Brave New Climate looks at radiation damage to DNA. Researchers last year at MIT subjected mice to 400 times the background rate of radiation for about 6 months. They estimated it would add 12 pieces of extra damage every day to each normal 10,000 pieces in each cell (this number includes more types of damage than just DSBs – Double Strand Breaks). As far as the researchers could tell, any extra damage was completely repaired. But humans aren’t mice … and we particularly don’t get cancer like mice. We get about half as much cancer despite living 20 times longer.
So, how many times would you need to increase background radiation to have it cause a similar number of DSBs to the ones produced daily by normal processes within our cells? Between 200,000 and 300,000 times. To get an idea of how big this is, think about the average radiation dose received by survivors of Hiroshima. Now get this Hiroshima dose 7 to 10 times every single day. That’s the kind of normal DNA damage your cells deal with every single day. Currently the Japanese Government forbids people to live in any area around Fukushima where they might get more than 8 times normal background levels of radiation.
What is really needed to effectively reduce emissions of CO2 and unhealthy pollutants? Jim Hopf takes a look at the situation with the European Union’s energy policies – and finds a bizarre case in which cap-and-trade combined with renewable-specific mandates and subsidies work at cross purposes.
Meanwhile, subsidies for ultra-low-emission nuclear energy, in contrast to the outright mandating of renewables, is a point of great contention.
Result: high costs of power generation, coupled with high emissions. But there is a relatively simple way to rectify.
Amongst the most secretive and best-financed is Tri-Alpha energy. They’ve released nothing more than a Powerpoint, but have raised somewhere over $140 million from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Microsoft co founder Paul Allen, Russian tech investment firm Rusnano, and, weirdly, former LA Law star Harry Hamlin.
“For some reason the rich guys like however Tri-Alpha presented,” says Brian Wang…
A popularly shared (and highly commented) article discusses the assertion that there was no nuclear disaster per se at Fukushima; only a media fueled frenzy. (APR note: A highly provocative concept and article!)
The construction of TVA’s Watts Bar 2 plant is said to be “on track;” also, more reactors for Pakistan and Jordan signal a trend growing elsewhere.