Lessons from History of Radiation use and Nuclear Accidents particularly Fukushima
Department of Physics
Cambridge, 02138, MA
Presented at 44 th seminar on Planetary Emergencies
World Federation of Scientists
August 20th 2011
The importance of understanding radiation issues for immediate analysis and immediate action.
Effects on Public Health
I will focus on the public health aspect of the Japanese, and indeed
the world, reaction to the Fukushima crisis.
Firstly I will summarize those facts that Iconsider to be important and explain why I believe the reaction was incorrect.
Medical use of X rays.
Very soon after Roentgen’s discovery of X rays in 1895,
physicians used them for diagnostic purposes. Although very early it
was realized that they caused
and other lesions the fantastic
ability to see within the body was so important that physicians
that the benefits of the X ray use overshadowed any
harm. But this only addressed one part of the risk-benefit
physicists in particular, pointed out that the
same benefit could be achieved with far less harm by more careful
More sensitive film and so forth
In the 1920s there was more interest in controlling the use. In 1927
the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) was
is a non governmental body but most governments heed its
the advice of ICRP and physicists was not fully
heeded till about 1970.
l961 for example I had an (unnecessary)
chest X ray at Stanford University and measured my dose. About 1 Rem.
Now the same X ray would take 7 milliRem. But a CAT scan today is nearly 1 Rem.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Starting in August 1945 physicists have been involved with extensive
there is a common public
misconception that 200,000 persons each died because of radiation
exposure at Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
most of the deaths were due to blast and radiation accounted for only a few percent
unprecedented research activity took place.
Atomic Bomb Casualty
Commission (ABCC) (now the Radiation Effects Research Foundation -
jointly funded by USA and Japanese governments to study
UN started the United Nations Subcommittee on
the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
lists over 100
reports and papers on the subject. Also th
e US National Academy of Sciences has issued a useful set of reports Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation which are more readable.
Distinction between Acute problems and Chronic problems
The studies find a crucial distinction between
the results of radiation exposure in a short period (integrated over
a week or two)
and the acute effects that it causes, and radiation
over a long period of a few years and the chronic effects that
The acute effect of Acute Radiation Sickness
starts with a reduction in
white blood cell counts and can the n lead
to tissue damage
is generally accepted that this occurs at
radiation levels above 100 Rems (1 Sv) with an LD50 (least dose at
which 50% of people die)
if 400 Rems (4 Sv), (formerly believed to be
250 Rems) which can be extended to 500 Rems (5 Sv) by a blood
The first major example of a death from Acute
Sickness was Dr Harry Daghlian
ho was exposed on August 21, 1945 and died 25 days later as a result of a nuclear criticality accident.
It is not always realized but prompt evacuation is only needed to avoid Acute Radiation Sickness.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide the data from which effects of
radiation are usually determined.
occurs with all chronic effects,
they are determined at a high radiation level and a model is used to
describe what happens at the lower level.
low levels the usual
model suggests low dose li nearity.
comes from the realization
that if a medical outcome of a pollutant or action is
indistinguishable from one that occurs naturally,
any addition to natural incidence is proportional to the dose at low doses.
Crump KS, Hoel DG, Langley CH, Peto R.
1976. Fundamental carcinogenic processes and their implications for
low dose risk assessment.
Cancer Res 36:2973-2979.
Guess, H., Crump, K., and R. Peto. 1977.
Uncertainty estimates for low-dose-rate extrapolation of animal carcinogenicity data. Cancer Res. 37:3475-3483.
But there are assumptions and approximations. In the above sentence I
used the word “indistinguishable”.
biologically indistinguishable and not merely that a pathologist
is only one paper to my knowledge on this
fundamental point. Cancers that occur after radiation therapy have
a different DNA structure.
seems to be no interest in
exploring this further either for radiation cancers or chemically
coefficient of the linear term is determined
from data at high doses.
the dose in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was
over a short period and it is probable that doses over a long period
produce smaller effects.
are animal studies that suggest a
factor of 2-10 but only two data sets.
occupational doses at
Ozerk in 1948 as the Russians were rushing to make a bomb before the
wicked Americans killed them,
and the Russians exposed at Techa River after the waste pond overflowed.
