Government has decided to build a power plant nextdoor

  • Thread starter enigma
  • Start date
  • #1
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Here's an interresting poll for you all.

The government has decided to build a power plant nextdoor. You have no way to convince them to put it elsewhere (just assume you drew the short straw). You also don't have the means to move away for at least 10 years.

They do give you the choice what type of power plant they build, however.

Your options are a coal burning plant or a nuclear plant.

Which one would you pick?

This question came up in one of my classes when discussing probabilities. The entire class (all engineers) had the same answer. I'm curious to find what a broader range of people would pick.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Consumers Poll On Energy [Broken]

Sunday Herald - 13 July 2003
Energy bills to give pollution details
EU plan that electricity companies must disclose source of power is set to increase nuclear industry's woes
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor


The pollution caused by the power you buy for your home is going to be put on your electricity bill -- and this could spell more problems for the ailing nuclear industry.
Under the terms of a new European directive, bills will have to include whether electricity is generated by nuclear energy, coal, gas or renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind and waves. They will also have to indicate how much long-lived radioactive waste and how much climate-wrecking carbon dioxide has been created by providing the power.

But according to a major survey of public opinion across Europe, this will hit nuclear suppliers worse than other power companies. Two thirds of those questioned said they would be unlikely to buy nuclear electricity, while four fifths said they would be likely to buy renewable power.

'Consumers are saying to us that they would rather not have nuclear power,' said Dr Brenda Boardman from Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, which helped carry out the survey for the European Union.

'They rate nuclear power as a greater problem than climate change. For the government, that is a problem. A programme to promote nuclear power could well be unpopular with voters.'

The European parliament and the Council of Ministers agreed last month to a new directive governing the disclosure of information within the electricity market. It says that electricity suppliers must specify with each bill the contribution of different energy sources in the last year.

There must also be a reference to information on 'the environmental impact, in terms of, at least, emissions of carbon dioxide and the radioactive waste resulting from the electricity produced by the overall fuel mix of the supplier over the preceding year'.

The UK government now has to pass legislation by July 2004, introducing a scheme for UK consumers soon after that. The format in which the information will have to appear is still being worked out.

Boardman and her colleagues in Oxford, however, are proposing that a glossy leaflet should be included with every bill, with detailed information on radioactive waste and carbon pollution.

They have suggested a system of colour indicators like those used for the energy efficiency of consumer appliances like washing machines and fridges. Big red arrows would mean that power companies produce a lot of radioactive waste or carbon dioxide (see graphic).

'Consumers are very interested in the environmental impact of their energy and I think they would like to be fully informed,' said Boardman . 'If the leaflet is visually powerful, it could have a substantial effect over time.'

Along with five other agencies from throughout Europe, Boardman's Oxford institute has been investigating consumer choice, electricity and pollution for the European Union. They interviewed over 2000 members of the public from 10 countries, including the UK, as well as 1000 small and medium-sized businesses.

Those questioned showed an overwhelming preference for renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind and wave because they are much cleaner than the alternatives. Next they preferred gas, then coal, leaving nuclear power as the least-liked energy source.

Among consumers, 43% said they were 'extremely unlikely' to buy nuclear electricity and 24% said they were 'unlikely' to do so. In contrast, 47% said they were extremely likely to buy renewable electricity and 33% said they were likely to do so.

Only 26% said they were 'extremely unlikely' to buy electricity generated by burning coal, which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, a major cause of climate change. For gas-fired electricity, the figure was 12%.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
I would choose the nuclear plant.

Satistics show that health effects near coal plants are significantly greater in terms of respriatory issues. This is a sure thing versus a very improbable nuclear accident with actual major radioactive leak. Comparing these two probabilities, I would have to go nuclear.
  • #4
Nuclear Power Health Impact

1.3 BILLION People Killed, Maimed, Sickened
By Atmpospheric Testing & Nuke Plants
The following is from the November 1999 "The Ecologist" Volume 29, No. 7 from pages 408 to 411.

Copies can be obtained in the USA at: Phone:510-548-2032, Fax:510-548-4916

Main Office in UK: Phone:0171-351-3578, Fax:0171-351-3617 E-mail:

"VICTIMS OF THE NUCLEAR AGE" Up to 1,300 million people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear
power since it's inception. The industry's figures massively underestimate the real cost of nuclear power, in an
attempt to hide its victims from the world. Here, the author calculates the real number of victims of the nuclear age.

By Dr. Rosalie Bertell

On the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, I was standing at a public meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, listening to the
story of one of the firemen employed to clean up the site after the explosion. These workers took huge doses of radiation
during this task, and their story is a terrifying one.About 600,000 men were conscripted as Chernobyl 'liquidators' [also
called bio-robots']: farmers, factory workers,miners, and soldiers- as well as professionals like the firemen- from all
across Russia. Some of these men lifted pieces of radioactive metal with their bare hands. They had to fight more than 300
fires created by the chunks of burning material spewed off by the inferno. They buried trucks, fire engines, cars and all
sorts of personal belongings. They felled a forest and completely buried it, removed topsoil, bulldozed houses and filled
all available clay-lined trenches with radioactive debris. The minimum conscription time was 180 days, but many stayed for a
year. Some were threatened with severe punishment to their families if they failed to stay and do their duty.

These 'liquidators' are now discarded and forgotten, many vainly trying to establish that the ill health most have
suffered ever since 1986 is a result of their massive exposure to radiation. At the Centre for Radiation Research outside
Kiev, there is an organization of former liquidators. This group reports that by 1995, 13,000 of their members had died-
almost 20 percent of which deaths were suicides. About 70,000 members were estimated to be permanently disabled. But the
members of this organization are the lucky ones. Because many former liquidators are now scattered throughout Russia, they
neither have the benefit of the organization's special hospital, nor of membership of a survivor organization. They are
known as the 'living dead.'

The fireman whose story I was listening to seemed to be an exception to this grim litany of illness and death. He was telling
the meeting how pleased and excited he was that, for the first time in ten years, his blood test findings were in the normal
range. I was standing next to a delegate from the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]- the organisation
charged with promoting the use of atomic energy. On hearing the fireman's story, he leaned over to me and said:
"You see! We said these were only transient disorders." A rough translation might read: Chernobyl? What's the problem?


The IAEA man's attitude was perfectly in keeping with that of his organization which, along with the International
Commission on Radiation Protection [ICRP] exists in practice largely to play down the effects of radiation on human health,
and to shield the nuclear industry from compensation claims from the public. The IAEA was set up in the late 1950s by he UN,
to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy- ironically, two contradictory
objectives. The ICRP which evlved from the 1928 International Committee on X-Ray and Radium Protection, was set up in
the fifties to explore the health effects of radiation and [theoretically] to protect the public from it. In fact, both
organizations have come to serve the industry rather than the public.

The Chernobyl case is a classic example of the IAEA's inadequacy and questionable science. Despite massive evidence to
the contrary, not least from the many thousands of victims themselves, the IAEA insists that only 32 people have so far died
as a result of Chernobyl- those who died in the radiation ward of Hospital six in Moscow.All other deaths related to the
disaster and its aftermath [and there have been many more than 10,000 in Ukraine alone according to the Minister of Health
there] are ignored. Belarus had the highest fallout, and yet there is an international blackout among the IAEA and the rest
of the "radiation protection community" on the suffering of its people

The essential problem is that both the IAEA and the ICRP are dealing not with science but with politics and
administration; not with public health but with maintaining an increasingly dubious industry. It is their interests, and
those of the nuclear industry, to play down the health effects of radiation.


The main way in which the "radiation protection industry" has succeeded in hugely underrating the ill-health caused by
nuclear power is by insisting on a group of extremely restrictive definitions as to what qualifies as a radiation-caused
illness statistic. For example, under IAEA's criteria:

If a radiation-caused cancer is not fatal, it is not counted in the IAEA's figures
If a cancer is initiated by another carcenogen, but accelerated or promoted by exposure to radiation, it is not counted.

If an auto-immune disease or any non-cancer is caused by radiation, it is not counted.

Radiation-damaged embryos or foetuses which result in miscarriage or stillbirth do not count

A congenitally blind, deaf or malformed child whose illnesses are are radiation-related are not included in the figures
because this is not genetic damage, but rather is teratogenic, and will not be passed on later to the child's offspring.

Causing the genetic predisposition to breast cancer or heart disease does not count since it is not a "serious genetic
disease" in the Mendelian sense.

