I don't know how small those Toshiba mini reactors are, but I'd happily have one of those in my garden if it fits.
Or any modern design right next door to me.
There has been only a single incident that I'm aware of (Chernobyl), all others were near incidents (Three Mile Island, Japan, etc...).
In fact, the technology and safety has come a long way since the 60's. Most US Navy ships are nuclear powered, and have not had incidents (and these are designed to go to war and survive). Japan was hit by multiple severe earthquakes and tsunamis (even at the same time!) and managed to keep the reactors from having an incident (this has got to be close to the worst possible case).
I would hardly call Fukushima  a "near incident." It's considered on the same scale as Chernobyl .
I called it a "near incident" because there was no meltdown, and the issue was resolved without having to permanently evacuate any area around the plant.
Essentially they got it under control, and given the circumstances it took to get the plant into that situation in the first place, I'd say it's a flagship example of how far Nuclear safety has come.
Today Japan is activating even more Nuclear power plants.
Except that there totally was a meltdown.
> the issue was resolved without having to permanently evacuate any area around the plant.
Except for the 20 mile exclusion zone that is still in place.
I'm not an anti-nuclear person by any means, but let's not sugarcoat this disaster. It was bad.
This is simply false; there is an area which remains evacuated. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3263714/Destroyed-ma...
Which is a fucking scandal and really pisses anybody who knows anything about radiation off.
Here's a map; http://i.imgur.com/EBEnCUa.jpg
50mSv is approaching the level of guaranteed higher incidence of cancer -- If you lived in the exclusion zone, you'd be receiving that every single year for the rest of your, and your childrens' lives.
Canada did a survey a few years ago of all their nuclear workers, at much lower levels of lifetime radiation (<7mSv), there were significantly higher levels of nearly every type of cancer. Now imagine receiving multiples of that dosage every single year in perpetuity.
The relative lack of cancer deaths in Ukraine wasn't due to 'safe' fallout, but due to the fact that they just closed entire cities and forced everyone within a thousand square miles to leave.
 - http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/153/4/309.long
However, this holds for practically every worker near industrial equipment. Steelworker cancer rates used to be off the charts--the old saw at Bethlehem Steel was "nobody ever retires from the car shop"--you wound up dead before retirement. (car shop being a place where they made railroad cars).
IBM used to remove (probably still does) pregnant women from their semiconductor fabrication jobs because IBM had data about birth defects. Remember, most fabrication line tools are completely sealed, and the air is some of the most filtered stuff on earth. So, is it the presence of something causing the problem or the absence of something causing the problem? Nobody knows, and the company is sure not going to take any risk to find out.
So, you not only have to show higher rates but also show that it was due to the radiation and not something else. That's a very tall order.
And yet you leave out an important point directly in the abstract:
> The following significant results were found for males and females combined: a deficit in the standardized incidence ratio for all cancers combined
This makes me suspicious as it probably means we have too little statistical power so that an increased elevance in one or two rare cancers skews the numbers.
It also includes the 1950's in its analysis. And, let's face it, we weren't that far from people playing with plutonium spheres. It was in the 50's when people started to get serious about nuclear safety.
Yes, I am (despite the downvotes). The average background dose at sea level is 4mSv/year. A chest CT scan is 7mSv. The EPA has declared that 50mSv/year is perfectly safe exposure for nuclear, and any other, workers.
> That big bad government is preventing people from doing what they want?
I shouldn't address this, but I feel the need to. Your snide "big bad government" crack implies you think I'm putting a political spin on my arguments. I'm not.
> 50mSv is approaching the level of guaranteed higher incidence of cancer
No, 50mSv is approaching the 100mSv threshold for conclusive evidence of increased cancer risk.
> If you lived in the exclusion zone, you'd be receiving that every single year for the rest of your, and your childrens' lives.
Please stop the vapid appeals to emotion. This is totally unscientific and the root cause of why the general public freaks out unnecessarily over radiation.
> Canada did a survey a few years ago of all their nuclear workers, at much lower levels of lifetime radiation (<7mSv), there were significantly higher levels of nearly every type of cancer. Now imagine receiving multiples of that dosage every single year in perpetuity.
I will have to look at that paper in detail when I get home. My quick skim though shows you many have misread it. The dosages presented are annualized numbers, not "lifetime".
> The relative lack of cancer deaths in Ukraine wasn't due to 'safe' fallout, but due to the fact that they just closed entire cities and forced everyone within a thousand square miles to leave.
And the relative lack of terrorist attacks in the past 14 years wasn't due to terrorist attacks being hard, but due to the TSA and full-body scanners. You can't prove causality for a lack of events based only on a correlation.
 "Doses from the individual workers' various types of exposures have been combined into 'annual doses,' which are the basis of calculations in this study."
So when a government agency declares a radiation dose safe, the measurement is immediately to be trusted, yet when it declares them unsafe and creates exclusion zones it is "overcautious"?
Great! I'm glad that you are volunteering your backyard as the storage facility :)
(I see you're new to HN, so your sarcasm can be excused. Just note it won't get you great responses from most HN'ers...)
You might be surprised... most major cities have a nuclear plant nearby (in the US they are mostly shut down at the moment, but are in ready state to re-activate if needed).
I live near one -- even when it was active. I've swam and canoed in the cooling water reservoir (a man-made lake), and I'm not glowing green...
They don't explode or anything... the worst case scenario would be a Chernobyl-like incident where a radius would have to be evacuated... however that scenario is very unlikely to play out in modern times (Chernobyl occurred mostly because the Soviet government was far more interested in containing the story rather than containing the meltdown, leading to a series of wrong choices being made).