Both the great Truths and the great Falsehoods of the twentieth century lie hidden in the arcane, widely inaccessible, and seemingly mundane domain of the radiation sciences

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: Exhibit D continued

What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.

Exhibit D continued

To conclude Exhibit D, it is necessary to reiterate that the computational system developed during the Tri-Partite Conferences and carried into the NCRP and ICRP was an outstanding achievement in mankind’s quest to manage the hazards to health posed by internal contamination by radionuclides. The system reduced to manageable abstractions the complex array of variables that were involved in the biological behavior of radionuclides. This permitted reasonable first approximations to be derived of what might constitute a nonhazardous dosage of radiation. To quote Rosalie Bertell:

"There are many administrative decisions embedded into the elaborate (artificial) methodology for calculating effective whole-body dose and for calculating the expected number of radiation-induced fatal cancers. The strengths of the ICRP approach rest primarily on its ability to quickly convert a multidimensional problem, that is, a mixture of radionuclides, having a variety of energies and types of emissions, multiple pathways to humans, and a variety of target human organs, into a linear system amenable to management decisions. This is a recognized mathematical achievement. However, in risk assessments, long-term chronic exposure, the aftermath of a disaster, or in worker compensation hearings, these same techniques cloud reality and work effectively against justice for the victims. The elegant mathematics must not be allowed to cover up the injustices" [1].

For all its strengths, the ICRP model is deeply flawed in one significant respect. It breaks down when it is applied to low-dose effects produced by internal emitters. The effort to prop this model up where it cannot adequately account for observed biological phenomena and to force reality to conform to the model is the source of the injustices alluded to by Rosalie Bertell. As outlined in this Exhibit, there exists a wide range of biological phenomena capable of being produced by low doses of internal emitters that cannot be addressed by current models of risk as propounded by the radiation protection agencies. These agencies represent their models as the definitive statement of how radiation affects the human organism, but this is, at best, a half-truth. Vast regions of uncertainty exist which are currently ignored in risk assessment. This is not without consequence for the welfare of humanity. Governments exploit the flaws in the current model to rationalize the safety of their nuclear/radiological agendas. Under these circumstances, there is no mechanism in place to constrain their deeds. With science rendered impotent to testify before humanity the crimes of governments, and with scientists incapacitated by falsehood to stand up for the health and welfare of humanity, governments are in effect carrying out radiation experiments on the entire human race. Rather than respecting the biological phenomena coming to light through modern research and curtailing their activities in the name of caution and respect for life, governments are ignoring biology in pursuit of their nuclear programs. Under such circumstances, the ICRP, NCRP, NRPB, UNSCEAR, and BEIR are ineffectual pawns at best, complicit criminals at worst, supporting the reckless endangerment of all life on planet Earth by offering no force to counter the misdeeds of governments. The results of their flawed methodologies legitimize these misdeeds. These organizations never intercede on behalf of humanity by sending the message to government, “Wait! There are biological phenomena that are not sufficiently taken into account in our current understanding to justify the scattering of radioactivity in the environment!” Although they stand before humanity as agencies of protection to the human race, they are complicit in the furtherance of policies that are contaminating, and will continue to contaminate, populations with radioactivity.

By ignoring the biological implications of their nuclear/radiological policies, governments have forced a scientific issue, which would normally be settled by trained professionals guided by the scientific method, into a political issue. By casting caution aside and flouting biological truths in their pursuit of unlimited power, governments have left citizens with no recourse but to enter into a political struggle to curb government abuses and rescue the biological domain. If the radiation protection community is unwilling to restrain imprudent government and military policy, there is no other way.


[1] Bertell R. Limitations of the ICRP Recommendations for Worker and Public Protection from Ionizing Radiation. For Presentation at the STOA Workshop: Survey and Evaluation of Criticism of Basic Safety Standards for the Protection of Workers and the Public against Ionizing Radiation. Brussels: European Parliament, February 5, 1998a.