Anti-nuclear campaigner Helen Caldicott has argued that the nuclear industry is “conducting a whatever-it-takes propaganda campaign” and distorting scientific evidence on radiation’s effects. Here, Geoff Russell responds.
Helen Caldicott proposes a grand coverup by the World Health Organisation and presents as her only evidence a 1959 agreement between WHO and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
A search of the international medical research database PUBMED for “Chernobyl” shows 3767 scientific papers. These are from researchers all over the world. Papers like “Did the Chernobyl atomic plant accident have an influence on the incidence of thyroid carcinoma in the province of Olsztyn?” by Polish scientists. The answer, by the way was “no”.
Latest 2 of 82 commentsView all comments
The Punch put some questions to one of the nation’s nuclear experts - Dr Gerald Laurence. Dr Laurence is a Radiation Safety Adviser and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide’s School of Chemistry and Physics.
Q) How scared should people in Japan be about the nuclear situation?
A) Not a great deal – the 20-year total of deaths from Chernobyl (from the UN 20-year report) suggests that the radiation related deaths are of the order of a few thousand at most; of the thyroid cancers, mostly in the young 99 per cent were treated & cured (note all the data in the report are strongly disputed by environmental and progessive groups who claim that WHO & IAEA are under the influence of the nuclear industrial complex).
In Japan so far it is spent fuel rods that were removed from the core in November, so iodine-131 (which has an eight-day half life) is not a major risk. The most serious fission product that will be released will be caesium-137 with a 30-year half life.
The possibility of food (rice, milk, etc.) being contaminated because of contaminated fields is real, but public health measures (testing and so on) should mean such produce should not reach the public. Local contamination (houses, towns) will clear at rates dependent on the weather (dissolved in rain, etc.). Local weather also disperses & dilutes the plume (and I assume the Japan Met Bureau can model this very well).
Latest 2 of 70 commentsView all comments
It’s Wednesday at The Punch
Today in 1986, the Soviet Union released a report acknowledging the Chernobyl disaster at the nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. For a closer look at life in Chernobyl today, check out American public radio network’s (NPR) photograph series.
Latest 2 of 10 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…