Atomic Insights – On September 8, 2015, the NRC announced that it would stop funding the National Academy of Sciences’s (NAS) five-year-long, multimillion dollar effort to create a method that could be used to study whether or not populations that are exposed to radiation doses that are a tiny fraction of average background radiation related to proximity to licensed nuclear energy and fuel cycle facilities have an elevated risk of contracting cancer. The staff determined it was silly — “impractical” — to spend millions of dollars and ten or more years looking for evidence of an effect or lack of effect of radiation doses on the order of 0.01-1 mSv. The NRC is confident that its licensees are accurately reporting their effluent releases and calculating the resultant public doses. According to those reports, public exposures are a small fraction of the regulatory limit and generally less than 1% of the exposure that the average American receives from all background sources.
No reliable evidence has been found during the 120 years that mankind has been using radiation and radioactive materials indicating that a dose of less than 100 mSv results in an elevated risk of contracting cancer. Even adherents of the “no safe dose” assertion will — if they are being honest — admit that if you cannot detect a risk at 100 mSv, there is no chance of detecting a risk at 0.1 mSv or 0.01 mSv.
In return for taking a 30-40% equity stake in the $24 billion project Hinkley nuclear project, two Chinese state-owned nuclear firms are asking UK Prime Minister David Cameron for the rights to build a 1000 MW Hualong One reactor at the Bradwell site near London
It looks like a deal with something for everyone. The UK gets significant equity funding for the first reactor in a massive 19 Gwe nuclear build in return for letting Chinese firms book an export sale of its newest light water reactor (LWR) technology in a western nation with the ability to pay for it.