Radiation

Update: Two patients in India also improved on radiation. Here.

A small medical experiment at Emory University Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta has fanned hope that a low dose of radiation can cure the often fatal pneumonia associated with Covid-19 - and within  just a few days! This good news deserves however some nuancing because it only concerns 5 patients and this is not a so-called 'randomized clinical trial', which is a condition for scientific acceptance. Further pilots are now taking place in India, Spain, Italy and Iran and a real RCT in the US in total involving 275 patients (See here). The interesting thing that this is actually old news. In the first half of the 20th century pneumona and lots of other infections were often treated with low dow dose radiation and according to a plethora of studies: successfully. The fact that no good treatment exists for Covid-19 renewed interest in low dose radiation.  [Lees verder]

When the realisation sunk in that the 2011 evacuation of 100.000 people from Fukushima for fear of radioactive fallout had taken 1600 or more lives (here). the question arose whether it might have been better to not evacuate at all.  Radiation had claimed no lives but radiation scientists knew that the released radiation could never have caused so many casualties, the panicky evacuation itself was the culprit. Just how many lives would have been lost should the people have been asked to stay home and just sit through the fallout? There now is an answer to that question. Spoiler: none.

A recent study (attached)  compares the event in Fukushima with those in St George in the American state of Utah where in the 1950ies a lot of fall out came down from nuclear tests in neighboring Nevada. In general, the fallout (from the 100 tests) was rather limited, but 'Harry', a bomb of 32 kilotons (about twice Hiroshima) that was detonated on May 19, 1953, stood out and was therefore called 'Dirty Harry'. St George was not evacuated, though the population was asked to stay inside. [Lees verder]

Most writers don't like to hear that readers fall asleep on their books but professor John Mueller of Ohio State University explicitly hopes you do so while reading his book 'Atomic Obsession'[1]. This is about the permanent global fear of a devastating nuclear war, and in his view this fear needlessly keeps many people awake. [Lees verder]

You already knew that submarines can be propelled by a nuclear power plant and possibly also that on Mars a car rides with plutonium as fuel. But it’s likely news that experiments are going on  with airplanes that use uranium or other nuclear material to stay airborne. A flying nuclear power plant, but unmanned, so it is essentially a drone. It is a secretive project, but it is clear that at least one of these drones has taken to the air. [Lees verder]

Geëvacueerde mensen in FukushimaThe number of casualties caused by the radiation that was released in the Fukushima accident is zero and will probably stay zero. We have stated that on this website multiple times and there is no reason whatsoever to change that position. [Lees verder]

The number of future cancer deaths as a consequence of the disaster in Chernobyl has been adjusted downward from tens/ hundreds of thousands to 4000, but even this estimate may be way too high. It is quite likely that the bookkeepers of Russian health will one day have to register a cancer deficit among the people who were irradiated in 1986. That many people in that area do NOT have cancer as a result of their extra dosis of radiation.  [Lees verder]

According to the media, the environmental organizations and the general public the area around the power plant of Chernobyl that burned down in 1986, will be impossible to live in for many hundreds of years. Nuclear experts are a lot less pessimistic. The Polish professor Zbigniew Jaworowski (1927-2011) calls the evacuation of 300.000 people even ‘nonsensical’ and the Ukrainian government has decided to make the larger part of the Forbidden Zone freely accessible in the near future because the radiation levels there are so low (more on that later). [Lees verder]