[ RadSafe ] Salsman warning

James Salsman jsalsman at gmail.com
Tue Apr 6 15:37:23 CDT 2010

On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 12:49 PM, Doug Aitken
<jdaitken at sugar-land.oilfield.slb.com> wrote:
>... you now make the wonderfully illogical statement: " some in the HPS
> have become so accustomed to defending the use of pyrophoric depleted
> uranium munitions that they aren't willing or able to articulate the extent
> to which coal ash presents a more serious uranium contamination problem
> than nuclear reactor waste?"....

I was asking the question "Is it possible that" some in the HPS have
become so accustomed....  I honestly do not know why people who I am
sure are in favor of nuclear power don't explain that uranium is one
of the reasons that coal is so dirty.  Is it possible instead, or in
addition, that they don't want people to know about high cancer rates
in uranium miners?

> where is the evidence of this?

Web searching finds dozens of examples of HPS members and official
documents claiming that uranium nephrotoxicity (toxicity to kidneys)
is the most important aspect of uranium toxicity.  The peer reviewed
research, on the other hand, says that the kidneys build up a
tolerance to uranium. (Pellmar, T.C., et al (1999) "Distribution of
uranium in rats implanted with depleted uranium pellets," Toxicol Sci,
vol. 49, pp. 29-39.)

> And how have you connected these topics? In fact, it has been stated on this
> forum that the fly-ash of coal-fired power stations contains a reasonably high
> content of naturally-occurring radionuclides (to the point that it has been
> suggested that this fly-ash represents an interesting source of such nuclides:
> http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html ).

They are connected that way, yes, but I've been complaining about
uranium contamination from coal power plants for many years; including
here on RadSafe.  The large coal ash slurry breaches a little over a
year ago focused more attention on the toxicology of coal ash.

As for the relative economics of wind on a larger grid,
hydroelectricity, and pumped storage hydro, there is plenty of
documentation readily available, but none of it is really on topic
here.  (One interesting fact:  The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy
Information Administration assumes that the renewable tax credit will
never be renewed after 2012.  Seriously! Check out
http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/speeches/newell121409.pdf on page 21.)

As for the historical economics of nuclear power, this document seems
accurate in that even when it is vociferously attacked, the attacks
usually amount to very small criticisms in terms of the accuracy
tolerance of the figures in its conclusions:

James Salsman

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