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Thread: Fukushima "News"

  1. #1 Fukushima "News" 
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    Sorry state of journalism these days.

    Garbage In, Anti-Nuclear Propaganda Out: The 14,000 Death Fukushima Lie - Forbes


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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Seems like a reasonable article to me; pointing out the flaws in a rather bogus piece of research. What is your problem with it, exactly?


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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I would go slightly further and say that it seems like an important article. Newspapers are not generally very good at properly understanding science. They are prone to exageration, misinterpretation or over-siplification. It is encouraging to see them questioning the quality of some seemingly flawed research and poor peer review. Like Strange I am puzzled as to what you feel is substandard about it.
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  5. #4  
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    "Substandard" certainly applies to the research as reported. The only saving grace I can see is that the paper heading reads
    "..........IS THERE A CORRELATION?" rather than claiming any cause and effect relationship.

    The text contains the brilliant observations on p51
    "The EPA data cannot be used to assess the amount of time that Fukushimaradiation existed in the U.S. environment, or which areas of the nation receivedthe highest amount of fallout. ... .... Despite the paucity of data,it appears that radioactivity from Fukushima reached many, perhaps all, areasof the United States. Without more specific data, only the United States as a whole can be used to understand any potential changes in health status."

    Though I do think using the word "understand" in that last sentence is drawing a very long bow.




    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  6. #5  
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    I'm glad some of this junk is being called out.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  7. #6  
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    post deleted due to mal ware.
    Lynx
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; January 13th, 2012 at 01:13 AM.
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  8. #7  
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    This Mangano, on the other hand, seems like a more shady character, and has no doctorate degree in anything, which the Forbes article seemed to imply:
    NEI Nuclear Notes: Joseph Mangano and the Art of Deception

    Last edited by Arthur Angler; January 13th, 2012 at 12:03 AM.
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  9. #8  
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    It is easy to screw up when your predisposition gets into the picture, I suppose, no matter what your resume' says.

    If I had to come up with a moral to the story, that's as good as any.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Warning

    Do not activate the link in post number 6. It contains malware.
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  11. #10  
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    So we have lousy stats in an obscure, low circulation, academic journal article.

    And for some reason it's being called out, featured and amplified, justifiably but without (we note) much in the way of improved stats itself, in a major media and very influential magazine. That will be the only way almost anyone will ever hear about it.

    And this is used to malign the large scale and fully reputable anti-nuclear political position generally, without making even an attempt at connecting these two statistical incompetents or their backwater publication with anyone else at all.

    Far more worthy of note, as disturbingly bad statistical analysis in the service of major media propaganda, is one of the claims in that Forbes article that I predict we are going to see from now on,

    completely unsupported, years premature even if valid, and without the least likelihood or justification so far,

    that "no one died" from the Fukushima meltdowns.

    If we are going to call out major and influential media for spreading bad stats and biased propaganda in the interests of an obvious agenda, that ridiculously invalid claim is where to start in this incident.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Warning

    Do not activate the link in post number 6. It contains malware.
    Thanks....I deleted it.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Iceaura

    To date it is true that no-one died of radiation in the Fukushima incident. Three people working at Fukushima died, but of 'ordinary' type industrial accidents, of the sort that kill thousands every year in the developed world. The level of radiation released from Fukushima is so low that it is extremely unlikely, almost to the point of absurdity, to suggest that anyone might be killed by it, even over a scale of decades.
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  14. #13  
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    Nuclear power is our only avenue for cleaner energy. More radiation and greenhouse gases are released by coal-fired power stations than nuclear power stations. Solar, wind or hydro power are never going to be enough to satisfy our needs. The only sensible option is to build more nuclear power stations. Nuclear power stations are less of a danger to public health than the other options.

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  15. #14  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Iceaura
    The level of radiation released from Fukushima is so low that it is extremely unlikely, almost to the point of absurdity, to suggest that anyone might be killed by it, even over a scale of decades.
    You don't think the release of 10% of the radioactive material of Chernobyl and the maintenance of a significant exclusion zone hint at the possibility that some deaths from cancer will result? That conclusion seems unlikely, almost to the point of stupidity.
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  16. #15  
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    John

    I was talking of Fukushima.

    Substituting Chernobyl for Fukushima is kinda lousy debating technique, don't you think?

    As far as Chernobyl is concerned, the death toll in total is in the thousands. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimated 4,500 dead. http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/chernobyl/faqs.shtml

    Other bodies have come up with other estimates, ranging up to 30,000. The 'most probable' would be in the middle of all those estimates. Somewhere around 10,000 perhaps.

    By comparison, hydroelectricity has killed vastly greater numbers. The Banqiao Dam disaster alone killed something like 200,000 people, and made 11 million homeless. Banqiao Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    So we have lousy stats in an obscure, low circulation, academic journal article.

    And for some reason it's being called out, featured and amplified, justifiably but without (we note) much in the way of improved stats itself, in a major media and very influential magazine. That will be the only way almost anyone will ever hear about it.

    And this is used to malign the large scale and fully reputable anti-nuclear political position generally, without making even an attempt at connecting these two statistical incompetents or their backwater publication with anyone else at all.

    Far more worthy of note, as disturbingly bad statistical analysis in the service of major media propaganda, is one of the claims in that Forbes article that I predict we are going to see from now on,

    completely unsupported, years premature even if valid, and without the least likelihood or justification so far,

    that "no one died" from the Fukushima meltdowns.

    If we are going to call out major and influential media for spreading bad stats and biased propaganda in the interests of an obvious agenda, that ridiculously invalid claim is where to start in this incident.
    Actually there HAVE been casualties in Japan related to the Fukushima incident. Radiation was not involved in them. Lousy methodology in "science" publications IS noteworthy, and there may well be rather a lot of it going on. More than this I cannot say, but invite you to provide your own bad stats and biased propaganda as you see fit, Mr. Kettle, sir. Assuming that they might bolster the case as originally presented by Mangano and Sherman, which seems unlikely.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    John

    I was talking of Fukushima.

    Substituting Chernobyl for Fukushima is kinda lousy debating technique, don't you think?

    As far as Chernobyl is concerned, the death toll in total is in the thousands. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimated 4,500 dead. http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/chernobyl/faqs.shtml

    Other bodies have come up with other estimates, ranging up to 30,000. The 'most probable' would be in the middle of all those estimates. Somewhere around 10,000 perhaps.

    By comparison, hydroelectricity has killed vastly greater numbers. The Banqiao Dam disaster alone killed something like 200,000 people, and made 11 million homeless. Banqiao Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Indeed, and hydropower casualties are themselves trivial compared to automobile fatalities. An excellent point is made in #13 on this thread, that nuclear fission is at the moment the cleanest, most abundant, readily available technology for electricity production. You would THINK that environmentalists would be staunch advocates of it.

    But no, many are not.
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  19. #18  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    John

    I was talking of Fukushima.

    Substituting Chernobyl for Fukushima is kinda lousy debating technique, don't you think?
    On the contrary it is not debating techniue, but a relevant comparison. Chernobyl was the worst nuclear power disaster in history. As you point out thousands died as a consequence. Fukushima has seen the release of barely an order of magnitude less radiation, yet you claim this is insignificant. I quite fail to see how you can justify that from a scientific perspective.

    I have read and re-read your post trying to understand your intent. You say I have substituted Chernobyl for Fukushima. How so? Please reread what I wrote: You don't think the release of 10% of the radioactive material of Chernobyl and the maintenance of a significant exclusion zone hint at the possibility that some deaths from cancer will result? Where is the substitution? I am asking you a simple question. Do you wish me to rephrase it? At Fukushima the amount of radioactive material that was released was a full 10% of the amount released at Chernobyl. Also the Japanese set up and continue to maintain a large exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant. Do you not think that these two facts in combination suggest that the incident is sufficiently severe that some deaths from cancer must result?

    I repeat, if you do not think deaths likely based upon these two objective observations then you have reached a stupid conclusion.

    Edit: Please note that I am neither arguing for or against the use of nuclear power, but challenging the notion that no deaths will result from this incident.
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  20. #19  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    On the contrary it is not debating techniue, but a relevant comparison. Chernobyl was the worst nuclear power disaster in history. As you point out thousands died as a consequence. Fukushima has seen the release of barely an order of magnitude less radiation, yet you claim this is insignificant. I quite fail to see how you can justify that from a scientific perspective.
    There are other differences than just the amount of radiation. At Chernobyl the core was exposed and caught fire, so a large amount of more dangerous radioactive material was released.

    Most of the radiation exposure risk around Fukushima is related to iodine. This has a relatively short half-life and there are measures that can be taken to reduce risks (relocating the population, iodine tablets, monitoring, etc).

    There is then also the problem of identifying any future cancer cases as being caused by Fukushima. Even around Chernobyl it is difficult to say how many of the cancers were directly due to the accident. If the number of extra cancers is small (which seems likely to be the case in Japan) it is hard to isolate that from the normal background numbers.
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  21. #20  
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    Excellently put. May I add that the matter of the exclusion zone may be a response to public sentiment, which is not necessarily rational or scientifically justified? Hiroshima is a thriving city now- the Japanese experience of nuclear matters is unique and unenviable among the nations of the Earth. Can we agree at least that Fukushima presents little threat OUTSIDE Japan?
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  22. #21  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Angler View Post
    Can we agree at least that Fukushima presents little threat OUTSIDE Japan?
    Definitely.

    Although, the economic fallout is quite bad - but it may be lost in the noise of the wider economic crisis.
    Arthur Angler likes this.
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  23. #22  
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    The current measurements in Japan are extremely low as well. Most of the radiation went out to sea.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The level of radiation released from Fukushima is so low that it is extremely unlikely, almost to the point of absurdity, to suggest that anyone might be killed by it, even over a scale of decades.
    That would depend on the dose, timing, and type of exposure.

    The radiation released from Fukushima was not evenly distributed over the landscape, and was not released as some kind of general purpose average fog of milliseiverts.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The level of radiation released from Fukushima is so low that it is extremely unlikely, almost to the point of absurdity, to suggest that anyone might be killed by it, even over a scale of decades.
    That would depend on the dose, timing, and type of exposure.

    The radiation released from Fukushima was not evenly distributed over the landscape, and was not released as some kind of general purpose average fog of milliseiverts.
    Yet it was a category SEVEN incident, same as Chernobyl. Amazing, isn't it? Anyway, people seem to miss the fact that there were other and similar nuclear facilities in Japan which were UNAFFECTED to the point of radiation release by the earthquake/tsunami.
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    At the moment, a nuclear-free future for Japan seems unlikely.

    Mitsubishi Heavy CEO Expects Spring Restart for Japanese Reactors - WSJ.com
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