The following is a slightly modified GOOGLE translation of the original text in the Danish language.
Unforuthately most of the links will refer to sites in the Danish language.

Skønmaleri af KK This contribution to the debate will naturally be perceived as an attempt to “greenwash” of nuclear power.
In reality it is an attempt to wash away some of the mud that has been thrown on this energy source.
Perhaps my frustration comes from realizing that it is teeming with more or less self-proclaimed experts who write about nuclear power, often without much regard to recognized and easily available facts.

In the following, I have tried to support my information from what is available on the Internet and from reliable sources.

The topic Nuclear power turns out to be very extensive and surrounded by many misconceptions, often caused by lack of information or directly wrong “information”.
Therefore I have incorporated some references that can be read by following what has been in yellow.

As it can be seen, I have largely used information from the Danish organization REO (Pure Energy Information).
Unlike many others, they have the knowledge, if not the attention from the media.

Unfortunately, it is easy to find many other sources where lack of factual information is replaced by skillful manipulation with quarter-truths.
Such sources have not been attributed much value.

What about the safety? There have been three core meltdowns.

Let’s look at these three cases and assess the impact of each.

The reactor at Three Mile Island (1979)

The reactor was a so-called light water reactor of a relatively early design. As all reactors in “The West” it was protected by a containment building.
Such a reactor containment, which is usually an approximate 2 meters thick reinforced concrete shell, is the last defense against release of radioactive waste.

Here it proved to be able to do what it was supposed to do:
People within a radius of 15 km from the reactor were exposed to an average dose of 8 millirem (0.08 mSv).
Highest measured dose was 100 millirem (1 mSv).
This should be seen in the context of the natural background radiation, we all are exposed to: About 200 millirem (2-3 mSv) per year.
At some places, considerably more.

Such a core meltdown can under no circumstances evolve into just something like a “nuclear explosion”.
This will require both highly enriched uranium and a very special “detonator”.
Yet it was not long before half of the American population had become convinced that such a danger had been imminent.Landscap
A small crowd of journalists, who perhaps had waited for some horror stories, had to go home, disappointed.

Chernobyl disaster (1986)

The accident at Chernobyl in Ukraine shook the world, and received much publicity in the media.

Shortly after the accident, it could be heard on the Danish television that there were 1,000 killed and that, on satellite photographs, you could see dead bodies on the streets and dead animals on the fields.
It was added that it could not be ruled out that these figures would be higher.
A look at any ordinary medical manual, or now Wikipedia, would have shown that even if you get a lethal dose of radiation, it will take some time before you get symptoms and don’t just keep lying to die on the street.
Apparently, there was no need to retract and it is still unclear how this, unfortunately not unique, “information” was planted in the media.

When the disaster stuck, there was only 5 dead.
They did not lay dead on the streets.
Later 26 more, most rescue workers, died from burns and radiation as well as 9 from thyroid cancer.

Of course there was very little information about why it could go so wrong and there were many reasons.

  • The Reactor Type (RBMK) is physically unstable and, as opposed to “Western Reactors”, it will not automatically regulate the operation if the load is too high or too low.
    (Almost as if a car without brakes, is parked on top of a hill.)

This reactor type is only found in the former Soviet Union.
It is especially suitable for production of the plutonium isotope that can be used for nuclear bombs.
At a very early stage it was disregarded when considering nuclear power in other countries.

Chernobyl

  • Despite persistent claims, this reactor was not protected by a true (western) reactor containment.
  • It was possible for operators to bypass the automatic safety systems and thus “play with the reactor”.
  • The accident happened in connection with a test, alleged demanded by the “politically responsible”

The disaster would probably have been avoided if only one of these three, elementary precautions had been in place.

Rather than refute the information about the 1000 dead, the public debate was shifted to other horror stories, mostly about the effects of radiation. Thus, shortly after the accident, there was “found” highly elevated levels of various forms of cancer.
This should be seen in conjunction with that cancer from radiation, as well as from smoking and asbestos, cannot be detected until after a “waiting period” (latency) between 5 and 20 years, less for leukemia or thyroid cancer.

