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Re: MOX fuel and Lawyers


In a message dated 10/7/2004 1:46:33 PM Pacific Standard Time,  

neildm@id.doe.gov writes:

If nothing else, someone should clue them  that their basic premise is hosed. 

 Telling them what you told us, if  well put, may suffice.  At least asking 

that the instructor mention that  the effects are exaggerated would help, as 

they probably need the "body count"  to have a hook to hang their arguments on.


Bear in mind that, in many ways, the truth  is beside the point to a lawyer, 

and that the following is derived from actual  court records: ATTY: So, when 

you signed the death certificate you weren't  sure the man was dead, were you? 

CORONER: Well, let me put it this way. The  man's brain was sitting in a jar 

on my desk. But I guess it's possible he  could be out there practicing law  


Thanks everyone for commenting.  I agree that the results of the act  of 

piracy appear exaggerated, but it is possible for the students to argue that  the 

results were not a result of the breach of the MOX fuel container.   

Furthermore, we are completely free to educate the developers of this "problem"  about 

any and all of the facts they got wrong.  In fact, that's pretty much  what my 

friend asked, because she doesn't want to be blindsided by the "real  facts" 

in a student's submission.


As one who plays "both sides of the field" - i.e., lawyer and scientist, I  

recognize that a statement of a case may not represent reality - witness the  

statement of the Masry case against PG&E on the chromium VI issue (i.e.,  "Erin 

Brockovich").  It is then up to those who can sort the fact from  fiction to 

make solid arguments as to why the allegations made cannot be  so.


With this in mind, I welcome any and all arguments that 50 kg of MOX fuel  

(and, the problem does not seem to define the actual state of the MOX - i.e.,  

whether it was compressed into ceramic pellets, included in a fuel  assembly, 

irradiated or unirradiated, etc.) could not produce the fishkills and  

radiation illnesses alleged.  In fact, an assessment of what missing  information is 

critical would also be helpful.  Consider this a chance to  educate "the other 

side," or ignore it, as you will.