Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shameless big "scientific" lie behind 50+ years of anti-nuclear hysteria (so far)

Image: scene from Mike Hammer: Kiss Me Deadly (1955), depicting supposed effects of exposure to nuclear material used in original nuclear bombs, obviously as part of the campaign, which began at about that time, to induce anti-nuclear hysteria.

[Hermann] Muller had tried to estimate cosmic-radiation-induced mutation rates back in 1930, and he did this using a linear model. And his predictions were off by 1,300-fold! So he couldn’t go further on it, but he never abandoned his flirtation with it. That should have told him that he was wrong, but it didn’t.
What Muller and his band of radiation geneticists did was to scare everybody, from the press to politicians to the general public, and in a way it became a wildfire, and ultimately it spread to all chemicals and then regulation, and ultimately a mindset that has affected the entire world. AND THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT AFTER THE ATOMIC BOMB WAS DROPPED, ONE THING THAT WAS NOT OBSERVED IN JAPAN WAS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN BIRTH DEFECTS. And that is amazingly ironic.  [emphasis added]
from How a ‘Big Lie’ Launched The LNT Myth and The Great Fear of Radiation

On a related note, I just looked into whether there are any documented cases of radiation sickness as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi situation, which is about the worst case scenario for a nuclear plant, and was unable to find any.  So I suppose the anti-nuclear-power crusaders are going to tell us that the real danger is that someone might nuke a nuclear power plant.