Even if radiation causes a fatal cancer or serious genetic disease in a live born infant, it is discounted if the estimated
radiation dose is below 100 mSv [mSv= millisievert,a measurement of radiation exposure. One hundred millsievert is the
equivalent in radiation of about 100 X-Rays].

Even if radiation causes a lung cancer, it does not count if the person smokes- in fact whenever there is a possibility of
another cause, radiation cannot be blamed.

If all else fails, it is possible to claim that radiation below some designated dose does not cause cancer, and then
average over the whole body the radiation dose which has actually been received by one part of the body or even organ, as
for instance when radio-iodine concentrates in the thyroid. This arbitrary dilution of the dose will ensure that the 100 mSv
cut-off point is nowhere near reached. It is a technique used to dismiss the sickness of Gulf War veterans who inhaled small
particles of ceramic uranium which stayed in their lungs for more than two years, and in their bodies for more than eight
years, irradiating and damaging cells in a particular part of the body.


Despite the authorities' attempt at concealment, we can still begin to enumerate the real victims of the nuclear age.
Although the calculations and statistics which I have brought to bear below do not include all of the human suffering that
has been caused by the nuclear age, a closer look will show that the methodology is adequate for a first estimate of major
damage. The magnitude of the harm already caused is startling, and even more so when we realise many types of damage
have been omitted from this first estimate.

In my estimate cancer, whether fatal or non-fatal [excluding non-fatal skin cancer], genetic damage and serious
congenital malformations and diseases will be included in the figures. Other damage is acknowledged but not estimated.
Ultimately, whether or not one cares about the damage caused by radiation exposure is ultimately a human, not a
scientific question. Damage is damage, and causing an unwanted attack on someone's person or reproductive capacity is a
violation of human rights. Such damage can be rated for importance, but it should not be arbitrarily ignored.

"Statistics are the people with the tears wiped away" stated one of the Rongelap people of the Republic of the Marshall
Islands, who 'hosted' the United States Bikini nuclear testing in the 1950s. This is the story of many tears, and of a hard
hearted mindset that laid down the degree of suffering and ill-health that would be the 'acceptable' price to pay for the
world 'benefitting' from nuclear technology.

Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5
Science Advisor
VICTIMS OF THE NUCLEAR AGE" Up to 1,300 million people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear
power since it's inception.

This is moronic nonsense. Only about 7.6 billion people have lived some part of their lives during the nuclear age. This author is claiming that 17% of all people who have lived at any time in the last 60 years have been killed or maimed by nuclear power. Considering that this is more than one person in six, you'd think that maybe I would have met one... or met somebody who knew one. This person does not have the mathematical competance to be a bookkeeper.

  • #6
Nukes Genetic Damage


Look into these deformed babies eyes and tell THEM nuclear power
produces no Co2 ! They are likely long dead by now! There is not
enough money in the universe to pay for the multi-generational sickness
nuclear power has and will cause.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
Science Advisor
That is no arguement to what I posted. I was pointing out the utter absurdity of the author who claims 1.3 billion killed or maimed by nuclear power. The complete idiocy of this claim, which anyone with average math skills and a statistical reference covering population can easily disprove in a manner of minutes, shows that the author is so pathetic that all of her claims should be rejected out of hand.

Yes, nuclear power is hazardous. Yes it can cause long term damage to the population. The same is true for any feasible method for generating useful amounts of energy. Would you prefer widespread cases of pneumoconiosis from using coal? Or the widespread dissemination of mutagens from burning oil? Those are also transgenerational. How about damming every single natural waterway on the face of the planet? Oh what a wonderful world. If you want the lights to go one, you have to pick your poison. It may be that nuclear power is less safe than other forms of power generation, or it may be safer, but pictures of malformed children are no arguement.

By the way, less than 1% of the manmade ionizing radiation to which humans are exposed is from nuclear power generation. The vast majority is from the wastes of weapons manufacture and the medical industry.

  • #8
Dr. Bertell New Book


Sorry...... your whinning proves nothing! Dr. Bertell who is a Gray nun and
esteemed winner of the Wright Lively award, testifies at the UN on her
research. Here is a new book of hers. [Broken]
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #9
Science Advisor
Well, my apologies. Nothing said at the UN could possibly be a load of garbage now, could it?

