Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The nuclear lobby says radiation is safe – don’t believe it!

...A big part of the spin surrounding the Fukushima crisis is the claim − or the unstated, implicit assumption − that low level radiation exposures are ‘safe’ or ‘harmless’.

It is far too early to be attempting those calculations for Fukushima, but we can apply the logic to Chernobyl. Total radiation exposure from Chernobyl was 600,000 Sieverts according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and thus an estimated 24,000 people will die, nearly all of them because of cancers induced by low level radiation exposure.

Don’t let the nuclear industry tell you radiation’s safe The Punch, Jim Green, 25 March, 11,  “……..To its great shame, the Australian uranium industry sat on its hands and did nothing even as it was revealed that TEPCO had systematically and routinely falsified safety data and breached safety regulations for decades, even as a 2007 report detailed 97 incidents of ‘malpractice’ at Japan’s nuclear power plants, and even as the ability of Japan’s nuclear plants to withstand earthquakes came under criticism from industry insiders……A big part of the spin surrounding the Fukushima crisis is the claim − or the unstated, implicit assumption − that low level radiation exposures are ‘safe’ or ‘harmless’. However there is no safe level of radiation − the risk of fatal cancer is proportional to the dose, even at the lowest levels of exposure.

The Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation of the US National Academy of Sciences comprehensively studied the issue and concluded that “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and … the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.”

Instead of taking their responsibilities seriously, Australia’s uranium mining companies – as Toro Energy, Uranium One and Heathgate Resources – have been sponsoring visits to Australia by fringe scientists who claim that low level radiation exposure is not only harmless but actually good for you….

For the uranium mining companies to promote such marginal views is self-serving and irresponsible and it may be time for governments to step in to provide that balance.

To estimate the death toll from Fukushima, it will be necessary to estimate the total human radiation exposure as a result of the accidents. The standard risk estimate for low level radiation can then be applied.

It is far too early to be attempting those calculations for Fukushima, but we can apply the logic to Chernobyl. Total radiation exposure from Chernobyl was 600,000 Sieverts according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and thus an estimated 24,000 people will die, nearly all of them because of cancers induced by low level radiation exposure.

Don’t let the nuclear industry tell you radiation’s safe | Article | The Punch

March 25, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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