[MbrExchange] Re: [ RadSafe ] Your letter of Jan. 6

Ted Rockwell tedrock at starpower.net
Fri Jan 20 11:10:51 CST 2006


If the Realism Project achieved its goal of bringing our rules and practices
into line with physical realities, we would be in a much more tenable
position, whether or not a single member of the public changed his/her

And, of course, it would then be easier to convert anti-nukes, over whatever
length of time it took, because we would no longer be talking with forked

Ted Rockwell

On 1/20/06 10:53 AM, "John Jacobus" <crispy_bird at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Ted,
> I think you forget that the politics of victim
> compensation is not based on science alone.  The
> reality is that interest groups, e.g, Atomic Veterans,
> Downwinders, etc., and Congress will respond.  That is
> reality.
> As for educating the public on the projected cancers
> and deaths, I frequently deal with those issues when
> people ask about medical exposures.  I have been doing
> it for about 10 years.  I still get asked the same
> questions.  If you expected to educate the public, you
> need to be in it for the long haul.
> --- Ted Rockwell <tedrock at starpower.net> wrote:
>> Friends:
>> We cannot begin to convince the public so long as
>> our actions belie our
>> words.  For decades we have told the public that
>> they have nothing to fear,
>> while we insist that we cannot expect companies to
>> build nuclear plants
>> without being indemnified against an accident of
>> unprecedented magnitude
>> (exceeding all insurance resources), and practice
>> mass evacuations from
>> contamination beyond what is physically achievable,
>> and pay lawyers millions
>> to defend against harmless levels of radiation
>> without being willing to tell
>> people (and document it) that such levels ARE
>> harmless.
>> We first have to bring our actions and our
>> regulations into line with the
>> scientific data.  We have computer programs that
>> "predict" thousands of
>> deaths from a nuclear plant casualty.  We have never
>> repudiated these
>> programs as predictors of death.  After we've done
>> so, then we have to tell
>> people that the data show that the worst realistic
>> casualty cannot kill more
>> than few if any people (we now refuse to talk about
>> the casualty, arguing
>> that this will scare people.  Our unwillingness to
>> talk about it REALLY
>> scares them.)
>> The Japanese spent hundreds of millions of dollars
>> to compensate 600 members
>> of the public who were "exposed to radiation in
>> Japan's worst nuclear
>> accident."  We do the same with "fallout victims"
>> and nuclear workers who
>> have received harmless levels of radiation.  The
>> Japanese spent a year
>> "reconsidering their commitment to nuclear power, in
>> view of this nuclear
>> incident."
>> We don't need a new PR spin.  We need to straighten
>> out our own house first.
>> That is the purpose of the ANS Realism Project and a
>> similar project now
>> under way at WNA.
>> Ted Rockwell
>> On 1/19/06 10:56 AM, "Denis Beller"
>> <beller at Egr.UNLV.EDU> wrote:
>>> You are quite correct Bernie, we need to
>> communicate with the public on a
>>> massive scale. This kind of a study won't
>> influence public understanding of
>>> or support for a resumption of nuclear
>> construction or development of
>>> advanced fuel cycles in the U.S. because it won't
>> have widespread
>>> distribution. People aren't that interested if it
>> doesn't make headlines. It
>>> might influence the right policy maker if you can
>> put it in one page, or the
>>> right investor if you can get it published in
>> Fortune.
>>> We have to reach tens of millions of people to
>> have a measureable impact,
>>> and this won't do it.
>>> Denis 
>>> Bernard Cohen writes:
>>>>    I don't see why money is needed to make such a
>> study, I and many other
>>>> scientists would voluntarily provide all the info
>> that would be requested.
>>>> What we need is experts in communicating with the
>> public.
>>>>    Incidently, I would be happy to send hard copy
>> reprints of the two
>>>> papers mentioned in my original message to anyone
>> interested.
>>>> mpatterson at canberra.com wrote:
>>>>> Bernard, 
>>>>> As an educator you are probably one of the best
>> people to help educate
>>>>> the public on this type of a topic.  I think a
>> comparison to risks
>>>>> associated with other power generation
>> technologies might help the public
>>>>> process and comprehend the information.
>> Consider for example the risk of
>>>>> having a coal mining operation in an area.  How
>> many additional deaths is
>>>>> it likely to cause per year?  How many coal
>> mines would it take to keep
>>>>> an equivalent power output to the nuclear power
>> output?
>>>>> This seems like a study that our government
>> should fund.   I say this
>>>>> because these types of studies and public
>> relations projects are funded
>>>>> by the governments in other industrial countries
>> such as Japan and
>>>>> France.  I realize that there are competing
>> industries that might try to
>>>>> block such a study in the US.  If this is the
>> case then perhaps EPRI or
>>>>> another industrial group should fund.  If the
>> study was worded properly
>>>>> in a more global context then perhaps the IAEA
>> or the UN could fund it.
>>>>> I think the study will be better received by the
>> public if it is done by
>>>>> a University or a team of Universities.
>>>>> Once the study has been completed the result
>> would need to be synthesized
>>>>> into easy to understand graphics, pamphlets and
>> presentation. This type
>>>>> of information could then be given to high
>> schools and universities as
>>>>> "free" educational materials.   Students have
>> open minds and represent
>>>>> the future.  This information could and should
>> also be place on one or
>>>>> more websites.
>>>>> Just some thoughts I had when I read your note
>> below.   I certainly agree
>>>>> with all of you that public perception and
>> understanding is key to moving
>>>>> forward with nuclear energy.
>>>>> - Sincerely,
>>>>> Melissa Patterson
>>>>> In Vivo Systems Product Manager
>>>>> Bernard Cohen <blc+ at pitt.edu>
>>>>> Sent by: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl
>>>>> 01/18/2006 10:32 AM
>>>>>               To:
>> wilson at physics.harvard.edu,
>>>>> mbrexchange at list.ans.org, cstarr at epri.com, Ted
>> Rockwell
>>>>> <tedrock at starpower.net>, RadiatSafety
>> <radsafe at radlab.nl>
>>>>>         cc:                Subject:        [
>> RadSafe ] Your letter of
>>>>> Jan. 6 
>>>>>     I am writing in response to your letter of
>> Jan. 6 bemoaning the fact
>>>>> that theYucca Mountain repository seems to be
>> going nowhere, summarized
>>>>> in your sentences "Maybe the repository will be
>> finished bo 2030. Maybe
>>>>> not."
>>>>>    I believe it is extremely important to
>> educate the public to
>>>>> understand that buried radioactive waste is not
>> an important potential
>>>>> threat to human health. I don't think the public
>> can ever understand or
>>>>> become comfortable with the Probabilistic Risk
>> Analysis (PRA) approach
>>>>> used by DOE; It is vulnerable to criticism on
>> many points and the
>>>>> critics are only too happy to take advantage of
>> this, and the public
>>>>> cannot judge between "experts". I have long
>> advocated doing a PRA for an
>>>>> average U.S. location (which I have shown is
>> very easy to do and to be
>>>>> understood by the public, and which comes out
>> quite 
> === message truncated ===
> +++++++++++++++++++
> "Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put
> anything in an email."  - Eliot Spitzer, New York state attorney general
> -- John
> John Jacobus, MS
> Certified Health Physicist
> e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com
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