[ RadSafe ] Crawford F Sams and radiophobia

Robert Bradley rpb.bradley at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 19:43:37 CDT 2011

I remember a discussion along these lines several years ago: the public's
perception of radiation characterized by a "mushroom cloud".  I don't recall
who said or quoted it, but I'll never forget the line: "If electricity had
first been demonstrated by the electric chair, we would still be using
candles for illumination".  If ever there was an example of the power of
first impressions, this "mushroom cloud'' has to be considered at the top of
the first (and this is not a good thing).
-  - Robert Bradley
Health Canada, retired.

On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:28 PM, Jerry Cohen <jjc105 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Dr. Richel,
> Thank you very much for the transcript of Dr. Sams life experiences. I
> found the
> information to be fascinating and do not doubt it was the intent of some
> high-level thinking in Washington during World War II  to instill an
> atmosphere
> of radiophobia to discourage further warfare following the experience at
> Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This attitude likely encouraged adoption of the MAD
> policy (Mutual Assured Destruciton) in recent decades intended to prevent
>  nuclear warfare. The best one can say regarding this policy is that it has
> worked, so far.
> Unfortunately, irrational radiophobia took on a life of its own. It has
> infiltrated our society and severely handicapped development of a viable
> nuclear
> power industry. A large segment of our public seems incapable of
> distinguishing
> nuclear power generation from nuclear bombs. Perhaps the moral of this is
> to be
> careful of what you wish for,  because you might get it.
> Jerry Cohen
> ________________________________
> From: Theo Richel <theo at richel.org>
> To: Jerry Cohen <jjcohen at prodigy.net>; The International Radiation
> Protection
> (Health Physics) MailingList <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
> Sent: Tue, April 26, 2011 9:36:01 AM
> Subject: Crawford F Sams and radiophobia
> Crawford F Sams was a US Army General and doctor who set up/restored
> Japanes health care after the dropping of the atomic bomb. He claims
> that the 'performance' of the bomb was disappointing, but that the US
> government needed a new deterrent (the war had shown that the former
> deterrent air-warfare had failed) and this became the bomb/radiation. Th
> effects of the bomb had to be presented as large as possible, thus was
> the order the General got from Washington. He complied because
> understood why the US chose this policy, but warned that it could
> backfire, 'Do not believe your own propaganda' he warned. On the net he
> has a long transcript of an interview here:
> http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/oral/transcripts/sams.html and I have an
> article from the 50-ies from hios hand that both clearly suggest that
> the current radiophobia was largely government instigated.
> Is there anybody here that can confirm or deny this or has more
> information?
> Thanks
> Theo Richel
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