Friday, March 05, 2010
Of course it is possible that somebody will be able to show I am wrong. Indeed anybody, claiming to respect science, who supports the LNT theory should certainly be able to produce some evidence for it. Indeed only a wholly corrupt, lying parasite deliberately committed to promoting the fascist cause through false fearmongering could support LNT without evidence to at least match the evidence for hormesis.
The psychosomatic disorders observed in the 15 million people in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia1 who were affected by the April 1986 Chernobyl accident are probably the accident’s most important effect on public health These disorders ...linked to the popular belief that any amount of man-made radiation—even minuscule, close to zero doses—can cause harm, an assumption that gained wide currency when it was accepted in the 1950s, arbitrarily, as the basis for regulations on radiation and nuclear safety...
the world’s average individual lifetime dose due to natural background radiation is about 150 mSv. In the Chernobyl-contaminated regions of the former Soviet Union, the lifetime dose is 210 mSv—and in many regions of the world it is about 1000 mSv. The Chernobyl lifetime entire man-made contribution to radiation dose amounts to a mere 0.2% of the natural component...
present average individual dose rate of 2.2 mSv per year...
If radiation and radioactivity, though ubiquitous, are so innocuous at normal levels, why do they cause such universal apprehension? What is the cause of radiophobia—the irrational fear that any level of ionizing radiation is dangerous? Why have radiation protection authorities introduced a dose limit for the public of 1 mSv per year, which is less than half the average dose rate from natural radiation and less than 1% of the natural dose rates in many areas of the world? Why do the nations of the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to maintain this standard?9
Here I propose some likely reasons:
· The psychological reaction to the devastation and loss of life caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
· Psychological warfare during the cold war that played on the public’s fear of nuclear weapons.
· Lobbying by fossil fuel industries.
· The interests of radiation researchers striving for recognition and budget.
· The interests of politicians for whom radiophobia has been a handy weapon in their power games (in the 1970s in the US, and in the 1980s and 1990s in eastern and western Europe and in the former Soviet Union).
· The interests of news media that profit by inducing public fear.
· The assumption of a linear, no-threshold relationship between radiation and biological effects
... Between 1945 and 1980, the 541 atmospheric nuclear tests that were performed together yielded an explosive energy equivalent to 440 megatons of TNT (1.8 x 1024 joules). After all those explosions, despite the injection into the global atmosphere of about 3 tons of plutonium (that is, almost 15 000 supposedly deadly 200-gram doses), somehow we are still alive! ...
A-bomb survivors and linear no-threshold
...findings from the study of A-bomb survivors had been consistently ignored. In place of the actual findings—and driving the public’s radiophobia—has been the theory of linear no-threshold (LNT), which presumes that the detrimental effects of radiation are proportional to the dose, and that there is no dose at which the effects of radiation are not detrimental.
It was LNT theory that the International Commission on Radiological Protection chose, in 1959, as the basis for its rules of radiation protection. At that time, applying LNT theory was regarded as an administrative decision, based on practical (not to mention political) considerations. Adopting a linear relationship between dose and effect, along with no threshold, enabled doses in individual exposures to be added and enabled population-averaged quantities to be evaluated, and made the administration of radiation protection generally easier. Furthermore, the policy undertone—that even the smallest, near-zero amounts of radiation could cause harm—was politically useful at the time: It played an important part in effecting first a moratorium and then a ban on atmospheric nuclear tests. LNT theory was and still is the pillar of the international theory and practice of radiation protection.
Over the years, however, what started as just a working assumption for the leadership of ICRP came to be regarded—in public opinion and by the mass media, regulatory bodies, and many scientists, and even by some members of the ICRP—as a scientifically documented fact...
We have reliable epidemiological data for a dose rate of, say, 6000 mSv per second in Japanese A-bomb survivors. But there are no such data for human exposure at a dose rate of 0.0046 mSv over 50 years (nor will there ever be any). The dose rate in Japan was larger by 2 x 1015 than the Chernobyl dose rate in the US. Extrapolating over such a vast span is neither scientifically justified nor epistemologically acceptable. Indeed, Lauriston Taylor, the former president of the US National Council on Radiological Protection and Measurements, deemed such extrapolations to be a “deeply immoral use of our scientific heritage.”
The LNT theory is contradicted by the phenomenon of hormesis—that is, the stimulating and protective effect of small doses of radiation, which is also termed adaptive response. The first report on hormetic effects in algae appeared more than 100 years ago. More recently published hormetic effects include A-bomb survivors’ apparent lower-than-normal incidence of leukemia and their greater longevity. Although more than 2000 scientific papers had been published on radiation hormesis, the phenomenon was forgotten after World War II and was ignored by the radiation-protection establishment. It was only in 1994 that UNSCEAR recognized and endorsed the very existence of radiation hormesis. It caused a revolutionary upheaval of radiology’s ethical and technical foundations.
Many radiologists have come to realize that their overreaction to theoretical (actually imaginary) health-harming effects of radiation is unethical in that it leads to the consumption of funds that are desperately needed to deal with real health problems...
The practical threshold to be proposed could be based on epidemiological data from exposures in medicine, the nuclear industry, and regions with high natural radiation. The current population dose limit of 1 mSv per year could then be changed to 10 mSv per year or more.
I suspect, along with Professor Cameron, that epidemiological studies wil show the optimum to be above 10mSv but a change to 10 immediately to be followed by a fully evidence based determination would be the proper thing to do - so long as the evidence based determination was also undertaken.
Huge numbers of deaths in the Ukraine due to Chernobyl.
Interview with John Gofman sacked for uncovering dangers of low level radiation.
More about the dangers of low level radiation than any sane person could wish to read.
Here's a refutation of the arguments that low level radiation is good for you:
This review looks at the association between childhood leukaemia and proximity to nuclear power stations.
A study looking at background radiation in Britain and childhood cancer found that when confounding factors were corrected for, there is a clear association. This study suggests that most childhood cancer is due to background radiation.
Nuclear reactor closes, children get healthier.
Explanation of why low level radiation may appear to improve health.
Who do you believe, the nuclear industry, WHO and the UN, or the coal and petrochemical industries? These seem to be the parties who might benefit or not from nuclear power plants.
This seems to be the only "evidence" available for LNT & it consists of arguments from authority which are, by definition, fallacious & attempts to get out of very carefully selected statistics stuff that isn't in them. Do you have any actual evidence whatsoever?