45 Debating nuclear risks with Ed Lyman, UCS

I’ve heard this more than one nuclear power conference, that the industry is desperate to show a success because they they’re afraid that if they miss this window of over the next few years of trying to demonstrate that they can play an effective role in mitigating climate change if they’re going to become irrelevant. So it’s not really about whether we need nuclear power or not, it’s about whether the industry can show it can be useful.

The Rational View is a weekly series hosted by me, Dr. Alan Scott, providing a rational, evidence based perspective addressing important societal issues. The low one Welcome to the rational view. I’m your host, Dr. Al Scott. On this episode, I’m going to be interviewing an expert from the Union of Concerned Scientists who is seen as anti nuclear. So someone who’s against nuclear power, which is one of the strongest things that I feel I advocate for the need for nuclear power as a response to climate change is obvious and very important to society. One of my core personal goals is to address the problems of the public perception of nuclear power, and to address misconceptions. And so arguing against someone who is anti nuclear, as a Union of Concerned Scientists seems to be is a bit of a challenge. And it’s going to be the first time I’ve talked to someone who’s on the other side of the fence. In the podcast, I’m a little bit nervous. But I want to try to model some of the behaviors that I’ve talked about in discussing politely with people who you oppose. We start out by looking for common ground, and then working forward to find out where the real issues lie, because let’s face it, we’re all people we all want to make the world better. Dr. Edwin Lyman is the director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC. He earned a doctorate in physics from Cornell University in 1992. From 1992 to 1995. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. Now the science and global security program from 95 to 2003, he worked for the nuclear control Institute. His research focuses on nuclear power, safety and security. He is a co author with David lock bomb and Susan Q. Stranahan have the book, Fukushima the story of a nuclear disaster, the new press 2014. He is the recipient of the 2018 Leo Szilard lectureship Award from the American Physical Society. Dr. Lyman, welcome to the rational view.

Thanks for having me.


Could you tell me a little bit about your history and how you came to be in charge of nuclear safety with the the UCs?

Sure. So I’m a physicist by training. I studied theoretical particle physics at Cornell in the late 1980s, at Cornell. And that was a very interesting time in the physics community in the US. So in the 1980s, President Reagan introduced the Star Wars program, which was a anti ballistic missile defense program that would use space lasers. And so there was an active attempt by the administration to enroll physicists in the program with the promise of a lot of research money for laser physics and other related fields. When I left graduate school, I transitioned into an area, which is really more public interest science I pursued. Studies of nuclear security related to the disposal of fissile materials from dismantled warheads, primarily plutonium, and became more interested in nuclear safety, which is also an interest of mine having grown up in New York City, which is 25 miles from the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which was on the mind of a lot of people back in the late 70s and 80s, when I was a teenager. So these various issues came together. And I pursued a career of trying to apply technical knowledge to public policy debates around nuclear power, security, and safety.


Just to get a bit more background. Obviously, Union of Concerned Scientists believes that climate change is a crisis. And urgent action is needed to decarbonize the global energy system, correct? That’s correct. So, amongst the nuclear of the pro nuclear power community, UCS is commonly seen as an anti nuclear energy lobby group, what’s the history of UCs and its position on nuclear energy?


Yes, that’s actually a misperception. So you see us from its inception more than 50 years ago, has promoted nuclear power safety. But it’s never taken a position pro or anti nuclear power. In fact, it’s not a very productive place for an organization that’s committed to scientific reasoning and its application to public policy. To take a kind of partisan or doctrinaire position, we keep an open mind. But that said, we don’t like the introduction of misleading and false information to the debate, often driven by commercial interests, selling a product, which we think can actually have an impact or distort the flexibility in using solutions to try to reduce carbon emissions. So to get the most ideal way, to rapidly reduce carbon, you need to be based in reality, and you can be aspirational, and innovative. But you also have to face the facts. And so we are very much in favor of the facts. And the facts do say that nuclear power, although it’s a low carbon energy source has a host of issues, safety and security, the proliferation of weapons usable nuclear materials, and the persistent and unsolved waste problem, as well as the fact that the capital and operating cost of nuclear power plants in many places is prohibitive. So you need to face those facts, honestly, if you’re going to have an honest debate about the role of nuclear power in mitigating climate change. And so that’s what we’re promoting. If there are solutions or technologies, that actually makes sense, we would support


I’ve listened to your interview on titans of nuclear, where you got into a discussion, or maybe more of a yelling match about linear no threshold hypothesis. And the linear no threshold posits that the dose response in humans are animals to ionizing radiation is effectively linear. And as you will know, there is no solid scientific or statistical evidence below a certain threshold. It’s been adopted the linear no threshold theory has been adopted as a precautionary principle by many scientific organizations. However, the UN SC AR has recently stated that multiplying infinitesimal doses by huge populations to estimate health impacts should not be done. What’s your position on that?


Well, I don’t think your statement that there’s no scientific support for the linear no threshold hypothesis is correct. The issue as you know, is in any statistical or epidemiological study, you are going to require a certain study size and a certain magnitude of effect, to be able to have a demonstrates statistically significant effects. So the common understanding of ionizing radiation exposure comes from, in part from large epidemiological studies, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki lifespan study, as well as other populations of people who are exposed with known and controlled exposures, which helps to be able to quantify the dose response. But as the you do have to extrapolate below the lowest dose where you can demonstrate a statistically significant effect and there’s an area of uncertainty, but there is a biological, plausible biological mechanism to support the linear threshold hypothesis. And so yes, the precautionary principle in terms of regulation would suggest that for those low doses, given you can extrapolate, you do have certain information by extrapolating from the higher dose range, and you can limit you can test different hypotheses for those low doses, but coupled that information with the plausible biological mechanisms, and it’s quite reasonable thing to posit and the vast majority of radiation protection organizations and scientists endorsed the linear no threshold hypothesis. In the case of unsecure statement, they don’t provide any justification for why the notion of using collective dose is not a reasonable way to try to understand the health burden from ionizing radiation as a result of either routine or accidental exposures. They simply don’t explain their justification.


I think there is a lot of scientific uncertainty about where this is going. And recently, there’s been a lot of work on hormesis as a possibility as a possible effect at lower doses as well, where cellular repair mechanisms are ramped up in response to low rates of damage. And you say that there are plausible mechanisms, I think there are people that would disagree. And you say that you are working in facts as UCS in your public policy stance, and I think, assuming the linear no threshold theorem is not working in facts, the best scientific analysis, as you agree, are unable to measure any health effects of acute radiation exposures below, say about 100, or maybe 50 millisieverts at the low end. And there’s no evidence, as far as I’m aware that populations living in enhanced natural radiation zones have elevated cancer rates. So I think maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point.


Sure. But actually, are you familiar with the NC RPS most recent study, looking at a very large number of epidemiological studies, that all the consensus of the that’s the National Council on radiation protection measurements, in I think, was a to 2018 study looked at all the available data. They’ve heard the arguments for hormesis. They’re aware of the very sparse literature, mostly in fringe journals, and as a your astrophysicist. So I expect that you understand the significance of peer review, and established journals as opposed to fringe journals. And they came to the conclusion that there’s no reason not to support the linear no threshold hypothesis and these assumptions. And moreover, very interesting is that in studies, for potential health consequences of nuclear accidents, for instance, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted a study called soyka Over the past decade, where they actually modeled using software that I’m quite familiar with, to estimate the potential cancer fatalities resulting from severe accidents and nuclear power plants. And they looked at a range of assumptions in those models, including different thresholds. So they posited 100 milligram, which is a one millisievert threshold and also 50 mils, siever threshold, which is the assumption that you mentioned, as far as the support for extrapolating from low doses. And the interesting thing is that, even with those threshold assumptions, they only had a 10 or 20% effect on the overall cancer estimates of cancer fatalities, because most of the people exposed actually exceeded this threshold. So it doesn’t even matter that much. Really, if you assume these thresholds, because first of all, you need to know what the individual exposures are. And the other thing is, how do you apply the notion of a threshold? You can’t tell me what the actual threshold is, what that means in terms of the effective dose, which is it’s a an estimate, an approximation of the impact of ionizing radiation, different tissues, that’s then waited to come up with one value. It’s not a you know, fundamentally a very biologically meaningful event, you have to understand what the impact is on different tissues and organ systems, what the the potential repair mechanisms that you talk about their impact on a site specific or organ specific way, and how do you actually do those calculations?


