Background for the following

In the media you will sometimes find the most fantastic claims related to radiation and accidents at nuclear facilities.

The origin of these claims will usually remain a secret, except for a few pages with reference to Greenpeace.

It is difficult to understand the reason for this systematic misinformation.
Probably it is a part of an ongoing fight against nuclear power, a fight, which it is difficult to understand without going into conspiracy theories.

However, whatever is the reason, this systematic misinformation has to be discussed and exposed.

This is the reason for the following where I have tried to collect some relevant information about a few of the repeated claims.

The SL1 accident (1961)

The SL1 accident refers to an United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor which underwent a steam explosion and meltdown killing its three operators.

Besides being military and experimental, it had very little similarities to the reactors we see today.
Most significant may be that it was loaded with highly enriched uranium (93 %) whereas the uranium used in commercial reactors today is enriched to less than 5 %.
Details about the design and the meltdown can be found here.
It is not difficult to see that this accident has very little relevance to civilian reactors today – now more than 50 years later.

Criticality

Accidents
There has been some accidents involving Criticality.
Typical may be the following:
At an experiment going wrong and turning into ”criticality” a chemist, Cecil Kelley died from a 200 microseconds blast of neutrons and gamma radiation.
Here it should be noted that such a blast will result in less damage than you will get by detonating an ordinary hand-grenate.
Also: Contrary to general (mis)information, it is impossible to get anything just near a nuclear explosion without a very complicated initiator.

“A reactor reaching Criticality”
To add to the confusion the same word “criticality” also has another meaning:
When a nuclear reactor starts operation, we say “It reaches criticality” when the nuclear proces has reached a certain (critical) point.

Chernobyl accident, compared to Hiroshima

Both Greenpeace and others have claimed that the accident at Chernobyl was 100 times worse than the nuclear bombing in Japan.

It is the reason for the following.

Physical damage
This two aerial photographs show the difference.
– – – – – – —Hiroshima– ——- – – – – – – – – – ——— –Chernobyl
Chernobyl atombombe Japan
Radioactivity
After the nuclear bombing at Hiroshima some 60,000 people died from radiation sickness.
It is besides the 200,000 who died almost instantly form the blast and the heat wave.

When the disaster stuck at Chernobyl, there was only 5 dead.
Later 26 more, most rescue workers, died from burns and radiation as well as 9 from thyroid cancer.

Future “Cancer Epidemi”
There has been repeated claims related to what can be called a future epidemi of cancer.
It is true that cancer from radiation, as well as form smoking and aspestos, will not be seen until some years after exposure.

HOWEVER:
Experience from the nuclear bombing in Japan show that persons exposed 500 mSv or below, did not have shorter life-expectation than the population as a whole.
AND:
Already in 2006 we could have seen a report from BBC, where it is reported that animals are thieving – with fewer cases of cancer than at other places. Radiation Hormesis?

THEREFORE:
Claims about countless future cases of cancer can easily be dismissed if you consider the following:
500 mSv as a single doze will result in slight symptoms of acute radiation poising and nobody, except rescue workers, were exposed to anything like this.
For more about radiation poisoning: See here.

The forbidden (contaminated) area
When discussing nuclear accidents it is often claimed that huge pieces of land, for decades will be off limit for all living.

HOWEVER
Dyr ved Tjernobyo
For years, Animals and plants have been thriving in the zone forbidden to humans.
May be it is not so dangerous at all.

Deformed children
It came as a surprise to everybody, that there has never been observed any kind of genetic damage to the descendants of persons who have been exposed to even very strong ionizing radiation.
Most surprisingly this also applies for children born to survivors after the nuclear bomb attacks on Japan.

However, for children exposed before birth there has been stillbirths and disfigurements.
This was seen after the nuclear bombing in Japan, but not at Chernobyl.

In this way I think it is fair to assume that the pictures shown on this link are based upon forgery.

A little more
More information about Chernobyl and the reasons for the accident can be found on another post.

Fukushima

Fukushima TsunamiOnce more, in connection with the Fukushima disaster, we are often presented with gross exaggeration.
If not direct lies.

It is easy to see that the damage at the nuclear plant was very little compared to the direct damage from the tsunami.

Fukushima Fier in the OILThe smoke, shown on the public media in many countries, originated from a burning oil-refinery and not from the nuclear power plant.

Here I take the liberty to quote the former Greenpeace activist George Monbiot, explaining that he was surprised by realising how little damage the tsunami caused to the nuclear plant:
Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear.

Unfortunately politicians have not been able to recognize the facts behind the claims.
Or probably they did not dare to come forward and tell the population that they have been misled by scare-mongers.
Instead of going into details I refer to what I have written on another post.

From research and military, to civilian use and misunderstandings

Nuclear Research, first First work related to nuclear energy was purely scientific research, hoping to unlock the secrets of nature.

The picture shows Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn, both German physicists, at their experiments.
Luckily they were able to leave Germany in time.
.
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Atombombe EksplodererDuring WW2 it was realized that nuclear energy holds an enormous military potential.

Later, during the Cold War, enormous arsenals of deadly weapons were stockpiled and luckily never brought to use.

Højspænding
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At the same time, it was realized that nuclear energy had an enormes potential for civilian use.

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Crew of PHYLLIS CORMACK. 1st Greenpeace trip to Amchitka Isl. to protest USA nuc. testing

HOWEVER

Soon the wish to avoid a Nuclear War developed into a fight against everything just including the word “Nuclear”.
.

For reasons not understood, Greenpeace abandoned logic and (mis)used their powerful propaganda machine to “explain” that:

“Nuclear power and military buildup is like Siamese Twins.”

Unfortunately this statement is so vague, that it gives raise to misunderstandings and misuse.

It is true, that nuclear power originally developed using experience already obtained from what was known from military research and that civilian nuclear somehow stood on the shoulders of military knowledge.

BUT

Military use of nuclear has never developed from knowledge or experience obtained from civilian research.

The waste “problem”

First I have to emphazise a few points:

  • Almost all “ordinary waste” – even dangerous chemicals – is ‘just’ dumped in landfills, whereas nuclear waste is handled very carefully.
  • Unfortunately, there has been some careless handling at military facilities.
    This happened during the Cold War and especially in the old Soviet.
    But in spite of (deliberate?) misunderstandings or direct lies, this has nothing to do with civilian use of nuclear.
  • The used nuclear fuel rods are stored under water.
    Three years inside the two meter thick containment (6).

isar2_reaktorOpbevares under vandThereafter, some 30 years in a temporary storage.
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Contrary to (deliberate?) misunderstanding, it is not because we do not know what to do.
We want to wait until the fuel-rods have “cooled down” before they are reprocessed for reuse or finally disposed of
.
HOWEVER
The used fuel rods will still contain some 95 % of the original energy and should be kept for future generations, who will have clean energy for thousands of years.

  • For this reason previous depots for “final disposal” are modified to be “safe temporary, but assessable storage”.
  • However, if a terrorist should try to take this fuel out of the water, he will soon die a not that glorious death from acute radiation poisoning.

My conclusion is clear:
The real waste-problem is the polluting gasses from the many coal fired plants.
Something we have to accept because we did not get enough nuclear in time.

On http://wp.me/p1RKWc-LC I have written a little more about how handling of nuclear waste has been misused in order to demonise nucler energy.

A lot more

So much obvious misleading or directly false “information” has been published in the media, and too many journalists, both in the printed and the electronic media have been misled to publish unjustified horror-stories.
The reason shall not be discussed here.
Instead I give some links to what I dare to say is proper information.

About nuclear power in general: Click here.
If you say: “What about Chernobyl?” You better click here.
If you say: “What about Fukushima?” You better click here.
If you are worried about the deformed children: See here.
And a little about radiation sickness: See here.
I even dare to say that Greenpeace has lost their credibility. See here.

Now I am sure you are tired.

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