Also this can be seen in any ordinary Medical Manual.

The credibility of the sources can thus be questioned.

It has since been argued that both humans and animals are born with horrible defects.
This, like so much else, is based on pure imagination.
Naturally you can find outrageous claims.
Perhaps the record is reached with ”information” about 50,000 future deaths.

A little more can be found on another blog.

There have been other, but not quite as serious accidents at research and at military installations for nuclear bombs of the Soviet Union. These accidents, the government tried to calm down.

BUT Kulokraft
No matter how it is twisted and turned, even this very serious accident was nothing in comparison to the pollution from fossil fuels, we tacitly accept.
Besides greenhouse gases emitted, other pollution is found in the form of uranium and thorium, up-concentrated most in the ashes but also in the smoke.

Fukushima (11 March 2011)

Fukushima Tsunami An earthquake and a subsequent tsunami hit the area around Fukushima on Japan’s east coast.
The tsunami claimed close to 20,000 deaths.
But even if the three deaths on the nuclear power plant were not caused by ionizing radiation, it soon came to dominate much of debate in the public media.

Obviously there were distributed iodine tablets and implemented large evacuations.
For “purely political reasons” these evacuations were maintained long after it was no longer justified.
Not for objective reasons but to meet the widespread fear of a nonexistent danger.

Here, it should be understood that self-styled environmentalists quickly got whipped up an atmosphere of almost unlimited fear and that politicians will risk their political future if they do not show vigor or if they can be accused of exposing people to danger.
To be on the safe side, the limit for radiation was set to one millisievert per year. Less than half of what we all receive from natural sources.

Støvmasker BørnHowever something good did come out of the fear:
To prevent radioactive dust, there was widespread use of dust masks. This saved many from damages from the asbestos dust that had been stirred up from collapsed buildings.

It is easy to be wise after the event and talk about that you should have built a completely different strong wall to protect the reactors.
Or built them higher up on land and a little further away from the sea and thus have had somewhat higher costs for the cooling water.
You could also have had a safe cooling system or listened to recommendations about making a filter, as known from the reactor at Barsebäck in Sweden.
Finally, it was irresponsible to wait too long to cool using saltwater.

Fukushima Fier in the OILBUT
When the purpose is to create fear and sensation, the aim will apparently justify the means.
The Danish Radio, and others, could not find something sufficient horrific to show from the power plant.
Instead was shown a plume from a burning oil refinery.
Thus, everybody can understand the message about the terrible danger of radioactive contamination.

Yet it is hard to see how this passionate propaganda and the obvious failure of the power plant should justify the ongoing, almost panicky, discussion against nuclear power in Europe, where there is no risk of a tsunami.

Later announcements of huge pollution of the ocean from leaking tanks are wild exagerations. Probably directly forgery.

Worst Imaginable Disaster

Often opponents of nuclear power speak on ‘the worst disaster’ with large amounts of radioactive emissions.Oversvømmelse
While this has very little hold in reality, we should concentrate on the real danger:
The world is working itself toward towards what will be the worst disaster:

The lurked climate catastrophe which, according to most experts, could have been avoided or reduced if we had gone hard in for nuclear power.

The problem of waste

In many heated discussions opponents raise the question “What about the waste problem?”

Here it is natural to emphasize that the real waste problem is the emission of greenhouse gases, especially from coal, oil and natural gas, and therefore it is imperative to move to the use of nuclear power.

Despite persistent allegations, safe disposal of radioactive wastes is no problem.

KK affald SverigeThus, the Swedish plan for waste disposal was approved in 1979 as a condition for start of the last six reactors.
In view of the long storage time on the power plant and the move towards recycling instead of “final disposal”, the plan has obviously not been locked in final details.

The discussion regarding radioactive waste has slowly but surely been decoupled from the facts.
Therefore it can best be compared to false trade description when it still is described as “the waste problem”.
Unlike much other waste, the management of the small amount of waste from civilian nuclear power is treated 100% safe – both by recycling and final depositing.

isar2_reaktor
The spent fuel rods from the reactors are stored under water. The first three years on the power plant (6) within the two meter thick reactor containment (1).
Thereafter, at an intermediate storage for up to 30 years.
This is because one will wait with final disposal or reprocessing, until it has “cooled down”. (Atoms with relatively short ”half-life” will decompose into harmless atoms.) Opbevares under vand

It is not because you do not know what to do about these used fuel rods.

If a terrorist should try to take them out of the water and out of this temporary storage, he will soon die of acute radiation sickness.

However, this material still regarded as waste, is a valuable future  resource containing large amounts of useable fuel for use in the future. Thus the former “final depots” are now rebuilt to be “safe but accessible depots”.

In sharp contrast to waste management in connection with the civil use of nuclear energy, there has sometimes been quite a lot of careless treatment of waste at military installations.
It was widely done in the old Soviet Union but also took place in England (Sellafield) and in the United States.
Despite many (deliberate?) misunderstandings, this has obviously nothing to do with nuclear power for civilian use.

The half-life
A common misconception is that the longer the half-life of a radioactive material is, the more dangerous it is.
It is true that it will continue to radiate in much longer time.
But it also means that the radiation will be spread over a correspondingly long time.

Thus, it is fraud when, again and again, we hear talk of a substance that will be highly radioactive for a long time.
It will either be with a high level of radioactivity or it can be radioactive for a long time.
But not both.

For example, the common isotope of the element thorium has a half-life of 14 billion years.
This is about as long as the universe has existed since it started in the Big Bang, also about 14 billion years ago.
This effectively means that Thorium can not be considered as radioactive. It is even used for shielding against radiation.

Additionally, it may be mentioned that the much talked about plutonium isotope, that can be used in nuclear reactors and for nuclear weapons, has a half-life at 24,000 years, so that the radiation is spread over a very long period and therefore is not particularly dangerous right “now and here”.

In return, the radioactive iodine-131 has a short but hectic process and thus is a serious danger “here and now “, but not in the long term. Fortunately, early action with iodine tablets almost eliminates the risk.
In addition, thyroid cancer can be treated successfully.

How to measure the effects of ionizing radiation?

As our knowledge has developed, many different units for the strength of radiation have been used over time.

Naturally, this has given rise to many misconceptions.
As it can be expected, this is used skillfully by the so-called green organizations who seems to want to change everything related to radiation into a serious danger.

RADIATION UNITS

Sievert Sv is the now recognized unit for the biological effect of radiation .
1 Sv = 1 J / kg corrected for the biological effect.
MilliSivert mSv a thousandth sievert and is a more useful unit.
Although it is probably the same, 200 million pSv looks more dissuasive than 0.2 mSv.
Bananen unit

As a curiosity can be mentioned that one banana unit is the radiation load, a person recive by eating one banana.

A more illustrative unit would be “a cigarette unit”.
It would be the radiation which has the same detrimental effects as smoking a cigarette.

How much can you tolerate?

No one can with full security know how the human body is affected by small doses of ionizing radiation.
However, there is a fairly good knowledge of the harmful effects of large doses.

To be on the safe side, one supposes that “No matter how little it is harmful.” (LNT)

Although, by all accounts, it is unreasonably too much on the safe side, this assumption is used in the following as well as in almost all other calculating of damage from ionizing radiation.

When trying to assess biological effect of ionizing radiation, distinction must be made between evenly influence (long term exposure) and single impact influences (instant exposure).

Evenly impact: 
5 mSv per year is supposed to result in a 0.01% increased risk of cancer. This, of course, cannot be measured as the “natural” risk of an individual developing cancer is otherwise about 30%.
Limits of ionizing radiation on the German nuclear power plants have since 1988 been reduced from 22 mSv per year to 2 mSv per year.
Natural background radiation to which we are all exposed to throughout life, usually is 2 mSv per year.

Single impact:
It is normally expected that 10 mSv will cause a 0.2% increase in the risk of birth defects.
This is in addition to the “natural” risk of approximately 8%
3000 mSv will cause about 50% of the irradiated will die.

