2006.07.22

Accurate vs. Biased Chernobyl Information

This is the second blog message about the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident and the reports that were put forward for the twenty-year anniversary of the event.

This is the second blog message about the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident and the reports that were put forward for the twenty-year anniversary of the event.

The Chernobyl disaster set the nuclear power industry back considerably. It is understandable that the industry has worked hard to find “scientific experts” who are willing to be less than scientific in “reporting” the long term effects of the radiation exposure caused by that incident.

The IAEA, WHO and TORCH “reports” are this kind of report.

I have written before about the absurd statements of WHO’s Dr. Repacholi, who would have you believe that “the worst effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident are mental health problems brought on by too much worry.” Below are quotes from A Low Level Radiation Campaign’s review of The Other Report on Chernobyl (TORCH).

Following that, please see information about a new book that authentically reviews the results of the Chernobyl disaster. Whether you read the book or not, just reading these two descriptions of the book will leave you more informed than reading all three of the “reports” referred to above. – And, I hope, much more concerned about further use of nuclear energy in any form.

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“6th April 2006 saw publication of The Other Report on Chernobyl, which was commissioned by a German Green Member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms.

s noted in LLRC’s review of the TORCH report, “Unfortunately, TORCH, a theoretical review of a small part of the evidence accrued in twenty years since the Chernobyl disaster, reveals consistent bias in that it ignores or under-reports crucial developments in radio-biology and the estimation of risks. Its principal finding — that between 30,000 and 60,000 fatal cancers will eventually result from the fallout exposure – is far out of line with the reality already observed.”

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The actual results of the Chernobyl accident are clearly outlined in Chernobyl, 20 Years On, a new book from the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) that shows what Chernobyl has done to human health, as opposed to the armchair theorising of the TORCH report.

From the ECRR flyer about the book:

“Research into these effects has been mainly published in Russian language journals; these valuable contributions have (perhaps purposely) rarely been translated into English. To do so would have been fatal to the nuclear industry which routinely discharges the same radioactive substances into the environment under license.

This new ECRR publication presents the true consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Eminent
scientists examine and review the data and show that, rather than fading away, the effects are only beginning to show themselves. The phenomenon of ‘genomic instability’, discovered in the laboratory in the UK in the 1990s, is seen now in its terrible effects on the animals, plants and human victims of the Chernobyl exposures. It is seen at doses that would have been, and still are, dismissed as vanishingly small by the current radiation
protection laws.

Here are data from the real world: the world of the Chernobyl laboratory. The lessons contained in these chapters should be borne in mind by policy makers who are, even now, discussing new investments in nuclear energy and ways in which historic and future radionuclide waste can be disposed of into the environment.”


From the Low Level Radiation Campaign review of the book:

“This is the rebuttal to all the official fudging and the failure of nuclear apologists to look at the real world — 250 heavily referenced pages summarising the real effects on human beings, animals and plants. This is the antidote to endless calculations of dose (whatever “dose” means) and the predictions of some hypothetical black-box model.

Chernobyl is the biggest ever test of the modelling of the International Commission on Radiological Protection and it’s clear that ICRP has failed the test, since public health in the affected areas is seriously affected and worsening. The diseases involved represent a far wider spectrum than the cancer and genetic defects that ICRP confines itself to. The Committee members conclude that mortality and morbidity will continue to grow as a result of continuing internal contamination and because many non-cancer illnesses are increasing as a result of genomic instability and damage to the immune system. All the way from increases in still birth and congenital malformation to early ageing and premature death, no stage of life is immune. And all this is happening at dose rates comparable with natural background, which according to the established model simply should not cause enough disease to be discernible against the background noise of spontaneous rates. So much for ICRP and the established view!

This is heart rending stuff when you recall that it represents the day-to-day experience of hundreds of thousands of real people. The Guardian headline of March 25th — UN accused of ignoring 500,000 Chernobyl deaths — was informed by this ECRR sub-Committee’s findings, but no-one will ever know how many people will suffer chronic ill-health and untimely death. This stands in stark contrast to the spurious precision of fatal cancer totals predicted by various agencies — 4000 by IAEA, 9000 by WHO, 60,000 by TORCH, all of them muddling with models and fiddling with numbers and never looking at the reality that daily faces the doctors and researchers in the field. Eventually the victims will number in the millions and probably already do.

…. in the context of genetic mutation in plants 20 or more generations removed from their irradiated ancestors one scientist ironically, laconically, observes that wheat doesn’t suffer from radiophobia. Nor from alcoholism nor despair, we think to add. Nor do the animals, yet mice 22 generations removed from being irradiated in the higher fallout areas display greater radio-sensitivity than those less exposed. So much for current ideas about genetic selection!

Against this background politicians plan to foist another round of nuclear power stations on us and our descendants, another generation of nuclear weapons, perpetuation of Uranium armour-piercing weaponry, and relaxed standards for the incineration and dustbin disposal of radioactive waste.”


To order a copy of the book, click here.


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