[ RadSafe ] Gofman on TMI and Chernobyl deaths

Mon May 13 08:58:01 CDT 2013

Boy, even if you accept his numbers for population dose and accept LNT
at any level of exposure the math still doesn't work out. Using a risk
coefficient of 5% per Sv a dose of 300 rem (3 Sv) gives a 15% chance of
fatal cancer. So (if I remember how to do this, which might not be a
good assumption), instead of 333 cancers we'd have 333 x 15% = 50 fatal

But even this is likely an over-estimate since virtually all off-site
dose to exposed individuals was so low, and since his population dose
figure is so high. It brings to mind the ICRP statement that, if the
dose to the most-exposed individual is trivial then the dose to all
individuals must be considered trivial and it's inappropriate to assume
that the collective dose will somehow have an impact. Or to use an
analogy I posted earlier, we can't throw a million one-gram rocks at
everyone in Cleveland and assume that, because the cumulative weight is
a ton, a few people will be crushed.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2013 11:22 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Gofman on TMI and Chernobyl deaths

May 10

         Gofman claimed a human exposure of 
100,000 man-rems from the Three Mile Island 
accident.  He then claimed one death per 300 
man-rems.  Dividing 100,000 by 300 gives 333 
deaths from Three Mile Island --- at least in Gofman's world.

         He made this claim in the Foreword to 
the 1979 printing of his book "Poisoned 
Power."  The Foreword will be found at this link:


         To find his specific claim about the 
number of deaths, scroll down the page about 
two-thirds of the way to the paragraph beginning 
"Now we are ready to solve our equation."

         For Gofman's claims of deaths resulting 
from the Chernobyl accident, see a 1994 interview 
with Gofman in "Synapse," the student newspaper 
published by the University of California in San 
Francisco.  In the interview, Gofman said:

"After Chernobyl, I estimated that there were 
going to be 475,000 fatal cancers throughout 
Europe - with another 475,000 cancers that are 
not fatal. That estimate was based on the dose 
released on the various countries of fallout from Cesium-137."

         The link is:


         The quote is near the beginning of the interview.

Steven Dapra

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