Friday, March 14, 2014

60 Minutes' Disgraceful Fukushima Scare Beat Up !

Liz Hayes' credibility dropped into a toilet last week by giving another disgraceful example of enviro-porn - the kind of green scaremonger that kills more people than it saves. Her truly irresponsible report on the three years after the Fukushima nuclear reactor incident featured Australia's resident fruitcake and anti-nuclear hysteric Helen Caldicott. She was introduced as merely a ''paediatrician'' and falsely billed as a ''nuclear expert''. The closest thing she's come to a nuclear expert is looking at the photos of the incident in TIME magazine and borrowing some books from the library.

Caldicott's past alarmism is not mentioned (because she would look like a true idiot if the truth be told), and not least her unforgivable fear mongering at the time of the emergency. She warned on radio station 3AW that Fukushima reactor could blow (a scenario ruled out by nuclear experts). This, she wailed, meant ''hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying within two weeks of acute radiation illness, with countless more later suffering an epidemic of cancers!''  Hayes fails to find a single example of anyone at all in Japan - not even the workers at the emergency site - suffering ill-health as a consequence of the emergency. Not one - despite clearly hunting for atrocity stories.

Hayes shows Caldicott (photo left) claiming Japan is now so unsafe that athletes should not go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hayes fails to mention the truth, as established by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation last year: that no evidence is likely to emerge of any radiation illness from the incident, even among the heavily exposed workers who were at the plant. As UNSCEAR officially said:

          ''Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and vast majority of workers.''  They went on to report that the exposure of the Japanese population was very low, leading to correspondingly low risks of health effects later in life. Also, no radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among the 25,000 workers (including TEPCO employees and contractors) involved at the accident site. The assessment also concluded that ''although the rate of exposure may have exceeded the levels for the onset of effect on plants and animals in the first few months following the accident, any effects are expected to be transient in nature, given their short duration.''

Hayes then goes on to report more scary claims that the ''whole world'' is being contaminated by the fallout, including the west coast of the United States. What she fails to add is that any contamination that washes ashore will not affect anyone. Carl-Magnus Larsson, chair of the UNSCEAR says ''we're not about to produce a race of sea monsters.''  He went on to say, ''This radioactivity is also being transported over very long distances with the ocean currents circling up and around Alaska and down the west coast and by that time be diluted to levels where there is no concern for harmful effects on the sea life or for using the beaches along the California coast for recreational purposes.

Hayes stupidly warns Fukushima could turn out as terrible as the Chernobyl disaster without adding that Chernobyl was beaten up just like Hayes is now beating up Fukushima. I remember when another idiot, Peter Garrett, as President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, thundered on the danger of all things nuclear and claiming the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986 ''caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people!''  In fact, the known death toll of that explosion of a badly designed reactor is not 30,000, but just 65, according to the Chernobyl Forum that included the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia as well as all relevant United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organisation and International Atomic Energy Agency.

But I said that Liz Hayes' reckless scaremongering is the kind of thing likely to kill more people than it could possibly save. It's true. Radiation scare-mongers risk scaring people to death, Just ask the thousands of evacuees who have just recently been told by the Belarus government that, ''Opps, we made a mistake, there really wasn't any risk from Chernobyl and you can go back to your homes.'' No matter that a generation of their lives were destroyed, that about 10,000 died from suicide, depression and alcoholism because the fear was far more devastating than the event itself. During the first year after Chernobyl, the average dose to inhabitants in Northern Europe was 4.5 mrem, i.e., less than 2% of the average global annual natural dose of 240 mrem/yr. This was not worth destroying these people's lives. And it is exactly the same danger as eating a bag of potato chips a day.

The Way I See that the first thing that people don't realise is that radiation is natural. We are exposed to radiation from outer space....that radiation is there, it provides us with a background exposure as we live on this planet. How many Fukushima residents are being scared to death by the likes of Hayes and Caldicott?  Sadly just two weeks ago it was revealed stress-related deaths among the evacuees had topped the actual death toll of 1,600 from the earthquake and tsunami. Terrible!

All this dogmatic nonsense rests upon LNT, the Linear No-Threshold Dose hypothesis, a supposition that all radiation is deadly and there is no dose below which harmful effects will not occur. Double the dose, double the cancers. Of course, this is not true! The millions of nuclear workers that have been monitored closely for 50 years have no higher cancer mortality than the general population but have had several to ten times the average dose. The Chernobyl Forum summed it up by stating, ''Persistent myths and misconceptions about the threat of radiation have resulted on paralysing fatalism among residents of affected areas.''

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