human germline DNA.” http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/268/1471/1001.abstract?sid=af3557a2-832d-4c32-93f2-f08371862a1d

        More at http://www.ippnw-students.org/chernobyl/research.html

        But Mark Lynas and this highly misleading video want people to believe there were no cancers and almost no bad health effects at all. It is an example of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

        1. Mark Lynas has a few quaint habits. This includes reading through all of the literature, starting with the best and most reputable work and, in areas that are complex like climate change and radiation, looking to the work of expert bodies who have the tough job of synthesising all of that information and then respecting the findings unless there is very good reason to disagree.

          You have come here and just peppered with select quotes, taking full advantage of the uncertainty to promote a horror outcome.

          I suggest you start with UNSCEAR, and tell us why they are wrong. Because if you have found the study, they have too. It’s their job.

          1. Mark Lynas is an ideologue with no professional qualifications or experience in the subjects he claims authority in – namely energy and agriculture. He’s a techno-utopian blinded by his radical neoliberal ideology.

            As I have proven he has made false and misleading quotes in the trailer for this pro-nuke propaganda video, made by an amateur, ‘starring’ amateurs. If this is the best the nuke lobby can produce no wonder nukes have been in global decline for years!

            And he appears to be a quite paranoid character, believing there was a conspiracy between the IPCC and Greenpeace when the IPCC published a peer reviewed paper showing that the entire planet can be powered by renewable energy. There is no similar study for nukes because they are incapable of scaling up and are not sustainable.

            1. Ad hominem attacks do not an argument make Petr.

              You seem to have a problem with amateurs. Yet you also dismiss UNSCEAR, the global expert body, as a conspiracy, and you jettison WHO as soon as it is apparent that the quote you started with is not what you wanted.

              All you have “proven” so far is a capacity for very selective reading of sources, so once again, I’m not sure what I am supposed to refute. But I will be working through that paper you linked a bit later. Perhaps read it in the meantime?

              1. The squeal of ‘ad hominem’ is the cry of defeat when you have failed to respond to the fact I have proven Lynas has made false claims.
                Why do you keep ignoring the fact UNSCEAR is compromised by the nuke lobby and it’s lead author is employed by the IAEA whose purpose is to promote nukes?
                Ignoring reality does not make it go away.
                Maybe you could start by responding to the facts presented, rather than pretending they do not exist?

          2. P.S. Why do you keep ignoring peer reviewed science when it doesn’t say what you want to be true?

            Sorry mate, I am not even nearly finished with you. Once you’ve admitted that the effects of Chernobyl were far worse than the science-denying nonsense produced by Lynas and this propaganda video, we can move on to the economics and I’ll show you why nukes have been in decline for years and why it’s only getting worse. Nukes are a failed 20th century technology. Renewables rule in the 21st century.

            Exelon’s ‘Nuclear Guy’: No New Nukes. “I’m the nuclear guy,” Rowe said. “And you won’t get better results with nuclear. It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/

            1. As we are going to see, I have no problem with the contents of the papers you have linked. It’s just that I like to read the whole thing, and put it in the context of the entire body of work, which is the job done by primarily by UNSCEAR. Seriously, stick around: we are going to read a paper together.

              1. Of course. Internet blogger thinks he knows more about a scientific paper than the authors of the paper.
                Where have we seen that delusion before? Can you not see how similar you now are to climate science deniers?

          3. P.P.S. Some good examples of how unreliable Mark Lynas and how he cherry picks only what he wants to be true:

            * Mark Lynas pens error-riddled, cost-less nuke op-ed after relying on wingnut Breakthrough Institute for data. http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/04/13/207880/mark-lynas-error-cost-nuke-op-ed/

            * Another God Delusion? “In every case, techno-fixes designed to allow consumerism and economic growth to continue are promoted as the way forward. … While Lynas is very readable and superficially persuasive, in almost every case his actual arguments for his chosen solutions are thin, and his sources very selective.” http://www.thelandmagazine.org.uk/articles/another-god-delusion

            Trusting Mark Lynas on energy (or GMOs) is as sensible as trusting Bjorn Lomborg on climate.

            1. I don’t “trust” Mark Lynas. But he operates the same way I do: reading the material properly, which is an awfully good start. Meanwhile, you drift further and further away from where you started, now preferring to just attack people. That’s ok, I’ll be pulling you back later.

              1. Let me know when you are ready to start responding to the science and facts presented and to stop whining about Lynas being described as what he is. And do try to stop claiming you know better without actually proving it.

    3. “3. Dude in denim shirt: “Greenpeace claims 1 million deaths from Chernobyl”” The Greenpeace report you linked into was from 2006. Also, it didn’t only mention 93000 cancer deaths, but on page 26 suggests perhaps 200000. Few years later Yablokov, who is one of your reports authors, was writing another one (infamous no peer-review article in NYAS) where he claimed 985000 cancer deaths so far in countries close to the accident (..and more bodies to come). So which one is it? This claim is advertized by Greenpeace, for example, in here http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2011/07/07/nuclear-delusions/ and I have heard the NYAS report being cited, by other Greenpeace activists as well. Such a range of figures from same people suggest some methodological shortcomings and only unifying theme seems to be to have some sufficiently large figure that it looks scary, whatever the context of the current discussion. So the “Dude in denim shirt” was not lying.

      Btw. I notice that Yablokov is claimed to be one of the founders of Russian Greenpeace. I wonder if this is true or false?

        1. Michael Shellenberger the science denier (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/04/22/203995/the-breakthrough-institute-shellenberger-nordhaus-pielk/) who think he knows more about everything than all the experts in a subject combined? That would explain a lot.

          It’s also rather convenient that Lynas is getting his false information from Shellenberger’s wingnut ‘think tank’ in order to produce his highly flawed commentary on nukes:

          * Mark Lynas pens error-riddled, cost-less nuke op-ed after relying on wingnut Breakthrough Institute for data. http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/04/13/207880/mark-lynas-error-cost-nuke-op-ed/

          That propaganda video is beginning to make sense now.

      1. The NYAS study was reported in a Greenpeace blog. They also reported the UNSCEAR nonsense. And the blog also said:

        > “We cannot precisely know how many people died from Chernobyl radiation because radiation’s trail is difficult to follow, but people die.”
        But the official Greenpeace position is clearly the highly detailed report that they released and I linked to. Whether Yablokov is a founder of Russian Greenpeace is totally irrelevant.
        I condensed a complex report in to 93,000 cancer deaths + up to 160,000 from all other causes – which exceeds 200,000. But nit picking over the exact number is just a silly distraction especially when Greenpeace are very clear that it is impossible to know the exact number, unlike the propaganda pushed by Mark Lynas and UNSCEAR.

    4. Ok Petr, I have time for some more detailed response now. It requires some detail you see, because cherry picking takes time to un-pick.

      Firstly, I do not regard UNSCEAR or WHO as corrupt. If you insist on dismissing the findings of these organisation, then you are a conspiracy theorist, and that is not my problem. I do regard anything published in peer reviewed literature to be worthy of consideration, but not above criticism.

      To your point 1. In my very first response, I demonstrated that you withdrew a single sentence from two paragraphs, excluding every single thing that worked against your contention. This is blatant cherry picking.
      My reading of the situation is as follows. This may differ to others, I have read much but certainly not all of the relevant information on Chernobyl.

      I refer you to the response I provided earlier to Phillipe Lefevre. These studies are regarded as poorly designed. UNSCEAR says in more detail

      “low statistical power, uncertainties in dose reconstruction, and internal inconsistencies that that suggest potential biases or confounding factors that are difficult to address”.

      Paragraph 74 http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/2008/11-80076_Report_2008_Annex_D.pdf .

      Elsewhere they state

      “Among Russian recovery operation workers with higher doses there is emerging evidence of some increase in the incidence of leukaemia. However, based on other studies, the annual incidence of radiation-induced leukaemia would be expected to fall within a few decades after exposure” and further, in more detail “Future studies may resolve these issues although after about 5-15 years post exposure, the risk of radiation-induced leukaemia declines over time and most newly diagnosed leukaemia cases will be unlikely to have been due to radiation”.

