[ RadSafe ] NRC reform

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Wed Dec 14 21:05:09 CST 2011

Dec. 14

         Comments below.

Steven Dapra

At 09:05 PM 12/13/2011, you wrote:
>Steven Dapra wrote:
> >  In the second link Salsman is harping on whether or not we
> > on RADSAFE believe that uranium is a genotoxin.  He wrote:
> >
> > "Again, do you believe that uranium is a genotoxin or not?  The
> > literature is abundantly clear on the issue, and I wonder why people
> > on this list get so upset about the question."
> >
> >  First, I have asked Salsman at least twice to answer his own
> > question and so far he has refused to do so....
>There were some moderation issues, so perhaps Steven missed
>citing http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/89/1/287.abstract
>and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19914362

         These two quotes are from the abstract to the Oxford Journals paper:

"Our results show that exposure to DU by inhalation resulted in DNA 
strand breaks in broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) cells and in increase 
of inflammatory cytokine expression and production of hydroperoxides 
in lung tissue suggesting that the DNA damage was in part a 
consequence of the inflammatory processes and oxidative stress."

"Comet assay in neutral conditions revealed that DNA damage in BAL 
cells was composed partly by double strands breaks suggesting that 
radiation could contribute to DU genotoxic effects in vivo."

         Note the qualifiers:  "suggesting," "partly," "suggesting," 
and "could contribute."

         I read the NCBI abstract and found that this study was 
conducted on mouse embryo fibroblasts.  I have my doubts about the 
prudence of extrapolating from a mouse embryos to humans.

         Uranium miners have been exposed to uranium for a good long 
while, and the same goes for workers in gaseous diffusion 
plants.  Have any of these miners or workers been shown to suffer 
from  the (possible) genotoxic effects of U?  When some studies show 
they have, then I might go into panic mode.  Until then, I think I'll 
pass on panicking.

>What does it say about us as a society that tenured university
>radiation protection faculty, military officials charged with safety
>determinations, and apparently whatever fraction of RADSAFE
>that chooses to take Steven's questions seriously aren't
>familiar with the genotoxic properties of uranium?  Is it any
>wonder that people have safety concerns about nuclear power?
>James Salsman

         The only questions I have asked about this are (first) a 
request for Salsman to reveal his views on the genotoxicity of U; and 
(second) for him to provide some citations.  Is there any good reason 
why these questions should not be taken seriously?

         You, James, do not know how many people on RADSAFE or 
anywhere else are "familiar" with the genotoxic properties of U.  The 
genotoxity of U is not exactly at the top of the list for the "safety 
concerns" of anti-nukers.  At least it hasn't been in the anti-nuke 
literature I've read.

         James' initial question was, "Again, do you believe that 
uranium is a genotoxin or not?  The literature is abundantly clear on 
the issue, and I wonder why people on this list get so upset about 
the question."

         He still has not directly answered my question about whether 
or not *he* thinks U is a genotoxin.  I don't think two studies, one 
on rats, and one on mouse embryos, constitutes the literature being 
"abundantly clear."  Furthermore, no one on this list has become "so 
upset" about JS's questions about our beliefs concerning the 
(alleged) genotoxicity of U.  I think most of us have ignored his 
question.  I would go so far as to say I've given it more time than 
it deserves.

Steven Dapra

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