Indeed, and I think we can turn this into a detailed debate on Linear no threshold theorem. But I’d like to go beyond that a little bit. And just as a final response, I mean, we know that cells are currently dealing with mutations all the time, from reactive free radicals and the blood oxygen pH is smoke alcohol 10,000 to a million DNA errors per cell per day is the kind of the background rate. And the lnt hypothesis suggests that one or two additional errors per cell per day are significant, which I think is maybe the part where it becomes difficult to see a plausible mechanism for this to work because the sort of doubling dose for the background of mutations is on the order of one and a half secrets to double the natural rate of mutation in a human body or in a cell. And that’s an in sudden dose, if you look at this stretched out over a year, say, looking at safety limits of a couple millisieverts, it’s just it pales, it disappears into the negligible background counting. To put it in perspective, which I think is something that we need to do.


All I can say is that view is not you should learn about what or you’re not already a biologist, I assume neither of us. So there’s no real point and carry on this conversation. But the plausible biological mechanism is that a single ionizing radiation track can cause double stranded DNA damage or multiple damaged sites, which is a cancer initiator. So the level of background mutation is not particularly relevant. We’re talking about the question of a environmental carcinogen affecting a living organism, and what is the impact of that effect. And, of course, there are background effects with regard to a whole range of different carcinogens.


The rate of these these double strand mutations are also similar to 1.4 Seiverts. I’ve spoke with an actual radio biologist last week, Dr. Gerry Thomas of the UN ski reports. And she was basically saying the same thing.


Well, all I can do is refer you to the NCRP his latest study, and if you want to read that, and then we can come back and discuss it.


I’ll definitely read that. Okay. So let’s move on what events have in the past now you talked about, you know, growing up in the 70s, and, and being present for the radiate the Reagan Star Wars initiative, and how that was responded to by the physicists at the time, what events have shaped your impression of the dangers of nuclear energy? You said you were down the road from Indian Point in New York? What, what shaped your impressions of the dangers of nuclear energy?


Well, certainly Chernobyl, of course, was eye opening. And I was just starting graduate school at the time, that wasn’t my field of interest. But it clearly demonstrated how a nuclear power system that’s not appropriately designed, regulating operated, can result in a catastrophe that affected the lives of hundreds of 1000s of people, and lead to long term contamination in the environment. So I think that does underscore the need for a significant attention to nuclear power plant design, to the way it’s regulated, and to the way it’s operated. Then, of course, the response to Chernobyl from the nuclear industry in the West was that can happen here, pointing to the differences between the Chernobyl RBMK design and Western Design Light Water Reactors. Of course, there’s plenty of evidence that that there is a likelihood that a light water reactor can undergo severe core melt accident containment failure, but the industry was banking on the differences between Soviet design regulation and the West. That attitude was shattered when Fukushima Daiichi happened 2011 And we had three nuclear reactor core melt accidents, and three hydrogen explosions and a potential close call involving one of the spent fuel pools which could have led to an even greater release of highly radioactive cesium 137 into the environment if by chance that hadn’t been averted. So. So these only cemented the need for if you’re going to have nuclear power as a reasonable option for mitigating climate change, you can’t negotiate with the need to have to avoid anything like Chernobyl or Fukushima in the future, because that is only going to be counterproductive for the prospects of the technology, as well as highly destructive to public health and the environment.


Certainly, the public response to these has been overwhelming. I remember as a child, also growing up in the shadow of nuclear war, and being taught to fear the dangers of radiation from nuclear weapons testing, making the world forever radioactive and destroying the ecosystems. But since then, you know, through reading the scientific literature, and the Nref study, for example, showing that the evacuations of Fukushima and Chernobyl were horribly overdone and caused more damage than staying put would have done, I’ve learned that the amount of radiation released from weapons testing is in an infinitesimal fraction of the natural radiation in the environment. Now, I’m wondering, I have this hypothesis instilling fear of radiation is this one of the tactics that was consciously used by anti weapons groups to stop weapons testing back in the early days,


Obviously, you have a point of view, It’s an extreme and a marginal point of view. And the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests had incredible environmental toll, the amount of iodine and strontium 90 that was injected into the environment that ended up in children’s bones and teeth alette. I mean, that led to an international outcry that eventually led to a ban on atmospheric weapons tests.


This is a place where we actually have to agree. I can say that being in the position of stopping nuclear weapons and mitigating nuclear weapons proliferation, I’m on your side there. And I find that being in the position of pushing fear of radiation to stop nuclear weapons, certainly was not unjustifiable back in the 70s. However, we find ourselves I fail in the position of needing nuclear power, now to decarbonize the energy sector. And I guess it’s hard to walk back on the work that was done to stop weapons testing. And there’s always a conflation here of energy and weapons that is in the public’s eye that we need to be very careful of as scientists to not exacerbate. Are you afraid of nuclear weapons proliferation? If the fear of small doses of radiation from Fukushima, for example is undermined by the science,


You have to apply the understanding of each particular situation? That the data I don’t I reject the supposition your hypothesis, that, first of all, there’s a clear delineation between nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear power. But there is a common aspect and that is the potential for radioactive contamination if the facilities are not operated safely and securely. And your line of reasoning, I mean, it just doesn’t resonate with me. And this idea that this is unjust fear of radiation, radiation is a well established carcinogen. And it needs to be controlled, like any other environmental carcinogen in the environment. And there’s a long history in the body of evidence supporting the current need to regulate radiation. There was plenty of information that came out about environmental dispersion and exposures of radiation, the environment from the weapons test that was useful. But I completely reject this, this absurd notion that somehow this fear of radiation is unjustly or inappropriately applied to a nuclear power, you have to accept the situation in its own terms and do a dispassionate analysis.


I agree. Rational public policy is what I’m looking for. So looking at taking a step back, and looking at the work that UCSF has done on the global energy scene. How do you think the global energy scene will look if you are successful in your role as a nuclear safety representative for UCS, how do you see the evolution of the response to the climate change crisis? What do you want to see in terms of the future distribution of energy sources?


You know, I’m not the expert on extrapolating or developing decarbonized energy policies that I refer you to my colleagues. But from my point of view, I want to see a decarbonized system where there is a clear understanding of the various risks and benefits and utility of the different components of an energy policy. And that’s based on. It’s technically based, but it’s also informed by societal component, and a well informed system society is, you know, is all to the good and helping to promote that vision. But the fact is that the debate is so corrupted by various interests, not only, of course, fossil fuels, which are fighting, fighting to prevent change, but also all the various technologies that are exaggerating their capabilities to try to get market share investor interest and government subsidy, and public support. And unfortunately, in that arena, nuclear power feels like it’s losing out to renewable energy. And I’ve heard this more than one nuclear power conference, that the industry is desperate to show a success because they’re afraid that if they miss this window of over the next few years, is trying to demonstrate that they can play an effective role in mitigating climate change if they’re going to become irrelevant. So it’s not really about whether we need nuclear power or not, it’s about whether the industry can show that it can be useful, before it becomes irrelevant. And that’s not, that’s a bit of a different balance. Now, nuclear power is a low carbon energy source, you need to value that benefit. But it also needs to compete against other technologies that do not have the burden of all its liabilities. And we’re talking about nuclear weapons. By the way, of course, there is a link, and that’s through the fuel cycle. And the fact that the materials needed to produce commercial or civil nuclear power. And the facilities needed to produce their fuels can be misused, to produce material for nuclear weapons. And so the only way so you can’t, if you’re worried about nuclear weapons proliferation, you also have to worry about the effectiveness of the international institutions that guard against it, including the International Atomic Energy Agency in the international safeguards. So you also have to ensure that if there’s going to be an expansion of nuclear power, that the ability of the IAEA to safeguard that expansion will be effective. So that’s another issue that you need to consider.


Indeed, a lot of the countries that have built these light water reactors, like the US and the UK, have come to nuclear power through a weapons program, they wanted to develop nuclear weapons. First, they had the capability of an enhanced enriching uranium. So they said, Hey, let’s use this for nuclear power as well. So they came to this conclusion through the path from weapons. Canada, of course, came at it from the other direction our CANDU programs do not require enhancement or enrichment of uranium, we operate on natural uranium, with no subsequent risk of proliferation and the CANDU has a great safety record in terms of producing power reliably. Now, I’ve read UCS articles that suggests nuclear plants in financial difficulty need more support to prevent further climate change? Why are these plants at risk?


