218 thoughts on “Monday Message Board (on Tuesday)

  1. Fran, maybe you should read up on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation radioactive materials contaminanting the Columbia River for thousands of years before you rave on.

  2. @Michael of Summer Hill

    What is the relevance of citing a plant commissioned to build nuclear weapons materiel during the latter part of WW2 and which had the waste management polices applying in the 1950s and 1960s when it released most of its waste to the current regime?

    It’s clear that in those days, people in charge were reckless and ignorant. Now we are a lot more aware of the problems. Learning from past mistakes is what most call progress.

  3. Fran, scientists knew what they were doing at Hanford from 1944 through to 1988 and the dangers associated with operating nine nuclear reactors producing plutonium and millions of gallons of radioactive and hazardous waste. The same mentality exists today.

  4. @Chris Warren
    Chris – apparently all of us are obsessive and you are now “mapping the I hate nuclear power meme on to Fran” and “Ernestine and I share the same author” and Bilb “opposes nuclear as an article of faith” and “only fifth graders would accept Bilb’s figures” and “Alice has a boilerplate and thats all that matters to her”

    Alice also “needs to look into the face at the bottom of the well” according to Fran.

    I did and I saw Fran down there begging me to sign up to per petition for global nuclear power to help lift her out. Sad really…but Id rather leave her and her propaganda (bravenewclimate) down there. Ernestine…I apologise for Frans lack of respect at 49 (its embarrasing) but its par for the course. You get all types here.

  5. item 34, p4 is now item 35
    item 45, p4 is now item 46
    item 49, p4 is now item 50

    There are many conceivable reasons for the change in numbering, including possibly an item in moderation. I don’t know the reasons.

  6. No Fran – MoSH is correct. We must never use any source of power that has ever polluted anywhere as we cannot know better now that we did then and even if the new methods of producing that power simply cannot behave in the same way as the old then we must apply the strong form of the precautionary principle and never even think of going there.
    [takes breath]
    Oh, BilB – if you are going to recommend a website, make it one that has its facts reasonably straight. They say that when tritium is released it “…presents a biological hazard for up to 120 years.” Odd, with a half-life of 12 years. In 120 years there is less than 1 part per thousand of the original material left. It would have to be an awful lot for it still to be dangerous.
    The site, and certainly that story, looks like it is into anti-scientific hysteria rather than measured debate.

  7. Andrew,

    You’re quoting the answer, “up to”, and the toxicity of the 1% remainding depends on how severe was the contamination in the first place. The issue is how much damage can be done in the 120 years up to that time. The article amoungst many others was about contamination at a lot of plants, not 1. I take it by your tone that you are an apologist for nuclear polluters? It is actually 1 percent at 74 years.

  8. BilB,
    The 120 years is simply nonsense in and of itself. For the 120 years figure there would have to be some particular amount released, some particular amount ingested (it is only hazardous to humans if ingested) and all within the 120 years.
    The use of “120 years” there simply and totally without scientific basis.
    A few other points:
    1. Thanks for the link. I can use that as a clear example of the “war on science” also being from the Left the next time anyone chooses to bring that up.
    2. 1 in 1000 is not 1% – it is 0.1%
    3. I apologise for nothing except any mistakes I make. You, OTOH, seem to be trying to apologise and excuse that website’s obviously unscientific approach.

  9. How ever do you turn this into an attack on science???

    If you bother to google the issue it is well reported in a broad number of news services along with the other 26 sites.

    Any release of significant radiation is extremely dangerous. Any contaminate that reaches groundwater is out of control. Ground water can travel hundreds of kilometers in 100 years. The article was more interesting for its reference to the energy agency’s breaching of its own rules. This is also refered to else where.

  10. If the piece is a reasoned, measure piece on the dangers of tritium, why the 120 year figure? The only reason it can possibly be there (it has no demonstrated scientific basis) is that they wanted a big, scary number.
    In any case, if it travels a long way in 100 years it will probably be so decayed and diluted as to be indistinguishable from background. Scare stories with impressive numbers just do not cut it.

  11. One interesting thing about radioactivity is that something that is radioactive, over time, tends to make things around it radioactive too. That is the nature of radioactivity. This means that even something with a relatively short half life can live on by having made other things with longer half lifes radioactive. Interesting that.

  12. Fran Barlow :@Ernestine Gross

    For you (Alice), nuclear is unthinkable and that suffices
    You cite this with qualified approval: Assuming it were true, which I don’t know whether it is, there is no issue arising. {Emphasis added by me [FB]}
    You don’t agree that being unthinking in one’s ideas creates any issue. You assert by implication that an evidence-free set of ideas is OK. You are happy with a boilerplate approach to policy. I congratulate you on your candour here.
    It does make my point though. You and Alice, assuming that you are indeed separate identities, despite the evident similarity in the manner you your views and the proximity with which you post in support of each other, are simply single-minded opponents of nuclear power technology. It wouldn’t matter what evidence there was about comparative feasibility. You’d reject it as unthinkable and call it “spin”. Ironically, you “both” project on to me your own singleminded attitude.
    This is quite possibly a coincidence, but one may wonder.

    Paragraph I:= typed lines 1 to 4.
    Sloppy: There is an opening quotation sign but no closing one

    Paragraph II: typed lines 5 to 8
    1. Error: You, Fran, substituted the word “unthinking” for “unthinkable”.
    2. Error: You, Fran, attempt to deduce something from an erroneous substitution of terms. Your deduction is therefore wrong.
    3. Error: You introduce two false assertions in one sentence (you assert I am happy; you ascribe to me a ‘boilerplate’ something).
    4. I accept your acknowledgement of my candour, although I must stress that flattery will get you nowhere.

    Paragraph III: typed line 9 to 16.
    1. You, Fran, writes: “It does make my point though.” Your point, Fran, so far consists of 3 errors (75% error rate) and an acknowledgement that Ernestine [I] is honest, frank, forthright (ie candour).
    2. You, Fran, write: “You and Alice, assuming that you are indeed separate identities, despite the evident similarity in the manner you your views and the proximity with which you post in support of each other, are simply single-minded opponents of nuclear power technology.”
    Part A
    a. Fran’s assumption 1: Alice and Ernestine are 1 person
    b. Fran’s assumption 2: Alice and Ernestine are 2 people
    c. By 4 of II: Ernestine is an honest, frank, and forthright person.
    d. By c. of 2 of III, a. of 2 of III is contradicted because only a dishonest person would pretend to be someone else.
    e. d. of 2 of III leaves two possibilities: Either, contrary to Fran’s conclusion, Ernestine is not honest, frank and forthright, or Fran’s assumption 1, Alice and Ernestine are 1 person, is wrong. Either way, Fran has made an error.

    Conclusion, Fran Barlow is either an idiot who can only manufacture errors or Fran is a mischievous manufacturer of falsehood to promote nuclear power.

  13. @Ernestine Gross

    In cyberspace, when someone finds him or herself in a corner, typo, grammar and syntax flames are a common usage. It’s even sillier when the flame is spurious as it is in part. Unthinking and unthinkable are distinct and were both used as I intended.

    I suppose that were I in need of diversion, I might trouble to unpick your silliness above — decontextualising the descriptor “happy” to lend it an alternative lexical value, doing something similar with “candour” and turning an implication into an assumption.

    Yet I’m not in need of diversion. Whoever you are, whatever your aim, it seems clear that you are unwilling or unable to post in ways that add to the insight of people reading this blog — at least when your mind is focused on me.

    I’m going to wish you wisdom in your choices and the results that this would predispose and leave you to deal with others, as on balance, I don’t see these exchanges as ethically warranted.

  14. @Andrew Reynolds


    It is very common for people to suggest that radioactivity takes 10 half lives to reduce to background levels or (for some) acceptable risk.

    Anything above this level is unacceptable and pollutes the environment.

    But if one isotope has a half life, this does not indicate the period of radiation. It is the period it takes for one isotope to decay to the next element in the ongoing chain (or series) of decay.

    The next element then may have a radically different half life.

    Your comments suggest you do not know what you are talking about.

  15. @Fran Barlow

    “Whoever you are, whatever your aim, it seems clear that you are unwilling or unable to post in ways that add to the insight of people reading this blog — at least when your mind is focused on me.”

    Well Fran, you attracted my attention because, on several ocasions, you posted as if you would know me on this blog-site and possibly elsewhere. You made statements about me which are not only offensive but also outrightly false. Now you say ‘whoever you are’. I suppose you can’t see that you are contradicting yourself. But, I don’t care how you organise your mind.

    I now ask you to apologise for all your statements you have made about me, unconditionally, and to publish your apology on all web-sites where you are active.

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