According to the above theoretical model, if someone gets a dose just
below the LD50
can still get chronic problems of which the most
important is cancer.
an integrated dose of 200 Rems there is a 10%
to 20% increase in cancer probability.
depends upon a dose
integrated over a long time - of the order of years.
rise well above 200 Rems without causing Acute Radiation Sickness.
natural incidence of fatal cancers is about 20% so no one who
gets less than 100 Rems
double his natural incidence and he
cannot rightly claim that it is “more likely than not”
that his cancer is due to radiation.
numbers are deliberately a
little higher than my best belief at the moment and do not account
for a dose rate reduction
but they are at the upper end (more
pessimistic) of the fraction in the most recent US National Academy
VII Table 1.
100 millSievert, 0.1 Sv or 10 Rems the
increase in fatal cancer probability is 4% or 20% of the natural
fatal cancer rate.
The number of digits in the number of each entry is high but only the first has any significance. Alas there is no easily available table where age is broken out
The radionuclides that are produced by nuclear
fission are well known, as are their melting points and boiling
A listing can be found, for example in Table B3 of the
of a study Severe Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants
that was carried
out for the American Physical Society and is on this website
at http://phys4.harvard.edu/~wilson/publications/pp341.pdf and Reviews of Modern Physics, 57, 3, pt. II, July 1985. This is reproduced here as Table 2.
The last (6th ) column is for the dose integrated for the first 7 days after the accident.
call attention to the isotopes of iodine and of cesium the former is
normally gaseous and is easily released and the later,
normally solid, is soon evaporated in an accident.
Only in the high temperature of a nuclear explosion would it be likely to emit large quantities of strontium, uranium or plutonium.
Nuclear Power - normal operation
Physicists and engineers have been urging careful use of radioactive
modern nuclear power station emits very little
it is often stated (correctly) that a coal
fired power station in its particulate emissions emits more.
exposure to the plant workers can be kept low without sacrificing
(as health physicists) have set standards which are
low and can be met with little cost.
The benefit of a low radiation exposure is not limited by a high cost to the consumer of electricity
But when the situation in a power plant is not normal all changes.
habits, rules, customs about radiation exposure should change
accordingly and the change should be automatic
therefore prepared in advance. This did not happen at Fukushima.
The need to balance risks is similar to the physicians’ situation in 1900-1970.
Windscale, TMI and Chernobyl
There were three reactor accidents from which lessons can be learned.
At Windscale in 1957 a plutonium production reactor
caught fire and
iodine was released.
Short lived radioactive iodine (I 131 with 10
day half life) can make the major immediate hazard with a well known
Iodine can fall to the ground and be eaten by cows
concentrates in the milk and babies drink the milk and concentrate
the iodine in the thyroid.
This has been realized for 60 years and at
the Windscale accident in the UK in 1957 the government impounded and
bought all milk for a couple of months.
riously the cows produced twice as much as usual, although this increase is not usually attributed to radiation!)
No one knows exactly how much iodine was ingested at Chernobyl, but a
lot. 2,000 children got thyroid cancer of which 20 have died.
need have got thyroid cancer if it were not for secrecy.
anecdotes (which I believe) that a school teacher near Hohnichi
(Belarus) and an Army general in eastern Ukraine
the KGB for advising children not to drink milk for a month
(the half life of the iodine is 10 days or so) and thereby causing a panic. This was, and is, far less likely to happen in an open society in Japan.
There is disagreement about the effects of potassium iodide.
ingested before radioactive iodine exposure it can reduce the
ingestion of the radioactive substance.
there are suggestions
that if taken after exposure to radioactive iodine it can lock in the
radioactive iodine already taken.
Moreover, there are other side effects particularly for pregnant women so it is wise not to take it unnecessarily.
At TMI in 1979 there was a partial meltdown but mostly contained.
can find no report of what happened to the iodine, but believe that
it combined with water to form HI
which was pumped out of the containment into the turbine building where it stayed quietly on the floor.
After Chernobyl in 1986 we confirmed that the important releases for
the long term effects are Cesium 134
year half life) and cesium
137 (30 year half life), and that the radiation from the ground
deposition is the important
with ingestion only about 25%.
Evacuation from Pripyat was delayed 36 hours and Chistallogovka 3-4
prompter evacuation would not have changed the dose much.
Only at Chernobyl did anyone in the plant get Acute Radiation
No one in the general public did. .
In the preceding paragraphs I note that exposure to Cs 134 and Cs 137
is the dominant long term problems.
radioactivity deposition confirms that deposition and therefore
emission of strontium 90
the transuranic elements was much less,
even though the initial explosion dispersed them locally,
subsequent graphite fire must have reached thousands of degrees and
almost all the cesium was evaporated.
is an important
observation because strontium and plutonium in particular are “bone
as they enter the body giving long term irradiation to various organs. .
One important feature is that the effects on health of these low
levels of radioactivity are calculated, and not measured.
calculated number is too small to be directly measured.
number might be zero if the radiation cancers are not identical with
those occurring naturally or might
be less than 1 if hormesis
is no hormesis for those washed out to sea in the
who wish to dramatize the effect tend to stress the
total number of calculated fatal cancers.
are 4,000 -8000 in the USSR countries (Ukraine, Belarus and European
Russia) and 20,000 world wide.
latter is to be compared with the
billion or so naturally occurring cancers in the world in that time
But for discussions of how to manage an accident more direct information is appropriate.
Armed with this information I looked at the measurements from
I looked at the data on the radiation spike measured at the gate of the Fukushima complex and integrated it. .
(The particular figure 1 comes from a German website)
The releases on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday were not serious.
big doses were on Tuesday March 15th and Wednesday March 16th.
spikes were probably doses from noble gases. The integrated dose
was large, 0.02 Sv (or 2 Rems).
this is less than 1 year of
normal occupational dose and it should not have prevented a radiation
worker from going to or being near the plant.
the report to
IAEA states that the average for all power plant workers as of May
23rd was only 7.7 mSv or 770 mRems.
About the amount of a CAT scan.
Starting on Thursday March 16th the reactors and the spent fuel pools
were being cooled by sea water,
there has been no comparable
release since that time.
the usual decay of Cs 134 and 137
into account one would expect an immediate drop,
would be for about 0.06 Sv (6 Rems) at the main gate for the first
year and falling more slowly thereafter.
At 3 miles (5 Km) this would be down a factor of 10.
Adverse effects on health of dislocation or evacuation
It has been noted in the medical community for many years that there
are stresses and problems associated with relocation
can lead by
themselves to adverse effects on public health.
1975 I saw figures
of a 5% increase in cancer probability.
note that in an accident
situation this would only be a calculated increase but in that sense
is directly comparable to any
increase in cancer rate due to radiation. It is hard to find good numbers and I merely refer to a recent review:
Health effects of relocation following disaster: a systematic review
of the literature. By Uscher-Pines L. Disasters. 2009
the frequency of post-disaster relocation and evidence of its effect
on psychological morbidity,
there is a relative paucity of studies; the few examples in the literature reveal weak study designs, inconsistent results,
inattention to physical health impacts and
the challenges facing vulnerable populations. Further research guided
is needed to inform emergency preparedness and recovery policy.”
.In the 1980s Dr Crouch and I looked at the unexposed “control” rats and mice from the US National Toxicology program. The rate of cancer varied many percent. For example we found that in some experiments the lights in the cages were on continuously and these were rodents with an elevated “control;” rate. In the large study of 30,000 mice at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), the ED01 or “megamouse” study there was a variation in response according to where the cages were. Those on the top shelf got tumors later than those on lower shelves. I presume that is because their stress was less. But what counts as stress for a mouse is unclear.
Similarly stress from divorce and separation, or even merely lack of a partner, has been blamed for a 15% increase in the probability of cancer fatalities.
Oystein Kravdal: The impact of marital Status on Cancer survival Social Science and medicine 32 (2001) 32:357-368 (2001 I take 5% increase in cancer probability from relocation as a reasonable “lower limit” to the increase of cancer with the stress of evacuation.
The "official" Kemeny report after the Three Mile Island
accident stated (inter alia)
conclude that the most serious
health effect of the accident (for any reason) was severe mental
stress, which was short-lived.
The highest levels of distress were found among those living within 5 miles of TMI and in families with preschool children. "
Japanese have noted unexpected deaths in the elderly who have been
numbers of the elderly in shelters have died
the calorie intake is below starvation level and
not all have three meals a day.
of hot food, running water,
crowding, poor toilet facilities and lack of water for cleaning
people and locations,
of fuel and lack of hospitals to accept
admissions, ambulances or medical services except what appear to be
personnel who are themselves local victims.
there is no
indication that these were considered by those ordering an
A simple calculation shows that this can far exceed any benefit evacuation may bring.