Yeah, can I just address the CANDU briefly, since you brought it up, CANDU pose a greater risk of nuclear proliferation because they’re online refueled reactors, and have relatively low burn up when they’re discharged. So, it is actually a greater challenge for the IAEA to apply effective safeguards in an online fueled reactor and then in a reactor where the reactor vessel is revealed only periodically and sealed in between refueling. So, there are issues of the CANDU and in addition has a positive moderator void coefficient, which would not be licensable in the United States, for example, and does lead to the potential for Super prime critical power increase so that there are issues of the CANDU design. Although I do agree that the ability to use natural uranium is an advantage. Now, in terms of the US have the UCS report on, which is called the nuclear dilemma. So here in the United States, we have a population of aging nuclear power plants, and many of them are no longer economical to run. Partly because we’re primarily those reactors in deregulated markets, where they actually have to compete on a cost basis, with not only fossil fuels, but also wind and solar, which, at some times of the year, and sometimes of the day, are cheaper than nuclear power, just running off the operating costs. So as a result, a number of nuclear plants in the US have shut down and more are planning to shut down. Because they’re no longer economical. This does pose a problem, because if individual states and the US as a whole needs to meet carbon reduction targets, obviously, if you close a nuclear plant, and you replace it with a gas plant, you’re going to be working against reducing carbon, so the report was meant to address that issue. And also, another critical factor is that the plant should be transparent about their finances. If they’re asking for subsidies, because they claimed plan is un-Economic, they should be able to demonstrate that. And we have a situation in the US and state of Ohio, which is ostensibly to promote clean energy, and prevent the premature shutdown of two nuclear power stations in Ohio, was actually the result of bribery on the part of the utility. So they were using the excuse of clean energy legislation to essentially get a financial windfall for their nuclear power plants. And the lack of transparency has led to criminal indictments, and it’s a big mess. So you can’t let these types of policies become slush funds. You need to have in the fundamental financial information out in the open for the public. Gents back.


I think one of the reasons that of several of the there’s several issues with how these things are being run in the US in terms of the deregulation, which is, I think, not a good idea in general. And having fluctuating power sources like renewables being valued the same as a stable grid, leads to rolling blackouts, like we’ve seen in Germany and California. And issues of deregulation lead to situations like we saw in Texas recently. I think the financial system needs to value a stable grid that doesn’t have blackouts. And I think, you know, we know renewables are heavily subsidized both by government green policies and also by offshoring to China, where labor standards are lax and environmental standards are lax Obviously, nuclear plants with their domestic high quality jobs and their adherence to tighter environmental standards for being domestic should avail themselves or should be availed of similar public subsidies in terms of the work that they do in decarbonizing the economy?


Well, you raise a lot of issues there in one breath. So there’s a question of what Well, first of all, nuclear power plants or other plants that provide baseload capacity already valued in some of the energy markets. But you can only take that so far. And nuclear power plants actually are extremely vulnerable to grid instability or failure, because nuclear power plants can’t operate without access to reliable stable off site power. If they lose off site power, they have to shut down and go on and backup diesels. So they’re not actually as dependable as some people claim. So in some case, there is you have to understand the limitations of the various alternatives. But there’s also the public policy aspect and this should be a conversation that the wider public has about what do they want to see in terms of future energy policy? And, and so we don’t embrace that, if there are fundamental limitations to the technologies that we have and can reasonably extrapolate to over In the next few decades that mean nuclear power needs to play a role, then, so be it. But again, it has to be safe, it has to be secure. And you have to address the long standing issues which the industry has kicked down the road for too long that without dealing with them appropriately.


Ignoring appeal to nature, fallacies were, you know, 100% renewable as possible, we really do know that do no harm is not possible. The sort of orders of magnitude in terms of mining and infrastructure requirements for low density power sources such as solar and wind put huge impacts in terms of environmental mining requirements, and Land Use requirements and recycling requirements that aren’t being met. Looking at all of these things and weighing I think putting nuclear up to a bright light. And holding up this assessment as a balanced assessment is, has been an error that the public has been exposed to for some time now and has been very successful in bringing probably more damaging technologies to bear on the issue of public energy policy. Fukushima produced, for example, 4.7 gigawatts for 42 years at high availability on the order of you know, 30, or 40 terawatt hours per year, over its lifetime. This displaced coal, effectively saving 1000 to 5000 lives per year over that period. And I think we have to look at these things in relation to what they’re doing to displacing fossil fuels. This is the goal of both of us, of all of scientific people that accept the climate change argument, we need to displace fossil fuels. And for every clean energy source that’s built, we’re displacing deaths due to pollution. We know that deaths attributed to pollution are also exacerbated by radiophobia, and the overreaction to the Fukushima and Chernobyl events, Philip Thomas invented the j value, which looked at the rational comparison of impacts from living in, say, the Fukushima exclusion zone, or the Chernobyl exclusion zone and compares it to the loss of life and the years lost and does the actuarial analysis. And he basically says that the science shows us that the evacuations were over done because of radiophobia.


