Monday, July 12, 2010

Health Effects of Nuclear Power During Normal Operations

The World’s Nuclear Power Programme and Human Health with particular reference to India
By R. Ashok Kumar,B.E.,M.E., Negentropist, Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, 299,Tardeo Road,
Nana Chowk, Mumbai-400007. Tel: 022-23872061. E-mail:
October 2004
© 2013 Ramaswami Ashok Kumar
The research on low-dose radiation effects must be combined with the energy audit of nuclear power plants to bring home the insatiable appetite of the nuclear industry for causing unacceptable health effects on all life. The article
highlights the extremely slowly deployable nature of a nuclear power programme and the damage it causes like the greenhouse effect because of the fossils it guzzles! Simultaneously one must carefully read two really excellent information links: for the health effects:2003 Recommendations of the ECRR
The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses and Low Dose Rates for Radiation Protection Purposes:

Guidance Note No. 2003/1
Criteria for "Clearance": Controlling the Release of Solid Materials of Very Low Average Activity for Re-use, Recycling and Disposal. June 2003
The committee regards the ICRP model as essentially flawed as regards its application to exposure to internal radioisotopes. But there is a new development. The ICRP is considering the raising of doses compared to its earlier recommendations(1991). This is because the nuclear industry sees fresh impetus to nuclear programmes for new nuclear capacity in its deluded thinking that greenhouse effects of fossil fuel combustion will be reduced. As the above blog shows, in any n-programme towards introduction of nuclear reactors to supply power, the nuclear programmes are net consumers of energy! And the public are probably to be subjected to more than a tripling of the dose of .3 mSv to 1 mSv per year per person(from 30 millirads to 100 millirads raw dose at least) by these new nuclear industry pressure group based ICRP doses!(See Reference Jean McSorley.2004).
Figure 1 below shows a realistic estimate on what is happening globally based on the book by Gofman(1981):Radiation and Human Health. Based on a whole body dose of 300 rads for one fatal cancer,the 1995 capacity of nuclear plants in India of about 2290 MW will result in about 2110 fatal cancers annually(Table 2).
-> Country Identifications

Figure 1: The country identifications are by numbers which may be referred to in the table below.15 denotes the U.S.A, with a nuclear capacity(N-Capacity) of about 106,000 MW(1991), with annual cancer fatalities due to N-Power of 17300. India,16, had a N-Capacity of 2290 in 1991, with annual deaths of 2110; if India had the N-Capacity of the U.S.A(Number 17 in the Figure above), there would be about 141711 premature deaths per year due to cancer alone, 69 percent of the worldwide total of 204300, up from the present 1 percent by 69 times! See Table 2 for the population density of India and whole body annual radiation exposure. The 300 personrads for an assured cancer death is a conservative figure used by Dr John Gofman in 1981.
(Continued from before the Figure 1)

This may be compared with the whole body radiation exposure dose per year per person(both internal and external) of 0.000672 Rads/y/person in India(Table 2,Column 12). The 1991 U.S.A capacity was 106166 MW for nuclear plants and the corresponding dose to the human being was 0.01954 Rads/y/person. The world total of fatal cancer deaths per year due to normal operation of nuclear fuel cycles was 204300 per year. From Table 1, we see that USA suffers annual premature deaths due to fatal cancers owing to normal operation of nuclear fuel cycles of 17300. India would suffer a figure of annual cancer deaths for this reason of 141711 or 69% of present world total annual cancer deaths due to this reason, if her nuclear capacity were raised to the USA 1991 total nuclear plant capacity of 106166 MW(megawatts). This is more than eight times the US figure of annual cancer deaths due to nuclear power plants for the same total capacity! This is a very conservative figure because we have considered only a 0.1 % leak of only Cs137 isotope inventory out of the more than 280 radionuclides generated by the rods of nuclear fuel! The radiation dose in India would rise to more than 75 times per person per year compared to the present and would be more than double the US dose, per person per year(exceeding the permissible dose due to this one radionuclide!).
But there is much more to this than the above calculation's revelations.
Committment of 204300 cancer deaths per year gives rise, because of the long lived nature of Caesium 137 of half life of 30 years,to the total number of cancer fatalities, which, in 100 years, are expected to be 5000 times 204300 and not 100 times this or it is 1 billion or 5000 Bhopals a year on average!Each Bhopal is counted as 2043 immediate deaths after Bhopal accident.
All this is an exercise in futility because as shown by the energy audit, the nuclear industry is a net consumer of energy: For example in the USA, even forty years into the nuclear programme, the nuclear plants supplied to society only a fourth of the energy consumed by the nuclear industry till that date. Only a miniscule amount of energy consumed by the nuclear waste storage was debited to the energy consumed by the nuclear industry(See the article on Nuclear POWER PROGRAMME'S ENERGY AUDIT for the USA
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In the estimation of fatal cancers given above it was assumed that the nuclear reactor’s radionuclide distribution would be same as that which occurred due to atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. For how and what this dual use technology achieved till 1989, see the articles
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“11. Using both the ECRR's new model and that of the ICRP the committee calculates the total number of deaths resulting from the nuclear project since 1945. The ICRP calculation, based on figures for doses to populations up to 1989 given by the United Nations, results in 1,173,600 deaths from cancer. The ECRR model predicts 61,600,000 deaths from cancer, 1,600,000 infant deaths and 1,900,000 foetal deaths. In addition, the ECRR predict a 10% loss of life quality integrated over all diseases and conditions in those who were exposed over the period of global weapons fallout.
12. The committee lists its recommendations. The annual total maximum permissible dose to members of the public arising from all human practices should not be more than 0.1mSv, with a value of 5mSv for nuclear workers. This would severely curtail the operation of nuclear power stations and reprocessing plants, and this reflects the committee's belief that nuclear power is a costly way of producing energy when human health deficits are included in the overall assessment. All new practices must be justified in such a way that the rights of all individuals are considered. Radiation exposures must be kept as low as reasonably achievable using best available technology. Finally, the environmental consequences of radioactive discharges must be assessed in relation to the total environment, including both direct and indirect effects on all living systems.”
But the ICRP is considering raising the annual dose to a member of the public by an order of magnitude - from 0.1 mSv to 1 mSv!
Citizens please be informed about these facts so that our life is worth living and we exercise our right to life, not death -premature death, involuntarily and for no reason.
There is no pure reason for the non-harmonised/
Nor for the non-harmonised is there concentration/
For one without concentration, there is no peace/
And for the unpeaceful, how can there be happiness?
The Gita
Jean McSorley:Greenpeace UK:October 2004.
Increasing radiation dose limits put the public at more risk.
Personal Communication.E-mail:
"Jean McSorley"