I first looked at doses in various locations listed by the Japanese
Atomic Industrial Forum.
http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/news_images/pdf/ENGNEWS01_1302054182P.pdf (Figure 2)
Indeed the newspapers emphasized the doses in the Ibaraki region, on
the way to Tokyo. The abscissa is microSievert per hour.
But the dose seems much smaller when the doses in the Ibaraki prefecture are plotted with a different abscissa and ordinate. (figure 3)
One microSievert per hour, kept up for a year, would give 8760 microSievert, or 8.76 milliSv or 876 milliRems. What does this mean?
Many actions can give anyone a dose of 876 milliRems:
A single chest x ray in a major hospital as late as 1960.
A CAT scan today.
7 months allowable occupational dose
1/25 of what a Chernobyl clean up worker got
1/100 of an astronaut's allowed dose.
About the dose I got in 1991 from a day at Chernobyl mostly inside the sarcophagus
serious student should evaluate his own lifetime dose for comparison. I
have been officially a “radiation worker” since 1946.
my integrated dose is almost all due to medical X rays –
and I have no record of these for the first 20 years.
The American Nuclear Society has a website which enables a good estimate to be made on line:
Radiation Dose Chart: http://www.new.ans.org/pi/resources/dosechart/
Ideally there would be such a program with the fatal cancer rates at different ages
There is no indication of any large deposition of either strontium or transuranic elements, suggesting that the internal deposition by these elements can be ignored.
Shows a radiation map of the area NW of the plant, in April 2011.
this MEXT use a theory to estimate the integrated dose to March 2011
shown in Table 2.
This table is a selection from the MEXT data showing the highest figure in all their measurements and a few low ones..
Table 3. Estimated Dose Integrated to March 2012 at Each Monitoring Location based on Measured Values (MEXT 2011).
Estimates of Integrated Dose
Latest Readings (Average)
Estimates of Integrated Dose as of March 11, 2012 (mSv)
Akogi Kunugidaira, Namie Town, Futaba County
Akogi, Ishigoya, Namie Town, Futaba County
Akogi Teshichiro, Namie Town, Futaba County
Onami Takinoiri, Fukushima City
Aza Kitaaramaki, Hisanohama Town, Iwaki City
Takahagi, Ogawa Town, Iwaki City
The evacuation decision
The question the Japanese faced was how much to evacuate. I believe
they flubbed. They had not thought in advance.
they panicked. It is unclear whether the evacuation was ordered by the
government or merely suggested
it was without analysis. But this is clearly forgivable given the
history of radiation effects in Japan
and the failure of the world community to provide guidance. Indeed for 30 years the world community has set guidelines which, I argue, are stupid.
They should have asked the questions:
Is there an immediate reason to evacuate to avoid Acute Radiation Sickness? The measured doses give the answer NO.
there be an appreciable increase in long term radiation dose by waiting
a few days to analyze?
Again the realization that Cesium was the problem would demand the answer NO.
retrospect was it sensible to evacuate people beyond 3 miles from the
reactor, bearing in mind the competitive risks?
I submit that here again the answer is NO.
it have been wise to inform everyone and prepare for a VOLUNTARY
evacuation for those who wished it,
which preparation could avoid the chaos that occurred in New Orleans after Katrina? Here the answer is definitely YES.
Is there an adverse effect on health in evacuation? Here the answer is definitely YES although often ignored.
I submit that the whole world nuclear power and safety community,
including semi-political agencies like IAEA and
politicians themselves should ponder the above.
American friends of the Japanese people should ask themselves the following questions:
What is the role of friends who believe they are experts?
Careful analysis along the lines of the early part of this report?
Off the cuff remarks at a Senate budget hearing?
Dr Gregory Jaczko, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave the following testimony Jaczko to the US Congress on March 17th 2011:
“Recently, the NRC made a recommendation that based
upon the available information that we have ,
that for a comparable situation in the United
States, we would recommend an evacuation to a
much larger radius than has been currently been
provided in Japan. As a result of this recommendation,
the ambassador in Japan has issued a statement to
American citizens that we believe it is appropriate to evacuate
to a larger distance up to approximately 50 miles.”
This was repeated by President Obama, on Thursday, March 17, 2011
President Obama made remarks from the White House Rose Garden on the
nuclear crisis in Japan shortly
paying an unannounced visit to the Japanese Embassy. After expressing
condolences to the Japanese people,
the president confirmed calling for an evacuation of U.S. citizens within a 50 mile radius of the reactors in northeastern Japan.
These were outlandish and not the remarks of a true friend. I so stated
in a formal FAX to Dr Jaczko as soon as I saw the transcript.
my carefully considered view, Dr Jaczko and president Obama should
visit Japan and apologize to the Japanese people.
by bowing deeply to the Japanese legislature.
would be politically difficult for President Obama in his present
travails but may be possible the day after the 2012 election
- whicer way the electoral decision goes.
I have been told that Jacsko was merely following an
NRC rule: keep the dose less than 500
mRem in the immediate accident
< 2 Rem over the first year.
argue that the events at Fyukushima demonstrate clearly how stupid, and
counterproductive to public health, that rule is,
and it becomes a matter of urgency to modify it.
I note that in an emergency someone in NRC has to be
empowered to act without waiting for a Commission, or committee
Chairman Jacsko claimed, and still claims, that power.
But it was never an emergency in the USA, and it is
certainly now over.
His outlandish recommendation on Thursday March 17th suggests that he is not capable of exercising that power wisely.
Radiation Accident Management
At Fukushima there was no proper management of radiation doses
immediately the reactor situation was out of control
after the tsunami). There seems to have been no realization in Japan,
and probably no realization anywhere else,
the fact that radiation managem
ent after an accident should, even must, must differ from radiation management immediately before the accident.
Before TMI (before 1980) it was generally accepted
that there were certain radiation levels that should not be exceeded.
After TMI, and even more after Chernobyl these were
reduced. While it makes some sense to keep, for example, to 5 Rems/yr
(0.05 Sv/yr) for a nuclear power
worker in ordinary operation it is, I believe
desirable to return to
he higher figures as soon as an accident goes beyond
Thus it should be allowed for a worker to plan for 20
Rems (0.2 Sv) for the whole accident, and indeed at Chernobyl 100,000
or more workers got this dose of 20
Rems as "liquidators" (clean up workers).
A one time dose of 80 Rems (0.8 Sv) was allowed for an
astronaut and for a rare individual "to save lives"
80 Rems was allowed
It is reported that at Fukushima workers were pulled
off the job in Sunday and Monday in the Fukushima accident before the
Japanese belatedly restored the
This probably delayed a proper technical response to
Although at all ages it is important to keep the
radiation dose below that giving Acute Radiation Sickness, full
use of older workers, particularly volunteers, should
be taken. A person over 70 years old with a high accumulated radiation dose will develop cancer only after 20 years and then it is the least of his worries.
It is unclear whether my recommendation of an
immediate reversion to the pre-1980 radiation levels would have enabled
TEPCO to control the reactors any better. I think they would.
A lesser issue: responsibility of the media.
News media have been the principal method of communicating with the
public, and even with experts.
Three Mile Island, at Chernobyl and at the Tokai incident the US media
failed miserably and forgot their duty.
one newspaper, nor Associate Press quoted the precise NRC press
of the major newspapers even got the units correct.
internet has improved this. Experts can find information directly.
there is still a responsibility to inform the public, and in particular
to explain what the radiation dose levels mean,
in terms of public health and to discuss the harrowing decisions those on the spot must make.
I next turn to accident prevention.
The aim is to prevent the undesirable fission products ever coming into contact with the public. There are several barrier:
(1) The fuel is in zirconium pellets with are in a zirconium tube. Although design criteria allowed 0.1% of these tubes to leak, probably none did.
(2) If the first barrier fails, there is a pressure vessel which should hold them.
(3) If the pressure vessel fails there is a containment vessel.
One must emphasize the importance of keeping barrier 1 intact if
course it is always important to stop an untoward event as early in the
chain as possible.
it is especially important because failure here makes it harder to control.
a BWR one can be close to the reactor in operation as I personally have
been - one is shielded by the water in the pressure vessel.
Once barrier 1 fails, doses are higher outside the pressure vessel increasing radiation doses for a worker and making subsequent fixes harder.
Man Rems (Person-Sievert) or Rems/man (Sv/Person)?
In the preceding paragraphs I have emphasized the dose per person
or Sv per person)
that matches the decisions that I was discussing.
in radiation protection it is common to calculate the collective dose
in Man-Rems or Person Sieverts)
when using a linear dose response relationship and multiplying by the
appropriate slope (coefficient) this gives the total societal impact.