Her claims are patently absurd. Saying that more than 1/6 of the people on Earth since 1943 have been maimed or killed by nuclear power is idiocy. Saying it to the UN doesn't make it true. Being a nun or having a PhD does not make it true. Writing it in a book does not make it true.

  • #10
Science Advisor
Greetings !

Well it's widespread, as far as I know, knowledge that nuclear power
is the safest and also least polluting - when the waste is properly handled
power source when compared with fossil fuels. Of course, in some countries
low safety and professionalism as well as overuse and low funding can
make nuclear power dangerous and polluting but ussually not considrably
more than the various fossil fuel power plants.

Live long and prosper.
  • #11
Yucca Mt. 60 Minutes Segment


But trust is a rare commodity in Nevada when it comes to the federal government. Many people, like Greenspun, still think of themselves as nuclear guinea pigs. He remembers watching atomic bomb tests with his father back in the 1950s.

“He would take us up to the top of Mount Charleston when we were little kids, so that we could watch the blasts. You could see the mushroom cloud go off. And we thought that was the neatest thing in the whole world,” recalls Greenspun.

“And then, minutes later, this pink cloud would come over and we would get sprinkled with dust. No one ever thought anything of it. Thirty-forty years later, we are the thyroid cancer capital of the world.”

This is a fact that has not escaped the notice of Mayor Goodman, who keeps a copy of a 1957 handbook on those nuclear tests put out by the Atomic Energy Commission.

“They say that fallout of this contaminant, this radiation, this deadly material, can be inconvenient. That's the way they expressed it,” says Goodman. “So I'm not going to help the federal government lie to us again. Nope, not, not during my administration.”

The state of Nevada is currently engaged in five lawsuits with the federal government, all intended to stop the Yucca Mountain project through the federal court system. The facility must still obtain an operating license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a process that is expected to take three years. In the meantime, nuclear waste continues to pile up at the nation's nuclear power plants.
Viable alternative to burial of nuclear waste:

  • #12
Roy Process -- I ask you again, why do you personally support the Linear-No Threshold Hypothesis for radiation exposure?

This is important because it is the underlying assumption that MUST be made to justify even a fraction of the harms you present. All that I'm asking is that you justify your assumptions.
  • #13


On a Larry King TV talk show, the late Carl Sagan gave probably his last interview.
One issue he discussed was the objection to using plutonium batteries to power
space probes. Carl said plutonium was only dangerous in powdered form (like it
would be if the rocket exploded) ...but then Carl said "but you could eat chunks of
plutonium...without harm". I asked one of Dr. Roy's doctorate students who was
visiting if Carl Sagan's statement was true. He grinned and shook his head, NO.
Then I asked Dr. Roy...he said "NO WAY". From that time I have learned that the
political realities of science is toward expedient pragmatism...not prudent, do no
harm, science.

Eminent nuclear chemist and cardiologist Dr. John Gofman
wrote the following letter, May 11, 1999:



To Whom It May Concern,

During 1942, I led "The Plutonium Group" at the University of California, Berkeley, which managed to isolate the first milligram of plutonium from irradiated uranium. [Plutonium-239 had previously been discovered by Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan]. During subsequent decades, I have studied the biological effects of ionizing radiation---- including the alpha particles emitted by the decay of plutonium.

By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell's genetic molecules [Gofman 1990: "Radiation Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure"]. For alpha particles, the logic of no safe dose was confirmed experimentally in 1997 by Tom K. Hei and co-workers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [USA] Vol. 94, pp. 3765-3770, April 1997, "Mutagenic Effects of A Single and an Exact Number of Alpha Particles in Mammilian Cells."]

It follows from such evidence that citizens worldwide have a strong biological basis for opposing activities which produce an appreciable risk of exposing humans and others to plutonium and other radioactive pollution at any level. The fact that humans cannot escape exposure to ionizing radiation from various natural sources ---which may well account for a large share of humanity's inherited afflictions- is no reason to let human activities INCREASE exposure to ionizing radiation. The fact that ionizing radiation is a mutagen was first demonstrated in 1927 by Herman Joseph Muller, and subsequent evidence has shown it to be a mutagen of unique potency. Mutation is the basis not only for inherited afflictions, but also for cancer.

