Watched some of the video, it was interesting. But he went way too far on saying how harmless it was. He said that it is harmless unless it's causing
a critical mass or is causing a burning of the skin. This is nonsense, obviously, and I stopped watching after that, because cancer risk demonstrably
increases much before the point that causes burning. The current most accepted theory is that cancer risk scales linearly with dose. For example,
holding a brick of uranium would be fine (although to be accurate it would increase your risk of cancer by some almost infinitely small value), while
drinking some Polonium-210 will kill you rather quickly. It depends.
I don't doubt his experiences though. Water that has been pumped from the reactors he was talking about (the now decommissioned ones at Hanford) used
once-through cooling, the exhaust water was warm, about 100F, and somewhat radioactive, but it not extremely dangerous. It was pumped into the
Colorado river after all. Plus many fissile isotopes are perfectly safe to handle with your hands, but it depends on what isotope is in question and
if there are impurities. Also, fresh nuclear fuel is very safe to handle, whereas spent fuel is dangerous because it has accumulated things known as
fission products and transuranic elements, which is why accidents are such a big fuss. Also, although his risk of cancer was likely increased by these
experiences, it likely could of been more than offset by living healthily or simple luck that causing him to live to ~82. An increase in cancer risk
is not a guarantee of getting cancer, after all.
A member comment that we engineered radiation. We did not. It's like fire, we can just use it in different ways that we choose. Fire has also caused
some of the worst suffering this world has had to offer. Doesn't mean we shouldn't use it. Doesn't mean that turning on your gas stove is extremely
dangerous in the same way as a napalm bomb exploding is. Doesn't mean a first degree burn is the same as a fourth degree burn. But they're both fire
(or consequences of fire). I think the dangers are mostly overstated, as demonstrated by the comments to this thread doubting the experiences of the
lecturer, and that we readily accept far greater risks to our lives, like cancer from eating too much processed food, and particulate pollution. I
would like to see an increase in nuclear power too, since newer designs are much safer than older ones, and even though the risk of an accident still
exists I think it's easily worth it for other benefits it brings.
Also, per tonne, nuclear waste has about 1 billion dollars worth energy remaining in it, if it were used up fully. Just find the molar mass of
whatever fissile isotope you're talking about, assume that each fission is about 200 MeV of energy, that 35% of that energy is turned into
electricity, and that it's sold for ~15 cents per kwh.
And the NRC regulates radiation not so much the EPA. I'm not convinced it is over-regulated, many problems in the past with regard to delays building
reactors due to regulations were mainly due to new regulations necessitating design changes half-way through construction, or intervenors causing
delays to them. But both are fixed now because more is known now and a new licencing scheme. Plus new designs like those being built in Georgia and
South Carloina are much safer.
edit on 28/6/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)
edit on 28/6/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason