Oh yes, we see all the standard fallacies here.
Although there is a scientific consensus that no exposure is safe, no matter how brief,
No love, there isn\’t a scientific consensus that says that there is no safe level of radioactivity. Forget hormesis for a moment and just concentrate on the obvious fallacy of the statement. We\’re all bombarded with radiation all the time. Everything from cosmic rays through to uranium in the soil to bananas and Brazil nuts. And while we do all fall down dead eventually we\’re not all falling down dead from the radiation from these sources.
One favourite (and unchecked) story about Brazil nuts is that they are sufficiently radioactive that you would not be able to take them out of a nuclear power plant. They are over the limit for allowable radiation to leave the plant.
Oh, and given the amount of radiation that atmospheric tests put into the environment then we should all have fallen down dead by now if there really was no safe level.
We get the other great folly as well. The stories of really bad stuff happening are from the military bomb making plants. Sorry, but no, we cannot use the evidence of people, in the middle of the Cold War, making plutonium triggers as evidence against people producing electricity. That would be like using the evidence of copper sheathed bullets to argue against copper wiring.
And then we get the great one:
Then, Japan was hit by a tsunami, and the cooling systems of the Fukushima nuclear reactor were overwhelmed, giving the world apocalyptic images of toxic floods and floating cars, of whole provinces made uninhabitable.
Well, yes, the tsunami killed lots of people, indeed. And the failure of the nuclear plant has killed no one. So we\’d better abolish tsunamis then, eh?
Finally, what\’s wrong with the whole piece, indeed, the basic mode of thinking behind it, is that it is looking only at absolute risk, taking no account whatsoever or relative risk. If we decide that we actually do want to have electricity then we need to look at which system of producing the electricity we desire kills the fewest of us. And in that nuclear wins hands down. More Americans fall off the roof installing solar panels each year than have ever been kiled by civilian nuclear power in the US.
Oh, and coal fired power stations distribute more radiation around the world than nuclear power plants do as well.