Archives for posts with tag: evacuations


J-value or Justification Value.


Often we are faced with the problem:

Shall or Shall Not

We have classic dilemma:
“The Fat Man and the Trolley”
or shall I kill one, in order to save five?

Recently it has been attempted to quantify this recurring dilemma using J-value.
For good and for bad it has been necessary to include the value of human life and human wellbeing.
From the link in the heading, I quote:

  • How much should a nuclear power plant spend on protecting its workers?
  • Is it cost-effective to install a new safety system for railway signaling?
  • Should the Government be spending more to prevent road deaths?

I will ask:

  • Do you take on a bullet-proof west before you go out to post a letter?

From my time in Africa I have tried to face the problem:

  • How to spend the limited funds available if you want to give
    (some of) the countless orphans a better future life?

In my opinion a lot of the discussions should be modified considering the philosophy related to J-value.
The following are a few examples.

Relocation measures following nuclear power plant accidents.

From the highlights to a very detailed net-paper,
I refer that
75 % of the evacuations at Chernobyl and ALL at Fukushima were not justified if the evacuations were evaluated considering J-value.

Or more specific:
You consider years lost from the (very limited) radioactive pollution, assuming the alternative “Just stay at home.”
This is then compared to the years lost as a consequence of the mandatory evacuations.

Personally I will claim that the many “evacuation-casualties” has been a result of the reckless fight to demonize nuclear.


From the above mentioned paper I quote:
It balances the costs of a safety scheme against the improvement in quality of life of those affected as a result of implementing that scheme.

Going back to the example with the run away trolley you have:
blaThe scheme: Shifting the
bla – direction of the trolley.
blaCosts: Killing one man.
blaImprovement: Saving five
bla – lives.
blaJustification Value: 5 saved compared to one killed.

Relationship between radiation and harm

Originally – and to be sure – it was assumed that “No matter how little, all radiation is harmful”. (LNT or Linear No Threshold)
Without finding it specified, I understand that this assumption has been used in the above mentioned paper.

However, there are strong evidence showing that even 1000 mSv per year is not harmful if it is evenly distributed, thus giving the human “repair mekanisme” time to do the job.

For obvious reasons there is an enormous confusion about radiation and the above mentioned 1000 mSv/year is 50 times the limit used at Fukushima where people were evacuated – mandatory? – if the radiation was more than 20 mSv/year.
If this is considered there will be even less justification for the many evacuations.

Value of human life

For good and for bad it has been necessary to discuss the value of human life.
It has been done in the above mentioned paper.

In order to set it in perspective, I refer from a lecturer given by a German visiting professor in Dar es Salaam.
He did not shy away from difficult explanations and I remember the following:

  • In the good old times a lot of Germans had at good holiday in the then peaceful Yugoslavia.
    -mm –Some came home in a cuffin.
    -mm –You know: Bad roads and bad drivers.
    But one year one man came home with only one leg because the other had been eaten by a shark.
    The following year the flow of tourists was halved.
    Of course, it soon came back to normal.

Sometimes we can not shy away from the classic “Trolley Dilemma” where it is discussed: trolley_problem
“Shall I divert the train and kill one in order to save five?”

Still it is relatively easy.
But it is also asked: You stand on a bridge
bla Will you push one man to death in order to save five?
bla And what will you do if this man is a friend of yours?
bla Jump yourself.
An Indian soldier saved his group.
He got the Victoria Cross Post mortem.

Noise from windmills

What is the value of human life and welfare compared to the wish for
so-called green electricity?
See part of the discussion on

Contaminated / Uninhabitable Areas

More than half of all people live in contaminated sites.
Most air pollution or contaminated drinking water.
Whatever, our choice is in fact based on J-value.

Cleanup at Hanford

During the war and later during the Cold War, plutonium was produced at the Hanford US plant.
As with almost all military activity, there was a poor safety culture.
And, as it is usually the case with “nuclear clean-up”, there have apparently been exaggerated demands.
Unfortunately, it has been difficult to find anything but alarming information.
Typically, the account of a tunnel that collapsed.
The cleanup will be both expensive and late.
From the daily newspaper Information: A bombs require US victims.

Despite much search, it has not been possible to find factual information:
(Persons Injury / Death – mSv / ?? or Bq / ?? )
If you, my unknown reader, have factual information, write to me at


In connection with a political struggle between the English Government and the coal miners, it was decided, in fact demanded, that the plant for Plutonium production should also provide power.
As we know, this urgent decision resulted in a very poor security culture and much pollution.

From the Danish paper Information, which usually is anti-nuclear:
bla The British nuclear plant Sellafield houses Western Europe’s most
bla harmful buildings with tons of unknown radioactive material
bla stored in pools.
bla The cleanup will cost the British taxpayers unimaginable sums and
bla will last decades.

As usual, one should try to assess the situation as it was at the time of the Cold War and the political conflict.
Was it justified? J-value

A supporter of nuclear power feels that it should be added that spent fuel elements from nuclear power, along with other highly radioactive material, will be stored in pools under water for up to 30 years.
Of course, because it’s safe and convenient.

Belgian nuclear power 2018

Following the public debate, it may be felt that the Cold War is replaced by a new war For or against nuclear power.
In 2018 it appears that 6 out of 7 Belgian reactors were taken out of service due to incipient damage at connecting buildings.
blaThese buildings contained the pumps to be used if everything else
blafailed. And the buildings might not withstand a crash by an airplane.
On Ingeniørens Netavis (Nov 2018), this is addressed with the almost mocking headline:
One [not closed] out of seven is actually pretty miserable.
At the end of over 125 submissions, an assessment was proposed based on J-value.
In any case, such an assessment would have shown that the closures could only be defended as “politically motivated” and driven by an inflated popular mood.
This attempt to reach the core was not well received.

German resistance to nuclear power

In Germany, there is a popular fear of everything with Atom.
Apparently this can be traced back to a study, allegedly showing that children who lived near nuclear power plants had more cases of leukemia and other forms of cancer.
Although the original study has been disputed, an analysis based on J-value would have been appropriate.

  • In a desperate (and fruitless) attempt to find a connection between the clearly contradictory information, I ask if this (very small) deviation can be explained by Neutrinos.

But again, I emphasize that this, like so much else, should be assessed using the J-value philosophy.

Military Considerations

Although the term J-value was not used at that time, it must have been an almost inhumane task, e.g. deciding whether the invasion of Normandy should be postponed due to bad weather forecasts.

Fra en lang og grundig norsk e-bog
Radon, lung cancer and the LNT model
(52 sider) refereres:
Meget mere: Se
– – LNT eller “Liniar No Treashold” angiver at
– – “Lige hvor lidt så er stråling altid skadeligt”
1. Radon in homes: It is evident from this long paper that we can forget about most of the remedial actions for reducing the average radon level. This would save a lot of money for those involved.
2. Nuclear power: In the fight for reducing the CO2 release to the atmosphere, nuclear power could be a considerable contributor to the worlds energy supply. The world energy consumption increases annually by approximately 2 %. Also the use of fossil fuel with CO2 release increases. A significant contribution to halt and even reduce the CO2 release would be to increase the contribution from nuclear energy. It is a surprise to us that environmental organizations that worry about global warming – are not pro nuclear.
3. Reactor accidents We have had two major breakdowns of nuclear reactors which both have been treated according to the LNT-theory. For both Chernobyl and Fukushima consequences have been calculated using collective doses and LNT. In Chernobyl a number of people were hospitalized with acute radiation syndrome and 28 died within 3 months. There has also been recorded thyroid cancer to children that was drinking contaminated milk (I-131). Altogether 11 deaths have been recorded. Whether these cancers have been caused by the Chernobyl accident is rather douptful since similar changes in the thyroid have been observed without radiation. Furthermore, the thyroid doses from I-131 after the Chernobyl accident have not been measured and they are very poorly determined. Cancer deaths in combination with the reactor accidents are based on LNT. No threshold and no hormetic region has been considered. However, the most significant and serious decision taken after the reactor accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima was to evacuate several hundred thousands of people. The decision was taken based on the LNT-theory and the use of collective doses. No attempts were made to compare the radiation level in the contaminated areas with the level found in the HBR (High Background Radiation) regions. If such a comparison had been made, the most negative of the reactor accidents could have been avoided.