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, October 11, 2010

The Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: EXHIBIT F 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 F continued:

The infant leukemia produced by Chernobyl confirms that radioactive pollutants are the likely cause of childhood leukemia reported in the vicinity of Sellafield and of the other main sources of radioisotope pollution in Europe. Gardner et al. [1] have confirmed a 10-fold increase in childhood leukemia near Sellafield. In proximity to the Dounreay reprocessing plant in Scotland, an eight-fold excess has been observed [2]. A 15-fold excess in childhood leukemia has been reported near La Hague in France [3,4]. Near the nuclear facility of Harwell in Oxfordshire and the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire, a two-fold excess in childhood leukemias were discovered [5].

Rather than admit that the risk factors of the ICRP model are in error, representatives of the nuclear establishment in Europe have entrenched themselves in the position that the research is in error and that the infant leukemia clusters are a fabrication. How do they defend this position? They say that the “doses” in the vicinity of the studied nuclear facilities are simply too low to be responsible, based on the “accepted” risk models of the ICRP.

All the analyses of causality in the case of nuclear site clusters rely exclusively on the ICRP risk model to show that the calculated doses to the children or their parents were insufficient to have been the cause of the disease since the linear ICRP model did not predict the leukemias or cancers” [6].

According to the analysis of the ECRR, the numerous studies of childhood leukemia clusters in many parts of Europe confirm errors in the risk estimates of the ICRP models. When the doses to the population living in proximity to these installations are plugged into the model, wide discrepancies emerge between the expected number of cases of childhood leukemia and those actually observed. A 100 to 300-fold error in the risk estimates are evidenced by the leukemia clusters around Sellafield. A 100 to 1,000-fold error is observed from the clusters around Dounreay in the UK and La Hague in France. And a 200 to 1,000-fold error is apparent from studies of Aldermaston/Burghfield, Hinkley Point, Harwell and Chepstow in the UK, Kruemmel and Julich in Germany, and Barsebaeck in Sweden. From the 11 studies which it cites, the ECRR calculates that the probability that the excess leukemia is due to coincidence rather than being directly related to radioisotope pollution is less than 0.000000000001 (1 in one million million.)

The confirmation of cancer and leukemia clusters in children living near nuclear sites has put considerable pressure on the scientific models of the ICRP and led to a dissonance between the model and observation that cannot be accommodated within a scientific paradigm” [6].

In 2007, the European Journal of Cancer Care published an article which further strengthened the conclusions reached by the ECRR. In “Meta-Analysis of Standardized Incidence and Mortality Rates of Childhood Leukemia in Proximity to Nuclear Facilities” [7], Baker and Hoel confirmed that rates of leukemia in children are elevated near nuclear installations. Reviewing seventeen studies which covered 136 nuclear sites in the UK, Canada, France, the USA, Germany, Japan and Spain, the authors found that, depending on the distance of the child’s home to the nuclear facility, the death rates from leukemia for children up to the age of nine were elevated between five and twenty-four percent. For children and adults aged zero to twenty-five, increased death rates ranged between two to eighteen percent. Regarding the incidence of leukemia, rates were elevated between fourteen and twenty-one percent in children zero to nine years old. When the age group zero to twenty-five was considered, the incidence rate of leukemia was elevated between seven and ten percent. Exercising caution, the authors couched there conclusions with this observation: “The meta-analysis was able to show an increase in childhood Leukemias near nuclear facilities, but does not support a hypothesis to explain the excess.” Relevant to the thesis of this chapter was the observation by Baker and Hoel that the dose-response studies they reviewed did not show excess rates of leukemia near nuclear facilities. In other words, the current dose-response model fails to accurately depict reality.


[1] Gardner M.J., Hall A.J., Snee M.P., et al. Methods and Basic Data of Case-Control Study of Leukemia and Lymphoma Among Young People near Sellafield Nuclear Plant in West Cumbria. British Medical Journal. 1990; 300:29-34.

[2] Heasman M.A., Kemp W.I., Urquhart J.D., Black R. Childhood Leukemia in Northern Scotland. Lancet. 1986; i:266.

[3] Viel J.F., Poubel D., Carre A. Incidence of Leukemia in Young People around the La Hague Nuclear Waste Reprocessing Plant: A Sensitivity Analysis. Statistics in Medicine. 1996; 14: 2459-2472.

[4] Viel J.F., Richardson S., Danel P., Boutard P., Malet M., Barrelier P., Reman O. Carré A. Childhood Leukemia Incidence in the Vicinity of La Hague Nuclear-Waste Reprocessing Facility (France). Cancer Causes and Control. 1993; 4(4):341-343.

[5] Busby C., Scott Cato M. Death Rates from Leukemia are Higher than Expected in Areas Around Nuclear Sites in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. British Medical Journal. 1997; 315:309.

[6] European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003.

[7] Baker P.J., Hoel D.G. Meta-Analysis of Standardized Incidence and Mortality Rates of Childhood Leukaemia in Proximity to Nuclear Facilities. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2007; 16(4):355-363.