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Comment Re:Would I eat it? (Score 1) 117 117

What you fail to include in your discussion of risk is probability. You only discuss potential consequence, but that is not enough to evaluate a risk. And in absence of knowing probability, risk perception is skewed, a central element to my point.

A discussion of probability is only possible when the quantities of radionuclide effluent from the Fukushima disaster is generally available. I will remind you that the Japanese government has a media blackout so hard data on what type and how much radionuclides were released is not available. You are welcome to contribute that data to the discussion so probability can be assessed.

It is pointless complaining to me about the lack of data as I would also like to see it. Until such data is made available then we will just have to deal with uncertainty. It is safe to say though it is more than nothing.

The data for exposure risk is known, it generally shows extremely low probability of negative health impacts. But most folks don't realize just how low that is compared to many of the things they do daily.

The point is not that it is low, it is that it exists at all and how much increase in risk we can expect as the radionuclide effluent is absorbed into the foodchain.

By not riding in a car, you are not exposing yourself to the risk of death or injury by car accident. But you do it anyhow.

A more honest comparison would be a risky activity like bungee jumping, an unnecessary risk that you choose as compared to driving car which is a necessary risk you control.

Until we get data on what and how much radionuclides were released we won't be able to quantify the risk. If you're happy to eat Fukushima food, go ahead, you'll probably be ok.

Comment Re:Just products, or services too? (Score 2) 88 88

I don't see why it wouldn't work to our advantage. The US has always been top notch in the tech sector, and hasn't depended on tariffs to do so. A lot of countries (especially ones in Europe) have tried using tariffs to try to counterbalance that, but it's never done anything other than make technology more expensive in those countries. If those trade barriers fall, then we'll see a LOT more money headed our way.

People who understand quality pay for it, everyone else buys the rubbish that passes as merely a consumer item.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 463 463

Three great points, that I'll answer in kind.

Perhaps nuclear power should be a state function, rather than a private function.

Indeed, this would be a positive step forward for Nuclear power, however it is unlikely that the government would accept the liability.

The US Navy has a decent record of running nuclear power, perhaps we should simply ask them to do it.

It is unlikely that current reactors would meet the rigor of their safety criteria, considering that Naval reactors are under considerably stringent operating parameters.

Not everything translates into private companies. After all, my local water utility works very well and is government run.

For profit and Nuclear power seem to be incompatible. Properly managed they could provide a key economic input in time of financial downturn as an impetus for driving economic activity. Sadly, there a few politicians who would support such a long term vision at this time.

Comment Re:cue the nuclear fanbois (Score 1) 463 463

Both of the claims I list boil down to nuclear power is bad because there isn't enough nuclear power.

No they don't. The first fact is that the energy to extract the uranium in the first place to fuel the reactor over it's life time equates roughly a third of the reactors total output over it's lifetime.

The second is that the energy to decommission the reactor at the end of its service life equates to roughly another third of the total energy output.

This is what the science of examining the entire Nuclear fuel cycle has revealed.

How is that a fault with the energy source?

To begin with it is grossly inefficient (0.3%) compared to the energy potential of the uranium. Current technology cannot extract the full energetic potential of the uranium. There are ways to make it more efficient however it requires people like you to accept the faults of the industry and start to evaluate it in an honest way so the faults can be addressed and progress made.

Nuclear Power is a fantastic, technological innovation that is ultimately pointless if it does not provide the energy returns and leaves a radiological legacy for future generations the way a carbon legacy was left for our generation.

Nuclear Industry PR is extremely effective because it is a complex subject so I don't blame you for repeating it. However you can choose to accept the PR or you can challenge the assumptions it has created with the independent, formally peer reviewed science I have provided.

Comment Re:Aussie freedoms are inferior (Score 1) 337 337

the TTP probably violates a lot of our laws and rules as well. If it is what we fear, then there are going to be some fierce court challenges.

You might find that the only basis that exists for a challenge is that the TPP is not constitutional.

I'd like to know what other thing your politicians have done in the US's interests that violated your rights though? Just curious.

The most recent example is passing the data retention laws so that the movie industry can do speculative invoicing on Australians. The Free trade agreement signed over a decade ago started eroding our health care system, which is mostly free for all citizens with little benefit to Australians. I don't blame Americans themselves because from what I see they are suffering at the hands of the same, powerful, vested interests as we are.

Politicians don't respond to that sort of thing. Politics is about leverage.

I've founnd that addressing them directly with a letter is the single best way to have your voice heard. They may even write back. By letter I mean snail mail on paper, addressed to them. Nothing like a little one one one conversation.

There is very little actual compromise or common ground or anything of that nature at this point.

Which is unfortunate because co-operation and compromise is a key part of conducting a democracy.

That's how ugly the politics have gotten in the US. Discourse is pointless. Appeals to reason are pointless. Sound and rational arguments are pointless.

If it doesn't stop, we will destroy ourselves with our mutual loathing for each other and the system itself.

