Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 17:37:51 -0700

From: "Russell 'Ace' Hoffman" <>
Subject: How to write a statistical survey to get the results you WANT

April 24th, 2007

Dear Readers,

If you want specific results from a opinion poll, be sure to choose an "independent" research firm that will ask precisely the right questions.

This is what the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the political arm of the nuclear industry, has done, in order to convince Americans that we like nuclear power, even if we don't.

NEI went to a firm called Bisconti Research, who's president, also named Bisconti, states: "Misperceptions about our energy supply, coupled with the fact a large segment of the public is not hearing about nuclear energy's clean-air role, result in an underestimation of the magnitude of nuclear energy's contribution right now in addressing concerns about global warming."

Could she be more biased?  By carefully defining "clean air energy" as energy produced by ANY methods which "do not emit greenhouse gases or any of the pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act,"  Ms. Bisconti then has no trouble defining nuclear power plants as clean and green, for the purpose of her company's survey for the Nuclear Energy Institute, who, of course, need nuclear power to be viewed as benign, if not glorious.

The Clean Air Act, obviously, does not consider a thousand curies per year of tritium, the typical amount released from each operating nuclear power plant, to be any hazard at all, even though much of this tritium IS released into the air (the rest is released into water).  Ditto for ALL the other radioactive pollutants routinely released from nuclear reactors.

In fact, the so-called Clean Air Act IGNORES radioactive effluent ENTIRELY, not just that which has been diluted below a certain threshold!

Many so-called "environmental" laws, including California's Prop 65 -- perhaps the most famous anti-carcinogen law in the country -- specifically EXCLUDE any effort to regulate radioactive pollutants.  These laws appear to be designed simply to provide LEGAL LOOPHOLES for the nuclear industry!

With laws like these, various federal, state, and local governments can ignore radiation as a hazard -- they don't even need to LEARN about it, let alone, regulate it!

So never mind all the research done in the past few decades which has proven conclusively that radioactive hazards are far more dangerous than originally supposed:  As much as a hundred times (or more) more dangerous than official government and industry estimates.  But never mind.  No law covers it.

Miscalculations, lies and false pretenses result in the pro-nuclear community's gross underestimation of the danger from accidents.  For example, consider deaths so far from Chernobyl (which will continue to kill for billions of years).  The nuclear industry generally says there have been about 28 deaths so far, and they don't see that number increasing significantly, if at all.

The true figure may be over 200,000 deaths already, although others put the number of dead so far at a more modest (but still horrific) 20,000 -- equal to, or worse than, Bhopal.  The lower figure is still many times worse than the nuclear energy industry admits.

Such errors are not accidents:  They are the result of a deliberative, iterative process of elimination of evidence.  Cancer clusters around nuclear power plant accidents are hidden by absurd assumptions about which way the wind blew during the accident, who constitutes a "victim" for the purposes of being included in the survey, and what an "illness" is in the first place.  Often, only a single, specific category or sub-category of cancer deaths are considered; all other ailments are ignored.

Not surprisingly, these sorts of studies seldom prove anything.  And it is even easier to introduce bias into a public opinion survey.

The need for the NEI to tailor their questions carefully suggests the true feelings of America are STILL pro-DNA, not pro-nuclear.  For example, the survey asked whether new nuclear construction at current nuclear power plant sites would be okay, and was worded in such a way as to get a 2/3rds positive response.  They dared not ask such questions as, "Since it would take 500 new nuclear power plants to supply America's current energy needs, and each would probably cost at least ten billion dollars, are you comfortable with making a five trillion dollar investment in making new nuclear waste, even though transportation methods have not been developed for getting the waste to a storage site, and the chosen storage site is on an earthquake fault and is susceptible to environmental hazards such as floods, even though radiation is now known to be far more hazardous than was assumed when the current nuclear power plants were built, even though no nuclear power plant is safe from terrorism, and even though there are truly clean alternatives?"

What fool would say YES to THAT question?!?  But even THAT question is hopelessly biased in FAVOR of the nuclear industry, for it, too, ignores some of the fatal flaws of nuclear power which most people are unlikely to remember when the moment arises, or which most people simply don't know.

Indeed, this author doubts many Americans would approve of nuclear power if they had any idea how much FRAUD is involved -- even if they ignored all the other problems, and concentrated just on that one.  Americans, by and large, are NOT suicidal, but an investment in nuclear energy IS.

Nevertheless, this survey does suggest that decades of misinformation handed out to the American people has, in fact, worked.  The American public appears to be surprisingly well-duped regarding nuclear power.

Radiation is odorless, colorless and tasteless (except in massive doses).  You can't feel it (except in massive doses).  A single atomic decay is invisible and undetectable by any human sense organ.  Millions of such decays can occur inside your body every day and be physically unnoticeable, but very dangerous.  For example, a single milligram of a very long-lived radioactive substance, U-238, would emit over a million alpha particles every day.  The amount of Polonium-210 used to kill British citizen (and former Russian spy) Alexander Litvinenko last November (2006) was MICROSCOPIC, and would have normally been well below regulatory concern.  Yet the radiation devastated his body, and he suffered greatly before dying.  We EACH suffer a silent assault, every day, from past nuclear failures, of which there have been too many.

Because of the hidden nature of the assault, the ONLY way to PROVE damage from low-level radiation is through carefully-designed statistical analysis of the available data.  Even then, the "available data" could have already been manipulated, as it was in Japan after the atomic bomb blasts.  Research which is not favorable to the nuclear industry can be, has been, and routinely is, stopped before publication of peer-reviewed results.  It never gets into the scientific journals.  It never gets to the public.

The Nuclear Mafia never misses an opportunity to tilt the balance of public opinion unfairly in their favor.  This latest study funded by the Nuclear Energy Institute is no exception, and has all the markings of extreme bias.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA



04/24/07 **** RADIATION BULLETIN(RADBULL) **** VOL 15.95


Send News Stories to with title on subject
line and first line of body

25 NEI: Survey Reveals Gap in Public's Awareness of Nuclear Energy's
Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, April 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even though
nuclear energy is by far the largest clean-air energy source used
to generate electricity, fewer than half of Americans strongly
associate nuclear energy with clean air, according to a new
national survey of 1,000 adults.

The survey shows that only 42 percent of Americans associate
nuclear energy "a lot" with clean air. This is the case even
though nuclear power plants provide 71 percent of all U.S.
electricity that comes from sources that do not emit greenhouse
gases or any of the pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act,
according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The other clean-air energy sources for electricity are
hydroelectric power plants (25 percent), wind power projects (2.3
percent), geothermal projects (1.3 percent) and solar power
(one-tenth of one percent).

More than 100 nuclear power plants operating in 31 states
provide electricity to one of every five U.S. homes and

The new telephone survey was conducted March 30-April 1 by
Bisconti Research Inc. with GfK and has a margin of error of plus
or minus three percentage points. In similar surveys of adults
conducted by the same research firms for the Nuclear Energy
Institute in May 2005 and March 2006, 55 percent of Americans in
both instances strongly associated nuclear energy with clean air.

The new survey also shows that while 57 percent of Americans
"have heard or read about" the need for nuclear energy within the
past year, only 46 percent have heard or read about the clean-air
benefits of nuclear energy. Thirty-nine percent have heard or
read about the use of nuclear energy "as a way to fight global
warming and climate change."

"Amid the vast amount of media and public policy attention
given to global warming concerns over just the past year, there
seems to be a disconnect between awareness of the issue and the
meaningful measures possible to reduce greenhouse gases," said
Scott Peterson, Nuclear Energy Institute vice president.

"For our nation to truly succeed in using the best mix of
energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Americans
should be better informed about the capabilities that each
technology has. This survey shows continued solid support for
nuclear energy. The task that lies ahead for our industry is to
help the American people better understand that nuclear energy,
which they already support, should be an important element of
state and national policies to prevent greenhouse gas emissions."

Another key finding of the survey is that the overwhelming
majority of Americans sees nuclear energy as important to our
future, but does not recognize how much electricity it supplies
today. About 80 percent of those surveyed believe "nuclear energy
will be important in meeting the nation's future electricity

When asked which sources of electricity are used most today
(respondents could name more than one), only 10 percent mention
nuclear energy; 32 percent mention natural gas, 31 percent
mention coal, 22 percent mention oil, and 16 percent mention

When asked which sources of electricity will be used most in
the United States 15 years from now, Americans cite solar energy
(27 percent) and nuclear energy (24 percent) most. Fourteen
percent mention coal-fired power plants, even though coal-fired
plants today provide 49 percent of the nation's electricity and
are likely to remain the leading source of electricity in the
next 15 years.

"People have a similar view of solar and nuclear energy as
fuels of the future, but not major sources today," Bisconti
Research President Ann Bisconti said. "That's not new. It's the
same view the public has held for nearly a quarter of a century.
Misperceptions about our energy supply, coupled with the fact a
large segment of the public is not hearing about nuclear energy's
clean-air role, result in an underestimation of the magnitude of
nuclear energy's contribution right now in addressing concerns
about global warming."

The survey shows that 63 percent of Americans favor "the use
of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in
the United States."

Two-thirds of Americans say that, if a new power plant is
needed to supply electricity, it would be acceptable to add a new
reactor at the nearest existing nuclear plant site.

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's
policy organization. This news release and additional information
about nuclear energy are available at

SOURCE Nuclear Energy Institute

Contact info for "Ace" Hoffman: