[ RadSafe ] FW: Horizon: Nuclear Nightmares

Richard L. Hess lists at richardhess.com
Sun Jul 23 18:38:51 CDT 2006

I would appreciate a rebuttal to this charge about the failure of the 
dose model for internal doses. I had become convinced that the LNT 
approach was wrong, but now this group is claiming what? That the 
internal dosage is even more sensitive than thought?

Dr. Cohen? Anyone?

I'm sorry if I get easily confused with this. You should see me 
worrying about the friction and stick-slip of degrading magnetic tape 
over fixed heads and guides -- I get even more confused when formulas 
don't match what I'm seeing in the tape transfer lab <sigh>/<smile>.



At 08:52 AM 7/18/2006, Falo, Gerald A Dr KADIX wrote:
> >From the Low Level Radiation Campaign mailing list.
>The statements and opinions expressed herein are my responsibility; no
>one else (certainly not my employer) is responsible, but I still reserve
>the right to make mistakes.
>Don't panic! - Douglas Adams in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
>Gerald A. Falo, Ph.D., CHP
>Kadix Systems
>U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine - Health
>Physics Program
>jerry.falo at us.army.mil
>DSN: 584-4852
>From: Richard Bramhall [mailto:bramhall at llrc.org]
>Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 6:32 PM
>To: info llrc
>Subject: Horizon: Nuclear Nightmares
>Horizon: Nuclear Nightmares. BBC Two, 9.00 p.m. Thursday 13th July
>(United Kingdom)
>A lot of people have, understandably, been outraged at the advance spin
>on this documentary (see, e.g. Monday's 10th July Times
>The programme apparently will offer up as "new" (The Times says) the
>idea that there is a threshold dose below which radiation doesn't cause
>harm. We read that it "may even be beneficial" and that "Evidence ...
>has convinced experts that the risks of radiation follow a much more
>complex pattern than predicted."
>We certainly agree that dose/response curves are complex. The reason for
>the complexity is that more than 50 years ago the American National
>Committee on Radiological Protection adopted a grossly simplistic
>concept of "dose" as an average of energy deposited into body tissue.
>This model was based on external irradiation, with which they were
>familiar since it was what they had been dealing with for decades in the
>search for adequate standards for regulating X-rays. It wasn't too
>difficult to extend that simple physics-based model to the external
>irradiation from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, and it was convenient
>to assume that radioactivity inside the body could be understood as if
>it were external - an approach which fails to account properly for the
>huge variations in energy distribution from different kinds of
>radioactivity. Even in 1952 Karl Z. Morgan, who was responsible for the
>NCRP sub-committee on internal radioactivity, refused to agree that
>internal could be dealt with like external. His sub-committee was closed
>down and for the rest of his life he was a critic of the NCRP and its
>successor the International Commission on Radiological Protection - "I
>feel like a father who is ashamed of his children." All this happened
>before the structure of DNA was discovered and long before biological
>responses like genomic instability, the bystander effect and
>microinflammation were even suspected. For these reasons all competent
>authorities now recognise that for many internal exposures "dose" is a
>virtually meaningless term, so it is irritating to see propaganda like
>The Times report still using it; inhaled particles of reactor fuel
>cannot be compared with chest X-rays. One size does not fit all.
>It is appalling to see WHO denying the reality of life post-Chernobyl,
>but we must bear in mind that their minds are clouded by the ICRP
>dose/risk model and by the International Atomic Energy Agency's power of
>vetoing any WHO research on radiation and health. In their crazed world
>the risk model predicts no discernible health impact because doses
>(whatever "dose" may mean) from Chernobyl fallout were too small - a
>maximum of twice natural background. When there is an all-too-observable
>impact (e.g. 30% increase in cancer in Belarus in ten post-Chernobyl
>years or a similar increase in northern Sweden) they say it must be
>caused by something else rather than inferring that the risk model is
>wrong. Their science and their epidemiology are like two drunks holding
>each other up - a temporary marvel!
>For an alternative view see http://www.euradcom.org
><http://www.euradcom.org/>  and the European Committee on Radiation
>Risk's volume Chernobyl: 20 Years On. ECRR has summarised thousands of
>Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian studies. Scientists and clinicians in
>those regions are reporting a melt-down in human health. Studies of
>animals and plants show genetic defects transmitted over 22 generations,
>although plants don't suffer from radiophobia. There is a flyer on
>In 2004 LLRC summarised about 100 of these Russian language studies for
>the CERRIE Minority Report: they are on our site at
>The BBC documentary "Nuclear Nightmares" looks as if it will be
>propaganda intended to soften us up for a new round of nuclear power
>stations. We have raised this with the series producer and we shall be
>watching to see if the programme or the series complies with the rules
>of the Office of Communications. Rule 5.5. says  "Due impartiality on
>matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to
>current public policy must be preserved [...]  This may be achieved
>within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole."
>We have obtained calculations of the health impact of replacing the
>present nuclear power generating capacity with new nuclear build. These
>are based on the ECRR's 2003 Recommendations and will be the subject of
>a separate circular.
>We don't feel worried by the UK Government's announcement today. Nuclear
>power stations cannot operate without discharge licences, but the
>scientific debate over radiation risk has reached such a point that any
>decision to emit radioactivity will be subject to legal challenge.
>That's the point at which the drunks will hit the pavement.
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Richard L. Hess                   richard at richardhess.com
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       http://www.richardhess.com/
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm  

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