I couldn't agree more, we have followed a similar path here in Australia. It is like the politicians have given up and now the game is how blatantly they can deceive the electorate.

All we can do is our best to hold them accountable.


Study: Certain Vaccines Could Make Diseases More Deadly 85 85

sciencehabit writes: New research suggests that vaccines that don't make their hosts totally immune to a disease and incapable of spreading it to others might have a serious downside. According to a controversial study by Professor Andrew Read these so-called "imperfect" or "leaky" vaccines could sometimes teach pathogens to become more dangerous. Sciencemag reports: "The study is controversial. It was done in chickens, and some scientists say it has little relevance for human vaccination; they worry it will reinforce doubts about the merits or safety of vaccines. It shouldn't, says lead author Andrew Read, a biologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park: The study provides no support whatsoever for the antivaccine movement. But it does suggest that some vaccines may have to be monitored more closely, he argues, or supported with extra measures to prevent unintended consequences."

Comment Re:Would I eat it? (Score 1) 117 117

Not even remotely. The whole point is related to actual vs perceived risk. I your 'balls on the table' scenario, the actual risk seems quite unknown. There is not data to support a risk based decision.

Well if there is no data to support a decision then only a fool would expose themselves to the risk of developing cancer. Since it is not possible to examine all the food produced there, there is an actual risk of ingesting radioisotopes. That means there is an actual risk of developing cancer from eating it.

They are aware and understand the risks, and they are able to decide based on that. People act accordingly when they understand the risks, and when they don't they act according to their perceptions of it.

There are two key input facts. 1) Bio-accumulation or radioisotopes occur. 2) The Fukushima plants released radioisotopes. So to properly asses the risk of eating Fukushima food you would need to use a geiger counter over the meal so that you could assume responsibility for the risk for yourself and fully understand the risk.

It would be foolish to say that there is no risk, when there is one. So for most people it is just simpler to not expose themselves to that risk.

Some people who buy in to the FUD regarding immunizations make bad decisions, because their perceptions of the risk are wrong.

Well that is a really bad comparison because by not immunizing a person they are exposed to a risk, i.e. you are taking a risk by not immunizing (plus you are risking others).

By not eating Fukushima food you are not exposing yourself to a risk of ingesting radioisotopes.

Comment Re:Would I eat it? (Score 1) 117 117

then you should very confident that eating the food is safe because we have the data . But, you don't because of the FUD.

Alternatively, it is being cautious. Now you believe it is fine and prepared to take the risk so go ahead and eat it, you believe that every bit of food will be checked and every part will be ok, so go ahead and take the risk, the odds are in your favour and you'll probably be ok.

However bio-accumulation and radio-analogues are not FUD. Ingest them and you will get a cancer if the odds aren't in your favour.

Your whole point is like telling someone to put their balls on a table and hand you a knife. If you want to take the risk, you put your balls on the table.

Comment How old is the ice? (Score 1) 63 63

From the photos it looks like the mountains have pushed up through the ice. I wonder if that is how the 'Moated Mountain" formed, nitrogen ice eroding the geology.

I have to say this is an appropriate use of the word 'amazing' - Thank you NASA (and the American taxpayer)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 463 463

Even the most cursory research will show you that the nuclear industry has significant CFC *greenhouse* gas emissions used in the enrichment process. Dig a little deeper and you will find the US enrichment is driven my coal generating facilities.

The failure to tolerate the most straight forward introspection shows that the nuclear fanbois out there do more damage to the Nuclear Industry than anyone, preventing any significant progress to the industry. No facts, no reason, no argument - every single time.

Comment Re:cue the nuclear fanbois (Score 2) 463 463

Obviously the problem here is that not enough plants are being built, not that there is a problem with the energy source itself.

The article, however, does its best to make this seem like a negative for the power source.

It is not an article, it is the peer reviewed science that was used by the European Parliament and other credible bodies. This is what scientific research on the Nuclear Industry found.

to attribute all of the energy going into uranium enrichment and other accociated energy needs to energy produced from CO2 emitting sources when a nuclear power plant produces electricity at vastly greater scales then what is required for these things.

*IF* it was able to extract the potential energy there instead of the 0.3% that reactor technology can extract.

I'll admit though, after two completely bogus claims I stopped reading so maybe that site has something that stands up to simple reasoning somewhere in its contents.

And what do you offer to back up the claim that the actual science is bogus? FYI, these are the Universities internationally that contributed to the report. Australia. University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Monash University, Belgium. NPX Research Leuven, IMEC Leuven, Germany. Universität Regensburg, Öko Institut Darmstadt, Italy. University of Florence, Netherlands. University of Utrecht, Technical University Eindhoven, ECN Petten, Singapore. National University of Singapore, Spain. Bank of Spain Economics

Switzerland. CERN Geneva, ETH Zürich

UK. Imperial College London, University of Edenburgh, Oxford Research Group London, USA Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University New York, Princeton University

If you are able to overcome your prejudices and stop relying on your assumptions then you might learn what and why the issues exist.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder