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Thread: Post-Fukushima Nuclear Plant Shutdown Health and Environmental Impacts

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    Magister Militum Flavius Aetius's Avatar Aetī Avēas!
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    Default Post-Fukushima Nuclear Plant Shutdown Health and Environmental Impacts

    After the March 2011 nuclear power plant accident at Fukushima, Japan, nuclear power output experienced a rapid and large decline in that country as well as Germany. Although the specific reasons for this decline differed between the two countries, it is clear that antinuclear public attitudes were a major factor. Soon after the accident, Germany announced plans to completely phase out its remaining nuclear by 2022.

    In paper published today in Energy Policy, we analyze the nature and implications of energy, electricity and CO2 emission changes in Japan and Germany after Fukushima. We also examine how emissions and mortality would have been impacted had these countries reduced their coal and natural gas power output by the same amounts as they reduced nuclear. Lastly, we analyze the potential effects of a complete phaseout of nuclear power in the near-future (2018-2035) for Germany, the U.S., and the rest of Western Europe, where economic factors as well as public policies and sentiment are currently unfavorable toward nuclear power.

    ...

    Now the not-so-positive news: Our hypothetical scenarios show that if Japan and Germany had reduced coal instead of nuclear after Fukushima, they could have together prevented about 28,000 air pollution-induced premature deaths and 2.6 billion tons of CO2 emissions between 2011 and 2017. Thus, these countries' post-Fukushima energy choices have resulted in major levels of avoidable impacts of the accident.

    These lost opportunities will make it even more difficult to achieve national climate change and air pollution mitigation goals, which are already demonstrably inadequate. However, useful lessons can be learned from them—most notably, the prime importance of targeting fossil fuels for reduction instead of (or at least, before) a major non-fossil source like nuclear. For example, Germany can still avoid up to 16,000 premature deaths and 1.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions if it curtails coal power instead of eliminating its remaining nuclear power as planned. Likewise, the United States and the rest of Western Europe can each avoid over 100,000 premature deaths and about 7.7 billion tons of CO2 emissions if they, too, focus on reducing coal rather than nuclear.
    TLDR: An interesting paper showing the human health and environmental impacts of the political decision to shut down nuclear plants after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Unsurprisingly, it has been far more of a disaster than the Fukushima accident itself, which resulted in no radiation-related cancers or deaths and approximately avoidable 2200 deaths from long-term evacuation.

    Link: https://phys.org/news/2019-06-energy...ted-human.html
    Last edited by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius; June 22, 2019 at 03:44 PM.

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    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Post-Fukushima Nuclear Plant Shutdown Health and Environmental Impacts

    Pro nuclear industry study as it don't contemplate increased child leucemia near NPP.

    The core issue is that, world-wide, over 60 epidemiological studies have examined cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most (>70%) indicate leukemia increases. I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between NPPs and child leukemias. Yet many nuclear Governments and the nuclear industry refute these findings and continue to resist their implications. It’s similar to the situations with cigarette smoking in the 1960s and with man-made global warming nowadays.

    https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/chil...s-new-article/

    Other studies:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...67723820071208

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...80A23M20120111

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    Magister Militum Flavius Aetius's Avatar Aetī Avēas!
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    Default Re: Post-Fukushima Nuclear Plant Shutdown Health and Environmental Impacts

    That was THOROUGHLY debunked. There is no evidence of Leukemia increases caused by Nuclear power plants, the studies you refer to were conducted in Germany and France in 2007-2008 (the KiKK study, by Kaatsch et al.) and 2011 (Sermauge-Faure et al.) respectively, and both explicitly state in the papers that the increase in Leukemia rates found could not be attributed to the Nuclear Power plants. And I quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaatch et al.
    Based on the available information about radiation emissions from German nuclear power plants, a direct relation to radiation seems implausible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sermauge-Faure et al.
    The absence of excess observed with this dose based on geographical zoning is not in the favour of a link between radioactive discharges from facilities and risk of childhood Leukaemia.
    The French study was a follow up to the German study and it analyzed wind patterns to find where any radiation from the plant would fall and found that Leukemia rates in those specific areas were lower. Gordon MacDowall gives some details on these studies here (start at 56:30) https://youtu.be/Qaptvhky8IQ?t=3390

    This was then followed up by multiple studies, namely the 2011 report by COMARE, which found that the cause of Leukemia rates was that in Europe Nuclear Power Plants are almost always sited in industrial regions which were heavily polluted in the 1880's-1920's, unlike in the US where they're in rural areas. As a result, in Europe there are higher rates of Leukemia near the plants because these areas have residual chemical pollution from industrialization and it is in no way tied to the plants.

    The only places where higher Leukemia rates near nuclear facilities can be attributed to said facilities are old Nuclear Weapons reprocessing sites as Nuclear Weapons manufacturing during the Cold War had no regard for health, safety, or environmental regulation. The most notable of these is the Windscale site.

    Actual scientific papers:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21750009

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2839478/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24030074

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...re-14th-report

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...d-and-dounreay
    Last edited by Magister Militum Flavius Aetius; June 23, 2019 at 11:14 AM.

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