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Month: August 2012

Joseph Mangano never stops, and he never gets it right

Joseph Mangano has once again puffed too hard on the alarmist pipe, now with a new article in the August 15 edition of the political newsletter Counterpunch. We recognize the pattern from before: First spread a bit of scaremongering disguised as research in some fringe media. You mix the alarmistic message with some caution in order to cover your back in case somebody will put you to task, knowing that the alarmistic part will advertise itself, be inflated and spread through the internet and possibly some news media. Then some time later you publish an extended study with a similar message in a scientific journal with low quality threshold.

Joseph Mangano seems happily surprised that people once again are falling for his junk science.

This time the title of the Counterpunch article starts with the rather cynical Let the Counting Begin followed by Fukushima’s Nuclear Casualties. It is just a calculation exercise for Joe, and it could have been an interesting one if it weren’t for the fact that:

  • he is counting dead people in Japan during 2011, claiming that the cause of death for 38,700 of them are unexplained, with the implication that radioactivity from Fukushima is the cause, and
  • a closer scrutiny shows that once again he is handling the data in a very irresponsible way in order to push his own anti-nuclear agenda.


A few interesting videos of reactor experiments

During the 50’s and 60’s a number of experiments where conducted in the US to examine criticality accidents in light water reactors. One basically inserted large amounts of criticality (by ejecting control rods from the core) to see what happens. It is quite fascinating to watch the videos of the experiments. The first two videos are from the Borax experiments and the third one from SPERT, enjoy watching them!

I will try to find some time to write more about criticality, prompt criticality and feedbacks that keep reactors stable and how one calculates transients, but until then if someone technically minded wants to read more about the experiment I recommend searching on DOE’s information bride (