[ RadSafe ] Special issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Stewart Farber SAFarber at optonline.net
Wed May 9 17:38:08 CDT 2012

Hello Mr. Scott,

Thanks for your extensive and thoughtful comments related to the Abstract of
the paper on LNT included in the "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists"  which was
authored by Dr. Jan Beyea and posted by Dr. Parthasarathy.  As limited
background, Dr. Beyea is a "he" and I had the pleasure to speak with him in
the fall of 1988 when he called me, somewhat irritated with my widely
published satire in the general press, and Nuclear News, and the Health
Physics Society Newsletter about the health hazards of "Strepdukakis

At the time in 1988 before the general election,  Dr. Beyea was Energy
Advisor to Gov. Mike Dukakis who was the Democratic nominee for President.
At the time,  Dr. Beyea held a senior position in the National Audubon
Society. Prior to that he had co-authored a number of papers maximizing the
potential impacts of a nuclear accident at Indian Point Nuclear Power
Station [generating capacity a bit over 2,000 MWe], located about 40 miles
north of NYCity. 

Gov. Dukakis is best known in the nuclear field for refusing to cooperate in
Emergency Planning out to a 10 mile radius from Seabrook Nuclear Station.
Seabrook Station in NH is comfortably over 10 miles from MA to the South,
but there is a very small sliver of land in MA falling inside the  10 mile
radius of Seabrook to the SW. At the time,  Gov. Dukakis ordered his MA
Public Health Department not to cooperate in a final E. Plan work for
Seabrook and he essentially held a pocket-veto on the final licensing of
Seabrook. This protracted delay [at which time the utilities completing
Seabrook station could not begin to fold cost for Seabrook into the rate
base under a politically forced ban against AFDC --" Allowance for Funds
During Construction" typically allowed by FERC --Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission] added approximately $1 billion to the final cost of Seabrook,
which I presume was totally acceptable to Gov. Dukakis and those energy
advisers close to him, including Dr. Beyea.

When Dr. Beyea called me to question my qualifications as an environmental
scientist warning the public about the health hazards of "Strepdukis
Antinucleosis" as mentioned in my satire, he asked me if I was working for
the Republican Party! Reasonable question.  I told him no, that I was a
registered Independent voter, and authored my Satire about Dukakis because
as I recall having stated to Dr. Beyea that "Gov. Dukakis was a hypocrite on
his energy and environmental policies." As Camus once wrote: "There is no
fate which can not be surmounted by scorn."

I believe that good satire cuts through nonsense from anti-nuclear interests
far better than many other approaches and as additional fun is capable of
getting under the skin of people who make exaggerated or false claims  --
much to their chagrin and embarrassment. 

I once wrote in one of my satires: "Scientists of the world unite, you have
nothing to loose but disdain"  :-)

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
farber at farber.info

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Scott, Bobby
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 5:02 PM
To: parthasarathy k s; The International Radiation Protection( Health
Physics) Mailing List
Cc: Miller, Mark L; stewart farber; brant_ulsh at mhchew.com; Hiroshi Tanooka;
Cuttler, Jerry; dietrich.averbeck at curie.u-psud.fr; Mike (DOH) Brennan;
Dobrzynski Ludwik; Genn Saji; Thompson, Richard
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Special issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Dear Dr. Parthasarathy,

 I have accessed the website you indicated related to the Bulletin of Atomic
Scientist Special Issue: Low-Level Radiation Risks. However, accessing the
special issue publications (full papers) requires a fee for each paper while
the abstracts were available without cost. Thus, my comments below are based
on the abstracts.


If the objective of the Special Issue is to equip members of the public with
broad information on the effects of low-level radiation, then the
publication in my opinion is a failure. The paper by Jan Beyea titled "The
scientific jigsaw puzzle: Fitting the pieces of the low-level radiation
debate" is quite misleading based on the abstract. For example she states
the following: "Model fits ... to the atomic-bomb data support a linear
no-threshold model, below 0.1 Sv. On the basis of biologic arguments, the
scientific establishment in the United States and many other countries
accepts this dose-model down to zero-dose, but there is spirited dissent.
The dissent may be irrelevant for developed countries, given the increase in
medical diagnostic radiation that has occurred in recent decades; a sizable
percentage of this population will receive cumulative doses from the medical
profession in excess of 0.1 Sv, making talk of a threshold or other
sublinear response below that dose moot for future releases from nuclear
facilities or a dirty bomb."


Modern radiation molecular and cellular biology does not support the
linear-no-threshold (LNT) model. It is now recognized by many scientists
that there is a hierarchy of protective mechanisms that are activated by low
doses of low-LET and low- plus high-LET radiation that include DNA damage
repair, apoptosis of severely damaged cells, removal of already-present
aberrant cells via apoptosis (stress response; regulated by intercellular
communication between aberrant and normal cells), and removal of pre-cancer
and cancer cells via stimulated anticancer immunity.  The French Academies
report related to LNT, which was discounted by Jan Beyea and other LNT
advocates, discussed these protective processes and took them into
consideration when concluding that LNT was not supported by data for low-LET
doses < 100 mGy. In contrast, the BEIR VII Report discussed these protective
processes and then ignored their very important implications when
recommending continued use of the LNT model. Our research has recently
uncovered a novel protective mechanism whereby low-dose gamma rays suppress
cigarette-smoke-carcinogen-induced neoplastic transformation and presumably
also smoking related lung cancer. The protective mechanism relates to
gamma-ray suppression of cigarette-smoke-carcinogen-related
inflammatory cytokines released by stromal cells that promote the neoplastic
transformation of normal human bronchial epithelial cells (Chen W. et al.,
2012, Carcinogenesis; prepress abstract available at
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22556270 ).  We also have new data
showing that repeated low doses of gamma rays can prevent
cigarette-smoke-carcinogen-induced lung tumors (adenomas) in mice and also
appear to prevent the occurrence of spontaneous hyperplastic foci in the
mouse lung (Bruce V., et al., Dose-Response 2012 Conference


Bobby R. Scott

LRRI, Albuquerque, NM, USA



From: parthasarathy k s [mailto:ksparth at yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:29 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection( Health Physics) Mailing List
Cc: Scott, Bobby; stewart farber; Mike (DOH) Brennan
Subject: Special issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists


Dear Dr Scot Bobby,

I hope you had a chance to have a quick look at the recently (May 1st,
2012) issued special issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists covering
effects of low level radiation.

You can access it at:

I shall greatly appreciate your critical appraisal of the issue. 


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