[ RadSafe ] Scientific Consensus

Otto G. Raabe ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Thu Mar 15 15:32:36 CDT 2007

At 09:57 AM 3/15/2007, Bernard L. Cohen wrote:
>How could we document the scientific consensus on nuclear power? We 
>could compile endorsements from scientific societies -- does anyone 
>have such a compilation? We could take a poll of "knowledgeable scientists"
March 15, 2007

I think the term "scientific consensus" is an oxymoron. If there must 
be a vote, there must not be definitive scientific information, so 
there is no basis for being certain.

Although I cannot speak for the Health Physics Society, as a Past 
President I can guess about the Society's position. Unfortunately, 
the issue of nuclear power is mostly a political rather than a 
scientific issue. The safety of nuclear power plants and methods for 
the safe disposal of radioactive waste are well established but the 
person on the street (or in Congress or at the Sierra Club) will 
always ask, "But what are we going to do with the waste?" and "What 
about Chenobyl?". The Society will avoid taking a public position on 
the development of nuclear power because that might compromise the 
Society's image as an impartial health and safety organization and 
result in loss of credibility. On the other hand, the Society does 
take positions that relate to specific radiation safety issues.


Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754   FAX: (530) 758-6140

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