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, May 3, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: SCAM NUMBER ONE

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.

SCAM NUMBER ONE: According to the equation, dose = energy/mass, a dose of radiation can be reduced (and made to appear within the guidelines of safety) by increasing the mass that absorbs it.

One of the secret incantations recited by those charged with managing radioactive waste goes like this: DILUTION is the SOLUTION to the POLLUTION. An example of how this maxim can be implemented to the benefit of the nuclear industry is illustrated by Karl Morgan in his book The Angry Genie. While employed at Oak Ridge during the 1940s, Morgan shared the responsibility of safely disposing of the radioactive waste generated as a byproduct of the nuclear weapons program. Broaching the subject with members of the Atomic Energy Commission, Morgan received a striking response: “Why not just dilute the radioactive waste to the occupational maximum permissible concentration, discharge it into White Oak Creek where it will seep into the Clinch River, and forget it?” [1]. The implications of following this advice must be amplified. Regardless of whether or not the radioactivity being alluded to was diluted prior to discharge, the same quantity of radioactivity would be released into the waterway. Diluting it first, however, gives the appearance of being in compliance with legal statutes while not diluting it is a criminal violation. Presto! A magical way of transforming hazardous concentrations of radioactive waste into benign levels below regulatory concern. This is a routine method of complying with environmental regulation. For instance, hospitals, universities and research centers are permitted to routinely flush limited concentrations of low-level radioactive waste into sewers. By diluting the quantity of radiation in a volume of water, the perception is altered as to what is going on without actually changing the end result of how much radioactivity is being dumped into the environment.

This same sleight of hand has been applied to dosages received from internal emitters. In the United Kingdom, a major controversy has erupted concerning the health effects to the population from plutonium-239 released from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. The Irish Sea is heavily contaminated with plutonium. Radioactivity is brought inland by sea spray and evidence exists that coastal communities are more heavily contaminated than those further inland. The winds also carry plutonium-laced effluent from Sellafield throughout much of the UK. Autopsies have confirmed that a proportional relationship exists between the amount of plutonium lodged in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes and how far the deceased lived from the facility [2]. Further testifying to the extent of environmental contamination, plutonium has been detected in the feces of sheep grazing as far as 100 km from Sellafield and within the teeth of children living up to 200 km away. The plutonium escaping the plant primarily poses an inhalation hazard. Once deposited in the lungs, the insoluble particles of plutonium are available for scavenging by white blood cells which then ferry the pollutants to the tracheobronchial lymph nodes. It is important to note that the combined mass of these tiny bodies of tissue is approximately 15 grams. (Inhaled particles of DU are likewise scavenged from the lungs and transported to the tracheobronchial lymph nodes.) In a contaminated individual, these lymph nodes can contain plutonium in concentrations between 100 to 10,000 times higher than in any other tissues of the body [3]. Due to alpha emissions from the intensely radioactive plutonium, it can be assumed that a frighteningly high dosage of radiation is being deposited in these tiny tissue masses. As a consequence, there is an elevated risk for leukemia, induced by mutations to stem cells present within the nodes. As noted by Dr. Chris Busby: “Given that this organ [the tracheobronchial lymph nodes] has been identified as a source of lymphoma and leukemia in animals, this sounds very like the cause of the Sellafield leukemia cluster” [4]. For the nuclear establishment, such talk is heresy. If the public embraced the idea that pollution from a nuclear facility was causing leukemia, the weight of opinion might topple the government and force closure of Britain’s nuclear program. The Cult of Nuclearists of that country cannot allow for such a possibility. As related by Busby [5], the National Radiation Protection Board came to the rescue, armed with the prestidigitation of the corrupted computational system for calculating dosage. In NRPB R-276, Risk of Leukemia and other Cancers in Seascale from All Sources of Radiation [6], plutonium dosage to the population was calculated by modeling the lymphatic system as consisting of a mass of 8000 grams that included the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, uterus, thymus, thyroid, stomach, both intestines, colon, red bone marrow, and cells on bone surfaces. The reader is challenged to find a single physiology book written anywhere in the world that offers such a definition for the “lymphatic system.” Here, indisputable evidence is apparent of blatant criminality masquerading as science. In this publication, the dose actually deposited by plutonium to the tiny tracheobronchial lymph nodes is intentionally misrepresented as a dose to the whole “lymphatic system” following the conventional but sometimes questionable practice of stating exposure in terms of an organ dose. The lymphatic system, in turn, is modeled as consisting of a huge mass of tissue, a mass which for the most part is receiving no radiation. Only by this clever trick of mathematical dilution can the hazardous dose deposited in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes be made to appear as falling below regulatory concern as defined by the radiation protection community. While seriously contaminated people are becoming sick and dying from plutonium contamination, the National Radiation PROTECTION Board is covering up a public health tragedy with lies so as to run interference for that nation’s nuclear programs.


[1] Morgan K.Z., Peterson K.M. The Angry Genie: One Man’s Walk Through the Nuclear Age. University of Oklahoma Press; 1999.

[2] Popplewell D.S. Plutonium in Autopsy Tissues in Great Britain. NRPB Radiological Protection Bulletin No. 74. Chilton. 1968.

[3] Taylor D.M. Environmental Plutonium in Humans. Applied Radiation and Isotopes. 1995; 46:(11):1245-1252.

[4] Busby C. Health Risks Following Exposure to Aerosols Produced by the use of Depleted Uranium Weapons. Paper submitted to the Conference on Facts on Depleted Uranium. Prague, Czech Republic. November 24-25, 2001.

[5] Busby C. Depleted Science: Health Consequences and Mechanisms of Exposure to Fallout from Depleted Uranium Weapons. Contribution to International DU Conference, Hamburg, October 16-19, 2003. Aberystwyth: Green Audit; 2003.

[6] Simmonds J.R., et al. NRPB R276: Risk of Leukaemia and Other Cancers in Seascale from All Sources of Radiation. Chilton: National Radiological Protection Board; 1995).