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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Response from Author Of "We Need Radiation" Article

From Conca, in response to stock's questions.

I sent your comment to one of the authors and received this back:

I did a review on the whole text of the study, I just don’t have time to write it up nicely, but here is my shoot from the hip take on things. I am not against this type of study and in fact urge it to be replicated by those with no vested interests. -

These types of studies where cells shielded from natural levels of radiation exhibit deleterious effects have been done by the French (Planel et al.1987), the Italians (Satta et al. 1995; Carbone et al. 2009; Fratinni et al. 2015) and the Japanese (Kawanashi et al. 2012), studies run over the last four decades. (references cited in our Castillo paper)

No conclusion, their experimental setup is questionable. I mean why not run the background radiation cultures in “background radiation” rather than try to create a K40 background radiation using salts. - 

We started this work by doing just that and published an initial report (Smith et al. 2011). Comparing above ground controls to below ground shielded cells of D. radiodurans, we observed similar trends as in our second study (Castillo et al 2015), i.e., growth was inhibited. The idea of adding back radiation was to control for variables that would otherwise not be controllable at two different locations.

Just weird, the only benefit is being in the same location….and then to put the radiated test and the nonradiated in the SAME CABINET? - 

Both the add-back 40K control and the rad-deprived treatment were located in the steel vault, but they were in separate incubators. This means that the only difference between the two treatments was radiation. However, I appreciate the point made below about humidity differences.

Why the lousy climate control on the incubator box…the low rad chamber swung from 20RH to 60RH, thats a hella swing for a climate controlled box. The radiated chamber held much better tolerance at 30 to 50RH. - 

In 2011, we did have a hard time controlling the humidity in the 2 different incubators, due to the KCl salt buffering humidity by releasing/sorbing water. We attempted to control the minus incubator with variable levels of water. We are much better at it now than in 2011. Now, I’ve thought, what difference on the radiation field would humidity make? I’d love to run an experiment with the hypothesis that a gamma source would undergo more Compton scattering due to the atmospheric water molecules. Sigh, some day, when we get tighter endpoints maybe we’ll do it. Bottom line, both sets of cells in plus and minus rad incubators were suspended in water, both experiencing 100% humidity.

Then when they measured the low rad area with a test device, they decided to ignore the device and instead use a model that showed 20 times less radiation, excuse me? - 

I’m a much more natural empirical scientist than I am a theory guy, and so was the last one to let go of my Sodium Iodide detector measurements. But I couldn’t ignore the variability of my measurements: I took about 150 measurements, and yet the readings were all over the place. We reported 2 nGy/h plus/minus 1.8, so what does that mean? That’s a lot of variability, it was mostly the noise of the instrument I was using. Other empirical methods like suing badges also have severe limitations at these bizarrely low levels of rad. We got a physic geek to run MonteCarlo N Particle modeling; MCNP analyses are well-established and, in this case, gave the more accurate estimation.

They draw conclusions that both type of bacteria were heavily effected by rad or no rad, and then for the radiation sensitive bacteria they say our variation was so great that we really can’t say anything with any certainty. - 

We get clear and statistically significant stress gene upregulation in the radiation sensitive bacterium (S. oneidensis), so I’m not sure what’s being referred to. I really can’t understand the gene testing portion and it is not written clearly. - Yes, sorry, it could have been written better, but see above statement. The statistics say that in three separate experiments, three different families of stress genes (DNA repair, ROS response and efflux pump), become upregulated when cells are deprived of normal radiation. In our reciprocal control experiments, when we returned the cells to radiation-sufficient conditions (i.e., the other incubator 3 feet away with a source of rad), the stress genes went quiet.

Plus they were doing this at WIPP, in the underground, and they could only visit the test site quickly twice a day, their total test was 2 days long. So this must have been after the plutonium explosion in WIPP, a questionable place to do bio-testing.

We did the experiments reported in Castillo et al. in 2011, before the rad release. Interesting though, is the fact that about 1000 meters away, there is the nuclear repository for weapons waste, and yet the salt completely shields the rad so that MIT and Stanford can run two international astrophysics experiments (on dark matter and neutrino-less double beta decay, respectively), that rely on the almost complete absence of radiation in order to publish their results.

Then they want to questionable and not replicated test on special bacteria to be used as a basis for throwing out radiation standards on humans and gifting us with more radiation.

More work needs to be done to test under what conditions LNT is correct, but at these levels it is not. LNT needs to be tested, and not just accepted because it sounds good and is conservative.

stock here again, with more questions and statements---

LNT (Linear No Threshold) is a canard, a strawman argument, in terms of promoting any alternate theory by "disproving LNT".    No engineer or scientist would assume or even theorize that LNT was the way that 50 different important isotopes that decay with various methods and energies and that also have important chemical properties within the human body and bio-congregate in various one would assume a linear reaction to all these wildly varying factors.   Especially when the extrapolation, or interpolation if you insist since Zero is the "target" is based on a limited number of cases of a post war scenario of high dose radiation.

The true reaction of human to various isotopes may be supra "linear", sub "linear", parabolic, or even "double humped".     There may be some sweet spot in which there is a benefit.   But with our level of understanding and ability to test, and knowing that there are large individual differences in reaction to humans to many different inputs (hay fever as a simple example, peanut allergy, lactose intolerance) it seems clear that there will also be a huge difference in reactions to humans to various isotopes.    And so even IF, we could tell what is good for the gander, we could not certainly say that it is good for any particular set of gooses.

We know that the nuclear industry is extremely challenged at this time.   And we know that they want to loosen up the rules regarding radiation exposure and radiation releases and cleanup efforts.   So it is important for the nuclear industry to change the laws so that they have a chance of survival.   However, everywhere one looks, there is clear and statistically significant evidence that even at the existing, what some call "low" levels of radiation releases from nuclear plants, that there is importantly damaging and wide spread negative effects.     Although the environment and humans are under attack from a number of negative factors such as chemical pollution, pesticides, and some believe GMOs, this should not be a reason why we should not eliminate an obvious cause of deleterious radiation and heavy metal pollution (nuclear) which is no longer economic in favor of much better methods to generate electricity.   And that is before we even bring up the issue of long term damage from the attempt at long term "disposal" of nuclear waste.   

Sometimes we don't just need a bigger boat, we need a different boat.


  1. Excuse me but I run MCNP regularly and im no geek lol. Now LENT has cost needless billions so on the one hand you scream nuclear is too expensive and on the other hand you claim its unsafe. There is a phrase we like to banter about that you really need to take to heart: "Infinite safety at infinite costs". The art and practice of engineering is about constraint and resource management.In engineering cost analysis constraints always come into play because there are not infinite resources to get the job done. In this case the job is adequate protection. The regulatory bar is "adequate". So remember when you twist and spin missives to your agenda, as an engineer yourself, how would you define "adequate". A million chickens can't be used to demonstrate your point. So there are constraints.

    1. I take issue with your careless post. You obviously do not even read the comments, just cherry pick a few phrases to take pot shots at. It should be obvious that I am no fan of LNT as being a "truth", but I accept it as a reasonably safe way to estimate reasonably safe dose.

      How many babies born without brains are "adequate" to the average mother? If we have better alternatives then nuclear, then not even 1 in 100,000,000 babies without brains is "adequate".

      4mSV cumulative is shown to have statistically significant increased chance of cancers.

    2. How many babies born without brains are a result of radiation? You absolutely have gone off the deep end. Your 4 mSv reference is hokum. You bought into junk science. Busby is a quack. You guys deserve each other. Just dont go crying in your beer when you find out what we already know about Fukushima.

    3. Google Hanford Babies with No Brains

      4mSV it's a fact, jackass

  2. BTW you know in the back of your mind that LNT is going down. Its only a matter of time. It might not be this time around but its time is short. You realize its based on extrapolated data from A bomb survivors. The measure of safety isn't in artificial numbers to concoct numerical deaths. Its about longevity and the preservation of real life. So its been 70 years since then and what have we learned? That these survivors have lived long productive lives amidst a horrible psychological trauma. Fukushima is headed that way. Alot of it really is in the mind you know. Once people conquer their fear of radiation then its easy easy Japanesey. Pun.

  3. Yeah, I intend on helping to take LNT down, and replacing with something far more realistic, in general stricter but not always.

    Thanks for showing up here Doctor Yamashita!

  4. Dont know why the double post on that one

  5. Dont know why the double post on that one


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