A Reasonable Approach to Dose: The Tri-Cities Conference

Here it comes – beginning this Monday at the Pasco Red Lion – our chance to fix the legacy Linear No-Threshold hypothesis, or LNT.

LNT asserts that all radiation is bad radiation. Since each of us receives about 600 millirem (6 mSv) of radiation annually from background sources like dirt and cosmic rays (and this doesn’t account for medical/dental x-rays, air travel, eating potato chips, living in basements, etc.), I’m surprised the human race has been able to live with itself all these years. Why haven’t we lobbied nuclear opponents to help us close the planet down?

The industry’s position of “as low as reasonably achievable” would be fine, except that, well, it’s simply not reasonable. Those of us who bring clean, zero-carbon nuclear power to serve 20 percent of the nation’s electric needs are, inadvertently through our own terms and definitions, helping to fuel public fear of radiation.

Scientist and Forbes Energy blogger Jim Conca; environmentalist and California gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger; former NuScale Power CEO and co-founder Paul Lorenzini; and a host of others are gathering in the Tri-Cities next week to try and rectify the situation.

These smart folks – experts from around the globe – are going to get together to debate, collaborate and formulate a new model – a proposal on how to guide our regulatory and social approach to radiation going forward. Bloggers Meredith Angwin and Rod Adams will be on scene reporting as the progress unfolds. We should anticipate development of an approach based on nearly 60 years of scientific study and, yes, reasonableness.Low-Dose Conf logo

Registration is still open – hope to see you there!

ANS & HPS joint news release:

The American Nuclear Society and the Health Physics Society have joined to provide an international forum of current nuclear expertise to evaluate whether existing low-dose protection standards should be reconsidered. Ethical standards for many, including radiation biologists and epidemiologists in recent years, call into question the justification for unintended consequences that may result from adherence to the long-established model.

Featured speakers include William Magwood, Antone Brooks, Michael Shellenberger and Gayle Woloschak. Nuclear expert at Atomic Insights Rod Adams [www.atomicinsights.com] and Nuclear Advocate Meredith Angwin will cover the meeting through their blogs. One of the media contacts will send an email with links to the posts at the end of each program day.

The conference will be held in Pasco, Wash., Oct. 1-3 at the Pasco Red Lion. For program details, visit our website at lowdoserad.org.

News media are invited to attend the meeting. Please coordinate interview requests with one of the media contacts:

Gerald Woodcock, Arrangements Chair, 509-308-6452
Anna Markham, Communication Chair, 509-377-8162

(Posted by Mike Paoli)



Important piece by Nicholas Thompson on what happens when nuclear energy plants close.

What replaced San Onofre?

It sounds like a pretty simple question, and the answer is actually pretty simple. To the first order, San Onofre, a low carbon nuclear facility in California that stopped operating in early 2012, was replaced with natural gas generation. Here’s a graph (Figure 1) of the change in electricity […]

via When nuclear is closed in California, what takes its place? — Nicholas Thompson

2015 in review

Thank you to all who visited our blog this year! We hope to continue providing interesting and relevant content in the new year.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pandora’s Promise: A Recap

Great holiday reading.

An Ecomodernist Mom

ppromThis is an unwieldy recap that I wrote after watching Pandora’s Promise with my writing buddy, Julie Kelly. It might be meaningless to anyone who hasn’t seen the movie and there’s probably no point in reading a recap of a movie you’ve already seen but I had fun writing it.

Translation: Not even my husband should feel obligated to read this.

There’s nothing better than putting the kids to bed on Christmas night after a long day that starts with pre-dawn Santa hysteria and ends with wondering if it’s okay to throw away a fully decorated tree. With the kids asleep, it’s time to open a bottle of wine and your Netflix app so that you can find a cozy post-holiday movie.

This year, I’m recommending that you take a break from Love, Actually and curl up with Pandora’s Promise, the heart-warming story of brave environmental activists who go on a soul-searching…

View original post 2,118 more words


Yes Vermont Yankee is hosting the 287th Carnival of Nuclear Energy Bloggers. The Carnival is a compendium of nuclear blogs that rotates from blog site to blog site.

This week, the majority of the posts are about nuclear and Paris (COP 21), nuclear and carbon, and nuclear and climate change.

Read the posts here.

Public Power Week: Why we have reason to celebrate

(Guest post by George Caan, executive director of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association)

George Caan - Portrait

George Caan, WPUDA Exec. Dir.

Sometime today you will use electricity.  It may be in your office, when you make your morning coffee, or when you login to your computer. Electricity is a staple of our lives and of our economy.  October 4-10 is National Public Power Week; a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association recognizing the 2,000 public utilities across the nation that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 46 million Americans. While Public Power Week isn’t a holiday marked on your calendar and won’t likely be celebrated with family gatherings, special decorations, or a large sphere dropping in Times Square, that doesn’t mean it should go by without at least a little recognition – because here in Washington state, not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities play an important role in meeting the daily electricity needs of communities.

Public Power’s contribution

Washington’s consumer-owned utilities serve more than half of all electric customers while delivering almost two-thirds of the electricity in the state. Public Utility Districts, part of the public power family, serve almost a third of the state’s electricity needs and about half the state geographically. As not-for-profit utilities owned by the communities they serve and governed by locally-elected boards of commissioners, PUDs not only strive to help residential customers maintain comfort in their homes but also work to support local, mainly rural economies. This Public Power Week is a good time focus on the contribution of public power as an economic driver in our state.

Rates and reliability are key factors in attracting new industry to Washington and helping existing businesses thrive. Washington’s PUDs offer the lowest electricity rates in the nation. Not-for-profit services along with local control and local accountability contributes to affordability and reliability in areas served by PUDs, providing a competitive advantage for existing businesses as well as those seeking to expand or to locate in Washington.

A source of clean energy

But affordability and reliability are just part of the picture. Washington’s consumer-owned utilities offer something else in demand by many businesses and industries: clean energy. Washington consumer-owned utilities are far out ahead of the curve nationally, serving customers with some of the cleanest energy in the nation, thanks to our vast hydropower resources complimented by other renewable energy resources and nuclear power. In fact, 95 percent of the resources that serve PUD customers produce zero greenhouse gases, an attractive feature not only for residents but for businesses and industries seeking to power their operations with clean energy.

Energy Northwest has 27 public power member utilities located throughout the state of Washington.

Energy Northwest has 27 public power member utilities located throughout the state of Washington.

Promoting conservation and efficiency

To maximize our existing clean energy resources and keep rates affordable, PUDs have a long history of promoting conservation and energy as a least-cost, environmentally friendly resource. In 2014 alone, PUDs helped customers save more than 350,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. That is enough to power more than 30,000 homes. Industrial and business customers have seen the financial advantage of working with their local PUDs on energy efficiency improvements with bottom line energy savings.

As Public Power Week gets underway, you don’t have to celebrate by carving a large orange gourd or sending out “Public Power Week” greeting cards; just take a moment when you flip on the light switch to remember there are consumer-owned utilities in Washington working hard for you, for our economy, and for our environment.