      The Chernobyl Forum report says:

      Some radiation-induced increases in fatal leukaemia, solid cancers and circulatory system diseases have been reported in Russian emergency and recovery operation workers. According to data from the Russian Registry, in 1991–1998, in the cohort of 61 000 Russian workers exposed to an average dose of 107 mSv about 5% of all fatalities that occurred may have been due to radiation exposure. These findings, however, should be considered as preliminary and need confirmation in better-designed studies with careful individual dose reconstruction.

      Overall, the experts do not regard these findings as robust. There appear to be problems with sampling, dose reconstruction, biases, other confounding factors, plus the fact that leukaemia normally appears quite soon after exposure, not nearly three decades later.

      The evidence is not strong enough. Your link does not support the contention of increased cancer in liquidators. Epidemiology is complex, and this has clearly not made the grade.

      Point 2, you referred me to the 1997 paper by Lazjuk et al. Thanks for providing the link. The headline you provided seems hugely significant and contrary to my understanding, so I read it straight away. Others can too.
      In summary, it’s a comparison of a group from a highly contaminated region against a control group in Minsk. Against a range of disorders, the authors find a hugely higher incidence of congential abnormality in the group from the contaminated region. However, it pays to read the paper closely.

      Firstly, this on pre-existing conditions:

      The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), which has studied the problem repeatedly, used a doubling dose of 1.0 Sv per generation to estimate the rate of abnormal births due to gene mutations and chromosome aberrations and found it to be 1,700 cases per 1,000,000 newborns (0.17%) in the first generation [l-41. However, the incidence of congenital anomalies in Belarus prior to the accident is 3.6-4.6 per 100 live births, and the doses received by the residents of contaminated areas are much lower than 1.0 Sv.

      So prior to the accident, Belarus had a higher than normal rate of abnormality. Problem 1.
      Problem 2. The sample.

      “Disruption in human morphogenesis was studied in legal medical abortuses (products of conception obtained before 27 weeks of gestation by means of pregnancy termination at a medical institution at the woman’s request) obtained from pregnant women in Minsk-city (controls), and pregnant women from the Gomel and Mogilev regions with 137Cs contamination of at least 555 9Bq/m2 …Since all abortuses were included, selection bias was minimal for legal abortuses. However, since unreported abortuses remain undocumented and also unexamined in this analysis, selection bias may have occurred.

      This is a study of a subset (recorded abortions) of a subset (all abortions) of all conceptions in Belarus. Not live births, legal abortions. 2,578 of them to be exact. Not great.

      Problem 3: Several conditions they looked at have multiple causes. That makes attribution hard. I quote:

      The frequency of all types of tissue anomalies was increased in the contaminated areas, with the highest increases seen for duplication of the kidneys and ureters, polydactyly, and defects of the neural tube. These defects have heterogeneous etiologies: polydactyly is frequently caused by dominant mutations, defects of the neural tube are mainly of multifactorial origin, and the genetic cause of kidney and ureter duplication is undetermined. We found no increase of monosomies or trisomies in the abortuses, nor did we find a direct teratogenic effect resulting in the death of cells in the embryo from which organs originate. These findings make it impossible to conclude that radiation-induced changes in chromosome translocation frequency are responsible for the increased frequency of congenital malformations in abortuses from women living in the contaminated areas.

      This all features in the paper before the authors really get stuck into themselves in the discussion section on page 259. They say this about the problems with the study:

      First, it is possible that increased ascertainment of cases with congenital malformation may have taken place in the contaminated (compared to control) regions of Belarus.

      So basically, more looking means more finding. This is common.

      Second, although radiation exposures were estimated for populations, doses received by individuals are not known at this time. Because individual dose varies greatly, depending upon activities at the time of and for several weeks to months after the accident, assessment of individual radiation dose received will be necessary to determine with greater certainty whether radiation exposure places individuals at risk for these disorders.

      So, there is NO information in this study to suggest that the mothers of the abortuses actually received any kind of elevated dose of radiation. Basically, this is NOT an epidemiological study.

      Third, it is possible that selection bias may have occurred, as an analysis of unreported abortuses was not possible.

      This refers back to the sampling problem. There is every chance that many health foetuses were aborted in the aftermath of Chernobyl outside of the system. In fact, this is known to be the case.

      Despite these issues, the authors then say

      “Nevertheless, we believe that our results are provocative and require further study to determine whether our hypothesis is correct.”

      You have relied on this paper to refute the statement by Lynas. The authors themselves describe it as a “hypothesis” that has not been shown to be correct. I will agree with them on one point, it is provocative. The paper quite simply gives nothing persuasive whatsoever. It has been 16 years since it was published. Where the hell is the follow up to this “provocative” paper? Perhaps with all those weakness, one on the other, it really was not worth it?

      As to the experts, WHO (2011 25th Anniversary Frequently Asked Questions) says this

      In the Chernobyl-affected regions, there is no evidence of decreased fertility among males or females in the general population. However, birth rates may be lower in contaminated areas because of a high rate of medical abortions. Since 1986, there has been a reported increase in congenital malformations in both contaminated and uncontaminated areas of Belarus which predated Chernobyl and may be the result of increased registration of such cases. Based on dose levels to which the majority of the population was exposed, there is unlikely to be a major effect on the number of stillbirths, adverse pregnancy outcomes, delivery complications, or the overall health of children, but monitoring remains important.

      The Chernobyl Forum Report (2006) says this:

      Because of the relatively low dose levels to which the populations of the Chernobyl affected regions were exposed, there is no evidence or any likelihood of observing decreased fertility among males or females in the general population as a direct result of radiation exposure. These doses are also unlikely to have any major effect on the number of stillbirths, adverse pregnancy outcomes or delivery complications or the overall health of children.

      Birth rates may be lower in ‘contaminated’ areas because of concern about having children (this issue is obscured by the very high rate of medical abortions) and the fact that many younger people have moved away. No discernible increase in hereditary effects is expected based on the low risk coefficients estimated by UNSCEAR (2001) or in previous reports on Chernobyl health effects. Since 2000, there has been no new evidence provided to change this conclusion.

      There has been a modest but steady increase in reported congenital malformations in both contaminated’ and ‘uncontaminated’ areas of Belarus since 1986; see Fig. 4. This does not appear to be radiation-related and may be the result of increased registration.

      As to your point three, I have read the other comments and that was roughly my understanding; that Greenpeace funded the work and that the author is GreenPeace affiliated. I do not know either to be true. I don’t have a comment.

      So, what you have provided to support your assertions did not support them at all, unless you are prepared to dismiss the work of UNSCEAR, WHO and the Chernobyl Forum. Since you opened your engagement with a link to WHO to support your position, this would seem a difficult thing to do.

      Since then you have been rude, abusive and insulting to both me and others. You have dismissed expert work with conspiratorial accusations, dumped on your own chosen source of WHO and damned people you disagree with as “amateurs” while referring me to ratical.org. You have referred to modelled outcomes of harm as “evidence of cancer”. You have jumped around from source to source, placing link bait with big scary numbers, rather than having the patience to wait for me to make an adequate response. You have tried to move the debate to problems of cost for nuclear power. You have called me and others a climate denialist, a propagandist, and a quasi religious ideologue. On your first visit to the site. Nice.

      Normally, I moderate this sort of crap right away. But you have been such an excellent example of what this film is talking about, that I wanted to get you on the record in all your glory. Now of course, I am happy to say goodbye. But thanks, you have been an excellent advertisement for my position on nuclear power.

      1. A good thorough presentation of the facts Ben, but I fear that Petr may not understand that when people talk about “methodological difficulties” they are sincere. Petr probably thinks this is just an excuse and part of the cover up.

        Let me try to explain the issues in a way that will help Petr understand what’s going on.

        Ukraine has about 45 million people and about 140,000 new cancers every year. That’s about 3.3 million cancer during the past 25 years. Russia has 145 million people and 430,000 new cancers each year … that’s 10.7 million cancers in 25 years. And Belarus has 10 million people and 30,000 cancers per year … another 750,000 over 25 years. That’s Globocan … the aggregation of all the cancer registries. If you look at the Ukrainian population or Belarus or Russia (e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine) you’ll see huge movements of people after the Soviet breakdown. In Ukraine you can see a mass exodus after about 1992. Some 6 million people just left.

        In summary there are more than 14 million cancers over 25 years in 3 countries with massive movements and there are claims that some (non-epidemiologists) have found 200,000 cancers. Finding and detecting such small changes in cancer is genuinely difficult. Ask yourself who the people are migrating out of Soviet countries after 1992. Is it the old people or the young people? What happens to cancer rates in an area when a bunch of young people move out? They go up. It would be very easy to hop around regions of Ukraine/Russia/Belarus and find regions where cancer rates rose in the decade after Chernobyl. So the methodological difficulties that the official reports mention aren’t just excuses, they are very real.

        One last thing. Suppose those three countries had Australian cancer rates for the past 25 years. Then how many cancers would they have had? It’s easy, about 6 to 7 million more. Why? Because Australian cancer rates (age standardised) are about 50% higher. So even if Chernobyl caused 100,000 cancers, we have things in Australia which are far more dangerous. 6 million cancers more dangerous. We have BBQs and sunshine.

        The link between red meat and bowel cancer is pretty well understood, but there are other associations which are well demonstrated, but not in the least understood. E.g., Risks of
        acute myeloid leukemia are 50% higher in the people in the top quintile of meat consumers.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042434

        You won’t find warnings about leukemia and meat because nobody understands how this might be happening. It might be something else that heavy meat eaters are doing. Epidemiologists are conservative people, they don’t make causal attributions without good reason and they take methodological problems very seriously because they are well educated in the problems they can cause.

        Cheers,
        Geoff

        1. Thanks Geoff. Brilliant stuff.

          It’s a slow process, but I would like more and more people to take seriously that we cannot just throw around statements of massive harm. Because this DOES massive harm. Like that innocuous sentence from WHO about increased abortions. Imagine, women by the hundreds and thousands aborting their children out of unfounded fear.

          1. I have two sources to add.
            1) The original Yablokov Chernobyl report was sponsored by Greenpeace. This is a screenshot of the cover with the second page. If I’m not mistaken that is the logo of Greenpeace on the second page.

            For surety of the image as it is in russian, “Яблоков” is Yablokov, “ЧЕРНОБЫЛЬ” is Chernobyl, and “ПОСЛЕДСТВИЯ КАТАСТРОФЫ ДЛЯ ЧЕЛОВЕКА И ПРИРОДЫ” is Consequences of the catastrophe for people and nature.

            1a) A bonus source as I’m feeling plucky today. This is a response to the Yablokov report in the Journal of Radiation Protection and Dosimetry that pretty much pulls it apart and highlights the dubious attributes of non radiation induced diseases with chernobyl:

            http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/141/1/101.extract

            2) The WHO-IAEA conspiracy is a classic anti-nuclear-power fall back when confronted with an equal or better argument. This is the agreement text between the WHO-IAEA in full.

            AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY AND THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
            Article I – Co-operation and Consultation
            1. The International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization agree that, with a view to facilitating the effective attainment of the objectives set forth in their respective constitutional instruments, within the general framework established by the Charter of the United Nations, they will act in close co-operation with each other and will consult each other regularly in regard to matters of common interest.
            2. In particular, and in accordance with the Constitution of the World Health Organization and the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and its agreement with the United Nations together with the exchange of letters related thereto, and taking into account the respective co-ordinating responsibilities of both organizations, it is recognized by the World Health Organization that the International Atomic Energy Agency has the primary responsibility for encouraging, assisting and co-ordinating research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world without prejudice to the right of the World Health Organization to concern itself with promoting, developing, assisting, and co-ordinating international health work, including research, in all its aspects.
            3. Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement.

            Last time I looked “without prejudice” meant that either body can act without the direct interference of the other. While the IAEA may not like it the WHO can tell them to effectively suck it.
            The Anti-nuclear-power conspiracy will show clause 3 without clause 2. Cherry-picking at it’s finest, gold-star.

            It’s time for new-nuclear with the 60 years of expertise and to move on from Chernobyl. It happened, it sucked, it did cause some negative health effects (mainly psychological), but last time I looked Russia still operates a few of the same reactor type (RBMK) and they seem to manage them without incident.

            If we stop development because of a what if we’d never have come out of the caves. Hell, what if I am involved in a fatal or serious car crash as that seems more statistically plausible than getting taken out by Lucas Heights. Won’t stop me from driving though. Life is about managing risks. I think as an advanced species we can control a Nuclear reaction, history has shown that we can, 400 odd reactors show we can vs a handful of extreme cases with a series of unfortunate events. The same intro line from “Seconds from disaster” (Nat Geo channel).

            1. Oops forgot to add…

              Bellona in the russian Yablokov report is an organisation that is stated anti-nuclear:

              “Bellona is fundamentally opposed to advancing nuclear energy…” (http://www.bellona.org/Aboutus/18060)

              Throw in Greenpeace and we see that the Yablokov report is a one supported and possibly funded by two anti-nuclear bodies. One seriously has to question the neutrality of this report.

              Hence Mark Lynas is correct in saying that Greenpeace thinks a million people died from Chernobyl as their name is on a paper that says so! Attribution is a bitch sometimes.

  4. It is clear that, on a per KWh basis, nuclear energy is a very safe way to generate electricity. Dramatically better than fossil fuel burning and no worse than the renewables. The world’s human health will improve the sooner we stop using coal and oil. A rapid expansion of Gen IV nuclear power is clearly the only way that this is going to happen.

    I have high hopes and high standards for this documentary. After watching the clip I’m worried that I’m going to be disappointed.

    The 2006 WHO report on Chernobyl does not support the claim that ‘there was no increase in cancer in Chernobyl liquidators.’

    On the other hand Petr, it does very clearly state that the increase in congenital defects observed in the area seemed to be due to better detection rather than any radiation effect.

    I do hope that the documentary puts some context to the claims that we see in the clip. This documentary needs to describe the science as honestly as possible lest we end up with another ‘Inconvenient Truth’.

    1. I will get to this in more detail in response to Petr, however UNSCEAR in their comprehensive review from 2008 make the following statement:

      “There appears, at present, to be no hard evidence of any measurable increased incidence of all solid cancers taken together among the populations of the Russian Federation and Ukraine… The evidence with respect to the recovery operation workers is mixed. Although some groups show elevated incidence,, significant relationships with increasing dose have not been quantified”

      That’s paragraph 78 and 79 in this document. The following paragraphs provide further detail regarding the challenges in interpreting results from the operational workers.

      http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/2008/11-80076_Report_2008_Annex_D.pdf

      This is the peak body, and this document is the summation of their findings with regard to health. Provided one is not into conspiracy theories, there needs to be a very clear reason to dispute this work.

      1. Your opinion that UNSCEAR is the first, the last, and only authority on Chernobyl and radiation only reveals that you do not have an open mind on this subject. You are engaged in confirmation bias to protect your ideological belief in nukes. UNSCEAR is clearly strongly influenced or controlled by the nuke lobby:

        * Chernobyl: An Unbelievable Failure to Help. How IAEA, UNSCEAR, ICRP and WHO manage the nuclear message. http://ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/CaUFtH.html

        You claim there is no evidence of cancers? That is delusional.

        * International Agency for Research on Cancer = 16,000 – “…about 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers may be expected due to radiation from the accident and that about 16,000 deaths from these cancers may occur.” http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2006/pr168.html

        1. Petr, are you aware that modelled outcomes of harm are not actually evidence? That is what your link discussed; risk modelling. The peak body has recently made it clear that this is an entirely inappropriate thing to do.

          “Because of the great uncertainties in risk estimates at very low doses, UNSCEAR does not recommend multiplying very low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or lower than natural background levels.”

          http://www-pub.iaea.org/iaeameetings/Fukushima/UNSCEAR_Statement.pdf

          The issue here is evidence of cancer. There appears to be very little, and what exists is not robust.

          1. Models are so scary. Are you sure you’re not a climate change denier?

            What is your point? Are you still denying Chernobyl caused cancers?

              1. It’s telling that you want to talk about “humility” and “respect” when I have produced science and facts that expose Lynas and this video as highly dishonest. That also is a tactic used by climate science deniers – whine about the ‘tone’ in order to avoid admitting to the uncomfortable truth.

                How do you think you’re going to ‘solve’ climate collapse by advocating for an energy source that is not economically viable, cannot be built anywhere near fast enough, and is opposed by the majority of the planet?

                You’ve really not thought this one through. You simply seem to have a quasi-religious belief in nukes.

                Nuclear Dead End: It’s the Economics, Stupid. “…nuclear power is not only physically dangerous; it is also economically wasteful and slow, especially when built in market economies. Quite simply, it is a stupid way to address climate change.” http://www.thenation.com/article/159997/nuclear-dead-end-its-economic-stupid

    2. The 2006 WHO report on Chernobyl does not support the claim that ‘there was no increase in cancer in Chernobyl liquidators.’

      Not quite… if you are referring to page 15-16 of this report…http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf but nor does it say that there has been any increase.

      All we have is reference to modeled outcomes, couched in massively uncertain language, some early findings from some of the Russian recovery workers, but these studies are regarded as poorly designed by WHO, with UNSCEAR saying in more detail “low statistical power, uncertainties in dose reconstruction, and internal inconsistencies that that suggest potential biases or confounding factors that are difficult to address”. Paragraph 74 http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/2008/11-80076_Report_2008_Annex_D.pdf . Overall, the experts do not regard these findings as robust, as I mentioned earlier.

      UNSCEAR have elsewhere stated “Among Russian recovery operation workers with higher doses there is emerging evidence of some increase in the incidence of leukaemia. However, based on other studies, the annual incidence of radiation-induced leukaemia would be expected to fall within a few decades after exposure”. Leukemia has a short latent period between exposure and occurrence. Such a finding nearly 30 years after exposure is contrary to this expectation.

      So we have a study group of about half a million people, know to have received the highest doses, who have been looked at closely with no compelling evidence of an increase in cancer. At least according to UNSCEAR and WHO, who have the job of sorting through the noise of epidemiology, instead of just making claims based on findings of single studies.

      1. Many thanks for all of the links you have provided. You have demonstrated how easy it is for an anti-nuke to pull one sentence out of context and parade it around as final verdict. I enjoy your debates Mr. Heard, I hope you are successful in changing minds Down Under! Keep it up!

        1. When you ignore all independent, peer-reviewed science and accept only what the nuke lobby-controlled UNSCEAR publish then you are never going to understand the truth.

          But still the WHO have admitted that:

          Recent investigations suggest a doubling of the incidence of leukaemia among the most highly exposed Chernobyl liquidators.”

          Nothing has been produced to refute that apart from denial, bluster and arm waving.

      2. You continue with the tactic loved by climate science deniers: look for words that suggest uncertainty and decide that means the problem does not exist.

        You can continue ignoring independent peer-reviewed science but it will still be available for anyone with an open mind to look at:

        * Cleft lip and cleft palate birth rate in Bavaria before and after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. “CONCLUSION: The presumption of a long-term increase of CLP after exposure to Chernobyl fallout is corroborated by the analysis of the Bavarian congenital malformation data.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15045533

        1. Petr, are you aware that UNSCEAR performs much the same job as the IPCC? It is their job to assemble, review and synthesise ALL of the relevant research, and present the findings to the UN General Assembly? In such a complex area, that is needed, because scientific findings can conflict, and some published work can be found to be methodologically wanting. As we will see, this is why you have linked a paper on birth defects when you first arrived with the knives out, but both WHO and UNSCEAR are adamant that the evidence is not there.

          You constant comparison with climate denial starts to look a little odd in this context.

          1. All the planet’s climate scientists agree global warming is real.

            Not all the planet’s scientists think nukes are a good thing.

            Do you not understand the difference?

            1. That is a particular weak line of reasoning.

              There is a great deal of agreement/certainty, and a great deal of disagreement/uncertainty, in both the study of climate change and the study of radiological health impacts on large populations.

              Not quite all the scientists agree that “global warming is real”, but most certainly do. Just as most agree on a great deal about the Chernobyl event. From there, in both, we can work our way out to areas of ever greater uncertainty.

              Whether or not a scientist believes nuclear power plants are “good” or “bad” is irrelevant or at least, if they are decent scientists in the field of radiological health, it ought to be.

              1. You’ve got something right, although not in the way you probably believe. There is very strong agreement on radiological health impacts on large populations.

                “Even the very lowest levels of radiation are harmful to life, scientists have concluded in the Cambridge Philosophical Society’s journal Biological Reviews. Reporting the results of a wide-ranging analysis of 46 peer-reviewed studies published over the past 40 years.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113134224.htm

                Which is further evidence that your belief that UNSCEAR is just the radiation version of the IPCC is illogical nonsense.

                You don’t seem like the kind of person who is going to allow facts to influence your opinion, but you really should make the effort to read this:

                Toxic link: the WHO and the IAEA. A 50-year-old agreement with the IAEA has effectively gagged the WHO from telling the truth about the health risks of radiation. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/28/who-nuclear-power-chernobyl

    3. Can you explain how a renewable energy system could create the death, social and economic catastrophe that Chernobyl and Fukushima have created?

      Gen III nukes are not economically viable, so dreams about Gen IV are not going to help.

      * Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric. http://newspano.com/news/ge-chief-nuclear-hard-to-justify

      There is no “context” to the claims made by Lynas and Shellenberger in the trailer to this video. They were outright false claims. It’s pro-nuke propaganda, exactly the same lies seen in blogs and forums all across the internet. I guess the nuke lobby is getting desperate now as they see corporations and countries abandoning their failed technology in preference for renewable energy.

      1. “Can you explain how a renewable energy system could create the death, social and economic catastrophe that Chernobyl and Fukushima have created?”

        No, just something far, far worse… the failure to cut enough greenhouse gas emissions.

        “There is no “context” to the claims made by Lynas and Shellenberger in the trailer to this video. ”

        It’s a clip mate. Sit down, have a cup of tea and wait for the movie.

        And no, your attempt to shift the debate to economics is not going to work. I still intend to shred you for your original post, and all of the aggressive, insulting comments that have flowed since then. I’m in no hurry, I will find time for you.

          1. I will Petr. It’s a Saturday, I have a family to spend some time with as well as some actual work to do. You are not a priority for me today. But don’t be concerned. You won’t be forgotten.

            1. You sound so sinister. Should I be scared? Certainly not scared of you actually refuting any science or facts based on your performance so far.

              P.S. Your blind faith in a report produced by someone who works for the nuclear industry is like trusting a report on climate change produced by someone who works for the Kochs.

  5. It has just occurred to me, that an argument against nuclear power that revolves around alleged and poorly verified consequences of a mismanaged disaster in an obsolete design that had as a secondary purpose (or was it primary) of producing bomb grade plutonium, would be of no relevance, even if valid, as a criticism of a planned and quite well tested technology that is by design and actual test, immune to meltdown. For example, EBR II of the USA’s Integral Fast Reactor project, was designed to shut itself down as a consequence of the thermal expansion if temperature exceeded a level that was above the target level, but well below what the plant and coolant could physically sustain. The neutron flux fails to hit enough fuel nuclei. So they deliberately shut off the primary circulation, and it quietly shut itelf down, cooling itself by ordinary convection. The same thing happened, when they started it up, to full power, and stopped the secondary coolant circulation.

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