Archive for the ‘Nuclear’ Category

Attempt to Use Solar Power At Protest Fails When Power Proves Inadiquate

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

I have little else to say about this. However, it goes to show why there is an electrical grid that feeds reliable power to homes and businesses. Power which is generated by fossil fuels, nuclear or hydroelectric energy sources. If we tried to run things on solar panels like this, similar results would occur.

Perhaps they should have used larger batteries to power the fans. Apparently it’s usually powered with gas-driven generators, which are somewhat cleaner than coal, but still produce emissions and consume fossil fuels.

A Look At Russian Nuclear Icebreakers

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Given that Russian territorial waters include large areas of the far north, it’s no surprise that Russia has some of the world’s largest and most capable icebreakers.  A few of these are of the nuclear-powered variety.

Nuclear power is ideally suited to icebreakers, because it provides nearly limitless energy for propulsion and on board needs like heating and electricity.   Icebreakers tend to consume a lot of fuel, both because of their need for heat and because of the resistance posed by the ice, which requires large and powerful engines.  Nuclear power assures the ships will never be stranded in ice with low fuel and gives them the ability to run at full power without concern for fuel burned.

Russia’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers are the most capable ice-breaking ships in the world.  The icebreaker Artika was the first non-submarine to make it all the way to the North Pole, something few other ships could do.

In recent years, the icebreakers have been used in antarctic and arctic cruises, bringing passengers places few other ships could.  It’s not entirely clear if the contract for cruises on these ships will be renewed in future years, but at present, for the price of about nineteen thousand Euro, you can visit the antarctic from the comfort of a huge nuclear icebreaker.  Accommodations  on board are extremely comfortable, but because these ships were not built to be cruise liners, there’s only room for about one hundred guests.

A look inside really illustrates just what can be done with nuclear energy.  When you have limitless power at your disposal, anything is possible, including providing the creature comforts of home in an extremely harsh environment, with subzero temperatures while easily breaking through the toughest pack ice.

And yes, that is a swimming pool.  A small one, but a swimming pool none the less.  Why did they decide to put a pool on an icebreaker?  My guess is just to show off the fact that these icebreakers are such engineering masterpieces that nothing, not even swimming, needs to be omitted in the arctic and antarctic.   There are also saunas, libraries, gym areas and small theaters on the icebreakers.

Such recreational facilities also provide the crews of such icebreakers with much needed rest and relaxation during deployments in that can last several months.  For an escape from the dark and cold of the poles, they also have conservatory-like rooms with plants bathed in artificial sunlight.

The comforts, however, should not detract from appreciating the extreme capabilities of these ships.  They can cruise at more than twenty knots and break through some of the thickest ice in the world.  Their twin nuclear reactors are capable of delivering more than 350 megawatts of thermal power and providing 75,000 or more horsepower to the ship’s propellors.

These photos are not all of the same icebreaker

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The US Coast Guard operates a fleet of large icebreakers.  They’re very capable by any standard, but they are nothing compared to these nuclear-powered ships.  Like most of the world’s icebreakers, the Coast Guard uses conventional oil-fired propulsion.

One can only imagine the possibilities if nuclear power of this type were more widely embraced and deployed for marine propulsion.  Building a large number would undoubtedly bring the cost down, due to economics of scale.

Sources of Photos:

Natural Habitat
Eformable Nuclear NewsMoby Nova
English Russia
Poseidon Expiditions
Arctic Centre On Flicr

Spectroscopy Now For the Everyman

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

For those who don’t know, I have a bit of a side hobby fixing and using radiation detection equipment, such as Geiger counters.   If you’re not into amateur science and nuclear science/energy, this may not seem very exciting.

Geiger counters and other basic radiation detectors are great for getting a general idea what the background radiation is or finding radioactive materials.  However, they have their limitations.  A Geiger-Muller detector only tells you when a gamma photon (or alpha or beta particle) is detected.  It does not provide the energy level of the radiation.  Since Geiger-Muller tubes respond differently to different energy levels of gamma emissions, it’s difficult to get a completely accurate assessment of what the dose rate is.  A rough approximation is still possible, but a reading of the energy levels provides much more information.

