The Dose Makes the Poison

Paracelsus once taught that the dose makes the poison.  A fact that is true for most things, including radiation.  To introduce the subject I have created this pyramid, which I adapted from another website:

The Dose Makes the Poison

The Dose Makes the Poison

We use salt regularly in our diets.  A small amount enhances the flavor of our food.  Too much can ruin the food.  If you ate a pound or two, you would probably be hospitalized.  If you at 100 pounds, you would certainly die.

Radiation can be compared to salt. This is the graphic that I stole the salt pyramid idea from.  It is an ad to sell radiation detection meters. Don’t be distracted by that.

The Radiation Dose Make the Poison

The Radiation Dose Make the Poison

Low doses of radiation are part of human existence.  Nowhere on the earth is there a location of no radiation. This level of radiation, which varies greatly depending on where you live, is called background radiation.  We all live in it 24/7.

So, when the media is selling the latest nuclear fear of the day (NFOTD), unless the dose is put into the context of background radiation levels, don’t waste your time listening or watching.

(BTW – stealing someone’s idea is just proof that they had a good idea; a form of flattery. No one has ever stolen my ideas.  I even have a blog where I invite people to steal my ideas.)

bwr

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

Prepare to have your minds blown by watching this short clip about grandmothers who live, guess where???? wait for it…………….in Chernobyl!

Remember as you watch the video that the exclusion zone where these ladies live is contaminated with radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl reactor number 4.  Remember that the whole area is toxic beyond compare.  Remember that the food they grow for themselves is contaminated with radioactivity.  Remember that the “dead zone” they live in is very alive.

Then, remember that almost everything you know about radiation is probably wrong and was picked up from the media who like to fear monger about all things nuclear.

The radiation protection mafia in Japan should take a lesson from these courageous grandmothers and let those displaced because of Fukushima return and rebuild their lives and cities.

 

Location, Location, Location

I know that I am getting ahead of myself, but I have scouted out the perfect location for the first molten salt Thorium reactor in Utah.  Of course, there are no commercial molten salt reactors available any where in the world just yet, but when they are ready, I have the perfect site – Garbage in the Mist.

Garbage in the Mist, That’s what I like to call it.  Years ago, Box Elder County created a land fill on top of a local hill called “Little Mountain”.  It’s a pain to have to take your garbage there yourself.  It will take you a minimum of 1 hour round trip plus the time to unload your trash.  I named it after Sigourney Weaver’s movie about Dian Fossey and the mountain gorillas in Rwanda called “Gorillas in the Mist”.

Anyway, the site, in my view is ideal; remote, but close enough to my city to provide the 35 Megawatts needed, secure – only one road goes to the landfill. Waste heat could be sold as process steam to the Proctor & Gamble paper plant a couple of miles away.

The beauty of my desire to have Thorium power is that if peak oil is for real, and I have reason to believe it is, the rising price and competition for oil and gas will drive the prices very high.  I might not be able to convince my fellow Utahns that molten salt Thorium reactors are a good idea using physics and logic to overcome fear mongering, but gasoline at $20 or $30 per gallon can be a very powerful motivator.  Trouble is that the reactors need to be developed now and capital needs to be invested now to get these reactors online before a crisis.

Question is, am I ready for the reaction I might receive when people in Box Elder County find out about my “proposal”?

 

Kimin: Japan’s Forgotten People

“Since when are 20,000 deaths and 300,000 permanently homeless people less newsworthy than the hypothetical risks posed by a nuclear accident?”

This is the extremely relevant and burning question that an author has posed about the devastation caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Check out Leslie Corrice’s new book.

I will attempt an honest answer to her question:

Since the financial interests who stand to benefit by the billions of dollars from the expansion of gas and oil imports when nuclear power is shut down fund the news reporting.

An Enviable Record of Safety

I just got my gas bill in the mail today.  Questar always sends a newsletter with the bill. This was the headline today:

Self Promotions

Self Promotion

I’m willing to accept that natural gas pipelines are pretty safe, but I didn’t live in San Bruno. (BTW, Questar didn’t have anything do to with the pipeline in San Bruno.)

The point that I want to make is that nuclear energy is safer per unit of energy delivered than natural gas, coal, wind, solar, etc. It’s just that the nuclear industry has been AWOL when it comes to promoting itself.  And did I mention that molten salt reactors powered by the Thorium cycle are way better and safer than the uranium light water nuclear reactors that we have today that provide about 20% of the electricity used in the US?