Very truly yours,

John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph D
Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology


United States: 215 atmospheric tests + 815 underground tests = 1,030
USSR: 219 atmospheric tests + 496 underground tests = 715
UK: 21 atmospheric tests + 24 underground tests = 45
France: 50 atmospheric tests + 160 underground tests = 210
China: 23 atmospheric tests + 22 underground tests = 45

The grand total of global atmospheric tests = 528

Source: Page 52, "Atomic Audit, the Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear
Weapons Since 1940," Stephen Schwartz, Editor, Brookings Institution Press,
Washington D.C., 1998.


Plutonium Fallout

Hardy, E.P., Krey, P.W. and Volchok, H.L. (February 16, 1973). Global
inventory and distribution of fallout plutonium. Nature. 241. pg. 444-445.

The following letter is one of the most important ever published in the
British journal Nature, providing baseline data about the dispersal of
weapons testing-derived fallout plutonium as well as plutonium isotopes
derived from the 1964 satellite accident. Hardy, et. al. used the
reporting unit of mCi/km2. This can be converted directly to the more
understandable (for the layperson) reporting unit of pCi/m2. Few areas
in the northern hemisphere contain less than 1 pCi/m2 of fallout 239Pu,
1/2 T 24,240 years. Even though this fallout is stratospheric rather
than tropospheric, the higher values in soils are correlated to some
extent with locations having the greatest annual precipitation, as well
as mid-latitude locations. One to four pCi/m2 of fallout 239Pu is the
minimum baseline level of plutonium contamination in the northern
hemisphere. More recent research identifies numerous areas with much
higher levels of plutonium in soils, see especially the data collected
pertaining to the Rocky Flats facility in Colorado.

Below is a scan of page 444 followed by a more readable enlargement of
the table. See RAD 8:5 Anthropogenic radioactivity: Baseline data:
Plutonium and Americium for more comments on this article and other
information on plutonium fallout. For more information on this
satellite accident, consult RAD 11:9 Anthropogenic radioactivity: Major
plume source points: Nuclear Powered Satellite Accidents.

New Book by Dr. Rosalie Bertell: [Broken]
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #14
So you believe because a few people with PhDs told you so. I can find plenty of people with PhDs in the medical field who studied radiation extensively and reached the opposite conclusion. I know many of them personally. So why do your few articles invalidate them? They are just as qualified to speak about this.

Explain to me, why is Carl Sagan wrong about eating Plutonium? The alpha particles emitted do not have enough energy to damage the digestive tract. Look it up on any table of decay energies and compare it to well researched studies on the effects of radiation on body tissues. Don't take my word for it, do it yourself.

Of course you will not take up my challenge and remain unwilling to pick up an elementary nuclear & health phyiscs textbook and will just take the words of others. Your answer to my question of why you support LNT is because somebody you respect told you to. There are many people that I respect that support LNT and they have some reasons. My personal studies have led me to disagree with them, but I have actually researched this topic myself to reach my conclusions rather than just taking the conclusions of others who as well intentioned as may be may have flawed methodologies.

I am convinced that nothing could ever convince you that anything that Dr. Roy may have claimed could have been incorrect.
  • #15
Radiation and Public Health


And I'm sure you will never admit that ionizing radiation threatens human health.

Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
EPA Sells Out

For Immediate Release: Nov. 18, 2003
Contact: David Ritter (202) 454-5176; Erica Hartman (202) 454-5174

Government Opens Door for Nuclear Waste Dumping in Community Landfills

"Non-Regulatory Approach" to Radioactive Waste Handling Would
Jeopardize Communities with Further, Widespread Contamination

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today's Federal Register announcement of a possible
rulemaking by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raises the
prospect that the government's primary environmental guardian is willing
to compromise its mission in order to support and promote the nuclear
power and weapons industries, Public Citizen said, and would therefore
pose serious dangers to public health and the environment. The notice
specifically addresses "simplified," "non-regulatory approaches" to the
management of some types of nuclear waste that could include
incineration and dumping in facilities not specifically licensed to
handle radioactive materials, including municipal landfills.