In addition to better dose estimates, being able to measure the energy levels of gamma photons allows for identification of isotope which is being detected.  Gamma-emitting isotopes produce emissions at characteristic energy levels, and by measuring these energy levels it is possible to determine what kind of isotope is present.  It is also possible to tune a detector to measure only the desired energy levels and thereby pick up on a desired isotope’s emissions.

Bellow is a graph showing gamma measurements of a variety of radioactive materials.


The Truth About NIF

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Much has been made about the National Ignition Facility – a US Government facility where as massive array of pulsed power lasers is used to irradiate a tiny capsule of deuterium and tritium in order to produce nuclear fusion.  NIF is a truly giant scientific installation, and there’s no disputing its one of the foremost “big science” centers in the world for things like laser optics, pulsed power, plasma physics and nuclear fusion.  The technology is impressive and it will surely produce volumes of important scientific data.

However, there is some confusion, much of it intentional, about the purpose and capabilities of the facility.

It is often portrayed as an experimental prototype for a power-generating fusion reactor.  It’s really not.  The design of the facility precludes it from ever producing useful energy and that’s not the point.  It’s also not the primary objective of NIF to research how nuclear fusion can be harnessed to produce usable energy.  Data to that end may be generated in the process, but the basic design of the facility precludes such a system from being turned into a power plant.

The stated goal of the facility is also often reported inaccurately.  Achieving “ignition” simply means that enough fusion has occurred for additional fusion to be produced without more external power.  In other words, the reaction becomes self-sustaining, if only for a tiny fraction of a second.  Ignition has not yet been achieved, though it is hoped it soon will.  However, it’s less dramatic than it is often described.  The moment when the calculations come back and reveal that the point of ignition has been achieved will not really be that revolutionary.  it won’t mean that suddenly boundless energy is being produced.  After all, nobody doubts that ignition is possible, it is only a question of how much power will need to be concentrated before it actually happens.
Via the Guardian:

Sustainable nuclear fusion breakthrough raises hopes for ultimate green energy
Scientists have moved a step closer to achieving sustainable nuclear fusion and almost limitless clean energy

US researchers have achieved a world first in an ambitious experiment that aims to recreate the conditions at the heart of the sun and pave the way for nuclear fusion reactors.

The scientists generated more energy from fusion reactions than they put into the nuclear fuel, in a small but crucial step along the road to harnessing fusion power. The ultimate goal – to produce more energy than the whole experiment consumes – remains a long way off, but the feat has nonetheless raised hopes that after decades of setbacks, firm progress is finally being made.

Fusion energy has the potential to become a radical alternative power source, with zero carbon emissions during operation and minimal waste, but the technical difficulties in demonstrating fusion in the lab have so far proved overwhelming. While existing nuclear reactors generate energy by splitting atoms into lighter particles, fusion reactors combine light atomic nuclei into heavier particles.

In their experiments, researchers at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California use a bank of 192 powerful lasers to crush a minuscule amount of fuel so hard and fast that it becomes hotter than the sun.

The process is not straightforward. The lasers are fired into a gold capsule that holds a 2mm-wide spherical pellet. The fuel is coated on the inside of this plastic pellet in a layer as thin as a human hair.

When the laser light enters the gold capsule, it makes the walls of the gold container emit x-rays, which heat the pellet and make it implode with extraordinary ferocity. The fuel, a mixture of hydrogen isotopes called tritium and deuterium, partially fuses under the intense conditions.

No, they didn’t actually get more energy out of the system than was put in. They just got slightly more energy from the reaction than the amount of energy deposited on the fusion fuel capsule to make it happen.   It’s really not getting us any closer to using nuclear fusion as a limitless energy source.  In fact, it should be noted that this is far from the first time humanity managed to get a lot more energy out of a fusion reaction than was used to initiate it.   That happened in 1952 and was significantly larger.