I do this for the next section on comparing disasters and also take a more optimistic slope allowing for a dose rate reduction factor.
Comparison to other world disasters
The effects of evacuation or not evacuating should be
compared to 15,000 dead, and 15,000
missing direct, measurable and
definite "dead bodies" from other earthquake and tsunami problems
Fatal cancers calculated from Natural Background (including medical) exposures
(world wide) about 10,000,000 per year
In an average ½ lifetime 300,000,000
Estimated Deaths from arsenic in Bangladesh assuming everyone has pure water henceforth
Earthquake in Haiti
Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan (prompt deaths)
Fatal cancers from Chernobyl in next 60 years (calculated excluding effects of stress)
7,500 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine
20,000 –30,000 worldwide
Cancer fatalities from Three Mile Island
0.7 calculated for the Kemeny Commission
rough guess is 500 calculated cancers from radiation from Fukushima
(originally my incorrect prediction was close to zero.
But it could be zero or even slightly negative.
0-5,000 adverse health effects of evacuation.
I emphasize that the calculated cancers are within the fluctuations of the natural cancer numbers and cannot ever be directly measured.
My recommendations for study of radiation emergencies.
I have argued since 1980 that there should be detailed study of a number of fundamental issues. (These should be for other pollutant substances and actions also)
(1) Are cancers caused by radiation truly indistinguishable from naturally occurring cancers? Or is it just that a pathologist cannot distinguish? (use DNA analysis)
(2) What is the effect of dose rate? (look carefully at such data as the Techa River and the Mayak workers)
(3) what is the effect of disaster stress on cancer? In people? in animals?
Before 1980 the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
asked for an "Emergency Planning Zone" (not an evacuation zone) of 10
After TMI this became an "evacuation zone" without the
detailed discussion such a decision requires.
I, personally, was opposed to this implication for
automatic evacuation, and testified to an Ontario Royal Commission and
others that it was a mistake.
I strongly urge the International Community to reexamine this requirement.
My Recommendations for continued nuclear power
There have been already several discussions on what to do about
existing nuclear power plants, and proposals for new ones throughout
include recent fine articles in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
of these discussions echo previous views expressed by the authors
asking that certain issues already decided be reconsidered.
I here make my comments on several of them: I do not give the detailed discussion that each topic deserves.
We should obviously reexamine every existing nuclear power plant to see
whether and how whether any specific problem raised by Fukushima can be
We must remember that when the first event tree analysis was done in
1976 it was found that the reactor (Surry) could be made 5 times safer
small expense by modification of a control system.
agree with the Japanese report to IAEA that even extreme events such as
a combined earthquake, tsunami and bureaucratic muddle
should be analyzed by event tree analysis.
(2) Since it is claimed, and probably true, that newer
designs of reactors would be safer and would have survived the terrible
earthquake and tsunami, should we not immediately retrofit
all older reactors? And in particular all 23 older GE reactors in the
This question has been repeatedly raised over the last 30 years. I believe the question is posed too narrowly.
It is too restricted to nuclear plants.
Should we not retrofit or get rid of all older energy
The cost of retrofits can be high and in many cases
would close the plants down.
Once the question is broadened we might decide to
retrofit, and perhaps close, plants in order of the estimated risk to
For example start by closing every coal fired power plant and only then consider the older nuclear ones.
One of the largest risks we face in the world is the risk of starting a
catastrophic all out nuclear war.
must remember that bombs with 100 pounds of TNT killed many people in
World War II.
Sakharov's test explosion at Nuovo Zembla over 40 years ago was of a
bomb. ONE BILLION times more powerful.
we not consider this carefully in all applications of nuclear energy or
failures to use nuclear energy?
particular should that not be a fundamental question asked by the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission?
it is evident to me that this issue MUST be in the front of all our
minds from now to eternity,
is far less clear that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the proper
as noted above, they have internal conflicts between discussion of
"ordinary " operation, and reaction to an accident mode which has
in the silly statements mentioned earlier. It goes far beyond Fukushima
or indeed beyond any other public safety
public safety issue.
when and how proliferation questions should be discussed is perhaps the
most important long term issue.
I should invert the question. When are the few occasions when
non-proliferation need NOT be discussed?
It has been urgent for at least the last 60 years.