Author Topic: Low Level Radiation  (Read 1206 times)

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Ascension

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Low Level Radiation
« Posted: 19 Nov 2011, 15:45:07 »
This follows from a discussion which was getting off- topic from that of Sovereign Grange street names in the Parish Council Matters area.

Russell Brown: You cite a paper by Kaatsch et al containing the anodyne quote, “The disease rates in the individual Nuclear Power Plant areas fluctuate randomly above or below the national average”. But the areas they are talking about are the administrative districts which contain the Plants and are much bigger than the reported cluster size in question. It is not surprising that you can wash-out a statistical feature by embedding it in a larger area. Their argument is disingenuous. It’s like defending a murderer killing a couple of people in Cliffe by saying that they did not significantly affect the death-rate of East Northamptonshire; it would be true but irrelevant.

What they do not challenge in that paper (but rather repeat three times) is the main conclusion of the study: the closer a child lives to a reactor, the greater their risk of developing cancer - especially leukaemia.

You say, “Leukaemia in particular, the form of cancer investigated by the KiKK study, seems extremely difficult to assign to any particular environmental influence with claims that living in the country, rural population mixing or living near electricity pylons can all cause leukaemia.” Claims: none of which have been substantiated or even widely supported.

They don’t claim pure coincidence is responsible because the possibility that the leukaemia observations could have occurred by chance alone is 0.44%, much smaller than the 5% threshold commonly taken for statistical significance.  They don’t claim uncontrolled confounding but instead report, “no risk factors of the necessary strength for this effect are known for childhood cancer and specifically childhood leukaemia.”[1]

The reason why KiKK investigates leukaemia is because it is a signature of radiation exposure; leukaemia is very strongly linked to radiation. For example, it is thought that between 20% and 100% of background leukaemia (those which arise spontaneously) is due to background radiation. Yes even pro-nuclears like Wakeford think 20%! Remember that when someone asks you to accept a radiation risk by comparing it to background: background is a killer.

The explanation for the KiKK findings (most plausible to me) is that the official estimates are a load of rubbish - just like the ones Augean’s cooked up. They don’t come from direct measurement but a convolution of environmental, biokinetic, dosemetric and risk models. The cumulative uncertainty can be very large as recognised by the report of the CERRIE Committee. Official estimates protect obsolete methodologies, government policies and the nuclear industry - but not the people.

Even if we assume radiation is not the cause, shouldn’t you prevent bits of nuclear power stations being buried in Cliffe until the leukaemia is explained?

Cornhusker: You ask me to compare the several papers on chemical exposure to those on radiation. There are over 60 studies of leukaemia near nuclear sites which is a comparatively huge number. There is no other area of toxicity that has anywhere near as many. With lead, for example, you won’t find more than about 15.

[1] Spix C et al, European Journal of Cancer (2008), volume 44, pages 275 to 284.

[Update: I’ve rephrased my question to clarify it for mygodeager. The reader should know that the most radioactive bits of nuclear power stations are not coming to Cliffe.]
« Last Edit: 22 Nov 2011, 17:42:18 by Ascension »

mygodeager

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Re: Low Level Radiation
« Reply #1 Posted: 20 Nov 2011, 20:04:43 »
Think it would be helpful if you presented a balanced view rather than a blinkered one, some of what you write it a complete load of miss information. The KIKK studies have been discredited by most of the scientific community, and as for the assertion of REACTORS being put into the land fill site. Do you live with the fairies??

friday

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Re: Low Level Radiation
« Reply #2 Posted: 22 Nov 2011, 12:35:17 »
What have you got against fairies?

Ascension

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Re: Low Level Radiation
« Reply #3 Posted: 22 Nov 2011, 17:45:44 »
mygodeager: I don’t see that I’m supposed to present a balanced view. It’s an opinion. You can redress the balance (as you see it) with your opinion and we can discuss them.

If you believe the KiKK study has been discredited, why do you think its conclusions are accepted by the German government?