A few facts to put it in context:


Radiation Claims by US Sailors

Friday, January 24th, 2014

A story has been making the rounds recently about a number of sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan who are suing the US Navy and TEPCO for symptoms they claim are related to exposure to nuclear radiation on board the ship.   The Reagan did not land in Japan at the time of the tsunami or the ensuing problems at the  Fukushima nuclear power plant.  However, it did participate in the transfer of relief supplies, a mission which resulted in the Reagan spending several weeks in an area about one hundred miles away from the crippled reactors.

The lawsuit has been dismissed, but those who brought it are vowing to continue their fight, attempting to appeal or refile their claims.
WUSA has heart-wrenching the story of one of the sailors:

Maryland sailor blames Fukushima for radiation poisoning

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — He served his country, but has his country turned its back on him? A Maryland sailor says he’s now wheelchair-bound, and he blames it on radiation he was exposed to while representing his country at what’s been called the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Steve Simmons spoke to WUSA9′s Debra Alfarone exclusively.

Simmons never needed any help getting out on the golf course, “Even if it is a bad shot, I’m still happy.”

Golf, hiking, he’s always been the guy that never stops, “I love P90X, in fact after I did P90X, I also ordered the insanity workout.”

Until November 2011.

Steve was 33. That’s when life started changing for this U.S. Naval Administrative Officer. It was eight months after Simmons served on the USS Ronald Reagan when it was the first ship to respond to what’s been called the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl – the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was the result of being slammed by a powerful tsunami, triggered by the most violent earthquake Japan had ever seen. Steve started feeling tired, not himself. Then, he blacked out while driving to work, and drove his truck up on a curb. Steve said his list of ailments was puzzling,

“You’re starting to run fevers, your lymph nodes start swelling, you’re having night sweats, you’re getting spastic and you’re losing sensation in your legs, and you can’t feel your legs when you’re getting 2nd degree burns on them, and how do you explain those things?”

Doctors could not. Steve’s leg muscles eventually just gave up, and he’s now confined to a wheelchair to get around.

Steve’s then-fiance, now-wife, Summer, had just moved cross-country to Maryland with her three children to start their lives together. She says she was shocked, but quickly made a plan, “Things change, I started calling around, borrowed a wedding dress, we started looking for a chaplain and we were married the day before Easter in 2012 in a borrowed wedding gown and his dress whites. It was the last time Steve was really able to spend the day on his feet.”

It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Simmons. People do occasionally unexpected medical conditions, some of which are difficult to diagnose. However, there’s simply no reason to think this is radiation-related.

But this is my favorite part:

Steve explains, “As far as the big picture we still don’t have a diagnosis of what this is, still struggling to even get a doctor to acknowledge that radiation had anything to do with it.”

That diagnosis is critical. Without the Navy acknowledging that Steve wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for his time in Operation Tomodachi, his retirement and pension are at stake. Plus, he doesn’t qualify for aid in the same the way he would if he lost his legs in an IED explosion.

No doctor will say it is radiation related? Probably because they have medical training and understand what radiation does and does not do to the body. It’s just not consitstant with that. Granted, the man may be convinced that something as demonic as radiation must be the casue, that’s not going to hold up in court.

The Department of Defense says radiation levels were safe, and were the equivalent to less than a month’s exposure to the same natural radiation you pick up from being near rocks, soil and the sun.

Steve doesn’t buy that, “How do you take a ship and place it into a nuclear plume for five plus hours, how do you suck up nuclear contaminated waste into the water filtration system and think for one minute that there’s no health risk to anybody on board.”

Again, we have an emotional response. Whether an area is dangerous depends on a number of factors, like there intensity of the radiation and whether there are particles that can be inhaled or ingested. Other important considerations include the time spent in the area and whether it was indoors or outdoors. It’s not a binary safe-unsafe kind of question.


Absolute Bullshit from VOA on Fukushima

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

VOA or the Voice of America is a US Federal Government-sponsored international broadcasting organization.  It’s intended to provide news and information with an American perspective to the world.  The official mission is “to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas.”  To some, it might be considered straight up propaganda, while others might see it as being the US version of the BBC.   In any case, the organization is supposed to provide accurate news.

Yet if they wanted to maintain credibility, this news story and video are not really doing much in that respect:

Under Fire, TEPCO Prepares for Critical Phase of Fukushima Cleanup
TOKYO — Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are about to embark on one of the most critical aspects of the clean-up: removing the fuel rods from one of the worst-hit reactors. Critics say the plant’s owners, TEPCO, should not be trusted to carry out the operation and warn the consequences of any accident would be unprecedented.

Over 1500 fuel rods sit in a damaged storage pool 30 meters above the ground inside the shell of the reactor 4 building at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Safely removing them is the next big challenge for the plant’s owner, TEPCO.

General Manager Masayuki Ono said the operation has been carefully planned.

He explained that because the entire reactor 4 building was destroyed by a hydrogen explosion, TEPCO had to reinforce the structure. This happened during the first year and that new building is now strong enough to stand another earthquake, he added.

That hydrogen explosion – one of the iconic images of the Fukushima accident – left the inside of the pool littered with debris.

TEPCO’s first task is to remove the debris. And then, one by one, the fuel rods will be removed manually using a crane suspended above the crippled reactor building.

Ono explained that a fuel extraction cover was built over Unit 4 and installed at the fuel handling facility. This structure does not put any weight on the Reactor 4 building, and can be used to remove the fuel without adding any additional weight.

The fuel rods must be kept submerged and must not touch each other or break. Nuclear experts warn any mishaps could cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.

Mitsuhei Murata, Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland and an anti-nuclear campaigner, said a series of incidents over the past 30 months – including radioactive water leaks – have called into question TEPCO’s ability to carry out this critical operation.

“The Unit 4 contains 10 times more Cesium-137 than Chernobyl. So in case the worst occurs, a total withdrawal [from the site] will be imposed, which means this can be considered as the beginning of the ultimate catastrophe of the world and the planet,” said Murata.

Click link for the video of the story

I have a few responses to some of the information, or misinformation in this video:

First, using a well known anti-nuclear activist as the expert for a news report is not exactly good journalism. You can expect the comments of such a person to always be as pessimistic as possible and always with a strong anti-nuclear spin. To say that this could be “the ultimate catastrophe of the world and the planet” is ridiculous.

The fuel rods have cooled for more than a year and are now no longer nearly as difficult to handle as they had been. While it is still best to keep them under water, they do not require the cooling they did right after the reactor went off line. They also no longer contain the most dangerous radioisotopes, such as iodine-131.

The amount of cesium-137 in the totality of fuel rods is really not the important thing. For all that cesium to be released, every one of the fuel rods would have to be vaporized or ground into a powder and blown into the wind. Clearly, even under the worst case accidents, that will not happen.

If the fuel rods were to knock into each other, there would be no catastrophe. In fact, nothing would likely happen. Given the precautions and the state of the fuel, a criticality accident is not a major concern. If part of a fuel rod broke off, it would also not be a catastrophe. It would, however, mean that the fuel rod fragment would have to be fished out of the debris, which would be a pain, but not a massive safety problem

Of course, the refueling operation will be long and expensive, just like every part of this decommissioning is, at least relative to other decomissionings. They are working on a heavily damaged reactor and the circumstances demand precision and caution. Support systems were heavily damaged and the reactor was not shut down in a controlled manner. Still, there’s very little danger of a major mishap and zero danger of a global catastrophe.  There’s no significant danger of explosion.

Why You Cannot Build a Nuclear (Fission) Reactor At home

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

What a nuclear reactor is:

In order to continue, it is important to first qualify exactly what a nuclear reactor is.  In some sense, one could consider any device in which a nuclear reaction occurs to be a reactor, regardless of the type of reaction.   By this definition, combining an alpha emitting isotope with aluminum or beryllium would be a nuclear reactor, since some of the particles will be absorbed and produce a simple nuclear reaction.

Within most context, however, the term “nuclear reactor” is understood to mean a fission reactor.  That is, a device which produces a sustained fission chain reaction using a material like uranium or plutonium.  This normally means that the reactor must achieve critical mass.  However, fission can also be achieved in a sub-critical mass by producing neutrons from an external source such as an accelerator in what is known as a subcritical reactor.

Nuclear fusion reactors are completely distinct from nuclear fission reactors.  Although a nuclear fusion reactor could be called a “nuclear reactor,” doing so, without qualification, is likely to cause confusion.  Nuclear fusion reactors come in a variety of types and it is possible for advanced amateurs to build simple electrostatic fusion reactors, such as the Farnsworth Fusor using commercially available materials.   While these fusors are indeed true fusion reactors, in that they can produce nuclear fusion, the amount of fusion they produce is very small and the neutron radiation generated is low enough to make them relatively safe to operate.   They do not require any radioactive materials for construction or operation.

Once in a while you will see a story in the news about an amateur building a “nuclear reactor” for a science fair or demonstration.   This generally means that they have constructed a fusion reactor, usually in the form of a Farnsworth Fusor.  While doing so is certainly an accomplishment and a very advanced amateur science project, it is not a “nuclear reactor” in the sense of a fission reactor.   It produces no usable energy and only limited neutron flux.

Building a fission reactor is something else entirely.


This Month In Radiophobia

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

We all know that radiophobia is rampant. Every time there is even a hint that someone might get exposed to some ionizing radiation, the media goes nuts. It seems like it’s the latest thing to write “studies” pegging cancer risk to medical x-rays or using the wrong kind of tile grout. Just for fun, I wanted to see how many news stories which qualify as “radiophobic” I could find for one month. Here’s what I found in the media, for May 2013:


Former NRC Chairman Jaczko Appointed to NNSA Board

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Activists have often claimed that the United States Nuclear Regulatory Committee is in the pocket of the nuclear industry.   However, based on the attitude of some of the recent commissioners, that seems to be quite the opposite of the truth, as is especially evident with former chairman Gregory Jaczko.

Jaczko was first appointed as a commissioner in 2005 and was promoted to the head commissioner and chairman of the agency in 2009.   He served until his resignation last year.  Jaczko was controversial for the entirety of his time at the NRC, and especially after becoming chairman.  He was widely accused of withholding information, in an attempt to slow or stop regulatory approval.  For example, in 2011, Jaczko failed to release sufficient information to allow the Yucca Mountain project to be evaluated properly, effectively halting approval from moving forward.   Jaczko was also accused by NRC staffers of frequently losing his temper and verbally assaulting those working under him.

It has always been clear that Jaczko’s opinion of nuclear energy has been generally unfavorable.  Indeed, he was the only commissioner to vote against approval of new plant licenses in the United States in 2012.   He was also generally not well received by the nuclear industry.

Yet the extent of Gregory Jaczko’s anti-nuclear feelings did not become entirely apparent until after his resignation from the NRC, in July 2012.   As a commissioner, Jaczko was not able to provide entirely candid comments on nuclear energy.  Had he spoken out directly against nuclear energy, it would have shown a very obvious conflict of interest with his regulatory position.  Yet, after resigning, Jaczko stated that he believed that ALL US nuclear reactors are so flawed and unsafe that they should be shut down as soon as possible. When asked why he did not state this during his time on the commission, Jaczko stated ” didn’t really come to it until recently.”

Calling for what amounts to a complete phase-out of nuclear energy puts Jaczko on a very extreme end of the spectrum.   It is very disturbing, though not entirely surprising, to learn that NRC had been chaired for three years by someone who is so anti-nuclear that he wants a full nuclear phase-out.   It’s the equivalent of someone who believes that humans are not fit for flight being the head of the Federal Aviation Administration.   Indeed, with such extreme views, they may as well have just made Helen Caldicott or Amory Lovins the NRC chair.

Unfortunately, if you thought we were done with this guy, that is not the case.

In addition to the distinct possibility that his mindset is not entirely uncommon at the NRC, it seems Jaczko has found his way back into a federal position.   He was just appointed to oversee the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Via the Hill:

Reid appoints former NRC chief Jaczko to nuclear panel

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko was appointed Thursday to a new panel charged with monitoring the agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tapped Jaczko — a former aide for the Nevada Democrat — for the position with the Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise.

The panel was created by the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Its purpose is to make recommendations for improving operations at the Energy Department’s (DOE) nuclear weapons agency.

Those suggestions regarding the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will be revealed in a report that’s due by February, 2014.

