Geoff Russell Submission to #NuclearCommissionSAust: convince public that radiation is OK
I love it! Russell doesn’t bother with the nuances of argument, or indeed, even with the facts. Here he goes on radiation:
“The demonstrated health risks associated with the Fukushima meltdowns are various and it’s simple to show that radiation was and remains the smallest. Fear of radiation demonstrably killed more people than radiation could ever have. “
Note the use of the word “demonstrated”. As with smoking, the cancer cases from ionising radiation appear decades later – but not much in the early years after exposure, can’t be “demonstrated then) .
Russell explains that public concern about Fukushima radiation is due to “ignorance” and ““incompetent news reporting”. He tries to demolish any information that Chernobyl nuclear radiation caused illness or death. He’s good at dazzling you with jargony non-science : – “Put another way, normal DNA damage is about 10,000-15,000 times greater than the public was getting from radiation at Fukushima”
Russell’s forte is rubbishing well known people, authors Guy Rundle and Mark Willacy, Professor Ian Lowe, and also governments: “But it isn’t just the news media that seem to go out of their way to ignore evidence, the Government of Japan provides an excellent, but tragic, example with its response to the meltdowns at Fukushima in 2011” He rubbishes the Japanese government’s response to the Fukuhsima nuclear disaster as an over-reaction, with the evacuation as unnecessary.
He rubbishes the idea of ionising radiation as a cause of cancer, except for these odd remarks
“only a small section of the community will generally be at any significant risk at all; young children and pregnant woman…….The Hiroshima and Nagasaki doses and outcome makes it clear that any general outcome from Fukushima can only be, at worst, a slight ripple in cancer rates….”
(Now we know who matters to Geoff Russell, and who doesn’t!)
He attacks the accepted Linear No Threshold Theory (LNT) of radiation – the one endorsed by World Health Organisation (WHO) all reputable health organisations world-wide:
“Radiation experts know that LNT is simply a model which is useful in some circumstances but quite clearly wrong; both for high doses and low doses”
“……If this Royal Commission is to present an expansion of the nuclear industry as a viable option in South Australia it must deal explicitly with the causes of the Fukushima evacuation. ….. The truth is that the Fukushima meltdowns never posed any significant public health risk and that the Government of Japan mishandled the event from the outset and at every subsequent point.”
Russell goes on to a big jargony waffle about why ionising radiation in water is of no concern. Then he wanders all over the place about other causes and mechanisms of cancer development.
The Royal Commission is uniquely placed to learn from the past, but it will need to deal with the drivers of nuclear fear in the community. To build confidence in the community, the Commission’s report will need to convince both sides of politics to speak with one voice about the misinformation that drove (and drives) the Fukushima evacuation. Appeasement, in the form of more and more levels of safeguards and protocols to attempt to say that “it can’t happen here” isn’t the answer.
There will always be accidents despite every effort to avoid them. Planes still crash, but people understand the relative risks and board them regardless of personal fear. They understand that fear is their personal problem and not a function of the objective facts…….
In Australia in 2010-11 there were 7730 Worker’s45 Compensation claims for serious injury resulting from falls from a height. How many were associated with rooftop solar panels? As far as I can see, nobody is even counting, but a million solar rooftops means more people on ladders; many of them amateurs. This is real danger, the kind that can put you in a wheel chair for the rest of your life. http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/11/Geoff-Russell-22-07-2015.pdf