After the nuclear bomb attacks in Japan, we have seen reported many cases of “chronic radiation sickness.”
This lack, however, any reference to the medical reality.
On the other hand, very reliable sources report that persons exposed to radiation doses below 500 mSv had no shorter life than the general population.
(500 mSv as a single exposure will cause minor symptoms of acute radiation sickness, and is more than 100 times what is normally allowed.)
Individuals, who only just survived the acute radiation sickness, had an average live length 2.6 years less than the general population.

Apart from possible damage from burns and a very little increased risk of cancer, people exposed to excessive radiation, will either die or recover after some time.

Contrary to all expectations and many atrocity stories, there has never been found hereditary damage in children born of survivors.

Overview
A thorough assessment of existing experience is given by World Nuclar and UNSCEAR

Background Radiation

Natural Radiation EU No matter where you are, on or above ground, so everything and everyone is exposed to some background radiation.
Under normal conditions this radiation is around 2 mSv per year.
However, there are very large local variations.
Lowest background radiation is found near the equator and away from land.

Highest reported levels of natural radiation is found in the area around  Ramsar in Pakistan. In some places this radiation is 200 times more than the natural background radiation elsewhere.
This is far above what is allowed for workers at nuclear power plants.
However, there has been no reports of ill health or other adverse effects of the local people who have lived in the area for generations.
This has given rise to the term The Ramsar Paradox.

Other sites exhibit similar conditions and the still used assumption that
“No matter how little, then it is harmful” can of course be questioned as being too pessimistic, perhaps much too much on the safe side.

We even speak about Radiataion hormesis.
If available data are to be trusted, small amounts of radiation have a beneficial influence, almost like a vaccination against cancer.
This has naturally resulted in a lively debate for and against.

Taipai CancerAn attempt at a critical summary can be found  here.

Fear of radiation is certainly not unfounded.
But in most of the public debate, it is wildly exaggerated.

Alternative Energy

Først skal vi afvikle kulkraft What is Alternative Energy?
The only thing we can agree on, is that there must be an alternative to the current ruthless burning of coal.
Although nuclear energy is the natural alternative to the use of fossil fuels, it seems that the term “alternative energy” refers only to wind, solar and Also biofuels, geothermal, tidal and hydropower.
Also biofuels, geothermal, tidal and even energy from sea waves.
Sun and wind is often called “ever-lasting energy”.
However, this is a truth with major modifications.
The modern society can not function with an energy source, which is dependent on the whims of nature.
Sun and wind will require very large and extremely costly systems for storing energy or polluting and costly common power plants for the necessary back up.

With the, still small proportion of wind power in Denmark, we are in the fortunate position that – at least for the time being – we can get enough help from Norway and Sweden.
But if the sun and wind, as planned, should be the cornerstone of the Danish and especially in the German supply system, it would be totally outside the limits of possibility to find the necessary back up.

The term renewable energy is often used for both wind and solar power. However, we must note that the bitter truth is that it has not yet managed to find any form of energy that is more unstable than just wind power.

It is often said that we should “just” link the countries of Europe with a strong network of power lines.
BUT
As the North European wind is largely synchronized, this, together with so much else, will be both expensive and have almost no effect.

For countries with suitable natural conditions hydropower it is a good source of renewable energy.
Countries with controlled hydropower can even vary the production of electricity from these plants, thus compensating for fluctuations in consumption and other supplies. As for example, wind power.

Three Gorges Dam Turbine The large Three Gorges Dam in China has been subjected to much criticism.
The huge capacity (22 million kW, equivalent to 15 ordinary nuclear plants) pales yet in comparison to the total electricity demand in China.
At present, there is only limited criticism of an even larger project:
The Inga Dam
in Congo.

Biofuel and wooden chips sounds attractive; but will either be an expensive drop in the ocean or seize vast areas og land that would otherwise be farmed or forest.
This has already led to serious increases in prices for food.

Other energy sources can be provisionally disregarded.

It must not be forgotten that solar and geothermal energi might be a useful complement to other energy sources; but mostly for heating.