The notice was developed with significant cooperation and coordination
from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) over 18 months and,
apparently, with some input from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Currently, the NRC and DOE are the two primary federal proponents of
policies that allow certain radioactive wastes to be released from
regulatory control and dumped into fully unregulated, unrestricted
environments, including recycling streams that produce everyday consumer
products such as bicycles, bed springs and frying pans.

In proposing its own rule and requesting public comment, the EPA is now
giving its approval to the idea that the deregulation and subsequent
widespread dispersal of many nuclear wastes is worthy of consideration.

"The public should be warned that the EPA appears to be captured by yet
another polluting industry that it should be strictly regulating," said
Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and
Environment Program. "By seeking to lighten the so-called 'regulatory
burden' on industries that produce massive quantities of nuclear waste,
and by proposing that radiation should become an acceptable pollutant,
the EPA is making clear that we can't count on them to do their job and
protect the public."

It is significant that the EPA is considering a rulemaking on the issue
of nuclear waste dumping in conjunction with the NRC. The current NRC
efforts are essentially a repackaging of their earlier attempt,
developed in the 1980s under pressure from the nuclear industry, to
allow the release of radioactive waste. Radioactively-contaminated
waste materials given the deceptively innocuous description of being
"below regulatory concern" (BRC) were to be labeled as safe, and
eligible for unrestricted release from nuclear facilities, where they
could be incinerated, reused, dumped or recycled. After a massive
outcry from environmental, consumer, labor and citizen groups, Congress
banned the BRC policy in 1992.

The NRC is presently conducting a rulemaking on the issue, and their
current policy permits all types of radioactively-contaminated materials
to be released or recycled without restrictions on a "case-by-case"
basis. Should the NRC standardize the policy via their rulemaking, the
floodgates would be opened for the public to be exposed -- without their
knowledge or consent -- to radiation from a wide variety of sources,
including refuse from nuclear reactors.

"What makes the EPA think that the public would now approve of having
nuclear waste dumped in their communities' landfills -- most of which
leak like a sieve -- or recycled into their kitchen utensils?" asked
David Ritter, a policy analyst with Public Citizen's Critical Mass
Energy and Environment Program. "The EPA should study the public
response to BRC, and the 1992 legislation which banned it. That might
give them a hint of what people think of this awful idea."

Already, many existing landfills are contaminated with radiation,
despite lacking the design or safeguards to isolate and contain the
radiation. A report earlier this year indicated that many California
landfills have measurable radioactive contamination, some of which is
leaking into groundwater and exceeding limits in safe drinking water

"The policy EPA is considering here is akin to buying bigger pants to
solve a weight problem, and the more disposal 'alternatives' the nuclear
industry is given, the more waste they will produce," said Ritter.
"Public health and the environment are being jeopardized to save nuclear
waste generators big bucks. To use the EPA's term, 'non-regulatory'
management is no regulation at all."

The EPA will be accepting comments through March 17, 2004. Public
Citizen will be submitting comments soon, and will post them at [Broken] .


Subscribe/Unsubscribe Here:
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #17
Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Truffle

19 November 2003

Chernobyl fallout still contaminating food chain

The effects of the world`s worst nuclear accident in Chernobyl, Ukraine, are still being felt in Switzerland 17 years after the event.

Scientists have discovered a high concentration of radioactive caesium in wild boar, which are increasingly ending up on Swiss tables.

The Federal Health Office has announced that tests carried out across the country last year discovered traces of radioactive Caesium 137 released during the 1986 Chernobyl reactor disaster.

The highest levels were found in the southern canton of Ticino and eastern Switzerland.

"It is astonishing that the caesium concentration is pretty much at the same level as it was after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986," said Hansruedi Volkle of the health office.

The tests were ordered after the Ticino health authorities came across a wild boar with a level of caesium five times the accepted limit of 1,250 Becquerel (bq - the unit of radioactivity) per kilogramme during routine checks of meat.

Radioactive truffles
Suspecting that the high level of radioactivity was coming from the truffles the boar ate, scientists of the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research tested 20 specimens of the fungus across Switzerland.

Although the truffle in question - the deer truffle - is inedible for humans, boars eat it in large quantities. And in Switzerland boar meat is growing in popularity, meaning the radioactive caesium can be passed to humans.

But Volkle says that caesium is not normally retained by the human body.

"In humans caesium deposits in the muscles, but adults normally get rid of half of it within two to three months."

Volkle thinks that the fact that Switzerland saw a lot of rain in the days following the disaster in Ukraine made it easier for the isotope to spread than elsewhere.

"Because of the precipitation the caesium ended up in the food chain," he explained.

The tests showed that the concentration of the isotope is much lower in western Switzerland than in Ticino or eastern Switzerland.

In Malvaglia in canton Ticino, scientists found that one kilogramme of dried truffle contained 15,700bq compared with 2,800bq in Beatenberg in central Switzerland or 3,400bq in Montagny in canton Fribourg.

But Volkle says recent tests have proved that the caesium concentration in edible mushrooms is slowly decreasing.

Deep rooted
During their testing scientists also established that the absorption of caesium depended on the depth of the ground.

"Truffles are able to absorb vast amounts of caesium," said mushroom expert Simon Egli.

Truffles grow on the top layer of the forest soil and the fact that their roots go down about ten centimetres makes it easier for them to absorb the isotope.

"Caesium levels in deer are normally much lower than in wild boar as stags and deer do not consume as many truffles as the boar and do not dig so deep," Hansruedi Volkle said.

The wild boar population has increased significantly in recent years with 6,000 animals killed last year compared with around 4,700 in 2001. Last year Switzerland imported 150 tonnes of boar meat from Australia, Italy and Austria.

From Russian web site:
Food still radioactive fom Chernobyl:

Nuclear Digest:

MOX Recycling vs. Transmutation:
The Roy Process -
Last edited:
  • #18
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
How about cosmic rays?

Originally posted by theroyprocess

And I'm sure you will never admit that ionizing radiation threatens human health.

I'm sure many readers of this post of yours have been sorely tempted to say "And I'm sure you, Roy Process, will never admit that natural background radiation, including cosmic rays, threatens human health". As I wrote in reply to another of your posts in a different thread, it is difficult to take your forcefully presented claims seriously because your position seems to be wildly inconsistent. On the one hand, you rail against increases in exposure to ionizing radiation due to the use of DU in weapons, accidents (etc) in nuclear power plants, and fallout from nuclear weapons; on the other you completely ignore preventable exposure to naturally occuring ionizing radiation. What makes your claims particularly difficult to take seriously is the fact that the man-made exposures (with some notable exceptions) are completely trivial compared to the natural background. Many folk have asked you simple, direct questions which should be fairly straight-forward to answer; as far as I can see, your responses have largely ignored the questions.

Again, I'm curious, why did you expect that your posts to PF would not attract questions about the scientific basis of your claims?
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #19

Originally posted by theroyprocess

And I'm sure you will never admit that ionizing radiation threatens human health.
To expand on what Nereid said and to be perfectly clear: Ionizing radiation DOES threaten human health. So I ask again: are you terrified of the sun?
  • #20
From Russia With Love

Moscow, November 26, 2003

Action days aimed at raising awareness of the
import of nuclear waste on the
eve of Russia's parliamentary elections

On November 25 and 26 environmental activists in
30 cities across Russia are
staging protests against the import of nuclear
waste. Actions also focused
on informing voters about parliamentarians'
positions on the nuclear waste
import issue. So far about 2,000 of people
participated. Voronezh is the
only city where environmentalists got in conflict
with local police, 2
activists arrested.

Action-days have been initiated by Ecodefense,
Russia's national
anti-nuclear group, campaigning against the
importing of nuclear waste to
Russia since 1998. Groups in Moscow,
Sankt-Petersburg, Ekaterinburg,
Murmansk, Chelyabinsk, Voronezh, Vladimir, Nizhny
Novgorod, Rostov, Ryazan',
Stavropol and many more cities joined protest.

Opinion polls conducted yesterday by environmental
activists in several
cities including Kaliningrad, the only Russian
city on the coast of Baltic
Sea, where local port may be used for nuclear
waste transportation. Nearly
82% of the respondents said they opposed nuclear
waste import, about 63%
said they will vote against members of the State
Duma (parliament) who
supports nuclear waste import and runs for new
election period. Another
opinion poll conducted in Novosibirsk, city in
central Siberia, showed the
same results.

In 2001, the Russian Parliament approved
legislation allowing the nuclear
industry to import high-level radioactive waste
(spent nuclear fuel). At the
same time, nearly 82-94% of citizens demonstrated
their opposition to new
legislation, holding hundreds of actions all
across the country. The
parliament ignored mass public opinion. On the eve
of new parliamentary
elections (December 7) over 50 environmental
groups are campaigning to
inform citizens on the position of members of
parliament on various
environmental issues. Nuclear waste is the
priority issue. The campaign is
targeted at building of strong civil society by
forcing parliamentarians to
be more responsible.

The Russian nuclear industry has announced it will
import over 20,000 tonnes
of nuclear waste from across the world for
long-term storage in the hope of
earning nearly $20 billion for new reactor
construction and spent fuel
reprocessing. At the same time, for the past
several years the nuclear
industry has been under strong public pressure,
and cannot find new
customers for its spent fuel services.

According to new report "Import of spent nuclear
fuel in 2001-2003",
released this week by Ecodefense, nuclear industry
imported less than 300
ton of spent nuclear fuel and earned about $100
million since legislation
allowing nuclear waste import was approved by
Russian authorities. This is
40 times less than Ministry of atomic power
(Minatom) predicted in 2001.

"The new elections are coming, and we have to
remind voters which Duma
members voted in favor of the import of nuclear
waste. Through effective
public pressure we need to force the new
parliament to disapprove the
nuclear waste legislation as amoral and
anti-democratic", Ecodefense said

For additional information on action-days contact:

In Moscow - Vladimir Slivyak, +7 (095) 7766281,
In Voronezh - Alexey Kozlov, +7 (901) 9933883,
In Kaliningrad - Alexey Milovanov, +7 (0112)
710991, 757106;;
In Ekaterinburgh - Olga Podosenova, +7 (3432)
  • #21
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
How could you assess the extent to which the protests are motivated by deep distrust in elected politicians and government officials, vs rational objections (based on facts) to high-level nuclear waste?

IIRC, there was a bit of a fuss a year or so ago about nuclear waste from Japanese reactors reprocessed by a UK firm. What really soured the mood was the deception which BNF engaged in, essentially willful mis-statements about the 'products'. Unfortunately, UK government agencies have a bad history of deception and lies - look at their early response to BSE for example. Similarly, there was a minor scandal over a nuclear accident in a Japanese facility, due to (IIRC) a failure in management and standard work practices.

The sad thing is that these human and institutional failings do occur. What's puzzling to me is why some failures associated with 'nuclear materials' (but by no means all) attract the kind of fierce response that theroyprocess exhibits, yet similar failings - e.g. in food safety inspections of restaurants; infection control protocols in hospitals - are not held up as fundamental flaws in the respective industries where they arise, even though they clearly result in far, far more deaths and suffering.

You don't believe this? How many people die each year as a result of taking medicines that have been incorrectly prescribed? Throughout the world, probably well over 100,000. Why are there no demonstrations in Russia against pharmaceutical companies? doctors? hospitals? nurses??
  • #22
DOE Admits Waste Storage Will Fail

Las Vegas Sun article...DOE data shows nuclear waste storage will fail at
nuclear power plants....hence the rush to move it to Yucca Mountain....
only to leak out there and explode like a 'planetary' dirty bomb! [Broken]

After spending some 8 billion dollars to 'study' Yucca is clear.
Dr. Roy knew safe and secure burial of high level nuclear waste was a
scientific impossibility from the start.

Dr. Roy invented the most cost effective method to transmute high level
nuclear waste.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #23
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member

Originally posted by theroyprocess
Las Vegas Sun article...DOE data shows nuclear waste storage will fail at
nuclear power plants....hence the rush to move it to Yucca Mountain....
only to leak out there and explode like a 'planetary' dirty bomb! [Broken]

After spending some 8 billion dollars to 'study' Yucca is clear.
Dr. Roy knew safe and secure burial of high level nuclear waste was a
scientific impossibility from the start.

Dr. Roy invented the most cost effective method to transmute high level
nuclear waste.
It's an interesting article, but kinda makes you want to read the actual analyses. Do you have any of them?
Last edited by a moderator:

Suggested for: Government has decided to build a power plant nextdoor

  • Last Post
  • Last Post
  • Last Post
  • Last Post
  • Last Post
  • Last Post