I’m not disputing that there are significant health effects associated with particulate matter. But you need to look at the sources, you need to look if you’re going to do an adequate comparison, you need to look at all the variables that you can control in doing those comparisons. It’s absurd to just throw out numbers about radiation exposure versus false fossil fuels that understanding the range of mitigation options in each case, and do a rational comparison. And coming up with a single number to characterize it is, is reductive and baking in so much uncertainty, that I think it’s essentially meaningless framework. oversimplification of these issues, not help,


how many deaths did the UCS suggest would happen using their linear no threshold Hypothesis?


The collective dose that UNSCEAR estimated for the people of Japan from Fukushima is a we’re talking about? Yes. Right. So that would be on the order of a few 1000 cancer deaths.


Okay, and using the same linear no threshold models for air pollution. And the amount of nuclear taken offline due to radiophobia following this in Germany and Japan, resulted in 28,000, extra cancer, or extra cardiopulmonary deaths from pollution in fossil fuel, coal burning that sort of thing. Don’t we need to as scientists make these balances, and look at the impact of our policies and be careful not to make the situation worse?


It’s first of all, it’s a very hard thing, to try to come up with a uniform measure that captures all the various detriments of different energy technologies. Again, we’re talking about energy policies where you develop a strategy for deciding what are the goods? You know, what is the public good that you’re trying to get out of the system, and a conversation with the public and implement policies accordingly. And but, and you need to have a more sophisticated view of the variety of different detriments with different energy sources. And again, comparing first of all shutting down nuclear power plant is not necessarily going to result in the construction of a gas plant. And if it does, well, what are the alternatives? For mitigating? We’re, again, we’re getting down to a discussion of cost. It’s going to take money to make nuclear power plants safer. It takes money to mitigate particulate matter from fossil fuel plants. Where are you going to apply those resources? Again, but just these reductive comparisons of cancer death, without understanding all the complexity that go into that is not a particularly meaningful way to understand the problem.


Again, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one. I think we’re reaching the end of our time slot, though, and I appreciate you taking the time to come and chat with us here in The Rational View.


Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.


So that was Dr. Ed. Lyman, the Union of Concerned Scientists. I think, in retrospect, there were a lot of points within that interview where I could have argued more strenuously against Ed’s claims. But the point I wanted to make in this interview was that we need to look at the big picture. And the difference between radiation dose health effects and the air pollution from fossil fuel burning, despite what it says are significant. And this is a simple reduction that we can make. We can’t even measure the impact of the low level radiation from Fukushima on health. But the Epidemiology from air pollution levels in major cities is a clear and strong statistical signal that is not disputed. And sure, the science on linear no threshold versus hormesis is not settled. It would be speculation to pick one or the other at this point, the science just isn’t good enough, because it’s a relatively small effect. And it’s horribly difficult to tease out from the background of normal cancer risks like breathing oxygen, or going out in the sunlight, or drinking alcohol or smoking, that all the people in the world do. And the cancer risk delta that Ed and UCS are trying to protect us from if they’re right, about the linear no threshold theorem, in the case of the Fukushima Daiichi area, would be similar to what you would get from drinking about a glass of wine a week in the most contaminated areas, maybe a half a percent lifetime increase in risk of cancer. And we know that the air pollution and Tokyo from fossil fuel burning increases your risk of premature death by over 10%. So it’s you know, more than an order of magnitude difference. It’s clear. And this doesn’t account for the risk of climate change from fossil fuels the risk of severe cardiopulmonary disease or asthma from the pollution. Now, Ed is a smart guy. And safety first is an honorable calling. But we’ve seen the worst that happens when nuclear power goes awry. And it’s not as bad as the status quo with fossil fuels. And we all need to wake up to this truth. We are in a climate crisis. And if you’re a person who is aware of the risk posed by climate change, then you have a responsibility to weigh the risks of what you say to the public, and how you say it. Because the ecosystem is at risk, and scientists need to step up now and fix the damage that’s been caused by the slowdown in nuclear power and the ongoing dominance of fossil fuels we need to stop the body count from rising. Thank you for listening to the rational view.


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