UK Government Effort To Forge Ahead With Nuclear Raises Questions

We reported earlier on emails released to the public that showed collusion between the UK government and the nuclear industry to generate PR and downplay the Fukushima disaster.

There has been two recent incidents of so called experts from the UK making some outrageous claims about radiation. Now it is being reported that the UK government intends to push ahead with new nuclear projects, like one with French EDF. The UK government has also announced the intention to build another MOX fuel processing plant at Sellafield. The current one has been shut down. This raises questions with experts about the chances of success of a new plant and if MOX fuel will even be in demand after it was implicated in the unit 3 meltdown at Fukushima.

In what is being promoted as “complete coincidence” two important sounding UK experts are trying to give the public a very false sense of security about radiation risks.

This presentation to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan featured some outlandish statements by retired Oxford professor Wade Allison. Allison has background in nuclear and medical physics. He frequently speaks outside his stated scope of expertise and makes claims on psychology and sociology related to the Fukushima disaster. Allison makes frequent claims he has no ties to the nuclear industry. His 2009 self published book outlines his claims on radiation and is frequently mis-used to give Allison the illusion of credibility. Allison has many critics among other academics for his flawed and outrageous claims. Allison recently called for a 5000 mSv annual radiation exposure maximum for all citizens in Japan. This is far higher than any accepted exposure level in the world including nuclear workers. Allison released his PowerPoint presentation from his talk in Japan, please note that most if not all of his claims in this presentation go against well established medical and technical understanding or make mathematically flawed comparisons.

Then there is Jim Al-Khalili who also very loudly and frequently claims he has no ties to the nuclear industry. He made a recent BBC documentary about Fukushima and made some of the same kinds of flawed and outrageous statements that Allison does. Al-Khalili says as Allison did that fear of radiation and stress of evacuating are the “real” problems, not the radiation. He claims there were only partial meltdowns at the reactors when there is documented well known evidence that all 3 reactors are melted through their reactor vessels. He tells that there are “no deaths” from the disaster at Fukushima and mis-quotes the IAEA as proof of his claim. The IAEA made a statement early on that they would not make estimate on future deaths. Studies at Hiroshima show that most radiation related deaths happen far past the 25 year mark. Al-Khalili also tries to misrepresent Chernobyl by only looking at thyroid cancers. Thyroid cancer is a quite common outcome of radiation exposure but the patient has a good chance of surviving due to efficient treatment by removing the thyroid or tumors. He omits data on other types of cancer and other radiation illnesses that result in death. When those figures are included the death rate is not nearly as good as Al-Khalili tries to convince people it is. Chernobyl comparisons at this point are an inaccurate comparison as was seen at Hiroshima the peak of illness and death happened well past the 25 year mark and Chernobyl just passed the 25 year mark. As he argues against evacuation, that families and children should return, he puts on protective boots to prevent contamination of radiation on his feet in order to walk on a local school playground. Ian Goddard has a great debunking of Al-Khalili complete with a list of documentation links.

Al-Khalili has government ties and a clear disdain for the public or anyone who would criticize his claims calling them conspiracy theorists.

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