Nuclear Power

“No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases”?

It is often quoted that Fukushima will produce “No discernible changes in future cancer rates and hereditary diseases”. This quote is from the UNSCEAR report on the Fukushima1. While other reports2 go into various criticisms of the UNSCEAR report this post is about what that phrase actually means. This post is not about whether this […]


Posted in Risk and Radiation | 46 Comments »

Nuclear Safety Equipment Has “no impact on public health and safety”?

I recently saw a report that failure of a piece of safety equipment had “no impact on public health and safety”. If  so why is it there? I was going to write this post several months ago. However, a recent comment on one of my posts has prompted me to write it now. What originally […]


Posted in Accidents and Risks | 9 Comments »

Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel – NRC Response

I recently wrote a post on the Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel. Roberto Kersevan pointed out in a comment that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) arrive at a very different figure to myself. I therefore wrote to the NRC to point out their mistake. Here is their response as promised: Peter, Thank you […]


Posted in Spent Fuel | 3 Comments »

More About This Blog

I have recently had several comments questioning1 my ‘scientific integrity’ and implying that I have a political agenda. I can assure them that I definitely and unashamedly have a political agenda – if I am not writing about nuclear power I am writing about politics. I am an anti-nuclear campaigner. If I were writing scientific […]


Posted in Nuclear Power | 1 Comment »

Mass and Volume of Spent Nuclear Fuel

I frequently hear comments about the amount of spent nuclear fuel for a certain amount of energy. One figure is that it is one pound coin for every household per year. Somewhere else I am told it is 0.3mg per KWh. Others will tell you that you could fit it into the Albert Hall – […]


Posted in Spent Fuel | 20 Comments »

‘Bigging Up’ Nuclear

The director of one of the companies I used to work for had a technique of getting contracts which is probably not that uncommon. He would get contracts with promises to deliver with ridiculous short time scales for delivery and also undercut the competitors on price. He then renegotiated the contract after a while once […]


Posted in Jobs and Economics | 3 Comments »

The Problem of Complex Systems

This post is a bit abstract but I hope it will help people understand the problems involved with dealing with complex systems. The reason it is abstract is because I want to make the ‘complex systems’ as simple as possible. We are told that nuclear is ‘certainly’ safe, that there is ‘no possibility’ of an […]


Posted in Accidents and Risks | No Comments »

The Problems Of Fail-safes and Redundancy

When discussing nuclear safety we are often told by the nuclear industry that they have ‘fail-safes’ , ‘built in redundancy’ etc that make their reactors ‘safe’. In this post I shall explore some of these claims. It will, hopefully, not bring up any surprises for people involved in nuclear safety but will hopefully be useful […]


Posted in Accidents and Risks | 2 Comments »

The ‘unscientific’ approach to Radiation Risk

This post was going to be about the ICRP’s (International Committee on Radiological Protection) risk model. However, Dr Chris Busby has recently written1 an article for The Ecologist which covers some of what I was going to say. However, there are a few additional points I would like to make. It is important to note […]


Posted in Accidents and Risks | 1 Comment »

A is for Atom

Here is a link to a 1992 programme by Adam Curtis called ‘A is for Atom’ What I found interesting was the interviews with some of the people involved in the very early days of the nuclear power industry including: Alvin Weinberg, inventor of the PWR and BWR reactor Glenn Seaborg, Chairman of the […]


Posted in Accidents and Risks | No Comments »