Jaczko has kept a low profile following an unceremonious departure from the NRC in which he resigned his post following allegations that he verbally abused staff.

His appointment to the 12-member panel, as well as a book deal he signed with Simon and Schuster on Wednesday about “Jaczko’s controversial years as the top nuclear regulator in the country,” will change that.

The controversial former NRC chairman’s appointment to the panel will likely rile conservatives.

Well, it has certainly riled me!


Shameful “Study” Claims Fukushima Radiation Affected US Babies

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

What can I say.  I am mad.   I am ripping mad.  I’m disgusted.  I’ve seen a level of dishonesty and scientific misinformation so grotesque, I don’t even know what to say.

One expects that vested interests will tweak data or publish biased studies to support their own causes from time to time.  It’s dishonest and unacceptable, but it happens.  Still, sometimes the level of dishonesty is so severe it really shocks the conscious.

Such is the case with a recent “study” from the Radiation and Public Health Project.   It is so dishonest in its claims it really makes me wonder about the pathology of those who are behind it.  What is their goal?  To they, deep down, think they are serving a greater good with these lies?   Have they justified this to themselves through some rationalization that preserves their need for attention and to appear to be heros?   I’m sure a psychologist could have a field day.

Here is how it was reported in Yahoo News:

Fukushima fallout may be causing illness in American babies: Study
A new study from the Radiation and Public Health Project found that babies born in the western United States as well as other Pacific countries shortly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011 may be at greater risk for congenital hypothyroidism.

Babies born in places including Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington shortly after Fukushima were 28 percent more likely to suffer from the illness, according to the study, than children born in those same regions one year earlier. The illness, if untreated, can cause permanent handicaps in both the body and brain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “If untreated, congenital hypothyroidism can lead to intellectual disability and abnormal growth. In the United States and many other countries, all newborns are tested for congenital hypothyroidism. If treatment begins in the first month after birth, infants usually develop normally.”

But… how could this possibly be?

It is true that nuclear fission produces a significant quantity of iodine-131, a radioactive isotope which can cause damage to the thyroid, due to its high biological uptake and tendency to accumulate in the thyroid.   Thyroid tissue is radiation-sensitive to begin with, so in nuclear accidents, iodine-131 is one of the greatest concerns.

Of course, we are talking about the United States of America.  This is thousands of miles from Japan and any iodine-131 that might make it across the Pacific would be expected to be extremely dilute.   Not only that, but with a half-life of only eight days, the fact that it takes a minimum of a few days for atmospheric material to traverse the Pacific (and usually more than that) means that a good portion of the isotope would have decayed by the time it reached the US.

This is born out by the fact that when iodine-131 (which normally does not occur in nature) was detected in the US, after the Fukushima incident, the levels were miniscule.  Radioisotopes like iodine-131 can be detected at extremely low levels. This is done by collecting samples of precipitation, dust or air and placing them in a detector which can detect the characteristic energy levels of the gamma ray photons radioisotopes emit.  When a gamma ray of the energy associated with iodine-131 is detected, it indicates an atom of the isotope has decayed.  Since its half-life is so short, even a few hundred atoms of iodine-131 will produce detectable radiation, if they are present in a sample.

It is a testament to the precision of modern gamma spectrometers that iodine-131 could be detected at all in both the US and Europe.  Yet, although it was detected, in some cases, the levels were so low that the actual concentration could not even be reliably established.    This is not a big surprise, given that even in Tokyo, which was thousands of miles closer to Fukushima, the levels of iodine-131 only briefly exceeded what is considered the “safe” standard for infants.   It should be noted that the standard is extremely conservative.

If that is not compelling reason enough to be skeptical of claims that the iodine-131 levels in the US were high enough to cause harm to infants, it should also be noted that an entire generation of US citizens was exposed to hundreds or thousands of times more iodine-131 from atmospheric nuclear testing.   What harm this may have caused is still a matter of debate.  it likely did result in some additional cases of thyroid cancer, but it certainly did not lead to a large number of kids of the 1950′s and 1960′s with major thyroid problems.

So how could these babies possibly have been damaged by Fukishima fallout?


Lets take a look at the actual study, which can be downloaded here.