Fusion Energy

Fusionsenergi Many and very costly trials are carried out in the hope of exploiting Fusion energy. It is the energy driving the sun.
At best, it is very long way before it reaches a stage where it can satisfy both economy and highly praised security.

Normally it is forgotten, that with the apparent preferred process, the reactor after use will be highly radioactive.use will be highly radioactive.

Of course, the cost of these trials are often included when it is desired to show that nuclear power is prohibitively expensive.

It can be argued that, for Denmark, as well as for many other countries, the only realistic alternative energy is energy, based on nuclear .

Cost and public support

Apparently it is impossible to penetrate and obtain reliable information on the costs of energy sources.
Almost all players have apparently “forgotten” something.
The debate is loaded with claims about public support for the ”the others” while the same people do not tell that that they get indirect support, for example in the form of fixed prices for production.
Or as by the desire that all gasoline must contain at least 15% bioetanol.

Sweden has an enviable mix of hydro and nuclear power and consequently very low electricity prices.
France has about 70% coverage with nuclear power and corresponding low prices.

If you want to get through all the fog and simultaneously save society significant costs, it would be a viable option to introduce variable Spot prices on electricity.
Here, of course, both consumption and production.

In this way, the price of electricity from sun and wind will come to light and the current opaque and complicated system of subsidies will be assessed by known and honest conditions.
There is much talk about the benefits and has been written long and probably thorough papers on the subject.
But there has not been found in-depth proposals reached much further than a “See how good we are, see we are doing.”

It can hardly be concealed that in countries like Sweden and France, where nuclear power has been allowed to work in peace, are generating electricity for less than the half of what is paid for the Danish wind power.

Storing Energy

There are numerous proposals for “just doing this and that” to store electric energy from windy periods for use in later periods of calm, but still no method is only approximately economically acceptable.
gasvaerkrefoto2
It is possible to produce hydrogen when electricity is cheap, later to use it to create new electricity.
But no one has reported the cost, both for the plant and at a very low efficiency.
Security storing of hydrogen can be problematic.

What are we to do?

Most of us agree that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The disagreement starts when you have to figure out what to do.

As soon as the speech comes to nuclear power, one often encounters a wall of demands for more security.
Just as the man who, to be sure, use both belt and braces and even keeps his hands in his pockets but still ask for more security.

On the website of REO supporters of nuclear power highlights that
“No human has ever come to harm from Western nuclear power plants. Neither the operation of the works or storage of radioactive waste.”
And,
“After more than 15,000 operating years of western nuclear power plants there have been no harm to people.”

This can best be seen in connection with oil and coal kill millions of people each year, more than 2,000 in the coal mines and even more due to respectory desises.

In fairness it must be said that, so far as it is known, there has been reported cases of radiation sickness due to radon among workers in poorly ventilated uranium mines.
This must again be considered in conjunction with the eerie many deaths in the context of coal mines.

Drabsforsøg på politiOn websites from Greenpeace is found many reports of demonstrations against nuclear power.
Several of these can best be described as innocent, but strictly taken illegal childrens play.
Unfortunately mass demonstrations can degenerate, even to the attempted murder of police.

In addition, you find many dubious horror stories, which are often so vaguely formulated that it is difficult to point out  factual errors.
Besides an incorrect mixing of nuclear power and nuclear bombs, there has not been found factual information related to Western nuclear power plants and the reason for the much resistance.

Despite repeated announcements that Denmark should be “a CO2-free country by 2050”.
Neither Greenpeace nor others have given anything like a complete description of a possible future Danish energy system that satisfies the many declarations of intent.
There is a lack especially factual information on price and supply.

The organization REO, not having the same resources as others, have calculated that the plan for 2020 is possible but will be expencive.
Of course, anything is possible if one is willing to pay and this also applies to a Danish energy by 2050 without the use of fossil fuels and without nuclear power.

By posting on akraft.dk you can find a very in-depth overview of nuclear power development outside Denmark.
Also this website gives an assessment of the media’s sometimes very unilateral treatment of the subject.

On the internet are unfortunately many other sites that testify to a lack of understanding of the physical conditions, seasoned with skillful manipulation and quarter truths.

But you can not just keep saying no.
The global climate can hardly tolerate the continued emissions of greenhouse gases.

The damage caused by renouncing nuclear energy will in the long run, by far bypass the possible damage by a responsible use of nuclear energy.

Kaliningrad

Perhaps Denmark can benefit from ‘a small loophole’ that will hopefully satisfy the conflicting political and popular interests:

In the Russian enclave Kaliningrad construction is going on for new nuclear power plants for export of electricity.
It is far enough away, not to be ‘in our backyard’ but not further away than the energy can be transferred at a reasonable costs.
It is probably worth considering whether Denmark should get a share before it is too late.

Thorium

ThoriumApparently we missed another opportunity that will involve fewer, of the most imagined, risks that are seen in connection with reactors based on uranium.

During the development of the nuclear bomb, uranium was selected as the material because it was suitable for military use.
When they then began to plan for the peaceful use of nuclear power, it was obvious to continue where one already had some useful knowledge.
But so it has apparently been forgotten another better, cheaper and especially even safer, way to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

After a long break thorium is again come to light, and work intensively to clarify and resolve the many new challenges.

Countless articles in media and the internet give long explanations and highlights the huge benefits while there are few objections that most goes to the numerous and long-term studies that will be needed.
Of course, you also see the usual protests that testify inability or unwillingness to communicate the facts.
It is impossible to go into detail, but little more can be found at this link: Thorium.

There are huge reserves of Thorium in Greenland and in Norway and it is tempting to say that in Denmark we should go ahead, freeing ourselves of the collective anxiety neurosis, and become a pioneer of cheap and clean energy that does not depend on the unreliable wind and sun .

Thus, if we are able to think and act clearly, then electricity will later be so cheap that you can get closer to a fossil free enerisystem and, as in Sweden, using electricity for general heating, obviously using heat pumps.

If if if. Yes if:
So Denmark will be able to meet most of its goal to become a so-called CO2-free country.

If not, well then Denmark will, for a long time come, endure perhaps the world’s highest electricity costs, along with a nagging feeling guilty about our increasing emissions of CO2

  • Why do we use so much energy to search our own prejudices confirmed – and, if necessary, manipulate the reality when it occurs rebellious?
  • Why is factual information often greeted with a “they lie”?
  • Why are we still so afraid of a serious debate on nuclear energy?

Sincerely
Thorkil Søe

Postscript

The above blog has been presented Greenpeace with desire for feedback and / or fixing of bugs.
For reasons best known Greenpeace, there is no information about factual errors.

If you, my unknown reader should find such errors, I ask for help to correct.
If you would like more details or else I will of course try to help.
Write to thorkilsoee@gmail.com

If you would like to know more about the Danish development and settlement of the nuclear energy, I can recommend the following book:
Niels Bohr must be turning in his grave About the denial of nuclear power .
By Thomas Grønlund Nielsen. Price: 100 kr.
I will also mention that World Nuclear has a very extensive description of many of the aspects related to nuclear power.

In connection with the search on the net and elsewhere, I have been preoccupied with other very specific topics, related to the debate on nuclear energy:

  • About the taboo experience showing that moderate exposure to ionizing radiation causes a greatly reduced risk of developing cancer.
    See: http://wp.me/s1RKWc-386
  • On that, despite countless horror stories in the media, there has not been found any genetic defects in children born after their parents had been exposed to even very high doses of ionizing radiation.
    See: http://wp.me/p1RKWc-ea
  • About Radon, ‘Cigarette Unit’ and the myths that have emerged about the pollution of the ocean by the disaster at Fukushima.
    See: http://wp.me/p1RKWc-ec
  • Something like a Bull against Greenpeace, which has misled the world about the effects of ionizing radiation, has made use of fake “science” and not accepted challenges when their “information” has been wildly wrong.
    See: http://wp.me/p1RKWc-mu
  • A desperate attempt to assess the European energy situation.
    See: http://wp.me/p1RKWc-af
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