Tuesday, 25 June 2013

"...rain or shine, 24 hours a day, a steady stream of power..."

Pandora's Promise - Should be over here for UK consumption soon.

Radiophobia and Health Effects
Straight from the 'Radiophobia' webpage of Wikipedia:
The term "radiophobia" is also sometimes used in the arguments against proponents of the conservative LNT concept (Linear no-threshold response model for ionizing radiation) of radiation security proposed by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) in 1949. The "no-threshold" position effectively assumes, from data extrapolated from the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that even negligible doses of radiation increase ones risk of cancer linearly as the exposure increases from a value of 0 up to high dose rates. 

This is a controversial model as the LNT model therefore 
suggests that radiation exposure from naturally 
occurring background radiation, the radiation exposure 
from flying at high altitudes in airplanes, the act of 
laying next to loved ones for extended periods - due to 
radioactive Potassium-40 naturally found in bones, and 
radioactive all increase ones chance of cancer.

Moreover, the lack of strong evidence supporting the LNT model, a model created from extrapolation from atomic bomb exposure, and not hard experimental evidence at low doses, has made the model controversial. As no irrefutable link between radiation induced negative health effects from low doses, in both human and other mammal exposure experiments, has been found.
On the contrary, many very low dose radiation exposure experiments find positive (hormetic) health effects at low doses of radiation, therefore the conservative LNT model when applied to low dose exposure remains controversial within the scientific community.[18]
After the Fukushima disaster, German state newspaper outlet Der Spiegel reported that Japanese residents are suffering from radiophobia.[19

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Remember when we used to have a car 10 years ago? Ah, those were the days.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Well they should know, shouldn't they?

From Page Number 17 - V Conclusion

"...our prediction of small further increases in world oil production comes at the expense of a near doubling, permanently, of real oil prices over the coming decade. This is uncharted territory for the world economy, which has never experienced such prices for more than a few months. Our current model of the effect of such prices on GDP is based on historical data, and indicates perceptible but small and transitory output effects. But we suspect that there must be a pain barrier, a level of oil prices above which the effects on GDP becomes nonlinear, convex. [in other words - GDP crashes]. We also suspect that the assumption that technology is independent of the availability of fossil fuels may be inappropriate, so that a lack of availability of oil may have aspects of a negative technology shock. In that case the macroeconomic effects of binding resource constraints [availability of resources - resilience of the environment] could be much larger, more persistent, and they would extend well beyond the oil sector. Studying these issues further will be a priority of our future research."

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA): "...some things have gone wrong..."

How are thing's going at the NDA? Today's News & Star  reports what the boss, John Clarke, has to tell us: Will the Americans continue to run Sellafield?

It's naughty taking things out of context, but the tenor of the piece can be gleaned from a few extracts:

"...its boss said that all options – including cancelling the remainder of the contract with Nuclear Management Partners – remained open..." 

"...real disappointments” with the way Sellafield has been run by the consortium..."

"...he expected “to be further along than we are” but insisted the past four and a half years were not a total waste of taxpayers’ money..."

"...the NDA was criticised by MPs for continuing to shower millions in fees on the American-led consortium that manages Sellafield Limited..."

""...“We have been disappointed by some lack of progress and some things that have gone wrong.”...""

"...Its biggest challenge is dealing with the UK’s legacy of nuclear waste, which experts say will cost an estimated £67.5 billion to deal with..."

"...The consortium – .... – last year earned £54m in performance-related fees, but some of their profits will go to settle a £700,000 fine..."

"...Sellafield Ltd admitted breaching health and safety law.... Sellafield Ltd must also pay £72,635 in costs..." 

Under "Have your say" I did offer the following comment, but I think the News& Star will probably not print it They did print it:

Just do one thing right, Mr Clarke - make the no-brainer decision to accept GE Hitachi's ZERO-COST offer to use one of their PRISM reactors to burn our plutonium stockpile.

It's costing us poor tax-payers £80 million a year to store and protect this stuff. GE Hitachi offer payments by results - if they don't succeed in burning the plutonium, we don't pay anything! Stop messing about and get the decision made!

There's a gold star in it for you, from Mr Davey. Once into the process, this reactor renders the plutonium useless as a bomb making material and continues to generate enough electricity, from the fuel created, for 750,000 people for 50 or 60 years - emission-free!

On it's own it's a decent contribution to Mr Davey's carbon targets. A fleet of them, configured as breeder reactors could burn our legacy waste as fuel - as your legacy waste problems reduce, we get clean, cheap electricity.