[ RadSafe ] Radiation Fears and the Subconscious Mind

Ray Johnson, PE, CHP ray.johnson at moellerinc.com
Mon Nov 7 06:27:54 CST 2011

I have done a lot of reading recently in attempts to better understand the
basis for radiation fears.  I have summarized some insights on this matter
in two recent newsletter articles that can be found at


I would appreciate any comments that readers may  have on these articles. I
believe I still have a lot to learn. 


Ray Johnson, MS, SE, PE, FHPS, CHP

Director, Radiation Safety Counseling Institute Director, 

16440 Emory Lane

Rockville, MD 20853


ray at radiationcounseling.org



Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2011 11:19:57 -0700

From: Ted de Castro <tdc at xrayted.com>

Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] (no subject)

To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing

      List" <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>

Message-ID: <4EB42CCD.8000606 at xrayted.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


It was said well by the character Gill Grissom in a CSI episode:


To loosely paraphrase:


There are those who become concerned at every sound in the dark/night 

and those that don't - we are here today because our ancestors are the 

ones who did.


On 11/4/2011 9:28 AM, Douglas Minnema wrote:

> This reminds me...


> I read a good book a few years ago called "The Blank Slate" by Steven
Pinker.  It discussed the debate about how much of our personality and
behaviors come from "hard-wired" genetics versus environment and parenting.
I am not trying to start up a debate here on this subject, but wanted to
share one of Pinker's conclusions that is relevant to this comment.


> If one accepts that "hard-wired traits" play a role, then one comes to the
conclusion that there are certain topics where a society will never reach a
common understanding because of the way the various hard-wired traits
influence the individuals' worldviews.  Pinker provided a few examples, two
of which I'm sure you all can guess - religion and politics.  But
interestingly, he also added nuclear power to that list.  His view was that
in these areas, the members of a society would just have to get to the point
where they agree to disagree.


> Given that, I think that tossing the facts out and letting them draw their
own conclusions is probably the most realistic approach.


> By the way, (and staying on the topic of nuclear applications) if correct,
this view of the world would have significant implications for things like
safety culture and conduct of operations, where individual attitudes and
values play an important part in ensuring safe operations.


> Doug Minnema, PhD, CHP


>>>> "Miller, Jason"<jmill11 at entergy.com>  11/04/11 2:21 AM>>>

> I have been following this mailing list for a while, and thus is why I
have come to ask for a little help. I work at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power
Station here in Vernon, Vt. I am an Aux operator here. The public opinion is
not to high regarding the power plant, moreover I tend to be drawn to a
public board that a few anti nukes also post on. I have pretty much
exhausted all my efforts to not really convince but to just toss the facts
out there and let them draw their own conclusions. This is why I turn to the
tried and true professionals, especially in the HP field! This board is kind
of a lost cause but I still find the need to set the record straight. If
nothing else it gets pretty funny at times reading it. Thanks in advance.


> Jason M.


> http://www.topix.com/city/brattleboro-vt




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